Consumers don't just want the latest and greatest tech in their pockets. Dental patients equate state-of-the-art technology with less pain and an improved experience, which causes them to flock to facilities with the most advanced tech. What you might not know, however, is that this preference for tech extends to all aspects of your practice -- including your digital presence.
You might be strict about your procedures, but when was the last time you gave your website a thorough cleaning? According to a survey from Futuredontics, 38% of respondents look for a dental practice with an up-to-date website that offers all the information they need. If you think websites are only for e-commerce giants and streaming services, think again.
A website shows customers in your area that you're polished and professional while also demonstrating your expertise in the field and your past customer testimonials. SEO Tribunal found that 97% of people learn more about local businesses online than anywhere else, and Futuredontics research confirms that a majority of patients discover their dental practices using the internet.
The importance of marketing your practice
So many dentists spend a fortune on continuing education courses to advance their careers, but they do nothing to tell the public about what they learned. Just because you learn new skills or hone the ones you use every day doesn't mean new patients will suddenly appear at the door. Marketing makes all the difference -- it allows you to publicize your new knowledge or skills to generate an impressive return on investment.
To stay relevant, attract new patients, and retain the regulars you already have, you'll want to turn to three powerful digital marketing tools:
1. Your website
Far too many dentists forgo a website and hamstring even the most rudimentary marketing efforts. Even if you rely entirely on word-of-mouth marketing, potential customers will still look you up online to find your phone number.
Other practices might feature sleek websites and rave customer reviews, so you can hardly expect a prospect to go to great lengths to track down your contact information in a dusty old Yellow Pages. After all, an entire generation of potential customers doesn't even know what that is!
2. Live chat
If a single feature offered efficiency for your office and an improved experience for your customers, would you use it? Live chat can accomplish both of those goals at once. Potential patients can use a live chat function on your website to connect with your office without picking up the phone.
When customers have a question, they won't have to wait a few business days for an answer. In fact, HubSpot research indicates that 90% of customers describe an immediate response as "important" or "very important." By removing a point of friction, you'll enjoy more engagement and more appointments -- all without requiring your busy people at the front desk to listen to messages and field calls for simple requests.
3. Social media
Are you even a dentist if you aren't posting about it online? Some dentists have more than a million followers on various social media channels, and platforms such as Instagram are a great way to market dental procedures.
Plenty of curious people watch videos about procedures that they're considering online, and Instagram allows you to educate your audience and show off those spectacular before and after comparisons. Dr. Desiree Yazdan's Instagram is a great example; it showcases her winning personality, incredible attention to detail, real-life dental stories, and passion for the business.
Struggling to adapt to the digital dental world? Focus on the above three areas to revamp your digital presence, and your dental practice will quickly expand its reach. Make it easier for potential patients to find and contact you, and you'll be smiling for years to come.
Shay Berman is the CEO and founder of Digital Resource, a full-service digital marketing agency located in South Florida.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.