Over the years I’ve found there are a few traits that set the successful marketing strategy apart from an unsuccessful one – and if you want to avoid failure then I suggest you read, absord, understand then do!
Trait 1 – Think Holistically
Social Media is not the ‘be all and end all’ of your online marketing, it should form part of a comprehensive online marketing strategy that includes as many marketing channels as possible.
In my opinion this should include:
- Google Plus
- Google Places
- Your Website
It may also include Facebook adverts and Google Pay Per Click (No, PPC is not dead.. only doing it wrong is dead!)
The sequence of these is important and social media only seeks to widen your sales funnel. The goal should always be to drive potential patients down the sales funnel and down the list above.
Trait 2 – Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Your website is an integral feature of your online marketing strategy and should include visitor data capture mechanisms (like email) and the facility to request appointments online.
You can then drive traffic to your site from social media by suggesting people book online or download information – and in return you get their email address and the ability to continually build relationships with them.
Trait 3 – Engage
The clue is in the title here, it’s SOCIAL media, not BROADCAST media, so engage, be personable, chat and help others. This will build rapport and trust and enable the local people to feel like they know you, making the decision to come to see you a logical one.
The key is a 2 way conversation, not one way. We buy from people we like, so help other to like you!
Trait 4 – Reduce Risk for Patients
Dentistry is not about shifting products. It’s about delivering a service.
Products marketing is different, as products can be evaluated before hand and returned to the supplier if you don’t like them or they don’t work as you thought. Think buying a TV for example.
Services on the other hand can’t be evaluated before hand and can’t be taken back. Think listening to a lecture.
Product marketing often requires a shop to encourage people to make a quick snap decision – buy one get one free, buy today and save ££ss, special offer today only etc etc
Services marketing often requires a provider to reduce the risk for customers, after all they can’t evaluate the service before hand (their new teeth) and can’t take them back.
So shift your marketing focus on to reducing risk for patients, NOT shifting products!
Trait 5 – Know The Answer to This Question – “WHY YOU?”
When I see a new client I always go through a full marketing audit ( I majored in marketing on my MBA) and ask this question – “WHY YOU?” – it’s amazing how many dental practices can not answer that question.
So layer in the things that are unique to you, this could include:
- Unique products and services you offer
- Your education
- Your training courses
- Your materials
- Your gadgets
- The way you treat patients
- Special Techniques you use e.g. Wand, Sedation, Hypnosis etc
Then come up with a simple phrase or statement that encapsulates that and have everyone in the practice know it.
You MUST be totally clear as to why YOU are the best in your area and be able to convey this message on Social Media
Trait 6 – Patience
I find social media is slow burn marketing and often take time to build ‘traction’. But once traction is achieved there really is no stopping it. So you do need to commit to the project and be prepared to look at it in the long term and keep going.
Gently hand out great advice, reduce risk for patients, help them like you, engage, drive them to your website, think holistically and I know it will work for you.
So there you have it, my top 6 traits for a successful social media campaign, if you feel you’d like more guidance then why not book on my latest Social Media Kickstart Course.
James Russell – The London Smile Clinic said “Mark really knows his business! This turns social media into something really powerful – not just for playing with.”
We’ll go through everything above plus a ton more useful stuff too.
“This course will open your eyes to the inifinte possibilies regards social media marketing”
Martin Cox – Forndale Dental Clinic