The fact that people are more inclined to do business with individuals they “know, like, and trust” probably comes as no surprise to you, but you may be less familiar with some of the strategies you can use to achieve this. Since the “know, like, trust” factor is so critical to the continued growth of your practice, we decided to break down each of these components and provide you with accompanying tactics that you can apply based on the unique needs and goals of your office.
PART 1. The “Know” Factor
Here are six simple strategies to help you boost your practice’s “know” factor:
- Identify your ideal patient. Before you can boost your “know” factor, you need to first determine the type of patient you’re trying to reach. Identifying your ideal patients is key to creating a successful marketing strategy and helping you attain the best return on your investment. While your practice may provide a wide variety of services, you can probably narrow down your ideal patients’ demographics to one or two categories. If your ideal patient is an upper middle class or affluent woman in her late 50s to early 70s, then your marketing efforts need to target individuals in your area that fall into that demographic. If you’re struggling to put the pieces together, a dental marketing consultant can help you identify your ideal patients through market research and use this information to supercharge your marketing efforts.
- Welcome with your website. You’ve probably heard the expression, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” but it’s important to remember that today’s patients often form their opinions without ever stepping foot in your office. Since a patient seeking dental care will almost certainly begin their search online, your website typically serves as their first impression of your practice – make it count! Would you show up to treat patients wearing ratty gym shorts and a mustard-stained t-shirt? Of course not! That attire would probably diminish a patient’s confidence in your professional competence, right? Well, your website sort of acts as your practice’s digital “attire”, so if yours is outdated, uninviting, boring, or difficult to navigate, you might as well break out the cold cuts to go with your mustard shirt. A professional website conveys professionalism, so dress to impress with an aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-navigate site.
- Build a brand that beckons. In today’s technology-driven society, your online identity is your identity. Your practice’s brand communicates who you are, what you do, how you do it, and (most importantly), why you’re awesome at it. Your brand encompasses every component of your practice, from your dental logo and website design to your name, tagline, and custom content. All too often, doctors (and business owners in every other industry) fail to harness this potentially powerful blend of words and images and take control over their brand identity. Strategic and purposeful branding unites these elements to tell your “story,” providing your message with the clarity it needs to attract your ideal patients.
- Be an open (and educational) book. A site that’s easy on the eyes is all well and good, but a site containing educational content about your services, policies, and procedures is even better. Change can be unnerving for many people and surprises are especially unwelcome when it comes to health care. Providing ample information upfront allows patients to make an informed decision. Since knowledge is power, transparency can ease the anxiety of the unknown and make them feel more comfortable with the idea of you as their dental care provider.
- Establish authority with content that emphasizes your expertise. Consistently creating and distributing relevant content that your ideal patients care about is one of the key components to becoming “known” and solidifying your reputation as an authority in your distinct area of dentistry. You might consider starting a dental blog that addresses issues related to the services you most want to promote. You can also build your “know” factor and reinforce your expertise through press releases that contain newsworthy information about the happenings at your practice. As an added bonus, press releases are often picked up by other news channels, which in turn can improve your practice’s search engine ranking. Other types of content you can use to apply this particular strategy include e-books, special reports, and white papers.
- Encourage sharing. If you've taken the time and energy to create and publish great content, don’t forget to share it and encourage others to do the same. Sharing material that matters to your target audience expands your network and helps you reach the patients most in need of your services. Your social media platforms are made to simplify this activity – use them to your advantage! Remember that just because someone loves what you’re putting out there, doesn't guarantee that he or she will be moved to share it – at least not without a little gentle prodding from you. Therefore, it’s your job to call them to action by asking them to kindly pass your content along to others they think might benefit from the information. Bonus Tip: Make the process as quick and easy as possible by including buttons that allow readers to instantly share your content through their preferred social media platforms.
Stay tuned for our next PDM blog installment where we’ll discuss methods for boosting your “like” factor! If you’d like assistance implementing any of these strategies, please call us today at (727) 286-6211 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our dental marketing experts.