As periodontists and oral surgeons continue to see the number of dental referrals decline, more and more of us are looking for other new patient opportunities. Most of us are now making a shift from focusing 100% on dentists to using dental internet marketing. Specifically using:
- Google ads
- Facebook ads
- Youtube Ads
With so many choices to choose from, what do we do?
Today in Part One, I’d like to highlight one area that our practice, plus many of our private clients are doing remarkably well: Google ads
U.S. Ad Spending By Medium
Last year marked the 1st time ever that large advertisers spent more online than they did with TV. Up until last year, TV had been the #1 source of ad spend. This presents a challenge online because there’s going to be:
- more and more competition
- higher costs per click
- more distraction for the consumer’s time online
“Advertising is like learning. A little is a dangerous thing.” – P.T. Barnum
With the increased amount of competition, we can’t slip up. Five to ten years ago, when competition was low, the marketplace didn’t care much. Today’s marketplace will NOT tolerate any sloppy advertising. Because of this, we must focus on becoming smarter about what we’re putting out online and hold each marketing dollar accountable as the lead cost continues to rise.
Before we start vying for online patients, make sure you pay attention to the main problem first.
I can’t tell you how many periodontists have contacted me for help revamping their online marketing to find out it’s NOT their advertising that’s the problem. Their #1 problem is….their poor customer service. This can be further broken down into these two aspects:
- Phones aren’t answered correctly (or at all!)
- Conversion issues – can’t convert leads to booked patients
Unfortunately, most continue to blame the marketing even though they know their customer service stinks. These periodontists aren’t happy and think that the internet only brings them “crappy leads.” Honestly, I used to say that too until I learned all of the problems we weren’t addressing.
We, the practice owners, are responsible for the leads that raise their hand and call our offices.
We must realize that:
- If you don’t like the leads calling you via online, then change the ad and monitor the changes on the phone
- Change what you mail out to these new patients once they make appointments
- Think about changing what happens when they first arrive at the practice
- Make changes in what your team tells them and does before, during and after the exam
Remember, we have to take this stuff seriously as more national advertisers pour billions of bucks into online marketing. You can’t afford to miss this step.
What’s In Your Market?
You maybe thinking, yeah this is all great but my market is already saturated. Don’t be so sure. Wide open markets still exist. Even large towns, because no one’s doing keywords right. No one is taking the time and monitoring the results because….no one takes this seriously!!
Most of my private clients that I consult with simply put all the responsibility on the marketing company they’re working with. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to make sure that whoever you hire, is delivering on their promises.
My job is to give you the tools and info you need to make an educated decision on who to work with.
Next time we’re going to continue our discussion and dive deep into the specifics of how to get patients online without breaking the bank.