Healthcare services like dentistry are one of the most competitive markets out there. There are loads of options of Orthodontists, Periodontists and many more specialists who seemingly offer the same services. It is because of these multitudes of choices that even your current customers might not come back for another checkup.
Then what should you, as a Healthcare service provider, do to gain more customers while retaining your current ones?
The solution is inbound marketing techniques. In this age of digitization, where we view everything online, why should healthcare be the exception?
What is inbound marketing?
To put it simply, inbound marketing means providing the end user with attractive, engaging and delightful content.
In this age of always trying to find new ways to market and sell products, the internet is like the goose that lays golden eggs. You can sell anything to anyone, anywhere. Ranging from a simple pen to a rocket launcher, you can buy anything online. The downside to this is that you are not just competing with just your neighbor anymore. You are competing with every vendor offering a similar product and service provider in the world.
This is where inbound marketing techniques comes in. With smart and creative methods of attracting customers, you can gain more traction and trust. Using tools like ads, social media, blogging, and SEO to attract prospects. Using tools like email marketing, conversational bots, lead flows, etc. to engage and convert them.
A lot of people underestimate the capacity and capability of internet marketing, but the results speak for themselves. Look at the number of companies trying to sell the same product or service online. Out of all these companies, how many make successful sales. It is definitely a select few. They might not be the best companies or ones that provide the best service. Yet, they can make sales by implementing inbound marketing techniques.
If you have a business which provides great products and services and employed inbound marketing, you will be able to not only retain old customers but keep gaining new ones.
Why inbound marketing?
I have boldly claimed that inbound marketing is the solution to a huge problem plaguing dentists for years. It is fair for you to ask, HOW?
Because it’s local
If you are a dentist from a certain town or city, there is a minimal chance you will get customers from other cities which are miles away. You should only be concerned about local customers. For targeted marketing, Inbound is the best.
When someone has a toothache, they generally use Google to search ‘dentist near me’ and book an appointment. What you need to do is to stay on top of such searches. That can be achieved through search engine optimization. A subset of inbound marketing.
It’s a proven fact that people tend to prefer healthcare institutions that have a reputation. They feel a sense of security because of it. It is through online ads and social media campaigns that this reputation is built. These are a part of inbound marketing as well.
The fundamental goal of all healthcare providers is to help people. Through inbound marketing, you can raise awareness about healthcare and hygiene to increase the scale of service you offer. Additionally, you will build goodwill with the residents of your community. Goodwill is a mandatory asset for all local businesses.
Now that you know WHY inbound marketing is essential, let me tell you HOW you can employ it.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the internet? It’s probably a website. You need to have one.
A website is like a heart to all inbound campaigns. No matter where you advertise, this is the address you give to come and find more information about. This is where the Google search will redirect traffic. This is where all Facebook ads will request users to go. In the end, this is where prospects become customers.
As this is where conventions happen, it is a given that the website must be user-friendly, interactive and informative. With answers to all the questions about your services clearly mentioned there, the patient is a lot more likely to book an appointment.
Search engine optimization
SEO is a crucial part of inbound marketing. There are hundreds of thousands of websites competing for the top spot on the search results. It is significant for any website to be optimized with keywords and back links to appear on the first page.
Educating people about oral hygiene and dental health can be done in many ways. One of the most effective among them is blogging. By adding enlighten content to your website you can increase organic traffic. This will increase the chance of improving the chance of a lead converting into a customer exponentially.
The goodwill you gain through good content will also help as ‘Word of Mouth’ and recommendations are the biggest source of walk-ins in the healthcare industry.
Call to action
The end goal for all this additional marketing is to increase the number of customers. It’s all well and good that you educated the traffic on your website but what about conversions?
It’s is all right to promote your products. Have a hovering subscription or booking window. It should have a presence but should be annoying. This way, the end user gets what they want and so do you.
Try making a pop-up window where it shows appointment booking methods without any queue. Add a free brochure with oral hygiene tips as an incentive for booking or providing their mail ID. By collecting these emails, you can broadcast info to them using useful online tools.
The potential for increasing sales with social media is humongous. With little to no investment, you can create tractions towards your services in a creative and positive manner. This is a more informal form of communicating with your prospects and customers.
To maintain regular traction, try to maintain fresh and exclusive content on your social media page. The information that people find on social media, for the most part, shouldn’t be available on the website. This way people will genuinely be interested in your posts and comments.
This additional content should include things like insider pics. Something like your staff’s birthday or milestones that your clinic completed or the new equipment and machinery that was purchased. By showing this fun side of the clinic and its staff, you will humanize the clinic. People will start considering it to be less of a profit-driven company and more of a helpful service providing institution.
Another content type includes behind the scene photos and videos. This could be procedure preparation videos, team introductions or other things of that sort.
By having many sources to showcase your achievements you will be able to show your success and in turn, show everyone your capability. Posting on the website about customer experience and showing them gratitude is the best way to retain customers. It is the people that we post about that give recommendations to others asking them to try your service out. This is the ideal way to build a relationship of trust with the customer.
The first step
A lot of people like me, ‘How do I get into inbound marketing’? There are a couple of ways to get started. If you don’t have a website, get started on one. If you have a website and lack viability then you need to optimize it. There are a couple of sites that offer thorough audits of the website to analyze what’s wrong. This way you can determine what are the steps you need to take next.
Dentistry is a competitive market for sure. If you provide good service and know how to market it right, I know that you will flourish in your field and provide wonderful service to the community.