As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) escalates and we are faced with the realities of what needs to be done to stop the spread, your dental office may be closed to routine patients.
Although this situation will likely feel like a considerable blow to your practice, the good news is that there are things you can do to continue marketing your dental practice during the COVID-19 crisis that will help you to hit the ground running when we’re all able to resume business as usual.
Just because your doors are closed to patients, for the time being, doesn’t mean that you can’t still make an impact. In fact, a time like this is the perfect time to step up and show your community and potential new patients the value and high level of service you provide.
We’ve put together ten things you can do to market your practice while providing for the greater good of your community and your practice during this difficult and unprecedented time.
1. Continue to Provide An Exceptional Patient Experience
First and foremost, keep providing your patients with the exceptional patient experience that they’ve come to know and love about your practice. This is a difficult time for everyone, and we could all use a little extra kindness, patience, and compassion.
As a trusted medical authority in your community, you have the power to make an impact on how your patients navigate this trying time. It’s important that you go above and beyond for your patients so that they continue to feel your support.
Your dedication to providing that unwavering patient experience and support even during a time where your own business may be suffering will help ensure that your patients remain loyal and you’ll retain their business for years to come.
2. Update Your Website
If your website is old, slow, and outdated, this is the perfect time to tune it up. In the competitive online world that we live in today, a poor website can make or break your business. Online users are very likely to leave a website that’s slow and outdated, giving their business to your competition. Things you’ll want to consider updating include:
- Website content: Focus on making it relevant and compelling.
- Site speed: Your site needs to load fast!
- Website design and structure: Your site needs to be easy to navigate for the user.
- Mobile-friendliness: Your site must load and look great on mobile, too.
3. Implement SEO Best Practices
Piggybacking off of our last idea, as you update your dental practice’s website to make it more attractive and user-friendly, you should be keeping SEO best practices in mind. This means that you’re not just making your website look good, you’re setting it up for conversions.
Your website could look great and provide great information, but if it’s not optimized for search engines and conversions, then you’re not likely to get traffic or convert that traffic to paying customers. SEO principles that you should implement include:
- Targeting highly specific keywords
- Creating content that’s friendly for search engines and users alike
- Proper H-Tag usage
- Picture and video optimization
- Internal linking
- Anchor text
- Calls to actions
4. Create New Blog Posts
With the extra downtime that you’ll undoubtedly have during this health crisis, you can use that time to create new blog posts for your practice’s website and to be shared on your social media channels.
We all know that we should be blogging, but it’s often difficult to find the time. There are so many benefits to blogging for your dental practice–you’ll build trust and authority with your audience, add value to your customers, increase your SEO, and increase brand exposure and recognition.
Just because you can’t physically bring in new patients to your practice at this time doesn’t mean you can’t provide them with value and build their trust during this situation. By doing so, you’re more likely to get their business when the time comes to open your doors back up.
5. Produce Video Content
Similar to creating blog content, you can also create video content to market your practice. People love putting a face to a brand and making a connection. If creating videos for your practice has been on your to-do list, now may be a good time to focus on your efforts and get it done.
There are a number of ways to use videos; you can create them for social media, your website, ads, and more. This gives you the opportunity to make a personal connection to your audience by telling a story or providing valuable information.
Videos can help you to capture your audience’s attention and make a first impression that lasts. We wrote a whole blog post on video marketing for dentists, be sure to check that out as you explore video content.
6. Set Up Your Google Ads Account
If you haven’t dipped your toes into the paid ads world yet, now may be a great time to get started. Competition is fierce out there and if you aren’t using Google Ads yet to target your ideal patients, you can rest assured that your competition is and that you’re losing patients to them.
If your website isn’t showing up on the first page of Google for related searches, you’re losing traffic. And while you should be working to improve your SEO so that you can rank organically, the quickest way to secure a top spot and capture that traffic is by using Google Ads.
We published a Google Ads for Dentists series, beginning with how to set up your Google Ads account. Be sure to check out that whole series as we walk you through setting your account up, selecting keywords, running your ads, and then checking their progress. Even if you don’t begin your ad campaign until you can safely see patients again, you’ll be that much further ahead when the time comes.
7. Stay Active on Social Media
If you were active on social media before COVID-19, then make sure you maintain that same level of value during this crisis. Alternatively, if you haven’t begun using social media for your dental practice, take this time to get started.
By 2021, it’s estimated the 3.1 billion people will be using social media worldwide. Social media is one of the most popular online activities and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Your potential patients are on social media, it’s your job to get your brand in front of them using the various social platforms available. Facebook and Instagram are two of the best platforms for marketing your practice on social media, especially since both platforms offer the option to use “stories” or video content.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, you can continue to cater to your patients, providing them with value, answering their questions, and making connections through social media without ever stepping foot inside your practice.
Download our 2020 Social Media Calendar that is customizable to your practice and includes 365 pre-filled ideas here!
8. Send Out a Helpful Email Sequence
Does your office have an email list? If so, it’s a great time to show your patients that you care by sending them emails regarding the health crisis, what they can do to help stop the spread, and what they can do if they have a dental emergency during this time.
Your patients are dealing with a lot of stress and upheaval. A reassuring email sent to their inbox shows them that your office cares and that they have support.
9. Offer Virtual Consultations
Did you know that you can offer virtual consultations to your patients? You can with apps like SmileSnap. This is the perfect way to continue to market your brand and build new relationships while you’re unable to invite new patients through your door.
With SmileSnap, you can virtually provide a dental consultation to your patients before they come to visit your office. Doing so helps to build trust, make a connection, and gives your community peace of mind that they can still maintain their dental health even when they’re unable to visit your office physically.
10. Engage With Your Audience Wherever You Can
The biggest key to marketing your dental practice during the COVID-19 practice is to continue to engage with your audience wherever and however you can. Use this time to help your practice stand apart from the crowd by being a pillar of strength for your community.
The goal is to show your patients that although you may not be able to physically see them for a while, you’re still there to provide them with value and support. Your dedication to unwavering customer service will pay off when your patients return and refer their friends and family. Referrals are still one of the best ways to get new dental patients.
Just because your practice’s doors are momentarily closed doesn’t mean that your practice needs to come to a standstill. In fact, you can use this time to set yourself up for success by having a solid marketing strategy in place for when the time comes to open back up safely. By using our tips and increasing your marketing efforts, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
We hope that you can take this time to pause, reflect, and think about ways that you can make your business better for the future. Be well!
Schedule your free consultation here to learn more about our dental marketing services!
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