Today’s dental customer has changed dramatically. Prospective patients can do their own online research and find a variety of resources through search engines, social media, and other online channels to make up their mind about your practice. With content resources, today’s buyers can learn a lot about your dental practice before they even talk to one of your representatives. This is how customers become interested in your business nowadays, and how leads are created.
Lead generation in a dental marketing context can be summed up as someone who has some interest in booking an appointment with your dental practice. Many dental professionals still believe that the only way to create new patient leads is through word of mouth referrals, networking, or traditional paid advertising such as website banners. However, this is changing rapidly. By using online lead generation strategies, we are already helping generate a steady flow of quality leads for many local dental practices across the US. And it can to work for your dental practice, too!
Two types of lead generation
There are two ways to generate leads: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Let’s look at the ways in which we can leverage both to increase lead generation.
Inbound marketing strategies
Inbound marketing is a strategy that helps prospective customers find your company, usually before they are even thinking about making a purchase. Then you turn that early visibility into leads, and eventually revenue.
Three of the most effective inbound marketing strategies are:
An informative website – Your website is your digital store front. Whether it is encouraging prospective patients to schedule a check-up or to learn more about certain procedures, it’s your very own house for converting casual browsers into actual leads.
A regularly updated blog – If the thought of a blog conjures up images of your nephew’s documented travels through Southeast Asia, think again. A regularly updated bank of articles on dentistry-related topics is a great place to build trust with your buyers. It will keep your readers invested, returning for more, and hopefully interested enough to look at the rest of what your site offers.
A fully-engaged social media presence – A fundamental shift has taken place across social media channels. Although social media is still important for building your brand, it’s now becoming increasingly important for lead generation. By leveraging the power of all the social media channels, you can be where your customers are in order to build that connection.
Outbound marketing strategies
Outbound marketing uses external mediums to introduce your brand to your customers, rather than through the use of internal channels like a website or blog. Outbound marketing magnifies your inbound marketing and focuses on particular opportunities.
This means it often comes with a very direct call to action. A well-positioned outbound marketing campaign can push a potential dental customer ‘through the marketing funnel’ at a faster rate, assuming they’re already interested.
Pay-per-click ads – One of our main methods of outbound marketing is to use Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads. Only when individuals click on your ad on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing or on a site will you be charged. Within search engines, your ads will appear as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. PPC ads are a great way to draw attention to specific content or a dental service that you are looking to push. They can also be highly specific so that they can produce very high-quality leads. Advertisers offer keyword phrases that are relevant to their target markets and your ads will show when a keyword query fits your chosen keyword list.
Local listings – Assuming your dental practice customers come from a specific location, your success depends on local listings and a local SEO strategy. It is important that your practice is consistently listed on local directories such as Yelp and Google. This not only helps your practice appear in the organic search results, but also helps potential customers more easily find you should they need to.
A diverse marketing strategy should involve both inbound and outbound marketing tactics. Inbound marketing techniques can greatly improve your online lead generation results, while outbound marketing efforts can help ‘seal the deal’ and bring quality leads through your door.
To improve your online lead generation strategy, why not talk to us? We have years of experience generating quality leads for local practices like yours across the US. Contact us today for a consultation.