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    Think like a CEO: Your online marketing checklist

    A run down of everything you should be doing online to effectively market your practice.

    When deciding to enter the world of marketing, it’s essential for dentists to start not only with an idea of what they’d personally like to accomplish, but also what experts agree are the most urgent and important marketing strategies. This approach enables dental practices to create a more measured and organized marketing plan based on what works in the real world, rather than simply focusing on what might subjectively feel “important” in the moment.

    For the sake of prioritization, it’s also best to break the marketing process down into several stages; just like treatment planning in dentistry often is phased, a marketing strategy is best broken down into manageable, bite-sized tactics that are more realistically achieved over time—after all, it’s not like managing the practice’s marketing plan is a dentist’s full time job!

    The marketing checklist below also doubles as a self-assessment, allowing practices to reflect on their marketing accomplishments and analyze their progress in terms of how many of the items listed already have been checked off their marketing “to-do” list versus how much is left to accomplish.

    Complete the “Stage I: Must Do Immediately” assessment below and you’ll gain insight into how far you have come—and how far you have to go to bring your practice marketing up to speed.

    Stage I: Must do immediately

    Mindset

    • Everyone in the practice believes marketing is critical for the practice’s ongoing success.
    • Everyone believes patients are the practice’s No. 1 priority.
    • Everyone dives for the phone when it rings and is cross-trained to handle new patient calls.
    • Everyone believes marketing the practice is an important priority and is on board with promoting the practice in new and different ways.
    • Someone in the practice—besides the dentist—is responsible for marketing implementation as part of his/her job description.

    Branding

    • A conscious decision has been made about the practice’s name/brand.
    • A custom logo has been professionally designed to graphically represent this brand.
    • Website
    • The practice has a basic website that incorporates its branding.
    • The practice’s phone number and address are easily viewable on the website’s first page.
    • The website has headshots and bios of doctor and team written in casual, friendly language.
    • The website features basic information about the practice and treatments offered written in patient-friendly, benefit-oriented language.
    • There is a picture of the office and a link to MapQuest or Google Maps on the Contact Us page.
    • The website has a gallery of non-retracted, full-face “before and after” photos taken by a professional photographer.
    • The website has a page dedicated to patient testimonials.

    E-mail marketing

    • The front desk asks patients for their updated e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers in every interaction.
    • The practice has collected/updated at least 50% of its patients’ e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers.

    Search Engine Optimization

    • The practice has submitted the website URL and keywords to the top 10 search engines, manually or through a service such as iNeedHits.com and/or with a Search Engine Optimization company.
    • The website crosslinks to/from professional websites such as national and state dental associations, other dental organizations, as well as select peers/referring doctors and other “validating” URLs to improve Search Engine page rankings.

    Online reputation management

    • The practice has created a Google Places page and put the business on the map.
    • The practice has completed/claimed the practice’s Yelp profile.
    • The practice has at least five positive reviews on Yelp.com or Google Places as an insurance policy against any potential negative reviews.
    • The practice has a process in place to monitor its web presence with Google Alerts and Google’s the practice/doctor name(s) at least monthly.

    Social media

    • The practice has a professionally designed and complete business page on Facebook.
    • The practice updates its Facebook business page at least once a week.

    Internal marketing

    • The practice has a new patient welcome kit/letter that is sent to every prospective new patient.
    • Everyone in the practice praises the doctor(s) in front of a patient every day.
    • Everyone in the practice asks for a referral every day.
    • Everyone in the practice asks for an online review every day.
    • You made it through the initial checklist! You will definitely see results from your efforts, so be sure to do more than check off what already has been done and what hasn’t. Completing the foundational steps of your marketing strategy gives you and your team the satisfaction of knowing you have set the stage for real practice growth. Enjoy the journey—and know that Pride Institute is here to help!


    Naomi Cooper is president of our “New Rules of Marketing”s Seminar or let Pride Institute design a marketing strategy by using our customized Marketing Diagnostic. Contact Pride Institute at 800-925-2600 or [email protected] to hear more about our marketing services and CE course schedule.

    Minoa Marketing, a dental marketing and social media firm based in Encino, Ca. In her role as Chief Marketing Consultant for Pride Institute, Naomi offers strategic marketing solutions for your practice. Choose to attend  our “New Rules of Marketing”s Seminar or let Pride Institute design a marketing strategy by using our customized Marketing Diagnostic. Contact Pride Institute at 800-925-2600 or [email protected] to hear more about our marketing services and CE course schedule.

    Naomi Cooper
    Naomi Cooper is President of Minoa Marketing and CEO and CEO and co-founder of Doctor Distillery. Naomi is a respected dental marketing ...
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