If you advertise correctly, people will pay attention to you.
Advertising seems to be losing it’s appeal. Many dental marketing consultants will argue that a solid inbound marketing plan is all you need.
While I agree that an effective dental marketing plan starts with a well defined online presence (the cornerstone of an inbound marketing plan), I believe that advertising can be used to enhance your inbound marketing efforts.
A shift needs to occur in order for you to see results from advertising. You need to start thinking more about your audience and less about you. What do I mean?
Bad advertising is when you promote how awesome you are. Good advertising is when you promote something that the people you want to attract will find useful.
Three ways you can improve the results you see from an advertising campaign are:
- Advertise your content
- Use content to get permission to market more
- Test before you spend too much
Advertise Your Content
Advertising is a tricky game to play. It costs money and doesn’t always produce results. The results that are produced are difficult to measure effectively. In the traditional format of telling someone about you or offering them a coupon, you lose the opportunity to continue to interact with them in any other way outside of a continue, and expensive, advertising campaign.
If you can start to think about content as a product or service that you can advertise, you can design 2 part campaigns that work to get someones attention AND keep it by nurturing them with more information until they are ready to make a decision to become your patient.
Let’s say that you created a really awesome guide about how to select the right dentist, or what to expect from a cosmetic procedure. You can create an advertisement that directs people to a landing page on your website that allows them to give you their email in exchange for the guide. Now you can continue to market to then until they are ready to schedule their first appointment.
Use Content to Get Permission to Market
If you studied the people you want to attract, you will be able to determine what type of content they would find useful. If you take the next step and create the useful content and then advertise it, you will likely be able to build a marketing database filled with the exact types of people that you want as your patients.
Here’s the thing. People don’t really make decisions when they first see your ad. You need to keep a steady stream of advertising to have any effect at all. Advertising makes it very difficult to ensure that you reach the same person enough with the same type of message, motivating them to take action.
By advertising your content and capturing peoples contact information, you can create a hyper targeted list of people that you can continue to send information to. You take control of the effort and will spend a lot less money over time converting the initial lead into a patient.
Test Before You Spend Too Much
Testing is a marketers most useful “tool”. There are a million ways to test the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns BEFORE you decide which channel works best and how much you want to spend. Before you go full speed, set up a few testing strategies. Testing is really a 4 step process:
- Determine your goals
- Determine the problem or obstacles getting in the way
- Establish solutions to the problems
- Create test variations to help solve the problems
There are two really awesome articles that you should read to learn more about these 4 steps and the testing process AND how to apply it to your practice. Testing can be very easy or it can be extremely complicated. Even if you set up a few basic tests, you will be better able to determine how, when and where to spend your money.
Testing should actually be a regular action item in your entire marketing strategy. There is really no reason to fly blind when you can set up some simple and useful tests to see how your audience will behave. Advertising is no exception.
Advertising, if done correctly will work. If you start with your patients need for information and set up a solid testing strategy, you will likely see better results than you did from any other advertising campaigns you have tried in the past.
If you have any questions about developing an advertising strategy for your dental practice, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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