Dental Marketing System

Watch the webinar replay of “How A Dental Marketing System Will Help You Grow Your Practice And Win At Marketing“.

Hi, and welcome to our 8th webinar of 2022. Today, we’ll be talking about how a dental marketing system will help you grow your practice and win at marketing marketing. My name is Ian Cantle, and I’m the founder and chief strategist at Dental Marketing heroes. We’re a dental marketing agency whose mission is to help dentists thrive so your team and your families can thrive, so you can give more back to the community and worthwhile causes that you care about.

Today, I’ll be sharing information that has the potential to radically impact your practice and increase your new patient numbers. This one is big, folks. This webinar alone can change the trajectory of your entire practice, and I’m very eager to share this information with you.

All right, today we’re going to really dig into this important and valuable topic, and this is what we’ll be covering…

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And let me remind you, if you stay until the end of the webinar, I’ll be providing a code for you to get a copy of our Seven Steps to Dental Marketing Success ebook. This ebook is jam packed with helpful guidance on how you can implement a marketing system in your practice.

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If this is your first webinar you’ve attended, let me provide you with a quick intro of who I am. I’m a co-author of an Amazon best-selling marketing book titled:  Content Marketing For Local Search:  Create Content That Google Loves And Prospects Devour.

I’m also honoured to be a weekly contributor on the Marketing Guides For Small Businesses podcast. I have over 20 years of marketing experience, and I’m constantly staying on the cutting edge, the forefront of marketing with my professional development and certifications.

One certification of particular note with regards to today’s topic is that I’m a Master Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant. I’m trained in installing arguably the world’s best small business marketing system. And I have a track record of producing very high return on marketing investment for my clients, so I hope that helps you know that you’re in very good hands today when it comes to this topic.

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So without further ado, let’s jump in to this topic.

And here’s what I want you to get out of watching this webinar today:  that marketing is a vital system. It’s kind of like a pumping heart, but our hearts are very important to our bodies, and marketing is very important to your practice. I want you to be aware that marketing is a system. Think of it as the heartbeat of your practice growth and it can become one of the most powerful systems in your practice.

A marketing system produces higher returns-on-investment because an integrated marketing system will produce greater results for you and easily pay for itself. This means that for every dollar you invest in a marketing system, it will work harder for you and help you reach your goals faster.

An integrated marketing system will remove the marketing chaos that you may be in right now, the uncertainty for you as a practice owner in your marketing efforts, and provide clarity on what to do. Many dentists feel overwhelmed and confused when it comes to their marketing. A marketing system will keep things very clear for you.

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I was trying to think of a good analogy, so I thought of an Avocado. An Avocado? There’s two main parts. There’s also two main parts to an integrated marketing system. There’s the strategic marketing plan that guides all of your efforts. And second, there’s a systematic marketing engine that aligns all of your marketing activities and strategies into a single purpose powerhouse.

But just like an Avocado, the outside gets all the praise, the delicious fruity part of it, or vegetable part of it. But without the inside, it would never have formed into an Avocado. Just like a marketing system, you need both parts.

Finally, I will share how you can install an integrated marketing system into your practice and have a jet powered marketing engine that will propel your dental practice forward. It will help you reach your goals faster and cost-effectively.

Systems Are Everywhere

Let’s take a look at a few examples. When systems are working, you almost don’t notice them. Things just work.

  • You’re watching this webinar or video over the Internet, which is a complex system of telecommunications, hardware and software. But it’s a system.
  • Your home and your practice have an HVAC system and an air quality system. If they didn’t, you’d know it, right? You’d either be too hot or too cold. Too stuffy, too humid, too dry. Many of you have installed HEPA filtration systems since COVID hit. That’s a system. It’s an air cleaning system.
  • You have a payroll, accounts payable and financial system.
  • You have a tool sterilization system and processes for keeping your tools clean and sterilized for use.
  • And successful practices have a marketing system that turns their investment into a great return-on-investment.

The list goes on and on. Systems are everywhere. As mentioned earlier, systems are usually invisible when they’re working, and it’s only when they break down that they become highly noticeable. It’s important to note that very few dental practices have a strategic marketing system in place and that it’s only the most successful ones that do. The lack of a marketing system causes a host of problems for you as the practice owner and puts you at a competitive disadvantage.

Why Should You Care About Marketing Systems?

Before we move forward, I want to answer your unasked question of, ‘Why should I watch this webinar any further? Why should I care?’

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So let me set the table with statistics and some real-world results. A Gardener study found integrated campaigns outperformed nonintegrated campaigns by a whopping 300%, and they were also 31% more effective at building brands. 300% is a huge number and it’s worth paying attention to.

We’ve installed integrated marketing systems into practices and we’ve seen even more dramatic results. These real-life examples are very powerful because we took over the accounts from previous marketing agencies who were doing some good work, but they didn’t implement it in an integrated systematic approach.

And the clients kept their investments and budgets pretty much the same when they transition to us, until we showed them the dynamic growth that they were achieving. And then they wanted to invest more into their marketing system. And that’s how it works. A couple of real-world examples…

1. Practice One — After we implemented the marketing system, we saw:

  1. Four times the number of calls. Calls are a key call to action and they signify activity that’s worthwhile in growing your practice and attracting new patients. 
  2. We saw a 250% increase in organic traffic alone — that’s unpaid-for traffic to your website.
  3. We saw 330% increase in social traffic. This was an area of incredible growth for them and this is traffic to their website from social media.
  4. This particular practice became a target for mergers and in fact did merge with two other practice owners for a lot of money.

2. Practice Two — After we implemented a marketing system…

  1. We were able to achieve an immediate savings of $10,000 for them because of the way they were doing their ad spend on Google.
  2. We also increased their qualified leads by five times
  3. They were receiving back a 29 times return on investment. That’s a very conservative number that we calculated there. When we look at their total return on investment, it’s much higher than that if you include the lifetime value of patients.
  4. And just in the past few weeks, this client, this practice was acquired by a large organization and this dentist is able to continue on in their practice, but they’ve received a huge payout and they attribute the growth of their practice to our team and the system we implemented for them.

The other reason you should care is that there’s a force multiplier effect that happens when a marketing system is introduced into your practice. Meaning that when you install a marketing system into your practice, all the different areas of your marketing will benefit.

But the greatest result of all is that it will increase your new patient numbers and your monthly revenue and thus profitability. It will thus increase the valuation of your practice, making it more valuable should you ever wish to eventually sell it.

It just makes sense. Investors want to buy practices that are machines at acquiring more patients and turning a profit. And just like the person in the slide above is using a lever to push a heavy object or lift a heavy object — that’s what a marketing system does. It’s a lever. There’s no more powerful, systematic and sustainable way for you to attract patients and grow revenue than with a marketing system.

What Is A Marketing System?

So you’re probably asking, what is a marketing system? It sounds pretty cool. At its simplest, a marketing system looks at where you are today and where you want to get to, and provides the roadmap and the vehicle to get you there.

A marketing system takes all of the parts of strategic marketing for your practice and unifies them under the control of a strategic marketing plan and a systematic approach. A marketing engine that aligns with your goals, your ideal patients, and your budget.

Essentially, it becomes a marketing engine that ensures you have the right things to communicate with the right people in the right way in order to influence them to choose your clinic instead of a competitor’s clinic. It ensures the best marketing activities are being done each and every day to grow your practice. Sounds pretty great.

Why Is A Marketing System So Vital To Winning At Dental Marketing?

So let’s look at why a marketing system is so vital to winning at dental marketing. In particular, there are three really big marketing problems that almost every dental practice experiences. So let’s look at those problems and how a marketing system solves them.

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The first one is that most dentists don’t know what marketing works and what doesn’t. What will really attract more patients and what will grow their monthly revenue. If you’re like most dentists and orthodontists that I know, a driving force in your practice is helping people achieve their best through your services. And on the practice ownership side, you’re very focused on your new patient numbers and your monthly revenue numbers. Those are two key metrics that mean a lot.

There’s a lot of other numbers you care about. But if you were to drill down marketing success, it would be increasing those two metrics. But what works, what marketing strategies and tactics will help you attract more new patients each and every month and also help you grow your monthly revenue? And this is a problem if you don’t know the answer.

What’s needed is an approach that takes the very best practices, combines it with expert implementation and a strategy, and aligns all of those efforts to maximize the return on investment. A strategic marketing plan and an aligned marketing system will solve this problem for you.

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The second big marketing problem is that many dentists hire multiple marketing vendors and then have trouble managing all those vendors and making sure that they’re aligned. In other words, there are too many cooks in the kitchen and nobody knows what dish they’re making. Let me say that again because I love that saying…

There are too many cooks in the kitchen and nobody knows what dish they’re making. So the big marketing problem here that the owner of the practice faces is when you take a multi-vendor approach, which is very common. You hire someone to do your SEO, your website, your social media, another person to do your ads, another person to do your brand, your print. It happens all the time. But if you take that approach, then you have too many cooks in the kitchen who don’t know what dish they’re making.

You will live in a constant state of confusion and chaos when it comes to your marketing. And you essentially become the manager of all these people and they are accountable to you. And very few dentists got into their practice in order to become a manager of marketers.

What’s needed is an approach that aligns every marketing activity such that everything is focused on producing the end results, the goals of the practice, so you’re not juggling a whole bunch of balls in the air all the time. A marketing system will solve this.

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The third big marketing problem dentists face is making sense of reporting, knowing what’s working and what’s not. One of the biggest failings of dental marketers today is that they are really bad at reporting. Either the reporting always paints a rosy picture that’s the rose-coloured glasses, or it’s deeply confusing to the layperson. And some businesses, some marketers actually do this. They want to keep their clients in constant confusion so they won’t fire them. They don’t know what’s working. They think we’ll do a good job.

In fact, a very common scenario, and maybe you’ve come across this, is if you’re hiring an SEO company, they may only show you a report of the keywords that are ranking number one on Google. We see this all the time in the industry and it’s horrible. But they’re not showing you the most important keywords by search volume in your area.

It’s so misleading because it’s the keywords that people are actually searching for that you want to rank number one for. Anybody can get you ranking on Google in the number one position — for keywords that don’t matter. It’s the keywords that matter most that you care about.

What’s needed is a systematic approach to reporting that aligns all of the reporting with the metrics that matter most to you, the practice owner, the metrics that tell you if you’re moving towards your objectives or not. And a marketing system can solve this.

Parts Of An Integrated Marketing System

So let’s look at the two vital parts of an integrated marketing system.

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When most people think of marketing their practice, they think about actually the doing of marketing, not the thinking of marketing. They think of the doing of marketing — the SEO, the website, the social media, the advertising, you name it. And these things are absolutely vital.

But most practice owners, even if they had an undergrad in marketing back in the day, suffer from lack of up-to-date knowledge and expertise to determine what works, what they should be doing, and how to do it effectively. And it’s important to note that most marketers don’t have a system to turn these marketing activities into a marketing engine for you that will outperform its separate parts because it’s simply not taught in most schools or in most online courses.

So a marketing system takes all of the parts of strategic marketing for your practice and unifies them under the control of a strategic marketing plan and a systematic approach that aligns all of your efforts with your goals, your ideal patients, and your budget. It ensures that the right things communicate with the right people in the right way in order to influence them to choose your clinic instead of your competitor’s clinic. It ensures the best marketing activities are being done each and every day to grow your practice.

And it’s your overarching marketing system that combines your strategic marketing plan with your marketing engine and keeps them in constant synchronicity that will power your practice to new heights. So that’s the high-level, 30,000-ft. view of what a marketing system is.

Now, let’s dig into each of these two vital parts because I think you’ll start to understand how you can implement this much more specifically and see the power of it when we look at each specific part. We’ll start with your strategic marketing plan.

What Is A Strategic Marketing Plan?

So what is a strategic marketing plan? Well, it’s your secret weapon to growing your dental practice, attracting more new patients, increasing revenue and staying ahead of your competition. At the center of your marketing system is your strategic marketing plan. Without your strategic marketing plan, your system will never work. You won’t know how to market your practice for maximum results.

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And there are eight key components to your strategic marketing plan at a high level.

  1. It starts with understanding your vision, your mission, your goals and your objectives.
  2. Research and benchmarking.
  3. Defining your ideal patient or patients.
  4. Defining your ideal patient’s buyer’s journey and their marketing hourglass, which I’ll explain more later.
  5. Defining your core difference in the marketplace — what makes your dental practice different from every other dental practice in the eyes of your patients and your prospective patients?
  6. And your core difference is super important to finding the metrics that matter most to you. What are you going to track?
  7. Create your content plan — what content will your practice produce?
  8. And complete your marketing calendar to keep you on track.

Your marketing plan, when completed, will clearly show you what strategies, tactics and marketing activities you need to perform in order to reach the objectives you talked about in step one, the goals that matter most to you.

So let’s take a closer look at each of these eight important components.

1. Vision And Goals

It all starts with your vision, mission, and goals for your practice. And I would even say your personal goals as the practice owner because a lot of times your personal goals are tied to your practice goals. You need to define and document your goals and objectives for your practice. What are your three-year goals? Your one-year goal, your six-month goals… These are really important and will help feed into your plan.

What are your personal goals as a practice owner? Do you want to work less? Do you want more profit? Do you want to build your practice to sell it? Do you want to take more vacation time?

There’s lots of options. Be specific. These goals will translate into your key metrics and KPIs later on. And KPIs are Key Performance Indicators. These are the indicators that will tell you if your marketing is performing as you want it to.

2. Research And Benchmarking

The second part of your strategic marketing plan is research and benchmarking. This is what will give your plan the data you need to make smart marketing choices and decisions. It will help you get a clear picture for where your practice is today from an online marketing standpoint. It will help you determine what’s working and what’s not. 

It will give you a very clear idea of where you are from an SEO, a search engine optimization standpoint. It will also tell you how your website is performing, what your online reputation is compared to your competitors. It will also include patient interviews to understand why they chose you as a practice, why they continue to choose you. And this helps feed ultimately into step five, which is your core difference.

And then there’s a big element of competitive intelligence. And just a note about competitive intelligence, because some dentists get all anxious when this term competitive intelligence is brought up because they think they don’t have to worry about the competition. They just have to worry about their practice and doing the right thing and serving their patients well.

And there is a truth to that. But nothing could be further from the truth about not paying attention to your competitors. You are in direct competition with other practices in your area. For SEO, keywords, for Google Ads, for eyeballs on social media, and much more.

Your practice does not live in a vacuum, especially in the eyes of your patients. Your patients and prospects will explore their options and research you in comparison with the competition. They will look at your reviews, your website, your social media, and do the same with your competition. Even if they were referred to you, they will go through this process.

We are a society of savvy researchers. Now again, research and benchmarking will give your plan the data it needs and also provide the benchmarking of where you are today so you can gauge how much you’re improving over time.

3. Ideal Patients

Number three, your ideal patients. Many dentists think that they have this nailed down. They think they know who their ideal patients are. But it is so eye-opening, such an eye-opening experience to work with dentists as a consultant to truly determine who your very best patients are and how you’re going to attract more of them. And no, your ideal patient is not just anyone with teeth. Some people think that in this stage, you’ll determine how to attract more of your best patients, who you and your staff love to work with, and who are profitable.

You can’t attract those that you don’t define. You have to define what makes an ideal patient and then create personas or avatars. There’s lots of names for them of who these ideal patients are to really understand their thinking, determine where they hang out, and what motivates them.

4. Buyers’ Journey

Number four is the buyer’s journey. Every buyer, even a patient, is on a journey. They need to know you, like you, trust you, try you, in order to buy, repeat, and refer to you. Sometimes patients can fast-track through some of these stages of the hourglass, but rarely do they skip any steps. So you’ll need to define what their journey looks like.

You need to determine what patients look for at each phase. What are they looking for in the ‘know’ phase? The ‘like’ phase, the ‘trust’ phase, the ‘try’ phase, the ‘buy’ phase, the ‘repeat’, the ‘refer’ phases? And how can you create content and actions, many decisions that move them through these phases of the hourglass? Putting the hard work into this important element of your strategic marketing plan will pay huge dividends when you actually implement your plan.

5. Core Difference

Next is your core difference. I alluded to this earlier. This is another eye-opening experience for most dentists where we leverage competitive analysis and patient feedback to help you define your core difference in the marketplace.

If you look the same as every other dentist in your area, then prospective patients and even existing patients won’t know why they chose you. They won’t have any reason to choose you over other dentists, except maybe feelings. Maybe the colour of your website or your logo, intuition, or worst of all, price. This happens if you leave a vacuum for what makes you different. People will often defer to price as their decision point, and that is never the right choice for them or for you.

If you look the same, patients have nothing to hang their decision on except feelings or price. During this process, we review the websites of your nearest competitors versus your own. Does yours differentiate you from the others? Do you look different? Sound different?

And then, looking at your reviews, think about what patients say. They often say things that tell you what sets you apart. You can ask patients, too. And if we’re doing the process for you, we actually interview patients. What do you want your core difference to be?

You might even have an idea of what you’d like it to be. And then using the data and the research can help support that. Your core difference will be leveraged in all of your marketing moving forward. It will be used to set you apart from the competition on your website, in your ads, in social media, everywhere.

6. Metrics That Matter

Number six, metrics that matter most. There’s probably no less exciting area to talk about in marketing than metrics with my clients. Yet, as business owners, we love the metrics that matter most to us, don’t we? Things like sales, profits, new patients. Those are awesome metrics.

And in the marketing world, there’s so much data that you can drown in it as a practice owner. So the key is to determine the metrics that matter most to you and your practice and constantly measure and report on these. They have to align with your goals and objectives stated in step number one of your strategic marketing plan, so think through this… what are your highest definitions of practice success? Is it revenue? Profit? New patients? What is it? How will you measure marketing success? And what does success look like for you and your practice?

And you can work backwards from here for what to put on your executive Key Performance Indicator dashboard so that you always know what’s happening. You have your finger on the pulse. All other metrics will flow from these key performance indicators. This will then guide you on what to report, how to report it at a high level to keep your finger on the pulse of your marketing results every month without getting stuck in the weeds of data overwhelm.

7. Content Plan

Number seven — a Content Plan. Content is vital to your marketing success. Hopefully you know that by now. Content is your marketing fuel. You must have a plan and your plan must be based on data. Things like keyword research, your rankings, FAQs (frequently asked questions) from your patients.

You need to look for common themes or buckets and align topics under these to make your life easier and your content writer’s life easier. Start at the highest, most complex level of content development that you can handle, and simple content will flow from this. Things like videos. Video is probably the most complex content you can create, but the beauty of creating video is that then out of that flows audio, blog posts, social posts. It becomes a treasure trove of content for your practice plan to tackle a topic each and every month.

This content plan will help you create the content that will guide people through their buyer’s journey. That will help you rank at the top of Google, that will help you retain patients, and that will help your social media and your advertising perform better and thus squeeze more value out of every dollar you spend.

8. Marketing Calendar

Number eight — Marketing Calendar. Okay, a marketing calendar doesn’t sound very exciting, and perhaps it’s not. But what is exciting is how it will keep you and your marketing team on plan and performing the right things at the right time.

It ensures you accomplish the vital marketing elements that will achieve your goals. It keeps your team and your marketing partners accountable. Either it’s done on time or it’s not. There’s not a lot of wiggle room there. You map out themes, the events, the holidays, dentist vacation time, local events, etc.

Put your content plan on your marketing calendar of when you want to produce that content and then live by the calendar. Let me say that again:  you have to live by the calendar. Your marketing calendar is a key communication tool between you and your marketing partners to ensure you’re aligned and moving forward with the marketing that will help you achieve your goals stated in step one.

Benefits Of A Strategic Marketing Plan

Now, there’s a host of benefits of a strategic marketing plan. Let me share a few of them.

  1. First of all, you have a plan that aligns with your vision and goals. You may not have that now.
  2. You will know exactly what you need to do to win at marketing, informed from data and research.
  3. You will know who you need to attract more of — where they hang out and the things you need to do to attract them.
  4. You will have a clear and compelling core difference that sets you apart from the competition.
  5. You will know what you’ll be measuring and how you’ll be measuring it.
  6. And you will know what content you need to produce and when it will be produced.

Remember, your strategic marketing plan is the brains governing all of your marketing. The filter through which you will look at marketing success. And it will make the difference between bad or mediocre results that you may or may not be experiencing today. It will make the difference between that and absolutely crushing it in your marketing. You want to crush it, right?

I know I do.

Now let’s transition and look at the second most important component of your powerful marketing system — your systematic marketing engine.

What Is A Systematic Marketing Engine?


It’s important to note in this graphic that at its center is your strategic marketing plan — the strategic marketing plan we just went through. It is the hub of all your marketing. It ensures you’re being strategically smart in your marketing, that you’re communicating what needs to be communicated and to whom, and when is best. And it will help you stay on track and measure success.

Your strategic marketing plan at the core is what makes the whole engine work in a systematic way. Without it, you’ll be back into marketing chaos, overspending and underperforming. So let’s look at the big picture of your marketing engine. There are eight key elements in your marketing engine, and each one is very important to your success. 

  1. Responsive Website
  2. SEO — Search Engine Optimization
  3. Online Directories
  4. Content & Blog
  5. Ratings & Reviews / Online Reputation
  6. Email Marketing / SMS Text Messaging
  7. Social Media Marketing
  8. Online Ads

What this marketing engine produces is a compounding force multiplying effect:

  • It will produce rapid growth and improvement.
  • It pulls all the right marketing levers for you.
  • It attracts and retains more patients.
  • It increases your revenue and your profitability.
  • It increases your practice valuation.
  • It uses the force multiplier effect or compounding effect, as you might have more affinity to, which makes the integrated efforts more powerful than the sum of the parts.
  • It’s a sustainable model for your long-term practice growth.
  • And most of all, it makes all of this easy for you.

The thing to note is that regardless of what kind of marketing system you put in place, you have to be running a fantastic marketing practice that serves your clients well and leaves them satisfied. No amount of marketing can fix that. So make sure your house is in order.

So let’s look deeper at what makes each of these eight components, these eight marketing elements, a vital part of our proven marketing engine for dental practices.

1. Responsive Website

First, a responsive marketing-activated website. The reason we put this first is that your website is the only property you own on the Internet. You don’t own your Facebook, your Instagram, your TikTok, your LinkedIn, even your Google Business Profile. You do not own those. And the worst thing that could happen is that you could lose access to those and access to your community through those.

But your website you own, it is your property, and it’s the hub of all your marketing. It’s ultimately where you want to send people to from all of those other activities and platforms that you’ll be working on.

You need to ensure that your website is built responsibly, meaning it can flex with whatever device somebody is on. So it fits tablet, it fits desktop, it fits mobile, and you absolutely have to make sure your website is mobile-optimized. Our websites are maxed out on mobile. The reason for this is from an SEO side Google moved to a mobile-first algorithm several years ago.

So if you want to show up on Google rankings, you have to be mobile-optimized. So you need to design your website how Google likes it. It needs to be SSL secure. I won’t go into the technology, but you’ve probably been to a website where the pop-up comes up and it says, this website is not secure. Do not go to this website.

And you can override that. But man, it’s a painful thing to do if you want to do that. So you need to make sure that your website is secure so that people don’t have a barrier to getting to it and that they feel safe on it. It needs to be fast loading. It needs to be focused on attracting visitors, converting them, and engaging them.

And it needs to lead your patients through their buyer’s journey.

2. SEO

Number two — search engine optimization. You absolutely need this. You need to attract qualified buyers and patients. You need to systematically move up Google results.

The keywords that matter most, like I talked about earlier — there’s kind of two key components to search engine optimization or SEO. There’s the on-site optimization of your actual website, and then there’s off-site optimizations that can be done to help connect all the dots online so that Google finds you better and more authoritative in your space.

Now, let me give you a few stats that support and reinforce why you as a dental practice should not disregard SEO.

  • First of all, 68% of all online experiences start with a search, and Google has over 90% of all searches. So that’s why, if you hear me talk about SEO, I often just talk about Google. It’s just easier. But Bing does matter.
  • For a very small percentage, the top of the page result, meaning the number one organic position, gets 32% of all clicks. That’s huge. Think about that. Everything else trails back from that. So you want to be in the first position.
  • It’s also important to note that 75% of visitors never go past page one of the results. You probably don’t very often. Why would you? The very best results are on page one. They’ve earned that position for a reason. So that’s really important. If you’re not ranking in the top three spots, which is ideal, but if you’re below the 10th spot for any of your high-value keywords, you are not showing up on most people’s searches and nobody will click on them.
  • SEO leads are significantly cheaper than paid ad leads. There are tons and tons of data out there to support this, and we show this as well in the return-on-investment reporting that we do for our clients.

3. Online Directories

Number Three — online directories and backlinks. To win at local marketing, you need to include online directories and backlinks. There are thousands of online directories your practice can be listed on. Essentially, these help Google see you as a real business and they validate information between them. And this is very important for a local SEO standpoint. But it takes a plan and it takes ongoing work to get listed on these sites, and then stay listed. Because sometimes information will change over time.

Even on your Google Business Profile, which this would be one of them, which is the most important one, information is getting updated all the time by either people who override your information and Google listens to them, or Google itself finds different information online and updates your Google Business Profile. If you go to your profile often, it will tell you there are updates that you need to review. If you don’t review these, sometimes they get put into place without you even knowing it. So it’s really important to take advantage of these and to monitor them regularly.

4. Content & Blog

Content and Blog Posts — as you heard earlier, I was a co-author of an Amazon best-selling book about content for local businesses and how it affects search rankings, and how to leverage it to get higher on search rankings. A common term out there is that ‘content is king’. We at Dental Marketing Heroes think of it as the jet fuel for your marketing.

Content and blog posts are really important. Content is the fuel for all your marketing efforts. Things like blog posts, videos, audio podcasts, lead magnets, the writing on your website that’s content, the writing of your emails, the writing and the pictures that you use, or the videos you use on social media — it’s all content. Content is what’s shareable. It’s what’s viewable. It’s what engages people.

So you need to have a plan and you need to be producing it regularly. Google values websites that post fresh content regularly, and that’s why blogs are ideal for this. When you set up your strategic marketing plan at the hub of your marketing engine, you develop a content plan. You know you’re going to be producing content that aligns with keywords that people are searching for.

This is stuff that people want to consume. And so you’ll be producing this on a regular basis. You must be creating content that people are looking for, or it’s a wasted effort, even if it’s something you’re really passionate about. If people don’t care, they won’t care. So you need to make sure that you are producing content that matters to your audience even more than to you. Remember, it’s all about the audience. Your keywords and topics will guide you through this process. But remember, content is your jet fuel.

5. Ratings & Reviews = Online Reputation

Ratings, reviews, and reputation management. It’s an enormous part of your marketing engine. It’s so important because the only thing better than you singing your praises as a practice is for your patients to sing your praises. It’s even more powerful. People value reviews, recent reviews, more reviews, higher ranking reviews, and even bad reviews. And they care about your responses.

The same is true that Google values all of those things. So you need to pay attention to this. If your patients and prospective patients care about it, and if Google cares about it, and Google is your main gateway to reach these people, then you need to care about it. It’s important to note that 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. And that’s true in the dental world as well.

And it’s important to know that this number keeps climbing every year as new generations become consumers who are more tech savvy. 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. That’s crazy, right? I don’t know if you’ve heard that before, but this is a statistic from studies that have been done. Let me say it again:  72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a family or friend.

You need a proactive review funnel system that’s constantly asking patients to review you, primarily on Google, but also on other channels like Facebook, RateMDs, and there’s a whole bunch of them. But you need a plan and you need a system, and you need to be proactive about it. And you need to respond to reviews regularly, and a review funnel system can help you with that.

6. Email Marketing

The next important element is email marketing. This is one of the most powerful forms of marketing, but many dentists have a bias against email. I mean, we all kind of do have a bias against it, right? But I’ve found that dentists have a big bias against this. They do not like the interruption of email or the spamming they get. But here’s the truth. Email marketing works, especially with a qualified list of recipients.

We do not suggest you spam the world, but we do suggest you leverage your relationship with people that like you, your patients, and those who come in through your different lead magnets and funnels, and you communicate with them through this important channel. Email marketing works. It’s proven. The statistics bear it out. And don’t let your bias — if you have one, not everybody does, but if you have one — don’t let it get in the way of your success.

And from leveraging this really important channel, things like reactivation campaigns, they really work. Reactivating patients who have become stagnant, nurture campaigns, people that come into prospects, who come in to your funnels, come to your website, download a document, nurturing them on an ongoing basis can win them over. And regular monthly newsletters that keep your patients up to date on what’s happening and reinforces topics that are important to them, and of course, invites them to book an appointment with you. Email marketing should not be overlooked.

7. Social Media Marketing

If email marketing is the most polarizing element for some people, I would say social media marketing is probably next in line. Social media marketing is big, but it’s also the biggest shiny object syndrome. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that before, but in the marketing world, we call it the shiny object syndrome. What’s that? It’s new. Or if you watch the movie, the Disney movie ‘Up’, then you’re familiar with Doug, who was constantly chasing squirrels, ‘squirrel!’. That is exactly the same thing. And we see this all the time in big businesses and small businesses. There’s a flavour of the month that people get sucked into, and social media is one of those shiny objects, so you need to be aware of that.

It tends to have the lowest-converting strategies of all marketing. There are some that work extremely well, and are excellent at connecting with your patients, connecting with your community, enlisting the help of your tribe, and increasing your brand exposure. But it’s not super great at attracting and converting new patients. Again, it’s an important element and should not be ignored, but it should also have its place understood.

You need to only focus on the most important channels for your patients. You don’t need to be on every single social media channel. You need to focus your efforts. And again, the key thing is it’s not about you. It’s about your patients. And your prospective patients. You need to know where they are and the content they like to devour on those social channels. And you need to have a strategy for posting regularly.

8. Online Ads

And number eight, online advertising. This includes everything from Google, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Bing. I mean, you can advertise anywhere online, but again, you want to advertise where your audience is, your ideal patients. So what we suggest to our clients is that you focus on Google first. The reason we focus on Google first is because these are people that are qualified searchers, just like we talked about in SEO, because it’s essentially the same engine.

These people are looking, they’re entering keywords that qualify them as potential prospective patients. That’s a very high-value search result and advertising result. Then I would look at things like Facebook and Instagram combined, because they’re all combined in the same advertising engine. But targeting is key. Keyword research is key. Copywriting and ad creative are vital.

And then tracking and measuring and optimizing are so important because you need to know what’s working and what’s not, and then put more money into what’s working. The thing you need to know about any online advertising platform is that they degrade over time. You can’t just set up your ads and forget them. It takes constant optimization.

But the good thing about advertising is it’s extremely scalable. It’s just money, right? So if you have campaigns that are working and you want to crank up more leads coming in, it’s pretty easy to do that. You just raise your budget. It also gives you some really good competitive intelligence, especially on the Google side, about who’s advertising in your area.

DMH-webinar 8-marketing plan and marketing engine

So your marketing system is made up of these two incredibly powerful partners, your strategic marketing plan and your marketing engine. And it’s a combination of these two that make up your marketing system and truly fuel exceptionally good practice growth. Essentially, it’s powerful marketing made easy for you. It combines all of the right strategic planning and implementation. It streamlines the systematic approach, and it creates an omni-channel, meaning multiple channels integrated to connect with the people you want to connect with. It produces much bigger results every time.

So that’s a lot to take in. And hopefully it’s become clear that there really is a better way to market your practice that is an integrated marketing system.

But you may now be thinking, wow, this all looks amazing, but it doesn’t look easy. There’s a lot of moving parts there, even in the system, and that’s true. So let’s look at how you can get a marketing system installed in your practice.

How Can I Implement A Dental Marketing System?

DMH-webinar 8-implementing a dental marketing system

There are really only two ways you can implement a marketing system into your practice. And I don’t think I’m overblowing this first one, it’s the hard way. You can spend years developing your own marketing system or educating yourself or your people or your team on a proven marketing system like the Duct Tape Marketing System. We provide training to people if they want to run it themselves. Then you need to learn how to properly implement all of the different parts that work.

And of course, if you do this, you’ll probably end up hiring multiple vendors because you don’t have time or your people don’t have the expertise to do it all. And again, you’ll find that you’re back where you began — in marketing chaos.

And during that time that you are trying to do all of this, pushing this big rock up the hill, you’re losing opportunities every day. I hate to see lost opportunities, and I don’t want to see that for you.

But there’s an alternative. There’s an easy way you can hire an agency like us, like Dental Marketing Heroes, who has years of experience successfully implementing integrated marketing systems into dental practices. We have the right tools, the right people, and the right experience working with dentists and orthodontists to implement a marketing system and make a dramatic difference fast. You can think of us as your marketing easy button for your practice growth and marketing success.

I know it’s a lot to understand and even more to implement into your practice. If it was easy, more people would be doing this, but the results are worthwhile. And it’s not easy for you as a dentist or orthodontist to do this yourself or to have an in-house team adept at it. So you need to find an external partner to help you. And that’s where we, at Dental Marketing Heroes, come in.

DMH-webinar 8-Dental Marketing Heroes credentials

Our Dental Marketing Heroes team is here to help you. We’ve become well known for our expertise in the advertising world and in the marketing world. We are a National Excellence Award winning agency. And for the past four years, we’ve been named a Top Digital Ads Agency and a Top Digital SEO Agency.

We are an SEO for Growth Certified Consultant. And we are a Strategy First Master Certified Duct Tape Marketing Consultant. I also cohost, as I mentioned earlier, a weekly small business podcast called Marketing Guides for Small Businesses, which I invite you to. And as mentioned earlier, I co-authored a book on local SEO and content marketing for local search.

So all of that is to say, my team and I are very good at what we do, and we’re here to help you. And we’re passionate about producing big results. We find that when we implement our comprehensive integrated marketing systems into practices, we constantly achieve a greater than five times return-on-investment.

DMH-webinar 8-5X ROI

And usually it’s even much more than this. In fact, you saw it in the case studies.

So if you’re interested in learning more, please schedule a free marketing consultation or discovery call with me.

And as I mentioned earlier at the beginning of this webinar, I wanted to provide you with a special offer — here’s a great free resource, just click this link to get our Seven Steps to Dental Practice Marketing Success ebook — it is jam packed full with amazing information and tips for how you can implement a marketing system in your practice. And you can get that copy by simply clicking the link. I have no doubt that you will get a ton of value from this free resource.

And lastly, I wanted to say thank you for joining us today and for taking time out of your busy schedule to educate yourself on this important topic. And let me invite you to join us for the next webinar in the series where we’ll be discussing The 2022 Social Media Playbook For DentistsThis will be on the first Friday of September, which is September 2 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

I hope to see you there, and in the meantime, keep calm and market on!


About the author

Ian Cantle is passionate about helping dental practice owners achieve their dreams by helping them systematically grow their practices, beat out the competition, and give back to their community. Ian is an author and expert in the fields of strategic marketing for local businesses, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and Web Design. Want to discover the Dental Marketing Heroes difference, book a free discovery call or call us at 905-251-8178.

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