The “mere exposure effect” (aka “the familiarity principle”) is “a psychological phenomenon whereby people feel a preference for people or things simply because they are familiar.”* Stated simply, the more your market sees your practice, the more they will trust and prefer you when it’s time to choose a dentist.
So, how do you make your practice more visible?
Many dentists go all in on one form of marketing — billboards, SEO, mailers, etc. What’s the problem with that? Nothing… if it works. But if you spend your entire marketing budget on a billboard, the only people you are reaching in your market are those people who drive or walk by your billboard. If you only invest in SEO, then the only people finding you are those searching for keywords that you happen to rank well for. If you only do mailers, only those you are mailing to that actually look through their junk mail will see you.
In order to leave your competition in the dust, you have to have a strong presence in all of the marketing streams. However, most dentists don’t even know what all of the major marketing streams are or have a way to methodically approach each. This is what led us at DentalCMO to develop the “9 Streams of Dental Marketing.”
If you construct a cohesive and coordinated campaign that factors in each of the 9 streams, it will be nigh unto impossible for your market to ignore you AND for you competition to keep up.
We cover these concepts in much greater detail in The Book on Dental Marketing.
- Word of Mouth
Word of Mouth (WoM) is all about enabling and incentivizing referrals. Patient referral programs are a great example of an effective WoM tactic. A well put together referral program is one of the best marketing workhorses out there. You can expect a well-designed referral program to generate an average of 5+ new patients per month.
- Mass Advertising
The purpose of Mass Advertising is to generate brand awareness and interest. YouTube video ads are a fantastic mass advertising tactic to pleasantly bombard your market. As of right now, video is one of the richest, most engaging, and highest converting marketing tools available. YouTube enables you to repeatedly speak to the majority of your market for pennies a view!
- Targeted Advertising
Targeted Advertising is the efforts marketers take to drive action from specific, targeted consumers. It is the most complex of the marketing streams, as it leverages so much data and technology. PPC advertising is one of the most effective and familiar ways to precisely target your audience. And a beautiful thing about PPC advertising is that you only pay when it works. Sweet!
- Community Marketing
Because dental practices are still brick-and-mortar businesses, you are literally entrenched in a community. Community Marketing consists of the efforts you make to earn recognition and goodwill with those around you. Run a charity event for a cause dear to your heart. Alert the media about your event. If the event is compelling enough, the news will then alert your market about you.
- Social Media
Social Media upended the world of relationship creation and engagement. NO ONE knew what it would look like when the dust settled. But for the most part, practices who authentically engage with their followers and seek to deepen their relationships, win. Pick a platform you enjoy using and where your target audience resides. Then post about your dental passion and how you change lives.
- Content Marketing
Content Marketing is all about educating your market and establishing YOUR authority. Content is a huge component of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Write deep case studies and post them on your website to convince Google that you are THE authority in your market.
- Digital Real Estate
The preceding six marketing streams consist primarily of external lead generation tactics. As you employ these tactics you are building a network of inflowing streams that carry new potential patients closer to your practice. But almost always, a potential patient is going to check you out on your “digital front office” (website) before visiting your physical office. Make sure the experience your visitors have is just as impressive and comfortable as when they visit your physical practice.
- Physical Environment
Your Physical Environment should entice and welcome new patients into your practice. The physical appearance of your building and your office signage send huge signals to potential patients passing by about what kind of experience they can expect from you. Dress your practice for success.
- Internal Marketing
Once you have done all the hard work to get a new patient into your practice, should you coast? Absolutely not. Continue with internal marketing by encouraging upsells and repeat business. Newsletters are an easy and inexpensive way to stay in touch with patients AND promote attractive treatments to them.
It might seem overwhelming to undertake all of these efforts. And this is exactly why you can shoot ahead of your competition — because they feel the same way! You have the framework to do it. Now you just need to execute. Doing so will make it practically impossible for competitors to keep up with you.
If you like the idea of dominating your market but just don’t have the time or desire to do it yourself, book a consult with us now. We’ll show you our approach and cover our surprisingly affordable rates.