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January 2017

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Company News

We’re Excited to Announce ProSites’ Pay It Forward Scholarship!

Calling all dental students! Looking for financial help while you’re in school? Apply to the new scholarship program from ProSites – open to all current dental students in the United States.

Unlike most scholarships that emphasize academic merit or demographics, the ProSites Pay It Forward scholarship is based on volunteer work completed by dental school students. It is intended to provide additional financial support where other forms of financial aid may not apply.

Any dental school student in the United States is eligible for the scholarship as long as they are enrolled full-time in an accredited university. Prospective recipients must submit their completed applications by March 31, 2017 for selection on April 30, 2017.

For more information on this exciting announcement read the full press release here. Dental school students interested in the scholarship can apply here.

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Social Media

How Dentists Can Target the Right Patients with Social Media

Do you often find yourself wishing you would attract the “right” patient? Maybe you’re looking for patients that require more complicated dental work over general cleanings, or maybe you want to attract more new patient sign-ups.

If you find yourself asking, “Why am I not getting the people I really want?” then this blog post is for you. The first step in any dental marketing strategy implementation is figuring out who you want to communicate with. What do they look like? Where do they live? What are their pain points? Use that information to define who your primary target audience is. Once you have your audience defined, you can use that information to inform your strategy for social media.

Targeting your desired audience on social media largely consists of knowing where your audience is and posting content related dentistry that you believe your audience would be interested in.

Being active on social media, particularly Facebook, is half the battle. Research over the last 5 years revealed that at least “16% to nearly 25% of [internet users’] online time on [is spent] social networks.” That number is expected to grow well into 2017. Facebook users, in particular, spend an estimated 7 hours each month on the platform. Facebook’s advantage is that users signing up for a profile can range drastically in demographics. While Facebook’s primary users are largely young adults, more and more adults over the age of 65 are joining the platform. In fact, out of the estimated 65% of Americans using Facebook, 62% of those adults are over the age of 65. Needless to say, the excuse ‘older people don’t join social media’ is quickly becoming irrelevant.

Creating content that resonates with your audience is the other half of the battle. Posting about topics that interest your audience makes them more likely to engage with your posts. For example, a family dental practice targeting young families may post about baby bottle decay or research on the effects of pacifiers on teeth. They may also emphasize whether a pediatric dentist is available for appointments with young children. Alternatively, your family dental practice may target an older demographic, in which case you would simply posts about dental problems and pain points a senior may be facing with their own dental health.

When you post about particular topics that resonate with your audience, and they’ll be more likely to share, comment and engage. While topics are important when creating your social media content strategy, remember that the “how” is just important as the “what.” In other words, how you choose to post your content (either as an image or video vs. text) is just important as the topic that post is addressing. Know that video and image content largely out-performs simple text posts. Therefore, you’ll want to create videos of your practice and find engaging images to increase the impact of your posts.

To learn more about marketing your practice on social media, download the free whitepaper, Running a Dental Practice in the Age of Social Media.

To learn more or to get a free demo on ProSites’ social media solutions, call (888) 932-3644.

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Practice Marketing

Top Dental Marketing Trends and Recommendations for 2017

Auld Lang Syne rings in your ears, your waistband is a smidge tighter than it was a month ago, and those must-have toys haven’t been touched in two weeks – welcome to January 2017. Whether you were sorry to see 2016 come to a close, or couldn’t put a fork in it fast enough, the great Bob Dylan said it best when he sang, “The times they are a-changing” – as they always do.

To help you keep pace with the year ahead, the dental marketing experts at ProSites recently published a whitepaper, The Top 10 Trends in Dentistry & Marketing for 2017. Below, we’ve highlighted only a few trends because some of us are still feeling the effects of the holiday season (gluttony is not victimless). For the entire list of trends, complete with recommendations for ways your practice can acclimate, download the complimentary whitepaper.

Many of us spent the last few weeks with extended family, full of thanks, sweet potato pie, and gratitude that the holidays only come once a year. And while the Top 10 Trends in Dentistry & Marketing are based on the behavior of a much larger sample size, is there any better microcosm of society than the holiday dinner table? We’re pretty sure that the trends covered below resonate with at least some of those squeezed around Grandma’s table.

1. Trust of authority and experts is decreasing. 

This trend is music to your hippy uncle’s ears. Those who came of age during a time when anyone over 30 was suspect, developed a healthy skepticism of expert opinions. The difference is your uncle’s cynicism was most likely rooted in political activism, and today’s wave of distrust stems from a combination of general apathy and 24/7 access to overzealous media outlets.

A great example is a way the misgivings around flossing took off. What began as an article from the Associated Press titled “Medical benefits of dental floss unproven,” quickly turned into a war on the dental hygiene staple. Propagated by a number of media outlets focused on driving website traffic with provocative headlines, word on the street quickly morphed into something akin to “stop flossing immediately”.

So, how does a message become convoluted so quickly? Enter apathy. It wasn’t that long ago that an outrageous headline was cause to look deeper. But now that we’re bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers’ worth of data each day, who has the time to validate? Instead, we click ‘Like’ and share or retweet and leave it to someone else to verify. Then, before you know it, dental floss is as controversial as saccharine.

Why should you care? As a doctor, you’re seen as an expert and if your messages are automatically cast to the wayside you’re going to have a hard time reaching prospective patients.

2. Belief in crowds and social networking is increasing.

Anyone who has ever tried to tell their 20-something sister that she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know can testify to the dangers of this trend.

While social media has broken communication barriers and brought news to the forefront, it has also created a self-limiting circle of influence known as confirmation bias. In an effort to provide relevant content, Facebook’s algorithm factors in user behavior. This means that the content and ads you see are based on what you like, follow and unfollow.  Over time, people develop feeds that heavily reflect their beliefs, essentially creating a bubble of like-mindedness.

Why should you care? To be seen as a credible source you need to find ways to insert yourself into current and prospective patients’ social communities.

3. Everything is going mobile.

It’s likely your teenage cousin wasn’t the only one hiding a smartphone under the holiday table this year. Our mobile devices have practically become appendages, and there is no sign of that changing in 2017. According to the Global Web Index, 80% of Internet searches are done on smartphones. We now do everything from ordering lattes to locating the nearest dentist on these convenient handheld devices.

Why should you care? If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices you could be alienating prospective patients before they even call your practice.

4. Video content is becoming necessary to engage your audience.

Your mother can argue against the merits of screen time all she wants, but the fact is video is engaging (which is why The Walking Dead puts your spouse in a trance). This, combined with technology constantly upping the ante, means that what once grabbed Internet searchers’ attention (hello pop-up ad) no longer registers. People are actively searching online for video content on topics ranging from proper brushing techniques to how toothpaste is made.

Why should you care? The Internet is crowded, but video provides an engaging inroad to current and prospective patients, with the added bonus of expanding your online reach.

So here we are – 2016 behind us and 2017 staring us in the face. As trite as it sounds, you can make this year your practice’s most successful year yet.

Find out what else is in store for 2017 and click here to download the full whitepaperThe Top 10 Trends and Recommendations in Dentistry & Marketing for 2017

And, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals. ProSites specializes in providing comprehensive online dental marketing services that deliver measurable practice growth. Reach out to an Internet Marketing Advisor today at 1-888-932-3644 and get the year started off right.

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Search Marketing

Top 5 Quick and Effective Practice Marketing Ideas

As the years go by, it seems like there is less and less time available in a day. Between managing your practice, seeing patients, and the countless other items that scream for your time and attention, marketing your practice can quickly become an afterthought.

That’s why we gathered five effective marketing activities that take less than an hour each, but can make a steady impact on your practice’s marketing strategy.

1. Write a blog post: Writing a blog article serves numerous benefits. First, search engines love fresh, new content.  This means writing a blog on a topic related to your expertise can help you get better rankings in search results. It also helps you build trust and establish yourself as an expert among current and prospective patients. Since the majority of prospective patients conduct research online before they select a dentist or doctor, providing educational, helpful articles will help position you as a credible professional.

And don’t worry, blog articles don’t have to be super lengthy. A simple post packed with relevant and helpful tips only needs to be about 300-500 words. Make your article clear and easy to read by using headers, bullet points and spacing for optimum success.

2. Share a photo of your staff on your practice’s social media networks: Today, people post a great deal of their lives on social media. And, they expect businesses to be equally as transparent. Showcase your practice’s personality by posting a photo of your team with a caption that lists an interesting fact about each person. People like to see that their trusted service providers are humans too, so using some professional humor can help put prospective patients at ease and entice them to contact your practice.

3. Create a patient loyalty program. It takes much more effort to gain a new patient than to keep a current patient happy. You can help to ensure your patients continue to come back by offering an incentive program or discount on your services. Another way to encourage patient retention is to develop a referral program that rewards patients when their referrals book an appointment.

4. Update your website design. If you haven’t changed your website design in more than three or four years, it’s likely that it’s outdated. Internet browsers constantly change which can create an unpleasant viewing experience if your website design is out-of-date. Ask your website provider if they have any new website styles available that can be easily changed without a fee.

5. Email your happy patients and encourage them to leave a positive review on your website and other online review sites. Online reviews are trusted just as much as a personal recommendation, and are a critical part of your online marketing strategy. But, in order to gain more positive reviews, you must ask for them! Start by putting together a list of your most loyal patients. Then, write a personalized email asking them to share their experience to help educate prospective patients. Make it as easy as possible for them by including a direct link to where they can leave a review for your practice (i.e. your website’s reviews page, or your Google My Business page). Don’t forget, with ProSites you can take advantage of our complimentary Reputation Marketing feature that helps you remain in control of which reviews appear on your website.

For more marketing ideas, fill out the form below to download the whitepaper, The Definitive Guide to Online Marketing for Dentists,

Or call (888) 932-3644 to talk with an Internet Marketing Advisor.

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