We are currently living in very difficult times where people are uncertain of what the future bears. People in the business industry have to restrategize on how to win customers and market their goods and services in a new and different way. As an orthodontist, you have to market and give your patients reasons why they should choose you and trust you even on the long run.
According to research, many people say they will not visit orthodontists until the pandemic is over. Different states have put different measures to curb the spread of the disease so as to reopen the economy. If your state is considering to lift the lockdown, you should start planning you will have loosed the opportunity to show your potential patients how effective and skilled you are.
Below are tips that will help you prepare and build up your practice before the pandemic comes to an end.
Market, Market, Market!
Never think of dropping your marketing campaigns even if it is for a short period. Instead, you can do something different and start accommodating the changes and follow the orders given by your state of staying at home.
It is during such periods that people research on the best service providers there are. Always be ahead of your competitors during this low period. Most orthodontists might stop campaigning and advertising because no patients are booking with them. Be an opportunist and take this to your advantage.
In fact, it becomes easier for you to market because you will be having very little competition. People are staying at home and spending plenty of time online. Be optimistic and see the good side that the pandemic has brought- capture the mindshare of potential patients and increase your visibility.
Go where patients are
Currently, patients are finding it difficult to make physical appointments and visit you in the office. However, you should take this as an opportunity by maintaining a great connection with them.
With each passing day, explore different ways through which you can communicate and reach out to them. Give them tips to maintain good dental health and let them know hour services are still on offer.
If COVID-19 brought any changes to the contact information of your website or any important information, update that. You can also add another page on your website that states whether you are available in case of emergencies. Create another page to tell patients what to do because you are closed and any other information that was altered since the onset of the pandemic.
Engage through content
Now that you have already informed your patients about the new changes, build trust and foster engagement with them by creating content. The time people spend on screens has increased since time spent at home has also increased. This is the right time for you to develop a social media strategy. Facebook has had an increased screen time by 42% and Instagram by 53%- see why you should have a strategy?
To start with, create a business page n Facebook and ensure all the information and details are accurate- biography, contact information, hours and many more. That was just the start, now continue by adding up content that will help potential patients on a regular basis.
To make a splash, engage with everyone in a friendly manner and even promote the page through ads.
Use relevant platforms
When using social media to market, use the right platforms. Use a platform where you think there are many potential patients- platforms where people spend much time and carry out researches.
Most people carry out researches on different platforms like YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram Facebook and Google. Now that you have the right platform, ask yourself what content is relevant in the platform. Would they prefer watching a video or reading a blog? What would a person looking for an orthodontist want to watch or read?
You might be the greatest orthodontist in your country but if you do not market yourself, people will never know you exist.
Write interesting content
You have the right platform, you know what way information will reach the potential patient, but is your content interesting to read? Write content that covers different topics. Your patients have different preferences, are of different ages and backgrounds. Put yourself in their shoes and think of what they would want to read and make it fun. Let them feel engaged with you as they read your content.
Promote and offer virtual check-UPS
Telehealth has been rising for some time now and you should also get ahead the curve. Have a limit of the daily check-UPS you should complete in a day. Show your patients that you are always there for them and you can innovate care for them.
Also, come up with up to date content that promotes the new services you offer. It is through such content that you will make it clear for them whether or not they can book telehealth appointments.
Are you in a position where you can deliver bands, aligners or any other products your patients need? If yes, inform them through your content. Let both prospective and current patients know you can go an extra mile for them. People will always remember the people who were there for them when they need help or orthodontic care– in this case.
Market by Yourself
If you cannot afford a marketing agency or if you have a tight budget, worry not because you can take your business off the ground by having your own promotional plan. Update the content on your website through locally focused content.
This is an effective and simple way to boost the search rankings. This way will also help you take care of your own business as you promote it. Also, check the responsiveness of your website and check whether the page’s speed can be optimized. These are building blocks of SEO and they will help in marketing.
However, if you want more specific and intensive marketing, you would have to get a marketing partner or someone with specialized knowledge to help you in implementation. At the end of the day, orthodontists with digital marketing companies will drown those who don’t have since consumers are exposed to bulk marketing messages every day and trying to break through that is very difficult.
When you think of it and realize that there are orthodontists who run their own campaigns, have access to prospective clients, create and conceptualize valuable content and become updates on Google’s algorithms, you will realize they have two full time jobs.
Staying in communication and maintaining an online presence with your patents during this period is vital. If you willingly disappear during such a period, you are giving your competitors an opportunity to rise over you. When creating content, ensure it touches on larger crowds and is engaging.
Let the content inform patients of what you are doing, whether you deliver products, whether you are open for emergencies, whether you are available for telehealth check-UPS and much more. People are conducting research alto right now so that they can settle for an orthodontist to go to after the pandemic.