Almost two thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and many of them depend on their mobile devices for online access. According to a Pew Research Center study, more than half of smartphone users go online to find health information. Therefore, your practice website should be easy to read on a mobile device, with images properly scaled, and include functions like contacting your office by phone, email, or text. While having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for dental practice management and dental marketing, it’s only a first step. Want to know how to engage your patients in this increasingly mobile-oriented world? This post will give you ideas for developing a mobile marketing strategy for your dental practice.
SMS marketing: Reaching patients where they like to communicate
Of course you already have dental practice software. But are you using it to your advantage? As I discussed before, patients respond very well to receiving SMS notifications of upcoming appointments. SMS communication can also be used to advertise promotions like discounts on tooth whitening, or other mobile marketing campaigns, oral hygiene tips or other dental health information for your patients.
What if you have marketing campaigns that are more appealing for young patients, or moms, or older patients? You can increase the effectiveness of notifications, and avoid the appearance of sending spam, by using analytics to segment your SMS campaigns to suit different patient types.
Adding a click-to-call button on your mobile site is a great option for those patients or prospective patients who would rather call than text!
Connect with Social Media
According to the National Institutes of Health, 8 out of 10 Internet users in the U.S. search for health information online, while 74% of these people are social media users! Other studies show that 44% primarily access social media on their mobile devices, and this percentage is rising, so healthcare marketing has to be mobile and targeted to social media sites. Be sure to make it easy for patients to navigate between your mobile-friendly practice website and your social media profiles. Keep your patients engaged by providing high-quality content through social media, and include buttons to allow patients to share your content on their social media channels. This will keep your current patients engaged and allow them to broadcast your online presence to potential new patients.
Quick Response (QR) Codes
You know those funny looking squares filled with geometric squiggles that you see on advertisements? Those are called Quick Response or QR codes. They are a type of two dimensional bar code that makes it easy for patients with mobile devices to get information about your practice, enroll in promotional campaigns, or access any type of marketing campaign in minutes using a smartphone or tablet camera. You can generate your own unique QR Code here.
You can use printed QR codes at your practice and on all of your brochures and marketing materials to allow patients to instantly find your practice website with their mobile devices. Patients just need to use a QR Code scanning mobile app to read the code.
Mobile advertising combined with good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices, is a central component to online marketing. Consider placing ads on mobile platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. This way you can connect not only with mobile users that are already patients, but also promote your practice to new patients.
One of the many advantages of mobile advertising is flexibility. Online ads can be tested and quickly changed to accommodate new learning. Testing multiple ads on a platform like Facebook is a cost effective way to find out what resonates with current and potential new patients. We will further explore advertising on Facebook in a future post.
The world of mobile marketing can be overwhelming for all small businesses, but it’s also full of possibilities. There are lots of apps and tools for reaching mobile audiences, all of which can be used at a fraction of the cost of paper marketing materials. The most important thing is to allow patients to find your practice and stay in touch with the devices they use the most.