Wednesday, April 13, 2016

 Welcome to Whiten Up Today, where we’re going to cover the basics of how to leverage the mobile revolution to grow your practice and increase your bottom line. You may be wondering what the “mobile revolution” is.

The mobile revolution has been created by the vast number of smart phones and mobile devices propagating the market today. 40% of today’s searches originate on a mobile device. People are searching for local dentists online at an astonishing rate. Because of that, there has been massive growth in mobile search and mobile ad spend.

Dental practice owners sometimes ask, “I know that mobile is the future and we need to go mobile. What would you do to mobilize me?”  I wrote this book as an answer to that question.  This book includes 10 simple steps that every business should take to leverage the mobile revolution to their advantage.  

Google Plus Local

The easiest and most effective way for any dentist to mobilize their marketing is through Google Plus Local. You may already have a listing there. If not, it’s very simple to create one. Claiming and verifying your page is easy, and afterwards, you can customize your information.

Online Reviews

One of the most important reasons for your practice to be mobilized is that people are searching for you on their mobile device, and people are talking about you there as well. Statistics have shown that around 79% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations...and these are reviews that come from complete strangers. When those reviews come from people that we already know, like and trust, our trust factor goes up to around 90%. So getting reviews for your practice is a very, very powerful way to convert leads into patients.

Every dental practice should be listed on Bing and Yahoo Local. Yelp is incredibly powerful especially when it comes to reviews. Foursquare, Yellow Pages, Facebook, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, these are all must-haves. There truly are dozens of places where you can be listed online, but these are great starters.

Mobile Friendly Website

The next step that you need to take is to make sure that you have a mobile friendly website. If your website doesn’t work on a mobile device, if it loads too slowly, if it requires scrolling and zooming, if the buttons are too small for thumbs, if it’s hard to use, people are going to abandon your site, and they’re probably going to end up with one of your competitors.

The fact is that 54% of Americans already have smartphones, and for about half of those people, their smartphone is their main connection to the internet. And so that means that no matter what kind of business you have, no matter what industry you’re in, people are searching for your business on a mobile device. And you are likely getting mobile traffic to your website. The trend is not going away. Mobile search volume increases every day and it’s well on its way to overtake desktop search volume.

Text Messaging

One integral component to mobile marketing is text message, or SMS marketing. One of the biggest things that makes text messages so powerful is that text messages have a 90% open rate. There are many different types of texts that you can send that have been proven to be effective. Coupons, surprise promotions, fundraising, limited time offers, happy hour promotions, all kinds of offers can be sent to a phone. Because they're mobile, people are in a position to take action. They don't have to remember to take the coupon with them, they can simply show up at your location, they're going to have their phone already. Patients can show you the coupon, redeem it, and you can use text to drive people to your practice.

A powerful use for text messaging is simply for appointment reminders. if you schedule appointments with your patients, you know that you're losing money when people don't show up. Simply by sending a text reminder, you can reduce appointment no shows by nearly 50 percent.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to grow your practice and to increase the number of patients you serve. One of the reasons is that most people are able to check their email on the go. Because of the power of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets, people carry their email with them in their pocket.

You certainly don’t want to overload people with promotions, coupons, and offers. You also need to provide them with content that they like to engage in, whether it’s useful information and tips, or even things that are going to do excite or entertain them.      

QR Codes

Not everybody knows what a QR code is. It stands for Quick Response Code, but most of us have probably seen them in passing. It’s the little square box that is starting to appear in advertising for pretty much all of the big brands out there.

Even fast food restaurants have started putting QR codes on their packaging and on their labels, because it makes it easier for people to access your information. The easier you can make it for people to interact with you or engage your practice, the more likely they are to do so.

A QR code can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet, which redirects the user to a mobile landing page, promotional video, special sale, coupon offer, or even social site and many other places.

Mobile Applications

One of the most exciting aspects of dental marketing is mobile apps, or mobile applications. A recent study found that 1.2 billion people are currently using mobile applications, and that that number is growing by about 30% a year.

The number of people that have smartphones and their ability to access this information, mobile applications have grown faster than any platform ever in history.

Mobile apps have a very wide range of uses. Any tool that you could provide to your patients that is a value to them that keeps them coming back to your app gives them a reason to have it on their phone. When somebody downloads your app to their phone, your icon goes on their home screen and you stay top of mind.

I would say nearly every dentist can come up with a valuable use case for a mobile app. However, if you can’t, or if the expense seems too intimidating to you right now, it’s important that you realize that you can still leverage mobile applications in your business, and I can show you how.

Mobile Coupons

Coupons or promotions are one of the most effective strategies for increasing sales for any dental practice. Every dentist should be offering some type of promotion because they work.

Mobile coupons are 10 times as likely to be redeemed than traditional coupons. And the reasons why seem obvious. You don’t have to clip out the coupon. You don’t have to remember to bring it with you. You’ve already got your phone with you and you simply show the screen when you reach the store at a cash register and you get to redeem your coupon. They’re easier to use.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has been a buzzword for dentists and local businesses for quite some time. Most dentists feel like they need to be active on social media and that’s because their patients expect them to be.

What many people overlook is that a huge percentage of social media use is done via mobile devices. We spend time on our social media sites when we have a few minutes to kill waiting for an appointment or waiting in line.

Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Yelp, Pinterest...people love to use social media for their mobile device. Because of this, it can be one of the easiest and most effective ways for you to mobilize your practice.

The Power of Video

Video is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to promote your practice and engage with your potential patients. You’ll find that the reason why video is so powerful was that it engages more of our senses. We’re actually able to see and hear the message. The more of our senses we engage in any activity, the more powerful that activity becomes for us. By engaging more of our senses using video, we’re able to get greater engagement from our customers.             

In Closing

The power of the mobile revolution has dramatically changed the way everyone conducts business. Google Plus Local provides a unique opportunity to claim and personalize the way your practice appears online.  Getting listed in relevant online directories and managing your reviews will enable you to polish and maintain your image online. A mobile website and app both enable you to engage your patients on the prolific platform of mobile devices. Text messaging, email marketing, QR codes and mobile are fantastic outlets to contact and engage your existing and potential client base. A strong social media presence can help build your online presence and connect with customers. The power of video in combination with the elements above is the cherry on top!

I can help you adopt and implement the modes of building digital assets and marketing tools in this book, leveraging the power of mobile marketing to not only stay ahead of the competition, but increase your new patient count and your bottom line!