Digital dental patient engagement – and the need to slow down

We live in a world of an ‘in the moment’ culture. Communication is instant and almost any event is Instagrammable. We can ‘meet’ people online and gain an inside track on their private and professional lives, even if we are never likely to press the flesh with them.

Fast is not just furious, it’s essential for a dental practice to stay afloat. The internet is a conduit for great dental marketing – and, ultimately, a profitable business. In effect, you have to be in it to win it. Social media platforms are the equivalent of show and tell on steroids, giving dentists endless opportunities to showcase smile makeovers, shout about their teams, show off their practice refurbs, highlight award wins and educate and entertain their audience (and possible next patient) to boot.

In a world where content is king and bold is beautiful, dentists need to make an indelible mark online as part of a successful marketing strategy, adding immense value to the patient experience – sometimes before they’ve even stepped inside a practice door.

In an Instagram-driven world of ‘see it, snap it, post it’, practices are perfectly placed to capitalise on the opportunities this platform affords them.

However, whilst digital dental marketing is essential, dentists should be wary of neglecting the more traditional channels of communication.

Indeed, the secret ingredient to successful marketing campaigns is ‘consistency’ – across all channels and in the real world as well as online.

The delivery of care behind the ‘flash and dash’ of any digital marketing needs to reflect what your patients see in the palm of their hands – in effect, their dental experience with you in the chair needs to be synonymous with your smartphone storytelling.

To ensure business sustainability, the time given to online patient engagement needs to translate seamlessly into the clinic. A brand that evidently takes time to engage in every way reaps the benefits and will be one that patients consider worthy of their long-term investment.

Mutual respect is a key component in any relationship and a practice team should be well versed in – and be able to deliver on – the ethos you expect and the virtues you extol within your digital marketing activity.

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