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A tool to help boost your conversion rates

Here at HI Marketing I’m obviously very interested in all things, well, marketing! I work with lots of dental practices, all of which are trying to effectively boost their patient numbers as well as subsequent treatment uptake, all in an ethical manner. This is why I’m always on the look out for different ideas, tips or tools that could help my clients in their quest to achieve this.

I recently met a lovely lady called Tracy Ruck who owns a fantastic company called Smile Imaging, which is a product that does exactly what it says on the tin. Have you ever had a great patient consultation where you have advised about a raft of treatments that you just know will give that person the smile that they crave, but the patient just can’t visualise it, and eventually walks away without accepting the treatment plan? It must be one of the most frustrating scenarios in a dental practice, because you know what the results of your work would look like and the life-changing impact it could have.
A sound investment
This is where Smile Imaging comes in. Instead of going through the motions of lengthy and costly wax ups, etc, dentists are now able to create digital imagery that shows the patient how they will look after treatment. Seeing an image of how they could look after a proposed treatment, it allows the patient to become excited about the results and helps you to easily convert those treatment plans into real cases. Winner!

I have to say, I think this is a really slick bit of kit, and I know a number of dentists who are having some real success using it so it’s definitely not a [...]

By |September 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Is your brand letting you down?

In business, your brand is the crux of everything you do as a company. Whether you are a sole trader or a large corporate employing a 200-strong team, everything always comes back down to your brand. Why is this? Well, broadly speaking, your brand acts like the personality of your business, so defining this right from the outset can set the tone of what you do, how you carry things out, how you are seen by your customers and how you ultimately reach your goals.

As a side note, I should explain here that ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ are two separate terms… Your brand is your business by definition, and your branding is what you use to portray that, such as logos and colour palettes. If we created an analogy to compare it we could take a person; their ‘brand’ would be their personality, ethics, values, and goals, while their ‘branding’ would be the clothes they wear, the car they drive and the house they live in. Branding is the projection of the brand.

Where to begin?

Bearing all of that in mind, I think we can agree that your brand is pretty vital to your business, so it is important to spend some time thinking about this, but where to begin? I great place to start is by creating both a vision and a mission statement as these will help you to define your brand and clearly communicate what you stand for. If you’re already an established business, there’s no harm carrying out this exercise too, because it may highlight that you have veered away from your original brand ethos, which is something that can often happen due to a change in customer demand, for example.

Think about [...]

Why online reviews are vital for your business

Before advertising existed, the best way to get customers was through word of mouth and personal recommendations. Most dental practices have those loyal patients who remain with you because their parents were patients, and so on.

Of course, things have moved on since those good old days, we now have the internet and tools like social media at our fingertips. These happen to be excellent resources to help small businesses reach more people than ever, but did you know that reviews left on platforms like Google+ and Facebook are one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing armamentarium?

Powerful

When you think about it, we’ve come almost full circle when it comes to the way we build businesses. In the same way that we used to rely on recommendations from family and friends to make an informed decision about which dentist to use, potential new patients are now turning to the internet to see what other people are saying about your business before they make a decision about whether or not they’ll pay you a visit.

The big difference is, of course that the internet makes the world a much smaller place and provides people with more choice than ever before. To put it simply, if your practice has no reviews, but the one in the next town has a plethora, your prospective patients will swiftly bypass you on the basis of recommendations from people they don’t even know.

When all is said and done, your existing patient base is your most influential marketing tool, so if they love the results of their short-term ortho or tooth whitening treatment, why not ask them leave a review about the service they received from you? Most patients will be more [...]

Keeping up with the pace of change

Dentistry has changed a lot over the last decade or so. The profession has become increasingly fast paced with plenty of technological advances that allows practitioners to offer patients more of the treatments that they really want. As a result of this, dental practices themselves have altered, too. For most patients, the days of simply attending the same dentist every six months since childhood are long gone. Instead, people are constantly looking for somewhere better, with more treatment options, increased facilities, and that been has recommended time and time again.

 

The rise of the internet has played a huge part in this increased competition for new patient attention. We literally have the world at our fingertips these days, allowing us to find exactly what we want and where, which means patients are more open to travelling a little bit further than they perhaps used to; if that means benefiting from the perfect service, of course.

 

Changing the way we market

With this in mind, the way we market to our patients has to keep up with the pace. Back when private dentistry started to take off, many practices benefited from local advertising in the newspaper or magazines, or even on the radio. This was effective due to the high reader/listenership of these mediums, but I can’t reiterate enough that changing times requires a changing outlook.

 

There’s no getting away from the power of social media, most of us use some form of it and we can access it right in the palm of our hand at any moment via our smartphones. Business pages and accounts on these platforms allow dental practices to reach new and existing patients in a way that people really love, as it allows you [...]

The harsh realities of social media!

At HI Marketing, I find honesty is the best policy from the outset. I don’t make inflated promises that are undeliverable, instead I work with you to give your business a boost through the marketing tools we have at our fingertips. When I meet up with a potential or existing client, there are a couple of important realities that I constantly try to reiterate, because it is vital to understand what is achievable.

You won’t be an overnight success

When you started your business, it took hard work and a lot of effort to grow something successful; you didn’t just open the practice doors and expect patients to flood in. Well, the same applies to social media… You can’t just create an account, upload one post and expect a miracle to happen overnight. Anything worth having takes constant nurturing to build it into a success.

So, what do we have to do? As always, in any area of business, consistency is key. Making social media work for you requires patience and a strategy that is regularly reviewed and tweaked to make sure it is working to its optimum potential. It is not enough to go on Facebook and Twitter for a week at a time, shout about your latest treatment, and then hibernate for a couple of months. If you want people to hear your message, you need to keep putting it out there!

Not everyone will be your fan

In life, you won’t be friends with everyone. In business, customers will come and go. In social media, fans are fickle and not everyone will want to follow your accounts or hear what you have to say. This needs to be accepted, faced head on and I raise this [...]

By |February 22nd, 2017|Social Media|0 Comments|

Does your text sparkle?

You’ve splashed out on a gorgeous new website that is beautifully branded in your business colours and logos, incorporates stunning imagery and really looks the part. However, all of this can count for nothing if your copy doesn’t sparkle as much as everything else!

The last thing visitors want to see on your website is dull copy, boring headlines, or even worse, terrible spelling and grammar. At the other end of the scale are those who write reams of text that could have put the message across in a much clearer and more concise manner. Here are our top tips for web writing that will help your business shine…

Be concise

There’s nothing more off-putting than visiting a web page and seeing big slabs of text. People use the internet to get their answers quickly, they don’t want to work for it by searching through all of your words! Decide on your message and make sure that your copy constantly conveys what you want to say in a clear and concise manner.

Be accurate

Text that is littered with mistakes is annoying for the reader at best, and provides the wrong meaning at worst. Double check your writing and then ask someone else to look over it before you go live. The more eyes the better!

Be you

Often when people put pen to paper they feel they need to take on an alternative persona and write in language they wouldn’t normally use. Try to be yourself and write in the same pleasant and friendly tone in which you would normally speak; this is the easiest way to put your personality into your copy. Remember, people buy from people, so it is important to sound like you!

Hopefully this has given you [...]

How to create a great, functioning website

In our modern, digital age, having a website is absolutely vital for business. Just think about the way you discover new services or select the businesses you want to deal with, most of the time the first thing you’ll do is check them out online. Having a web presence is the first step, but having a great site that keeps visitors interested and really works for your brand is something else entirely. So let’s take a look at some of the key ingredients for a great, functioning website.

Who are you?

The most important aspect of most businesses is the people who work in it, and this is especially true of dental practices. The service you provide is, of course, key, but the team who deliver it is your selling point, and prospective patients will want to know – and see –who works in your business. With this in mind, a strong ‘About Us’ page is vital. Use this to introduce your team and practice ethos, but also provide some information about each staff member. Always use a professional image of each person and I would advise including qualifications, what they do within the business, and some personal information like hobbies, or favourite foods. People buy from people, so if your website can reflect the personality of you and your team you’ll be on to a winner.

The look

What keeps visitors interested to stay on your website long enough to encourage them to choose you to look after their oral health? The overall look and feel of the website is important in this regard, from the initial design, right through to headings and images, it needs to be visually attractive without be too cluttered. Use striking imagery, [...]

By |December 16th, 2016|Websites|0 Comments|

A picture tells a thousand words!

Love or hate social media, there’s no getting away from it especially when it comes to business. In a world of selfies and likes, your brand needs to have a good presence across all of the different platforms to ensure that you are engaging with both existing and potential customers.

Twitter and Facebook are the most prominent social networking sites but in recent times Instagram and Snapchat have become increasingly popular, which tells a story in itself. Both of these are purely for image sharing, which has fuelled our love of photos. Think about the things you stop to pay attention to when you’re scrolling through your timelines, more often than not it will be an interesting image or video that has caught your eye rather than lots of text.

Grab their attention!

This is why it is so important to use good images and videos on your business page’s social media; they can really grab attention in a way that’s interesting and engaging to the people that you’re trying to reach. Most of us use social media to kill some time and we’ll only stop scrolling for something that resonates with us, and your customers are no different.

Think about what they would like to see and tailor your posts in a more attractive way. There’s nothing wrong with using images taken on your phone from events or behind the scenes of your business, customers love this so don’t be shy! If you are using stock images stick to sites like Shutterstock (paid for images) or Pixabay (free images) where you can use the pictures for commercial use without any attribution.

Don’t forget about videos, these are a great way of displaying the parts of your business that [...]

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    The Social Media Landscape Has Changed The Way We Communicate!

The Social Media Landscape Has Changed The Way We Communicate!

Your Practice’s personality and profile need to be represented on-line as does your Brand.  This can help people to buy into your team and your Practice.  Understanding social media and it’s uses for your Brand & image is the key to success!

FACEBOOK

Used by business’ to encourage loyalty through “followers” and “likes”.  Great for Sharing images and expanding brand awareness.

LinkedIn

Used by professionals to increase visability, leverage professional relationships, find employees and get peer support & referrals.

Google+

Has great integration for websites, Google maps and analytics and very useful for SEO too.

Twitter

A micro blogging site.  Allows bite sized updates in real time and people can “follow”.  Used by business’ to create hype, raise awareness and follow progress of events and interests etc

YouTube

2nd largest search engine after Google! Allows users to watch & upload videos.  Used by Business’ for advertising, training, promotions, interviews etc.  Allows you to show what your Practice does rather than telling!

 

Tips For Using These Platforms!

Remember knowledge is only powerful when shared, so remember to pass it on.
Always post something original where you can.  Be the firs to share!
Be human.  Your on-line personality should reflect who you are.
Emotion online matters! Put a bit of yourself into your Brand.
Pay attention. Quick responses are expected especially for customer service

By |September 26th, 2015|Social Media|0 Comments|

TWITTER!

Remember, quality not quantity.

Yes, you want to tweet regularly to keep your followers engaged and coming back for more. But you don’t want to tweet all the time simply for the sake of tweeting. Filling someone’s feed with low-quality content can make them unfollow you.

Your purpose on Twitter should be similar to the purpose of being in Practice: to add value to people’s lives. Make sure what you’re tweeting is informative, interesting and helpful.

Be patient.

Unless you’re a celebirty or other well-known figure, your brand probably won’t come with a built-in following. And don’t bank on your first tweet going viral. Building a sizable following from scratch takes time.

Start retweeting, replying to and favoriting other people’s tweets.

 Be engaged.

Patience is a virtue. And being active is important. So is being engaged.

Pay attention to what other people are tweeting and to the people who re-tweet and reply to your own tweets.  Return those favors. Respond when people ask you questions. Start networking.

This is one important way to grow your Twitter following fast.

 Avoid the dead zone.

So, you’re tweeting high-quality content, you’re engaged and engaging — but what if you’re doing all this when your followers aren’t actually on Twitter? Just like any other social platform, you want to be where your followers are and when they’re there.

People tend to be off of Twitter between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. local time. (For reference, people tend to check Facebook until about midnight before unplugging for the day.)  The “sweet spot” for tweeting is said to be between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Get smart and monitor Twitter’s data.

You want to monitor your efforts and levels of success on Twitter. While a lot of people get caught up stressing about follower [...]