5 Immediate Ways to Strengthen Your Dental Marketing and Communications During the COVID-19 Coronavirus Emergency
As more US cities report incidents of the COVID-19 coronavirus, professionals and business owners of every stripe are experiencing the disruption caused by this unprecedented public health crisis.
The dental profession is not impervious. Though not on the “front lines” of medical response to the coronavirus emergency, dentists are seeing their professional routines upended as the pandemic forces them to close their doors. Many find themselves in unknown professional territory and searching for fact-based, level-headed advice.
To help you confront the challenges of the present crisis, the SmileSnap team has sought the advice of a respected orthodontic professional. Dr. Waldman offers valuable insights to dentists at a unique historical moment.
We’ve also put together some quick tips for adapting your dental practice’s marketing and communications efforts to this strange “new normal.” Read ahead for some simple, low-cost steps you can take today to strengthen your business during these challenging times.
Tip #1: Stay up-to-date with the latest announcements from public and private experts and officials
Let’s face it: everyone feels anxious about the future right now. That’s why the first step to a successful marketing and communications program is to stay informed. In addition to connecting with professional networks in your community, pay attention to the latest announcements from public and private officials. Knowing what’s coming next will help you communicate accurate information to patients and colleagues alike.
Bookmark the following websites for speedy reference:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Dental Association FAQs
- Organization for Safety Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP
Tip #2: Connect with patients via social media
There’s no getting around it: In 2020, social media is the cornerstone of any good marketing and communications program. If you aren’t leveraging Facebook and Instagram to connect with your patients, don’t wait another hour— start today! Right now, people are spending more time than ever on social networks, so take advantage of this easy, cost-effective way to keep your patients in the loop.
Plus, social media is a fantastic way to deepen your personal connection with patients. Getting started is easier than you may think:
- Share photos or videos from a recent office social gathering or holiday party and use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday
- Post family portraits or candid pics of your beloved pets (the internet adores cats and dogs!)
- Share funny, dental-related memes and cartoons
Tip #3: Communicate with patients via email
Social media may grab all the headlines, but email is a great way to communicate with your dental patients directly. If you have the email addresses of your patients on file – and they’re OK with receiving communications from you – take a few minutes to draft a simple message that touches on the following points:
- Your decisions regarding hours of operation and availability during the coronavirus emergency
- Your commitment to maintaining a safe and sanitized environment
- Your appreciation for the continued support of your patients
Plan to send a follow-up email to announce the resumption of normal business hours just as soon as things return to normal (and please remember, they will!)
Tip #4: Don’t forget about snail mail
Direct postal mailings – sometimes called “snail mail” in the hyper-digital world of the 21st century – remain an important piece of the marketing puzzle. Letters dropped through a mail slot have the potential to reach folks who may neglect their jam-packed email inboxes.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money on fancy graphic design and glossy postcards (unless you’re feeling creative…) A simple, “old-fashioned” letter will suffice, one that covers the points detailed in Tip #3. Your personal communication will be rewarded as you remain “top-of-mind” with your patients, many of whom are busy dealing with the impact of the current emergency on their daily lives.
Tip #5: Market yourself internally, too
When dreaming up your next big marketing idea, don’t forget: Your staff and colleagues require marketing finesse as well. Your team members can be your biggest advocates and ambassadors in the community in the days and weeks ahead. Who better to share your updates on social media, while maintaining a positive attitude with your patients? Offering consistent, positive, and honest communication to your team will go a long way toward encouraging and strengthening your practice.
Bonus tip: Use SmileSnap for online consultations
You know what’s even better than marketing your practice for in-person dental consultations? Offering new patients the ability to meet with you through an innovative and convenient online platform.
SmileSnap is a virtual consultation platform for people seeking dental services online. This easy-to-use service allows you to engage with patients in need of dental care anywhere, anytime— even when your practice’s doors are closed.
Available for specialists or general dentists – and for DSOs or large groups – SmileSnap is the forward-thinking marketing solution you’ve been searching for.