To dentists, there can’t be a greater danger to their livelihoods than a pandemic that prevents them from opening their offices and seeing patients. The impact of COVID-19 on dental practices has been profound… and deeply troubling.
Where your office is located dictates how and when the impact of coronavirus has been felt. Those states affected and shut down first have begun a slow reopening process. Other states, spared at the onset, are now starting to see increased infection rates. All of this has shaken up the normal routine of dentists. As a result, it’s necessary to look at dental practice marketing and realize that dentists need to adopt specific COVID-19 marketing strategies.
COVID-19 Marketing Strategies: Realizing Rule #1
When quarantines were imposed and businesses shut down, the impact of COVID-19 on dental practices was immediate. In states with shut-down orders, many dental practices essentially put their practices into a deep sleep. Most or all staff members went home and all routine hygiene appointments were temporarily halted. Some doctors saw emergency patients only. The disruption to the daily routine couldn’t have been much greater.
Unfortunately, many dentists made a huge mistake in quarantine… they put their marketing to sleep as well. In dental practice marketing, this is something that you never want to do.
Specific COVID-19 Marketing Strategies You Can Use Right Now
The impact of COVID-19 on dental practices doesn’t not have to be crippling. You have an incredible ally in all of this and it’s called digital marketing. Even as the quarantine shuttered offices and businesses in many states, digital marketing and SEO campaigns continued on without interruption. In fact, they never missed a stride. With digital marketing, your ability to reach new and existing patients is unparalleled. Had this pandemic occurred 20 or 30 years ago, the effects of a quarantine would have been far more devastating.
With this in mind, let’s consider courses of action that your office can take right now to offset negative consequences of the pandemic. Regardless of where your state is at in terms of reopening, these dental practice marketing strategies will serve you well:
Don’t Put Your Marketing To Sleep
Obviously, this is a very tempting thing to do for some dentists. The thought is often, “Why should I market for new patients that I can’t even schedule them for appointments?” or “Why should I market to new patients who will be too afraid to come into the office anytime soon?”
A quarantine is not a valid reason to stop marketing. The minute you stop marketing, you are certain to lose your connection with your audience. The impact of COVID-19 on dental practices becomes worse the longer you continue to not market.
Keep in mind that other practices are marketing during the pandemic, and they have a distinct advantage over the ones that don’t. Granted, there may be a need to reduce certain aspects of your marketing plan. However, totally killing it will only haunt you later on.
Increase Your Dental Practice Website With Relevant, Timely Content
Now is not the time for your practice to go silent. Use the great gift of digital marketing to remain in close contact with patients. Create new pages or blogs as part of a content marketing strategy on your dental practice website that discuss the impact of coronavirus and how your office is affected (or not affected). Leverage this opportunity to keep people informed about changed hours and precautions you are taking to keep your patients safe during visits. Also, you can dispel any rumors or half-truths about your sterilization techniques that could prevent patients from making appointments.
Don’t Just Maintain Your Social Presence—Increase It
The impact of COVID-19 on dental practices doesn’t need to be as severe as some doctors might think. Social media is an extraordinary outlet for keeping in touch with patients even if they can’t come into the office. It’s an excellent place to notify patients that you’re opening up for routine appointments soon. Or you may want to remind everyone that you’ve been open and that patients should think about scheduling that hygiene appointment now.
By reaching out on social media, you keep patients from forgetting about you. Also, it’s a great place to dispel any misconceptions patients may have about the coronavirus or your office’s response to it.
Lessening the Impact of COVID-19 on Dental Practices
At some point, the coronavirus pandemic will end, either through effective treatment, a vaccine or both. Your COVID-19 marketing strategies will be what keeps your practice healthy until that happens.
Smart digital marketing is crucial to your practice not only surviving but thriving as restrictions ease. For more information about what your dental practice should do, contact Dreamscape Marketing at [direct] and let’s discuss your coronavirus marketing strategy.