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What is Digital Marketing?

As a dental professional, you get the pleasure of doing what you love and owning a business at the same time. You’re an expert at caring for your patients’ oral health and while owning a business can be fun and exciting, it can also be overwhelming at times.

When it comes to choosing marketing strategies for your practice, you may have heard terms like social impressions, marketing automation, influencer marketing, sentiment analysis, SEO, SEM, SSM and so many more. If these buzzwords are new to you, that’s okay. We’re going to hone in on one term you likely hear all the time – digital marketing. Digital marketing is now common language, but many people still don’t know what it is. I’ll give you a hint; it encompasses all those fancy buzzwords!

Digital marketing is about utilizing digital technology such as search engines, websites, social media, email and mobile apps to achieve your marketing objectives.

Let’s define six basic components of digital marketing that your practice should be actively doing:  

  1. Social Media Marketing (SMM) –  Think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat! SMM is the use of social media platforms and website to promote your services, practice and marketing content.  
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process of optimizing your online content using keywords so that a search engine produces your practice as a top result. Selecting keywords is all dependent on your SEO strategy. You can use words such as dental, dentist or for better results, use more detailed keywords and phrases like [dentist + your city + your state].
  3. Content Marketing – A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and circulating valuable, appropriate and consistent content. The goal is to attract and retain a targeted audience and, ultimately  turn prospective patients in to profitable new patients.
  4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC) – A perfect example of PPC is creating an advertisement through Google. A fee is paid only when the ad is clicked. It’s a way of buying visits to your site, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.
  5. Business Development Marketing – A performance-based marketing strategy in which a business rewards one or more of its partners for every new patient brought by the partner’s marketing efforts.
  6. Email Marketing – The use of emails to develop relationships with potential and current patients. For example, you can send a simple monthly practice newsletter or a promotional email highlighting a discount on your services.

While these six strategies are the major components of digital marketing, your marketing success depends first on a strong online presence, starting with your website. Your website defines your online identity and in turn helps showcase your brand. This means more patients are directed to your practice!  

Think of your website like a sandwich. As a whole, a sandwich is a delicious, appetizing meal. The fillings – the lettuce, tomato, turkey and condiments – are the essential ingredients that make a sandwich a substantial and appealing meal. Without the fillings, your sandwich is just bread and is not satisfying. Similarly, your online presence needs digital marketing tactics as your fillings in order to grow and promote your practice.

If you have any questions about how to implement a digital marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out!

—Alexis Mallos, Marketing Manager, Sesame Communications

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Sesame is an industry leader in integrated, cloud-based marketing and patient-engagement solution designed exclusively for your practice. We know that effective patient communication is vital to the success of your practice and the efficiency of your team. With Sesame, you can take your practice to the next level, allowing you to concentrate on what’s really important – your patients!