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    How to increase your digital ad leads with laser-focused customer targeting

    Pay-per-click advertising can prove to be a cost-effective tool for your practice.


    How to define the perfect audience

    Here’s the hard truth: Not everyone in your geographic target market is the right fit for your practice. Some prospects are totally focused on price; even if they’re nearby, they won’t visit you unless your price is just right. Others care most about the latest technology. Some are busy and need flexible hours.

    By understanding the positioning of your practice, you can put your ads in front of the people who are most likely to respond.

    How do you start building the PPC ad that expands your patient list? By defining you perfect audience in detail. We call this creating a marketing avatar. It’s one of the first things we do when we take on a new dental practice. We also know most dental practices have several marketing avatars, since procedures target different types of people.

    Read more: The 7 best web design practices for your dental website

    Below are four steps you can take to build the perfect set of marketing avatars for your dental practice.

    Step 1: Write down your unique selling proposition

    The first question I ask my dentists is, “If I saw your ad along with the ads of your top three competitors, why would I pick you over them?”

    Drill down deep here. Answers like “We’re better” and “great customer service” are meaningless. HOW are you better? WHAT type of customer service do you employ that your competitors do not? Are you open later? Are you bilingual? Do you use only the latest technologies? Do you have better financing options? Define what is unique about YOU. 

    To help narrow it down, all businesses typically uniquely position themselves with one or two of the options below:

    • Price – Not only prices of procedures, but what types of insurance you accept
    • Services/amenities – Technologies, breadth of offering, office amenities, etc.
    • Speed/availability – Open late/on weekends, day-of appointments, etc.

    It’s almost impossible to be all three — and that’s okay.

    Step 2: List all the procedures you want to target

    The next step in creating a marketing avatar is documenting all the procedures you want to promote with your advertising campaigns. These can be grouped into similar procedure sets, but they generally include:

    • Emergency/after-hours care
    • Cosmetic services
    • Braces
    • General dentistry
    • Pediatric services
    • Dental implants

    Once we know what we are going to promote and what benefits we are going to communicate, we then figure out what audience we need to target.

    Step 3: Understand what people in your audience have in common

    Your prospective patients want and need the things you listed in Steps 1 and 2 above. Now, we need to figure out what characteristics people in your perfect audience have in common so that we can target them and ignore the people who aren’t in your wheelhouse.

    Related article: How to use Facebook to grow your practice

    The list of characteristics you could target is almost endless, but these tend to be the most popular:

    • Income – If you don’t accept Medicaid or other state-based insurance, then the income of prospective patients is an important attribute. Don’t target non-emergency services to the bottom 50 percent of income because they likely won’t pay you a visit, even if they need the services you offer. If you’re targeting emergency after-hour services, then the bottom 50 percent may become cash pay, and you would want to target them.
    • Age – Older people have more implants, bridges, etc. Younger people tend to get braces. Pediatrics is children’s dentistry but should target parents, usually between the ages of 25 and 45.
    • Gender – This can be especially important in pediatrics. Moms are more likely to pick up the phone and call with questions or to make appointments, so target females over males.
    • Parental status – This is key if your focus is pediatric dentistry.
    • Geography – The geography you target depends on population density, but you typically don’t want to aim for people more than 10 miles around your practice; patients just aren’t that likely to drive a long distance to get to the dentist.

    Bonus tip: Our friends over at DigitalMarketer.com have a great worksheet and blog post on how to create marketing avatars. Check it out here.

    Now that we have a laser-focused idea of exactly who you are servicing, we can set up the targeting.

    Up next: Which targeting options are available?...

    Daryl Johnson
    Daryl Johnson is the founder of Frontier Marketing (https://www.frontiermktg.com), a Premier Google Partner and BingAds Partner ...


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