Practice management and marketing is an area that we learn little about in dental school. When asking students from various schools, it seems that in general, many schools lack a curriculum that includes instruction in company/practice management, marketing, branding and financial management. Through my involvement in ASDA, I have learned the majority of what I know regarding management and marketing at ASDA conferences and workshops. The ADA Guide to Internet Marketing did a fantastic job at filling the gap and opening up the complex world of how the Internet can play into your management.
The guide not only provides direction for new dentists, but even for the practice management of experienced dentists. In a time when ads were only in newspapers, bulletins and word-of-mouth referrals, dental professionals had an easier time planning and coordinating advertisement for their practices. Introducing and executing a successful Internet marketing plan takes time and maintenance. One of my favorite parts of the guide was the advice on responding to negative posts. Another highlight of the manual was the chapter regarding blogging (which actually is co-written by ASDA past-presidents Dr. Colleen Greene and Dr. Chris Salierno!). The system and art of blogging described in the chapter closely resembles what we do here at Mouthing Off. Having a constant influx of new ideas, while maintaining our foundation and blogging goals. A variety of personal, interesting as well as informative posts is essential.
Here are some quick but important definitions of terms you need to know if you plan to implement an Internet marketing strategy into your practice:
SEO = Search engine optimization. Configuring your website so that it is easily found at the top of the search results on Google and other search engines.
Social Media = A growing platform of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many more. Social media can be leveraged for your digital marketing campaign.
Reputation Management = Protecting your company’s reputation and building good rapport with your patients. Being ethical and instilling trustworthiness in your practice and Internet presence. (This actually starts right now.)
Patient Engagement = Harnessing the power of fans, followers and likes. Allowing readers to interact, reply and ask questions on your site.
Content Creation = Updating your website with your own creativity and variation!
If you are looking to implement Internet marketing into your practice but need a crash course in making it effective, check out the ADA’s Practical Guide to Internet Marketing and unleash the potential of your (future) business online. As an experienced blogger, I still found a ton of useful pointers and increased my depth of understanding of branding and marketing from a business perspective.
Do you want your own copy of the 2015 ADA Practical Guide to Internet Marketing? Comment in the section below with your favorite dental website or blog and why! Our favorite comments (up to 2 winners) will win a free guide. Contest closes April 1, 2015.
~Neek LaMantia, San Francisco ’16, electronic editor
You can get 25% off the member price of ADA catalog products just by being an ASDA member. Visit ASDAnet.org to access your special discount code. ASDA member discount cannot be combined with any other offers.