How to Market a Dental Practice Through a Crisis
During crises, people’s natural instinct is to stop marketing. While that’s a smart instinct, completely shutting down and going into hiding can cause even more damage to your practice than the crisis itself.
With the COVID-19 crisis, for example, a large percentage of the world is sheltered in their homes. Many practices are closed. Some are open only for emergencies. So, continuing your normal ad strategy of promoting high-value services like Invisalign or crowns is not money well spent.
But what about continuing to build relationships in your local community? What about being a source of joy, help, and inspiration for people stuck in their homes? Is that money well spent? Absolutely, if you do it right.
Right now, with so many businesses turning off their ads, it has resulted in more supply and less demand for Facebook ads. That means the costs for ads have come down significantly and we can make an incredible impact on our community while strengthening our practice with a very small ad budget. Here’s how.
Share community-building posts and start a fun challenge on your practice page.
During crises, we might not want to spend money promoting services we aren’t providing. But we do want to make sure we are still connecting with our communities, helping them get through being at home.
That means continuing to share videos from our homes. My team and I have made videos telling people we miss them and letting them know we can’t wait to see them when things settle down. Those videos help us stay in touch with patients and reach new ones with a caring message of positivity.
In addition, this is a great opportunity to connect with a fun at-home challenge, like a push-up or squat challenge that promotes healthy habits. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do push-ups or squats. Those are just details. Do something. Jump rope. Do jumping jacks. Do arm curls. Dance for thirty seconds. Anything that is fun and gets people moving will work.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m not great at exercise. It’s fine.
Then, post your challenge video on your practice Facebook page with a caption that reads, something to the effect of “Let’s get moving. Post your videos to our page in the comments so we can exercise together while we’re all at home. Then tag a friend to challenge them to do the same”
Get your whole team in on it, positing videos in the comments to start building momentum. This will help your post start to go viral—and you know I’m all about getting videos to go viral.
People will love this type of post and feel closer to you because of it. You’re connecting with your community. You’re getting them moving. You’re getting them off their TVs, off their sofas, for a little bit and just moving and thinking about fitness.
Share your post on your personal page to continue building momentum.
After you post it on your practice page, share it on your personal page with all of your Facebook friends.
Not only does this spread a positive message but it also helps build your Facebook audience for future advertising. Anytime someone watches the video, Facebook will register anyone who watches the video as a three-second, 25%, or 50% video view.
That means you can create a Facebook target audience of anyone who watches the videos in the future.
Increase organic engagement.
Anytime you have someone engage with your post with a comment, like, or share, that is considered “engagement” from Facebook. So getting your team members involved and everyone sharing the post to close friends will naturally increase organic reach.
You can also ask some friends who you know to participate by posting videos to your practice page and personal post. Ask them to help you spread joy. Ask team members to do the same to help you build strength for your practice for when things settle down.
All of this organic engagement will tell Facebook that your video is something people enjoy. Facebook doesn’t watch our videos. But they calculate how many people engage with our posts. The more people engage, the more Facebook will promote our posts for free. That means, calling out friends in the comment to take the challenge and call out more friends will help.
If you’re a member of a Facebook group that allows sharing posts like this, share it there, too. For example, when I taught this marketing strategy in their posts in the group so the 15,000+ people could help create organic engagement for you.
Some groups won’t allow this, so be sure to follow group rules. But in these times, I want to help as much as possible so I invited people to share their video.
Boost to your local community.
So far, everything we have done has been organic. I’d highly encourage you to invest a few dollars boosting your post to your local community. If you already have your dental practice’s Facebook target audiences set, boost your post to them. If you have your Facebook super audience set, boost it to that audience. I suggest starting with just $25.
When you boost, you want to make sure you filter so your boost is only to your local community. If you have people from outside your community who like your page or on your personal feed, your organic reach and organic engagement will be from the world. But I only want you paying to reach people in your local community to get the best return on investment.
Your challenge is to start a challenge.
Anytime we have situations like what we have now, we focus more on planting seeds for the future. Facebook costs are low now. Grow your audience and help bring a positive message to your community.
Now is the time to show up and shine brightness in your community. When the market normalizes, we will be in a much better position to come back stronger with ads letting people know we are open.
If you’re looking for training or coaching for your team to accelerate your growth, click here to learn more.
If you have been wanting to dive into Facebook Marketing though our Facebook Bootcamp Program, now is also a great time to start preparing for when you reopen!
And be sure to join the Dental Boss Movement Facebook group to connect with, support, and get support from other dental professionals working hard to strengthen their practices, even in tough times.