Remember when it was cool for a doctor to write a column in the town paper? My mother’s a nurse, and I also remember how she loved Dr. Red Duke, who did a spot on the nightly news. The Internet has changed things a bit. Dentists have gone from finally being allowed to advertise in the Yellow Pages to no longer getting value from phone book advertising. In fact, a few years ago, one of the largest phone book companies had to file bankruptcy. Newspapers are also going under because people read their news online these days. And as far as being on television, have you heard of YouTube?
If you don’t think people use the Internet, you’re wrong. Google does over two billion searches every day, so estimates are, 300 million people use Google Search each and every day. According to InternetWorldStats.com, about 77% of Americans use the Internet, and growth is at nearly 150% in the past decade. Because Google owns over 65% of the Internet search business, it would be a good bet that most of your potential and existing patients use Google. But what if you’re an implant dentist or prosthodontist? You don’t need the kind of patients that use the Internet, right? Think again. Surprisingly, people over 50 have increased 88% in the past year. Today, almost half of this demographic is online, according to PewInternet.com.
I want to introduce you to the contemporary equivalent of Yellow Pages advertising, newspaper columns, and being featured on the nightly news…for people who use the Internet.
Today’s Yellow Pages is called Google. When people want a service, address, or phone number, they go to Google and do a keyword search. If you have a good Internet presence, meaning a visually appealing, search –engine-optimized website, plus a blog and social networking profiles, your dental practice could come up on page one of Google.
Today’s Newspaper is called RSS Feeds. Internet-savvy people use RSS feeds on their homepage. For instance, my iGoolge page has my calendar (for work, the kids’ school, and personal commitments), the weather, all of the dental blogs I want to read each morning, local and national news, and a cartoon. I used RSS feeds (really simple syndication feeds) to build a custom news page with information that’s most important to me. Your patients can do this, too, and if you have a great health blog on your website, you might get syndicated in their personal Google “newspapers.” On the MDPM website, I also feature RSS feeds in the lower right sidebar, so when news in the dental or Internet industry comes out, it’s featured on my website. Other good newsworthy promotions are article submissions and press releases, and including backlinks in these is great for your website’s SEO.
Today’s television is YouTube. One obvious difference of being featured on the nightly news and having a YouTube video is exclusivity. On YouTube, your video is, literally, one of millions. However, you can harness YouTube to work for you. If your content is what people want, your video will have a ton of hits. But more importantly, you need to get your video in front of the right people – your target market. It will take more than this one article to explain how to leverage YouTube, so stay tuned. Subscribe to this blog, and you’ll get more information. In the mean time, if your local news station approaches you to do a feature on dentistry or health, jump at the chance…just make sure you have rights to use the video on your website!