Paid vs Free Marketing

Video Lecture

Lecture Text

Let’s Talk About Free vs. Paid.

Search Engines and Social Media websites have two general ways for your practice to get noticed: Free and Paid.

And unfortunately, free probably isn’t going to work for you.

A lot of dental marketers and social media gurus will talk about all the wonderful free ways you can get patients to notice your practice.

They talk about how important it is that you’re posting to your practice’s Facebook page and that you keep tweeting on Twitter.

They’ll also tell you to keep posting to your website’s dental blog.

I have some bad news. Putting a lot of effort into social media and your blog is going to be a waste of time and money.

And here’s why – you have to pay to play.

You Have to Pay to Get New Patients

It is harder and harder to get search engines and social media websites to deliver patients to your practice for free.

The reason is actually quite simple.

Google, Facebook, Yelp and Twitter are all publicly traded companies that are responsible for making money for their shareholders.

Getting your practice more patients for free isn’t part of their organizational mission.

That’s why over time social media sites and search engines are pushing dentists to pay in order to get patients.

Google Example: Paid Ad Listings Dominate Search Results

Let me show you an example, I’m going to go ahead and conduct a search on Google for “Dentists in Denver”. Take a good look at all four results above the map. The top 4 results are all paid ads.

When one of those paid ads is clicked on, the web user that clicks on the advertisement is taken to the dentist’s website.

But what also happens is that the advertiser is charged by Google. Google makes money each and every time an ad is clicked.

Staying on the search results page, we’re going to scroll down the page below the map.

Here is where you can find the free – or organic – search listings in Google.

As you can see the paid ads dominate the search engine results page because Google is a business and as a business, their goal is to generate revenue.

To get patients from Google, you need to advertise with Google.

Twitter Example: Paid Tweets on Top – Free Tweets Get Buried

Many of you may not be all that familiar with Twitter. In Twitter, you can publish very short “tweets” which can contain a maximum of 140 characters. People who follow your account on Twitter will see your tweets on their home page.

The problem is that most Twitter accounts have so many incoming Tweets that the odds of one of your Twitter followers actually seeing your tweet are extremely low.

Twitter shows the most recent tweets at the top of the user’s home page. Unless your twitter followers happen to log in to Twitter right after you tweeted your message, they probably won’t ever see your tweet – at least not without a lot of scrolling down to where your tweet is.

So, if you want to promote your latest whitening special with a tweet, your twitter followers aren’t very likely to ever see the tweet – as it will be buried underneath a pile of new tweets.

Not to mention, most Twitter users are on Twitter to get updates from the world of entertainment, politics or sports. They aren’t there in the hopes that your dental office will be marketing to them via Tweet. For your tweets to work and to not get unfollowed, your tweets would have to be informative and highly relevant – not easy for a dental office to do.

You can tweet all you want on Twitter for free – but Tweeting on Twitter is not going to be a great source of getting new leads for your practice.

Twitter does however have paid ads which you can use to try to get new patients for your practice. I cover Twitter advertising later on in the course.

Facebook – Pay Up or Else No One Will See Your Posts

In Facebook, you used to be able to post to your practice’s business page and be certain that most of your followers and people who liked your page would see your post.

Not anymore.

If you look at a facebook business page, you the posts that the business makes to their facebook page.

The odds are that most of the people that like or follow that dental office on Facebook will never see those Facebook posts.

One studly by Ogilvy showed that when you post to your Facebook business page, as little as 2% of those who like or follow your Facebook dental page will ever even see your post.

However, if you PAY to boost the post, more of your practice’s Facebook followers will see the post.

Facebook is making it clear that you have to pay to play.

And Facebook ads to offer some solid opportunities to getting new patients in to your practice.

The focus of this course is on what has the best chance of getting more patients for your practice.

Hopefully after hearing this lesson, you understand that in order to get your message out there to potential patients, you have to pay.

In the next section, we’re going to discuss something that is essential for your marketing success – Reviews. You can’t pay for reviews, but you do need to have a steady stream of positive reviews in order to be successful.


Ogilvy Study showing as little as 2% see Facebook Posts


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