Digital marketing plays a crucial role in new patient flow and retention, so it never hurts to learn more about the online essentials that lead people find your practice.

Dr. Jason Lipscomb, co-host of “The Dental Hacks” podcast, helps you create and maintain a meaningful digital footprint with the timely lessons in his new five-part Live Learning Continuum “An Overview of Digital Marketing: Building a Foundation for Success.”

Dr. Lipscomb's members-only webinar series takes practice owners and team members from the basics to more advanced strategies of digital marketing in dentistry. For five weeks, he will cover the most important aspects of digital marketing as it relates to connecting with patients. The webinar lineup is:

  • March 19: An Overview of Digital Marketing: Building a Foundation for Success
  • March 26: Optimizing Your Website: The Key to Maximizing Your Marketing Efforts
  • April 9: Google Local: Getting Found
  • April 16: Social Media Marketing: How to Use Facebook as a Marketer
  • April 23: Pay-Per-Click Marketing: How to Use Google Ads Manager

“You can be successful with digital marketing no matter what skill level you're at,” said Dr. Lipscomb, who also operates two independent practices in Richmond, Virginia, when he is not connecting with the dental community through online media.

“I think there is a large group of people out there who are successful right now in digital marketing and don't even know it because they are just posting stuff,” he said. “And that's the key – not being scared to do it. Just put a video out there or write a blog or just post a picture.”

Interview with a 'Dental Hack'

Spear Digest spoke with Dr. Lipscomb for more insight about digital marketing and his upcoming Live Learning Continuum:

Q: How's it going so far this year with “The Dental Hacks” and what dental marketing trends do you find yourself talking about more these days with the Dental Hacks community?
“Dental Hacks is continuing to grow this year. We see a lot of activity in the Facebook group (Dental Hacks Nation!) and continue to grow on other social media platforms. We have gone back to a lot of the basics by taking photos and videos and using them in various forms of marketing, specifically on Google My Business, which is often overlooked but has increased in importance over the past few years.”

Q: Should social media marketing be delegated to practice team members who are generally more inclined to all things digital?
“A lot of people think younger team members in the office are naturally inclined to do digital marketing, but that's not always the case. A lot of times I was teaching them how to do digital marketing. Younger team members may know a lot about how to produce organic media, but they don't necessarily know how to apply marketing principles to all the different platforms.”

Q: What are you currently using to promote your practices online and do you still use traditional marketing like email newsletters?
“It's a little bit of a mix. I do Google Ads and Facebook ads but also some organic stuff in addition to email marketing. I do what I can to increase our ranking and visibility on the web, which means I'm doing some of the behind-the-scenes types of stuff. Anything that can help visibility for the practices.”

Q: Do you read and respond to all your social media comments? How do you find time to do that?
“I try to read all the comments. In this environment, you must be responsive or employ someone who is responsive. The public has a very short attention span, and people will move on to the next opportunity right away if they do not feel engaged.”

Q: How do you respond to negative comments on social media about you or your practices?
“Negative comments give an air of authenticity. Almost no one is perfect all the time. I address their comments to look attentive, but the real focus is to get more positive comments to balance against the negative ones.”

Q: Your website says you have earned more than 1,000 hours of continuing education credits. Why is CE so important to you?
“Continuing education keeps dentistry interesting for me and helps keep me current. I focus on classes that will make me better and more efficient in practice.”

Q: Why did you choose these five topics for your Live Learning Continuum?
“These topics are the basis of marketing. You can get started quite easily with them and have an immediate impact on your practice.”

Q: What do you hope attendees get out of the webinar series?
“I'm hoping attendees, especially those who may be paying for a service, get a better understanding of what they are paying for. I hope more dentists consider that digital marketing is not some nebulous thing they just throw money at that makes patients appear. Hopefully, I'll help them save some money. I want to give attendees something to walk away with, like learning how to make videos, or just giving them the courage to make videos.”

“In this environment, you must be responsive or employ someone who is responsive. The public has a very short attention span, and people will move on to the next opportunity right away if they do not feel engaged.” – Dr. Jason Lipscomb

Q: What makes digital marketing difficult for some doctors and what is an important first step to getting beyond that lack of confidence with digital media?
“A lot of dentists get caught up in 'analysis paralysis' when it comes to marketing. They think they need a polished video or marketing approach. As some platforms have shown us, grassroots videos can get millions of views with very little effort. The people who are successful just put it out there.”

Q: Nowadays, what brings in new patients?
“Facebook used to be very strong, but over time it's kind of waned a little bit. There are still some sweet spots within Facebook.

I've had several new patients find me from Nextdoor, which is a neighborhood and location-based platform, so I've been using that. Plus, Nextdoor will be allowing advertising, so I'll be looking into that as well.

Google My Business provides a basic free listing that is very overlooked. A dentist can easily increase their visibility simply by bolstering their listing with content they already have.

A lot of times I get new patients searching for a dentist on Google. As technology has evolved, Google is giving results that are physically close to where searchers are. You can pay to improve your ranking in search results, but nothing is going to overcome physical proximity. Proximity is something you can't really gain from Google because it will always list what's closest in search results first.”