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Three Major Tips for Marketing Your Dental Practice

Marketing is key to the success of any business, and dental practices are no exception. Dental practice marketing relies on a number of strategies. You want to bring in local traffic that is interested in exactly what your practice offers. Thanks to the internet, your marketing strategy may look vastly different than it did just a few years ago as you take advantage of search engines, organize your social media accounts, and turn your webpage into a functional marketing tool that will enable people to find your practice.

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There are several inexpensive and effective marketing techniques you can use to promote your dental business. Some of the techniques you could do include:

SEO - A business’ online presence begins with its website, and utilizing search engine optimization, or SEO, techniques can help potential patients find your dental practice online. These techniques help your website appear more often in search results and appear higher when people search for keywords relevant to your business. Basic SEO strategies can help your business go further.

When creating website content, you should place appropriate keywords throughout every portion of your site. This includes your titles, the body content on each page, URLs and even image names. Determine these keywords based on how someone looking for your services would search for it. For example, if your dental practice is located in Beverly Hills, be sure to use the phrase “Beverly Hills dentist” in your text, as well as local neighborhood locations. There are dozens of keywords you can use.

Google Adwords or Pay per Click (PPC) Adwords campaigns are a way to get your website to the top of the search engines by paying Google, Yahoo, etc to place your ad at the top. You have to be careful about setting this up. If you set it up without proper restrictions you may have people clicking on your site (and costing you money) who live out of the state or out of the country. You pay a certain amount per person who clicks on your website. This may range from $.50 to $3.00 per click with no guarantee of a phone call to your office. Setting up your PPC campaign efficiently is critical to PPC success.

Social Media - This is a great way to advertise and generate new patients if done correctly. There can be many pitfalls to social media marketing. Just posting something does not do much good. You must be active and involved in your community (on and offline). A major pitfall you see when dental offices want to use social media is distraction. Its hard for the dentist to monitor the person doing the social media marketing and if that person is not very focused, it is easy to get distracted and waste time.

You should always track where new patients are coming from in your dental office. If you do not measure how many new patients you generate from these efforts you are likely to spend a lot of money in unfruitful areas.

It is the digital age, and your dental practice is reliant on a digital marketing strategy to help carve out your place in the dental field. For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Ad Group will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.


Creating Your Look – Logos and Much More

Posted 2016

b1.jpgNow it’s time for the fun stuff: creating a logo and finding other materials.

The purpose of your logo is basically to give your business a visual identity. If you choose your logo well, then it should be instantly identifiable and people should know to associate anything with that image on it with your brand and your business.

Once again, you also need to be a bit creative and somewhat pragmatic with your logo creation.

How to Create Your Logo

Consider the following criteria for your logo creation. Your logo should be…

  • – Recognisable
  • – Simple
  • – Versatile
  • – Iconic
  • – Relevant
  • – Original

So straight away you want to avoid anything that is going to be clichéd or derivative. Forget anything that includes a globe, a lightbulb or a tick – they’ve been done to death.

Simple is better because you need to come up with something that people can copy (remember what we said about kids drawing Nike ticks onto their homework diaries?). This also makes your logo more versatile which means that you’ll be able to use it in more places.

Think about it this way: your logo isn’t just going to be used on your website or on your own products. Sometimes, it’s going to need to be on a banner on someone else’s website. Sometimes it might be on packaging. In this case, it’s going to need to be a different size or it might even have to be black and white. You might need to use a ‘silhouette’ of your logo.

So ask yourself: does the logo look just as good when you use it as a silhouette? Much smaller? In black and white?

Finally, make sure that your logo expresses everything you want to say about your business. That means not only communicating the niche, the industry and the kinds of products and services you’ll be selling – but also the mission statement and the emotion. This is why you need to come up with your mission statement before your logo.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.


Choosing Your Mission Statement and Name

Posted 2016

b2.jpgWhat is a brand though?

For many of us, the word brand calls to mind two things: a name and a logo. In fact though, these are not what is most important about your brand and neither is what you need to consider first when you set out to create your brand. So what is most important?

That would be your ‘mission statement’. This is the single most important part of your branding and once you’ve worked this out, everything else should follow out from there simply.

Creating Your Mission Statement

A mission statement is simply a short sentence or two that clearly defines what you do and why you do it. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this is to look at some of the more famous examples…

Coca Cola:

Our mission is: To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.

Starbucks:

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

Amazon:

It’s our goal to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything online.

Google:

Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

What do these statements all have in common? All of them are rather grand, all of them are rather vague and all of them are inspiring. They tend to focus on the ‘why’ and then the ‘how’ instead of the ‘what’.

So let’s say that you have a company that makes socks. Sure, you could call yourself ‘Socks Ltd’ and be done with it, but if you wanted to create something a bit more inspiring, then you would begin with your mission statement.

Your mission statement is not to make socks.

Your mission statement is to warm people’s feet.

And in doing so? Maybe it’s to help them feel cosy and happy in their own bodies.

So maybe you change your company name to ‘WarmSocks’ and your mission statement would be as follows:

To warm people’s feet and help them feel comfortable in their bodies throughout the day.

Now you have a real promise that people can get behind, you have something much more exciting and you have something far more marketable. This can motivate your staff and it can help you to envision ideas for future products and marketing campaigns. You see the difference?

So spend some time reflecting on your own brand and your own business. What was it that drew you to this industry in the first place? What is it that you find so exciting about it? How can you inspire others to feel the same way you do?

Use this to create your one or two sentence mission statement and from there you’ll be able to start coming up with the other aspects of your brand.

And if you struggle to identify what the drive behind your business is, then you can always try using some exercises like OKR. This stands for ‘Objectives and Key Results’ and is a technique used by companies like Google, LinkedIn and Intel. Here you simply identify what your broader objectives are and then break these down into smaller ‘key results’. There’s a tool to help you do this over at Weekdone.com (https://weekdone.com/resources/objectives-key-results).

Choosing Your Company Name

Now you have your mission statement, you can start thinking about your company name. This should be something that describes what your business does but also evokes something more interesting and more exciting.

If you’re struggling to come up with anything, then you could try creating a mind map and adding related words and things you like the sounds of. From there you can try combining them in interesting ways, or using synonyms/portmanteaus etc. For instance, ‘Intel’ is related to the fact that the chips the company creates give computers ‘intelligence’.

But then you have ‘Apple’ which is completely unrelated – in this case the assumption is that this would evoke the image of something fresh and clean. Steve Jobs said it was inspired by the fact that he was on a fruitarian diet and thought the word sounded ‘fun, spirited and not intimidating’.

So don’t just think about the mechanical parts of your business, but also the mission statement and the emotions you want to evoke.

It’s a good idea to then come up with a few names and to try surveying your friends and relatives to see which they think is best. Remember, you name your business for your customers – not for yourself!

Also important is to make sure your business name isn’t trademarked which you can do at the US Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/trademark). You might also want to apply for a trademark yourself in future, which ensures that no one can use your company name (you can also trademark your logo).

Another good tip is to check for whether the domain name is available for your chosen business name and think a little about things like SEO – how easy would it be for someone to search and find your business online? Calling yourself ‘Pear’ just wouldn’t work these days – Pear.com would be taken and you’d have an incredibly hard time showing up in searches.

Unfortunately, you need to be a little practical about your business name as well as thinking about what evokes the best feelings!

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms


What is a Brand and Why Does it Matter?

Posted 2016

b3.jpgWhen you think of any big company, the brand is probably the first thing to come to mind. In fact, there are very few successful businesses that don’t have a prominent brand and it’s hard to imagine how a company could get big without investing in its image and creating an identify for itself.

Despite this, many small businesses and internet businesses don’t take the necessary time to create a strong brand and a strong identity that they can use to drive their organization forward. Why? Often it comes down a lack of understanding. Not only do many businesses and entrepreneurs not understand how branding works; many also don’t understand just how important branding is.

Companies with No Identity

It’s not hard to find companies that lack brands when you look online – or that haven’t invested the right time or effort into their branding. These are the websites that look horribly bland and generic: probably with dark blue and black writing on a white background. Their company name is something like ‘Johnson and Smith Co’ and their logo is probably some dull blue writing spelling out that company name. Oh and it’s probably a low res JPEG image too.

It doesn’t exactly scream excitement and it calls to mind an image of a couple of burly blokes who put together an uninspired business with no aims of growing. They provide their service, no bells attached and then they move onto the next client.

It’s actually kind of depressing…

Companies with LOTS of Identity

Now think about the companies that have become international house-hold names. These companies have exciting names like ‘Apple’, ‘Adidas’, ‘Coca-Cola’, ‘Nike’, ‘Microsoft’, ‘Disney’, ‘Nintendo’, ‘Red Bull’, ‘Starbucks’ and they have interesting and unique logos. Many of these logos have gone on to become almost cultural symbols and are now emblazoned on t-shirts and scrawled onto homework diaries around the world.

The websites are in-keeping with this, so are the adverts and even the products conform to an identity. People look for these brands now as a sign of quality and because they know what to expect. Some people even consider themselves ‘fans’ of these brands and get behind them 100%. People just don’t feel that way about companies like ‘Johnson and Smith Co’.

Brands make you recognizable, they make it far easier to monetize and they give your business a cohesive vision that will drive you forward and that will win you fans. This is the power of branding and this is what we’re going to learn how to do for your own business.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms


4 Tips to Make More Time for Marketing

Posted 2016

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When running a small business, there are a million-and-one necessities that require your attention at any given moment. Some of these are more important than others, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a successful business owner who doesn’t realize that marketing is essential. If you don’t have time for marketing, you don’t have time for success. Fortunately, there are a few ways to free up some hours in the day.

Marketing Must be a Priority

You must first start out by deciding that marketing is a priority to your business. There is no on-again-off-again relationship with this aspect of running a company. You’re either all in or facing potential failure. Commit yourself so that you’re not procrastinating for months on end.

Plan Out the Next Day

Whether it’s during lunch or the second you finally get home, we all have a few free minutes during the day. Use a few of these moments to fully plan out your next day’s marketing. If you want to post three things to social media, attend a networking event, and promote a Twitter ad, write down the specific times you’ll do all of these. Having a plan makes things go much faster than trying to figure out everything at the last moment.

Consider Outsourcing

A nearly guaranteed way to free up more time for marketing is to outsource certain jobs. Do you have any clue how to run an effective email marketing campaign? Hire someone to do it. Got a trusted employee with a bit of social media savvy? You can have them schedule your next day’s posts via scheduling tools like Hootsuite, which now has 10 million users. When you hand off some responsibility to others, you have more time to handle what you’re good at.

Always Review Your Results

Every marketing tool has some method of gauging its effectiveness, so make sure you’re constantly doing this. If it turns out you’re spending a fair amount of time on a strategy that isn’t working, maybe you should just drop it and focus on another that is. There’s no need to waste time on an ineffective strategy.

At the end of the day, marketing is what’s going to make your business successful. Without it, everything else just falls to shambles. Always make sure you’re making time for this vital process.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms


How to Get Customers to do Your Marketing

Posted 2016

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If you’ve been promoting a company for any amount of time, you know it can be a difficult endeavor. In fact, many of us would simply like to hand the job off onto others, and in many cases, we do. As it turns out, though, it’s not always necessary to have marketing experts for every aspect of promoting your business. In fact, your customers can do much of it on their own.

Hold Social Media Contests

One quick way to have customers market for you is to offer a prize for doing so. Uploading a photo of a 50% discount coupon or specialty item, along with a status saying “Share and comment to enter,” will motivate your fans to share this status. In turn, others may then see the status and share it themselves. You only need one freebie to reach untold amounts of people.

Customer Referral Program

The New York Times states that 65% of all new business is driven by referrals. To put this another way: It’s simply insane to not offer incentives for customers bringing in new clients. Whether it’s “$25 for every 5 referrals” or “$10 off you and your referral’s bill,” you must have some customer referral program in place.

Incentivize Reviews

Another form of “quid pro quo” with your customers is soliciting reviews. Offer your clients a discount or other incentive just for going to a review site and leaving an honest testimonial. Remember that you can’t offer something in exchange for positive reviews, but most who take the incentive are likely happy customers anyway.

Sell or Give Away Branded Merchandise

Handing out branded merchandise is one of the oldest methods of getting your customers to handle marketing for you. As it turns out, 42% of people who receive promotional products from a company develop a more favorable opinion of the company. Even better, 81% of people hang onto branded merchandise because they think it’s useful. Whether it’s shirts, hats, or plain old pens – preferably with a stylus attached – clients immediately become walking billboards.

Marketing is a tough job, but you don’t have to go at it alone. With just a few crafty marketing strategies, you’ll have your clients handling a portion of your marketing for you.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms


Guerrilla Marketing Tips Every Small Business Should Be Using

Posted 2016

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Guerrilla marketing focuses on low-cost and unconventional techniques meant to gain maximum exposure. These low-cost methods are essential since it’s recommended that small businesses devote 7 to 8 percent of their revenue to advertising. By using the following guerrilla marketing tactics, business owners can ensure they’re getting the most bang for their buck.

Host a Class or Other Event

Getting people to come in and spend money can be difficult, but convincing them to show up for a class or special event is much easier. The event should usually focus on the company’s industry. A restaurant, for instance, could host a cooking class.

Make sure to aggressively promote the event. Fortunately, even community boards that do not usually allow business promotion will often be okay with a flyer going up about an upcoming event or class.

Create Spectacles at Events

Renting space at local events, such as festivals and concerts, is a great marketing idea. Creating a spectacle at the event, though, is even better. Whether it is a flash mob or announcing a contest during the festivities, it is sure to catch people’s attention.

Create Fake Publicity

Getting real publicity for a business requires some work, but creating fake publicity is much simpler and more affordable. This does not mean, of course, that you should lie to news organizations or anything along those lines.

Instead, create eye-catching displays or events that people are sure to notice. Some companies have had employees pretend to picket out front with signs that say “These Prices Are Too Low!” and other positive messages framed in a unique way. The point is that there is no reason to wait for real publicity to come around.

Get Into Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing involves strategies meant to play off real-time events. Oreo, for instance, ran a simple image on Twitter that said “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” during the Superbowl Blackout of 2013. This perfectly timed ad got them an insane amount of attention. Real-time marketing is not something you can pull off daily, but when you see the chance, take it.

Guerrilla marketing is more than just a cool name; it’s an effective strategy that has stood the test of time. Do not handicap your marketing endeavors by ignoring potentially game-changing tactics that cost pennies on the dollar.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms


Facebook Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid

Posted 2016

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Small businesses have quickly realized that online marketing is essential for success. And while there are a multitude of online resources for marketing, Facebook is undoubtedly one of the best. The site saw over 1 billion daily users in September 2015 alone, so it is obvious companies can reach untold amounts of people here. That is, of course, as long as they avoid these common mistakes.

Not Utilizing the Site

Not utilizing Facebook at all is a huge mistake, but creating a page and then doing nothing with it can be just as harmful. Failing to post updates, memes, links and other content will greatly reduce your reach on the page. Additionally, you are not likely to see fan posts if you’re not signing in daily. This can make patrons feel ignored. Once you’ve created your page, make sure you use it.

Not Reusing Content

Regardless of how much thought you put into your posts, not all of them are going to be gold. Make sure that you keep track of the ones that are, though. If a meme or post gets significant “Likes” or shares, keep it in mind and repost it later down the line.

Going Haywire with the Text

Just because Facebook doesn’t have a 140 character limit like Twitter doesn’t mean you should go nuts with the text. Status updates are meant to be easily digestible pieces of content. Videos and images are perfect for this, and short messages work well too. If you’ve got a long message you want to convey, make it into a blog and then post the link to your page.

Only Posting Promotional Content

Your followers don’t want to be advertised “at” constantly. Make sure to post things that are related to your industry but aren’t necessarily, “Hey, come shop here!” in nature. A good rule is to have four posts that aren’t obviously marketing in nature for every one status that’s promotional.

Facebook is the second most popular website in the entire world, so it’s imperative to make the most out of its marketing potential. By simply avoiding the aforementioned pitfalls, you can turn the social media giant into a powerful promotional tool.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.


Social Media Marketing Essentials You Are Screwing Up

Posted 2016

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Even the most novice social media marketer knows a few essentials. From the best times of the day to post to spacing out these posts for maximum effectiveness; some of these rules are almost common sense. Unfortunately, many of these marketers are also making the mistake of not knowing some very basic social media marketing rules. Here are the ones you may be missing.

Never Make Procrastination Appealing

We have all seen that one furniture store that has had the “One Week Only Sale!” sign outside for the past four years. While this might work well for a physical retail store, it is not doing you any favors with your social media marketing. Procrastination in this world usually means the loss of a sale. Constantly offer new promotions with incentives, and make sure that each has a deadline to opt-in, purchase, share, or whatever call to action you require.

Make Use of the Free Tracking Tools

It seems almost nonsensical that a marketer would not know about the tracking tools available on social media, and yet, some marketers are still not using them. Twitter and Facebook both allow you to see how many people are engaging with your posts and offers. This is a great way to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaign. Always use these programs in conjunction with your other data tracking tools.

Paying Too Much Attention to “Experts”

There are undoubtedly those out there who are great with social media marketing, but anyone who says that a certain rule works perfect every time might be overconfident. There are no universal truths in social media marketing. Instead, you should be focused on results. If something is garnering results but does not fall under “accepted knowledge,” who cares? If it works for you, then go with it.

Always Be Clear About What Fans Should Do

There are some out there claiming that Facebook is reducing post reach if there’s a direct call to action listed. This myth can be dissuaded by simply posting a “Not sure if fans can see this. Please ‘Like’ so we know it is working” post. While it is not pretty, you are sure to get tons of interaction. If your content is meaningful being direct with your followers about what they should do (“Visit our website,” etc.) is fine, and will get results.

Social media marketing is not the future… it’s the now. Make sure you are doing it right.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.


The Content Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2016

Posted 2016

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Content marketing has become one of the most powerful tools at a marketer’s disposal. Instead of attacking consumers with an onslaught of ads, they can now cause potential customers to actually seek out their business organically. As is the case with all marketing tools, though, content marketing evolves. These are the trends you will need to catch up with for a successful 2016.

Google Knowledge Graph Will Change Content

If you have ever typed a query into Google and had the answer presented to you on the results page, without having to click any link, you have experienced Google’s Knowledge Graph. It takes information from all over the web and easily presents it directly on the return page. Fortunately, this is usually only possible for simple information. If you start providing content on more in-depth topics, you’ll likely continue getting the all-important click.

Visual Content Will Be Even More in Demand

Cisco predicts video will dominate 69 percent of the world’s consumer internet traffic by 2017, and there are several valid reasons behind this. One of these reasons is the large move towards video in the content marketing world. The written content market, while still important, has become saturated. Consumers are demanding more visual mediums, and whether it is infographics or video, we have to acquiesce.

Aggregated Content Will Give Consumers Power

If you were to look at the hashtag page for an emerging news story on Twitter, you would see aggregated content. This is information being gathered from all over the web to create one clear picture. With tools like Project Lightning from Twitter, consumers will begin to get more of their content, especially the content we use for real-time marketing, in this manner. Because of that, marketers will need to look for new publication opportunities.

Quality Content Will Be Essential

It seems that many marketing gurus out there have beat the proverbial horse to death when it comes to saying “quality content is a must.” In reality, though, this will be truer than ever in 2016. Since the written content market is becoming saturated, people have tons to choose from. In fact, there are now computer algorithms that allow machines to write simple articles on their own. Because of this, only the best content will rise to the top.

Every so often, there is a mass leap in evolution in marketing. Fortunately, this is not what is happening with content marketing. In 2016, a little preparation can help you stay abreast of these changes

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.


How Local Businesses Can Grow Through E-Books

Posted 2016

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Anyone marketing for a local business knows the importance of content marketing, but they often consider articles, blogs, or videos as their only options. In reality, e-books are another powerful content marketing resource, and for small business owners who utilize this relatively simple tool, a whole new world of marketing can open up to them.

Expand On What You Have

Many budding entrepreneurs avoid using e-books in their marketing because they fear doing so is too complicated. Those who have invested the time in this strategy, however, know better. In fact, you could do nothing more than expand upon a white paper or article you already have, such as through added testimonials or additional context, to create an informative e-book. An e-book can be as few as 10 pages, so there is no need to rival the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Use Other Channels of Promotion

Getting people’s eyes on a small business’s e-book could be the most difficult task, but utilizing pre-existing marketing methods can help. Share the document on social media channels, and make sure to include links to it in the descriptions of online marketing videos that are even remotely related. And as always, make sure that it is prominently displayed on the main website.

Submit to E-Book Directories

Local businesses will benefit from increased search engine rankings caused by widespread attention. This makes submitting a completed e-book to online directories ideal. E-book Freeway and Warrior Forum both have extensive lists of directories that can get more eyes on your company’s content.

Don’t Fear the Word “Free”

After spending time creating an e-book, it may seem only fair to charge for it. This, of course, will reduce its reach. The energy put into creating this document should be seen as a long-term investment. Don’t fear that you will not get anything out of it, though. Make sure to make its download contingent on filling out an opt-in form for your email list. Over the following weeks and months the dividends on this investment should really pay off.

Putting out e-books as a form of marketing might seem daunting, but with just a little added effort, you could have your very own bestseller in no time.

For more information call Lou Donato at 860-841-6382. Lou and the team at 22 Adgroup will design and develop your website, create your brand identity, set up your social media marketing and deliver the right marketing collateral solutions on a variety of platforms.

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