Internal and external marketing get a lot of well-deserved buzz (they are vital to your business, after all), but that doesn’t mean they’re the only two strategies your practice should be using. Community marketing is a largely underutilized strategy that is rewarding in more ways than one.
What is community marketing?
Unlike internal and external marketing, community marketing is all about serving the community you care for and engaging face-to-face with both current and potential patients outside of the dental office. Community Marketing can take many forms, from volunteering monthly with a local charity to donating your services to students at a low-income school––it’s all about finding the right fit for your practice and community.
Why should you care?
People do business with people they like. It’s as simple as that. Consumers have been shown to pay more for the same or similar service when offered by a business they relate to and trust. So, how do you build that trust? Community marketing.
Here are 5 things you may consider when you initiate community marketing in your business:
- Research the need in your area. Is there a group, an individual, or a cause that resonates with you and your team? Maybe it’s a patient that needs your support or a city-wide green initiative, either way, make sure it is something you and your team are passionate about. Community marketing takes a lot of energy and needs to be heartfelt. If you are fully invested in the cause you choose, you are more inclined to continue the effort and drive the results!
- “Do it for the right reason and the rest comes.” Be authentic with your purpose of helping others in your community. If your efforts are to solely increase your bottom line, your approach is inverted. Do it because you can. Do it because you and your team have an opportunity to help and it will make a difference!
- Brainstorm marketing efforts with your team. Once you’ve chosen your cause, now it’s time to create the plan of action. In what way do you want to support the cause? Do you want to host a yearly benefit, conduct a social media raffle, or organize a community event clean-up? Figure out what works best for you and then leverage each other’s exposure to elevate the visibility of your combined effort.
- Invite others to participate. Spread the word on social media, post to community event boards, or submit a press release––just get the word out any way you can. The larger the campfire, the warmer the flame!
- Know when to say no. While, yes, you and your team are amazing, that doesn’t mean you can do it all! Once you establish yourself as a pillar of the community, other groups and organizations will no doubt seek your support in the future. Be open to new ideas, but also know it’s okay to say “no” when you don’t have the bandwidth.