A number of new features and opportunities on GDPUK in 2017. Get in touch if you have any questions. Contact details below.
We have had a number of satisfied advertisers recently, which pleases us immensely. Thanks to all our customers for their continued use of the site and all the new clients we have taken on recently. We wrote about an extremely satisfied client a few weeks ago, you can read it below, their offer was extremely well received and resulted in a number of sales, which is very pleasing to hear.
Blog on a satisfied GDPUK Client.
2017 marks the 20th anniversary of GDPUK, something we have mentioned a number of times and will keep mentioning! We are close to putting together plans for a 20th anniversary Party and Conference in November and it is something that we would like as many of our members to attend as possible. Would be fantastic to celebrate with as many people as possible.
Our leaderboard banner continues to be extremely popular with our advertisers. It is 728x90px and appears at the top of all our pages as you can see above. A recent option that we added to the site, is the super leaderboard which appears in the same space as the leaderboard but is super sized - 970x90, giving you even greater brand awareness and exposure on every page of GDPUK.
Via our DFP software, our customers can actually run more than one advert at once in a given month. This means one of our customers can actually advertise two things or more at once. One of our clients MC Dental / Repairs is currently doing using this method to advertise a number of offers at once. Added value from GDPUK!
We continue to publish daily news and blogs, that get read by thousands of healthcare professionals on a weekly basis. Via our daily emails, tweets and facebook posts, we help to educate and inform our readers with the latest dental news and opinion. Something we are very proud of.
Banners are now appearing on the right hand side of the news and blogs. Considering the articles attract plenty of readers on a daily basis, it provides even more exposure for your brand.
As you can see GDPUK continues to evolve and improve, even in its 20th year! Thanks for reading.
Advertising opportunities are now available on GDPUK in 2017.
How can you use GDPUK to reach your target audience?
Denplan is celebrating another successful award win after their NHS if campaign was named ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ at today’s FMC Dental Industry Awards 2016. (Denplan Marketing Team Pictured above.)
Denplan has been running the if (“In Front”) marketing campaign since March 2016. The aim of the campaign has been to inform and engage dentists about NHS dental contract reform and help them consider how any future changes to the present NHS contract could impact their practice going forward, both in terms of patient care and profitability
The NHS campaign was featured across the dental trade press in 2016, as well as featuring prominently on GDPUK.com.
The award ceremony took place at lunchtime on Friday 18 November at The Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington and was a well-dressed event attended by many of the dental industry’s leading names.
The judging panel was led by renowned dentist Dr David Houston and over 20 of the dental industry’s most experienced professionals.
The Dental Industry Awards were created in 2015 to acknowledge excellence in the UK dental industry and to reward progress, effort and enterprise across a number of different categories from marketing and PR, social media, events, teams and customer service.
The ‘Marketing Campaign of the Year’ award category was created for the company or brand who were judged to have used the most effective mix of marketing in its promotional work over the last year. Denplan were up against stiff competition in their award category from Implantium, Leca Dental Laboratory, Oasis and Stockdale Martin.
Jolian Howell, Head of Marketing at Denplan, said: “I am delighted that the Denplan marketing team has won this award and received the recognition that they deserve. Our ‘if’ campaign has demonstrated the thought leadership centred around NHS contract issues within the dental industry. We have used a wide mix of activity from trade press advertising, online banners, PR and social media, to seminars and research, and plan to continue developing the campaign throughout 2017.”
For more information on the if campaign, visit www.denplan.co.uk/if-nhs
Notes to Editors:
Denplan Limited is the UK’s leading dental payment plan specialist owned by Simplyhealth; with more than 6,500 member dentists nationwide caring for approximately 1.7 million Denplan registered patients. Established in 1986 by two dentists who pioneered the concept of dental payment plans, Denplan has been at the heart of dental care for nearly 30 years. Today, Denplan has a wide range of dental plans for adults and children, enabling patients to spread the cost of their private dental care through a fixed monthly fee. Denplan supports regular attendance and preventive care, reducing the need for clinical intervention and helping patients to maintain healthy teeth and gums for life. Patient enquiries telephone: 0800 401 402 Dentist enquiries telephone: 0800 328 3223. www.denplan.co.uk
· Denplan Care: all routine and restorative care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
· Denplan Essentials: routine care only + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
· Plans for Children: routine and other agreed care + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
· Membership Plan: registered with the dentist + worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover
· Hygiene Plan: A dental payment plan without dental insurance for all types of practice from NHS, mixed and private to support patients commit to a consistent hygiene programme.
· Denplan Emergency: worldwide dental injury and dental emergency cover only
· Corporate Dental Plans: company funded, voluntary and flexible benefit schemes
Denplan also provides a range of professional services for its member dentists and their practice teams, including the Denplan Quality Programme, Denplan Excel Accreditation Programme and Denplan Training. Plus regulatory advice, business and marketing consultancy services and networking opportunities.
With it being Masters week, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to use a golf analogy for my current blog!
Little Red Golf Book by Harvey Penick is one of the most influential golf instruction books of all time. The book has a number of short and quick messages for the reader to understand and digest easily which are centred around Harvey’s learning and observations after a lifetime in the golf world. A chapter that I have always remembered can be found on P.45 titled “Take Dead Aim”. Harvey says he tells his students to take dead aim, “Shut out all thoughts other than picking out a target and take dead aim at it.” As an avid golfer, it is a great piece of instruction which is simple and works! I believe it can actually be applied to all walks of life.
In all areas of business we are given targets or we are looking to reach target audiences and we usually need to focus our thoughts or energies on these targets.
Reaching a target audience is now the cornerstone of all successful marketing whether we are using social media, the adverts during Coronation Street or a professional network to get a message across. Whatever area we are looking to reach, we want to reach our target audience and if we can take “dead aim” it works even better.
Reaching work targets also shares similarities, as long as the targets are realistic, you have to take dead aim and focus on reaching those goals. Focussing on the small targets then leads to the bigger prize in the end.
In life we also need to identify our target and then aim for it. It is good to set specific goals and avoid the distractions. If we are distracted by too many goals or by short term projects and lesser opportunities, we will probably not achieve the important long-term goals that we should all set for ourselves
Are you taking dead aim?
What else does Harvey do so well to get his message across in this book that has sold millions of copies…… he always shares a story in each chapter! This makes the audience relate to the chapter and remember the piece of wisdom in the book. This shows the immense power of telling a story. That thought can be discussed another day :)
Further reading on Harvey can be found here -
Until recently, patient use of the internet involved the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, now Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become search engines in their own right. Competition for website surfers looking for information has therefore increased and consumers now have choices they did not have a few years ago. As the online arena becomes more flooded with commerce, buyers have the desire and ability to become familiar with a brand before they purchase. This is changing online buying behaviour and people are opting for two, three or four lead magnets before buying.
Traffic platforms are also changing and becoming overcrowded. Take Facebook as an example – previously you could send Facebook traffic to a squeeze page with just a headline and an opt in box, but now it is becoming increasingly strict with what kind of landing pages it allows traffic to be directed to.
This crowding of traffic has also caused people to become highly adept at ignoring advertising in all its forms – TV commercials are skipped and emails from unknown senders are left unopened. So although there are various options available to buy advertising, this alone is no longer an effective option for driving traffic to your website. Instead you have to earn traffic by creating valuable content that attracts visitors. Through the development of informative content, you can encourage leads to your site. Reports or webinars, for example, on the latest treatments and oral healthcare advice will engage patients and create interest. More importantly, this information will also allow you to develop a trusted relationship with individuals.
Building your content library one piece at a time is an ideal way to start, as this will ensure you have new and interesting topics for patients and potential patients to read and engage with regularly. These could include blog posts, videos, case studies, reports and webinars, and before you know it, you will have a substantial source of work that will help raise the profile of your practice and generate new leads.
Having a well-thought-out marketing system in place, such as AIM – Automated Intelligent Marketing – will then allow you to target the information to the correct patients successfully. Developed by 7connections, AIM utilises the lifecycle marketing concept to effectively target communication and create smarter lead management, resulting in enhanced lead conversion rates, increased sales and greater profits.
There are many ways to enhance traffic to your website, however just investing time and money on advertising without a clear and structured plan will result in a number of missed opportunities. Developing quality content and then marketing it through an effective proven system will ensure leads are created and converted and patients retained.
Alternatively, please visit the new website www.7connections.com.
 Romano, R., & Baum, N. (2015). The business side of developing a social media presence into your medical practice. The Complete Business Guide for a Successful Medial Practice, 239-248. Available online: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-11095-0_20 [Accessed 20th August 2015].
I saw this advert on Youtube the other day when it appeared before a Youtube video that I subscribe to. I was waiting to watch the latest Vlog from Casey Neistat, when this advert really caught my attention. It caught the attention because of one simple theme, a theme that has been used for centuries. The advert told a story, something humans have been doing for ever. Watch the story about LeeFest below. Further information about LeeFest can be found below the video.
Brands using storytelling is far from a new concept and obviously just telling a story doesn’t make you a fascinating brand but if a story is presented in the right way, it adds something different to what you are offering and makes you stand out from the crowd.
Thinking deeper about the LeeFest advert which as you have hopefully seen is actually for Android devices, I wasn't thinking I want an Android phone or I must get on Google but that the advert managed to catch my attention and pull me into a awesome story and that was why I liked it. Yes it makes my mind aware of the Android brand but I didn't feel like I was being sold to, I just got taken in by a simple tale and I think that is something we all get attracted by. Examples crop up in our everyday life all the time. This could be a Facebook post someone shares, an advert like I am sharing in this blog or a great story shared between friends down the pub (old skool!). The perfect example was from a few weeks ago when the John Lewis Xmas advert was released, it was eagerly anticipated and everyone quickly had an opinion on it. I am sure the advert has been shared an amazing amount over social networks. Read more here. The advert told a story, which got people talking and exchanging views, whether they liked the advert or not!
I have never followed anyone's vlogs before on a consistent basis until I started watching the earlier mentioned Casey Neistat on Youtube and I think the reason I have found them so enjoyable and addictive is because each vlog follows his daily life in NYC as a businessman and filmmaker and it always involves a story or an adventure. He has a fantastic ability to tell a story within a few minutes, with his unique personality shinning through. This skill to tell stories through Youtube has made his channel gain 1.5 million subscribers and has led to many opportunities that I am sure he uses to his advantage to improve his brand (which is him), as well as setting up the video based social network Beme, which also has the theme of storytelling as the main aim!
So what is our story? GDPUK was established in 1997 by Tony Jacobs when he realised that dentists in the USA were talking to each other over email on a regular basis but there was nothing similar in the UK. Tony wrote a letter to the BDJ to see if other like minded dentists wanted to network and discuss dentistry over email, he supplied his email address and colleagues started emailing him! As simple as that. GDPUK was born. These emails then evolved into a Yahoo mailing list which eventually carried text advertising and then in 2008 our current site was born and we haven’t looked back since. As we approach 9500 members and over 220,000 posts on our forum, we would like to think that we still have a community spirit and that all members feel part of something that has made a positive impact on UK Dentistry. Colleagues have been brought closer together and have made friends for life. Plus they get to help their fellow dentists and offer plenty of advice! The GDPUK story is still evolving and we can’t wait for what the next chapter will bring.
Do you or your brand have a story to tell? How can you get your message across in a different way that attracts the audience you are looking for? What story can you share with your potential or current clients?
Nearly 2 years later, this is still seems to be the case. One could argue it is more important than ever. In the recent eConsultancy Census, it was found that revenue from email marketing increased proportionately by 28% in 2014, and was ranked as the number 1 channel in terms of return on investment, with 68% of companies rating the channel as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
Email has become part of mobile marketing, it is estimated that mobile can account for up to 70% of all email opens. The banner ads or message on these emails still need to be clear and well positioned, although it’s not just the creative that is important, the sales funnel must also be fully mobile-optimised, with every page working so that they are mobile optimised and keep your customer engaged. A well designed landing page is still always an important part of the process.
We forget that with emails you are often reaching an audience that already knows you, if you have them on your list, they want to hear from you. Email requires a deeper level of engagement and trust. That is the reasons our daily digest emails remain popular. Our members are expecting them.
Therefore advertising on the GDPUK daily digest emails (sent 3 times a day) remains incredibly popular because so many people receive these daily emails to their inboxes and thousands of eyes look at the animated banners on the emails. We use these daily digest emails ourselves as an accidental marketing tool. What started as a way of communicating the latest posts on the forum to our members, has instead become a way for our members to be constantly engaged with the site and what is happening within UK dentistry. We know that not every member reads every thread or email but there is always a subject that appeals to a number of our members and that keeps our site busy and the banners receiving impressions. This means email remains incredibly important for GDPUK plus of course every big business that is online and looking for customers.
So two years after I wrote the blog piece linked above, email marketing remains an important tool for businesses of all sizes and needs to be treated as an integral part of your marketing plans, whether you are looking to reach dentists or members of the public for your practice.
We are all looking to generate leads and gain new customers, is email marketing still something you use to reach these goals or do you find other methods more effective? We look forward to hearing your thoughts, on what works for your business and what doesn’t.
Hope you enjoyed this follow up blog. Thanks!
In this weeks "digital dentistry" blog, we would like to look at comments we regularly encounter about gdpuk.com. We have provided answers to those statements in the blog below, that we believe will bust the myths about our site and change your perception of gdpuk.com.
"The same people use the forum"
We agree that a number of people post regularly (true of any successful community) but in 2013 we had 958 different contributors to our forum discussions and in 2014 we expect to have over 1000 different contributors from all over UK Dentistry. We believe that such a huge amount of expertise, information and opinion is unbelievable! This varied interaction makes the forum vibrant, controversial and inspirational, everything you want in a successful community.
"The forum contains arguments and negativity."
Yes the forum does contain arguments and disagreements but a bit of controversy keeps the community moving forward and our members logging onto the site! Overall, our threads receive positive feedback, encouragement or helpful information. The site is professional (helped by members using real names) so information can be shared plus opinion or outrage can be discussed in a secure environment (CQC, GDC etc). This helps to create a credible, thriving and growing community. The majority of our users find the site an incredible and positive medium.
"Dentists don’t go online."
We heard this comment recently at a dental exhibition from someone who shall remain anonymous. They believed that dentists prefer to read trade magazines and books and don’t use the internet. Dentists are no different to the rest of the UK population and use the internet to book holidays, buy clothes and interact on social media. GDPUK is a major part of thousands of dentist’s daily lives; we have thousands reading the daily digest email or forum on a daily basis. We believe dentists are using online dental websites on an increasing basis, especially because they can use social media to interact with each other on a regular basis. Using dental sites means that friendships can be formed with colleagues across the country.
"Banners on the site aren’t noticed"
We have just under 8000 members, a number we are extremely proud of. Our members are constantly logging in and out of the site all day long, often between patients or during lunch breaks. This means our banners often receive tens of thousands of impressions on a daily basis. At the start of December 2014, we started running a campaign for a company that helps practices with their CQC visits. As part of their advertising campaign they are running a survey on gdpuk. Link here. In the first 8 days , the survey has received 65 completed responses, which we believe is a fantastic response. The company have used a simple campaign of email and forum banners, which have received 126 clicks and just fewer than 54,000 impressions in 8 days. We believe that this is an amazing example of banners being noticed and with the right message, action being taken by our readers.
Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed this short blog. We hope you can look at GDPUK.com as a positive influence in UK Dentistry. If you would like further information on how to work with the site, please get in touch.
As we approach the final month of 2014, people start to wind down for the year and we all start looking at the year ahead. We focus on setting targets, goals, wishes and budgets for the year ahead.
Before you start looking too far into the future we thought we would let you know, that we have a small number of advertising opportunities on GDPUK in December.
Do you have a course you are looking to promote in early 2015?
A new product you have launched and you would like some extra promotion?
You may have December offers of your own that need a push?
Did you know?
December has always been one of the busiest months on gdpuk. Dentists constantly use the forum and share expertise throughout the holiday period, which even includes Christmas day for some!
We all have habits. We all do things in our own way, at the time we like and at a time that is convenient for ourselves.
Social Media has become a habit in many of our lives; we look at Facebook or Twitter in the morning or the same online news page. There is one major reason behind visiting these sites; you are looking to see what is new. You visit the same pages or social media sites because it has become a habit.
This habit formation I am talking about is extremely prevalent in online communities. Reading GDPUK is a habit to thousands of dentists every day, our members want to see what is new, how discussions have evolved or discuss a piece of dental news that has caught their eye.
Members of a community want to know what people like themselves are doing, thinking, using and reading. The site is constantly evolving and changing on an hourly basis because of the four actions listed above and that is what keeps people coming back. It is human nature to be attracted to the latest news and find out what your peers thinks about it. We can all think of examples of this, a story on Facebook, the latest football transfer gossip on the BBC sport website or a heated discussion on the GDPUK forum.
This is the amazing advantage of online communities and their constantly evolving nature. The GDPUK forum is an invaluable tool for dentists because as well as reading & learning like in traditional publications, users can also participate and share ideas. The site then becomes addictive and then of course a habit!
What are your habits? Has GDPUK become a daily habit for you? Do you have a daily social media habit?
Impressed by the numbers? Get in touch to find out how we can work together.
Advertising on GDPUK.com starts from £300 + vat
GDPUK Launches UK Dental Calendar
At the beginning of the year, we launched a new feature on the GDPUK Site. This feature is the “Dental Calendar”. The Dental Calendar will be a central area for everyone from the dental profession to know what is taking place in the world of UK Dentistry.
As long as you are signed into the site, anyone from the profession can add events, seminars, training and exhibitions to the Event List. We believe this is an exciting addition to the dental landscape. Firstly it is a great way of promoting an event and secondly it makes the profession aware of events taking place close to them or that there is a specific course taking place, that potentially they would not have been aware of. We hope it can become a really handy resource for the dental community.
How to use?
Once logged into the site, the dental calendar tab drops down to offer the option of “adding an event” as the image below demonstrates.
Once the tab is clicked you can then add the event by following the form, which is easy to use and should only take a matter of minutes. Pictures, the date and location are simple to enter. Once added the event is then added to the event list and can be viewed by the whole dental community.
Currently events can be shared on Twitter and Google plus, which means that you can publicise the event to the wider dental world.
Going forward we will also use the twitter handle of @DentalCalendar to publicise when something is added to the calendar. Please get following!
The calendar will take some time to become established and used widely. Once it is used regularly, we envisage the calendar being used in a number of ways.
To register for the largest dental community in the UK and full use of the calendar, please follow this link - https://www.gdpuk.com/forum/user/register
A survey on NHS Dentistry which was hosted by GDPUK was featured this morning on the ITV Daybreak breakfast programme.
This morning (16th January 2014) a survey that was run on the GDPUK forum for the ITV Daybreak Programme was featured as headline news. Link to the ITV news story can be found here and the GDPUK News story here.
Daybreak contacted GDPUK a few days ago and we were able to get the survey posted to the forum within a number of hours. The survey was run in response to the letter posted by Dr Tony Kilcoyne BDS in the Daily Telegraph a couple of weeks ago, on the “Big Lie”. Only NHS Dentists were able to complete the survey and 340 NHS Dentists, who are all GDPUK members, responded to the survey. This was an amazing response from the GDPUK community and shows firstly this topic is an area many dentists care deeply about and secondly how an online community make things happen on a short time span. Thirdly it also shows the large audience that GDPUK attracts, the thread announcing the survey has had nearly 900 views and 58 replies within a few days!
The debate and discussion of the state of NHS Dentistry still has a long way to go but we feel proud that we have been involved in the formation of the “Big Lie” letter and also running the survey that was then featured on National TV news this morning. Thanks to Dr Tony Kilcoyne BDS and also the whole GDPUK community who continue to contribute to the forum on a daily basis. We feel it is a great example of a small social media platform, utilising the power of the digital world.
The GDPUK forum is free to join for all dentists and members of the dental profession. Please register here
Video coverage of Tony Kilcoyne on the Daybreak couch can now be viewed here
After some number crunching over the holiday period we were proud to discover that in 2013, the GDPUK forum had 958 different contributors. The fact that just under a thousand different members of the dental community have “put their head above the parapet“ during the year on the forum pages is a fantastic sign of the growth of the forum and the number of subjects that provide discussion in UK Dentistry.
Moving into 2014, we now have thousands of members who are part of the community. With just under a thousand people posting last year, there were thousands on the sidelines who quietly read the posts. They represent the silent majority who we can see in every community, they are part of it, they enjoy it, but they don’t get involved. If you would like to join the GDPUK community, please follow this link. The forum is free to join for all members of the dental profession. You will find the forum is a fantastic resource for advice, opinion and information on UK Dentistry.
Overall in 2013, we averaged 3300 visits a day to the site, the equivalent of the number of people who visit a UK Dental Exhibition in a day. The difference is that we are getting those numbers every day of the year! The site continues to publish exclusive news and shape the agenda of UK Dentistry. For example, GDPUK was used as a sounding board to compose the letter that was recently published in the Daily Telegraph - http://bit.ly/JKkA3J
Thanks for everyone’s support and help in 2013, please continue to contribute, share and discuss all things dental. We look forward to an excellent 2014 for all and well over a thousand contributors to the GDPUK Forum!
If you would like to register for the site please follow this link - https://www.gdpuk.com/forum/user/register
To refer a colleague or friend to the site - https://www.gdpuk.com/more/refer-a-colleague-to-gdpuk
At the recent BDTA Showcase, we had some great meetings with potential advertisers. The GDPUK Team really enjoyed exhibiting at the show, it was a great experience, something we would like to repeat.
Last week, I sent a number of follow up emails after the Show and made phone calls. By the end of the busy week, I started thinking about why companies from the dental trade should advertise with GDPUK and why we should be part of their marketing plan. I have to admit, it is not a question I have thought enough about but over the weekend, I got my thinking cap on.
So this weekend, after my feet and body had recovered from Showcase, I started to think about the question in the subject line, below are 8 reasons that GDPUK can be used as an effective marketing tool, please feel free to add to them and hopefully we can get a feel for what we are doing well or not offering enough of! All feedback would be appreciated!
1. We have thousands of members using the site every day – GDPUK is the largest online community of dentists in the UK. Dentists proactively look for information on GDPUK to inform their decisions.
2. Target Audience – If you want Dentists as customers, we can prove that your target audience is using the GDPUK site every day
3. Helps your budget work harder when marketing to Dentists – Reach the dentists on their network at exactly the point when they are actively seeking advice / guidance to make an important decision for their practice or career.
4. Word of Mouth. The UK’s most influential dentists will talk about your brand on the forum – Create the right message on GDPUK and this will spread to other social media sites, creating improved awareness and recognition of your brand.
5. Benefit from our knowledge of the Dental Profession – We’ve been around for over 15 years, we understand how dentists think and react, this means we are well placed to support you with your aims and we can share our insight into the dental profession.
6. Marketing on the site can be done in a number of ways; introduce a new product, improve brand awareness, special "GDPUK" offers, data collection, sample requests, focus groups
7. Accountability. We give our partners, a full report on the number of clicks received every week, plus the number of impressions the ad receives. This is an effective way to see how the ad performs.
8. Adaptability. Unlike in the printed media, ads can be changed; partners can experiment with a number of messages over the period they have booked.
No matter what business or industry you’re in, if you deal with Dentists, then GDPUK has to be part of your marketing plan. Social Media is now part of the dental landscape and it’s important that you can get your message across and be part of the discussion.
Toothpick.com has recently been announced as one of this year’s entries in the Smarta Top 100 Business Awards. Launched in November 2012, the company has been acknowledged within the Top 10 ‘Most Innovative Businesses’ category.
In partnership with O2, The Smarta 100 Awards (http://www.smarta.com) aims to celebrate innovation and finds the best 100 businesses in the UK. This year’s entrepreneur judges of the Top 100 include Ben Dowd (Business Director, O2), Holly Tucket MBE (Co-Founder and CEO, Notonthehighstreet.com) and Piers Linney (Dragons’ Den and CEO, Outsourcery).
As the only dental-focused business to be included within this category, Toothpick.com has been recognised for strongly supporting the growth of dental practices within the UK with an aim to provide transparent access to patients with a live online booking system.
All the winners of Smarta 100 have been invited to the awards ceremony, taking place in central London mid-November. The overall Business of the Year and winner of the £10,000 grand prize will be announced on the night alongside the winners of each category.
To put online dental appointment booking on the map place your vote here http://www.smarta.com/smarta100/2013/toothpick/
Since starting as a mailing list in 1997, GDPUK has evolved into one of the major digital publishers of Dental content in the UK. With around 6000 members regularly using the dental forum, plus a range of dentals news and blogs constantly being published, I want to look at the advantages of digital publishing, why we enjoy it so much and how the UK Dental profession is benefitting.
As written in a previous blog, we have all become addicted to the latest news and information. As I write this blog, the football transfer deadline is looming with fans hoping their team will sign players or hold on to players. Fans follow the transfers on social media, through TV and on their phones either reading mobile sites or communicating with their friends. News is constant and moves at a quicker pace than ever before and dentistry is no different. GDPUK often publishes content in a matter of minutes, like yesterdays exclusive UK Graduate news. Publishing everything online means we have no print deadlines and can publish articles within a few minutes.
A unique advantage of digital publishing is that you can constantly produce content. We do this through the news, blogs and forum. The forum has over 500 different contributors a month, which means that a range of opinions are expressed throughout the day and some fantastic, well informed debates take place. We have a number of bloggers as well, who write dental focused content for the site and this produces insightful, humorous and thought provoking blogs for the site. We also constantly publish dental news, with a number of exclusives pieces of news a year. This means that the content on the site is consistently evolving and staying fresh.
GDPUK members’ interacting with each other is the lifeblood of the forum. Members enjoy engaging with each other on a regular basis, sometimes giving useful information, sometimes being critical, sometimes being provocative but all this interaction creates a sense of community. Members who read but do not post (lurkers) still get the feeling of being part of the community and read the posts on the forum with interest. Dentists are gaining information, insight, advice and education from the forum; we believe the ever increasing interaction between the members is great for the dentists and the profession.
As a digital platform the site can be accessed from anywhere. August a traditional holiday month in the UK was the busiest month in the history of the site, with our members accessing the forum from all corners of the world on a range of mediums. The eagerly awaited GDPUK app is nearly close to completion and this will give further accessibility to dentists who are looking for regular dental news & opinion on a tablet device. We believe that the site has become a central part of our member’s daily lives; they will check general news, social media and then GDPUK. This can be confirmed by a recent GDC report on Standards with the paragraph reading as follows on social media, “Social media covers a number of internet based tools which allow people to create and exchange content. It includes blogs, internet forums, content communities and social networking sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn, GDPUK, Instagram and Pinterest.” This small sentence from the GDC is a great example of how information is being accessed, 24 hours a day an this is certainly something the dental profession is embracing. Interacting with colleagues, suppliers and customers now happens through a number of mediums.
Numbers Show Interest
At GDPUK we are known for reciting stats and we pride ourselves on offering up to date numbers on how often the site is being used. We prefer to focus on unique visitors and number of visitors because they are seen as a great indicator of traffic to a website and that the content is interesting. The last 8 months has seen a huge rise in these numbers. Each unique visitor in the month is from a single IP address, the total visits in August show that each visitor makes an average of more than 4 visits per month, at an average greater than 4,000 per day. These stats show GDPUK has further cemented its place in the UK Dentistry landscape. We offer a unique place to receive news, information and opinion on the constantly changing world of UK Dentistry. The table below shows that the site has seen some great growth and we appreciate everyone’s support from the dental community. Keep spreading the word and we will continue to grow the resource and community together.
As you can probably tell the GDPUK team is passionate about digital publishing and embracing the advantages I have listed above. Digital publishing is still evolving and that is why it is exciting to be part of. In the last few weeks we have improved the site further with a new modern template, plus introducing fresher advertising banners that give greater exposure to our advertising partners. As mentioned earlier in this blog we also hope to introduce a GDPUK App which further enhances our digital publishing pedigree.
How has digital publishing helped your dental business or dental practice? Maybe you do a regular blog or email newsletter? Do you agree that it has helped dentistry? I would love to hear your thoughts and how you see dental publishing evolving?
As I have mentioned in my previous digital dentistry blogs, online marketing is a growing industry, with companies investing in a number of different digital formats: Search, Video, Rich Media, Social Media, Mobile and Display. One of the areas that digital marketers still spend their advertising budget in is Email Marketing. Email Marketing sounds like it is old fashioned but if done correctly it is still well and truly alive!
Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. Email marketing in dentistry terms is used in a number of ways. Companies will email current or previous customers to encourage brand loyalty and hopefully win or repeat business. Companies will also send emails in the hope of acquiring new customers. The third way is companies will add advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers. Recent research has suggested that conservative estimates of US companies alone spent US $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011 and will grow to $2.468 billion by 2016. Amazingly still a growing market.
We now need to look at how email marketing can be used in terms of the dental profession whether you have a new product that you would like dentists to look at, or you would like to attract more patients to your practice. Below are 4 A* reasons (in celebration of exam results) we can still use email marketing to benefit your business and hopefully it will give you some inspiration to revisit your email marketing campaign!
After I hit the snooze button for the third time at about 7:30am, I reach for my phone half awake and peruse my emails. We all love to check our emails and unlike other mediums, virtually everyone uses email. Many of us will check email first thing and see what emails we could have been sent in the 7 and a half hours since we last checked! Recent studies have suggested that reading emails consumes 28% of the average workers week and we each send or receive over 112 emails a day! Those stats suggest we keep a close eye on our email inbox. We all have accounts on social media and many of us also check them with regularity but one thing we all have in common is that we all check the email inbox constantly. This means that if you are looking to promote a new product or service, you need to be in your customers email inbox. Email should therefore not be ignored.
Auto-responders can easily be set up, which allows you to write and schedule a series of emails that will be sent at regular intervals to any potential customers. They immediately provide information to your prospective customers and then will follow up over a set period. This means that over an example 6 month period you have sent a number of emails and engaged with your customers. Mail Chimp and other email marketing companies offer an auto responder service, which is easy to setup and simple to put in practice. Patients could be sent regular special offers for example over a set period.
3. Accountability and Value
An exact return on investment (ROI) can be tracked because you will know how many people have received the email, how many people have opened and what the click rate to your message is. This gives you wonderful accountability and value for money. You will also get results instantly. For example with GDPUK when companies advertise in our daily emails or on the website we provide full stats for our customers once a week and even more if they request it. This means that the customer can see what kind of return they are receiving from their digital campaign, with the opportunity to change the banner or message as the campaign progresses.
After we build up a decent list of contacts, prospects and customers, sometimes we can then be cautious with the list. In my previous employment we very rarely sent out email campaigns because we were afraid of appearing too spammy or aggressive but I believe that was a mistake. Please don’t take this advice and send out hundreds of emails a month but if you have something to say or announce, make sure your email list knows about it. (your competitors will be doing the same) There is nothing wrong with sharing information and showing you are doing a good job or can offer excellent value, you want to stay in front of your customer’s eyes as well as plant your brand in the customers mind! Email marketing needs to be constant, well thought out and engaging.
So how can we use email marketing in dentistry?
At GDPUK we keep our members engaged on the site by sending daily digest emails, 3 times a day. This sounds like a lot but these emails all contain different content and contain the latest dental news and the most recent forum posts of the day. This gives our members a chance to check their email inboxes and then click on subjects that interest them. The emails are certainly popular because in an average month they get opened and read 130,000 times. These emails also contain banner ads, which often get excellent click through rates for our customers because our members want to read the emails and the advertisers are reaching a target audience of engaged dentists.
In a dental practice you could send special offers to your patients or an interesting newsletter every few weeks. It means you are proactively communicating with your existing and potential patients instead of hoping they will call or walk in. This will hopefully increase business and develop further patient loyalty. If you send a good offer for “teeth whitening” for example, you could also invite your patients to forward the email offer to their friends or colleagues who might have interest in the offer. So once organised, a few minutes of work every couple of weeks will hopefully fill an empty one or two appointment spaces in the practice!
Over the next few years, video will become an integral part of dental marketing. Video attracts and holds customer attention and can contribute to a huge range of marketing ideas whether you are looking to attract new customers or engage current ones.
When we venture online, we are now seeing adverts that are similar to TV ads with the same quality and spend but they are appearing on the computer screen. Some evidence found here suggests that in June 2013, 183 million Americans watched more than 44 billion online content videos and more than 20 billion video advertisements. That is a lot of hours spent watching video! Video content has become increasingly important; in the last year alone over 38 million people watched video on their mobile phones. DG, one of the largest digital ad agencies in the world, point out that in-stream video advertising represents a huge opportunity for advertisers. It is believed that over 200 billion videos are viewed online every month worldwide. DG’s, recent survey results show that click through rate of video ads is on average nearly 2000% more than standard banners. This data suggests that video could be an extremely effective way to drive people to your website, increase traffic levels and ultimately convert sales!
Video ads often get included under the rich media umbrella. The term rich media was coined to describe a broad range of digital interactive media. Rich media can be downloaded but nowadays it is more likely to be embedded within a web page. Rich media is advertising that contains perceptual or interactive elements more elaborate than the usual banner ad. Today, the term is often used for banner ads with popup menus or videos that let the visitor select a particular page to link to on the advertiser's site.
Below is a video about the rise of rich media and its increasing importance in online advertising.
How can video benefit your dental business?
Below are 6 benefits of embracing rich media and online video. These can all be applied to the dental industry.
1. Show off your expertise
A video or interactive banner ad can be a fantastic way of showing the world what you know, this then builds credibility with potential customers. This means there has to be a focus on quality content and a well thought out video or advertising campaign.
2. Make your customers the stars of the video
Colgate and Aquafresh often do this on TV adverts using dentists to endorse their toothpaste but a genuinely satisfied customer is even better, so where possible put customers in the spotlight and let them do the talking about how your product or service has been fantastic or a life saver. This then produces interactive testimonials that show customer satisfaction.
3. Video becomes part of your overall advertising campaign
The majority of dental companies will have campaigns over multiple mediums. For example, a handpiece manufacturer is promoting their new ultra modern hand piece. They are likely to launch the new handpiece at a trade show, advertise the product in dental magazines and dental websites plus have their rep take it around dental practices, either to existing customers or even potential new customers. As part of this campaign the dental company could also produce a short video that will show how the handpiece works, what the benefits are and maybe some dentists talking about how excellent and easy it is to use. Video could be an exciting addition to a company’s advertising campaign.
4. Impact on Social Media
The video can be shared across social media, so as well as having it available on a website as an online ad, you can also share the video with your followers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Twitter. Pinterest for example is no longer just images it is now moving past the static images it was originally known for. Sharing of videos within the dental community get people talking and sharing. Video adverts account for 31% of all videos views, if your ad is interesting or different, it will get shared on social media.
5. Measures Time
With TV we never know how long people are watching TV ads or how long they listen on the radio but with rich media we are able to measure how long the consumer is looking at the advert or content. It is estimated that consumers are 25% more likely to click on a rich media banner than a normal static banner.
6. Create an engaging story
Create an engaging story, once the consumer is engaged and clicks on the rich media ad or video they want to learn more and like to see the outcome of the story. Increase interest and intrigue in your brand, consumers will start to remember the ad and reports suggest that branded searches will increase threefold. Below is a good example to a link of a dental company promoting a new product and I personally think they have used video brilliantly. What do you think?
So how could video work for the dental profession?
So we have seen the benefits but how could we use video? Video could be introduced in a number of areas of the digital dental world. You could put video on your practice website (many people already have this), introduce your product or brand on your company website through a quick video or instead of playing safe with a printed advert or online banner, why not invest in something a bit more innovative or imaginative and try the online video ad like the example we have viewed above. I am sure there are already many possibilities you have envisaged of how video could be used in dentistry, please share them below, we would love to hear your ideas.
People far wiser than myself; tell me with a hint of frustration that the Dental Industry has historically always been a few years behind what is happening in other professions & industries. I believe this applies when looking at the dental industry in relation to advertising & marketing to dentists, their customers.
Online Marketing is about attracting your target market to you by making sure you’re on the platforms that your prospects are using to search for their wants and needs. Online marketing has been increasingly taking a prominent role in businesses that realise the older-fashioned; more established methods such as cold calling, direct mail and print advertising were becoming less and less effective.
Traditional advertising power houses have seen their print advertising revenues decline over the past few years, with huge investment & growth taking place in their online versions. One great example of this is the Daily Mail. Even with its traditional, conservative reputation, The Daily Mail has seen huge revenue decline over the last few years in relation to their print advertising. In the meantime the Mail online website has become a huge draw for advertisers because of its 6.6 million unique visitors a day, which makes it the largest newspaper website ahead of The New York Times and The Guardian. Through a combination of comprehensive news, sports and showbiz reporting, the Daily Mail have embraced online publishing and of course the revenue possibilities.
Over the last few years, we know consumers are making the majority of their purchases online but now this also incorporates industries and professions.
So where am I going with all this? Let’s have a look at the profession we all care about; The Dental Profession. Historically, companies would put special offers or promotional material in trade magazines and expect a response and some return on investment but at GDPUK we know and can see this is changing. The printed magazines are no longer being opened and read like they once were, in my humble opinion they are often left in a heap in the corner of the dental practice. Dentists are looking online for their information, plus they love to share their knowledge with each other. One of the places this is done on an increasingly regular basis is the GDPUK Forum.
GDPUK has been established since 1997 and has evolved into the largest online community for dentists and dental professionals in the UK with approx 6000 members signed up to the site. The site is not open to the public, which means that the GDPUK Forum has become a form of social media for the dental community, where dentists discuss what materials or equipment they use, advise each other on surgical procedures, have lively discussions on the future of UK Dentistry and most importantly feel like they are in a secure environment that provides support and expertise.
Like other online publications, GDPUK has seen huge growth over the last the least few years, while 2013 has been exceptional. The below graphic shows the surge in unique visitors and number of visits in a month since Jan 2013, one we are very proud of. The image illustrates that dentists are using the site day in and day out, they have understood that joining an online community like GDPUK offers a place where they can learn, receive the latest dental news and opinion, take part in the discussions, gather information and form long lasting friendships.
GDPUK Server Statistics August 2013.
Membership of the site is free and we look to earn revenue from companies who want to embrace a terrific target audience of dentists. GDPUK offers a number of advertising opportunities on the site. These range from publishing articles in our blog section to a full marketing campaign that can be spread over a number of months. Our clients can try a number of marketing ideas and see what results and ROI online marketing brings them. This is the huge advantage online marketing brings, results are totally transparent and with weekly reporting our clients know when campaigns are successful or need tweaking. Over the years we have seen that marketing on our site has increased numbers at trade shows, improved brand awareness and has been instrumental in the promotion of new products or services which have entered the dental market. As I wrote earlier, “Online Marketing is about attracting your target market to you by making sure you’re on the platforms that your prospects are using to search for their wants and needs”. As you can see from the stats above, GDPUK is one of those platforms.
So I am posing a number of questions that I would love to be discussed.
Should you still be throwing money at traditional advertising streams? Should companies be embracing online only? Would you rather focus marketing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Are we still at the point where companies like to mix their budgets all around the industry and see benefits in all mediums? At GDPUK towers we are obviously firm & passionate believers in the online platform and can see signs the dental community is moving closer to embracing the social media and marketing world but what do you think? I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.