Digital marketing in the dental industry requires a certain understanding of the industry and practical knowledge of what it takes to make your business more marketable. It is essential to understand the difference between advertising campaigns and general marketing for dentistry. When you are seeking to market your services, it encompasses all the intricate interactions on a daily basis with customers.
It requires the smallest attention to detail because how your practice runs will affect the overall marketing. For instance, if someone is on the phone with a customer and isn’t very informative about a certain dental procedure, then this would be considered poor marketing.
You should always strive for continuity and pay attention to the details like how the waiting room looks and if they are well-accommodated. You want to give your patients the best care from start to finish with an exuberant smile!
The Basics of Dental Marketing
Dental marketing doesn’t have to be a daunting task, and you are probably marketing to people even if you didn’t know it (by being kind and courteous.) This helps strengthen your brand and creates a sense of well-being during any given customer interaction. The first obvious approach to marketing that any business should be well-acquainted with is developing a website. Many lack the skills to accomplish this effectively with the proper tools which are why outsourcing might be a good idea.
Secondly, you want to be well-versed in social media because otherwise, you’re missing out on a tremendously strong customer base where there are multiple opportunities to catch customer attention. You need a Google maps presence and should have a comprehensive listing that has all the important information about your business.
There are many cogs in the clock of modern marketing, and you need to discern what functionality each of them has for your business. There may be times when you’re confused about certain aspects of social media, but that shouldn’t stop you from establishing your online presence with professional help.
How Marketing Has Evolved
It is important to understand that the market has evolved considerably over the past few years. This is because of the explosion of technology that has opened the door for multiple possibilities on the marketing scene. Because of this, most tend to lean towards dipping into everything for a well-rounded marketing portfolio.
Needless to say, much of your efforts towards successful marketing and growth will come from the online market. However, you can take a targeted approach to the general population in any given area to get more business at a physical establishment. There are so many facets of this process, and it is hard to keep track of them over time.
Your brand awareness will increase if you take the proper steps, and this will also aid in revenue. The market has shifted towards a heavy emphasis on using technology, and this includes all the big social media sites and also utilising SEO, so your search rankings are higher. You want to drive as much traffic to your website as possible if that’s your central hub for booking dental appointments.
With the internet, you can more effectively market and find new customers, but you have to conduct your campaign on multiple platforms and remain consistent for the best results!
Elements of Modern Dental Marketing
All of the components of digital marketing tend to play off each other and achieve the common goal of getting your business well established with security and increased profit.
There are quite a few components that go into making a robust dental marketing strategy:
A Website With All Your Information
If your practice doesn’t have a website, does it really exist? Some might think so since 75% of consumers say they judge a company’s credibility based on the website design. You need a website so you can adequately display your content, provide information on your services to the public, and send the right signals to search engines for SEO purposes.
Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Having a fully functional website means you can also reap the benefits of local SEO. If optimized properly, local SEO can help increase the chances of your website popping up when people type in the search ‘dentist’ + (your location).
Social Media Presence
Creating and maintaining social media pages for your practice, especially a Facebook page, can help your practice stay in touch with all previous, current, and potential patients. With a proper dental Facebook page, you’ll have the opportunity to answer any and all questions through the Messenger feature, which comes as a big bonus for patients looking at different practices.
You can also give your patients a quick and easy way to review your practice, which can help others who are struggling to find a new dentist make a better decision.
It should be noted that social media is the perfect place to show the human side of your office. If your practice gets together for a festive occasion or has a fun costume party, you can share the pictures on social media sites, which can help your patients relate with your staff and feel closer to them, improving trust.
A great way to display your expertise and authority in the field is by creating and sharing quality content on your practice’s site. This is an essential part of SEO and will definitely help your site rank higher on search engines like Google. Content marketing, when done right, can also lead to better organic traffic growth, which helps reduce your spending on paid campaigns.
Google My Business Listing
If you want to be found by the people in your locality, you absolutely need a Google My Business (GMB) listing. When you make a GMB listing, you’re making sure your practice’s contact information like address, phone number, and other details are accurate, up to date, and readily available. A GMB listing is also another easy way to leave reviews for your practice. When people look online for dentists in their area, your practice and your competitors will show up along with the Google rating, which makes this an important must-have element.
The Benefits of Digital Dental Marketing
The first obvious important benefit of dental marketing is that you will see increased revenue. That is very exciting at first, but over time you realise that it is much more about driving profit. It is certainly important to make sales and get the proper business to keep your head above water and thrive in a competitive market.
Digital dental marketing can help make your brand and practice unique from the competition. There are easily more than 19,000 registered dentists in Australia, so establishing a name for your practice is very important when capturing an audience.
Build Stronger Relationships
Using content marketing, like writing blog posts, articles, and social media, you can build strong and meaningful relationships with patients and even potential patients by creating content that can answer their questions.
You can also reply to questions and concerns, humanize your practice and spread brand awareness even more with social media platforms. This is also a great way to prove your expertise in the field, providing you with more credibility and boosting your chances of people picking your practice over others.
New Ways To Grow Your Practice
Digital dental marketing can be the key to creating many new opportunities for new growth for your practice.
If you consistently and regularly post original and insightful content, you will be seen as an expert in your field. This can lead to an influx of new patients but can also lead to speaking engagements, which is a great way to spread the word about your practice.
What’s the Difference Between Dental Advertising & Marketing?
In a nutshell, marketing is far more complex and subtle than Dental Advertising because there are many facets at play here that influence your practice. Certainly, Dental advertising has its place of importance in the professional world. It helps to draw people to your business and spread overall awareness of the professional services you offer.
Dentistry Marketing goes much deeper though and benefits your practice in more dramatic ways. It will effectively turn your existing new patients into returning regulars who place their trust and confidence in you. Marketing in this area is about creating an image in the mind of customers regarding your brand. You seek to transcend the other brands and stand out with excellence.
Dental Advertising & Marketing Trends
In both dental marketing and dental advertising, there are numerous trends that are shaping the future of the industry.
Social Media Plays a Bigger Role
Social media plays a large role in modern dental practice marketing, but there are many analysts who predict it will play an even bigger role in the future. This is partly due to younger generations reaching the age where they are searching for dentists independently. As the younger generations become more social media savvy, ensuring your dental practice is active and effective on social media is essential to bringing in new patients.
Use of Video Marketing
Although creating original videos can be time-consuming and expensive, many digital marketing experts believe that video content marketing will continue to grow in the upcoming years. This is mainly due to the fact that internet users spend around 16 hours of online video per week, which is a 52% increase in the last two years.
As video marketing grows, the types of video content will continue to grow as well. There will be other types of videos apart from the general promotional videos, like “meet the staff” videos, informational videos on certain conditions, and smile reveal videos, where a dentist can have a before and after video and capture the reaction of the patient who received the treatment. Just like content marketing, the videos have to be able to market your business successfully while displaying your expertise and the amazing people behind your practice.
Marketing Funnels & Landing Pages
The use of marketing funnels to increase conversions in dental advertising campaigns has skyrocketed in recent years. With the cost of advertising increasing each year, funnels have provided a way for practices to generate more enquiries at lower advertising spend by simplifying the process and achieving micro-conversions prior to presenting the final call to action.
Interactive Content Will Become Commonplace
Nowadays, there are practices that offer tools and pieces of interactive content like quizzes, polls and surveys, and even pop-ups. Dental practices can also take advantage of interactive content like multi-click media where patients get to see a 360-degree image or video. and point out which can help visitors determine potential causes for their pain. Interactive content can help users determine the potential causes of their pain or get recommendations on their diet.
Dental Advertising Ideas
While the aforementioned strategies are primarily focused on organic marketing, you should not forget how useful paid advertising can be for your dental marketing plan. With paid advertising, you can cut out the competition and place yourself in front of potential patients’ eyes immediately.
Placing your dental advertisements in the local community newsletter is a great way to reach local potential patients while establishing your presence in the area. When you sponsor community events and associate your brand with local publications, you will raise awareness and position your practice as a community-minded practice. You need to be able to balance advertisement costs with circulation numbers and proximity.
The Google Paid Search is an amazing way to target highly specific and broad search terms. While organic marketing efforts can get your site to the top of the search results, effectively using paid search advertising guarantees that anyone in your local area searching for your service will see your practice and be able to connect to your site.
Facebook & Instagram Ads
Paid social ads are different from paid search in many ways, although both work by displaying ads to your audience. While paid search works in tandem with search queries, Facebook ads work by targeting fixed audiences with specific online behaviour. A great way to look at Facebook ads is to assume they are advertisements in community publications with more audience targeting.
Another great thing about Facebook ads is they allow you to specifically target genders to conserve ad expenses and increase the likelihood of conversion. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80% of healthcare decisions are made by women, so optimising your ads for women would prove to be more effective.
Database reactivation is about utilising the untapped lists of past and current patients that you have stored away on your practice management software. The idea is for you to reactivate past patients by advertising your services, reminding them of their oral health responsibilities, with email marketing campaigns. Furthermore, you can also reactivate current patients with email campaigns by promoting feel-good treatments to your database.
Direct Mail: Dental Postcards & Brochures
Direct mail still has a place in the dental industry. Dental newsletters, brochures, and postcards can be an effective way to acquire new patients, especially those who are not internet savvy or do not own smartphones. Direct mail can be expensive but its conversion rate will likely offset the costs. Usually, there isn’t any immediate ROI but it still proves to be an effective dental advertising tactic, even for new practices.
Reputation marketing is when the brand’s reputation is vetted online in real-time by visitors who leave online reviews and cite their experiences on social networking platforms. In other words, reputation marketing encourages positive content from third parties, such as online reviews, social media posts from consumers, and even before-and-after videos to improve your online reputation.
If a potential customer reaches your website and sees a video of someone with bad dental hygiene turn their life around after visiting the dental practice, the potential customer would be more likely to trust your practice and drop by for a visit. Positive reviews on your website left by satisfied customers can also act as advertising for your brand. 89% of consumers around the world make the effort to check reviews before buying products or services.
People will eventually start to take notice of your dental practice if you properly apply the basics of dental marketing to your business. It is definitely a challenge to maintain over time and it is easy to get too comfortable. If there are small details that would hinder progression, then do your best to adjust the strategy. It is very critical that you take the marketing of your business seriously and there might be points you need to work on.
If you have trouble with certain creative qualities of your business, then consider hiring a designer to provide you with a perfect website so your services are accessible. There is no shame in hiring someone to conduct a job that you know will be professional no matter what. Your dental practice deserves the best, so always keep that in mind when analysing the smaller details. Make sure your online presence is strong and it will pay dividends!