Dental practice marketing in 2021 is a lot different from dental marketing of, say, ten years ago. Back then, it was probably sufficient to have a solid dental website and add to it with blogs from time to time.
Nowadays, the landscape has changed; competition is fierce, and customers are far more online savvy. Besides, 85% of all dental practices now have a dental website, so you need to stand out from the crowd.
One way to do this is to utilise online and offline dental marketing tactics, but of course, it can be a significant investment. So, to get a return on your investment, your marketing exploits needs to be effective. With this in mind, here are seven top tips to ensure that you get the very best out of your dental practice marketing.
#1 – Don’t be reactionary
Understandably people are turned by the next shiny thing. It can be tempting to throw money at the next big dental marketing strategy, especially if your existing plan isn’t yielding the results you might expect.
If you haven’t done your research, you could be investing money into something that you won’t see a return on at all.
Remember, not all dental marketing plans are the same, and they may not meet the unique demands of dental practices and their core patient base.
Instead, it might be more cost-effective to see why your existing marketing isn’t working and what you can do to change it.
#2 – Understand your marketing avenues
In dental practice marketing, there are, in effect, three avenues of marketing – each one can yield excellent results. However, they have varying costs of entry, conversion rates and ultimately, returns on investment. They are:
Believe it or not, Old fashioned dental marketing still works in 2021. Methods such as magazine advertising, flyers and postcards can yield outstanding results fast as it puts itself front and centre into the hands and eyes of the customer. The disadvantages are that it can be expensive to produce, and as a scattershot method, you aren’t always guaranteed to get it in front of the right target audience.
Online (digital) marketing
The majority of dental practices tend to go down the online route. The good thing about digital marketing is that it’s permission-based. People you advertise to have used your services in the past or have previously shown an interest in the type of treatments you provide.
In terms of cost, some aspects of digital marketing can be free, particularly when utilising content marketing strategies like blogging and guest posting. However, while effective, adding a steady stream of blogs to a dental website and writing articles can be time-consuming and take months to yield results.
Conversely, online ads can achieve results quicker, but you need to know what you are doing. If ad spend is not controlled, for example, online advertising can prove costly.
Word of mouth marketing
Perhaps the best form of dental practice marketing is still word of mouth. Referrals work in all industries, and dentistry is no exception. 90% of people believe recommendations from friends and colleagues, and in Australia, 38% of people discovered new brands through word of mouth. Moreover, it’s still the most effective form of dental marketing resulting in 5 times more sales than paid ads.
Disadvantages can be that this form of dental marketing works the slowest and takes time to refine, but it typically delivers quality long-term and loyal patients.
#3 – Be realistic
A secret to good dental marketing is to be realistic about your budget and time constraints. While your dental practice is busy serving patients, how much time can you devote to marketing, campaign tracking and in-depth analysis?
With this in mind, a portion of your dental marketing budget may need to go towards hiring a marketeer who can do this for you.
#4 – Know the value of a new patient
Do you know how much a new patient might be worth to you in terms of cold hard cash? What proportion of your dental practice’s annual revenue was attributed to new patients?
Look at which patients are worth more than your average patient. Look at their current spending and where they spend it. What about referrals? Who or what brings in the most patients?
Once you know these things, you can incorporate incentives into your dental practice marketing and use them to your great advantage.
#5 – Stop comparing apples to oranges
Dental practices across the country are very different. Some are dental groups with multiple clinics, while others operate single practices in rural communities. None is any less important than the other, especially for the patients who use them. However, advertising budgets are probably vastly different.
For this reason, it’s important not to make direct comparisons with them as they are different entities.
Instead, focus on improving your metrics month on month. Remember, the only practice you need to beat is your own.
#6 – Test, track and modify
Many dental practices fail to adopt the basic principles of “test, track and modify” when marketing. They will either skip the testing phase, forget to follow results promptly, or fail to change their marketing based on the above.
This is a recipe for disaster, and an excellent way to eat through your advertising spend quicker than you can imagine. How do you know something is working if you have no gauge of success?
Instead, the best forms of dental practice marketing have measured goals, are analysed regularly and modified when needed.
#7 – Make marketing a team effort
The best form of marketing for dental practices works when everyone is on board with it. Get your team to understand your marketing goals and give them a role in your success. When teams within dental practices pull together, great things can happen. So be sure to get everyone involved.
So there you have it, all you need to know about successful dental marketing.
If you want to find out more about marketing for dental practices, talk to the experts at Mediboost. We’re Australia’s #1 medical marketing agency, and we can help you increase your patient footfall using proven strategies that work.
Book your consultation or call us on 1300 163 058 today.