tab32 thanks TheeDigital for the insights on this post.
Whether you’re opening your own dental practice, wanting to bring in new clients, or offering new services, your ability to meet your goals is dependent on whether you can get leads. This is where having a strong digital marketing strategy is key to success.
Why digital? Let’s look at some numbers:
- US consumers spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television1.
- Inbound digital marketing costs over 60 percent less per lead than traditional marketing2.
- 86 percent of patients choose a dentist using online reviews3.
In order to succeed, it’s vital to understand the importance of digital marketing for dental offices. To help you with this and to help you get a strategy in place, we’re sharing an in-depth look at what you need to know.
Understanding Digital Marketing for Dentists
Digital marketing refers to being in the online spaces where your audience is when they need you. For example, if someone wants teeth whitening in your city, and they find your dental office at the top of the Google search results or they see a sponsored post on Instagram advertising the service, those are both types of digital, or online marketing.
For a better understanding, let’s look at the different streams of digital marketing for dental offices.
Your website is a 24/7 marketing tool that provides prospective patients with valuable information about your dental practice. While they may arrive on your website because of a search engine result or a sponsored post, your website is where they get the information they’re looking for and choose your dental practice for the care they need.
Your website also gives you a space that allows you to provide educational resources so you can stand out as an authority and support your other digital marketing strategies. This includes writing blog posts, offering an ebook or whitepaper about dental health, having a photo gallery, or video content. These features attract prospective patients looking for information to your site, then, once there, they can navigate to booking an appointment.
Having an easy-to-use, easy-to-navigate website that has the information both existing and new patients are looking for is the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy for your dental practice
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of making improvements to your website in
order for it to rank higher in search engine results for specific keywords. The higher your ranking in search engine result pages, the more visibility you have, which leads to more organic (or free) traffic to your website.
How do we know high ranking is important? Studies continually show that 95 percent of people choose a result from the first page of Google results4.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing allows you to promote your brand across social media channels to boost visibility through shares, increase your following, and of course, get leads. There are several platforms available, each with millions of users across the United States, including:
Trying to navigate and build a following on seven platforms is nearly impossible, but you can choose two or three to leverage and grow your following. Facebook has the widest audience and is a good option for local marketing. However, Instagram can be an excellent platform for showcasing your results or working with a local content creator.
While social media can enhance your digital presence, it’s important to only post engaging, authentic content that’s valuable to your target audience. Otherwise, you could lose credibility.
Email marketing allows you to connect directly with your patients and subscribers, sending important information directly to their inbox. While most people associate email marketing with retail stores advertising a sale, dental offices can leverage email by sharing the following information:
- Blog newsletters about dental health
- Asking for reviews about their recent visits
- New patient welcome emails
- New services available (like a new type of veneer)
- Promotions for cosmetic dentistry
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to share information, especially since you already have a connection with your audience.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Pay per click (PPC) or paid search advertising is a more targeted method of digital marketing for dental offices. Using Google Ads, you pay for ad slots on search engine result pages as well as in high-profile spots on high-traffic websites. When a user searches for one of your selected keywords and your ad shows up, you only pay for this if the user clicks on it, hence the term pay-per-click advertising.
Social media platforms also offer PPC advertising for dentists that allow you to create a text post, image post, infographic, or video and share it to an audience you build based on chosen demographics and location. Not only will these reach your targeted audience, but they can also be shared, building engagement and visibility far wider than an organic post may. Best of all, like Google Ads, you only pay when someone clicks on the post to go to your website or landing page.
Pay per click advertising tends to offer one of the best returns on your investment as the clicks to your website are more likely to turn into qualified leads, especially if the website provides the experience and information the user is looking for.
Online Reputation Management and Reviews
Online patient reviews play another important role in digital marketing for dental offices. Not only do they increase visibility by being on websites like Yelp or Healthgrades, but they attract prospective patients seeking a dentist who they can trust to provide excellent care. The more reviews a dentist has, the more social proof there is that someone can look at and set proper expectations.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing for Dental Offices
Now that you have a better grasp of the streams of digital marketing, let’s look at how digital and traditional marketing methods differ and which one is more effective for dental practices and healthcare providers.
Traditional marketing refers to any kind of offline advertising, including:
- Radio and television commercials
- Yellow Pages listings
- Print ads in local newspapers
- Sponsoring an event
These all have one thing in common - they are designed to cast as broad a net as possible over an available population. There is no targeting the message toward a specific audience, and there’s no waiting until the audience needs the advertiser, thus, the advertiser has to hope the audience remembers their information when a service is needed.
For example, you’re sending out mailers advertising that you’re offering a deal on braces. If you send out 10,000 mailers, how many homes will people have teenagers who may need braces? How many people will remember your mailer if their child does need braces?
You’re investing a great deal of money to hopefully connect and stick in the mind of a few households, and there’s no accurate way of measuring how effective the marketing campaign was.
Digital marketing is basically the opposite of traditional marketing. Not only is it online, rather than in other mediums, more importantly, you have an opportunity to focus your efforts only on your target audience of people most in need of your services. Plus, your message is there when it’s needed, particularly in the case of SEO and your dental website.
Other benefits of online marketing include:
- Improved return on investment because you’re attracting prospective patients to your practice and maintaining engagement rather than using passive methods.
- Improved methods of measurability as you can easily track the volume of people visiting your website, how they landed there (social media, Google, etc), and the pages they visited.
- Easy to change and adapt before you’ve sunk a lot of resources into the strategy. If you quickly see something isn’t working, you can pivot away from it.
The greatest benefit to digital marketing for dental offices is that you get a better quality of leads because you’re able to connect with the exact type of patients you want to work with, whether that’s people in a specific age range, income bracket, or zip code.
Let TheeDigital Assist Your Dental Practice with Digital Marketing
TheeDigital specializes in web design and digital marketing for dental offices nationwide. With our services, our clients see tremendous returns on their investment, and dramatic increases in both visibility and leads. To learn more about our services or to get a free website audit, reach out to our team today by calling 919-887-6122 or filling out our form.
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