Why it’s time for dentists to embrace digital marketing

As competition continues to increase, here’s how to stay ahead

clicking on mouseUndeniably, it is now harder than ever before to get new patients into your practice, and with competition continuing to rise, this is only set to become even harder.

The days of new patients simply walking in and keeping dentist’s appointment books full are long gone other than in a few very fortunate circumstances. So now you have to do a fair bit more work to keep the practice busy and growing.

This is the case not just for new dentists starting out and looking to build their businesses, but also for more established practices looking to make up for churn and also to gain new business across a range of treatments.

Whilst there is some suspicion regarding digital marketing within the dental community, borne out of too many “cowboy” services failing to deliver; when done well the benefits can be exceptional.

Today we’ll take a look at four key aspects of digital marketing and why it is a compelling way to help keep new enquiries flowing.

Visibility

Traditionally dental practices relied on advertisement in the local paper and leaflet drops to promote their presence in the community and to some degree, these mechanisms still have a place. However, the reach of Google, Facebook, Instagram and the like is way broader and a prominent presence on all of the main marketing channels is essential to get your brand noticed. Indeed, people expect modern businesses to have an active professional presence across the web and social media. Most of the time, this is where they will be looking for your services, even if it’s simply cross-checking a word-of-mouth recommendation they received.

Targetability

Whilst you can cast a very wide net using the web and social media, you can also target it very accurately too. So if you want your dental implants ad to appear only to a specific age group and in a certain location, then you can. You can even “re-market” your ads so they get shown to people who have already visited your website for example. So you really can define your intended audience quite accurately which in turn leads to better success rates.

Measurability

As with all investments, you’ll want to measure the results and more specifically the return-on-investment. Whilst this is quite difficult to achieve with traditional marketing mechanisms, the data-collection and reporting tools available for digital marketing are accurate and excellent. Indeed much of what you need is actually free to use courtesy of Google and Facebook.

A diligent digital marketer will collate the pertinent information from these systems into a user-friendly report which will allow business owners to check progress at-a-glance.

Profitability

Ultimately this is the key metric – are you actually making a profit from your digital marketing initiatives or not? As I alluded to in the opening paragraphs, there are quite a lot of dentists who have tried and failed, but typically this is as a result of two keys mistakes – either “DIY” marketing or using a “dodgy” agency which is just in it to line their own pockets. Unfortunately there are lots of examples of this.

However, there are also lots of examples where digital marketing, done well, absolutely transforms the fortunes of a dental practice and where the return hugely exceeds the investment. Those “savvy” dentists who have identified the correct formula and have a good agency working on their behalf, never really look back and move on to explore and exploit all of the online marketing channels at their disposal. Not everything works all of the time of course, but the accessibility and immediate feedback from these channels, allow you to experiment until you hit the correct balance. This does take some time and investment, but it’s well worth it.

Seek out the right expertise

It is important to get help when you are navigating the digital marketing world and it’s easy to get it wrong and waste money. The specialists at Dental Media have a long and proven track record and are on hand to help – simply call us on 01332 672548 to get your own project underway today.