Dental Marketing Trends for 2022
What’s on the horizon to help boost new patient enquiries?
It’s that time of year when we predict the new marketing trends we expect to feature in 2022 and how dentists can leverage on them to help grow patient enquiries. To be clear, these aren’t techniques which will replace the core ‘essentials’ such as SEO and paid ads, but techniques which can be useful to complement or extend them.
We’ve identified five areas where we are seeing good potential and where we’ll be working with our clients next year to generate even more patient interest.
It’s been accepted for some time that video is an exceptional tool to help engagement and boost dental patient enquiries. The old adage “a picture paints a thousand words” is well-known and this extends much further when video is introduced into the mix.
Those practices which go the extra mile to differentiate themselves have been leveraging the power of video for some time now, but where we see “short-form” video introduced, that power can be extended into other niches, not just the practice website.
For example short video clips used on social media are extremely powerful, as are clips introduced into your ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. The returns we see from this type of format typically exceed static images by some way.
So if you can see an opportunity to introduce short-form video into your marketing campaigns, we think you’ll be pleased with the results. Please get in touch with use to see how our video editing team can build a great set of videos for you to achieve just this.
The move away from generic to personalised content will continue apace as business strive to make themselves more relevant than their local competitors. We’ll see even more patient “stories” on websites which will cascade out to social media. Much of this will be supported by the short clips of video we’ve discussed above.
Data will be a key part of this as ads particularly, are tailored to the most appropriate demographic. So expect to see even greater attempts to gather and use user’s data, despite the initiatives by the likes of Apple to curtail some of this on their devices.
Authentic, inclusive advertising
The last couple of years have seen a huge increase in pay-per-click ads, particularly for treatments such as dental implants and Invisalign clear aligners. This has nearly reached the point of saturation and there are an awful lot of cheesy, generic ads out there trying to lure potential new patient into seeking out those treatments.
Those types of ads are all well and good but those who don’t wish to sink into the mire of mediocrity will need to up their game to stay relevant and to stand out. Authenticity will be key as will inclusivity, so it’s time to get your thinking caps on and stop your marketing partner re-using those cheesy ads that they roll out for every other dental campaign!
We covered the evolution of chatbots in our article here and they continue to go from strength to strength. Lots of dental websites now have a chatbot installed and we know from our own performance data that the results are very encouraging. With free one-month trials now available, it doesn’t take much to trial your own chatbot – please get in touch for our own recommendations and how to proceed.
Customer content to drive engagement and SEO
It’s quite time-consuming to generate your own promotional content and broadcast this via the various channels which exist to help make your business visible. It’s also quite hard to make this type of content authentic and appealing and as we’ve seen before, relying on a marketing agency can mean you end up with the same generic material as your competitor just across town – ultimately no-one really wins except the marketing company.
Much more powerful is what is known as “user generated content” (UGC). UGC is any type of content produce by a customer or advocate of a business rather than by the business itself, for example on social media. It is extremely powerful in that it:
- Inspires business (brand) loyalty
- Builds trust
- Can be very cost-effective
- Peripheral benefits e.g. SEO
It is a very effective third-party validation of your business and services and very powerful indeed.
No-one is going to claim that successful use of UGC is easy; it isn’t and you will need help. However, once the ball is rolling, momentum builds and the success can be self-sustaining. Please call our team for more advice.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence
Whilst this might sound a little bit “space age” and unobtainable you’d probably be wrong to think that. There are already a number of applications used in the digital workflow of dentists, from the AI assisted reporting in tools like SmileMate to the scanning technologies used in the application of orthodontics and for the creation of restorations.
Tools like this are becoming more commonplace and help patients to see how their smile will appear after treatment as well as assisting the dentist during the actual treatment process. Expect to see new applications introduced as we progress into the New Year ahead.
Preparing at the practice
There is an understandable urge to grab hold of all sorts of new technologies to help grow a dental business, but caution is needed. Many are the stories where a dentist has invested in something new for fear of missing out, only to come away several months down the track disappointed.
You need to research each of the options closely and seek guidance and examples before jumping in. It’s just the same as I would do if I was seeking a provider of complex dental treatment.
If you need help or would simply like to chat through the best ways to market your own practice in the year ahead, please speak to the team at Dental Media on 01332 672548 for up-to-date advice.