The hidden benefits of digital marketing

Build & consolidate your local business presence – digitally!

Facebook logoQuantifying pay back on digital marketing spend is clearly very important. Without the correct metrics in place, it is impossible to validate the effects of a campaign and then optimise it to ensure that it performs appropriately as time passes.

As we’ve highlighted elsewhere on our blog, there tends to be a lack of this type of performance measurement and tracking of services offered by many dental marketing companies; indeed the best you can expect in many cases is an automated report from Google Analytics and little else to give you confidence that all is working as expected. Often this lack of transparency is deliberate and done to mask the fact that the marketing being done is completely ineffective.

However, it doesn’t have to be like this! Please take a look here to see how the team at Dental Media demonstrates the success of digital marketing campaigns and what we build into all of our client programmes. If you need for more information about this, simply call us or if you prefer, take a look through the various articles in our blog. We’ll be delighted to help.

But what about the less obvious benefits of digital marketing?

Having established that clear reporting is essential and that campaigns must deliver bona fide new patient enquiries, it’s also pertinent to highlight the other “hidden” benefits of such campaigns when they are done well.

These types of benefits are quite difficult to quantify in that they are not absolute. So not like a website contact form enquiry or telephone call which we can measure. The type of benefit I’m referencing here is “brand exposure” i.e. ensuring that your practice is seen and remembered by the local population, even if they aren’t immediately ready to undertake treatments with you.

A good case in point is advertising on Facebook – of course you want the direct enquiries which come from targeted campaigns, but you also benefit mid and longer term when your business details appear in thousands of potential new patients timelines on an ongoing basis. You need to avoid spamming them as this is very off-putting, but periodic appearance will ensure your business is “top of mind” when they are finally ready to purchase.

You also have to keep in mind that your web savvy competitors are almost certainly already using tools like Facebook, so there is also the element of not getting left behind!

Local brand awareness

Perhaps understandably, and at least on face value, many dentists struggle to see the benefit of this as they just want hard data representing actual enquiries. However, the less quantifiable, albeit very positive collateral known as “brand awareness”, is also very important. Here’s how it can work for example with a Facebook advertising campaign.

Using the Facebook channel, specific advertising can be targeted to select groups of individuals; for example certain demographics who are potentially considering dental implants or others who could have teeth straightening near the top of their agenda. Alternatively you can target wider audiences, for example those who are simply wanting quality family dentistry or perhaps cosmetic makeovers for their smiles.

Carefully constructed ads including your practice branding, enticing text and often with an attractive offer, can be delivered to users timelines progressively. Some will take the option of contacting you immediately, whereas others may see your ad several times before they get in touch. However, some will not get in touch until months or potentially years later and in a lot of cases, not as a direct response to seeing your advert at a particular point in time. What has often happened in these cases is that previous exposure to your ads, possibly in conjunction with hearing about your business via word-of-mouth, has stimulated them to contact you.

This type of “slow-burn” brand exposure is similar to what you’d try to achieve with the advertising bill boards of old, except the “reach” via digital channels is much wider and more cost-effective too.

Wrapping up

Whilst a top priority for any marketing campaign has to be measuring performance and achieving fast, high-quality new patient enquiries, there are other significant albeit less quantifiable benefits too. Perhaps the most important aspect is building brand presence over time as you expose your potential client base to a range of engaging ads to pique their interest. Remember that the majority of people won’t contact you when they first see your ad and it may take weeks, months or even years for them to decide. Chances are, if they’ve seen your ads and are aware of your brand, then you are likely to be in the mix when it comes to them eventually making an enquiry.

Are you interested to know more about the benefits of digital marketing, for example using Facebook to gain quick new patient enquiries and build local brand awareness over the longer term? If so, then please get in touch with the web team at Dental Media on 01332 672548.