Let’s talk for a minute about how your dental practice is attracting new patients. What are you currently doing to bring people through your door? For example, are you counting on your website to do all the work for you or do you maybe post to social media once in a while, but don’t put in too much effort to receive what you feel are mediocre results?
Or, maybe you’re more of a traditionalist that prefers “old school” marketing methods like print and radio advertisements. Our next question is how happy are you with the results? Today, dental practices aren’t just in competition with the office down the street. Customers are mobile, and they often don’t have a problem traveling across town or even into the next town over to visit a practice they know they can trust with their dental health.
A more competitive market requires a different approach to marketing. We’d like to introduce you to digital marketing and show you why a holistic strategy is absolutely essential for dental practices today.
Why Traditional Marketing Methods Aren’t Effective
The way people searched for a new dentist a few years back is completely different than how they search for them today. It used to be word of mouth and the Yellow Pages were their primary tools. The internet has made it so that this is no longer the case.
That print ad you paid to have put in the local newspaper? Patients aren’t seeing it because they’re reading their news online. The television ad on the local station? That’s getting ignore too because patients are streaming shows through their personal devices. The world of marketing just isn’t the same that it used it be, and now’s the time to adapt.
Digital marketing helps dental practices meet their potential new patients where they can be found – online. Almost everybody in the United States has access to the internet. Be it through a home service, their smartphone or even the local library or coffee shop down the street. There are very few barriers for someone being able to find you online, except the ones you put up yourself.
Benefits of Digital Marketing for Dental Practice
Digital marketing helps break down those barriers with a holistic approach that includes search engine optimization, inbound marketing strategies, lead generation, website design and more – all formulated specifically with the growth of your dental practice in mind. Here’s how.
Narrowing the Audience
Traditional forms of advertising, like direct mail and print ads, can put your practice in front of an incredibly large audience. If you send out 10,000 postcards you know exactly how many households you reached, but what does that really mean?
Out of those 10,000 households, how many were in need of dental services or interested in changing providers. Even for the ones that might be interested, did you reach them at exactly the right time or did your post card make its way into the drunk drawer? The problem with strategies like this is that they’re simply too broad. When you’re in the business of providing a specific service, it’s crucial that you reach the right audience at the right time. Digital marketing can help you accomplish this.
For example, your digital marketing efforts and budget can be targeted specifically to patients who are looking for a new dentist or are interested in a specific procedure. A digital approach to outreach and lead generation help to bring these patients through your door.
Establishing Trust and Authority
Let’s not avoid the elephant in the room. There are a lot of people that have a very real fear or strong dislike of going to the dentist. This makes earning their trust a challenge. Through digital marketing that includes an inbound marketing strategy and quality content, you can help establish trust and make the experience seem less intimidating.
Think about it. A dental practice that has a strong presence on social media, complete with positive reviews and loads of content that shows dentistry is nothing to be afraid of is going to put minds at ease. On the other hand, if the only digital presence you have is a website that’s not optimized to promote your value and experience, this does nothing to alleviate their fears. A huge part of digital marketing is understanding who your market is, what motivates them and discovering how to build a relationship with them before they even make their first appointment.
Another issue with traditional marketing methods is that they’re insanely difficult to track. You don’t’ have endless resources, so knowing what works and what doesn’t is important. This goes beyond just looking at lead generation and revenue. Digital marketing can also provide insights that help you grow your practice by identifying your market’s needs.
For example, say you sent out an email to your newsletter subscribers about a new, emerging technology. Maybe it was a service you were thinking about adding, but you were still on the fence. Through your email campaign, you generated huge interest with patients inquiring about if or when it would be available. Digital strategies can provide significantly more insight than traditional marketing is capable of.
The quality and functionality of your dental website is critical to your success. Patients have come to the point where they depend on being able to find information on your website and even make appointments or keep track of their own medical records. Accomplishing all of this while focusing on web design that builds visibility in the digital world is a tall order for a web developer that isn’t skilled in the nuances of SEO.
When Richmond Dental came to us, this was exactly what they needed. Their website was solid enough, but it lacked important features like value filled custom content and product management. We approached the challenge with a combination of SEO optimization and inbound marketing methodology to produce a website that meets their individual marketing challenges while meeting the unique needs of their target audience.
Digital Marketing for Dental Practices
Are you ready to push the envelope and grow your dental practice? We’re here to help. We’re a full service digital marketing agency that can unveil the true growth potential of your dental practice. Contact Knowmad today to discover more.
William McKee is a founding partner of Knowmad. As a Web architect & Internet business consultant, he is passionate about applying business knowledge & technical expertise to deliver solutions that advance business online. With over 15 years of Web experience, his current work involves designing strategies and creating processes to help business attract, engage and convert website visitors into customers.