Are you struggling to reach your new patient goals every month for your dental practice?
We all know dentistry is competitive, but acquiring new patients at the lowest cost is vital to your dental practice growth and its financials.
Whether you are a new dental practice struggling to get off the ground and grow revenue, or an established practice looking to sell your practice in the near future – online marketing can help grow new patients and help to maximize the value of your practice when you decide to sell it.
We know it is hard for you to stand out from the pack of local dentists all offering similar dental services. However, there is a path to success.
A well-designed dental Internet marketing campaign is still the single most effective marketing tactic to grow your practice (more on why in a just a bit). Many of our dentistry clients spend their entire marketing budget in online marketing skipping any traditional marketing tactics altogether.
Why A Web Marketing Strategy for Dentists, You Ask?
New Patient Customer Behavior – your future new dental patients are all online. Online dental marketing is the most effective advertising to attract new patient leads.
It is an oft-cited statistic that people check their phones 150 times per day and spend 3 hours or more on their phones. Those are crazy numbers – you have to be where your customers are, and that is online.
We consume media on four screens that are all connected to the Internet (i.e. desktop, phone, tablets, TV).
When people need information, they go online for the answers. Google refers to this as micro-moments – that instance when someone has an immediate need, such as a toothache, and goes immediately to his or her phone or desktop to search for a local dentist that can help them.
Alternatively, perhaps they are looking for video answers to their dental issue – they go to YouTube and search. The options new patients have to find information online are many.
The penetration of smartphones has given any time access of information to people wherever they are and whenever they want it.
Be where your new patients are – online!
Also, the cost per lead of a customer acquired through digital marketing tactics is a fraction of the cost of acquiring that same customer through traditional marketing.
Why Not Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is wasteful and inefficient!
For example, consider a postcard campaign introducing your dental services that you decide to send to homes around the neighborhoods closest to your location. There’s almost no segmentation or pre-qualification – this is pure carpet bombing. Nearly all of those postcards will go right into the trash. Your only is hope that your postcard and its message finds your target customer.
The cost per new dental patient in this scenario can cost hundreds of dollars and more for just one new patient (I know because I’ve tracked these results).
Dental Internet Marketing Provides Lowest Cost Per New Patient
Now compare the traditional marketing process to the effectiveness of web marketing for dentists.
A typical online scenario for a new patient:
Someone goes to Google to search for a local dentist nearby to deal with a toothache. Just the fact that the person went to Google and typed in a search means they are a pre-qualified lead since they had to type in your services – we know they are interested. Now all we need to do is get them to your website and convert them.
There are two general digital marketing tactics within Google to capture people searching:
Organic search marketing for your dental practice requires a well thought out content marketing that revolves around the questions and queries your customers have and then ties into your practice areas on your website.
Without content, Google has nothing to serve to potential new patients when they search. For example, if you offer All-On-Four dental implants but you only have one generic page on your site that talks about dental implants with no page discussing the All-On-Four process, Google is not going to show your practice for those queries. Click here for more on dental SEO.
Social Media Scenario:
We know Facebook is the largest social platform on the web. Marketing to new patients here can be highly effective.
Example: you specialize in Pediatric Dentistry and want to grow your new patient families that have kids.
Facebook can be a highly effective advertising platform to reach potential new customers. Why?
Because the targeting that is available in Facebook’s ad platform is unbelievable. While the postcard example was carpet bombing, Facebook paid social ads are the antithesis.
With Facebook ads, we can find all the households within 3 miles of your practice that have children and can even segment by the ages of those children. Then we can layer on other demographics to pre-qualify for income, such as household income or whether the person is a homeowner or renter. The options are almost endless. (more in-depth posts here on why you should advertise your business on Facebook, why you shouldn’t spend on Facebook fans, and using Facebook for PR).
How Much Is Digital Marketing Going To Cost?
This is one of the most frequent questions we receive from our clients – how much should I spend?
The answer all starts with understanding your dental practice goals for new patients. If you want 50 new patients per month, we can back into the cost and effort by understanding several factors:
- The cost to acquire the traffic
- Your website’s conversion rate
- Your conversion rate once you get a lead
Knowing these variables allows us to not only develop a reasonable budget based on marketing data but also enables us to set expectations for ongoing campaigns.
In theory, the formula for online marketing of your dental practice is simple:
- Acquire qualified traffic through paid search or social ads and/or organic search optimization and content marketing (SEO)
- And then convert that traffic to a lead once on your website
Conversion optimization is half the battle.
It does not matter how much you spend on Internet advertising, content marketing or SEO, if your site is poorly designed for conversion you will not realize as much success as you could have.
Profitable Internet marketing for dental practices requires a holistic approach that integrates efforts across online marketing channels while taking into consideration your practice’s budget constraints.
At 39 Celsius we have years of dentistry marketing experience covering all areas including cosmetic (veneers, crowns, Lumineers, orthodontics), sedation (oral and sleep sedation), implants (single, All-On-Four, Snap-On Smile), general dentistry, pediatric, and more. We are also a Google Certified Partner.
Are you struggling with your dental Internet marketing campaigns? Contact us today for a free consultation.