How does your dental care attract most of its new patients? Do you usually rely on traditional methods such as advertising on the yellow pages or on the radio? If you have not yet adapted to digital marketing, the future growth of your dental care, perhaps even its continued health as a company – will be affected.
Digital marketing for dentists is not just about reaching a larger audience – it is also about delivering the right message for each person. No other marketing method allows you to target specific customers and customer segments; and if you know who you are reaching, you can deliver a more effective message.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of digital marketing for dentists and learn more about why it is necessary for the continued success of your dental practice.
Digital marketing provides faster returns than traditional marketing
If your dental care has a healthy marketing budget, it is wise to reach potential patients across as many channels as possible. Traditional advertising channels such as radio, TV and local newspapers increase awareness of your clinic among the people in your community. The problem with offline advertising, however, is that it may not have an immediate positive effect on the revenue of your dental clinic. You pay to reach thousands of people, but only a few of them are actually looking for a dentist right now. Your investment is primarily aimed at increasing brand awareness rather than serving new patients.
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In the most common form of digital marketing – search engine advertising – you pay to reach just one person at a time. You offer specific search phrases – “dentist in Gothenburg,” for example – that you know a person searching for a clinic like yours would use. Not only do you target people with a high probability of becoming new patients, but you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Compared to traditional offline advertising, digital marketing has a much more immediate effect on your internship revenue generation.
Digital marketing reaches patients when relevant
Offline advertising: No targeting, little relevance.
A significant disadvantage of traditional advertising is that you can not customize the message for the audience. For example, when advertising on the radio, you reach the following:
- People who are not patients and who are not currently looking for a dentist
- People who are not patients yet but are looking for dentists
- People who are already your regular patients
- People who are regular patients at other dentists
- Former patients who have not visited your clinic in a while
Different types of customers have different needs, but offline advertising does not allow you to change your message based on the person who hears or sees it. With offline advertising, every member of the audience gets the same message; and for some, the message will not be relevant.
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Digital marketing: Specific focus, maximum interest
A well-organized digital marketing campaign allows you to target a potential, current or former patient with the perfect message, at the perfect time and across the ideal channel. These are just a few examples of what you can do over the most common digital marketing channels:
- You can use pay-per-click advertising in search engines and business directories to reach potential patients who are actively searching for dentists in your area
- You can use display advertising to increase awareness of your practice among people who visit local news sites
- You can use social media marketing to share useful tips on dental health and stay on the cutting edge of patients’ thoughts
- You can use social media and email marketing to tell patients about your new services and remind them to come in for regular checkups
- You can use marketing automation to generate reminder messages for patients who have not visited your practice in a long time
Because digital marketing allows you to target different messages to different people, your messages will usually be relevant to the people who see them – and relevance helps ensure the best possible response rate .
Digital marketing helps you capture and manage leads
When we return to our hypothetical radio ad above, there is another audience segment that we have not discussed: people who are interested in receiving dental care services but who have not yet started looking for a dentist.
Right now, there are people in your area who are considering getting their teeth whiter or straighter. There are people who wear dentures but may want permanent implants. There are people who want to know if they should be worried about their temporary toothache. Many of them are searching online for answers to their questions, but they are only researching right now. They are not ready to plan meetings
You can use targeted website content to reach people searching online for general dental information. A guide that explains how your teeth whitening works can e.g. Receive traffic from people seeking information on how teeth whitening works or how much it costs. You can also reach these people with search engine advertising . The problem, however, is that it makes little sense to pay for a visitor to a website that is very unlikely to plan a meeting right away – if you can not register the person’s contact information and use it in your future marketing work.
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This is how online lead generation works
Suppose you publish an article on teeth whitening on your website. Someone searches online for information on what teeth whitening services usually cost in your city and ends up on your website. Your article answers the visitors’ questions, so he is happy with his visit and has a positive first impression of your clinic – but he is not ready to plan a meeting yet.
Now assume that your article has a form that provides a significant discount on the first teeth whitening session for a new patient. Alternatively, you can offer a 25-page e-book that describes the pros and cons of the most popular types of teeth whitening. Since your article answered the visitor’s questions, he would probably like to receive additional information or a discount . Your form can deliver the reward directly in exchange for the visitor ‘s email address – and when you register an email address, you generate a new lead .
Basic Email Marketing
Once you have the website visitor’s email address, you have an open line of communication that you can use to keep that person interested in receiving dental care services – and make sure your clinic is the one he calls when he’s ready to schedule an appointment. Basic email marketing is a very effective way to achieve these goals.
With basic email marketing, you store all of your customers’ email addresses in a single email list. When you send a message, every member of your list receives it. Because you send the same message to each subscriber, basic email marketing works best if you limit your content to messages that contain general dental advice and information about your clinic’s services and campaigns. Your leads choose to stay on your list as long as they find your messages useful.
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Automated email marketing
Earlier in the article, we discussed the fact that traditional marketing is weak compared to digital marketing for dentists because offline advertising does not give you the ability to customize the message for the audience. Basic email marketing has the same type of weakness – which is why there is automated email marketing .
With marketing automation, you write a series of messages – for a specific audience – in advance. Your marketing automation platform sends the messages automatically – at intervals you specify – when a website visitor meets a condition such as filling out a form.
Suppose you wanted to create an automated marketing campaign that would start when a website visitor downloads your e-book on teeth whitening. The campaign can work something like this:
- The day after the visitor downloads the e-book, the campaign can send a message with some testimonials with before and after photos from your previous teeth whitening customers.
- One week later, the campaign can send a message that relieves the potential customer’s anxiety by explaining that teeth whitening is quick and painless. The message may further explain that residual tooth sensitivity tends to resolve quickly.
- After another week, the campaign may send a message describing the technique you use to whiten your teeth and explain why it is the most advanced system available at any local dental clinic.
- After another week, the campaign can send a message that gives the potential customer a 50 percent discount if he books an appointment immediately.
- If the patient still has not taken action after two months, the campaign may send a message giving the potential customer a single free teeth whitening.
- If the patient has not responded by the end of the campaign, the marketing automation platform may move the email address to your main mailing list for further “napping” attempts.
In each step of the campaign, you can include a link to your website and a call to action that asks the potential customer to fill out a form and book an appointment. You can also configure the campaign to stop sending messages to a person after completing the form.
The best thing about marketing automation is that once you have created a so-called ” marketing funnel “, you do not have to interact with it again. Your website creates new leads and your marketing automation platform nurtures leads for you. You only need to take action when a lead submits a form to book a meeting.
Ready to get started?
Digital marketing for dentists can lead to rapid growth for a surprisingly reasonable cost . However, you are very busy and building a successful marketing funnel requires time that you probably do not have. We can help you. Napollo is the leading provider of digital services for dentists .