Dental marketing facts to guide your dental marketing strategy
The way consumers seek out and choose a dentist has changed dramatically over the last decade — especially since the pandemic. As patients return to regularly scheduled dental care, they are using the Internet to find a new dentist.
About 90% of people use a search engine such as Google to find healthcare providers, including dentists. Being a friendly neighborhood dentist or relying on patient referrals is no longer enough.
If you want to attract new patients and grow your dental practice, use the following dental marketing tips to guide your digital marketing strategy.
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What is online dental marketing?
Online dental marketing (also referred to as digital marketing) is the combined use of several marketing channels, such as:
- A search engine-optimized (SEO) website
- Social media marketing
- Email campaigns
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Online reputation management
Together, these online marketing channels will create awareness about your dental practice. Think of them as a way to communicate with potential patients where they are — on the Internet.
Why is online dental marketing important?
You might wonder why you need online marketing when you already have attractive pamphlets and run regular ads on the local radio.
The reality is that there are 4.9 billion global internet users, and that number is steadily growing. If that many people worldwide use the Internet to search for information, you can bet people in your local area are using it to find a reputable dentist.
With a digital marketing strategy that uses the dental marketing facts in this article, you’ll remain competitive in a digitally driven world.
The great thing about online marketing is that you can get creative. And thanks to free marketing channels like social media and low-cost advertising such as Facebook Ads, you can find new patients without breaking the bank.
What marketing tools are used in dentistry?
The marketing tools and tactics used in the dental industry are very similar to any service-based business since the goal is to find new patients or clients.
Depending on your objectives, you can use the following marketing tools to create a marketing plan to bring new patients into your dental office.
1. User-friendly website
Google uses several criteria to rank businesses online. One of them is a responsive, user-friendly website. Google (and other search engines) want their visitors to have a positive online experience. This means Google will do its best to hide websites that aren’t user-friendly and show ones that are.
What makes a website user-friendly?
It’s easy to navigate. Dental patients who visit your website should be able to find the information they need quickly. Structure the navigation in a way that flows and makes sense. Refrain from offering too much information, as you may overwhelm visitors. And do regular audits to ensure you don’t have dead links or 404 error pages.
Adding a Web Chat. 44% of website users say a live web chat is the most valuable tool on any site. Adding one to your website will help make it more user-friendly, as prospective patients can ask questions in real-time. Check out how easy it is to install Web Chat from Broadly.
It’s mobile-friendly. Over 50% of online searches are done on a mobile device. And considering 85% of American adults own a smartphone, one thing you can count on is prospective patients researching a new dentist from their mobile phone.
It’s accessible to everyone. Consider things like a consistent layout with simple text that’s easy to translate with talk-to-speech. Use high-contrast colors that make it easier for people with visual impairment and include alt-text on images. These are subtle considerations that can make your dental website more accessible to everyone.
The design is uncluttered and easy to scan. There’s nothing worse than landing on a website that’s cluttered and difficult to scan. Use headlines, white space and professional images to keep it clean and aesthetically pleasing.
If you need to check if your dental website is user-friendly, Broadly builds high-quality websites with your dental practice in mind.
2. Email marketing
Email marketing is a way to communicate with current patients and build relationships with prospective patients.
The emails you send can include the following:
- Promoting a new dental service you now offer
- Educating readers on oral health care
- Sharing news about your clinic, like a new dentist joining the team
If you need help figuring out where to get started with email campaigns, Broadly can help with everything from customizable templates for a monthly newsletter to targeted seasonal promotions designed to re-engage current patients.
3. Social media
Posting on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok offers you a chance to widen your reach. And since 97% of the population thinks dentists need a social media presence, it’s a must.
Social media is a way to actively engage with current patients and build relationships with new patients by sharing educational materials, patient testimonials and before-and-after photos.
Take advantage of this valuable and free opportunity to drive traffic to your website and generate leads for your dental practice.
4. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
PPC advertising is an affordable way to drive traffic to your dental website — you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It’s also an excellent way to get your website on page one of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The two most common places to run PPC ads are Facebook and Google. On both channels, you can set up target audiences, bid on keywords that potential patients might use to search for a dentist and get creative with your ads.
5. Content marketing
Content marketing is creating and distributing content to build brand awareness and find new dental patients. It should be part of your marketing plan to improve organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
It’s a long-term marketing tactic, but the payoff is huge when done consistently. Types of content marketing that can help your dental practice improve its online presence include:
- Social media posts
The more content you create for your dental practice, the better chance it will show up in a Google search.
6. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is when you take keywords or key phrases that someone might use to look up a dentist and sprinkle them throughout your website and blogs.
For example, someone might do a local search for “best dentist in Chicago” or “dentist who’s good with children.” Using popular dental search terms throughout your website, blogs and even social media posts will help people find your content.
You can take it further and turn a popular search term into an entire blog post. The blog should answer questions your patients might have, like, “what to do about old fillings,” and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) to reach out to your dental office to learn more.
7. Reputation management strategy
More than 40% of Americans select a dentist based on the number of positive online reviews they have. This means testimonials from happy patients on third-party review sites, including Google, Facebook and Yelp are essential for attracting new patients.
To improve your online reputation, try the following:
- Ask current patients to leave a review on your Google Business Profile or Facebook Business Page.
- Take the time to reply to all positive and negative reviews
- Include testimonials on your website
If asking patients to leave reviews sounds overwhelming, try using a reputation management software like Broadly. It can automate the process, so it doesn’t feel like you’re chasing patients to leave reviews or spending time logged into Google and Facebook.
What are the benefits of digital marketing in dentistry?
Digital marketing is central to running a business in today’s digital world. People are online, and if you want your dental practice to thrive, you must also be online.
Three benefits of digital marketing in dentistry include:
- It’s affordable: Offline marketing, like a direct mail campaign, can be costly. It’s much easier to manage your budget online and take advantage of free social media and blogging channels.
- You can target people already looking for a dentist: With digital marketing, you can target internet users who are explicitly searching for topics in the dental industry.
- Digital marketing data is easy to track: It’s almost impossible to accurately measure the return on investment (ROI) with offline marketing. Whereas digital marketing makes it easy to see exactly where traffic and clicks originate from so you can gauge your marketing efforts.
Streamline your dental marketing and reputation management with Broadly
Designing an effective internet marketing plan for your dental practice can feel daunting. There’s a lot to know and understand, from local SEO to building your dental practice’s website to managing your online reputation.
Partnering with a marketing agency like Broadly can help streamline your dental marketing so you can focus on providing your patients with top-notch oral care.
Broadly has various marketing tools, like dental reputation management software, that help collect and manage online reviews. Use our email templates for your email campaigns and SMS text campaigns for appointment reminders. The all-in-one Dashboard helps you monitor your business progress and see how your marketing efforts are paying off.
Ready to apply these dental marketing facts to your dental practice?
Watch your online reputation transform with Broadly