In recent years, most traditional marketing tactics have taken a back seat due to the rise of digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). One of the most critical aspects of marketing is focusing on the place where your target audience is. At this time, they are mostly on the internet. Hence, print ads, TV and radio commercials, and referrals are no longer enough. Unfortunately, these are the methods that dental offices use to promote their services. Now, they have to embrace and start investing in digital marketing.
Joining the World of Digital Marketing
Digital marketing may seem like a bandwagon that everyone has to join. But it is more than that. It is now a vital element of every company’s marketing strategy. Having a solid online presence is crucial nowadays. Without a website or social media accounts, people will not be able to find you. However, getting into digital marketing is not that easy. It is primarily a new concept to most businesses, especially dental offices. As a result, they are at a loss of where to start. Clinics are unsure what they need to do, what they have to prioritize, and how much of their budget they should allot to it. Even though they are all in the same industry, dental offices do not require the same amount to invest in their digital marketing ventures. Dentists start their practices at different times. They also grow at different rates. So their marketing budgets should correspond to the current stage of their operations. You can divide dental practices into three groups according to their stages:
1. Newly Established Practices
New players need to work extra hard on their marketing, unlike seasoned dental practices. They also have to move quickly to gain patients in just a short time. New clinics have to put up a website where people can find all their products and services. They also have to implement SEO and PPC marketing to spread brand awareness and increase their visibility online. Hence, setting aside enough budget for digital marketing from the beginning is essential. Start between 20% and 30% of your projected income. Dental offices can ease up once their SEO and PPC campaigns start acquiring patients.
2. Established Clinics That Want More Growth
A dental clinic requires 20 to 50 new patients a month to stay in business. However, there is a lot of competition in the industry. So finding new patients is not as easy as it seems. Dental clinics need to update their website design and SEO. Search engines constantly make changes to their algorithms. So it is crucial to run a website audit to find out which gaps they need to fill. Fortunately, clinics have to allot only 5% to 10% of their revenue this time. It already includes PPC ads for quicker lead generation and conversion. This will accelerate the process because SEO updates take up to six months to gain results.
3. Clinics That Have Stopped Growing and Losing Patients
Dental practices that cannot maintain 20 to 50 new patients a month tend to go stagnant. One of the reasons this happens is their poor marketing practices. Many businesses sometimes forget to continue promoting themselves once they start getting clients. As a result, they stop gaining new conversions and lose them to their competitors, who are consistent in their marketing. Shrinking clinics need to overhaul their websites and update their SEO. They need to update their keywords and fix broken links. Fortunately, using 5% to 10% of their earnings is enough for this revamp.
Setting the Proper Marketing Budget
Digitalauthority.me reports several factors influencing a dental office’s marketing budget. Knowing these factors allows them to determine how they can maximize their funds.
1. Popular Services
Dental clinics offer a range of services—extractions, whitening, root canal, dentures, veneers, and many more. They should determine their most popular services and capitalize on them by promoting them more.
2. Operating Costs
These costs consist of all the equipment, the clinic’s rent and utilities, and taxes. Dental offices have to make sure they can still cover their operating costs while allocating the budget for their marketing.
3. Worth of Each Patient
Dental clinics have a variety of patients. They should be earning up to $700 per patient annually. Grouping their patients according to their spending can help them determine how much they make per patient.
4. Required Number of Patients
As mentioned earlier, a dental practice should have up to 50 new patients per month. A clinic must have enough staff to cover this number of patients. Hence, they should have a set budget for additional staff.
5. A Patient’s Acquisition Cost
Inviting new patients to dental clinics has a corresponding cost of up to $300 per person. However, having an effective marketing strategy can lower this amount, which can help drive up their revenue.
Spending on SEO and PPC
The amount of money that dental clinics should spend on SEO and PPC depends on several things. Both digital marketing strategies should take note of their location and the level of competition in their market. Big cities are more competitive, so they will end up spending more. Still, there are some minor differences. For SEO, they have to consider how big their practice is. On the other hand, PPC has to operate according to its goals and the services they want to sell. They also bid for the keywords they intend to use. The funds they allocate for these marketing strategies will also be affected if they use other techniques. They may also utilize email, direct mail, print media, content, and social media.
The success of a business does not only rely on the quality of its products and services. It also lies in its marketing. Without it, people will not know about its existence. Marketing brings consistent growth by generating leads and converting them into customers, clients, and patients. It allows companies to expand in size and transition from local businesses into nationwide enterprises. However, creating a solid marketing strategy requires careful planning. Dental offices have to conduct thorough research of their industry, market, and target audience. Moreover, they have to determine how much they should invest in it. It may sound like a lot of work. Dentists already spend too much of their time catering to their existing patients. They also have to stay up to date with the current developments in their field. Studying digital marketing may be the last thing in their minds. Fortunately, there are marketing agencies that are certified experts in this line of work. These agencies can help them with all the technicalities. They can conduct the research and create a perfect marketing plan from the ground up. You cannot take marketing for granted, especially in this day and age. There is a lot of competition, so you have to make sure you will be at the forefront to get everyone’s attention.