A dental marketing company should reduce your burden for finding new patients, while providing you with a team of reliable, competent dental marketing specialists who deliver not only great results, but also excellent customer service. If these benefits are not what you’ve experienced in the past, it’s time to make a change.
I’m Shauna Duty, founder and CEO of Identiwrite Creative. We serve dentists in the United States and other English-speaking nations by providing comprehensive SEO services, including website design, development, and optimization, as well as composing original, optimized content for online publication.
This article will cover:
- Services Dental Marketing Companies Provide
- Proven Dental Marketing
- Fresh Dental Marketing Ideas
- Employing Various Dental Marketing Strategies
- Kicking off Your Dental Marketing Campaign
- When to Hire a Dental Marketing Company
I’m also going to give you an easy method of determining how much to spend on dental marketing and which strategies to invest in for best results. (By results, I always mean more new patients.)
What Services Do Dental Marketing Companies Provide?
Dental marketing agencies offer a variety of services, from radio and cable television commercials to print ads and direct mail to paid Internet ads and organic SEO. Today I’ll focus on organic SEO, and later in this article I’ll explain why organic SEO should be your main focus, as well.
SEO, search engine optimization, has two primary subcategories: PPC and organic.
Paid ads are usually pay-per-click, or PPC, opportunities. The ad runs on Google (or another search engine), based on keywords and demographics that you identify. Every time your ad is clicked, your prepaid account is debited a set amount. You are charged regardless of whether the click came from a human or robot, and the potential patient may never go further than that click. Other ads, like banner ads, may not be PPC.
I’d like to bring to your attention that 94% of Internet users skip the paid ads in search results and go straight to organic listings. Consumers trust consumers, not advertisers. In fact, 89% of consumers aged 39-54 trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth referrals.
In contrast, organic SEO is not PPC. Instead, your optimized website, social media profiles, guest blogs, local listings, and other links to your website contribute to your overall online presence and authority. Together, these opportunities, properly executed and maintained, can drive significant new patient numbers to your office. Fees are usually one-time payments, combined with monthly subscriptions. You do not pay per click.
Furthermore, organic SEO is responsible for helping a website rank higher in Google for targeted keywords or phrases, as well as wider, for more terms. Organic SEO influences listings in the three-pack of Google Maps (Google Local/Google Business) and the ranking of the 10 results on page one of Google.
Proven Dental Marketing
Did you know that, per Google, 77% of potential patients research healthcare online?
Of those, 76% look at provider websites. (You need a memorable website!)
Only 32% of the public turns to television for healthcare research.
Just 20% use magazines, and 18% rely on newspapers.
These statistics prove that dentists need a web presence to attract new patients. Organic SEO is the most affordable and long-lasting opportunity for dentists to attract new patients.
Need Fresh Dental Marketing Ideas?
Fresh ideas are great, but the old adage tells us that “there are no new ideas.” However, what’s new to you may be commonplace to other dental offices. I recommend that you go down the list below and (1) highlight opportunities you’ve not pursued; (2) underline tactics you’ve had limited or no success with; (3) and circle those that you’ve found effective at driving new patients to your practice. Each opportunity has merit, but not all work well for all dentists.
Internet Marketing with Organic SEO
- Optimized, Original Website
- Optimized, Original Blogs Posted Weekly (minimum)
- Google Business (with Google Reviews and Maps)
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- E-Newsletter Marketing
- Sales Funnels
- Guest Blogs or Articles
- NAP Listings (name, address, phone)
- Backlink Strategies
Employing Various Dental Marketing Strategies
Experts say dentists should spend 20-30% of their revenue on marketing. If you’re in a low-competition area, use the 20%, for moderately competitive areas, use 25%, and in highly competitive areas (like big cities), you should use 30%. Find your number.
As a dental marketing company owner, I’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years. Though my agency does not offer all of the organic SEO tactics in the bullet list above, I recommend diversity in marketing, for the best results. Why? Because the Internet constantly changes.
Going back to our exercise, I estimate that a dentist should invest 50-70% of marketing funds in the most important (central and profitable) strategies. Usually, this will be the practice website’s SEO, maintenance, expansion, and updates. Remember, too, that websites should be completely overhauled every two to three years to remain up to date with technology and relevant to potential patients.
Next, think about investing a portion of the remainder of your funds in re-trying marketing that has failed in the past. Either use a different dental marketing company (I suggest Identiwrite Creative), explore the opportunities yourself, or if there’s a legitimate reason those strategies failed, scrap them.
Leftover funds should go into marketing you’ve never tried, which usually entails email or newsletter marketing, hiring a backlinking service, or exploring guest opportunities on health-related or regional websites and blogs. Just remember, you must give any marketing strategy time to produce results or you’ll waste money. Normally, I suggest six months to a year before truly evaluating a strategy.
With this, if you elect not to invest 20-30% of your revenue in marketing, these proportions will be skewed. If funds are limited, hire a reputable dental marketing company, and invest all of your marketing dollars in your website.
TIP: Maintain data that shows the new patients each marketing strategy yields so that you can compare past results and today’s results with future data. This is the best way to prove success or failure.
Kicking Off Your Dental Marketing Campaign
Time is of the essence! Choose a dental marketing company by selecting three to call and speak with about your practice. Speed, service, knowledge, and likeability are important aspects of selecting a marketing agency. Also look at their client testimonials and website portfolio (if they build websites).
Once you’ve chosen a dental marketing company, ask for a proposal – not just a quote or bid. The proposal should show that the marketing company took time to evaluate your online presence, and the recommended services and products should make sense for your region, practice type, and budget. You also need to understand the timeline and what your responsibilities will be. Call or email the agency with your questions about the proposal. Answers should be delivered within 24 hours.
You’ll be busy seeing patients and running your practice, so be sure to choose a dental marketing company that will regularly check in with you to keep your project moving forward.
When to Hire a Dental Marketing Company
You’re smart, very smart. You may even be tech-savvy. However, like every prudent, career-minded professional, your time is limited, especially when you consider work-life balance.
At Identiwrite Creative, we meet dentists where they are. Some of our clients are completely hands off. We do all of their online marketing without their involvement, and we review data with them as often as they like.
Other clients, particularly those who are tech savvy, like to have a hand in marketing their practice. We encourage our clients to ask questions, share ideas, draft blog posts, and contribute to their dental marketing campaign as much as they can.
We also work with dentists who are stuck in a contract with a dental marketing company that isn’t providing either good results or the full array of services the dentist wants. Our team can cooperate with third parties by providing website optimization, content, and/or blog posts to help drive new patient calls.
To discuss your website, call my dental marketing company, Identiwrite Creative, today at 972-679-6885 and speak with Riese Duty, or email [email protected]. Ask for a complimentary site analysis and phone consultation. The time to grow your practice is now!