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5 Ways to Make Your Dental Practice Marketing More Effective in 2022 ‍

Business Development

In 2021, the dental marketing world changed dramatically. Dental clinics were at the forefront of technology — inventing and adapting to new ways of doing things while handling the growing need to reassure patients that their visits would be safe.

The type of information disseminated evolved, with consumers requesting specifics on how their dentist would protect them from exposure.

It helped that the dental profession is already one of the most health-conscious industries.

Many safety measures were already in place as part of routine sterilization and disinfection operations, and others were added quickly. These behind-the-scenes realities became a marketing focus point overnight.

Finding the right balance in dental marketing is crucial as 2022 approaches. If you haven't yet embraced the power of telemedicine and digital communication, it's time to do so.

Here are five strategies to get more bang for your buck with your marketing budget:

5 Dental Marketing Practices for 2022

1. Understand the Three Major Dental Marketing Styles

man touching image of a tooth in a mobile screen

There are just so many basic dental marketing styles, each with a different cost of entry, conversion rate, and return on investment (ROI).

Advertising

Advertising is "interrupted" marketing. It is traditionally the most expensive, works the fastest, and requires the shortest time. However, it can be a scattershot approach with a low conversion rate (because of its impersonal nature) and marginal ROI (due to the prohibitive cost).

As a result, traditional ad spending is rapidly declining and being replaced by expenses for internet marketing and social media efforts.

Is this the end of traditional advertising? No. However, it indicates that you should go omnichannel sooner rather than later.

Digital

Digital marketing is "permission-based." This means that it relies on data gathered from patients or potential patients or gained from third parties who have granted permission for their data to be used in marketing.

If campaigns are correctly tracked and constant A/B testing (a randomized trial with two versions, A and B) is utilized to maximize profits, digital has a cheaper cost than traditional advertising and higher conversion rates and ROI.

For various causes, digital ad spending finally exceeded conventional adspend in 2021.

Marketing With Meaning (MWM)

Referrals work in all businesses, including dentistry, and word-of-mouth marketing has traditionally been the most effective. However, word-of-mouth has evolved into "meaningful marketing."

Your referrals are now more likely to come from the following: offline and online communities, based on your practice's outreach and efforts to educate and inform.

According to reports, 90% of consumers believe recommendations from friends, and 70% believe consumer evaluations; nevertheless, 75% do not think commercials are accurate.

Social media users are 71% more likely to trust a brand referred to them by another user. Understanding how to leverage MWM is the slowest and requires the most effort to refine. Still, it produces the best results and the best patients!

2. Keep Your Budget in Check

table with stack of coins

Your budget comprises more than just money; it also includes time—your time.

How much time do you have available for marketing, campaign tracking, and analysis?

Some of your marketing budgets may need to be allocated to an expert who can manage the details.

To be clear, the company that sells you the marketing technique is not always the ideal specialist for creating, executing, and measuring your specific budget.

It is not just how much money you have in your budget, but also where you spend it.

Social media spending nearly doubled in the first half of 2021, rising from 13.3% to 23.2% of marketing budgets. Predictions are that social media spending will account for around 23.4% of all marketing budgets by the first half of 2022.

If you haven't already, now is the time to diversify your marketing spend.

Consider assessing your marketing budgets for 2020 and 2021 and shifting funds away from the least productive traditional channels and toward more effective permission and MWM methods.

You can conduct research, create campaigns, test, evaluate, adjust, and test again and again until your new marketing efforts outperform the old.

3. Identify How Much a New Patient is Worth

How many new patients (NP) did you bring on board in 2021? How much revenue may be ascribed to new patient production (NPP)? It's straightforward math, but many practices overlook this simple step in gaining insight into their practice earnings.

Here's a simple formula: 50,000 in NPP divided by 50 NP is $1,000 per new patient.

Look into it more.

Which patients are more valuable than others? Which patients have been with you the longest? Their lifetime value (LTV) is worth replicating. 

Examine your referral habits as well. As an ambassador for your practice, who brings in new clients? Find techniques to identify patients who are similar and promote referral behavior.

4. Test. Track. Adapt. Repeat.

This is a major stumbling block for many dental practices. They skip testing, don't track well, fail to adjust, or all three. This results in a massive waste of money and time with no actionable outcomes and returns to the same old "proven" marketing tactics.

One of the leading reasons for marketing spend waste is failing to assess ROI.

How can you tell if something is working or not if you aren't measuring and evaluating data and then modifying to improve?

Learning how to establish cause and effect and effectively analyze ROI is critical for increasing the effectiveness of marketing activities.

5. Make Marketing a Collaborative Effort

a dentist and her team of dental assistants in a clinic

Marketing will be a component of everyone's employment, but it must be done correctly. Every member of your team should be aware of your marketing strategy and the part they are expected to play in it, and this should begin on the day they are hired.

Making marketing a significant feature in everyone's job description prevents it from feeling like an extra task they're required to accomplish. Doing so will eventually feel like a part of your practice culture.

When everyone in your clinic participates in the marketing, your practice outreach takes on a life of its own.

You can be proactive in anticipating needs and wants and providing extraordinary experiences to your patients. You can also choose to be reactive in responding to real-time events and situations in your community (both physical and online).

Being proactive on social media is often preferable to being reactive. There are times when you need to be prompt with your response, especially when dealing with inquiries and questions.   

Don't Waste Your Resources on Ineffective Dental Marketing

Dental marketing isn't a set-it-and-forget-it approach for dentists. If you don't have the resources to focus on this aspect of your business, including testing and monitoring outcomes, we recommend collaborating with someone who does.

And, as it happens, we can assist you.

At Digital Resource, we specialize in developing practical dental marketing approaches. Our tried-and-true techniques are designed to bring in new patients that are a good fit for your clinic — all while keeping your marketing budget intact and your ROI high.

Contact us today, and let's talk about how we can help your dental clinic rise to the top.

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