Dentistry is a competitive field. In fact, there are 16,215 general dentist practices in California and 6,580 specialty practices. And a recent report by Aldrich Advisors noted that dental practices need an average of 20 new patients per month to successfully maintain and grow their business.
So how do you stand out among all the competition? Digital marketing.
In fact, 77% of patients looking for a health service go online to find what they need. That’s a huge percentage, and it’s growing every year.
If you run a dentistry practice in California, you need digital marketing to help you stand out, gain visibility online, and attract new patients. But digital marketing for dentists isn’t as simple as starting a Facebook page.
Over the next four weeks, we’ll be giving you an in-depth look at each part of digital marketing, starting with this article. Here, we’ll give you an easy overview of the most important types of digital marketing.
So if you want to support your dental practice’s success and grow your business, this series is for you. Today we’re discussing:
- What is Digital Marketing?
- Why Do Dentists Need Digital Marketing?
- What is Social Media Marketing?
- What are Facebook Ads?
- What is Email Marketing?
- What is Content Marketing?
Keep reading for a simple overview of digital marketing for dentists, and check back weekly as we break down each component of digital marketing for your dental practice.
What is Digital Marketing?
As the world has moved online, marketers and businesses have had to find different ways to reach customers and potential customers. This includes all medical practices like dentistry, psychology, pediatrics, and more.
Marketing techniques have adapted to internet usage. As 85% (or 313 million) of the U.S. population has moved online, so has advertising. So, digital marketing is advertising your business online through various digital channels.
There are a variety of channels and techniques used by digital marketers because there are so many different popular online platforms. The main types of digital marketing are:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
It’s important to choose the correct platform for your business and usually necessary to use multiple platforms to reach as many people as possible.
Why Do Dentists Need Digital Marketing?
For your dental practice, it’s a good idea to combine all of these platforms. Because dentistry is highly competitive, you need to work hard to gain visibility, build trust with patients and potential patients, and make your practice stand out from the competition.
You Pick Your Budget
Luckily, digital marketing can be very cost-effective. Unlike traditional marketing methods that require a large budget to advertise on television or radio, digital marketing can be scaled to your needs and budget.
You can choose to run paid ads, and there are benefits to that, but if that doesn’t factor into your expenses, you can take the slower route and gain traction online through organic searches, discussed below. Your digital marketing methods can be as small or large and as inexpensive or expensive as you decide.
Of course, the amount of time, effort, and money you put into your digital marketing will affect how many people you reach and how fast your marketing campaigns become successful.
You Can Measure Your Success
A great aspect of digital marketing is that it allows you to measure your marketing campaigns’ success. Many tools allow you to do this. For example, if you choose to launch an email marketing campaign, the email marketing service you use will track how many people open and click on your emails. This will help you gauge if your emails are performing well or if you need to make some changes.
Google Analytics is a tool offered by Google to help you measure the success of your website. And some of the features on this tool are free, although if you want to get more in-depth, you’ll need to pay for the service.
By measuring your digital marketing campaigns, you’ll know if you’re achieving your goals. And if you’re not, you’ll be able to identify the issues, so your next marketing campaign is more successful.
Target Specific Demographics
Unlike traditional marketing mediums, digital marketing allows you to target specific audiences. For example, if your dental practice is for children, you can focus your website content on family-friendly dental topics. This will help families find your practice.
Or, if you’re trying to target a specific location, you can focus your paid ads on people who live in that location. It sounds complicated, but we’ll explain everything in this article and our digital marketing series for dentists.
Digital marketing allows you to focus your efforts on the demographic who is actually interested in your services. This means you’ll reach more potential patients and won’t waste time targeting people to whom your services don’t apply.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media has exploded over the last decade, and it’s a crucial part of your digital marketing campaign. The most important social media platforms for dentists are:
Facebook has 1.85 billion active users per day! And a Facebook business page allows you to set your location, which will help you start getting seen by people in your area. And once you have a Facebook page, you can run Facebook ads, discussed below.
Instagram has 500 million active users per day. Instagram is excellent for dentists because dental advertisements are image-focused. Instagram is a great platform to showcase your dental work, especially if you are a specialty dentist practice.
With 187 million active daily users, Twitter is another great place to gain visibility. This is a great platform to share timely information and updates about your practice. You can use hashtags to gain visibility and promote your practice—#whiteteeth #bayareadentist.
Youtube might seem like a lot of work, but users watch 1 billion hours of content on Youtube every day. And because visuals are so important to advertising your dental practice, Youtube is an excellent way to show people the great dental work you do. If you’re unsure where to start, check out some other dentists who are successfully using Youtube.
With the right social media campaign, you can engage current patients, reach new patients in your area, and successfully grow your dental practice.
What are Facebook Ads?
On top of managing a Facebook business page for your dental practice, you can run paid Facebook ads to reach a larger audience more quickly.
Facebook paid ads allow you to set your own budget, so you can pay as much or as little as you want. The amount of money you pay affects how many people your ad reaches.
Facebook ads are targeted, meaning you can choose your audience. The key to a return on your investment with Facebook ads is to target the right demographic. For example, advertising dentistry for children, try targeting people 30 to 45 years old in your area who are likely to be parents. If you target people 20 to 50 years old, more people will see your ad, but your ad won’t be relevant to them.
Facebook ads can reap a huge return on investment when used correctly. As a busy dentist, you might not have time to set your advertising goals, outline your target customer, and create and run a successful Facebook ad campaign.
If you want to succeed in Facebook, it’s a good idea to outsource. Collide Digital has helped clients quadruple their revenue using Facebook ads as part of a targeted marketing campaign. Contact Collide Digital today for help with Facebook ads and digital marketing.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing uses your email list to send targeted, relevant emails. It’s a great way to connect with and engage your current patients and interested parties who have given you their email. When outlining your email marketing campaign, it’s important to set goals and be consistent.
You don’t want to email people too often, but you don’t want to email them too sparingly either. An email every day could cause people to unsubscribe to your list. But an email every two months makes your content seem pretty irrelevant. While there’s no perfect answer, marketers agree that two to three times per month is a good rule.
You can build out your emails in advance using email marketing software. The best email marketing software is:
- Active Campaign
- Constant Contact
Focus on sending emails that give your email list value. These can be promotional offers, important information, updates about your business, and more.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing creates targeted and valuable content that engages current patients and attracts new patients. Content marketing is an excellent way to attract relevant and interested people to your dental practice.
For example, if you specialize in periodontics, you should focus your content on gum health and dental implants. The goal of content marketing is to direct people looking for information relevant to your dental practice to your website. When someone does a Google search for dental implants, your website will come up in the search engine results pages (SERP).
Successful content marketing relies on search engine optimization (SEO). This means using popular search terms in your content (called keywords), so when people search for those terms, they find your website.
To research the best keywords for your content, you’ll need to use a keyword research tool. Most keyword research tools require a paid subscription, but many offer free trials or a certain number of free searches per day. The best keyword research tools are:
- Google Keyword Planner
These keyword research tools will tell you popular keywords and how difficult they are to rank for. This means that the term “dentist” might be extremely popular, but if millions of other websites are using this keyword, it will be very difficult to show up on SERPs using this keyword alone.
Keywords above 70% are difficult, so aim for keywords with a 50% to 70% difficulty. For example, “dentist” may have a high difficulty, but “san Francisco dental implants” will have a much lower keyword difficulty. Choosing the right keywords is essential to seeing success in your content marketing.
When you combine all these strategies effectively, you’ll start to see your digital marketing campaigns succeed.
How Collide Digital Can Help
Digital marketing is about using multiple channels to reach your target demographic, increase your visibility, grow your reach, and ultimately attract new patients to your business. But managing many digital marketing platforms can be time-consuming.
At Collide Digital, we believe digital marketing should be accessible to everyone, no matter how large or small your business. Collide Digital will scale our services to meet your needs. So whether you want to focus on Facebook ads, email marketing, website design, social media, or all of them, we’re here to help.
Our clients have this to say about our marketing strategies:
“Dennis and team have been great to work with…and you can’t beat the price. We didn’t think our little company would be able to afford website help, but their pricing plans helped make it happen. I’m glad we reached out to them!”
Contact Collide Digital today at [email protected] or (925) 679-5781 to start creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your dental practice.