Dental Marketing Goals for Your Practice in 2022
Setting, Tracking, and Measuring Dental Marketing Goals Another year, another opportunity to grow your dental practice. Setting actionable marketing goals is the surest way to increase your profitability as a dentist and a small business owner. But is goal-setting during covid even practical? According to an article published in Oral Health, drops in patient visits […]
Setting, Tracking, and Measuring Dental Marketing Goals
Another year, another opportunity to grow your dental practice. Setting actionable marketing goals is the surest way to increase your profitability as a dentist and a small business owner. But is goal-setting during covid even practical? According to an article published in Oral Health, drops in patient visits were one of the most significant impacts of the pandemic on dental practices.
Although coronavirus propelled the growth of the health industry overall, many dental practices were affected by social distancing rules and changing government regulations, resulting in a decrease in revenue. While you probably can’t predict dental industry trends, you can boost your chances of success by tracking and measuring your dental marketing goals.
Below, we share how you can achieve these marketing goals:
- Bring more patients to your practice
- Get more patient reviews
- Upgrade your dental website
- Increase your marketing ROI
- Improve brand appeal on all platforms
To describe how to reach these goals, we look at two dentists: Dr. Painful and Dr. Pain-Free. Dr. Painful struggles to attract new patients and wonders why his practice is not growing. Dr. Pain-Free has set clear dental marketing goals and has a thriving dental practice.
Let’s look at how to avoid being like Dr. Painful.
Goal: Bring More Patients into Your Dental Practice
Dr. Painful: Dr. Painful is the right dentist for anyone with teeth. He figures that since he is a general dentist, anyone can be his patient, so why box himself into one category? His target audience is anyone who has teeth problems. He wants to be seen as a jack of all trades rather than as an expert for a specialized dental service. His practice blends in with the dozens of other dental practices in strip malls within a 15-mile radius. His marketing materials do not give a definite impression of his niche.
Dr. Pain-Free: Dr. Pain-Free has aligned her dental practice with a specific niche. She has chosen to set herself apart as a comfort dentist known for putting her patients at ease. Dr. Pain-Free tailors her marketing strategy to attract her ideal patient. Sure, everyone has teeth. But she knows that distinguishing herself as an expert is key to attracting more patients. Her marketing materials, ad copy, social media content, and even how the front desk answers the phone, convey the same calming message: “She specializes in treating patients with dental anxiety. If you have been afraid of the dentist, fear no more. Dr. Pain-Free knows exactly what to do to make you calm and she has done it 1000 times.” In short, she uses her niche as a foundation to build a rock-solid and far-reaching dental presence online so that people can find her.
The Takeaway: Figure out your message. What is unique about your practice that will differentiate you from you competitors? You can be the fun office or the office that runs on time; specialists on veneers or just a cutting-edge tech practice with experimental procedures. What you can’t be is simply the practice with a “great team.” Dig deeper to stand out. Once you have a message, identify your target audience. Are they high-income or low-income households? Younger or older? Where do they work?
Next, identify how you can attract that audience by emphasizing a specific dental service or amenity that you offer. This step is critical for when we discuss things like building or improving your dental website. To further grow your presence as a dentist online (and you need to be online because 71% of patients look for a dentist on the internet), get your Google My Business profile set up and keep it updated. We share how to get more patients with a positive online identity here.
Goal: Get more patient reviews
Dr. Painful: Dr. Painful is not interested in patient reviews. He has worked too hard in dental school and invested too much in his dental practice to have one bad review ruin his reputation. Besides, what’s the point of a review? Shouldn’t his degree from a top 50 dental school be enough to vouch for his dental excellence? He doesn’t encourage his patients to leave reviews. When he does get a review, he does not respond.
Dr. Pain-Free: Dr. Pain-Free uses dental patient reviews to her advantage. She realizes how powerful word-of-mouth marketing can be. Those text boxes with headers such as “Rate your Experience” can mean the difference between a full and an empty dental practice. She knows how powerful it can be to have patients rave about the quality of her dental work. Moreover, she knows that building a strong online presence can only make her business more popular and increase her credibility. She encourages her patients to leave reviews. She uses tools such as Swell or Birdeye to increase, track, and manage her reviews. Unlike Dr. Painful, she takes the time to respond to both good and bad reviews.
The Takeaway: How can you get your patients, who you know are thrilled with your services to leave reviews? So ask your patients at the end of the appointment how the procedure went and if they would feel comfortable writing you a review. This is why you need to have your Google My Business profile set up.
Send automated emails or call patients to ask them for feedback. Make sure patients can leave a review on your dental website’s landing page. Once you get the reviews rolling in, you probably are wondering how you should respond to bad reviews. Check out our guide to responding to negative reviews.
Goal: Improve Dental Website
Dr. Painful: Dr. Painful is doing something right finally. He does have a website for his dental practice! Although there are no pictures of his office or his team, there are a few stock images from Shutterstock of a random dental office and a random smiling dentist. The website, however, takes some time to load. When potential patients visit the site on their phones, it is not mobile-friendly. There’s very little white space on the landing page and no call to action to book an appointment.
Dr.Pain-Free: Dr. Pain-Free’s website is mobile-optimized. Moreover, there’s a big “Schedule” button that potential patients can click on to book an appointment. Thirdly, Dr. Pain-Free has branded herself as the expert in porcelain veneers. Her website includes the following pages: Before and After, Reviews, and Promotions. She clearly outlines her key services on the landing page, which flows seamlessly from one section to the next. There are also links to her patient reviews on Yelp and Google. Finally, she includes a patient testimonial on the landing page.
The Takeaway: To sum up, your site should be designed to fit the dimensions of a mobile phone. Your website also needs to load quickly and that means, among other things, reducing the size of your photos. Get rid of any unnecessary content on the homepage. You don’t want your website to look like a junkyard of elements, graphics, and text. Replace stock images with photos of you and your practice so that you don’t look like some scam. Have obvious calls to action on your website. Of course, there’s a lot you can do to improve your dental website, we deep dive into all of that here.
Goal: Better Dental Marketing ROI
Dr. Painful: Dr. Painful tries whatever marketing strategy comes to his mind and doesn’t analyze the data to see if his marketing efforts are working. He isn’t concerned with key performance indicators (KPIs) but gets frustrated when he finds his marketing budget dwindling with no real results. He begins to view marketing as a waste of time and money.
Dr. Pain-Free: Dr. Pain-Free has identified the KPIs that she tracks by looking at her marketing analytics. New website visitors, form submissions and first time callers are on that list. She studies her marketing campaigns on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to determine which marketing strategies are bringing her the biggest return on her investment. One KPI that she tracks is the cost per lead or the amount she spends to generate one lead. She spends a portion of her budget each month on paid ads. To calculate this KPI, she divides the total cost of the ads by the number of leads her dental practice has received. Then she uses this number as a benchmark for how much it might cost to generate a lead on her other marketing channels.
Another KPI that she tracks is her dental website’s visitor to lead conversion rate. She divides the total number of leads by the number of website visitors and multiplies it by 100%. If many people are visiting her site but few are booking appointments, it could indicate that she needs to improve her landing page.
The Takeaway: As daunting as tracking your marketing goals might seem, it tells you you’re receiving a return on your investment. By observing how well your email newsletters are performing, how many followers you’re gaining on Instagram, how many appointments, how many patients you’ve booked since you added a testimonial to your website and other analytics, you can optimize and transform your marketing results. You want to increase your revenue and spend as little as you can by making sure you’re not wasting money on ineffective marketing. Learn how to calculate your marketing ROI and marketing budget here.
Goal: Improve Brand Appeal on All Platforms
Dr. Painful: Dr. Painful has no public Instagram account. He does have a Facebook page. However, he posts a few grainy stock images of dental tools and holiday greetings cards when he remembers that it is a holiday. He doesn’t share original headshots of him or his team. There’s a blurry, pixelated image of his dental practice on his Google My Business Profile, courtesy of Google Maps. He doesn’t have a blog.
Dr.Pain-Free: Conversely, Dr. Pain-Free is all about building and improving her brand perception. She wants to demonstrate her personality and character as much as possible on her dental website, blog, and dental practice social media accounts. Dr. Pain-Free has some professional headshots of her and her team in their office under the “About Us” section. Moreover, Dr. Pain-Free knows that professional brand photography can set her practice apart and humanize her brand. Likewise, she knows that people want to see behind the scenes. So she posts photos of her and her patients on Instagram and Facebook. She posts photos of the team at company events and parties. She also shares updates about employee achievements on the company’s Linkedin page. Dr. Pain-Free also shows pictures of patients interacting with their hygienists.
Takeaway: The best way to determine the story people create of you and your practice is to tell it yourself. That is to say, get on social media if you’re not already! Have a professional photographer take well-lit photos of you and your team in your dental office. Stock photos, although useful for dental blog posts, can look tacky if they’re all over your website.
Let us help you reach your 2022 Dental Marketing Goals
To conclude, you don’t have to pursue these goals alone. If you’re a dentist who wants to get more patients, work with a fun marketing team, and increase your revenue, contact us here.