A Guide to Digital Marketing for Dentists & Dental Practices in 2019

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Marketing in this advanced business environment is experiencing new trends and developments. This freshness is the impact of digitization of marketing practices that were previously traditional and relied upon just TV and radio announcements. The advent of digital methods owes to the increasing involvement of people in online activities. A person from head to toe is dependent on the internet to satisfy the daily requirements. It makes online, aka digital marketing significant for most of the businesses today. 

You dentistry business is not alien from the digital world. The benefits that digital marketing for dentists provides to their business cannot be overlooked. Despite rendering the best services, equipment, and world-class care that you provide to your patients, you may not be getting the desired results for your efforts.

Reason? Weak and ineffective marketing practices.

If you are not serious about your marketing your dental practice now, you are missing out on the latest privileges of digitalization. As you cannot expect your dentistry business without being visible to your patients where they search for you. 

It is never too late. If you were not leveraging before, do it now. This guide is a complete reference to digital marketing for dentists like you who are willing to improve their current marketing tactics. 

What is Dental Marketing?

dental marketing strategies ideasDental marketing is all about the interaction between your dental clinic and your patients. It is the practice of promoting a dental clinic through various possible means so that the targeted audience is aware of the services that it provides. Your dentistry business would expand only if you target the right patients, that is, the ones who have dental problems. Conversely, your patients would come to your clinic if they know about you and your practices. 

How is this possible? With the right marketing techniques, you can boost your performance in the market. But, the main thing is you should know what does this “right marketing” actually means.

Dental marketing can also be traditionally accomplished. The right marketing here refers to digital marketing for dentists. The reason behind the switch from traditional to digital efforts lies in the competition that the latter gives to the former. Regardless of your location, digital marketing practices have the capacity to promote your dentistry practices to higher levels. The success rate of online dental marketing owes to the broad audience of about 85% that prefers to look for their saviors on the internet. 

Therefore, dental marketing involves the practices that are able to reach a target audience or patients at online platforms where they are already looking for them. For example, if your lead is searching online for a dentist or someone suggested a dental clinic for treatment, they would try to find them via the internet. Your dental marketing should be such that the patient at least visits your website even after finding the one they were searching for. 

Misconceptions about Dental Marketing and Dental Advertising

Often you may get confused between digital marketing and digital advertising like many other people while practicing digital strategies for promotion. It is really a crucial aspect to be cleared. 

Digital marketing for dentists considers dental marketing as a comprehensive approach towards building a dental brand and generating awareness among the target audience. When you are marketing your dental clinic, you are improving your online presence and building up trust and a strong relationship with your audience. 

Dental advertising is just a part of dental marketing, which involves targeting mainly those people who have the capability to grow your practices. When you advertise your dental clinic, you are paying attention to your potential clients to take your service to the next level. It may include providing your patients with offers or attracting your leads by relevant ads on social media and platforms alike. 

Dental advertising contributes significantly to a well-developed dental marketing plan. Though it just a step involved in marketing, yet the results are measurable. 

Have a closer look at digital marketing for dentists – Importance of Dental Marketing

Dental marketing is not about willing to make more patients, but it is aimed at reaching the right patients on time. It mainly involves making dental services available to the right people through every possible channel. Obviously, you wish the same. But it is possible only if your dentistry business is famous or reputed enough that the patients immediately chooses for a call-to-action. Here is where digital marketing for dentists holds significance.

But why online dental marketing? Keep reading!

More effective than traditional dental marketing

Traditional advertising may limit to your area only. It may fail to reach a broader audience. It is just like you are paying to acquire a thousand patients, but the search for a dentist might restrict to only a few patients searching for a dentist. With a digital approach, you target only the potential audience for your dentistry business. You pay for only those who are actually interested in taking treatment from your clinic.

Reach relevant audience

When you are traditionally marketing your dentistry business, there are chances that your message reaches those people also who are not willing to consult with a dentist. It would be inappropriate. Moreover, it may build a bad reputation of your brand in their mind in terms of wrong timing. But this is not the case with digital marketing for dentists where the message is sent only to the relevant audience.

Personalized digital marketing for dentists

When you address people personally, they feel more valued. Audience oriented approach creates a good impression of your practices on them. Online dental marketing allows you to send personalized messages and target them according to their needs. The advertisements, social media posts, marketing automation systems are some of the essential means of attracting your audience on a more personal level.

Robust lead capturing

You may be aware that there is a segment of the audience who have not yet decided to get treatment from you but are looking for services similar to yours. For example, someone may have gum problems or paining jaw but is afraid to undergo the procedure due to incorrect information. You can get their attention by creating specific content based on their queries on the internet. In this way, you target a particular group of people who work as leads for you. When you create content, you are marketing your services to convert them into your clients.

Digital marketing for dentists is specially focused on looking after the specific needs of the people and working accordingly. You can now brush up your mind to still stick to traditional marketing methods because online dental marketing has much more for you that you can expect. 

How much do dentists spend on marketing – What should be YOUR thought process?

Now that you have made up your mind to get into online marketing for your dental practices, its time that you start calculating your budget. You should now work on the costs of your marketing activities considering every aspect of the channels you choose, the resources you need, and the methods you opt for the implementation process. One of the most critical things you should keep in mind is, digital marketing for dentists is targeted at recurring their revenue and acquiring patients that add to your growth while considering the worth of their initial investments. 

You can consider the following factors before you start planning your dental marketing budget:

Determine your marketing goals

Ask yourself these questions.

  • What are you expecting for your marketing efforts? 
  • Why are you looking forward to adopting dental marketing? 
  • Are you starting a new dentistry business?
  • Do you want to reach more patients?
  • Are you expecting to create awareness of your practices in your community?

When you get a pinpoint answer to these questions, you got your goals. You are now set to decide on the marketing tactics you are going to select to accomplish your goals. Finally, you can determine the associated costs.

Measure the past results before planning new

Before investing, see your marketing ROI. Look at its growth rate. If it is increasing at a considerable rate, you can improve your budget too. It depends on how your marketing efforts performed previously. Measuring the results can make you decide on the new budget plan. Digital marketing for dentists is not a one-price-fit-all kind of promotion. Every single dollar has it’s worth depending on the type of expenses. 

Consider the competition

Sometimes, the costs may rise due to increasing competition among various dentists. You must keep in mind their tactics and market position before planning your marketing budget. It may happen that your competitors may be trying some of the more important and useful methods to attract a portion of the audience. This might increase your expenditure in terms of staying ahead in the competition. 

Calculate your revenue before working on your budget. Once you have done this, you can start planning your budget. It is preferred to spend 10-15% approximately for your dental marketing activities. Make sure to work with a proven and experienced dental marketing company or healthcare marketing agency.  

How do you market a dental office?

Finally, you have reached the point where you should start looking for robust marketing strategies to promote your dentistry business. Now you have to concentrate on how to successfully utilize your marketing budget, which you have set aside for the implementation of marketing practices.

digital marketing for dentists

Digital marketing for dentists can be made to work by the following steps:

Update your current signage

Digital marketing for dentists holds significance only when done effectively. Some people may think of skipping this step as they are moving their clinic. But update your current practice signage will make you stay in pace with the modern trends and not just sticking to the outdated practices.

Work on your dental website

Make your website modern and compatible with the latest trends. Time is changing, and so is the competition. Your audience now demands innovation and technological upgrades in the treatment. Your website is at the heart of your marketing practice. For your dentistry business to expand, it is crucial that your website design and development represents your brand effectively. 

Mobile compatibility

Smartphones are now becoming more popular and useful than they were a few years before. Everything has now switched to smartphones from communication to searching for healthcare services. Digital marketing for dentists can be given a boost with mobile compatibility. It is now necessary to make your website adaptable to mobile phones. As a matter of fact, mobile phones are the easiest way to reach the target audience. 

Social media – the marketing weapon

Digital marketing is incomplete without social media marketing. With the increasing number of people using social media sites, the relevance of these sites in marketing purposes also increases. You could find a lot of people on social media who may be searching for your services and waiting for your call. You just have to apply the right social media marketing strategies and techniques  to attract people online. 

Content – the marketing king

You may be reading this guide for a well-defined purpose, like to enhance your knowledge about dental marketing and learn how to implement the strategies in the right way. This is what content serves. Most of the people find content more relevant than any other forms of marketing or advertising. Content helps them with what they need. You can include many types of content in your marketing to provide your audience with the information they need. Content marketing provides great ROI and provides website traffic which compounds over the years. 

Optimize your website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a prevalent and fruitful method of digital marketing for dentists. When you know what your people are searching for, it becomes easy for you to target them. SEO makes use of this strategy. Targeting specific and highly preferred keywords can allow you to appear at the top of the search results when a patient searches for services similar to yours. 

Online dental marketing may sound quite tricky, and a cumbersome process initially. But if you follow the above-stated steps keeping in mind your goals, the journey will be exciting. Digital marketing for dentists is as important as it is for other businesses. Without switching to online marketing, you can expect to reach a broader audience. 


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Lorenzo Gutierrez
Digital Marketing Consultant
Lorenzo Gutierrez is a Digital Marketing Consultant and a certified Google Partner. He helps small businesses and corporations grow their revenue online. He does this by mixing passion, innovation, & expertise.