The Future of Private Practice Dental Marketing
The dental industry is changing, and the competition is exponentially growing: by 2026, the dental field is expected to grow 19% faster than average! That means in the average American town, the number of dental practices could grow to 17 by 2026. For private practice dentists, that number can be intimidating and lead to consequences, such as dentists retiring later and corporate dentistry buying up private practices. In fact, private practice dentists feel like they are being pushed out by corporate dentistry already. What are they doing that your private practice can’t? The answer is...nothing. All of the dental marketing strategies and decisions your competition is using to grow can be used in your own private practice – and you can use them more efficiently than your competition. By changing the strategy of your private practice to adapt to this increase in competition, you can continue to be the top dental practice in your area, well into the future. Click the video below to watch our full webinar on The Future of Private Practice Dentistry.
Present-Day Mistakes Dentists Are Making
When competition increases in their area, private practice dentists scramble to chase new patients. However, this can lead to many mistakes. When dentists start chasing after patients, they often find themselves compromising or discounting their services just to raise their number of new patients. If your revenue isn’t increasing, then what is the point of chasing those new patients?
Other times, we see dentists spending a fortune on Google and Facebook ads, without first building a strong digital marketing foundation and strategy. For example, when a potential new patient sees an ad for dental implants and clicks on it (or any service for that matter), they expect to see more information about that service immediately on your website. Far too often we see dental ads such as this leading patients to the website homepage, which doesn't give them any more information on the dental implants. They feel confused and "duped," so they leave the website!
If your potential new patients click on your ad, that's great, but if they don't stay on your website and book an appointment to become your new patient, then your marketing money has been wasted.
Your Practice vs. Your Competition
The difference between your practice and your competition comes down to marketing. For example, corporate dental practices spend 6-8% on their dental marketing strategies and efforts. In comparison, private practice dentists spend about 2% on their marketing. This spending difference has potential new patients seeing an overwhelming amount of marketing for those corporate dental practices, so they appear to be the only option or the best option. But this does not mean that you should simply increase your marketing spending, or you will end up making those same mistakes mosts dentists are making. Your private practice needs a strategic solution so you can be smarter about spending your marketing money. Smarter spending on a strategic solution will create a consistent funnel of new patients, yielding long-term results for your private practice, without any of the money-wasting mistakes.
Private practice dentists need a new approach to dental marketing. Forget the old marketing mindset of chasing leads! At Firegang, we know you don’t care about “leads” as a result of your marketing. You care about seeing new patients, appointments, and revenue to grow your practice. That’s why we created our fully integrated approach, to take a new, fresh, comprehensive look at your dental marketing strategy. That’s right, just like treating dental patients comprehensively, you need to look at all sides of your marketing and treat it as a whole. The only way to avoid wasting marketing money, to see new patients instead of just “leads,” is to see results from end to end. That starts with the three components of profitable dental marketing that make up our integrated approach:
In order to ensure your marketing money is spent winning new patients, your marketing strategy must execute all three components.
The first component to profitable dental marketing is visibility. Your competition is spending their marketing dollars making sure potential new patients see their names everywhere. For some, it would appear those practices are the closest or the only option in their area. For others, seeing the same dental practice marketed everywhere gives the idea that it is the best practice in their area. Your private practice can be seen by thousands of potential new patients if you know where patients are looking for new dentists and how they search for them.
Where are Patients Looking?
The opportunity to increase the visibility of your private practice is in reach! When a potential new patient is looking for a new dentist, they search “dentists near me” or “dentists in (their city).” When they click search what appears is as follows:
- Google ads
- Reviews and map of dental practices
- Organic search
If your dental practice is not visible in most - if not all three - of those areas, patients will choose another dentist over your practice. In fact, 25% of patients will make decisions based on Google ads alone - are you willing to give up 25% of potential new patients?
While all three of these areas are important for visibility, Google ads, in particular, are the first thing your potential new patients see. Many Google ads for dental practices, even from corporate dental practices, use phrases like: “friendly,” “welcoming,” “family dental care,” or “availability.” But don’t those phrases apply to just about all dental practices? In the eyes of a potential new patient, those phrases do not stick out amongst the search results, so there is no reason they should choose those dental practices over any others! To create profitable dental marketing, you need to give potential new patients a reason to choose your practice. That starts with asking yourself one question: What makes your dental practice different?
This is where the second component in our integrated approach comes in to play. Differentiation is the answer to What makes your dental practice different? But the reason your private practice should be chosen over any other dental practice relies on tangible differentiation. These differentiators are more specific, that potential new patients can actually use or access, instead of general concepts like "family-friendly." Here are a few examples of tangible differentiators that may apply to your practice:
- Open evenings
- Open Saturdays
- Offers financing options
- Offers sedation
- New patient special
Your Dental Marketing
Dental practices are often choosing overused, and intangible phrases in their Google ads. Your competitors may have ads everywhere, but all you need is one unique ad for a potential new patient to choose your practice. In order to create a Google ad that sets your private practice apart from the competition, showcase those tangible differentiators listed above, or choose others that better apply to your practice. With tangible differentiators, you give your potential new patients a reason to choose your dental practice as they read the results of their search.
But there is still one thing standing in the way of a potential patient to a new patient with an appointment: your website.
Get a Website That Works
When you are visible in searches and have differentiated your practice to be more enticing than the rest, your potential new patient lands on your website. Your website is where differentiation and conversion, the final component of profitable dental marketing, intersect. Conversion is the completion of turning a person looking for a new dentist, into a new patient. On the landing page of your website, your differentiators should be front and center! Many dental practices believe they need a custom design and unique look to their website. However, "pretty" sites are untested and difficult to predict results, which could hurt your conversion and waste your marketing money. If you’re spending this increased marketing money to be visible and different, but your website layout is more about being “pretty” instead of working to book new patients for you, then those visitors will not convert into new patients, and your marketing ROI will decrease.
What Every Patient Needs to See
There are many details you can implement to change your website to more efficiently convert visitors into new patients, but you can start with small changes on your homepage. By listing the main items that every patient needs to see, you will grab their attention so they will not leave your website. These include:
- Financing options
- How YOU perform specific services
- Special offers
- Easy booking
- Pictures & personal information of your staff
Conversion is about winning new patients from your dental marketing money. Improving your marketing ROI is all done through a high conversion marketing strategy. If you have 200 website visitors, we want to make sure that turns into 10 new patients, rather than two new patients. For a private practice dentist, conversion rates need to be between 60-80% to see consistent new patients without wasting marketing money. One of the best ways to increase your conversion is to include training your office staff as part of your marketing strategy.
Front Office Staff
When it comes to front office staff, converting calls into phone numbers can be as simple as building trust. In 2018, we listened to over 65,000 patient calls, and nine out of 10 times people did not move forward with scheduling an appointment, simply due to lack of rapport. Including your front office staff in your marketing strategy could be the key to increasing your marketing ROI. Make sure your front office staff is aware of the special offers you decide to include in your online ads. Include your front office staff in the conversation about your differentiators, so when a potential new patient calls about one of them, they are met with confirmation instead of confusion. The trust and authenticity that your potential new patients find on the other end of that phone call can make a huge difference in your overall conversion and private practice growth.
Our Integrated Approach to Dental Marketing
Our dental marketing company has worked with thousands of dentists on their marketing strategy. We have learned that any practice could have great ads, an effective website, and a well-trained front office staff to take potential new patient calls, but the only way to keep up with the competition is if all the components work together to handoff potential new patients from one step to the next. The front end of your dental marketing funnel needs to talk to the back end of the funnel so that everything is connected - that is our integrated approach! The only way to ensure your private practice has an integrated approach, that is consistently bringing you new patients, is to track your conversion from start to finish. Firegang uses best-in-class tracking and analytics systems to make sure thousands of private practice dental practices have a strong marketing strategy that consistently delivers new patients!
The Future of Your Dental Marketing
In a growing dental industry, the marketing strategy for your private practice needs to be better than the competition. Your private practice needs a long-term source of new patients. With an integrated approach, you can connect all the dots for your potential new patients: from a simple search to booking an appointment, all without wasting any more of your marketing money. Are you ready to grow your private practice? Click the link below to book your FREE assessment.