When Is It Time to Hire a Dental Marketing Company?
The dentists that see the most success in their marketing have a hands-on approach in their strategy and implementation. But that doesn’t mean every successful dentist is putting in hours and hours of marketing labor by themselves! In a recent discussion on the Delivering Wow podcast, Adam Zilko (CEO & Founder of Firegang) and Dr. Anissa Holmes agreed that to yield the best results, there are some tasks dentists can do on their own, and others that require hiring a dental marketing company. For dentists, the question becomes, what marketing can be completed in-house and when is it time to hire a marketing company?
Click below to listen to the podcast episode.
In-House Dental Marketing
Whether you are thinking about hiring a dental marketing company now, or are trying to complete as much as possible on your own, there are a few fundamental marketing tasks that can be completed in-house. No matter who you hire, a dental marketing company needs help from your staff in order to successfully capture all that your practice has to offer. There are steps your team can take in your do-it-yourself marketing to showcase your authenticity to patients and get your practice’s reputation off the ground. Then, when it’s time to bring in a dental marketing company, you can easily collaborate and hand off your marketing tasks!
Setting Up Your Website
Here at Firegang, we help hundreds of dentists choose the best domains and create optimized websites that book new patients like a machine. But if you’re not ready to hire a dental marketing company just yet, you can start to build your website on your own. The biggest mistake that DIY marketers make is spending days creating a “pretty” website, without staying up to date on the latest SEO practices or implementing the prime elements to book new patients. If you are planning on building your dental practice website yourself, then grab our 2020 SEO guide and The Perfect Dental Website Checklist so you only invest your time on the critical pieces that will increase your profits!
Build Trust with Patients
Your DIY dental marketing needs to provide a reason for potential new patients to choose your practice over the dentist down the street. The best reason is trust; if you can communicate that you are the most trustworthy option for a patient, then they will choose you every time. You can achieve this by leveraging authenticity in your ads and on your website. The fastest way to do this, is to replace any stock photos on your website and online ads with real photos of your office and staff. Our time-tested marketing methods have proven that real photos of your practice and staff generate more clicks, traffic, new patients, and revenue.
Increase Your Reviews
When a patient searches for a new dentist, one of the first things they notice are reviews. Let’s say a patient searches and gets these two results:
They both have 4.8 stars, but one dentist has more than twice the number of reviews than the other. Which one do you think the patient will choose?
Even before you hire a dental marketing company, you can start to improve those reviews...just by asking! Whether your staff decides to ask for reviews in a follow-up email, at the front desk on their way out, or in the exam room, having a strategy to increase your reviews can improve your reputation, and win more new patients! If you want to learn how to ask for reviews without seeming pushy, download our Reputation Guide right here.
Choose Your Special Offers
The key to a well-performing online ad is a great special offer. For your DIY marketing, we recommend crafting 3 strong special offers to put in your online ads and on your website. Take a look at what your competitors are running to make sure your offer will help your practice stand out. It won’t help your practice growth to offer a $99 new patient special when your competitor is running an $89 one! Here are a few things to consider when crafting your special offers:
- What are you willing to offer or discount?
- What is your ideal patient looking for?
- Would they be more interested in a free add-on service, like teeth whitening, or more financing options for appointments?
Facebook & Google Ads
The largest undertaking that DIY marketers will face is setting up their online ads. Facebook and Google ads might seem simple at first, but they require hours of training and weeks of testing before you win new patients. At this stage, most dentists would rather hire a dental marketing company to create and run their paid ads, to minimize the risk of losing time and money.
But if you still want to try on your own, make sure you and your team understand the difference between Facebook ads and your Facebook page, that you are targeting the right audience, and most importantly, never spend without a strategy. If you’re looking for a place to start, use our Pay-Per-Click Guide and our Facebook Ad Strategy. Inside, there are templates you can use right now to start booking more new patients.
Time to Hire A Dental Marketing Company…
The entire goal of your marketing is to give you more freedom. That might be working less hours because you’ve increased your hourly profits, or focusing on more services you’re passionate about. Either way, your marketing should help you achieve that freedom. But when your DIY marketing starts to become a part-time job, taking away your freedom and control over your work hours, then it’s time to hire a dental marketing company.
“The average dentist in America, their hourly rate is $450 give or take. How much of that time, at $450/hour, would you want to spend trying to learn how to deal with Facebook or Google or building websites? It’s going to take a lot of work...it will distract you from what your core focus is. Instead, sub it out to an expert and let them just get it done, because likely, if they know what they’re doing it's going to be done quicker, it will be done right, and it's going to work.”
DIY dental marketing establishes the basics, and it’s a good start for a practice new to marketing. But if you want to fully control your revenue and increase your ROI, you need a team to track, analyze, and adapt your marketing. Your staff is busy running a dental practice and helping people, and even if there is someone on your team willing to take on your marketing, the years of experience a dental marketing company brings to your practice can cut the time it takes to win new patients in half.
Eliminate Trial and Error Marketing
Once you've set up your DIY marketing, how do you know its working? If you don't see an increase in new patients, it could lead to months of trial and error marketing, simply guessing what is working and what is not. But when you have an experienced marketing team in place, using a tracking dashboard to monitor and adapt your marketing, you never have to wonder what the next right step is for your practice. The months you may have spent waiting for results from your DIY marketing will instead be spent earning you, your staff, and your practice more profit and more new patients.
“Our team is looking at hundreds of accounts at a time, they’ve seen about every scenario. So if a program is working or not working, we can identify why.”
Top-Performing Online Ads
At Firegang, we have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars testing which dental ads work in over 150 markets. But the trick is, every market is a little bit different. If you want top-performing online ads for your specific market and ideal patients, you need an experienced dental marketing company that can zero in on an ad strategy. If a practice tried to do this on their own, it might take months of time and thousands of dollars lost before they got it right, simply because of the lack of experience. Imagine if one of our Client Success Managers came into your practice to try to perform an implant procedure - it would be much easier if you just went ahead and did it!
“There is a lot of gold, you guys, in not trying to monitor Facebook ads in the back end because you should be seeing patients…or setting up Google ads and understanding the keywords. That might not be the best use of your time!”
-Dr. Anissa Holmes on hiring a dental marketing company for online ads
With the revenue from our online ads, like the one below, we’ve helped dentists across the country hire new associates and open new locations.
Manage Your Reputation
Asking for reviews is a marketing method that remains in-house, (although we often help our dentists navigate those conversations!), but staying on top of your reviews and utilizing them in the rest of your marketing is where a dental marketing company can make a real difference. We showcase the positive reviews across your entire marketing so potential new patients hear from existing patients why your practice is the best choice instead of just taking your word for it!
Additionally, let’s say your front office staff asked a patient for a review, and that patient posted a 1-star rant that had no base in reality! Reading a review like that can throw a dentist’s entire week off, let alone responding to it. At Firegang, we help dentists respond to negative reviews in a way that actually increases the authenticity. So when a potential new patient sees a negative review, it only reinforces your professionalism, instead of instilling a belief that you are a bad choice.
Differentiate Your Practice
If you look up the special offers that your competitors are running, it may seem like you are backed into a corner, and the only way to beat them is to offer a lower price. Instead of sacrificing your profits and lowering your worth, hire a dental marketing company that will help you differentiate your practice beyond a price tag. We have created marketing differentiators for thousands of dentists that speak directly to their ideal patient. By simply updating their marketing message to differentiate their practice, these dentists have become the #1 dentist in their area, without slashing their prices.
Call Auditing & Coaching
Hopefully, your DIY dental marketing has increased the number of calls to your practice. That’s fantastic - so what happens when the phone rings? Are potential new patients calling your practice, but deciding not to book an appointment? Are all of your hours spent on your DIY marketing failing once the phone rings?
This is where marketing and managing intersect, and it could put you in a difficult situation. You could do-it-yourself and micro-manage every call your front office receives, or you could hire a dental marketing company that offers call auditing and coaching to turn your front office staff into a patient-booking hub. At Firegang, we’ve listened to tens of thousands of phone calls to find patterns:
- Is there a certain question the front office is struggling to answer, leading to distrust?
- Is there information the potential new patients need before they commit to an appointment?
- Or worse: is your front office missing calls?
With a dental marketing team in place to help, your team will convert more calls into new patients and you won’t have to hover over the front desk every day to get it done!
“Recapping 2019, my team listened to 80,997 marketing-related calls. We have so much data...We’ll figure out what patients are asking on the phones that we’re not offering...If we know that our front office is doing an amazing job, but we aren’t converting people, we now know where to look,”
Target High-Ticket Patients
A dental marketing company can help you get more new patients, but the best marketing companies to hire are the ones who target and win over high-quality, lifetime new patients. Do you want to count your success by number of clicks and “leads” and have a schedule full of free consultations? Or, would you rather count your success by ROI and profit, and have a manageable schedule of quality, high-ticket patients looking for Invisalign, implants, and other high-fee services? We use our Facebook ad targeting formula, our unrivaled Local SEO strategy, and our brand new Advanced Implant Funnel to win high-ticket patients, so you earn more profit without putting more time into the exam room.
“A lot of the time we hear, well I THINK this is what’s going on, or this MIGHT be happening, but they don’t really know. If you don’t know, then that’s okay, but you can’t make decisions on that.
You can only make decisions on the data, and that changes everything.”
In order to abandon a trial-and-error marketing strategy, you need a marketing company that will put KPI tracking into place. At Firegang, we use best-in-class tracking and analytics systems to monitor:
- How many ad clicks are turning into actual new patients?
- Where are your website visitors coming from?
- How many are leaving your website without calling your practice?
- How many new patient calls are converting into new patients?
- What is your cost per lead?
- What is your cost per new patient?
This tracking helps us learn what is working, what is failing, and what small adjustments to make to increase your results, so adapting your marketing will take minutes instead of weeks.
Execute an Integrated Marketing Approach
“We integrate an entire end-to-end system so that we ensure that the practice is set up on the front end of the funnel, where patients are looking, all the way through to what's happening on the back end. Are we getting the right people in the door?”
DIY dental marketing can produce great results for your practice. By yourself or with your staff, you can set up a website, get online ads running, and start to build your reputation.
But in order to reach your profit goals, open a new location, or maximize your ROI, your marketing needs to be fully integrated. You need a dental marketing company to figure out how to get people to continue to move forward from your ads, to your website, to calling your practice, without hesitation. At Firegang, we use our Integrated Marketing Approach to remove any obstacles stopping patients from moving forward from click to call to appointment. To learn how our Integrated Marketing Approach can earn you more profits and give you back your freedom, click below to schedule an Assessment Call.