How effective was your practice’s marketing in 2019? If you don’t know, you’re not alone. New research from DMscore from 54,000 dental practices casts a dramatic light on the importance of digital marketing. The average practice spends about six percent of gross revenues on marketing, yet 46 percent of those practices don’t know if their marketing is working. The report stresses a key fact: marketing programs are dynamic and change over time, depending on where you live—what is effective in one location may not be effective in the next.
Moreover, what worked last year may not be effective at all this year. Dental practices that take action on emerging dental marketing trends are more likely to set themselves up for success in 2020 and beyond. Where to start, however, depends on where you are in your marketing journey.
The research shows that competitive practices need to focus on a mix in six areas, including:
- Creating compelling content: Thirty percent of practices don’t rank in the Google local top 20 results. Engaging, SEO-driven blog posts and videos that are findable by search engines are critical to improving in this area.
- Utilizing email: Email marketing can help engage your patients and often has an ROI of over 100 percent.
- Using social media: Social media is a great place to find new patients and boost your Google search rankings.
- Considering paid search: Pay-per-click and Facebook advertising are perfect tools because you can exactly target patients in your local area.
- Managing directory listings and online reputation: Engage prospective patients in your area with up-to-date directory listings in Google, Yelp, and Yext to strengthen your online reputation. The research shows that 24 percent of dentists are completely missing profiles. That is a missed opportunity that hurts rankings.
If your practice already has a robust patient database and established online presence—including an optimized website and active social media presence—you can get started on implementing more advanced digital marketing techniques today. If you do not, then you must get these necessary marketing tools in place before you can do anything else.
One way to help monitor your digital marketing performance is to get your DMscore. It’s like a credit score for your practice that shows you your score and those of your competitors. You, or your marketing agency, can use it to see how you are performing and to measure improvements over time in the areas mentioned above. Tracking your marketing performance on your own or with a free tool like DMscore can make it easier to effectively plan and prioritize the components of your marketing practice.
Want ideas to perfect your social media strategy? You might want to review our free checklist, "11 Tips to Create the Perfect Social Media Post."