We’re halfway through 2022, and by now, we’ve seen a significant change in how dentists and dental clinics market their practices.
Many people may wonder why dental marketing is necessary in the first place. Don’t we all need dental healthcare? Yes, but private dentistry in South Africa is a competitive field, and patients are always looking for the most inviting and cost-effective practices to get their care.
Strategic dental marketing is the best way to get patients to know more about you and your practice. But what draws them in?
What attracts dental patients in 2022?
The overall trend we have observed this year in dental patients is their being increasingly focused on their experience at a practice. They want to know what to expect, who will serve them, and what is available.
Dental patients want to visit a practice that exudes warmth and trust. Top-performing words in dental marketing ads that led to the highest conversions were ‘trusted’, ‘gentle’ and ‘caring’. It’s essential for patients to feel that they are in safe hands who care about their well-being.
Our research findings show that dentists who include their associations and accreditations increased patient enquiry rates by 8%. However, we also found that too much focus on credentials and a professional tone comes across as clinical and impersonal. Remember to let patients know that you provide high-quality care with a gentle touch.
One of the best ways to showcase your personal brand is through exceptional copywriting and personal photographs on your website, social media and campaigns. Patient engagement increased by a whopping 26% when professionals used images of themselves engaging with patients. Your potential patients want to see you in action providing services to others, as this will help them to imagine the experience they might have with you.
Trends we’re in dental marketing
1. Online reviews boost enquiries
As we said before, patients want to know what they can expect from you and your dental practice. One of the ways they find out is through online reviews, whether it be Google reviews, Facebook reviews or testimonials on your website. Inviting your current, loyal patients to leave reviews for your practice is an excellent way for others to make informed decisions about your services.
Online reviews have become the new word-of-mouth, and research shows that 84% of patients trust these reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Not only do positive reviews attract patients, but they also increase your SEO and Google rankings so that your practice name is one of the first to pop up in your potential patients’ search results.
2. Remarketing campaigns keep patients loyal
It’s all good and well to grow your practice with new patients, but it is equally important to let your current patients know how valued they are. Building trusting relationships with your patients is how you grow your practice’s reputation and ensure its longevity.
As part of your dental marketing strategy, implement a campaign targeted at your current clients to remind them about their regular check-ups, dental cleanings, specials and new services you offer. This can be through a monthly newsletter, social media marketing or ad campaigns.
3. Mixed media has reach
Modern technology has made an array of media available right at our fingertips. Videography, photography and content all work together to keep patients invested when viewing an ad, post or reading about a service on your website. We combine all of these elements to create mixed media campaigns that are captivating and personal.
Social media is an especially essential tool for mixed media and where you can showcase your brand’s personality. Patients enjoy seeing transformations that you have done, whether it’s a smile makeover or fillings. In addition, you can show yourself and your team at the office and during procedures that will let patients know what to expect when they come for a service.
Check out: Social media marketing for dentists
4. Teledentistry is here
The global pandemic created a resurgence in telehealth and digital consultations. Teledentistry provides flexible care through telephone calls and virtual appointments to help patients with common dental issues. Of course, a cleaning or root canal cannot be performed over the phone, but teledentistry is helpful for queries or concerns where the patient cannot make an in-person appointment.
5. Invest in your practice
Dental marketing is an investment in your practice and requires considerable spending. Ad campaigns and social media boosting can expand your reach to target a specific kind of client. This means that your marketing is tailored to the type of patient you want, whether by location or affordability.
Turning your practice into a welcoming space with state-of-the-art technology is important for patient experience, but it is equally important to put resources into getting those patients to your practice. And this is where dental marketing plays the most prominent role.