Dentistry is one of the most complex service industries globally, requiring a vast amount of "how-to" knowledge, including medical, compliance, legal, financial, psychological, social, and commercial.
And of course, there's a vast amount of information online if you want to know how to do something. But nobody ever talks about what not to do.
So we're throwing a curveball and giving you eight common dental marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Don't Underestimate the Power of Marketing
One of the biggest downfalls when marketing a dental practice is a lack of preparation. Of course, having a successful marketing campaign is essential to driving footfall to your business. But set your goals beforehand.
The last thing you want is a massive influx of customers suddenly motivated to transform their smile because the agency you used failed to understand that all you needed was a marginal uplift in trade. All you'll end up with is many angry customers who can't book an appointment when they need it most.
A good agency will take time to understand your business goals and intentions and either target your campaign to a smaller niche or spread the marketing out for the long game. This avoids over-marketing from ever being a problem.
2. Don't Fix a Non-Existent Problem
Again, this comes down to a lack of understanding. Take time to understand your existing business model and what you want the end goal of the marketing to be. Is it to increase the number of customers? Are you rebuilding trust in your practice after a scandal?
There are so many factors to consider within this bracket that it's too easy to put out a campaign to drive footfall without really understanding what footfall you want nor the problem you're trying to fix.
3. Don't Set Unrealistic Expectations
Note this mindset can also go the other way. If you have unrealistic expectations for your marketing, then you're going to be disappointed. For example, let's say you expect a million hits on your website and only get 500. See what we mean?
Even if your marketing campaign is effective, the results will vary. For example, it could be that your existing online presence is great, and the new strategy brings more exposure to it. And it's great that you're driving traffic to your website with high-quality content.
But is that content turning customers away? Then, again, are you targeting the right audiences? These are all questions a good agency will cover to make sure that your expectations are set before commencing the campaign.
4. Don't Expect Miracles Overnight
Marketing is, in most cases, a long game. That's especially true for dentistry. The medical profession involves a huge amount of trust and faith from the public, and even in emergency cases, given a choice, a customer will go for the practice they trust the most.
So it's imperative to understand that trust builds over time, and if that trust fades for whatever reason, marketing dental practices online should involve a long-term ambition, not a quick fix.
It's similar to teeth. Would your clients prefer a quick fix that lasts six months or a long-term solution that lasts ten years?
5. Don't Be Afraid to Be Creative
When you're working with a good dental marketing service, you can afford to be creative. There are so many ways you can target your audience and so many angles that can increase the effectiveness of your campaign.
If you're trying to decide which digital marketing strategy is best for your practice, remember that there's a range of options available to evaluate – from in-house and DIY programs to outsourced agencies.
Remember that the purpose of marketing is not making money but generating awareness. So, of course, your brand marketing has to remain professional and have a degree of severity. But don't be afraid to try new, inventive ideas that will get people talking about your business.
After all, you're in the business of making people smile. So use that to your advantage!
6. Don't Expect Everything To Work First Time
There's no way to prevent mistakes, but you can minimize them by knowing your budget and being realistic about the market. It's tempting to take advice from a well-meaning friend or family member who tells you that they'll buy a billboard in your town if you give them a check.
We aren't saying to ignore these people completely, but have a pretty good idea of what works for your practice before making any promises.
7. Don't Neglect Time
Your time is precious. Think about how much you earn per hour as a business, and apply that to your dental marketing budget. If you know that your time has value, then you can weigh the costs of your efforts.
Like all other outsourcing, is it worth the stress and hassle of trying to do your marketing? A specialist can complete the work in half the time and charge less than you earn per hour. They can also make sure you don't overspend on your budgeting allowance and pull in higher revenue at the same time.
Suddenly outsourcing work becomes a no-brainer. You wouldn't expect your accountant to repair their cavities, right? Never forget that other than the money that goes into running a practice, time is the most valuable asset in life.
8. Don't Ignore Professional Advice
If you’re going to spend time marketing businesses online in your downtime, make sure it’s done the right way. Stay away from spammy tactics, and use email marketing and content marketing to drive traffic to your practice website where you can engage with people organically.
This advice mostly applies to social media, which is where most business owners feel most comfortable. However, a good marketing strategist or social media manager will be more than happy to offer training and support that lets you retain control.
That's true, whether it's approving the posts from the pros or helping you write your own for them to edit afterward.
Fix These Dental Marketing Mistakes Today
The Internet is a wonderful opportunity for dental professionals. Specifically, communicating directly with patients is an edge that you cannot afford to miss.
It gives that personal touch and community spirit that makes so many of us smile. But at the same time, it's best to have an expert involved that makes sure you aren't making these classic dental marketing mistakes.
So if you need a change of marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact one of the best dental marketing agencies today. To find out how we can help you reach more customers in your area, drop us a message - let's make you smile!