This is a guest blog from Mike Pedersen, founder of The Dental Boost. He has been working exclusively with dentists for the past nine years. Mike has 20 years of digital marketing experience and has been an entrepreneur his entire adult life.

Let’s start off by addressing the elephant in the room. Dentistry is one of the most competitive businesses on the planet. There is a dentist on every block in every major city. The ADA states for every 100,000 in population, there are at least 60 dentists. When the top three to five dental offices in an area are investing big dollars and using multiple strategies to dominate their local area, it becomes difficult to gain market share and attract more patients.

There is a quote by one of the most successful CEO’s in our country, Jeff Bezos of Amazon: “The business willing to invest the most to acquire a customer wins.” As a dental business owner, you must understand and embrace this. If you have invested in marketing before and not seen the results, it is most likely due to a small marketing budget compared to your competition.

In this blog, I share important tips on how much to invest in marketing to grow your practice and thrive.

Multi-Channel Marketing is the Answer

Just like anything in life, if you put all your eggs in one basket, you are taking a huge risk. Nothing is forever! If you are investing in only one marketing channel (e.g., Google AdWords, Facebook advertising, SEO, or direct mail), you are vulnerable to that one platform taking it all away from you. The most effective approach is implementing two to three marketing strategies during the same period. When you take this strategic approach, you are gaining more marketing share, building a stronger brand, and protecting yourself from something bad happening in the economy.

With this type of approach, you will need to invest more to be successful. If you have a $5,000 monthly marketing budget, it is best to use that wisely and efficiently in each channel and track its performance to pivot when needed.

Dental Marketing Strategies to Implement

Google Maps SEO: This will give you the best ROI long term as over 70% of all local business service calls come from the Maps section of Google. If you are not in the top three businesses that show up on a mobile device, you are missing out on 70% of your new patient potential. With that being said, SEO is a black hole for a lot of dentists. I take calls every week from dentists who feel burned by SEO agencies—as they did not get the results that were promised. This is painful to hear but depending on the competitiveness of your market and your current position on Google Maps, it may take six months to a year to get where you want to be. This takes a long-term mindset and approach for you, the dental business owner, but it’s one strategy you must have in place if you plan on being in your current location five or more years.  We have had dental clients double or triple the calls from their Google listing, producing an equally impressive increase in new patients.

Google AdWords: AdWords can bring in some quick results. But again, depending on the competitiveness of your area, you need to have a decent monthly budget to get Google’s attention to show your ad. And you must realize that 20% of the clicks you are paying for are spam.  Google made $162 billion in revenue in 2019. They are getting more expensive and difficult with their requirements for advertisers. Also, over 80% of people searching in Google skip the ads and click on a Google Maps result.

Facebook Advertising: Facebook is a platform with over 1.62 billion people using it every day. Facebook, like Google, is getting more and more expensive and difficult with their ad requirements, limitations, etc.  But it is still a platform to be on as a dental business owner. The budgets can be realistic compared to Google AdWords, but they still need to be enough to get Facebook’s attention and show your ad to enough people to get the leads. Because people are not on Facebook to shop, the quality of the lead is not as good as on Google—where people are searching for solutions to their problems. Keep that in mind when the leads starting coming in. If you have a marketing company that will help you with the follow up, you can get more qualified leads.

Direct Mail: I know what you’re thinking. Direct mail is junk mail that everyone throws away. You could not be further from the truth. There is a huge opportunity for you to gain market share, increase brand awareness and new patients from effective postcard marketing. The problem with postcard marketing is most companies send out generic postcards with stock images and the same offers for every dentist. That is the kind of mail that WILL get thrown out. It does not stand out when someone gets it in their home.  You’ve got to create postcards that get their attention in the first three seconds, then give them a reason to call you instead of your competitors. One of our dental clients got 12 new patients, worth $22,000, in one month! That was a 10:1 ROI. These results are not guaranteed, but because most marketing agencies are 100% digital, it’s a massive opportunity for you to get in front of thousands of potential patients every month.

Email Marketing: This is one of the most effective marketing strategies in the dental industry. Is email marketing as effective as it was 5-10 years ago? No. But is it a marketing strategy you should implement on a monthly basis? Absolutely! You have two databases in your practice. Active and inactive. You are sitting on a goldmine between these two databases. Implementing email campaigns that provides value, builds trust and creates personal relationships with your patients will do wonders for your revenues.

Want to learn more about multi-channel marketing? Set up a 15-minute exploratory call where Mike Pedersen will give you insight as to how to consistently grow your revenues. Click here to schedule your call.

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