It goes without saying that the marketing landscape is in a constant state of transition due to evolving technologies, shifts in consumer behavior and more. As with any industry, it’s imperative that dentists and dental practices stay current in their familiarity with these trends and changes to keep their practices visible and new patients coming through the door. A good place to start is examining the trends that either began or gained prominence in 2018, so as to accordingly develop marketing approaches and areas of focus for the new year.
One of the fastest growing trends in marketing is the importance of video content. 85% of the internet audience in the United States watches online videos, and their use can be mutually beneficial for potential patients and dental practices. practices can reach and actively engage a wider audience – potentially bringing new patients into the practice – due to more easily ingestible content which allows the viewers to have an easier time researching a new dental office or practice with more easily digestible content.
Additionally, video content gives doctors and practices an opportunity to showcase their personal brand, something that simple photos and text may fail to do. Showcasing your personal brand is not a new concept for 2018, but its importance has become heightened due to the crowding of the dental marketing space. Viral dental practice associate Tracy Driver, one of the speakers at the 2018 Dental Digital Marketing Conference, advised that your practice “[has] to find something to share on social media that sets you apart from other practices. Do something you love, something you’re comfortable with, then push yourself beyond that.” In addition to promoting your personal brand, sharable video content reaches a wider audience, resulting in more people talking about your practice. As Mark W. Schaefer, another speaker at the 2018 Dental Digital Marketing Conference, pointed out, “The world is moving away from big advertising – people don’t trust ads anymore… but when your patients post stories about your practice, it gets 600-700% more traction than if you did it yourself.”
Of course, videos aren’t the only way to employ a word-of-mouth approach. While every dental professional undoubtedly understands the importance of referrals, it’s important to recognize that they’re becoming more crucial by the day, and dental software can help capitalize on this. Between 2010 and 2016, the average number of patients referred by someone else rose by 13,000. Explore how your dental software program can help you track your referral sources.
To that end, brand advocates have become invaluable in 2018. While these individuals may be known by other names like brand evangelists or ambassadors, they all accomplish the same thing: promoting and advocating your practice to others in their daily lives – beyond having just been asked to refer a friend or family member for a gift card or discount. To quote dental marketing guru Jack Hadley, “Ultimately, the goal of digital dental marketing is not just to attract and retain new patients. It’s to turn those patients into advocates for your practice. That’s the core of digital marketing.”
Keep this information in mind as we head into 2019, and stay tuned to the Big Buzz blog for more news and insight into developing dental marketing trends.