A Comprehensive Guide to Manage your Dental Marketing Campaigns During COVID-19
As the timeline of the pandemic and economic recovery remains fluid, there is a need for dentists to approach their business strategies with more certainty. Many dentists have had to implement new solutions to reopen and keep their dental practice thriving during the pandemic. Some dental practices introduced teledentistry and increased their investments in paid advertisements as a means to optimize their operations and marketing campaigns.
Business is no longer the same for dentists and their patients. As dentists become more familiar with changes in operations, patient behaviours and dental care service delivery, now is a good time to review marketing campaigns, think outside the box and improve the way we communicate with patients. Most importantly, this is the time to take action and implement solutions that enhance the relationship between dentists and patients.
In this article, we will discuss the three keys to managing your dental marketing campaigns and the actions steps you need to take as you continue to navigate your response to the ongoing pandemic and economic recovery. The strategies we will be discussing are largely based on data that were provided by Google and Nielsen Holdings throughout the pandemic.
3 Keys to Managing Your Dental Marketing Campaigns During Covid-19
1. Base your approach on patient insights
As a dentist, your patients are your main priority. They are the core of everything you do within your dental practice. It is only right for your patients to be the inspiration for your dental marketing campaign strategy. The direction of your dental marketing campaigns should be influenced by the decisions and actions of your patients.
We may not know how long the pandemic and economy recovery process will last but we can review data about our patient’s needs and behaviours during and after the crisis. By having a high-converting mobile responsive website with a Live Chat tool for communicating with patients and a customizable review platform that collects patient feedback efficiently, you can gather data and insights about your patients. Created by Connect the Doc, these powerful marketing tools can help you capture patient insights and guide your decision-making process as you manage your dental marketing campaigns.
There are three ways you can base your approach on your patient insights:
- Meet Patients Where They Are: As public health officials continue to advise people to practice social distancing and avoid non-essential travels, more patients are spending their time close to or at home. This has increased local search queries on search engine result pages (SERP). Your dental marketing campaigns should focus on attracting patients that are close to your dental practice. You could consider offering discounts to local patients as a way to encourage patients in your community to make an appointment and visit your dental practice.
- Optimize Your Content Marketing Strategy: In the United States, there is a 60% increase in the amount of media content being consumed per day - according to Nielsen data. This means that more patients are spending their time online searching for and learning about dental care services and dental practices. Now is a great time to improve your dental practice’s online presence by optimizing the content you share online through your website and social media pages. You need to work on your website’s SEO to ensure your dental practice ranks high on Google’s SERPs and can be found online organically. More so, you should create an online reputation management strategy that allows you to monitor your current and prospective patients’ interest in your dental practice.
- Implement More Internet-First Strategies: If more patients are searching for dental practices and making appointments online, it goes without saying that you need to prioritize your online marketing strategies. Although physical marketing strategies and face-to-face interactions are still valuable when possible, public health guidelines are recommending less physical interactions and dental practices have to follow suit. You can implement more innovative online marketing strategies by investing in paid advertisements, optimizing your online presence, creating an online reputation management strategy, introducing an online system for making appointments - possibly using your Google my Business profile - and providing an online COVID-19 pre-screening form for patients who make appointments.
You can use tools like Google Trends and Google Market Finder to keep up with your patient insights and learn more about what patients are searching for online at any given time. Connect the doc’s marketing experts can help you gather more in-depth data about your patients’ needs and behaviours. Our experts will use this data to guide you to make more informed decisions about your marketing strategies. Also, we will provide you with the core tools you need to respond to changes in your patient’s demand and behaviours.
2. Assess the Impact on your Dental Practice
Each dentist has unique goals for their dental practice. As such, dentists are responding differently to the pandemic and economic recovery. You must navigate this season based on the sort of impact it has had on your dental practice and the goals you have set.
Typically, dentists and their dental practices have been impacted in at least one of these four ways:
- Dentists are experiencing new challenges due to fluctuating demand, financial constraints and logistical disruptions
- Dentists are being forced to reassess their priorities and business approach in the short term to mitigate risks until they can decide on a long-term plan
- Dentists are pivoting and adapting by introducing new dental care service delivery methods and patient-communication strategies
- Dentists are experiencing an increase in demand and investing in digital marketing strategies to meet the demand.
Depending on the way your dental practice has been impacted, you may relate to one or more of these four scenarios. The rest of this article will focus on the action steps you can take to manage your dental marketing campaigns right now depending on how you and your dental practice have been impacted by the pandemic and economic recovery.
3. Take Action
After reviewing your patient insights, re-evaluating your goals and assessing the nature of the impact that the pandemic and economic recovery process is having on your dental practice, the next step is to take action.
- Dentists are Experiencing New Challenges
Many dentists are faced with new business challenges that they never imagined they would have to worry about. Amid these challenges, it is important to keep your existing patients in mind and communicate the status of your dental practice with them. You can do this by sending out regular email newsletters, posting updates on your dental practice’s social media pages and adding a COVID-19 website announcement banner on your website.
You may also consider investing in digital marketing strategies that make your conversions more cost-effective. For example, if you run paid advertisements campaigns, you could switch you to a Target Cost per Action bidding strategy, start using dynamic ad creative that you can easily update to reflect changes in your services and adjust your target audience to include patients who are most likely to take action and make new appointments. This may also be a good time to pause ad campaigns that aren’t cash-flow positive or update your ad scheduling to reflect changes in your dental practice’s operations.
The key here is to adapt and make changes quickly. If you are experiencing new challenges, your priority should be optimizing communications with your patients and reviewing your ads strategy to reflect changes in your dental practice.
- Dentists are Reassessing their Priorities
Before the pandemic struck, several dentists had plans and goals for their careers and dental practices. Some dentists were planning to expand their dental practice, others were planning to sell their dental practice and retire and some others were preparing to introduce new dental care services and products. With the onset of the pandemic, many of these plans have changed and these dentists have to reassess their priorities.
If you are not planning to sell your dental practice and/or retire, your patients should continue to be your main focus. As you reassess your priorities, think about ways that you can keep attracting your high-value and local patients to your dental practice. Your dental marketing campaign strategy should target this group of patients. Optimize your bids and budgets to reflect this change and consider using responsive display ads to increase your chance of scoring high conversions. As your priorities and services change, you should update the keywords you use in your marketing strategy accordingly.
If you are planning to sell your dental practice and retire, you should make arrangements to leave the dental practice in good shape. We recently shared an article on how to prepare yourself and your dental practice for retirement. Take some time to read that article and follow the necessary steps to map out your career path and create a solid financial plan towards your retirement.
- Dentists are Pivoting and Adapting by Introducing Changes
Market changes are forcing dentists to pivot away from their usual mode of operations and service delivery and adapt by modifying their services and products. One of the major changes that we have observed is the move towards online and digital modes of service delivery. Several dentists have introduced teledentistry for remote assessments and triage. Dental practices are using online Covid-19 pre-screening forms to ensure the safety of patients and team members at their practices.
If you have introduced these changes to your dental practice, it is important to continue to maintain a good online presence and implement online reputation management strategies. You should update your online business profiles, such as your Google My Business profile, and ad campaigns with information about your opening hours, services and safety precautions. You may also consider integrating Live Chat with your website that allows you to communicate easily with your current and prospective patients and gather more patient insights.
- Dentists are Experiencing Increase in Demand and Investing in Digital Marketing Strategies
As cities reopened after the lockdown, patients who had been waiting to reschedule their postponed appointments or schedule appointments for their pending dental care concerns have driven up demand for several local dentists and dental practices. These dentists have had to respond by investing in digital marketing strategies that keep patients informed about opening hours, appointment process and wait times as well as safety measures that are being implemented at their dental practice.
If you are experiencing high patient demand, you should consider investing in ad campaigns and a Live Chat tool on your website that keep your current and prospective patients updated on new changes in your operations and procedures. You should also use this opportunity to gather comprehensive feedback from patients and encourage them to refer new and prospective patients to your dental practice using Connect the Doc’s review and referral platforms.
This article isn’t useful to you if you don’t commit to taking action and positioning your dental practice for success during and after the pandemic and economic recovery. Regardless of how you or your dental practice has been impacted, you have to keep responding quickly and decisively to changes you are experiencing. A swift and conscious decision can save you time and money in the long run.
Connect the Doc empowers you to take control of your online presence using our array of marketing tools and services. Our marketing experts are committed to keeping you connected to your patients and ensuring you benefit from high-converting dental marketing campaigns. Contact us today and let us guide you as you manage your dental marketing campaign during this season.