Whether you’re opening your first dental office or have an existing practice that needs some extra “oomph,” you may want a new dental marketing strategy. However, how will your new dental marketing cost affect your bottom line? Will advertising and a sleek new website with online scheduling and payments bring in enough new patients to offset the costs?
Learn more about the cost of dental marketing and determining the best way to estimate your budget for website development, search engine optimization (SEO), and other organic and paid marketing options.
What Are Common Costs Associated with Dental Marketing?
In trying to find new patients for your dental practice, what are common costs you should consider in your marketing budget? Some costs you should consider when establishing a budget include:
- Website development and design
- Added features and third-party app integration for your website
- SEO content development for site service pages, local pages, and blog posts
- Paid ads for Google Local Services Ads (LSA)
- Paid social media ads with local targeting
- Email campaigns to retain existing patients with special offers and regular dental health reminders
You also need other office tools to help you manage your marketing campaigns and results, including CRM (customer relationship management) software that stores contact information and patient notes.
Establishing a Marketing Budget
How do you plan a budget for your marketing? If you’re an existing practice, you can calculate your marketing budget based on previous years’ revenue. If you’re just opening your practice, you must estimate your revenue goals for the first three years and then calculate how much to set aside for marketing based on growth goals.
Factors that matter when establishing a budget include your goals for growth and the competition in your market. If you’re happy with your current patient numbers or don’t have many competitors, you can spend less on marketing than offices with several local competitors or high growth goals.
So, how much should you spend? For new offices, consider spending:
- 10% for slow growth or in a less competitive market
- 18% for moderate growth or in a fairly competitive market
- 25% for fast growth or in a highly competitive market
Be aware of the risks of setting your growth goals too high, such as not having the space or personnel to manage the influx of patients. Consider starting slowly and building up to a higher marketing budget.
For existing offices, consider spending:
- 2-3% to maintain
- 3-5% for slow growth or in less competitive markets
- 5-7% for fast growth or in highly competitive markets
Planning for the Cost of Dental Marketing
Developing a marketing plan involves identifying your target market and meeting them where they are. Patients use multiple platforms and methods to find a new dentist, which is why your dental marketing cost could be much higher than you anticipated if you don’t budget correctly. What should your marketing strategy include?
You need a fast, responsive website that works well on PC and mobile devices and has all the tools a patient might want. Your site should handle scheduling, reminders, and bill-paying services.
SEO is the science of creating content on your site that helps your practice rank over competitors in the search results for relevant search terms and keywords on Google and other search engines. Understanding the factors that search engines measure for ranking search results and developing relevant content to meet certain search parameters is key for your website.
Google allows business owners to set up Google Business Profiles and set their location for advertising. You can also purchase ad space on Google to appear at the top of the local listings as a sponsored advertiser for your dental services.
Social Media Advertising
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great for targeted local advertising. You can choose information about who to show your ads to, including distance, age, and other demographic information.
Existing Patient Retention Marketing
Email campaign software can help you market special deals and reminders for existing patients, including newsletters, reduced-price services, and other key information to keep your office at the forefront of patients’ minds.
Get More Insights into Marketing for Your Dental Practice
If you need content marketing for dentists, turn to the experienced marketers at Dental Intelligence. Learn more about our full range of dental marketing tools and schedule a demo to discuss the dental marketing cost for your practice.