The dentistry industry has gone digital.
In a world where the demand for dental services is growing by the day, dental businesses must stand out to succeed. Dental practices must offer competitive pricing and quality services, all backed by a solid marketing plan.
Top dental clinics around the world are shifting their marketing efforts to the digital realm, leveraging the reach and accessibility of digital technologies and the Internet to attract new patients and boost awareness.
Wondering how you can effectively promote your dental business? In this article, we’ll explain how you can spread the word and attract loyal patients with a combination of digital and event marketing techniques. Ready? Let’s go.
Brief insights into the current state of dentistry
Modern consumers are faced with a plethora of choices every day. From the brand of cereal we buy in the supermarket to the shoes we put on our feet—most of our purchase decisions involve a choice between different brands offering similar things.
The same goes for where we place our trust when it comes to our teeth. The dentistry business has come a long way in recent years. Despite setbacks due to the global pandemic, the dentistry industry is bouncing back—quickly. As the demand for dental services grows, so does the choice of dental clinics we’re faced with.
A report by Market Research Future predicts that the dental industry will achieve an impressive CAGR of 7.6% between 2019 and 2025. In the United States, the dental industry is worth a whopping $138.8 billion and experienced a market size growth of 8.4% in 2021. In the UK, the numbers are equally impressive.
A particular area of interest in the dentistry industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where increasing awareness about oral hygiene, the growing demand for cosmetic dental services, and the nation playing host to world-class dental events are driving a boom in dental businesses. With the demand for dental services in the UAE expected to increase by 156% by 2025, businesses are leveraging the power of inbound marketing to succeed and grow.
Other factors driving the dental industry full-steam ahead is the increasing accessibility of previously complicated and overly expensive treatments and innovations in dental devices driven by recent investments and acquisitions.
Some dental trends fuelling the market and keeping industry professionals on their toes include 3D printing of dental products (dentures, clear teeth aligners, etc), the demand for natural and sustainable oral hygiene products, and the availability of telehealth services.
So where does digital marketing fit into it all?
The current role of digital marketing in the dentistry industry
As a result of shifts in the dentistry consumer landscape, dental businesses must adopt digital marketing strategies to stand out, giving patients incentive to choose their practice over another.
In one survey conducted in January 2021, 38% of dental practitioners agreed that digital marketing would enhance their practice and increase their profits. Dental businesses the world over have upped their digital games, adapting to consumer demands for online accessibility, affordability, and a customer experience offering more than just generic services.
So how are dentists using digital marketing to grow their business and reach their goals?
Practices are investing an increasing amount of money in their dental marketing budgets, particularly when it comes to their website design and usability. Having a fast, mobile-friendly website is no longer an option for dentists. Nowadays, patients expect to be able to reach out to their dentist and book appointments with little effort.
Dental businesses are also becoming increasingly present on social media. 1 in 3 dental patients agrees that dental practices need to invest resources in Facebook marketing. Along with other social media channels like Instagram and Twitter, Facebook marketing is a low-cost way for dental practices to promote their services to the local community and an international audience.
Content marketing is another tool dentists are using to connect with their audience. As part of their content strategy, practices are sharing dental marketing blogs, webinars, and other types of content to share oral hygiene tips or examine industry trends/challenges.
Dentists are also using more video marketing to connect with their audience to share their services, with 58% of patients reporting that they prefer seeing video content from dental practices.
Although interacting with patients and leads through digital channels definitely has its place in the patient-dentist relationship, face-to-face interactions simply can’t be replaced.
That’s where event marketing comes in.
What is event marketing?
Event marketing refers to the process of using events to promote a business, product, or service. In the B2B sphere, events make up for 29% of the marketing budget, in comparison to B2C companies which spend an average of 19%.
Event marketing allows businesses to form new connections, provide learning opportunities, and facilitate memorable experiences for prospective and returning customers.
Events can take place offline or online. Some common types of events include:
- Conferences or seminars
- Thought leadership events
- Networking events
- Ceremonies and galas
- Launch/open events
- Virtual events (webinars, online meetings, etc)
- Team building events
There are countless examples of excellent event marketing campaigns from some of the world’s top brands.
There’s Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which it uses as an event marketing strategy to promote its latest products. A great example of experiential event marketing is Refinery29’s annual 29Rooms event, where attendees can experience 29 individually branded rooms in an “ interactive funhouse of style, culture, & technology.” Or, maybe you remember the time, back in 2009, when Volkswagen turned a subway staircase in Stockholm into a giant piano—which resulted in 66% more people choosing the stairs over the escalator!
Event marketing is making waves in the healthcare industry. This is due to the radical role it plays in helping organizations to deliver information, enhance the customer experience, and stay abreast with industry trends and breakthroughs. It’s also seeping into the dentistry industry as a way for dental practices to better connect with and serve their patients.
The main advantage event marketing has over other forms of digital marketing is that it’s based on connections. Some key benefits include:
- It allows you to connect with prospective customers/patients directly, generating new leads for your dental practice.
- It enables you to establish yourself as an industry expert and leader, showing the community that you’re staying on top of industry trends.
- You can share information and knowledge with a wide audience, providing value and helping to build your brand presence online and offline.
- You can use new channels and methods to connect with patients.
- You’ll reach a targeted audience of individuals who are interested in what you have to offer and willing to give their time to listen to what you have to say.
How to use events in your inbound marketing campaign for your dental practice
Going to the dentist can be pretty scary, especially for young kids but —surprisingly— also for adults, with 17.5% reporting anxiety as the main reason for avoiding the dentist.
Event marketing is your chance to help make them feel comfortable and at ease with you. They’re also a great way to boost awareness of your dental practice, establish yourself within the dental industry, and encourage long-lasting client relationships. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.
1. Connect with industry leaders at world-class dental health conferences
One of the best ways to market your dental practice is to be present at world-class dental events like the World Dental and Oral Health Conference and The UAE International Dental Conference and Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC), both taking place in Dubai this year. Attending events like this will allow you to connect with and learn from industry experts, researchers, and global performers while establishing yourself as an industry expert.
These conferences deal with a range of different themes, exploring current trends, successes, and challenges in the dental world.
The theme of the World Dental and Oral Health Conference this year is “Creative Approaches for Oral and Dental Health”, bringing together dental professionals, innovators, researchers, and more together to showcase their research, discuss future oral health challenges, and share thought-provoking industry developments in a two-day event.
The AEEDC provides dental professionals and business investors with another opportunity to connect and share ideas, with this year’s theme being “Education & Innovation Transfer”. This year’s conference will focus on providing businesses with a platform to exhibit their latest research in what’s been dubbed “The Largest Annual Scientific Dental Conference & Exhibition in the World”. This year’s conference topics, among others, include:
- Dental Hygiene
- Dental Practice Growth (Management and Marketing)
- Laser Dentistry
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Robotic in Dentistry
- Digital Dentistry
After attending conferences and other events like this, you can share what you learned or contributed at the event with your local community via social media, an email newsletter, or a blog. The fact that you’ve attended or virtually participated in these events will show your audience that you’re dedicated to staying on top of your game!
2. Host an open house event to introduce your business to the community
If you’re just starting, an effective way to make a great first impression on the community is to hold an open house event. Whether you’re opening a practice for the first time, or you’ve remodeled your existing practice—an open house allows you to connect with potential and existing patients.
Here are some tips for hosting a memorable open house event for your dental practice:
- When: Schedule the event at a time that’s convenient for the community. Avoid the holidays!
- Where: Consider your space. Is your dental practice located in a shopping mall, or is it a standalone building? Does it offer a parking area? Be realistic about planning your event in the space you have.
- What: Plan your event to align with what you want the community to take away from it. Give them a chance to schedule an appointment at the event, or provide them with an incentive to do so before they leave the event.
- How: Make sure your open house coincides with your brand image. Are you family-friendly? Are you catering to high-end professionals seeking cosmetic treatment? Who: If your niche market is dental services for kids and families, then you’ll want to plan some activities. Think bouncy castles, arts & crafts activities, educational games relating to oral hygiene, etc.
- To cater or not to cater? Small snacks, nibbles, and drinks should be offered to tide kids over while parents socialize. If you have a smaller budget, why not ask around in the community and strike a deal with someone willing to cater the event.
A successful open house event will allow you to make direct connections with members of the community, and let them see firsthand why they should put their teeth in your hands!
3. Get involved in the local community
No matter where in the world your dental practice is, you’ll want to establish good relationships within the community. Patients will feel more connected and at ease, with a dentist they meet or interact with outside of the dreaded dental chair.
To make this happen, get involved in the community! Sponsor local events (think: kids athletics events or charity galas) or organize them yourself to establish yourself in the community and attract the attention of a wider audience. It’s all for a good cause, too!
No matter what’s going on in the community, be as involved as possible. The people next door are going to be your best customers!
A recipe for success: Combine event marketing with digital marketing to maximize results
In today’s digital world, relying on word-of-mouth marketing or paid advertising isn’t going to cut it in the booming dentistry industry. It’s more important than ever before for dental businesses to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Whether attending world-class dental conferences is on the cards or you want to stay close to home with a community launch event, event marketing should play an integral role in your dental marketing strategy.
Using a combination of digital and event marketing techniques is a foolproof way to ensure your dental practice is visible to the community and establish a base of loyal and returning customers.
Need some tailored advice about digital and event marketing for your dental business ? We can help. Book a consultation today.