Posted by Amy Carbone on Feb 10, 2021 9:00:00 AM
Dentistry is changing at a rapid pace. Dental technology, staffing practices, and dozens of other factors can have a sizable impact on your practice and others throughout the country.
One of the biggest areas of change for dental practices has been marketing. In previous years, a website, a few billboards, and maybe a television ad would be sufficient to keep a dental practice growing with new patients.
Today, the marketing landscape looks much different. Part of this is because of COVID, part of it is because of patient expectations, and part of it is because we have new tools today that we didn’t have last year.
So how will 2021 change for dental practice marketing? What trends could 2021 bring that will make it distinct from 2020?
We have a few possible answers below.
1. Video Appointments with Patients
While your patients can’t have their teeth cleaned via Zoom, video meetings in the form of telemedicine are still an important part of practice operation. Telemedicine is electronic communication via various platforms allowing your patients to talk directly to you as their dentist.
In other words, this tool allows you to communicate face-to-face via electronic video platforms with your patients while they remain at home. You can use video meetings to communicate with new patients as you would in an in-person consultation or you can utilize them to advise patients on what they should do when facing a dental emergency after a video evaluation of their symptoms.
2. Video Marketing Will Become More Important
Not only are video meetings still going strong and even growing within the dental industry, but video marketing, in general, is also still an active and effective marketing avenue. There are several platforms you can use for video marketing purposes including TikTok, Instagram Reels and more. If you would like to feature longer videos, perhaps explaining proper oral care or covering other dental-related topics, you can create a presence on YouTube.
This video channel allows you to post longer videos, such as instructional or educational videos. You can utilize both recorded and live videos for marketing purposes as a dental professional. Don’t forget to incorporate social media into the mix to build brand awareness for your practice within your community. Using online marketing will be even more important into the new year and beyond as many people are isolated and using online resources for education.
3. Reviews Will Grow in Importance
While marketing strategies and helpful tools are important, actual customer reviews will remain important as well into 2021. Building trust between your practice and your patients is immensely important and will hopefully mean they recommend your practice to others.
Consider how you can encourage authentic reviews at scale. You can use prompts, with signage throughout your office to request a review on various platforms. However, sometimes, getting reviews is as simple as asking for them. No, you don’t want to come across as pushy to your patients, but most of them won’t mind helping you out if you ask them to leave you a review if they are truly happy with your practice.
4. Communication May Become Preferential
Another important element of dental marketing showing up in the new year and beyond is the desire to meet customers or patients where they are and in a form they appreciate. That means providing communication options that are ideal for them.
For example, offer chat, WhatsApp, social media messaging and texting as a service option for your patients. There is no need to actually call patients and remind them of appointments or to follow up on issues (though you can for those patients who prefer that). Today, you can choose to use text or electronic communication in a wide variety of ways, meeting patients where they are and communicating as they do in every other area of life.
You should review with a legal professional, to ensure that you conduct these communications in a legal manner.
5. Transparency in Procedure Will Be Expected
While your patients likely always cared a bit about what went on behind the scenes of your dental practice in terms of cleanliness and procedures, now they want to know everything. This is a direct result of the 2020 pandemic and points to your patients’ need to feel safe visiting your office.
Make sure your patients know what you are doing as a dental practice to keep them safe. It’s also important to communicate with them about any procedures that have changed with the COVID-19 mandates. If they are to wait in their car when arriving for a cleaning, it’s important to let them know ahead of time. This time of uncertainty is difficult enough, so be transparent and upfront about all your current practice policies and regulations. This shows your patients you are committed to keeping them safe as they prioritize their oral health.
How Are These Trends Different from Previous Years?
While many dental marketing trends of 2019 remain valid, there are some new avenues to address into 2021 and beyond as well. The global pandemic has changed how we go about day-to-day life in many ways and has also impacted marketing.
Now, patients want to be more informed than ever before. They care about what you do or plan to do to keep them safe and they want to feel at ease when visiting your practice. Consider how marketing practices have changed since just 2019 and contemplate what the trends may look like in the upcoming year and beyond by reading our Dental Marketing Trends to Follow in 2019 article.
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This content is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice. Treloar & Heisel, LLC. and its divisions do not offer legal or marketing advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.