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Smile, Your Dental Professional Can See You Now

We may have missed #NationalSmileDay on May 31, but that doesn’t mean a healthy smile isn’t something that should be celebrated.


Currently, there are an estimated 70,796 Orthodontic Practices and 192,993 Dental Practices in the United States. By our rough calculation, that equals a lot of great smiles in the works. But seriously, according to Dental Economics, about 60-70% of adult Americans receive routine dental care (Nielson data reports that 64.1% of our Times Union readers have visited the Dentist in past 12 months!). In turn, as more individuals visit a dentist, the more aware they become of their need for orthodontic treatments. Currently, the top three orthodontic products and services include braces, oral surgery and other services such as cosmetic procedures like professional teeth whitening.


Knowing that patients typically have a choice on whether or not to pursue orthodontic treatment and, more importantly, have the choice on which practice to receive their treatment, professionals within this industry have work to do when it comes to attracting new patients. Competition is steep, and options are plentiful, but there are ways for your practice to stand out from the crowd and heighten its profile.


Industries on the Rise


According to IBISWorld’s May 2020 Report, the Orthodontics Industry is forecast to grow at an annualized rate of 0.6% to $12.3B (up from an anticipated $11.7B by the end of 2020) between end now and 2025. Likewise, the Dental Industry is expected to increase at an annualized rate of 2.0% over the next five years (from $142.6B in 2020 to $157.2B in 2025).


However, both industries will not be untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue for the Dental Industry and the Orthodontics Industry is expected to decline as a result of practices closing both temporarily (with the exception of emergency visits) and permanently. In addition, when practices are able to fully open in accordance with state regulations and mandates, social distancing requirements will significantly limit patient volume.


While limited patient intake poses a threat for 2020, and potentially into the following years (dependent on many unknown factors including a vaccine for the coronavirus), both industries are heavily reliant on patient out-of-pocket payments as health insurance and government health programs pay for only portions of procedures and treatments. Such facts promote low revenue volatility and competition levels that will remain steady.


Marketing to Heighten Profiles and Attract Patients


According to Borrell Associates, Inc., 2019, ad spending by Dentists topped $5.4M with digital spend taking the share of the market spend at 57%. Similarly, last year’s ad spend by Orthodontists topped $5.65M with digital spend representing 50% share of market spend. Even factoring in COVID-19, online advertising is still expected to be the top-performing ad category directed to consumers in 2020 and looking ahead all the way to 2022. Such marketing and advertising initiatives are cost-efficient, highly targeted to ideal consumers and above all, effective.


We’ve highlighted six digital marketing strategies that have seen proven results repeatedly for current clients within the Dental and Orthodontics Industries. Let’s get started!


1. Web Design & Development


It’s 2020, do I really need a website? In a word? Yes. A website is your company’s online front door. Your business alone owns this space. Through a website, you can clearly and concisely relay your brand’s message to site visitors interested in your product or service and turn them into new patients. A website is home base for your virtual presence strategy, a marketing strategy focused on ensuring the basic digital components are in place to be found, convert, advocate, and uphold online reputation.


We understand this and carefully design every aspect of your site to balance beauty and conversion – all while keeping your specific preferences in mind.


All Hearst Digital websites are mobile friendly and designed “responsively,” giving all site visitors a great user experience no matter the size of their phone, tablet, or desktop screen. Studies show that mobile users are five times more likely to leave your site if it is not optimized for their device. Furthermore, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. You want your company to be found online, but you also want consumers returning to your site. Make it an easy decision for them with a responsive site.


2. Search Engine Optimization


While it’s a great first step to create a company website, the next necessary step is to ensure that it is optimized. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. While SEO is a widely talked about marketing tactic, there is often a great deal of confusion surrounding this principle. By definition, SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. SEO can improve visibility, website traffic and lead potential.


When a consumer searches on Google, Yahoo or Bing for the goods or services your company offers, your goal is to have your website appear as the first result on the page. Research shows that the first page of a search result incurs 95% of a user’s attention, whereas the second page earns roughly 5%. Still not convinced? Further sleuthing finds that the first site listed from a search results earns about 33% of overall search traffic, while the seventh site earns a mere 3.5%.


We start each SEO campaign by examining your unique scenario – including your target geography, competition, industry, and existing SEO profile.


From there, we lay out our approach using an array of proven techniques from creative adjustments like adding keyword- rich copy to technical enhancements like increasing site speed for optimal performance.


3. Reputation Management


Managing your reputation is nothing new. Every business has been doing it for as long as businesses have existed. However, managing and defending your company’s reputation before the creation of the Internet was a bit easier. In today’s world, it is all too easy for business patrons to profess their thoughts to a seemingly endless audience from behind a screen with little no repercussions on the accuracy of claims.


In order to improve your reputation, you need to know what people are saying about you online. Our monitoring feature solves this problem by notifying you when a new review is posted.


When a negative (or positive) review is written about your business, we’ll craft a timely and professional response to review with you before posting. We check dozens of the top review & directory sites, making changes where necessary and ensuring that your business is properly listed.


It truly does pay to keep on top of what customers are saying about you. According to Harvard Business School, every 1-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. You company’s reputation can change overnight. Whether people are sharing positive things or negative, you need to keep on top of it!


4. Search Engine Marketing


Paid Search puts your organization in front of consumers who are actively searching for the services you offer on top search engines like Google.


Hearst was the first company to become 1 of 30+ “Google Premier Partners,” and today, 100% of our SEM Analysts are “Google Certified.”


We will note that online searches have fluctuated over the past year and even recently taken a dip due to pandemic-related closures outlined by NYS and the NYS Dental Association. However, searches are forecasted to rebound as communities begin to reopen.


The graph below represents interest in “dentist near me” searches over the past six years in the Albany DMA. These searches have been steadily on the rise year over year.


5. Email Marketing


The Email Marketing landscape can be heavily influenced by new trends and new technology, and in turn, cause a bit of an information overload. Such an onslaught of material can make it overwhelming to know what the most effective approach truly is. However, at the end of the day, all businesses have the same marketing goal – maximize ROI’s to earn a profit.


Our Email Marketing solution offers one of the largest and most comprehensive databases in the marketplace today containing more than 300 available audience selections and filters and over 134 million unique email records.


A few of our targeting options include:

✓ Geographic

✓ Demographic

✓ Household Income

✓ Net Worth

✓ Education

✓ Purchase Behaviors

✓ Occupation

✓ Interest Targeting and more!


And did we mention – out of all marketing strategies available to businesses today, email remains the largest ROI driver with an average of $44 made on every $1 spent. Not too bad, right?


6. Social Media Marketing


Defining a social media strategy should be at the top of your list for your overall marketing plan. Be sure to not only include promotion of your services and products, but also foster community engagement through conversations, reviews or comments, and creating relationships with other businesses in your area on social media. Often times the most engaging content is the least sales-focused. That being said, to keep things simple, social media marketing can be broken down into the following three buckets:


  1. Paid Ads

Promote your brand through a paid media strategy to a targeted audience and custom objectives.

  1. Organic Community Management

Create a community for those who have engaged with your brand or business, be a resource, control your message and solidify your legitimacy.

  1. Events, Live Streams, Filters

Attract attendees to your events and encourage them to participate with fun filters and live interviews.


Value adds for organic social media include animation creation, video editing of stock footage, and video production. Fresh, new assets are strongly recommended to continue to remain relevant to your key audience. 


Wrap Up


Even finding ourselves in difficult times, the Dental Industry and the Orthodontic Industry have positive outlooks for the future.


Formulating and aligning a cohesive marketing effort to stay a step ahead of your competition and positioning your practice in front of consumers looking for your services as the US reopens is crucial in the coming weeks and months.


The Times Union Media Groups crafts turn-key digital marketing solutions to reach & engage today’s consumer. We’re a data-driven digital marketing and advertising agency with full-service capabilities. As such, we craft turn-key digital marketing solutions to reach & engage today’s consumer.


So, flash those pearly whites, activate some feel-good neurotransmitters and attract new patients so they can do the same.