As 2021 continues to steamroll on, that light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting closer and closer. Soon those restrictions will be lifted, lockdown will be no more, and we return to normality (hopefully). Patients will be returning to their regular schedules of checkups, others will again be booking in more cosmetic treatments, and foot traffic will be present again.
And due to this, it makes sense to return your marketing strategies to pre-covid ways, right? Wrong.
Despite COVID being an extremely difficult time it has taught prosperous lessons when it comes to online marketing. It widened the exposure on how beneficial online marketing for dental practices is, and to not take the knowledge and build on it would be detrimental as we move on.
In this blog I will be running through the key takeaways from the past year, and which methods became imperative to incorporate within a dental practice’s online marketing strategy.
Lockdown came unexpectedly and brutally, a clamp was placed on the doors of many businesses and support was nowhere in sight. Despite being a lockdown, patient’s dental needs did not miraculously vanish thus causing a barrage of phone calls, emails, and in turn, unanswered questions.
Facebook and Instagram were a saving grace in communication, as practice’s social pages were already a community of their patients. This enabled important updates and information to be broadcasted to those who needed to see it most. If you’re unable to keep up with your social media marketing you can use a platform such as EasySocial where relevant and regularly updates posts are generated for you.
Paid advertising with Google is a very popular strategy to boost your visibility within the search results, as well as generating valuable leads. When the pandemic struck many advertisers rushed to suspend their ads as a way to save money, which for many was unfortunately a lifeline. However, those who continued to advertise successfully continued to gain a profitable ROI (Return on investment).
This is because there were still searches for dental related terms despite a lockdown. We’re at a point where mostly everyone has access to a computer or mobile phone which supports online browsing. Combing these continued searches along with a reduction in competition (due to advertisers pausing campaigns), it caused a dip in average cost-per-click. Meaning it may have only cost £0.50 for a click as opposed to £1.00 before COVID, thus halving the price for a potential conversion. We go into this further in another blog here.
Many businesses have the fortunate ability to shift their work online and more efficiently adapt to working from home. Obviously with dental practices, it’s not possible to provide new implants to a patient via Zoom. However, if we take it back a step there is an opportunity to incorporate video calls which have become so increasingly popular.
Online video consultations were a key player in continuing to provide a service at a time patients could not enter practices. By applying online booking features to dental websites this enabled video consultations to work efficiently.
We also found video consultations to be a fantastic method in encouraging those nervous patients in need of dental treatment to book. It allowed them to familiarise themselves with the dentist in the comfort of their home and later attend the practice. It’s highly recommended to continue with video consultations after lockdown ends for this reason and for convenience to patients with busy schedules.