Investing In Dental Marketing: How Much Should You Spend On Marketing Your Practice?

Investing In Dental Marketing How Much Should You Spend On Marketing Your Practice

If you run a dental practice, you may have wondered a few times if your marketing budget is appropriate. You may be worried you’re not spending enough or comparing yourself to your rivals.

But probably the biggest question you find yourself asking is how much you need to invest in your practice not only to allow it to grow but for it to remain profitable as well.

Investing In Dental Marketing How Much Should You Spend On Marketing Your Practice

Truthfully, there is no one size fits all answer, as every practice is different. Local markets are different, and everybody’s goals are also unique.

Still, every dental practice has one thing in common: the need to attract new patients.

Still, the question remains – how much should you invest in marketing to grow your dental practice?

Well, we have the answers below! Whether you’re a new or established practice or you find yourself plateauing, we’ll give you an idea of how much you should invest in your practice.

How Much Should A New Dental Practice Spend On Marketing?

The challenges faced by new practices are significant overheads as well as debts.

Experts in dental marketing often suggest spending 20% of projected gross revenue on marketing, depending on your local market.

So if your practice is in a big city, or you have a lot of competition in the area, you may need to spend as much as 30% on marketing. But if your practice is in a small town or you have little competition, you may need to spend 20%. 

Your initial marketing campaign is crucial, as this will be the one that makes the most impact on the local market.

You can make an attractive website, pay to advertise, and do SEO. SEO gives you a great return on investment and is widely recognized as a successful marketing strategy. 

However, SEO does take time to be truly effective, but the payoff is so worth it. Once you’ve reached the top page of Google’s search results and established an excellent online reputation, you’re sure to attract a steady flow of new patients, making acquiring new patients much simpler. 

Meanwhile, pay-per-click ads will also help you appear at the top page of Google, making it even easier for patients to find you instantly – pretty much as soon as your doors open!

Investing a considerable amount of your startup funding in strategic marketing programs that make you stand out is important.

Effective search engine listings and pay-per-click advertising campaigns can jumpstart your stream of new patients.

How Much Should A Plateauing Or Shrinking Dental Practice Spend On Marketing?

Unfortunately, patient loss happens in every dental practice. When this happens and affects your bottom line, it’s time to bring in new patients, particularly families and younger people.

Regarding how much you should spend on marketing, it’s a good idea to decide on the revenue you would like to see and dedicate 5-10% of your budget to marketing. 

It may also be a good idea to focus more of your budget on marketing in the short term, on things like a new website. 

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have an attractive and well-designed website. Many practices are experiencing stagnation, shrinking, or plateauing because they’re not properly investing in online marketing techniques, i.e., making their website the best it can be.

This is particularly a concern if your competition focuses more on online marketing than you are.

How Much Should Established Dental Practices Spend On Marketing?

So you’re not a new dental practice, nor are you noticing any stagnation, but you want to prevent stagnation and grow your practice even more.

Many dental practices would like to grow but have difficulties finding new patients each month to hit their growth targets, or their online marketing is lacking compared to their rivals.

Their growth targets may be to turn over $2,000,000 in revenue or bring on associates. They understand that having a large online presence when a potential patient is looking online for a new dentist is crucial to attracting new patients. 

To increase the growth of your established dental practice and hit your growth targets, you should invest about 5-10% of the gross revenue you’re looking to achieve. An SEO strategy takes 6-12 months to see results if it’s done sustainably.

Again, SEO can feel like a slow process but rushing an SEO strategy can hinder you from achieving effective and long-lasting results.

This may involve overhauling the site of your design to make it more modern. For short-term results, utilize Google pay-per-click ads that will put you at the top of Google’s search results. This is a quick way to attract new patients while implementing your SEO strategy.

It’s also worth breaking down the revenue growth you’d like to achieve for your practice. For example, if you would like your practice to grow by $120,000 in revenue for the year, you would need to bring in 120 new patients who bring $1,000 to your practice each year, equating to 10 new patients each month. 

But what is the cost of bringing in new patients? The average cost is $100 – $300. So if you would like an additional ten patients each month, you should be looking to spend an extra $1,000 – $3,000 a month to bring them to your practice.

What Are The Best Strategies For Marketing Your Dental Practice?

It’s a good idea to view your practice website as a virtual version of your office. Just like it takes a lot of investment to create a welcoming and professional physical office, it also takes a lot to make an attractive and professional website.

Nowadays, all marketing will lead back to your website, so it needs to be able to bring in new patients.

The most profitable marketing strategies for bringing in new patients are direct mail campaigns such as postcards, pay-per-click advertising via Google Ads, SEO, marketing on social media, and targeted advertising in print media.

The Power Of Online Reviews

It may be a bit reductive to say that online reviews are a free form of marketing, but there is some truth to this statement! It is a vital part of building a reputation online.

After all, if your practice has a lot of 5-star reviews, potential patients will be drawn to your business. 

If anybody gets a business recommended to them, they will naturally go online and look further into it. But how do you make online reviews work for you? 

Well, a good place to start is to google your practice, followed by ‘reviews.’ So, for example, you might google ‘Jones Family Dental Practice reviews.’

You will then be able to see what your reputation online currently is based on Google and Yelp reviews. 

This will undoubtedly be an eye-opening experience. You may come across reviews you’ve never seen before, but this gives you the perfect opportunity to see what potential patients see when they look up your practice. 

Google Reviews

While there is a range of review sites out there, as Google is the largest search engine in the world, Google reviews have a lot of influence. These reviews are crucial for rankings of your practice and higher click-through rates.

When a potential patient searches for a dental practice or procedure on Google, the search results will bring up ads at the very top (only 15% of people click on these ads, while 85% will ignore them). Below these ads, they’ll see maps and dental practices in their area.

An ad may be in the map section and the top 3 listings. 70% of referrals are made through these top 3 listings, so ranking in the top 3 can double or even treble the referrals made to your practice, bringing in at least thousands of dollars to your practice in revenue every month.

Yelp Reviews

Whatever business you run, Yelp is one of the most divisive review websites on the internet, with many business owners feeling they’ve created a monopoly of online reviews.

However, it’s still important to take advantage of Yelp reviews and optimize your business listings on Yelp to their highest potential, so you rank higher in local search results. 

You should aim to get at least 10-20 Yelp reviews for your practice. However, a big downside of Yelp is how they filter real reviews (as online reviews are proliferated by fake reviews and reviews paid for by businesses) from users who are not regular Yelp reviewers.

This is a huge issue and is another bone of contention many business owners have with Yelp.

Final Thoughts

Your budget for marketing should ultimately be decided by how competitive your market is, your growth target, and, of course, your budget.

Marketing is an important component of any business becoming successful, and to see consistent growth, a dental practice should attract 25-50 new patients each month. 

We hope you can use the figures mentioned and the advice given in this article as a guide for how much to spend on marketing.

But as we mentioned at the beginning of your article, every practice is different so remember to do some research and consult your accountant on the numbers. 

For your practice to thrive, you must attract new patients successfully, which involves a careful and strategic marketing plan.

Your strategies include PPC or SEO programs, social media advertising, and direct mail advertising. If you allocate your budget effectively, you should see growth and ROI in your marketing investments.

However, it’s not just how much you spend on marketing but the type of marketing you spend your money on that yields results.

We hope this article has been a useful guide for you in building a successful practice!