Some dentists are under the misconception that Internet marketing is optional in a dental practice marketing plan. The fact is, based on what we know about Americans, a dental practice’s website should be the center of a marketing plan and a hub for potential patients to find all the information they require to make a decision about becoming a dentist’s patient.
Who Uses the Internet?
According to ongoing research by Pew Research, for Internet users over 18 years of age, usage hovers at just over 80%, with women and men nearly equal. While whites tend to use the Internet more (84%), Americans of other ethnicities are close behind at just over 70%. About half of those over 18, across all genders and races, do not have a high school diploma, 74% graduated high school, 89% have some college, and 95% have a college degree. Usage increases with household income, as well. Whereas 67% make less than 30K annually, 98% make more than 75K.
What Do Internet Users Do Online?
Pew’s research also shows that 80-90% of adults look up information on a search engine, check email, check the weather, and search for maps online, and a staggering 80% also use the Internet to find health and medical information. More people look for health and medical information online than search for YouTube videos or do-it-yourself projects, or purchase a product.
How Many People Actually Use Social Media?
Of that same adult group, 67% participate in Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Google+. Other studies show, 16% use Twitter, 13% use Instagram, and 15% use Pinterest. Pew Research found that about 67% of women over 18 years of age use Facebook. As for Twitter, adults 18-29 years of age, African-Americans, and urban residents are the prime users. Pinterest’s fans are primarily women, people under 50 years of age, whites, and have some college education. Instagram attracts the same age group as Twitter, African-Americans and urban residents 18-29 years of age. Latino and female users also rank high for Instagram usage. Only 6% of adults useTumblr, a bookmarking site, and the prime age group is 18-29.
Website First in Dental Marketing
We know that partial or complete fee-for-service dental practices need to attract patients who are the most likely to accept treatment plans. Only case acceptance yields profits. The demographic most likely to accept treatment are those with an appreciation for knowledge. This is why dentists take time to explain their findings and treatment recommendations to patients. The other huge factor in case acceptance is affordability. People who make more money are more likely to spend money on their health. This is not to infer that healthcare, or dental care, should be inaccessible to anyone. However, dentists whose target market includes patients who pre-pay in full for services must understand, having a website is key to strategic marketing. To discuss your dental marketing strategy, call MDPM Consulting today at 972-781-8861. We offer complete Internet marketing, website design, and search engine optimization, as well as branding and custom graphic design.