How much does dental marketing cost to get more leads?

How much does dentistry marketing cost?

You know you’re a great dentist, and that your practice is a fantastic place to patients to visit. But there’s a good chance that your potential patients will disagree.

If you’ve not put any effort into your dental website and marketing strategies, you certainly won’t have the right image online. You need an image that positions you as the expert, that builds trust with your potential patients before they sign up, especially when you take into account that most people fear the dentist!

When you’re looking at strategic marketing, there are a lot of factors to consider: Content writing, social media, Google ads, Facebook ads, search results - where do you start?

That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this blog post, where we answer the question “How much does dentistry marketing cost?”, including:

  • How to think about a marketing budget
  • A typical, sample marketing spend
  • Minimum viable marketing - what to do when you’re starting out

Dentistry marketing - How to set a marketing budget

If you’re looking at your marketing from day 1, it’s a good idea to set a budget. Not only does it keep your marketing focused, but it also allows you to better track return-on-investment, as you’ll have an accurate picture of what you’ve spent versus what you’ve achieved.

It’s important to think about your goals when setting your budget, whether it be more phone calls, more appointments or something else entirely. Most dental clinics simply want to grow their practice, so setting specific marketing objectives helps give you that focus and drive.

Once you’ve got the goals set, you can move onto setting a budget as a percentage of revenue. Our recommendation, as a dental marketing agency working with multiple practices, is that you set a budget of 15% to 30% of your total revenue. So, for example, if you had a revenue of £250,000 per year, a marketing budget of 15% would equate to £37,500 a year, or £3,125 a month.

Depending on your circumstances, and the speed in which you want to go with your marketing strategies, you may want to allocate a marketing budget of a higher percentage. 15% to 20% of your revenue is good for dental practices who are just starting out, or have been operating for around a year. If you’re an older practice, or you’re facing some stiff competition, you may want to consider a marketing spend in the 25% to 30% region.

A sample marketing budget, and additional marketing costs for dentists

As we’ve established, the amount you spend on marketing will largely depend on a number of factors, not the least of which are goals, speed in which you want to go, revenue, competition, and so on.

So, what we wanted to do is breakdown the budget further, and give you an indicative idea of what a marketing budget would look like. This might come as quite a surprise, as sometimes there are costs which you might not have taken into account:

Brand and logo design

If your brand doesn’t clearly reflect who you are, and what your values are, then you’re going to struggle. That means paying attention to your brand could become a high priority when you begin to invest in your marketing.

Working with a professional brand strategist would mean an investment in the region of £3,000 to £5,000, which would give you a new brand and clarity of who you are as a dental practice, including your brand values, messaging and tone-of-voice. With this new information, you’re ready to hit the ground running and start marketing to potential patients who fit with your newly defined values.

Website design

Similar to brand design, if you’ve not got a website that reflects your dental practice well, then you’re fighting a losing battle. 

A well-crafted website is key, not just from a design perspective, but also for search results. You might have the best looking website, but if it’s not editable, or SEO-friendly, you’re dental practice could be dead in the water.

Good website design means creating a website that reflects your patient’s journey. It also means updating your website regularly with original content based around your patient’s questions, helping you to appear in the search results and on social media. That could cost you anywhere between £5,000 and £15,000 depending on website platform and work involved.

Online marketing

Once your brand and website are solidified, you’re set for regular, online marketing. This is everything from content marketing, SEO, social media, Google ads, eBooks, video and everything in between.

As we’ve established earlier, most dentists spend anywhere between 15% and 30% of their total revenue. What we’ve found as a dental marketing agency is that the practices who spend between £2,000 and £5,000 are really zooming along with all the elements of online marketing. 

Office and technology improvements

As you invest in dentistry marketing you’ll undoubtedly come across additional costs that are influenced by your marketing. 

For example, you might be getting loads of leads through the door, but have no way of tracking phone calls made. Or, you might see an increase in appointments booked, but need a system that sends out appointment reminders. 

For costs like these, we recommend setting aside £3,000 to £5,000 a year, giving you some scope for improvement as your marketing ticks along.

Minimum viable marketing - What if my practice is just starting out?

We fully recognise that if you’re just starting out your dental practice, then spending thousands of pounds a month on marketing might not be immediately feasible.

So what are the basics that make up minimum viable marketing? Our recommendation would be:

  • Publishing at least 1 - 2 blog articles a week, based around your patient’s questions and the “They ask, you answer” methodology
  • Google Ads (PPC) campaign for your local area, to drive leads to your website faster and get more eyes on your practice.

By committing to the very minimum viable marketing, you’re at least getting some content published to help with search results, but you’re also using Google Ads to improve your site ranking and generate more leads at a faster rate.

What marketing will your dentistry practice start with?

Now that you have a better idea of how much dentistry marketing can cost, where will you begin? Is your website light on content, or do you need to pour your investment into paid advertising.

If you’re not sure where to begin, you can fill in our diagnostic to evaluate where your marketing efforts are so far.

Or if you're ready to get started, book a call with us here to have a chat about where you might need some support.