This article is a five minute read
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. What you need to know to measure ROI of dental advertising
2. How the marketing ROI of blog content differs from this
3. The advantages and disadvantages of blog content
Most people want to know if their marketing works. What’s the return-on-investment (ROI) if I start a blog? What if I spend all my money on Facebook ads? You can work out an equation for marketing ROI in retrospect. But there are a couple of factors involved in using blog content to build a loyal patient base that skew that ROI calculation greatly in your favour. And one of those factors is you.
To work out a traditional ROI, first you need the “I”. So before you get your head around your return, you’ve got to know your investment. Under the classical economic law of diminishing marginal returns, you can try to find that sweet spot where the amount you spend is getting the maximum marginal return per customer. We’re assuming here that all the ‘inputs’—which are you, your staff, your services, and so on—all remain constant.
You can see how you would apply this to running ads.
Every time you start an advertising campaign, you start from scratch. You have an offer—maybe a discount, or a particular service. You make that the theme of an advertisement. You buy your way in front of an audience in the form of an ad, or a direct mail flyer, or a billboard. Buying your way in gives you access to that audience for a set period of time.
A percentage of the people who see the ad contact you. Hopefully you make enough of a profit from the services you offer those people to cover the cost of the ad. Time runs out, and the ad disappears.
Then you rinse, and repeat.
You could work out an ROI for each service you offer, because each service would have a different profit margin. Then you could run a year’s worth of ads, measure the number of people you’ve ‘engaged’ against the number of patients you finally get, and see what was working. Then watch those margins erode over time because the amount you’re investing is increasing.
If you are advertising a product, the unit of input is that ad for that product. It is a constant. A personal relationship doesn’t follow that same law neatly, because the unit of input isn’t a constant. The unit of input is the link and trust between you and the patient.
Creating an immediate, one-on-one emotional connection will always be more powerful than presenting a product or service. You know that from dealing with your patients every day. It takes more contact than just one visit every six months to build that relationship of trust.
Ads can’t do that, because you don’t opt in to receiving them. They interrupt you when you are doing something else. You can use them to entice people to start a relationship—but that’s all you can do. You can’t build on the relationship with more ads.
That personal relationship changes the inputs in the ROI equation. It will give you much more detailed and richer information to help you help patients. It increases the lifetime value of the patient by stretching out that point where diminishing margins kick in. It changes the relationship between the amount you invest and the amount you communicate. Because every new piece of content is building on knowledge and trust you’ve built before.
The disadvantage of this approach is that ignorance is bliss. If you don’t pay attention to the information you learn about patients and potential patients, you can feel as if you’re endlessly shouting into the void.
The advantage is that you can use that data to beat the law of diminishing marginal returns. An investment in building a relationship is trust is not only good for your practice. It’s good for your patients. And it’s one that can last a lifetime.