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Analytic Owl Drill-Down Shows Radio Increases Dentist Office Visits.

It might be one of the toughest sells when it comes to health care, but dentist office visiting, and traffic to dental practice websites, increases with the help of radio, according to research reported in the Radio Advertising Bureau's “Radio Matters” blog.

“Communicating a relaxed and safe practice environment is important for dental practices and using a trusted medium can help to share that message,” RAB Senior VP/Insights Annette Malave says, while citing research showing patient volume was down significantly during the worst of COVID, that dental practices' schedules have been about 86% full as of June 2022, and that dental practices are also having trouble finding and hiring staff.

Getting people to go to the dentist might be like, well, pulling teeth, but research also shows radio can help dental practices. RAB's blog notes that the medium reaches 84% of adults who visited a dentist in the past year, or 83% of adults who have received a service like teeth whitening or veneers.

More importantly, radio increased traffic to dental practice websites by 5%, based on a NumericOwl analysis of nearly 83,000 ads that ran in 2021 representing 101 dental category advertisers. The study showed that radio ads drove over 54,000 new users to these sites and, when radio ads were on air, they generated an 11% increase in site visits compared to days spots did not run. Radio also drives physical traffic to dental practice locations, with campaigns increasing foot traffic by 33%.

Whether online or onsite, radio spots influenced the highest traffic activity on Thursdays. Website activity also increased on Tuesdays, while in-person traffic also increased on Mondays. Morning drive generated the highest number of new visits per airing for site activity, while new in-person traffic occurred mostly from 10am to 3pm. “The variances in days of week and dayparts for online versus onsite can probably be best explained by traditional consumer habits – visit the location and following up on the advertiser’s website,” Malave says. “Remember, many consumers want a healthy and safe environment, and perhaps viewing the physical location prior to a website might ease some of that anxiety.”

RAB's blog also offers advice for dental advertisers using radio. “Dental practice advertisers should openly address the need and importance of regular dental checkups, [and] they should also acknowledge the fear some people have by communicating the care and safety precautions taken by the staff,” Malave says. “Dental practice advertisers can use radio’s unique trusted relationship with its listeners to help communicate what a patient’s experience will be – friendly, relaxed, focused and safe.”

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