Dental practice owners know that marketing is crucial to the success of their business. It opens doors for new patients and strengthens ties with your existing clients. An effective marketing strategy allows you to further build upon your accomplishments and puts you in the best position to succeed.
The problem is that many dentists aren’t sure how to market their dental practice. With so many marketing techniques hovering around these days, it can be difficult to determine which ones work best. If you’re not sure how to start, then you came to the right place.
This article will discuss the top 10 marketing methods that will bring the traffic and exposure you need to take your dental practice to new heights.
1. Establish a social media presence
In this day and age of social media, almost every business markets its products/services online. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have made it easier for dental practices to target the right audience and obtain relevant exposure.
Remember, your social media page tells a lot about what your dental practice is all about. The key is to make a solid first impression on both new and existing patients by providing regular updates and factual information.
Communication is important when maintaining patient relationships, and social media platforms allow you to generate conversations with your clients. Simply provide them with the necessary contact details like your phone number, address, and website, and you’ll be hearing more from your patients.
2. Use Google My Business
Google offers a free tool to help dental practices manage their online presence and that tool is called Google My Business. What this does is display your business information to local people who are looking for your services. This makes it easier for patients to find your practice and direct them with the help of Google Maps.
For example, if you’re based in California and a user types “California dentist”, Google will display your contact information along with your address and website. Users can also see reviews of your business, allowing you to create a good first impression if the reviews are positive.
You want to rank near the top of the search results so patients can see your business first. When done correctly, Google My Business can help inform local patients about your dental practice and generate foot traffic.
3. Make sure your website is clean and optimized
If you wish to solidify your presence in the digital world, then you need a well-designed website. People gravitate towards businesses that appear credible and what better way to do that than to create a website that’s fast, smooth, and clean-looking.
Having a website allows you to market your dental practice and provide relevant content to your patients. You want the website to load pages fast and the user interface (UI) must be easy to navigate. There’s a reason why successful businesses invest in creating a good website because it boosts their credibility to a large degree.
It’s all about building trust with your patients. With a good-looking website, you’re molding a positive perception in the eyes of your clients, both old and new.
4. Use content marketing to drive website traffic
We’ve talked about the importance of your website, now it’s time to use that to extend your marketing efforts. Content marketing is one way to bring traffic to your website and this can be achieved by writing blog posts and sharing videos.
Like they always say, content is king, and you want to provide your readers with helpful information regarding your dental practice. Short-form videos are perfect for sharing bits of digestible content. In addition, you can also create a FAQ page to answer the most common questions your patients may have.
Creating social media posts that direct your followers to your website is also a great way to boost website traffic. The most important thing here is that you provide value to your content and do not actively try to promote or sell your services.
5. Setup Google AdWords
Another strong marketing tool from Google is their advertising platform Google Ads. What it does is show your ads to users who type in the keywords that you’ve selected. For example, if you choose the keywords “California dentist” and a user searches for that, the search results will display your ads.
You want to make sure that the keywords you use are relevant to your dental practice. It’s a good idea to use location-based keywords to help generate more foot traffic. Google AdWords requires a bit of research to use, but when utilized correctly, can make a huge impact on your dental practice.
6. Be active in your community
Not all marketing efforts have to be done online. Traditional marketing methods still work, and it’s wise to implement them along with your online strategies.
Being involved in your community shows that you care about the people and you’re not there to line their pockets. You can do this by hosting a workshop to teach pre-dentist students or sharing a PowerPoint presentation to elementary kids about dental hygiene.
It’s a great way to improve your practice’s visibility within the community. You can then engage in direct marketing and give them your business cards when you interact with locals.
Word-of-mouth is still a great marketing method and the more you influence your community, the more likely they’ll talk about your practice.
7. Send email newsletters
If email newsletters aren’t part of your marketing strategy, then you should include them now. Email newsletters help keep your patients updated on the latest news regarding your dental practice. Whether it be weekly content, discounts, or new products, email marketing creates awareness for your brand.
When creating an email newsletter, make sure to focus on a single topic. This makes the content easily digestible and your clients will be more interested in reading the email. Instead of sending a long monthly newsletter, you can break down your emails weekly or bi-weekly so they don’t appear spammy.
Email newsletters aren’t just for sharing updates; they’re also effective at driving traffic. You can add social media buttons to your emails and put links to your websites. After the user is done reading the email, they can potentially be directed to your other channels and stimulate activity in those channels.
8. Set appointment reminders
Your patients are the lifeblood of your dental practice, especially those who’ve been doing business with you for a long time. Thus, it makes perfect sense to retain those patients as much as you can.
With patient retention, it’s all about setting appointment reminders. It’s a simple yet effective method of re-engaging with your patients. On top of that, it ensures they get the dental care they need.
There are plenty of ways you can set appointment reminders. You can send them through text, email, or even through social media. Calling is the least recommended method as it can appear intrusive to some patients.
9. Take advantage of postcards and mail offers
Dental practices have a unique edge over other businesses in the sense that most of their customers are always local. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to hand out postcards or mailed offers to people near your location. You’ll know you’ll reach the right audience and those postcards will likely deliver foot traffic to your business.
After all, who doesn’t need good dental care? Especially if your dental practice is located in a prime area. Aside from sending postcards and attracting new patients, you can implement a few value-based methods to receive more exposure for your business.
For example, you can print out brochures about upscale dental services and send them to high-income districts. This opens up opportunities for people to try out your high-end dental services.
You can also hand out flyers with a discount note for people who are new to the area. This is highly effective for homeowners who are looking for a new dentist. By introducing them to your services, you can establish new relationships and expand your client reach.
10. Strengthen your patient referral
Established dental practices know that patient referral is one of the best ways to draw in new clients. When an existing patient refers your practice to other people, it’s a sign that your business is trustworthy. The key here is to get more of your patients to spread the word and invite others to try out your services.
How do you achieve this? By creating a patient referral bonus system. Here’s how it works: If a patient successfully refers a new client, they’ll receive a discount or a dental product. Simple, right?
The referral bonus system hits two birds with one stone. You strengthen relationships with previous clients and establish new ones with their referrals. It’s a great way to motivate your patients and solidify your credibility as a reputable dentist.
How to implement your marketing strategy correctly
When marketing your dental practice, you want to have a clear vision of your goals. You can’t just dabble with different methods and expect it will grow your social media presence or increase your website traffic.
To be successful in marketing, you have to implement your strategy the right way. Here are three things to keep in mind.
#1: Create a plan
Actionable goals lead to great results and it all starts with a solid marketing plan. Start by writing down your objectives. What targets do you want to hit? How will your marketing strategy improve your dental practice? Identify these first so you can get a good idea of how to build your marketing plan.
If the goal is to improve your following on social media, then you’ll need to create quality, relevant content. If the focus is to increase website traffic, then you’ll need to enhance your website and direct users to it.
You’ll eliminate the mistakes and preserve your precious resources when you have a solid plan in place.
#2. Be consistent
Consistency is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. This means routinely updating your social media pages, optimizing your website frequently, sending out email newsletters regularly, and so on. Sustained efforts have a snowball effect where you’ll start to see greater results over time.
#3. Evaluate your progress
The last thing you need to do is to evaluate your progress. Pause for a moment and look at how your marketing efforts have contributed to your business. Look at the metrics to determine which methods are performing well.
Once the numbers start to improve, you’ll want to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Keep track of what methods work and what doesn’t. That way, you can cut your losses early and shift your focus to marketing efforts that yield results.
Marketing your dental practice takes time, effort, and thorough planning. With the right approach (and strategy), you’ll be able to land new patients and broaden your patient base. It’s about knowing which marketing methods to use and how to utilize them to the fullest.
Once you implement these strategies into your marketing, you’ll be able to scale your dental practice and grow a strong presence both online and in your local community.