As a dentist, you probably haven’t devoted enough time to marketing. Don’t feel bad – you’re not the only professional to find yourself in this pickle. Between handling patients, managing staff, making sure you are following all new regulations, and more, you have your hands full.
You can’t get around the fact that you need an online presence to compete. But with a real-world business to manage, you might not have much time to spend on moving into the online and mobile arenas.
Luckily, there are hundreds of ways to expand your reach. Since increasing your online presence is an essential part of expanding your business in the real world, here are some dental marketing idea pointers to help you get the ball rolling.
Of course, you may not feel like implementing these dental marketing ideas yourself, which is fine. Although, doing nothing isn't an option if you want to increase new patients and revenue. So, if you need some help, be sure to hire a dental SEO company you can trust.
Advertising your newly started dental practice successfully requires a rock-solid online dental marketing strategy. If you want to attract new patients, simply having a functional dental website design and placing a few ads here and there just won’t cut it. Even if you’re a great dentist, you will fall behind your competitors who know how to play the game.
With a targeted, focused, diverse dental marketing campaign, you could pull in upwards of 50 new patients per month (granted, this is quite optimistic, but doable). Fortunately, the digital advertising strategies that make up a successful dental marketing campaign are simple and easy to deploy once you understand them. With just a little time and dedication, these can’t-lose online dental marketing ideas will propel your practice to the next level.
Dental marketing is any strategy that a dentist or dental office uses to attract new patients, stay engaged with current patients, or turn a new visitor to your practice into a loyal, long-time patient.
Some of the strategies involved in dental marketing include the following:
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Social media marketing
- In-person marketing
- Print marketing
Most practices use several digital dental marketing strategies to reach prospective patients. Ultimately, dental marketing is effective when it earns you a larger return on your investment (ROI) than what you spent.
Before you get started with these dental marketing tips, you'll need to create a dental office marketing plan following these steps.
1. Analyze your market. You’ll need to know who your competitors are, what dental patients in your area want and need, and what sets you apart from your competitors. For that last part, you’ll need a Unique Selling Proposition. For example, you might offer emergency appointments or do a new procedure that nobody else in your area provides.
2. Set your goals & objectives. Before you start marketing, you must know what it is you want to accomplish. Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). An example of a SMART goal would be to grow your social media following by 10% in a month.
3. Set your dental marketing budget. While some dental marketing strategies can be implemented without spending money, most will require some investment to be worthwhile.
4. Choose your dental marketing strategies. After you set a budget and review your goals, you’ll need to decide which strategies are affordable and most likely to help you achieve your objectives.
5. Create your dental marketing plan. Using the strategies you’ve chosen, map out your plan. Your map should include information about specific marketing campaigns, including your budget and objectives.
6. Track & tweak your strategies as needed. As you launch each campaign, it’s essential to track the results and tweak your strategies accordingly.
You should view your dental marketing strategy as something that is revised and refined on an ongoing basis. Once you have your strategy in place, you can try some of the following ideas.
Here are some of our favorite dental marketing campaign ideas and strategies for you to try.
The first order of business if you want your marketing efforts to succeed is to upgrade your website design. A good dental website should be optimized for local search, particularly voice search. It should also have a user-friendly design that encourages visitors to learn about your services and make an appointment. Check out this content on the full run-down of the 21 Qualities of the Best Dental Websites
2. Optimize Your Google Business Profile Having an up-to-date, optimized Google Business Profile is a must for any local business. Optimizing your Google Business Profile listing is a great way to attract new patients online. It's important to remain visible in the Map search results. If you rank well, your Google Business Profile listing will be displayed at the top of local searches in the 3 Pack. Searchers are more likely to click on the top 3 dental practices listed in the 3 Pack. You can read our Google Business Profile for Dentists blog post for a full run-down on how to optimize your Google Business profile.
Should your practice offer a dental membership program? A membership program is an effective tool for building patient loyalty by offering membership rewards. You can read our Guide on How to Start and Grow Your Dental Membership Plan to learn more about the pros and cons of starting a dental membership plan and get suggestions for how to do it.
Google reviews are changing the way patients choose dentists. If you’re not being proactive in your approach to getting online patient reviews for your dental practice, your online reputation will suffer. Providing good service is the best way to garner positive reviews for your practice, but it is not enough by itself. You need to make it easy for patients to leave you reviews. One way to do this is to give patients a handout or business card with step-by-step instructions on how to leave your business a review on Google (which carries a little more weight in search compared to Yelp reviews). Be sure to let them know it will only take a few minutes. Make it easy for patients to review you on Google by providing a link and instructions on your website. Google allows businesses to ask for reviews. The only restriction is that you may not incentivize reviews or specifically ask people to leave you positive reviews. We should note that Yelp has strict guidelines and explicitly prohibits businesses from asking for reviews in any way.
Hosting a giveaway on your blog or social media profiles is a great way to attract traffic to your site and create buzz about your business. Give away something related to your business, such as a free tooth whitening or a free cleaning. Make sure the prizes for your contest are worthwhile enough to incentivize people to submit their email addresses to enter. Contests are an effective list-building tool.
Titan Web Agency has over 100 podcast episodes of The 10 Minute Healthcare Marketing Podcast and the good news is that podcasts are easy and affordable to produce. There are thousands of potential topics you could address on a dental podcast. Imagine if you became the go-to expert on veneers or dental implants because of your podcast. How do you think that could impact your bottom line?
Dentistry is a local service, so it makes sense for dental practices to get involved in their communities. One way to do it is to get involved with local charities. Your involvement may be financial, or it may take another form. You could volunteer, provide pro bono services for people in need, or participate in charitable events. Regardless of how you approach it, your support will be noted and can help you earn a spot in the hearts of prospective patients.
Getting people to visit your website is important. However, traffic isn’t everything — you need to make an attractive offer to get potential patients to choose you as their dentist. You can use an offer to get someone to become a paying patient or even just to collect useful information. For example, you can use an offer to: Get people from social media to visit your website Get website visitors to make an appointment Collect valuable contact information from people on your email list … or just about anything else! What should your offer be? Here are some compelling offer ideas for dentists: Free X-Rays/teeth-whitening/etc. for first-time patients Free $50 Visa gift card for new patients iPad giveaway drawing (in exchange for entering an email address) Coupon for 10% off any dental service for the first 100 people to follow your new Twitter account Visit our website to get a free download (visitors will be asked to fill out a form to get the download) Start by focusing on a single, time-sensitive offer for new patients. If that one doesn’t do well, try testing out a more valuable offer or a lower-risk offer — for example, where visitors to your website get something free in return for their email address.
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to have an appealing and user-friendly dental website. Your website is the first place most prospective patients will go to learn about your practice. What we want to talk about in more detail is the importance of optimizing your website for local search. Local search terms should include keywords such as dentist, dental practice, orthodontist, dental services, and so on, in combination with important local search terms. The name of your city The name of your neighborhood The name of your region or county We work with dental practices every day to help them improve their local SEO and receive a high rank on Google.
Guest posting is a great way to increase inbound links and participate in the larger blogging community associated with your industry. As a bonus, getting in good with other bloggers could lead to increased opportunities for partnerships, cross-promotion, link sharing, and of course, reaching a broader audience. Here's a post I made at Dentistry IQ, and another I made at Dental Town.
Facebook is still the number one social media site for B2C advertising. You can target your audience using demographics and psychographics. Facebook ads can help you promote your most engaging content, or they can be used to attract new visitors directly to your site with an offer or promotion.
If you want to expand your online presence, eventually you’ll have to engage in digital dental marketing. It can be difficult to get your business page on the first page of Google search results, but one solution to this is investing in PPC search advertising. A lot of dental practices use pay-per-click or other online ads without seeing much in the way of returns, but that’s because they’re not being smart about their paid ads. For online ads to work, you need to be targeted with your efforts. When done correctly, PPC ads are an excellent way to get your online ads seen by the right people — your target audience.
Maintain a connection with current patients by taking advantage of your in-house email database. Your patient intake forms should collect patient emails. You can use them to stay in touch with patients in between appointments and you don’t need to email more than once a month. Email marketing can also be a tool to remind patients of an upcoming appointment and confirm that appointment. A simple email reminder can minimize the number of cancellations and no-shows at your practice, saving you money in the long run. Email dental marketing can be in the form of newsletters or brief information blurbs about what’s happening in your practice or industry. Although this is a great digital marketing tool, be sure to get written consent from the patient before making any contact via email. No matter what the marketing campaign may be, always make sure that you and your staff consistently maintain HIPAA compliance.
Distribute press releases to local news agencies to get more reach for your dental brand. There are also many online press release distribution services you can use. Don’t focus on creating press releases about your dental office and services. Press releases like that are a dime a dozen, and not attractive for news reporters to cover. Instead, look for ways to tap into current events, such as: Offer expert commentary on how recent FDA rule changes impact dentistry Announce a new procedure that you’re offering Discuss a local charity event that you’re sponsoring. The key is to find something newsworthy and then, write about it in a way that makes it sound as compelling as possible.
Creating videos about dentistry and oral health is an effective way to get more reach for your business. Instead of promoting your services, make them educational, entertaining, and informative. Upload your videos to YouTube, Facebook, and your website. Creating video content can improve social media engagement, influence purchase decisions, and more.
Despite what you may think, direct mail isn’t dead. Direct mail, or postcard mailers sent to a targeted group of prospects, has an estimated response rate of 24% and an average return of $16.39 per name mailed, according to a HubSpot study. Direct marketing isn’t an online strategy, but it coordinates nicely with digital dental marketing strategies. According to digital marketing expert Richard Rushing, as quoted by Direct Marketing News, companies that have a compelling direct mail offer or message that they link with their online ads can expect “a 10 to 30 percent uplift in conversion…when combining the two channels.” One way to combine digital marketing with direct mail is simply to follow up with an email to the people you send mailers to. So, how can you get started with direct mail? Easy — buy a list of new homeowners in your area and send them offers using direct mail—postcards are best. Learn more about dental postcard marketing.
A QR code is a special barcode you can put on your fliers and physical advertising material. People use their phones to scan the code, and it will direct them back to your website, or another digital domain of your choice. You can easily create one with a QR Code Generator, making it simple for people who see your marketing materials to find you online.
Social media is a great way to plan and promote in-person gatherings. Just look at the success of efforts like geocaching and flash mobs. Use social media to promote an in-person gathering, such as an educational oral health presentation for kids in the park. Meetups may also be virtual – something we saw a lot of dental practices do when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down social events.
It’s not enough to create a proliferation of social media profiles – you also need to support them if you want to gain the benefits they offer in terms of increasing your online presence. You should use your Facebook and Instagram, and you may also want to think about Pinterest or Twitter. Here are some suggestions on how to use your dental social media to attract more patients: Link to your website Post links to blog articles Send notifications Introduce new products and services As a bonus, some social media profiles may appear in Google search, giving you another way to attract new patients.
Some of the most successful dental practices we know rely on patient referrals to attract new patients and increase their profits. You can do it too by creating a patient referral program. Offer your existing patients rewards, such as discounts or free products, if they refer someone to your practice who goes on to book an appointment. Keep in mind that many of the most popular dental practice management software solutions include tools to help you track patient referrals.
We already mentioned that getting involved in local charities can help you to increase the visibility of your dental practice. The same is true of sponsoring a community event. Here are some examples: Sponsor a local sports team. Pay for a booth at a local street fair or community gathering. Partner with a local school to do a fundraiser. Any sponsorship of this type will help people learn about your practice and see you as a contributing member of the community. You’ll get even more attention if you can find a way to tie your sponsorship into your work as a dentist.
Business cards may be old school but they’re still effective. The relatively small amount you’ll pay to print the cards will pay off in increased visibility. One potential use for business cards is to hand them out to your existing patients to use if they want to refer you to their friends and family members.
Create relationships with other businesses in your vicinity or related industry to promote each other’s services. For example, an orthodontist would be a great business to get referrals from. Joint dental marketing with other businesses in your business complex is also a great idea. People like one-stop shopping, which can set your dental office apart.
It’s easy for people to choose you as their dentist when they can see the results of what you do. How? With before and after marketing! You’ve probably seen pictures featuring before and after images for businesses such as gyms or home improvement providers. You can take advantage of the same benefits by getting permission from your patients to snap before and after photos. Once you’ve got the photos, you can use them in paid advertising, on social media, or your website. As a reminder, you should never take a photo of a patient without their consent and the same is true of posting that picture anywhere online.
Retargeting is a method of delivering ads based on prior engagement, effectively following your audience all over the web. Some of the most common retargeting types include: Site-based retargeting – Serving ads to people who have previously visited your website Email retargeting – Serving ads to people who open your emails Search retargeting – Serving ads to people who search for one of your keywords. As for PPC, my blog post 8 Ways for Dentists to Maximize the Effectiveness of Their Paid Search Campaigns outlines the main things you need to do when designing a pay-per-click campaign. Geotargeting, paying attention to what your competitors are doing, and carefully selecting and testing your keywords are the main ways you can get smarter with your dental PPC campaigns. Bid on the right keywords, and your advertisements will appear above organic search results. The great news is you’re targeting an audience that’s already searching for dental services, so they’re much easier to convert.
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Paid Promotion Plattform : Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads & Quora Ads
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