If you want to attract as many new patients as possible, it’s important as a dental practice, that you focus seriously on marketing. Good dental marketing engages readers and convinces them to become patients, while at the same time, strengthening bonds between the practice and their existing customers making for a far healthier practice overall.
Okay, so you know that marketing your dental practice is important, but which are the best dental marketing channels to help grow your practice?
It’s hard to say definitively because every dental practice is different and there are so many forms of marketing to choose from, Furthermore, it’s usually best to combine a range of different dental marketing strategies to maximize your results and reach as many people as possible. That being said, here are a few very effective strategies you may want to start with:
Build a decent website
Every dental practice needs a website in 2020. Most people these days look online for the information they need and if you don’t have your own web presence, you could be missing out on a lot of new patients.
However, it’s not enough to have any old website — good dental websites should be easy to navigate, fille what all the important information about your practice, and regularly updated with fresh new content to help attract readers and boost your search rankings.
While we’re on the subject of content, it should form the cornerstone of your dental marketing efforts. Dental content marketing is the process of using content like videos, blog posts, podcasts, and ebooks to engage individuals, build relationships with them, and ultimately convince them to join your dental practice as a qualified patient.
In order to do this, you need to create high-quality content that educates, informs, and ideally also entertains, and you need to do so on a very regular basis. You can do this on your own website, not only in the form of blog posts but also in your FAQ section; you can also do it by creating guest posts to be distributed on other high ranking websites and blogs that are likely to appeal to your target audience; you can even distribute content on the likes of Youtube and Twitter.
Not only does dental content marketing raise your profile and boost your search ranking, but it also helps to establish you and your dental practice as an authority on all things oral health-related which is a great way to build trust and increase conversions.
Send a newsletter
Newsletters may be a bit old school in digital marketing terms, but they can still be pretty effective. Whereas with dental content marketing you have to wait for the readers to find you, with newsletters, you go directly to them via their inbox.
For newsletters to be successful, they should contain lots of useful information to qualified and potential patients, such as handy hints and tips for looking after your teeth or news of a special promotion you’re offering. They should also be as short and sweet as you can make them and include a call to action that spurs readers on to convert.
A long, boring newsletter that pushes thew sale too hard is likely to end up being unsubscribed from which would be counterproductive, to say the least. Oh, and don’t send out unsolicited newsletters either — they’re likely to be viewed as spam and will be counterproductive — always ask your patients/readers if they would like to opt-in before you add them to your mailing list.
One of the best ways to market your dental practice is by connecting with local people because it is them — not people from three states over — who will most likely be using your services, and one of the best ways to do this is by throwing yourself into your local community. You can do this in myriad ways from visiting local schools to give the kids a lecture on good tooth health to sponsoring a local community event or even giving away dental supplies to the local homeless population. You could even spend a little money sponsoring a big community event if that’s your kind of thing. The point is to get involved and do good things with and for the people who live locally.
Engage in social media
Social media is a great way to reach lots more local people and potential patients because it’s really easy to find people who are nearby and for them to find you. It’s also really easy to build lasting relationships on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
As soon as someone follows you, you have a captive audience who will see all of your posts from now until they unfollow you (which hopefully they never will). This is good news for your dental practice because providing your post regularly and you tailor your posts to appeal to your audience, you can start an ongoing level of communication that it would be hard to achieve elsewhere.
Not only can you stay in touch with qualified and potential patients, but you can answer their questions, post special offers and important updates relating to your dental practice and encourage reviews from your patients (which will help with your dentist SEO and general trustworthiness). Basically, you will be able to build a strong and loyal community while creating an excellent impression of your dental practice, and converting more new patients, and you could potentially do all of this for very little cost.
When it comes to dentist SEO, local is king. After all, dentists are, by their very nature, local. It makes little sense to market to people in NBew York when you’re located in Florida — that would just be a waste of time, effort, and money.
No, what you need to do is get hyper-focused on your local community. You can do this by focusing on location-specific keywords like “Florida dentist” and “cosmetic dentistry in Florida” and a good SEO agency will be able to help you with that. You can also do it by submitting your business to local listing sites and Google My Business amongst others. This will ensure that the people who find your dental websites are the people who are most likely to use them – people in your community.
Google AdWords campaigns
Google AdWords is an excellent pay-per-click advertising platform that enables you to display ads to individuals who are searching for keywords that you are looking to target. It is a very affordable way of increasing traffic to your website and raising your profile online.
In order to use Google AdWords effectively for your dental practice, you are again going to want to focus on local keywords that target potential patients in your community. In order to do this, you’ll need to determine the best location-specific keywords in your niche. This is something a digital marketing agency that can help you with.
As well as getting the keywords right, you should also make an effort to create ads that are eye-catching, and which give the viewer an incentive to click — things like special offers and discount codes are ideal for this.
Where a lot of dental practice owners go wrong is in thinking that all of their marketing efforts should be focused online. It’s true that digital marketing is certainly more popular right now, and with good reasons — approximately 4.57 billion people use the internet regularly worldwide — but that doesn’t mean that the old ways can’t still work, especially when it comes to a local dental practice.
As a dental practice, you will have access to the names and addresses of all of your qualified patients and will be able to easily find the addresses of every single potential patient within a few miles of your office. That makes it really easy to send out targeted mailshots like postcards, brochures, and leaflets.
You know they’ll reach the right audience because local people with dental needs are your audience!
If you want to really do it right, you could look at targeting your community even more specifically. For example, you could send glossy brochures about cosmetic dental surgery to higher-income areas in town or leaflets about childhood dental health to areas that are more family-friendly.
It’s also a pretty good idea to send out discounts in the mail once in a while because you never know when you may catch someone who’s looking for a new dentist but needs a little extra incentive to choose your practice.
While we’re on the subject of sending things in the mail. It’s a pretty good idea to get into the habit of using reminder cards as part of your dental marketing strategy. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to keep existing patients than it is to find new ones — it’s also much cheaper. An easy way of doing this, which allows you to re-engage with them without seeming intrusive, is to send them a reminder when their next check-up is due. They’ll do what they need to do to keep their teeth healthy and you’ll benefit from their repeated business — it’s a win-win situation.
Oh, and you don’t necessarily have to send out physical reminders either. You could call them or send an email if you would prefer.
Remarketing, similarly, is the process of marketing your dental practice to individuals you have already formed a relationship with. You should do this to try and convince them to take action in a particular way, such as booking their next appointment as we mentioned above or encouraging them to take up your offer of a discount if they have a cosmetic procedure in the next three months, for example.
You can carry out remarketing using printed materials, phone calls, via your website and newsletter or social media platforms or via email marketing amongst other things, but a lot of people think Facebook is the best platform for this kind of dental marketing as it enables you to target followers based on previous activities and engagements.
Improve your keywords
Keyword research is the backbone of dentist SEO and something you should take very seriously if you want to grow your dental practice. If your keywords are poor, you’re unlikely to rank highly on search engines, which means it will be difficult for potential patients to find you.
We all know that location-based keywords are very important, but if you’re serious about growing your practice, they aren’t going to be enough on their own. Ideally, you should look to diversify your choice of keywords including not only things like “Florida dentist” and ‘Dental practice in Florida” but also longtail keywords like “Invisalign fitting in Florida” and “Emergency dental treatment in Florida” or “Emergency weekend dentists.”
By doing this, you can catch more potential patients when they conduct a dental-based search and climb your way up the search rankings.
The bottom line
When it comes to dental marketing, you can do a little or a lot, using any combination of the very effective methods above, but in an ideal world, you should be using a combination of them all to beat the competition and grow your practice to new heights. If this seems like a daunting prospect, you could always enlist the help of a dedicated digital marketing agency who knows what works for dental practices and can help you implement your best dental marketing strategy.