Does your dental practice marketing need work? Use these tips to shine a spotlight on your practice in the community.
Traditional dental practice marketing typically includes maintaining a current website and staying up-to-date with print ads. In today’s world, there is so much more you can do to market your practice, and most of it can be done with little financial investment and a bit of time and ingenuity.
Everything is an opportunity to make your brand stand out. Be creative with your dental business card design. Showcase patient testimonials on social media, update your waiting space and treatment rooms,
A well-rounded approach to dental practice marketing includes print, digital and video for the best results
In this age of social media, tablets, and smartphones, you need to do more than simply applying traditional marketing to increase your penetration in the community and your exposure to potential patients.
Market your dental practice through print, in video, online, and at community events to gain the trust of the web-savvy consumer and to penetrate those patient-to-patient referrals that happen so often via social media and face-to-face interactions.
Trusting a dentist is a very personal decision and, lacking a professional referral, most patients will turn to friends and the internet to find the right fit. Consider the following dental practice marketing strategies to connect with preferred clientele.
Your website should be current and complete. You want to ensure a potential patient finds what he is looking for online, that your web content is relevant, and that it establishes your trustworthiness and professionalism.
It should also be content-rich and informative with enough information and visual engagement to hold a patient’s attention and gain interest. Think about your brand. If you offer a kid-friendly, fun, family environment, your site design should reflect that. If you are about comfort and pain management, your site should reflect that. If you are an endodontist, oral surgeon, orthodontist, or periodontist, your specialty should be clear when a potential patient lands on your home page.
An average website projects that you are an average dentist, make yours exceptional.
Driving traffic online
It is not enough to have the perfect website if no one can find it. Invest in SEO practices to get your name out there. Here are some ways to gain exposure:
Because dentistry is location-specific, it is critical to get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps. “Google My Business” can do this for you. For best results, make sure you include pictures, categories, and videos. Positive customer reviews will also improve your search results. Don’t stop at just Google. Get your information on directories such as the Yellow Pages, White Pages, Yelp, and Bing Places.
Paid advertising is a good way to improve exposure online for your dental practice. Take advantage of Google Adwords, Ads on LinkedIn, or Facebook for Business to build your brand and raise awareness. PPC (Pay Per Click) is also an effective mechanism to drive local people to your site. You simply pay a search engine a small fee every time someone clicks on your ad. With PPC, you can control your dental practice marketing budget by setting limits for what you are willing to pay.
Establish expertise through online content that will drive people to your site, like blogs and videos.
Blogs provide a forum for you to establish credibility with patients and to educate and inform. Be a subject-matter expert and instill confidence with your audience and among your peers as well.
Video is an additional way to reach your customer in a memorable and meaningful manner, and is a perfect vehicle for marketing your dental practice. Youtube has over a billion users and video is the fastest growing online ad format.
You can post content about your facility, your mission, and “how to” blogs and videos. Here’s a few “How to Remain Calm During Dental Procedures”, or “How to Properly Floss, Brush, or Use a Waterpik,” etc. Take time to engage and or educate patients.
E-newsletters, webinars, and email blasts are all inexpensive ways to connect with your customer on a regular basis, get your name out there, and promote your dental practice.
E-campaigns provide a platform to announce new equipment, new employees, dental news, improved procedures, anything relevant to your audience to remind them why your services and team are valuable to their lives and their dental health. If you send out e-newsletters, embed a video to increase click-through rates.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Instagram are just some of the ways to reach your dental practice’s target audience and open doors for patient referrals. A few strategic posts a week are all you need to stay relevant and engaged with the community to market your dental practice.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to sustain a social media campaign, hire someone to manage it for you. Social media gives you a platform for thought leadership, helps establish rapport with current patients and the community, and can position you as a trusted source for good care and happy outcomes.
Community events are an effective way to create awareness about your practice and to meet new patients. You can host an event at your facility, at the library, or visit schools in the community. What’s better than educating young students about dental health?
Bring giveaways with your name and brand on them. Dental floss, balloons, or stress balls are all compelling things to hand out to promote your dental practice. Participate in town events, parades, markets, and even faith gatherings if you so choose. Any opportunity to meet prospective patients is a good one.
Strategic ads or fliers on the grocery store or library bulletin board, church bulletins, school or community play programs, and in the local paper are affordable vehicles for name recognition and branding. You may think people only play tic-tac-toe on the restaurant placemat, but many save info on local business. Make sure you’re the one that gets local business.
Are you getting the most from your printed dental practice marketing? Which of these tips will you implement first? Let us know in the comments!