Do you have a production goal for next year? Use these 12 best dental marketing ideas to create a fool-proof strategy for increased business
Creating an effective marketing strategy for your dental practice can drastically improve production and workflow. The tricky part is understanding your business goals and planning accordingly. Then you can choose the best dental marketing ideas that work for you.
Heading into the new year, it’s wise to research options and establish a plan. There are many branches of marketing to consider, each with specific methods, techniques, and executions. But don’t overload: identify areas that need help and keep it simple. Unless you’re hiring an agency, you’ll have to implement strategies at a steady pace throughout next year.
If you’re looking for a guide, we’ve put together a list of the best dental marketing ideas to get started. There are 12 focus points (one for every month) under four categories (focused on each quarter).
1. Website optimization
Is your website functioning to its fullest potential? Every page should point towards one goal: calling the office for an appointment. Research your competitors and see what conversion architecture they have in place. Is your website easy to navigate? Consider adding forms your web visitors can fill out with pertinent information to streamline processes.
2. SEO + content
How does your website rank in Google’s search results? Search engine optimization (SEO) is an extremely effective way to attract targeted web traffic. You can utilize this technique on your business blog. By publishing informative, SEO-optimized blog posts, you will gain more web visits and higher rankings on search engines.
3. Social media engagement
Have you heard the phrase, “you can’t walk ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ to the bank?” Although that may be literally accurate, social media affects several important aspects of your practice. A few examples: brand awareness, promotional outreach, and customer service. All of those efforts affect your production rates, whether directly or indirectly.
Community outreach strategies
4. Local sponsorships
Supporting causes, charities, and events is a great way to spread awareness and show dedication to the surrounding community. Look for opportunities to sponsor events that relate to your services. Health and wellness-related events are a good place to start.
5. Community and business partnerships
Advertising that you donate a certain percentage of profits to community centers or social services is beneficial in two ways. One, patients feel good about helping others. Two, your practice demonstrates a commitment to service beyond what is expected.
6. Events and parties
Throwing an event is effective for two primary goals: making new contacts and connecting with current patients. Send invitations to your patients via email and spread the word over social media channels. To gain new contacts, advertise events on your website, radio, TV, and other media. Be sure to make it interesting, fun, and purposeful. What’s the end goal for the event?
Interpersonal networking strategies
7. Branding focus
How much effort have you put into a specific brand message? Consider hiring a graphic designer to create a customized logo. You want your brand to stand out and portray a specific ethos and business acumen. Align all of your content, services, and marketing material with the brand message to reinforce consistency.
8. Customer service approach
Breakdown every step of your customer service strategy and brainstorm ways to improve. Do you follow up with first-time patients? Do you personally greet patients before, during, or after cleanings? Make a list of every contact point your practice makes with leads and patients, then brainstorm five ways to improve each one.
9. Gaining testimonials
A testimonial is one of the best dental marketing ideas. Put together a plan to gain testimonials and promote them across every platform possible. Ask new patients to fill out an optional feedback form after their first to the office. You automate email messages with the forms attached as well.
Patient retention strategies
10. Referral incentives
How many patient referrals are you receiving every month? Strategize a plan to reconfigure your incentive program and make it more valuable. Consider different rewards for the types of referrals received: business contacts, family members, friends, etc.. You can create a “points program” where a certain amount of referrals will be given free cleanings, discounted whitenings, and electric toothbrush giveaways.
11. Gifts and freebies
Keeping your patients delighted is the surest way to retain them. Think outside the box: what can you give away that’s perceived as valuable and exclusive? You sign up patients for weekly dental tips in an e-newsletter, give out free samples of new products, or make special discounts for their children after Halloween.
12. Loyalty programs
How do you reward patients for their continued business? It’s one of the best dental marketing ideas that most practices ignore. No patient should be taken for granted. If you’re not putting in the effort to retain production, then another practice will steal her away with better incentives. A free cleaning every two years is a good place to start, but try to brainstorm more creative options.
The best dental marketing ideas begin with a strategic business plan
Dental practices need to invest ample time in developing a plan. Research, strategy, execution, testing and adaptation are necessary for highly effective marketing. But do you know the number one reason dental practices fail to see great results? Not having a defined goal.
Before you get started in planning your strategies, you need to analyze key data and ask tough questions. Here are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
- Who is my target audience? What type of demographic characteristics define them?
- Who is my ideal patient?
- What is my marketing budget? Where should I allocate my funds?
- What strategies will provide the best results with the least amount of oversight?
- Who will implement these strategies? What is my budget for outsourcing?
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What dental marketing ideas can you share with readers? What’s your opinion about marketing strategy for dental practices? Share your thoughts!