Dental Marketing 101: Strategies for the Most Success
October 13, 2020
Most dentists we know have fantastic team members who go above and beyond for each patient. They also have a loyal clientele who come to them for annual cleanings, fillings, and more.
There’s just one teensy problem.
Many don’t know how to get the word out.
That brings us to the question of the day: how do you attract new patients to your dental practice?
Our marketing team is here to help. Let’s take a look at some leading dental marketing strategies that you can easily implement today.
What is dental marketing?
Dental marketing is all about spreading the word and painting your business in a positive light. To promote your services, we recommend a combination of advertising and promotional methods.
The bottom line? The more patients you attract, the higher your return on investment (ROI).
Dental marketing helps you reach current patients, reminding them of annual cleanings coming up. It also enables you to connect with prospective patients who might not realize the importance of regular dental appointments.
Your marketing should include:
- Great content. Educating followers about when to schedule an appointment–and why they need one–can help convert. It can also position you as a leading, knowledgeable industry professional.
- Positive imagery. That means before-and-afters. You might have a service-based business, but you have plenty to show for it, including smiles. One way to gather pictures is to ask your patients to post them online and tag you. User-generated content is free and engaging. (Always credit the original source or share directly from their page.)
- Your unique factor. Think about what makes you stand out from nearby dental practices. Do you have an orthodontist on staff? Do you specialize in oral surgery? Marketing strategies aren’t the same for every dental location but highlighting what makes you unique can entice people to choose your company. Share it loudly and proudly.
Why should you invest in dental marketing?
Now that you know the “what” behind dental marketing, let’s talk about the “why.” Digital marketing for dental clinics is essential to:
- Connect directly with current and potential patients (while following HIPAA, of course).
- Drive website traffic.
- Improve your brand’s online image.
- Increase online bookings and phone calls.
The best dental marketing combines both digital and analog. While most marketing isn’t “one size fits all,” following our best practices can help generate better, faster results going forward.
What are the top dental marketing strategies?
To be successful in marketing your dental practice, you don’t need to be a marketing guru. You need only know a few tricks of the trade or work with a qualified marketing team. (Get in touch.)
The most critical component of your dental marketing campaigns? A responsive website that loads fast and works on both desktops and mobile devices.
As long as you have a quick-loading site, you’re off to a great start. Use these dental marketing strategies to find loyal patients who’ll choose you year after year:
The idea behind SEO is this: you create interesting, relevant content to fully optimize your website so that you will consistently show up near the top of Google’s results page. With the right strategy, you can provide more value to your target audience and influence critical decisions making them more likely to book an appointment with you.
Blog posts are the key–and they’re often overlooked. From dental technology to the best foods to strengthen your teeth, there are many potential topics at your fingertips.
If you’re unsure what to write about, research FAQs for dentists to see what your target audience wants to know. The best ways to be successful with blogs are to write with search intent and make all content shareable via a social media plugin.
Here are some more SEO tips for dental practices:
- Capitalize on local keywords. Having a quality website is one thing, but having the right keywords is another. Local keywords are your friend (e.g., dentist in Pasco, best dental office near me, teeth whitening services in Richland, etc.). Use them strategically throughout your website to rank for local search terms and stay competitive.
- Familiarize yourself with Google Analytics. This easy-to-use, free system is the bread and butter of SEO. It provides actionable insights regarding your website, such as your most popular pages, bounce rates, and user search terms. You can use this information to update your website to address your target audience’s needs better.
- Make a service page. Highlighting your services is the fastest way to rank for them on Google. That means more eyes on your business. If you specialize in anything, a service page is your chance to mention it. There’s no need to include pricing–just your main offerings.
- Sign up for Google My Business (GMB). Filling out your business details online can help potential customers find you. It’s a quick, free process that can increase website visitors and foot traffic. Ensure your address, phone number, and office hours are consistent on all online platforms.
#2: Social Media
If you’re a dental startup, there’s no need to overcomplicate social media marketing. Start with one to three platforms, and post a few times per week. While it is possible to run paid ads on social media sites, posting organically and highlighting the important day to day things that are important for future and current patients to see. Essentially this becomes a brand awareness play so that people will think of your office when they think of the dentist.
Here are some pointers:
- Facebook: behind-the-scene pictures (e.g., meet the team), events, and posts on relevant health awareness months (e.g., National Children’s Dental Health Month, Oral Health Month, and National Dental Hygiene Month)
- Twitter: industry news, specials, and retweets from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (and other leading dental organizations)
- Instagram: close-ups of smiling patients (show off your patients’ results–who share them online, of course), oral care tips, and fun facts about teeth
- LinkedIn: industry news and articles, job listings, and testimonials
Strive to remain relevant, interesting, timely, and engaging to keep people coming back. Also, to help your company look more professional, incorporate your logo on graphics, and stick to your brand colors. That will ensure a cohesive, recognizable image online.
If you’re having trouble getting likes and followers, consider hosting a contest. (Need inspiration? Social media is one of our favorite dental marketing services, and we’d love to help you come up with contests and giveaway ideas. Click here to consult with our team.)
Bonus Tip: We recommend using social listening, or referring to followers’ feedback on social media, when making decisions about your practice. It’ll show patients you care, help them feel involved, and ensure you’re making moves they want to see. (There’s a reason that more marketing professionals use social listening than any other marketing technique.)
#3: Email Marketing
Did you know that the average business brings in $38 for each dollar invested in email marketing? Wowser. As a dentist seeking to promote your practice online, a newsletter should be at the top of your list.
Emails are helpful to get referrals, request reviews, and inform your patients about the latest offerings. You can even send appointment reminders.
Basically, if anything exciting happens with your business (e.g., you change locations, onboard a new dentist or have a special to promote), send out a newsletter. (We recommend Flodesk, HubSpot, or Mailchimp.)
These ideas can help you build your email list:
- Offer a discount, freebie, or subscriber-only content, and promote it on your social media platforms.
- Anytime you take on a new patient, see if they’d like to be added to your email list, where you send out regular updates, appointment reminders, oral care tips, and more.
- Let existing patients know about your new newsletter and ask if they’d like to join it. All you’ll need is their email address.
- Add an opt-in form on your blog, social media pages, and website to make it easy for people to sign up.
#4: Paid Ads
If you need immediate, measurable results, paid ads are a great go-to. We recommend starting with Google. Keep your ad copy personal to increase your click-through rate (CTR). Highlight the most important aspects of what your practice has to offer as well as what separates you from your competitors. Below is an example of a local dental office using Google Search Ads to help promote their business.
Here are a few more suggestions:
- Don’t be afraid to test a variety of different ads and calls-to-action (CTAs) to see what converts best. It’s generally best to start with a few text ads and a responsive search ad. Google will show your best performing ads most often. Adjustments to ad copy in your headlines and descriptions could help improve ad performance.
- Make sure you are tracking conversions properly. Knowing which types of clicks turn into conversions allows Google to optimize who your ads are shown to. The more conversion history you have, the easier it will be for Google to bid up on highly qualified audiences and bid down on clicks that are less likely to convert. For more information on how to bid on your keywords check out this blog post
- Target the right community. Adjust your target audience’s demographics, interests, and location to ensure the right people see your message. It’s okay to start broad (18+, male, and female). Over time, you can narrow down your targeting to attract a specific audience.
Tip: Don’t forget to fill out your GMB information beforehand–especially if you’re targeting local keywords (which you should be). That information will make it easier for potential patients to find and contact you.
Facebook ads are another option if you’d like to drive traffic to your site or leads to your landing page. One of our favorite features about social ads is the availability to get creative. Using engaging video and photo ads allow people to get a sneak peak at the culture of your dental office as well and see how happy your patients are making people more likely to click on the ad.
#5: Direct Mail
While digital marketing is all the rage, print advertising still has its place. Direct mail, when combined with other marketing methods, can be profitable for dentists. Like paid ads, your ROI for direct mail is easy to track when you include a special phone number or code on each piece.
The key is honing in on your dental marketing messages so that your offer is clear, effective, and enticing enough for potential patients.
Need suggestions for your direct mail? Start with these:
- Narrow down your target audience. Would you like to be the go-to family dentist in your city? Do you want to appeal to parents? Would you like to offer special discounts to teachers, medical professionals, and service members? Consider who you’d like to attract and create your direct mail accordingly.
- Simplify your offer. If you cover too much on one direct mail piece, you risk confusing the target audience. Hone in on your offer so that it’s clear, and do the same for your CTA for better results.
- Work with a local printing company or marketing agency (*waves*) to design your direct mail. Even if you’re a rockstar designer, it helps to have a professional take care of it for you to ensure that it’ll appeal best to your target audience. Not to mention, it’ll save you time so you can focus on what matters: building a community of happy, healthy patients.
Word of mouth is powerful–but it’s not the only advertising tool that works. If you want to bring in new patients, having the right dental marketing strategies can help.
That’s not to say you can’t try different techniques. We always encourage adjusting marketing methods until you achieve your desired results (changing a single variable at a time for better tracking and measurements).
What are examples of marketing strategies you can use? No dental office marketing plan is complete without these five elements:
- Optimized blogs and website content
- Engaging social media posts
- Monthly newsletters
- Facebook and Google Ads
- Targeted direct mail campaigns
Together, these creative dental marketing ideas can help you build your online presence and enhance your brand positioning. That means more referrals and happier patients all around.
Looking for a dental marketing expert to help you reel in the right clientele? BrandCraft offers a full spectrum of print and digital marketing services for dentists. Contact us today for a free consultation.