Marketing for dentists can be quite tricky. The simple fact of the matter is that a lot of people don’t like going to the dentist, and getting them through the door in the first place can be quite the ordeal. If your practice is struggling to get new patients through the door, it’s a good idea to dust off your dentist marketing cap and consider new ways to attract new patients and revitalize your practice.
Let’s take a look at some of the best marketing ideas for dentists.
Best Marketing Ideas and Strategies for Dentists
Set Your Acquisition And Practice Goals
Before you start marketing, you need to sit down and figure out your acquisition goals. What are the specific goals of your practice? Which of the services that you offer are most important? Do you intend to focus on something simple and cheap, like cleanings, or do you want to build a reputation as an orthodontic specialist? These are all questions that should be answered before proceeding to marketing.
You also need to think about acquisition. How many patients can your practice handle? What is a realistic number of new patients to take on on a monthly basis?
Do remember that you’re going to be in competition with other dental practices. It’s therefore important that you don’t set an unrealistic goal for yourself that’s going to dishearten you if you don’t meet it. Try to come up with something realistic but that will make a real difference to your patient numbers. It’s all about striking a balance.
If you are not sure yet whether you need to spend effort and resources on marketing, check out this guide.
Local Awareness Facebook Ads
There’s no use in marketing to someone who lives 200 miles away from your practice. You need your ads to be focused and targeted to locals. The best way of doing this is with something like Facebook Local Awareness ads.
These ads are targeted to a local audience and offer a high level of customization. You can embed a map in the ad to make it really easy to find your practice, and you can even directly embed a button in the ad, making it easy to call you or book an appointment. In marketing, convenience is king – and there’s nothing quite as convenient as simply clicking a button.
Make Sure Your Website Is Solid
Your practice’s website is the digital face you present to the world, and it needs to be as spick and span as your practice itself. It needs to be clean, intuitive, informative, and offer quick and easy ways to make enquiries, book appointments, and sign up for your mailing list.
It also needs to be easy to reach your website quickly. Put QR codes on signage, fliers and ads to make sure people are able to quickly get to your website.
If you don’t have a website yet, it’s definitely time to set up one. WordPress is a great tool to build your website without any knowledge required (check out our guide).
Also, make sure to optimize for SEO (search engine optimization) early on, so you organic traffic and thereby new customers for your practice. There are many great tools out there that can help you with SEO. Our firm favorite is Semrush – the leading all-in one SEO solution out there. It makes it incredibly easy to find the right topics and keywords, and write SEO-optimized content.
Build Customer Profiles
It’s important to know what kind of customer you’re going after before you can figure out how to specifically target ads towards them. Your dental marketing strategy should therefore incorporate target customer profiles – what is the ideal age, profession, income and dental requirements of your customers?
If you intend to offer affordable, competitively-priced dentistry to as many people as possible, then your target market will likely lie in lower-income brackets, and your dentist marketing should be accordingly calibrated to target them. On the other hand, if you’re looking to offer high-end cosmetic dentistry, then you’re probably going to be targeting high-earning professionals like doctors and lawyers.
Whoever your ideal customer base is, you need to make sure that your dental marketing strategy accounts for them and their habits in order to better target them. Check out our guide on figuring out your ideal target market.
Convenience is always the most important consideration when coming up with marketing for any business, and marketing for dentists is no different. Click-to-call ads can be placed on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and as previously mentioned, they make it very easy to call through and book an appointment quickly. The less hassle it is to do this, the more easily you’ll get customers.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile is essential for any business serious about maintaining a solid online business, and it’s no different when it comes to dentist digital marketing.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile is the difference between your practice popping up when people google “dentists near me”, and some other dentist taking that place. It also helps your practice to appear in the top search results, the importance of which cannot be overstated. People are much more likely to click the top 3 search results than any others, so make sure that profile is optimized and updated regularly!
Test Your Dental Marketing Strategy – And Keep Testing It
Once you’ve got your dentist marketing strategy in place, you can’t simply sit on your laurels and assume it’s going to work forever. You need to evaluate your numbers and analytics, find what’s working, and find what isn’t. In the latter case, you need to figure out how you’re going to fix whatever it is about it that’s not working.
Consider how much each one of your patients is worth over time; this amount is known as the ‘customer lifetime value’, and can help you calculate how much you’re willing to spend on attracting new patients to your practice. After you’ve had your dental marketing strategy in place for a while, you can also figure out your customer acquisition cost. Finally, it’s a good idea to assess your online and offline marketing efforts separately, as each requires a very different approach.
By constantly testing and re-evaluating your dental marketing, you can better refine it to attract new customers.
Call-Only Ads On Mobile
The majority of searches for healthcare are made from smartphones, and this includes dentistry. What does this mean for you? It means that you want to make it as hassle-free as possible to get through to you (as always). This makes mobile call-only ads perfect, as potential customers can just click to immediately call through to your practice. This drastically improves your chances of converting potential customers into actual ones.
Check out this Google guide on how to get started with call ads.
Cultivate Social Media Accounts
Advertising via social media is all the rage for a reason – it’s free, it’s impactful, and it doesn’t come across like you’re trying to force your products/services down the throats of potential customers. The best business social media accounts are friendly, approachable and informative – and so that’s what you should aim for, too.
Make sure you have active accounts on all the big social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter). Post or share content regularly to stimulate discussion, offer advice, keep your followers updated, and hopefully entice people to register at your practice!
If you need help, check out our guides for marketing on Instagram and Twitter.
Dental Marketing Via Blog
Content marketing is a massively successful way of reaching new customers, because it doesn’t feel like marketing. The best latter-day marketing is often content marketing – using things like blogs, vlogs and infographics to provide useful information to potential customers and, hopefully, incentivize them to make use of your services.
Blogs are a fantastic way of doing this, particularly when it comes to dental marketing. You can write any number of blogs on dental care that will be authoritative, informative, and – most importantly – will encourage people to register at your practice. Blogs are also easily shared across your social media channels, and can even be repurposed for other channels, too. Check out our guide on how to use a blog to drive customers to you.
Use Vlogs And Other Videos
It’s an unfortunate fact that people have short attention spans in this day and age, and so content needs to grab them fast. Nothing draws the eye more than a striking video, and so it’s a good idea to convert your blogs into helpful videos that provide solid dental advice to prospective customers.
You can also do ‘behind the scenes’ videos, videos in which customers can meet all of your staff, and videos of any promotions that you’re doing. Simply speaking: the more the merrier.
If you are regularly putting out video content, it’s worth considering making a YouTube channel to codify your content and give customers easy access to it. Such a channel is easily promoted on your other social media channels, of course.
Use SEO To Get Your Content Noticed
It’s all well and good having 50 blog posts on your website and 20 videos on your YouTube channel, but that’s of little use if they never get seen. That’s why it’s important that all of your dental marketing content (including your website) is ‘search engine optimized’ – or, as it’s commonly abbreviated to, SEO.
SEO can be as simple as making sure that you have a good keyword density (using the target keyword enough times throughout your blog) and using relevant images, and anybody can get to grips with the basics. There are many great tools out there that can help you with SEO. Our firm favorite is Semrush – the leading all-in one SEO solution out there. It makes it incredibly easy to find the right topics and keywords, and write SEO-optimized content. If you’d rather have it professionally done, there are plenty of freelancers and companies out there that can help with optimizing your content.
Use Facebook Demographic Targeting
Facebook ads make it very easy to tailor your ads for specific demographics – and, as we said near the start of this article, tweaking your dentist marketing to target certain demographics is crucial for attracting the kind of customer that you want.
Research suggests that the lady of the house is responsible for all household dental healthcare decisions, for instance. This means that by targeting women who have bought household items or children’s clothes with your ads, you stand a good chance of attracting new clientele.
Offer Dental Membership Programs
Everybody likes discounts and incentives, and dental patients are no exception. By offering discounts for members or a free clean with every fifth appointment, for instance, you’re more likely to encourage customer loyalty and promote positive word of mouth advertising.
Create A Referral Program
Speaking of word of mouth advertising, a great way to get new clientele through the door is to have existing customers bring them in. Offer discounts, free cleanings or other incentives to customers who refer friends or family. This is particularly effective because you’re having existing, satisfied customers advertise on your behalf, and this advertising comes from an innately trusted source.
Get Involved In The Local Community
Trust builds brand loyalty (and, indirectly, brand awareness) and nobody is more trusted than a small company that is actively involved in the community. This is no different when it comes to marketing ideas for dentists – make sure that you’re an active community presence that people know and trust.
There are countless ways to make sure your practice is involved in the community, from sponsoring local sports teams or fundraisers to holding competitions. Another great way of getting involved is via local schools – host lectures or educational seminars on dentistry, offer work experience placements to teenage students, or sponsor trips or competitions within the school.
The sky is the limit when it comes to community outreach, and it’s a great way of marketing without looking like you’re marketing.
Appointment/Suggested Appointment Reminders
It’s easy to forget dental appointments, particularly since some people are quite happy to forget them and dodge a trip to the dentist!
That’s why appointment reminders – or other reminders, such as reminding a customer that it’s a good time for a cleaning – can help to get clients back into the practice. This sort of personalized attention to detail also creates a great impression of your practice, as it shows that you pay attention to individual clients and genuinely care about their oral health.
Solicit Google Reviews From Clients
Nothing sells a company better than the honest, unbiased opinions of previous customers. It’s therefore important that such customers give their opinion of you wherever reviews can be found. The best place is Google, as these reviews can be linked to your Google Business Account and provide an immediate overview of customer feedback on your company.
In order to facilitate getting client feedback, you can hand out fliers or business cards that contain easy-to-follow instructions on how to leave a feedback. Such handouts can even have a QR code that can take them straight through to the review page, to make it completely hassle-free.
Note that Yelp explicitly forbids businesses from soliciting reviews, so while you may suggest to clients that they leave reviews in other places, do not explicitly ask for them.
Use Email Marketing
Don’t sleep on the power of emails as a powerful marketing idea for dentists. Though emails seem rather old-fashioned and quaint now, the fact is that there are few ways to quickly communicate with thousands of people at once. Mass mails can be used for a variety of reasons, from sending out newsletters to informing customers of promotions, and they can be easily personalized in order to ensure customers feel as if they’re being spoken to on a personal level, rather than simply receiving a soulless mass mail template. Check out our many articles on e-mail marketing.
Start Up A Dental Podcast
Similar to blogging and vlogging, making a podcast is a great way to reach people that you otherwise might not, and is a brilliant content marketing strategy for dentists who intend to make full use of all available channels.
It’s also easy, as previously mentioned, to repurpose other content (like blogs and vlogs) for your podcast. In fact, it’s not uncommon for many businesses to put out text, visual and audio versions of their content in order to cast their net as wide as possible. This means that it should also be part of your dentist marketing strategy.
Provide Real-Time Feedback On Social Media
There’s nothing like results, and this is doubly important for a healthcare field like dentistry. A solid part of marketing for dentists is convincing potential customers that you can keep those pearly whites white and pearly – and what better way to do that than to show them?
With the permission of your clients, take photos of their teeth after cleanings or other dental work, and post those pictures to your social media channels – along with testimonies, if possible. If potential customers see that you are routinely leaving your existing customers satisfied, they’re much more likely to take a chance on your practice.
Traditional mail marketing may be on the ropes in the modern age, but it’s not quite out for the count yet. If any part of your dental marketing strategy includes elderly patients, then it’s a good idea to make sure they’re kept in the loop via traditional mail. They’re far less likely to own a smartphone and, even if they do, they’re less likely to use it for things like finding dental practices.
Offer Discounts And Promotions For New Patients
It’s important to keep existing patients happy, but you obviously need to attract new patients, too. One of the best marketing ideas for dentists, then, is to incentivize new patients with one-time discounts or other specials like an initial free diagnosis. Once you’ve got people through the door, you can demonstrate the quality of your dental healthcare, and convert them from new patients into longtime ones.
With a little bit of inventiveness and smart use of social media and online marketing channels, there’s no reason why your dentist marketing can’t catapult you to the top of the pile in your area. Just remember to take the time to identify your target demographic(s), craft a feasible dental marketing strategy, and work on a multi-channel approach to make sure you’re targeting as many potential customers as possible.