Are you struggling to find new ways to market your dental practice?
If so, you’re not alone. There are over 46,000 dental practitioners in the UK, so there’s a lot of competition for new patients.
How can you make your practice stand out from the crowd? Free marketing resources are a great place to start.
With so much information online, though, sifting through all the advice can be overwhelming.
Don’t worry. We’ve done the legwork for you.
In this post, we’ll reveal the ten best dental marketing ideas to attract new patients and grow your practice. Read on to learn more.
Before we discuss dental marketing ideas, you first need to identify where your practice stands.
Schedule a brainstorming session with your staff for a SWOT analysis of your company. What does SWOT stand for?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to choose the best dental marketing ideas for your practice.
Patient referrals and word-of-mouth advertising are still wonderful ways to grow your practice.
To compete in today’s marketplace, though, you’ve got to have a professional website. This needs to be the centre of all your marketing efforts.
How long ago did you create your website? Does it look dated, or is it modern and trendy? If your site looks outdated, visitors may conclude you have an outdated practice as well.
Your website should also be responsive and mobile-friendly. Fifty-two percent of patients access the internet from a smartphone or tablet, so your website should look great on any device.
SEO is crucial to your website, as this ensures it ranks high in search results. You’ll also want to add high-quality content such as photos, videos, and blog posts.
Strategic dental marketing means knowing your competition.
Study your competitors to identify their marketing strategies. Then think of ways your practice can outshine them.
How can you do this? Let’s say three local offices offer a new patient special for ?89. You won’t win any new patients by offering the same service for ?99.
Instead, nudge out your competition by setting your new patient special at ?79.
Another thing to keep in mind is that patients love convenience. Expand your hours of operation to accommodate after-school or weekend appointments.
You might also consider adding an online appointment booking feature to your website.
Who are you mainly marketing your practice to — seniors, children, or families?
The thought of dental work makes many people anxious, so strive to make your image as friendly and welcoming as possible.
Whoever your target audience is, remember that women make 90% of all family health care decisions.
Today’s woman is a tech-savvy powerhouse consumer. She wants to make an informed decision for her family. She doesn’t just want a product, she wants a service.
Therefore, you should tweak your marketing strategies with today’s female head-of-household in mind.
Women generally shop around and do a lot of research before making decisions. Give them what they’re looking for by loading your website with informative, relevant content.
Then explain why your practice is the best choice for her and her family.
The next of our best dental marketing ideas involves reviews.
Eighty-eight percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, so reviews can make or break your business.
Perform Google searches for your name and your dental practice. What comes up? Hopefully, you have at least a few five-star reviews.
If not, it’s time to get listed on the major review sites.
Claim your free Google My Business listing, if you haven’t already. You should also set up profiles on sites like Yelp, Tipped, and TrustPilot.
Once you have your profiles set up, offer incentives to your patients for leaving a review. It could be something as simple as discounting a few pounds off their next office visit.
If you’re not active on social media channels, you’re missing valuable marketing opportunities.
With over 2 billion users, Facebook dominates the world of social media. Set up a Facebook business page and add relevant information about your practice.
This is also a great place to set up advertising campaigns and reach out to prospective patients.
Facebook is a powerful social media tool, but it’s not the only one. Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ are also valuable marketing platforms.
Once you’re set up on these social media channels, it’s time to share content. Post updates, advertise specials, and link to blogs or other pages on your website. Encourage followers to like and share your posts.
You should also engage with your followers by replying to their comments and answering questions. This helps to build trust with your brand and also boosts the credibility of your website.
Other powerful dental marketing ideas involve patient testimonials.
Recall that consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Patient testimonials are powerful “social proof” that your practice is as great as you claim it is.
Excerpts from written testimonials are a great place to start. For maximum impact, though, you should consider recording a few video testimonials.
This may sound daunting or expensive, but it’s neither. Set up a room in your office with good lighting and no background noise. You might also invest in a simple clip-on microphone to ensure good sound quality.
When you find a willing patient, set your smartphone on a tripod or other secure surface and press Record. Edit the video and upload it to your website.
One more thing: Don’t forget to have the patient sign a consent form before you post the video online.
Ideally, most of your new patients should come from existing patient referrals. Sometimes, though, patients aren’t aware of your efforts to grow your practice.
How can you tactfully encourage them to refer friends and family your way? One way is to offer a patient referral bonus program.
If someone they speak to visits your office, the referrer gets some type of reward. This could be a free product, a discount on their next visit, or some sort of prize.
Referrals are a win-win situation because it engages you with patients old and new. It also promotes a positive image of your entire practice.
How can you start up a referral program? Mention it in your next newsletter or on your social media accounts. You could also print up some referral cards to hand out at the office.
The best dental marketing ideas include both old and new patients. In your efforts to gain new patients, don’t forget about the ones you already have.
Your existing patients are the ones who will refer their friends and family; so, nurture those relationships. A terrific way to do this is through email marketing.
Endeavour to get each patient’s email address on their first visit. You should also offer a sign-up option on your website. This will help you build an email database for your newsletter.
What might you include in your dental marketing emails?
These emails keep your practice fresh in your patients’ minds. This leads to increased retention and more new patient referrals.
Looking for a way to get a lot of new patients quickly? Try PPC (pay per click) advertising.
Through platforms like Google AdWords, you can target potential patients searching for a local dentist. You choose relevant keywords, create an ad, and link it to your website.
The best part is that you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad. You can also turn your campaigns on and off to suit your budget or business flow.
PPC advertising is a terrific way to maximize exposure for your practice.
The last of our dental marketing ideas is also one of the most important.
No matter how impressive your digital marketing efforts, you need the cooperation of your staff to reel in new patients.
How do your staff members speak to potential clients who call the office? Are they warm, knowledgeable, and friendly? Are they eager to answer questions, or are they quick to place callers on hold?
You can market your practice until you’re blue in the face, but none of it matters if patients don’t make it past the first phone call.
There should also be a staff member dedicated to answering email enquiries in 24 hours or less.
Successfully marketing your practice requires dedication and ingenuity. These dental marketing ideas are sure to help you attract new patients and grow your business.
Are you overwhelmed by the thought of implementing these dental marketing ideas on your own?
Don’t worry. You don’t have to do it alone.
Click here to learn more about our professional dental marketing services.