It’s 2023 — merely listing your dental practice in the Yellow Pages will probably not get you good enough inbound leads.
Patients now rely on online research to choose a dentist. To ensure they find you, you’ll need to employ effective online marketing tactics. I’ll share 25 of them in this article. Here’s the first one.
1. Craft a Holistic Dental Marketing Strategy
To create an effective dental marketing strategy for your local practice, first focus on targeting your city’s residents. This approach focuses on targeting people within a designated radius of your dental clinic and understanding their needs.
Based on that, you establish clear marketing objectives, your budget, and decide on channels that you’ll use to market your dental services.
Later on, the set goals will help you measure your marketing campaigns success, track metrics, try new dental marketing ideas, and adapt strategies accordingly.
2. Start Local SEO
When someone searches for a dentist nearby, the top results Google shows are the local search pack. To ensure your dental practice business page lands among the top three in Google’s local pack, you must claim and complete your Google My Business profile that mirrors your practice’s website information.
Plus, garner as many positive reviews on it as you can, optimize your content (Google posts can be a valuable tool here), and keep your dental website updated with localized content. These strategies can help you stand out in local search results and attract more local clients.
3. Gather Testimonials From Dental Patients
The majority of people today consider online reviews and testimonials as personal recommendations. That means if you appear in Google search results, these testimonials can help sell your services well.
So, have a proper system in place to make sure people write a positive review about your dental practice than merely asking them to leave a review as they leave the clinic.
Sending your patients a virtual thank you card with a link to your GMB account to write a review would be a good place to start. Plus, consider providing a question or two for them to answer and make the process easier for them.
4. Build a Dental Website
It’s 2023, your business’s information needs to be visible to your patients 24/7. Failure to do so may result in losing future patients to your competitors. So, you need a website.
But wait. Having a website isn’t all either; it also needs to be SEO-optimized so your prospective patients can actually find it and high-performance so that it effectively conveys your dental services. Such a website will encourage your web-visitors to take the next step and book an appointment with you.
A well-crafted dental website can make all the difference in attracting and retaining patients.
5. Kick off Organic Search Engine Optimization
Organic SEO is a cost-effective way to grow your online presence naturally and build your credibility. But it’s a long-term strategy.
Since your major target audience is your local people, start with a local SEO strategy. Then accordingly, work towards on-page SEO (tweaking your website’s content), off-page SEO (working on factors beyond your site, like link-building), and technical SEO (fine-tuning technical elements like security and mobile-friendliness).
Here’s a quick Dental SEO cheat sheet by SemRush to understand it.
6. Offer a Free Consultation to Potential Patients
Many dentists hesitate to offer free consultations, but there are ways you can use it to your advantage.
You must be familiar with people saying, “I hate dentists.” It’s definitely nothing personal, but they merely associate their dental visits with pain. A free complimentary consultation call can encourage them to take the first step and give you a chance to help them feel at ease while ensuring that you’re the right fit.
Moreover, it’s not just about one patient – their family and friends might follow suit. And getting their contact information as they book a consultation call with you can open up various opportunities.
Some of them include promoting your other dental services via email marketing, by inviting them to your hosted events, or retarget ads (we’ll cover it all shortly).
7. Get Instant Traction With Google Ads
If you’re investing in organic SEO, running Google Ads is a smart move.
It provides instant visibility on search engines for the keywords you bid on. But you’ll need to stick with generic dentistry-related terms in your ads and landing page to avoid potential issues with Google.
The search engine’s policy restricts ads in healthcare industry that include any term related to your surgical operations or procedures like dental crowns, Invisalign, teeth whitening, crown restoration, you get the point.
You can also use Google Ads to retarget your audience who showed interest in your website.
8. Start a Blog Answering Questions of Prospective Patients
Content marketing can be time-taking or expensive, but it can boost your credibility and elevate your practice’s branding.
If you’re in private practice, you can use your blog to share your dental topic related personal stories and educate the general public about dental procedures. By answering their most pressing questions, such as what to expect during specific dental surgeries, post-surgery dietary recommendations, or the right questions to ask your dentist during a consultation, you can build trust and reassure your potential patients about your expertise.
Plus, with a blog, you’ll have more high-quality SEO-optimized content for your website. So, it’ll contribute to your improved search engine rankings.
9. Invest in Video Marketing
In a world that spends hours scrolling through TikTok and Instagram, you might find it a little difficult to capture their diminishing attention by solely writing informational blogs. Investing in video marketing can help with it.
Use quick and engaging content to deliver essential information to your leads, especially on social media platforms where they spend most of their time.
You can also embed videos in your blogs to make your content more captivating.
10. Leverage Social Media PPC Ads
Social media PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ads when used strategically can not only amplify your brand’s awareness but also establish a stronger online presence.
To maximize the impact of your ads, craft them like you’d make a regular post. For instance, creating an Instagram ad as a trendy reel set to popular audio can get enhanced impressions.
Moreover, your PPC campaign can draw more visitors to your social profile, so feature high-quality content that entices users to follow you.
11. Start a Loyalty Program on Referrals From Customers
It’s a smart and cost-effective way to not only retain your current patients and upsell your services but also attract new ones to your clinic.
For instance, with your loyalty program, you can reward patients with points that they can redeem for future visits or discounts on certain dental procedures.
You can also encourage them to send patient referrals your way by offering additional points and offer incentives for kids to make their dental visits more enjoyable.
To upsell your additional services like teeth-whitening and straightening, veneers, or smile makeovers, you can offer bonus points to the people in your loyalty program.
12. Conduct a Giveaway For Your Dental Office
It can be a great way to make a lasting impression on your patients and enhance your community presence. Not only will it drive growth for your local business, but you can also use this opportunity to ask for valuable patient reviews as patients leave your clinic.
But wait. You don’t need to break the bank with extravagant prizes. Simple yet thoughtful items like dental floss, toothpaste, totes, t-shirts, hoodies, or stress balls can leave a memorable mark and strengthen your brand awareness.
13. Comply With The New HIPAA Compliance Requirements
To safeguard your dental practice, it’s important that you meet the latest HIPAA compliance requirements.
A compliance audit is a wise move. Because non-compliance can harm your practice’s reputation, jeopardizing your brand, and may have serious consequences like fines and even imprisonment. So, prioritize HIPAA compliance.
14. Try Google Maps Ads
When people search for streets, addresses, or keywords like “dentist near me” or “dentist on street name” on Google Maps, these ads can ensure your business gets noticed.
They show your practice prominently with your phone number, photos, reviews, and a description, making it easier for potential customers to find you and get in touch.
So, the chances are they can boost your foot traffic.
15. Experiment With Direct Mail
Many dentists still use direct mail marketing to this day because of its impressive response rate and its track record as a high-performing marketing channel in the dental industry. You can give it a try too.
With postcard mailers, you can target your audience precisely based on their demographic details and send a tailored message to your ideal prospects with a personal touch. Plus, the creative possibilities that you can use to make your message stand out are endless.
What’s more, direct mail is cost-effective and easily trackable, providing clear insights into your campaign’s success. By integrating it with your digital marketing efforts, you can ensure potential patients make informed decisions before they’re lost in the digital noise.
16. Run Seasonal Offers For New Patients
Timing can make all the difference when it comes to promotions.
You can offer exclusive discounts and deals during holiday seasons or specific times of the year, such as back-to-school season or the beginning of summer. When you set a deadline for discounts, it creates a sense of urgency and motivates more people to take advantage of these offers.
Plus, its benefits go beyond just increased revenue as it can also result in more word-of-mouth marketing for you. Make sure to leverage the additional patients to increase your reviews and ratings.
17. Set up Appointment Reminders
People are busy. So sometimes, maintaining their regular dental checkup appointment or even showing up to one can be a challenge for them.
Instead of getting frustrated with no-shows, have a reliable reminder system in place to ensure they stick to the scheduled appointment. A simple email reminder, a friendly phone call, or a text message can serve the purpose.
Remember, these missed appointments aren’t just frustrating, they can also impact your practice’s financial health if they occur often.
18. Sponsor Local Events
It can deepen your ties with the community and your patients.
Whether you’re a well-established practice or a new dentist in the area, hosting an open house at your dental clinic can give you a perfect opportunity to introduce or re-introduce yourself to local residents. You can build relationships with referring dentists and connect with nearby business owners as well.
You can also support local sports teams, clubs, competitions, or fundraisers to earn a spot in event-related marketing materials, boosting your practice’s visibility. Or, you can organize your own events like Dental Education seminars to spread awareness about dental health and showcase your expertise.
These events not only engage the community but also provide opportunities for you to feature in press releases and gain exposure through local radio stations and newspapers.
19. Measure Your Marketing Results And Iterate Your Strategy
Without measuring your marketing results, you’d be just shooting arrows in the dark. You’ll never know what’s working and what’s falling flat.
So, track where you’re getting most leads from; whether it’s your website, Google Business profile, social media, PPC ads, or word-of-mouth marketing. This data-driven approach lets you allocate your resources wisely, focusing on the most profitable marketing channels.
By constantly assessing your results, you can fine-tune your strategy to maximize success and adapt to changing market conditions.
20. Experiment With Yelp Advertising
Yelp, a popular business directory, offers a valuable opportunity for local practitioners to enhance their online presence.
By claiming your profile and investing in Yelp advertising, you can put your dental practice in the top results. These ads showcase your business name, ratings, reviews, photos, and a call to action.
21. Become a Zocdoc Verified Dentist
Zocdoc is a healthcare marketplace that people use to find and book in-person or telemedicine appointments for both medical and dental care.
What’s best about this platform is that its advanced filtering options ensure that you only get connected with patients who meet your specific criteria.
For instance, if you only accept one type of insurance to avoid using cheaper labor and equipment, which you have to do if you accept other insurance plans since they barely cover the dental procedure, you can add that to your criteria.
This way, you can focus on providing quality care to patients who are the best fit for your practice.
22. Try Email Marketing
It can enhance patient retention by nurturing stronger connections with them. By sending regular newsletters or seasonal discount updates, you can ensure your practice stays top-of-mind.
It can be beneficial, as patients may require dental procedures or refer your services to friends and family. Plus, it’s cost-effective.
You can start with your email marketing strategy by collecting email addresses with appointment bookings or promoting your newsletter on your blog.
23. Build a Consistent Brand For You Dentistry Practice
It can set you apart from fellow dentists in your locale.
Your practice’s identity encompasses both visible and intangible facets like your messaging, personality traits, brand voice, and visual elements like logos, colors, and clinic design.
Plus, how your frontline staff interacts with patients, whether on the phone or in person, the cleanliness of your practice, and other such factors would be equally important.
24. Partner With Social Media Influencers
Partnering with a social media influencer is like having a direct line to a massive audience. But regardless of which social platform you choose for your social media marketing, when selecting an influencer, look for the right numbers.
While a large follower count is impressive, what matters most is the quality of engagement.
So, look for someone whose content resonates with their followers and garners trust. If you’re on a tight budget, go for a micro-influencer with 10k to 50k followers – they can deliver significant impact without breaking the bank.
25. Hire a Dental Marketing Agency
If you’d rather channel your time, energy, and budget into delivering top-notch patient experiences than navigating the complexities of marketing strategies, just hire a dental marketing agency.
The marketing experts will save you a ton of time and headaches while bringing in great return on investment.
With their expertise, they’ll efficiently generate leads and grow your practice, as this is their daily commitment.