There are a lot of things you can do to promote your dental practice.
But there are some things that can bring you 80% of the results, if you implement them right.
Here’s what you need to do if you are just starting out with your dental patient marketing efforts.
Have a proper plan
You shouldn’t start any marketing efforts without a marketing plan.
Because a plan helps you see the big picture of your marketing strategy. And this helps you quickly fix things when something doesn’t work or quickly identify ways to improve your whole strategy.
And of course, it helps you focus and not get lost by blindly trying out every dental marketing idea you see on the Internet.
How do you create a dental marketing strategy or a marketing plan for your dental practice?
Here are some key questions to start with:
Who is your ideal patient?
- What are their desires
- What do they fear most?
- What are they for
- What are they against
- How old are your most valuable patients (for a particular service)
- What is the gender of your ideal client, for a particular services? What is the education level of your patients?
- How much does this buyer persona earn?
- Favorite Websites – Why type of websites do people in this persona frequent?
Where is your patients’ attention?
- Social Media?
- Certain magazine/website?
What do you want to get out of your marketing campaign?
- Phone calls/Appointments
- Website traffic for your blog?
What is already working in your patient marketing efforts?
How can you leverage existing customers to get new patients for free?
What dental marketing idea would bring patients in the short term? And long term?
What are the top 3 safest dental marketing ideas?
Define specific goals
“Get more patients” or “promote our dental office” or “increase brand awareness” aren’t goals you want to define in your dental marketing plan.
Because they are not specific, they are not time bound and they aren’t measurable?
What does “more patients mean”? If you hire a dental marketing consultant and brings you 5 more patients per month, would you be happy? Would the investment be worth it?
Without specific goals, you won’t know when you hit your target, you cannot focus your marketing efforts and you won’t know if your money is well spent or not.
Ok, but how should you define goals in a realistic dental marketing plan?
Here are a couple of examples.
- $50.000 (introduce your number) in sales from orthodontic services in the next 6 months
- Increase the number of email subscribers to 5000 people;
- Get 5000 targeted people till 20th of January through our blog, without paying for the traffic.
You see, once you have a proper goal set up, you can easily focus only on those marketing ideas that help you reach it!
Start with what already works (and improve)
There are thousands of ways to grow a dental practice. The problem is, not every dental marketing idea out there works for any dental practice.
The success of an idea depends on a lot of factors from budget to time resources or the time expected to get results.
For instance, Facebook Messenger Marketing is the newest and coolest thing in town in terms of marketing effectiveness.
The problem is, if you use this channel only as a way to communicate offers and aggressively promote your practice, you’ll end up spamming people who will eventually unsubscribe from your list.
On the other hand, Facebook Messenger is a great marketing tool if it’s part of a bigger dental content marketing strategy where you use this channel not to spam people, but to send them useful info on how they could better take care of their teeth.
Ok, but what works insanely well to grow and promote a dental practice?
This marketing channel helps you reach only patients who are interested in your services. You can show text-based ads on google to people who search for particular keywords you choose, like dentist in + your location.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
At a basic level, it works the same way as Google Ads – you can get targeted traffic to your website. Meaning that your website will show up for particular keywords you choose.
The difference is that SEO doesn’t cost you anything. The downside is that it takes time until your website shows up among the first positions and you need to hire someone who can optimize your website for Google.
This is a long-term strategy, but it pays off. Content patient marketing basically means that you provide value to your potential patients so that you earn their trust, you make them like you and eventually choose you when they need your service.
What does this value mean?
It means that you answer to people’s questions and you help them solve a problem. For example, if someone searches for “what teeth whitening method is the safest” you can have an article, a video, a podcast, a slideshow which offers a detailed answer to this question.
The only trick here is not to sell anything. Don’t bias your answers so that they fit your solution because people sense that right away. And don’t try to sell them the solution in your articles because people won’t continue reading it once they feel that.
Remember: we all like to buy, no one likes to be sold to!
Your next steps
Don’t complicate your dental patient marketing efforts.
First, start with a plan that contains specific objectives. Make sure the goals are realistic and you set only one main goal per 3 or 6 months. Don’t try to hit 5 objectives per month! You’ll get overwhelmed and you increase your chances to quit or to dilute your results.
Once you do this, start with what’s already working in the dental industry for years. Once you hit a steady flow of new patients you can try new marketing channels or new marketing ideas for your dental office.