The world of dental marketing is quickly changing. 15 or 20 years ago more people likely found you through their insurance directory or phonebook. Now, a majority of your new patients will come through online referrals and website visitors who found you through a search. While the new landscape and territory can be intimidating, keeping up with today’s dental marketing strategies is the only way to beat the competition. And, it’s actually much more affordable than traditional marketing strategies. You’ll likely find that your cost per patient (to acquire each patient) is much lower than what it would traditionally cost.
Before we look at these medical marketing ideas, let’s think about what a marketing strategy is. Essentially, your marketing strategy is your approach to both gaining new patients and keeping current patients. Current patients stay when they have a great experience, receive quality treatment, and feel they’re being charged fairly. New patients, particularly in today’s day and age, don’t have a rapport with you. As a result, you need to foster trust with them from the start. Your marketing strategy should convince them that you’re the dentist to get the job done and take care of them.
A marketing strategy includes both online and offline mediums. Online you’ll have your website, social media presence, directory listings, and reviews. Offline you’ll have business cards, billboards, and TV spots. All of these should work together. And, because online advertising tends to offer the most bang for your buck, your goal should always be to meet people’s needs on your website.
In our years of website design for dentists, we found that there isn’t a one size fits all solutions for marketing. However, we have taken note of several dental marketing strategies that very obviously make a difference for dentists.
Create a responsive website. It doesn’t get more basic than this. More and more people are visiting websites from their tablets and phones. And nothing is more frustrating than going to a website and having a difficult time navigating it on your device. Links are harder to click, images appear screwy, and getting to where you want to go is nearly impossible. Save visitors the hassle and make a website that displays well on any device.
Personas are written out descriptions of who you think is seeking your services. Understanding who you’re serving will help you create better content, design a site that appeals to them, and meet their motivations.
Put Your Website Everywhere
Your website should be on all letterhead, business cards, TV commercials, radio spots and everything in between, After all, that’s where visitors can get the most information, and you have the ability to track user behavior to better understand those who are on your site.Keep your URL/domain short and make it easy to remember, so that over time people won’t have to look for your website, it’ll be in their mind.
Gather Emails and Create a Monthly Newsletter
It might be tempting to email patients on a weekly or even daily routine, but the key is to get their email addresses and stay in touch with them. Your patients get enough emails every day. By sticking to a monthly schedule and sending emails with useful information like dental tips and healthy recipes, you’ll gain trust and give them something to look forward to each month.
Develop and SEO Strategy
Your website is essentially a database of answers to questions. The more accurately it can answer a question, the more likely your pages are to turn up in search engine results pages. By creating web content that’s high quality, you’ll be providing useful information to visitors, thus decreasing your bounce rate and increasing engagement. These are all factors in rankings.
Create a Blog
Developing a blog allows you to provide free, valuable advice to potential patients. When you do this over an extended period of time you begin to foster trust and comfort with those on your website. This ultimately makes them more likely to become patients in the end.
Use Direct Mail
While expensive, you can tie direct mail in with your online marketing by offering each patient a unique code to redeem on your website for a free dental cleaning. You can also offer incentives for people to call in using a tracking phone number and make an appointment, that way you’ll know that they came from the direct mail piece. Being able to track this data makes it easier to calculate your ROI on a direct mail campaign.
Take Advantage of Video
A monthly video summarizing your newsletter and shared on social media could be a great way to engage those who are not reading the newsletter.
Create a win-back campaign. Chances are you’ll have many leads who never follow through with actually booking an appointment. Create a strategy to bring them back into your leads funnel. Determine what made them fall off, how you can entice them to move forward, and what their motivations are.
Deploy a Referral Program
From discounts to both the giver and receiver to gift cards, there’s a variety of ways to create referral programs that motivate people to share the good news about your dental practice.
Use High-Quality Images
Using high-quality images can show people what to expect from your practice in terms of quality and can convince them that you’re the dentist to give them the smile they’ve always wanted.
Be Very, Very Social
Creating a presence on social media can help you connect with your patients. It’s often a more casual and fun way to relate. And, it’s a great way to get reviews, engage in a referral program through social ambassadors, and find out who your key influencers are.
Whether you market your dental practice or not isn’t the question. The truth is marketing is your only option. How you go about your medical marketing can make all the difference in how well people perceive you and whether they take action. A good marketing plan and quality website can all make this happen.