Generating leads and attracting new patients to your practice as a dental professional is no longer as simple as direct mail.
Do you find yourself frustrated when it comes time to grow the business side of your practice?
New patients are the lifeblood of a thriving dentistry practice.
Generating dental leads can be challenging. Thankfully, there are many simple dental practice marketing ideas.
When you want to appeal to potential patients while drastically increasing your dental leads, there are several tips when building your online presence.
With the right strategies, increase your dentist leads while making a name for yourself professionally along with the dentist office you represent and plan to grow.
1. Start By Considering Your Target Audience
Consider this local search statistic: 88% of consumer local business searches on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
The first element to consider when marketing your dental office is the audience you want to reach. Consider the type of patients you want to appeal to along with their needs and the services you provide.
What are the ages of your desired patients? Do you only assist with cleanings and traditional dental work or do you focus on veneers and dental enhancements?
Do you accept state-sponsored insurance or only private dental insurance providers? Which areas do you plan to focus on? How far of a distance do you want to advertise your services?
2. Establish a Patient Referral Program
Word of mouth marketing should not be underestimated. Your best option is referrals from current patients. The easiest way to get referrals is to ask.
For example at the end of a visit, have your receptionist ask if they have any friends or family who may be in need of dental care. Provide the patient with coupons or certificates to distribute for a free or discounted initial exam.
3. Generate and Manage Online Reviews
A BrightLocal survey discovered that 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
Respond directly and honestly to the questions, comments, and concerns you receive from patients. Remain positive, professional, and thorough when answering questions.
Avoid hiding or deleting negative comments or other questions left by users to provide complete and total transparency to those in your local community. Businesses who practice transparency are much more likely to gain the trust and loyalty of individuals who have a real interest in supporting them. And never buy fake reviews.
Marketing For Your Dental Practice Starts With Your Website
4. Use Videos and Inviting Images
Professional graphics, animations, and video media are all helpful when creating an online presence for your dental practice. Generating new leads and gaining the interest of prospective clients is much easier with an online presence that appears professional and modern.
Hire professional graphic designers and videographers to develop infographics and videos that are likely to be shared and discussed with your followers along with their family and friends. Video marketing receives a much higher view rate than standard text posts and are more likely to receive interactions such as likes and shares on platforms such as Facebook.
5. Add Live Chat To Your Website
Promote direct engagement with your prospective patients via live chat on your site available 24/7 to grow your conversion rate. When someone visits your website, he or she is a potential new patient looking for a provider.
If their attention is drawn to a live chat feature that assures them they are speaking to a present representative it is the path of least resistance. A cardinal rule to live by with live chat is not to use offline chat.
Remember, internet users are looking for an immediate solution to a pressing problem. When they realize they have to wait for your team to get online to reply, they will move on to the next website.
Your live chat needs to be a 24/7 service. Why, you may ask, when this represents a cost increase? Two-thirds of the day is after office hours. For any dentist leads a solution will be necessary no matter the time day. If after office hours represent approximately 60% of your week why would you not let your firm avail its services to future patients?
6. Minimize Patient Misconceptions and Anxiety
Dental anxiety remains a significant hurdle for many people to clear before they even consider seeking out the services of a dentist.
It’s essential that you work to help them over that hurdle by offering full transparency and perhaps even free consultations to help your patients understand their treatments better. That understanding can help you develop a reputation as a dentist who genuinely cares about comfort and treatment and can help grow your patient base.
7. Content Marketing is Still King
Content marketing for dentists is still king when it comes to building an online presence and generating leads.
Proper content marketing involves crafting blogs and pages that are relevant, useful, and engaging for the target users and prospective patients you want to reach. Create content for your website’s blog that is in-depth and challenging to find elsewhere on the web. Establishing yourself as an authority in dental work is a way to gain the trust and loyalty of those who have a genuine interest in becoming a patient of yours.
The more a website appears authoritative in its industry, the easier it is to gain traction with new ad campaigns and increasing leads for new patients.
Create interactive blog posts, infographics, and include video media with the content you share on your website.
Boost your website’s internet marketing by cross-posting content to social media and encouraging interaction. Many free social media management tools can automate this process.
8. Improve Your Website’s Bounce Rate
Monitoring and tracking your website’s data and analytics are essential to boost your success online.
Use Google Analytics to keep track of the number of page views and visitors your website receives each day on average along with each month. Bounce rates are a significant indicator of success for sites in any industry.
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Consider updating and testing the layout, navigation, and content available on your site.
9. Create an Email Marketing Strategy
An email marketing strategy is highly recommended for dental practices. Providing your online visitors with the ability to subscribe to your newsletter is a great way to increase your contact list and potential to obtain new clients.
Implement a newsletter subscription box within the main layout of your dental website, ensuring all visitors have the opportunity to subscribe. Motivate users to subscribe to your official newsletter by promoting exclusive offers and packages to those who are currently on your mailing list.
Send weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly newsletters to subscribers including current services, discounts, and even dental health tips. Intake forms are a simple way to gather the email addresses of your current patients.
10. Optimize Your Website’s SEO
Optimizing your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) is highly recommended to boost your rankings within top search engines such as Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and Yahoo!.
When you use a CMS such as WordPress, start your Dental SEO through page titles, meta descriptions, keyword targeting and more.
A properly optimized website increases your chances of appearing the first page of search results, drastically boosting the number of visitors and page views you receive.
11. Organic Online Marketing Starts With Keyword Research
Focus on developing content around specific keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your dental practice and the services you offer. Spend time researching keywords and their popularity using tools such as Google Trends to gain valuable insight into what prospective patients in your area search for.
12. Utilize Social Media
Social media is now a regular fixture in our lives. Just as you take some time in your day (or even several times a day) to catch up on your social media so do your patients.
By using social media, you can make sure that your patients are aware of your specials and offerings, and you can find additional clients who may not have otherwise found you. Offer deals and incentives to bring people in who may have first learned about your office online.
Create a posting schedule and calendar when using your social media to best represent your dental practice.
Post at least once a day on all networks you are registered on to avoid losing the interest of your current followers or prospective patients. Share interesting facts, unique content, and video media that is most relevant to your dental office and the types of services you provide.
Post made on Facebook, including a video.
13. Use Facebook Live Videos
Facebook live is the social media live video service with the highest reach. It has a broader audience than Twitter’s Periscope and Instagram. It also offers you an essential engagement advantage in that it notifies your followers when you start broadcasting.
One out-of-the-box strategy for your practice to deploy is using Facebook live interviews. By their very nature, live videos tap into the scarcity mentality of viewers. People love being part of a real-time event.
Combine video marketing, which is still king on the digital landscape, with the scarcity effect to reach your prospects.
Host a Facebook live interview on core dental care topics that you think matter to your target audience. These can also take the question and answer format where regulation allows.
Another aspect is doing demonstration videos of popular procedures on a live feed. By providing insight into a procedure, they might undergo it may nudge their decision when choosing a dentist.
Live video delivers credibility. As a result, candidates will begin to view your practice as a helpful resource triggering the reciprocity effect. Human psychology shows us that when someone does something good for us, we tend to return the favor.
For those prospects who feel that the content you share is valuable and helpful, they will spread the word to others.
Word-of-mouth is the highest form of service rating you can achieve as it comes with solid social proof and it will help generate quality leads.
14. Facebook Advertising For Demographic Targeting
Facebook Ads are low cost. They provide you with complete freedom and flexibility when launching new ad campaigns to targeted users. With Facebook Advertising, hone in on your intended audience by creating advertisements directed towards users based on their age, location, gender, and even specific interests they have indicated.
Utilize A/B testing when launching Facebook Ads to gain valuable insight into the type of headers, messaging, and copy that work best to attract users to your social media pages or your official website. A/B testing involves launching similar ad campaigns with slight variations to learn more about the effectiveness of each marketing style.
Use A/B testing to launch smaller ad campaigns without overspending your current marketing budget. A/B testing is highly effective for owners of dentist offices who are unsure of how to begin when creating online ad campaigns.
Always Be Networking To Grow Your Practice
15. Expand your Social Circle, Be Civically Engaged In The Community
Mixing business and your personal life can feel awkward at times, but a wider social circle can allow that engagement to happen naturally. As friends inquire about your professional life, they’re likely to ask about your services. Those inquiries can prove to be fertile ground for finding new patients who otherwise might not have known that you exist. Even without new patients, your personal life will benefit.
Being involved in your community is a great way to enhance your reputation and earn advertising opportunities which might have otherwise come at a cost. Joining civic organizations will inevitably raise both your personal and business profiles. Those organizations can also establish you as someone whose small business is worthy of patronage from the community you serve.
Even businesses and marketing opportunities that may not seem like a natural fit can have some unexpected benefits. Make yourself a part of the community. Those connections can go a long way toward expanding your client base.
16. Consider Dentist Volunteer Programs
Balancing a need to grow your patient base with a desire not to ply your trade for free can be a challenge for any dentist. Volunteering to provide occasional screenings at programs for disadvantaged people can generate leads while helping to improve your visibility. It can also be a gentle sales mechanism that allows you to convince future patients to embrace the full breadth of your services.
17. Network with Medical Professionals and Local Businesses
Thinking of yourself as a business rather than a care provider can be a difficult transition, but it’s one that allows you to frame the growth conversation on more accurate terms. Other small businesses may have ideas about the local market which can benefit your firm and move you toward more successful outcomes. Even unrelated firms may know how to tap into your local patient base.
18. Position Yourself For New Patients
Dental care can be something that many people don’t think that they need until an emergency need arises.
Sporting events, for example, may come from traumatic accidents which your expertise can reverse. Reach out to local high schools and athletic clubs to see if they have a staff dentist or someone they recommend. Do your best to become that go-to person.
Develop Your Dental Brand Online, and Off
19. Commit to Your Personal Image
Dental care can be an unexpectedly intimate arrangement.
Your patients will be more likely to be comfortable with you and recommend you to their friends and family if you’re displaying an image that they can trust. Maintain your personal appearance on both the physical and social fronts. Making your patients comfortable in your presence can bring out a reassurance that lends itself toward growth.
20. Improve Your Patient Communication Skills
Developing your bedside manner as a dentist can go a long way toward developing leads and turning current patients into future patients. Don’t feel as though you’re limited to commenting on the treatments that a patient is currently seeking. Mentioning your other specialties can give them the confidence to move in that direction or perhaps suggest friends or family who they believe might benefit.
Communities of people who may not speak the local language as naturally as their own language are often in search of assistance from service professionals like dentists. Learning a second language can open up whole new markets and allow you to establish yourself as a trusted figure. This opens up countless pathways to new client opportunities.
21. Stand Out From The Crowd
Finding excitement around dentist marketing can be a difficult challenge.
Rather than allowing your practice to be defined by its field, look for a distinct voice that can allow you to stand out from the crowd. Pursue unique opportunities that show off your personality. Allow people to learn about you, and they may be more inclined to learn about your practice.
22. Be a Dental Health Technology Leader
New dental health techniques and procedures are continually being developed in the world of dentistry.
If your competitors are offering services and technologies that are unavailable to your patients, it’s likely that you’ll fall behind. Do your best to stay ahead of the industry and guarantee that you’re always on the cutting edge of procedures and techniques.
23. Expand Your Repertoire
Offering additional services to your patients is only possible if you’re confident in your ability to deliver those services. Without a full scope of skills, your practice is likely to be limited in growth.
Continuing education in the latest treatments can allow your practice to flourish as your patients have their needs fulfilled without feeling as though they’re required to turn elsewhere for things you can offer.
24. Have a Consistent Marketing Message
Repetition is one of the keys to successful dental advertising. If you want your patients to remember your name, then you have to commit to one message that can be repeated over an extended period. An online marketing plan which seeps into the consciousness of those around you is one that can allow for more consistent growth.
If you’re a dentist who’s known for being the go-to provider for particular treatment, you may benefit from having people seek you out. Branding yourself can go a long way toward making you more immediately recognizable.
25. Always Be Prepared To Market Yourself & Your Business
Any situation you find yourself in on a daily basis could become an opportunity to create a new patient.
Always carry your business cards and be gracious when you’re approached and asked about your professional life. While it can be tempting to shut down and deflect, it’s important to remember that your career is based around helping others. Growing in that career requires it.
26. Your Office Should Stand Out From Your Local Competition
Standing out from your top local competition is essential when you want to drastically increase leads and the number of new patients you obtain. Focus on what makes your dental practice stand apart from other local dentist offices.
How do you stand above the rest when it comes to providing care and traditional dental services?
Is your office designed for patients who are anxious about visiting the dentist? Do you have a care center for children and toddlers which appeals to busy and working parents?
What type of sedation options do you have available for patients? How is your dental practice more convenient and comfortable for patients of all ages?
27. Invest In Signage
Your practice’s sign may be the only thing most people ever learn about you.
It should be vibrant enough to draw in folks who would want to learn more. Rather than relying on an office park to advertise for you, work with a designer to create an identity that can be expressed on a sign. Stand out from the pack, and you may get additional walk-in looks.
28. Your Office Exterior Makes a First Impression
Cutting grass may not seem to have much to do with dental care, but a well-maintained facility will bring in confidence from your patients.
Work to make sure your building stands out the way that you want it to. Investing in your image is a great way to make sure that patients are comfortable with investing in your dental services.
29. Centralize Your Online Marketing
Having a person in the practice whose specific job it is to handle marketing tasks can help keep those things centralized. That can guarantee that all of your strategies remain consistent. Larger dental practices may even consider the benefits of hiring an outside dental marketing firm.
30. Be Clear With the Services You Offer
Many clients may be interested in cosmetic services but shy to admit that they have a curiosity about them.
Making it clear that you offer a wide variety of treatments without any associated judgment can help them open up. This allows patients to pursue treatments they want and keep their care consistent.
31. Embrace Patience
One of the biggest mistakes is not allowing marketing strategies time to flourish. Rather than allowing marketing ideas time, impatience can lead to failure.
Patience is a necessary virtue as you wait for marketing to develop. Successful marketing strategies show results over time.
Over To You
Increasing the number of new patients does not have to be overwhelming. With enough self-motivation and determination, your practice can grow.