In the dental industry, marketing is essential for accelerating growth, especially in the early years of running a practice. Marketing can also be used to build trust by presenting potential patients with a glimpse of your expertise, quality of care, and compassion.
If you’re a dentist who’s eager to expand your patient base, a comprehensive approach to marketing is your best strategy. In the sections below, we’ll step through the key marketing concepts for growth-oriented dentists.
Understanding the Target Audience
A brand’s marketing strategy begins with an understanding of the target audience. For dentists, the most important audience trait is geography—you’re only interested in reaching a local audience, so the distribution of your marketing materials should be geographically focused.
Other target audience traits are more variable based on factors like your practice’s specialty, treatment offerings, and insurance options. Based on these variables, your target audience may be of a certain age or income level or may have certain dental needs. Or, it may simply be in your best interest to reach as many individuals in your region as possible.
Whether or not you’re focused on attracting a certain group of patients, it’s helpful to address typical dental pain points, such as cost, common conditions, or anxieties surrounding dental care. Use messaging that presents your practice as a uniquely qualified provider for addressing these concerns.
Building a Strong Online Presence
These days, marketing a dental practice is largely a digital undertaking. Here are the key considerations for effective digital marketing.
Website Design and Search Engine Optimization
An effective dental practice website is attractive, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. To achieve these goals, it’s almost always advisable to work with a professional web designer.
For a website to serve as a marketing asset, it needs to attract traffic. This can be achieved through channels such as search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO involves the use of keywords and topical content, often in the form of blog articles, that improves a website’s ranking in search engine results pages in addition to ensuring the technical health and user experience of the website. Due to the intensive and ongoing nature of SEO work, it is almost always recommended that you work with a professional, such as a marketing agency, to help you with these types of campaigns.
Online Reviews and Reputation Management
Monitoring online reviews isn’t always pleasant, but it’s advisable. Responding to both positive and negative reviews on third-party sites demonstrates a commitment to quality care and provides opportunities to correct misinformation.
To promote your practice’s reputation, develop procedures for encouraging satisfied patients to leave positive feedback. An effective way to accomplish this could be hanging a sign in your waiting room with a QR code encourage people to leave review from their phones
Effective Social Media Strategies
Social media platforms are powerful tools for outreach and advertising. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube all provide unique opportunities to share content and interact with potential patients.
Some useful content formats include:
- Patient testimonials
- Dental tips tutorials
- Behind-the-scenes photos and videos
You can reach users on these platforms organically by consistently developing engaging content. Or, paid advertising can quickly put your content in front of your target audience. Social media platforms offer powerful customization options for targeted advertising based on geography and demographics.
Email Marketing for Patient Retention
Email is a powerful, cost-effective format for communicating with patients. Useful email types include:
- Newsletters for providing updates and keeping your practice fresh in patients’ minds
- Appointment reminders to reduce no-shows
- Special pricing offers and promotions to increase demand for out-of-pocket procedures
For best results, you can segment and personalize your emails by tailoring certain messages to certain groups, based on categories like age or location.
Engaging with the Local Community
Digital marketing should be prioritized, but traditional approaches to advertising and outreach are also valuable. These include:
- Local media outreach: traditional advertising through TV, radio, and print
- Partnerships with local businesses: building mutually beneficial relationships with nearby businesses to cross-promote services, such as through referrals or dual advertising
- Educational workshops: hosting workshops on dental care to demonstrate expertise and directly engage with potential patients
- Community events: attending or sponsoring events such as health fairs or charity events to promote your practice’s brand
Monitoring and Adapting Marketing Strategies
It’s good to maintain a flexible approach to marketing, since you won’t know exactly what works until you’ve tried it. An adaptable marketing strategy might include:
- Key performance indicator (KPI) tracking to measure the success of your marketing efforts
- Feedback and adaptation: monitoring and optimizing the impact of marketing efforts with methods like A/B ad testing and clickthrough rate tracking
- Outsourcing marketing or social media management to digital marketing agencies
Reinvest in the marketing efforts that prove most productive. By monitoring the results of your marketing, you can reduce spending on unhelpful efforts and double down on the most impactful marketing channels.
Get More Insights for Growing Your Dental Practice
With each step you take to grow your business, it’s helpful to work with professionals who are experts in the dental industry. At Duckett Ladd, we work exclusively with dentists. Our services include dental accounting, tax planning, and growth consulting. Contact Duckett Ladd today to learn more.
Duckett Ladd, LLP does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This content has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Also, tax law is ever-changing, and every effort should be made to seek out the most current information. Make sure to check the date of published content to ensure the most current information.