Although some might be familiar with general dental practice marketing techniques, it still takes time and effort when it comes to raising awareness, acquiring more patients, all while retaining existing. Today, marketing your dental practice has become an industry standard and the effects are critical to your success.
Let’s face it, people aren’t always fond of the dentist. This is why marketing your practice is crucial and even more necessary when you have an awesome attitude and team culture. People need to see that! So the team here wanted to help out and provide a few simple ways to jumpstart your practice without breaking the bank.
Keep in mind, some requirements need to be in place to be successful in marketing. One is by having a dedicated website for your dental practice. This will be your holy grail for digital traffic and the go-to landing page for new and current patients. Another necessary requirement is the ability to get creative and always have fun.
Let's dive in!
1. Focus on quality content
Before you promote anything, whether through physical marketing material or digital, always make sure you showcase quality content. Whether it’s promotional imagery, videos, design, messaging, or even your website itself, make sure you put thought behind what you promote. It’s about taking that extra step because it will be a reflection when people think back on your practice and what they’ve seen in association. No one wants boring content thrown in their face, they want quality content that is applicable in their everyday life, so keep in mind who you are marketing your efforts toward.
An example of poor quality content is using stock photos. Our audience is smart now, they don’t want to see stock photos, they’re boring and disengage us. Real photos, on the other hand, are great forms of content because they are real, and also helps to promote your company culture, messaging, and appeal when competing with other practices. Investing in your look and aesthetic is important for your practice to “stick” with patients. If your office and staff are awesome, your patients should know!
2. Utilize social media
It’s free! There are approximately 223 million social media users within the United States. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn are awesome for dental practices to promote one's business. Currently, 90.4% of Millennials are on social media, 70.5% of Gen X are on it, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers use social platforms as well. That’s a lot of daily social media users, so you want to make sure you are where your audience is. This is where most of your quality content should be promoted, aside from your website, email or print. Focus on strengthening your social media following and the local community across all platforms. Try creating a Facebook group for your patients so that you can provide promotions and updates as they come out. This is a great way to build an online community.
Community is everything with social media and as a practice, you want to nurture your audience and build trust. Eventually, you will raise awareness toward potential leads that will turn into a paying customer. Another great aspect of social media is the reviews! People talk, especially on social media, so get people to start talking about you so that they can refer their friends to your practice. Word of mouth is still one of the strongest forms of marketing today and social media will help achieve that. Once you get the hang of consistently promoting on social media, take advantage of Facebook and Instagram paid ads. Putting a little money into those paid ads will go far when it comes to targeting the right customers for important content.
3. Understand & implement SEO techniques
Take time out of your busy day to understand the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Once understood an implemented, you will see a rise in online traffic naturally toward your website, so that new or existing patients may book an appointment online. Your business needs to stay afloat in the thick of online competition and creating an SEO strategy is your first step. Inbound marketing and keyword research is a large aspect of your SEO strategy. Understand what your patients are searching for on Google and other search platforms so that you may direct them toward your homepage or a specific landing page.
Another wonderful piece to support SEO and gain natural traffic is by running a blog on your website, going back to what we mentioned before to building out quality content. Blogs are a great place to house your bigger pieces of educational content within your dental practice website and create another form of traffic to acquire new patients or nurture existing. Your audience wants to be educated when they have issues, and what better place than to receive advice directly from you! As you consistently implement new SEO techniques, your website ranking will rise and Google will start to see you as an “authority” surrounding dentistry and the topics you discussed. Eventually, your practice will be one of the first to show when someone is searching through Google to solve a specific pain or problem of theirs.
4. Retarget current patients
Through recent research, roughly 65% of dental practices focus on retargeting current patients and the number is continuing to rise. Why? Because keeping current patients happy is what will grow your practice and take it to the next level. It's overall cheaper than acquisition, customer loyalty is stronger, and your revenue will rise. The dental practices that take advantage of retargeting see major growth. There is a multitude of reasons to why your patients haven't been able to book their next appointment with you, but don’t wait for them to make the first move, it’s up to you.
Retarget based on specific activity from your patients. When you send out emails, see which one your patients open your mail and where they go from there. The more data you have on your patients, the better content you can create to bring them back. Create special promotions and Facebook ads around specific topics that were of interest to your current patients so that they may become active again instead of inactive. After all, people aren't always responsible when it comes to their health, it's up to you to remind them and help them out!
5. Modernize your tech
We all know how archaic and outdated EHR systems can be. To survive in today’s world as a practice you have to focus on creating a quality patient experience and the way to achieve that is by implementing a patient experience management platform that integrates with your current EHR system. Management platforms help centralize everything from patient information, to sending out emails, automated reminders, payments, reports, and more.
When you interact with your patients, you need a system in place so that you can communicate efficiently while housing all patient information within arms reach. When you send out email campaigns, you need a system in place to efficiently track open and click-through rates so that you can see how engaged your audience is. Your front-desk staff can only do so much when it comes to recalls, reminders, payments, and more, having a dedicated management system in place will ease the stress of your staff and reduce the risk of human error when it comes to handling your patients and market your practice.
When a practice implements a management platform like NexHealth, they are also utilizing perks like online booking, embedded into the website’s homepage so that patients can simply book appointments once reaching the practice's homepage. This simple feature helps close your marketing efforts from raising awareness to conversion. Roughly, 73% of online booking is scheduled after working hours so it only makes sense to provide the convenience to book an appointment wherever and whenever. It's so simple that patients can book an appointment directly within the dentist's calendar, reducing the delay between call time and scheduling an appointment manually.
Focus on building your reputation with current customers through reviews. Due to patients paying more out-of-pocket during a visit, they tend to “shop around” before making their final decision. How people shop is through Google reviews, Yelp, and Facebook, so make sure you encourage your customers to speak out about their positive experiences. Reviews can make or break a practice, so always focus on your patient experience. When taking advantage of NexHealth, we help bulletproof your web reputation and help rack up those 5-star reviews so others can see for themselves how good your dental practice really is.
If you would like to see how NexHealth can help you achieve your marketing goals with new and current patients, contact us today or call at (888) 875-0851.