As experts in dental marketing, we are going to teach you everything you need to know in this post. Let’s get started.
What’s the best way to bring new customers to your dental practice and keep?
How do you keep happy customers coming back – and build your reputation in your community and online? In this post, we’ll share all the secrets of dental marketing to help your practice thrive.
Dental marketing includes everything from Google Ads and SEO to email marketing and customer loyalty campaigns.
There’s a lot of ground to cover, so we’ve summarized the list into 15 marketing ideas to help your dental practice grow.
- Create a patient referral system for word of mouth marketing.
- Create a neighborhood email newsletter
- Run local Facebook ads
- Send appointment reminders and welcome emails
- Target your ideal customer with Google Ads
- Add location and call extensions to Google Ads
- List your business for local SEO
- Set up local search ads for better dental marketing
- Engage with clients on social media
- Collect positive online reviews from your patients
- Attend and sponsor local events
- Use videos for better dental marketing
- Advertise on Waze to reach local customers
- Use Facebook Remarketing to create repeat customers
- Always include a CTA
1. Create a Patient Referral System for Word of Mouth Marketing
The best way to get new clients? From existing ones.
Think about it. Which do you trust more: an ad you see on Google, or a recommendation from a close friend?
You probably chose the second option, and you’re not alone. In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust referrals from their peers, and 74% say that word of mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
So, how do you get those word of mouth referrals?
It starts with providing a great service that your customers will want to talk about. That means including the little details, like welcome emails and offers for new clients or extra special customer service.
But if you really want to boost word of mouth marketing for your dental practice, then a patient referral program is a useful shortcut.
A referral program is meant to incentivize your customers to spread the word about your business. To set up a successful program, you’ll need to provide an incentive that’s relevant to your clientele.
It could be a coupon for a free cleaning or percentage off their next visit. If you notice any of your services are in particularly high demand – say, teeth whitening – you could offer a discount for that particular service as well.
Once you’ve determined your incentive, it’s time to advertise. Don’t just tell your customers about it; provide cards, emails, and social media updates to keep your offer fresh in their minds.
2. Create a Neighborhood Email Newsletter
You probably already use email to set up appointments, offer different times, and even handle billing.
You can also use email to create a neighborhood newsletter; it will further grow the sense of community and keep your clientele up-to-date on any news or promotions, as well as highlight any of your company’s activity in the community.
But your dental marketing strategy doesn’t just work by reaching out to individuals. You also want to create a sense of community and show that your dental practice is a vital part of life in your town or city.
Which brings me to our next dental marketing idea: a neighborhood newsletter.
Here are some suggestions for what to include:
- Local news, especially if your dental practice gets involved in community events
- Quick dental health tips
- Tooth-healthy recipes or tips, especially for seasonal events
- Special offers or promotions
- New services available, and other updates on your business such as interviews with your staff.
Producing these emails can be time-consuming. So, it’s worth using an email automation service like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor that allows you to personalize and send emails automatically.
Most email services will also let you create design templates. All you have to do is fill up your newsletter template with fresh content each week or month.
3. Run Local Facebook Ads to Improve Your Dental Marketing
Facebook is an extremely powerful advertising platform, do in particular to its extensive targeting abilities.
Part of that targeting is put into play in its Local Awareness Ads, designed specifically to be shown to people near your business location.
Using them lets you set location parameters, such as people within a 20 mile radius, which will then signal to Facebook that your ads should only be shown to those within that radius.
Through the ads, you can highlight any current promotions and easily add in call-to-action buttons, such as Get Directions or Call Now.
Creating the ad is easy; simply log into your Facebook Ads manager and select Local Awareness as your ad type.
Next, you’ll enter your business location and the area you’d like to target. Then you’ll select your target audience filters, and continue to create the ad as usual.
It is also a good idea to get your clients to like your Facebook page. This will allow you to create a community audience to advertise to. If you can’t get them to like your page, you can always target them by uploading their email addresses as well.
4. Dental Marketing – Send Appointment Reminders and Welcome Emails
We’ve already mentioned the power of emails for dental marketing. But I want to circle back and emphasize two other types of emails.
Your dental marketing strategy has two parallel goals: you want to recruit new customers, and retain old customers. That’s where welcome emails and reminder emails come in.
Start with a welcome email for every new customer or newsletter subscriber. On average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails.
Thank the new user for signing up, let them know how often you’ll be in touch, and offer them something of value – like an introductory offer, or the chance to join your referral program.
Once you’ve recruited that customer, you retain them with appointment reminders. Let people know whenever they’re due for a treatment or if you have something new to offer.
You can also share reminders through text message marketing if you’ve asked for telephone contact details from your patients.
5. Target Your Ideal Customer with Google Ads
We’ve already talked about Facebook targeting, but the same principle applies to your Google Ads. Google doesn’t offer such fine-grained targeting as Facebook, but it is still powerful: Google Ads reaches an estimated 90% of internet users.
One way to make sure your ads reach the right audience is to target by income. That way, you can set up different ads to target different segments of your audience.
For example, you could target routine cleanings to lower income levels, while delivering ads for elective or cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening to those with higher incomes.
To set up the ad with the correct targeting, log in to your Google Ads manager and create your ad as usual. In your campaign, click “Settings” and select the “Locations” tab.
Then, click “Advanced Search” and “Location Groups.” From the location group type dropdown menu, select “Location by Demographics.”
6. Add Location, Call and Review Extensions to Google Ads
While we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at AdWords extensions.
A normal ad on Google includes a headline, short description, and URL. But extensions allow advertisers to include useful additional information like customer reviews, contact information, etc.
While there are plenty of extensions available, a local business will benefit most from location extensions. These show searchers your exact location, and can include your address, hours, photos, directions, etc.
Another extension ideally suited for dental marketing is the call extension. These allow you to add to add your phone number to your add, and give mobile users the option to simply click and button and call.
For a business whose primary goal is to book appointments, that’s a handy extension to have.
Another super useful extension to add on? The review extension.
Let’s face it: no one loves going to the dentist, and some are downright terrified of it. Help put their minds at ease by proving that real customers know and trust you. This goes back to the word of mouth theory I spoke of earlier and will go along way in building a positive reputation.
7. Dental Marketing – Make Sure You’re Up-to-Date on Local SEO Best Practices
Did you know? 50% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit the store within a day.
So if you don’t have a solid local SEO strategy in place, you’re missing out on big numbers.
Local SEO is all about optimizing your site and online presence for a local audience. That means incorporating plenty of location-based keywords, such as dental offices near Nashville, TN and common variations.
Use those keywords in your content, title tags, meta descriptions, images, header, and Google My Business page. However, be careful not to overdo it, and don’t include duplicate content on your website. The Google search algorithm is getting smarter all the time – so the best SEO looks natural and helpful, instead of inserting your location keywords in every other sentence.
Speaking of Google My Business, make sure you claim your page and fill it out accurately. Optimize your description with relevant keywords and include links to your website.
Most importantly, remember to include your NAP (name, address, location) in as many places as possible. Here are some essential places to list your business:
8.Set Up Local Search Ads for Better Dental Marketing
Like Facebook local ads, you can set up local search ads for Google Ads.
These ads work just like regular Google ads, with all the same targeting abilities and extensions available.
What’s different is that they’re aimed at a local audience. So when someone types in “dental offices near me,” it could pull your ad.
Even better? They could show up in Google Map searches.
This is one of the best ways to feature your dental practice on the front page of search results. Other strategies include writing website content for rich snippets. To learn more about how that works, check out our post on creating successful PPC campaigns.
9. Engage with Clients on Social Media
Social media is a must when it comes to marketing.
It can be particularly useful for local businesses, with 70% of customers choosing a local business who has a social media site. What’s more, 80% of customers now use social media for recommendations and customer service. So if you don’t have a presence on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you are missing out on a huge potential audience.
Use social media to establish yourself in your community and engage with customers. Share regular updates, tips and seasonal greetings, as well as general dental hygiene tips and even expand your content to include general wellness articles and facts.
To start a successful strategy, make sure you’ve analyzed your target audience and which social networks they frequent.
If your practice participates in any local events, use social media to promote what you’re doing. Promotion and giveaways can help to grow your audience, too.
Whatever you’re posting, be sure to include plenty of photos and videos. Posts with images are much more successful than plain text posts. Spend time getting familiar with the “voice” on each social network that you use.
Most of all, make sure you answer any comments and direct messages. If you aren’t responsive, then customers will feel neglected and taken for granted.
And remember, you’ll first need to analyze your target market to find out which social networks they spend the most time on. Those are the channels you’ll want to build a presence on.
Then, spend some time getting acquainted with each site, and do a little research into any local competitors. What kind of content are they posting, and what seems to resonate most with their audience? That can be a great place to start your own content strategy.
10. Collect Positive Online Reviews from Your Patients
Online reviews can make or break a business.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at these:
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
- Yelp & Facebook are local consumers’ most trusted review sites, followed by Google & BBB.org
- Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before choosing to trust a business
Clearly, reviews are a big deal. But how do you get them?
Well, you ask.
First and foremost, simply ask your customers to leave a review. Include a quick link to your Yelp listing in any emails you send. If you get positive feedback from a customer – at the reception desk, via email or on social media – encourage them to post a review online.
11. Attend and Sponsor Local Events to Improve Your Dental Marketing
Behind every children’s sports team is a sponsor. Usually, that sponsor is a local business.
It’s a great way to get your name out in the community and participate in a good cause – two things that are great for PR. It’s also a great time to slip in a free toothbrush or toothpaste (and a business card).
Remember, it’s all about proximity. Your most likely customers are the ones right next door, so don’t exclude surrounding businesses (and their employees) in your marketing efforts.
Try and build a relationship: Share fun merchandise, send season’s greetings, and drop in to chat. If there are local network events for businesses in your area, make sure you turn up – or get involved as an organizer or ‘sponsor’.
12. Use Videos for Better Dental Marketing
Videos have taken the marketing world by storm, and the healthcare industry is no exception.
According to Google’s survey of 700 healthcare administrators, every customer reported watching videos to see product demonstrations. And afterward? 79% continued on to the manufacturer’s website.
While dental hygiene videos may not seem the most appealing, any dentist can tell you the number of people who don’t brush or floss correctly will surprise. And believe it or not, gross out videos are a hugely popular genre online.
So film how-to, educational videos and post them on your website and social media pages. If you don’t have a huge budget or fancy film equipment, don’t worry. Just choose an informal format, like Instagram or Facebook Stories, and post quick, chatty videos from behind the scenes at your dental practice.
Beyond how-to’s, you can use videos to introduce your practice and its personnel and show off a little personality. It will give customers an idea of what to expect when they come to your office, and help form a more personal connection.
13. Advertise on Waze for Better Dental Marketing
With 65 million monthly active users, Waze is quickly becoming one of the most popular apps for navigation.
That makes it an ideal place to advertise a local business. Using Waze’s ad interface, you can target drivers on the move who are near your business.
There are several different ways to run these ads:
- Zero-Speed Takeover. When a driver stops for 3 seconds or more, you can show an ad over their maps. The ad vanishes as soon as the car starts moving again – but in the meantime, you might just have gained a customer.
- Branded pins. Sponsor your dental practice location on users’ maps. You can include calls-to-action in the ad, like re-routing to you location or saving for later.
- Promoted Search. Just like Google Search Ads, you can sponsor an ad so that it shows up first in people’s search results.
The set up process is similar to AdWords; you choose your ad type, enter your name, location, and creative, and set your monthly budget.
14. Use Facebook Remarketing to Create Repeat Customers
One of the most powerful ways to target potential leads is through remarketing.
Remarketing, also called retargeting, is a way to target ads to people who have previously visited your website. It’s pretty cool, and incredibly effective.
So effective that for some industries, it can lead to a 147% higher conversion rate over time.
Not only that, but visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website.
Facebook remarketing ads require you to set up a custom audience based on website traffic. To do so, you’ll need to install the Facebook pixel on your site.
Once installed, the pixel will track all the visitors to your website, and target your ads to that audience specifically.
It’s a great way to remind visitors of any previous interest of that they’re in need an appointment. For more information on Facebook remarketing and how to set it up for your business, read my full guide.
15. Always Include a CTA
This one should become second nature: anytime you send an email or run an ad, always include a call-to-action (CTA).
A clear CTA lets the reader know exactly what you expect from them, and in turn, increases the likelihood that they’ll actually do it.
Your CTA will vary depending on what you’re promoting, it could be “Book now!,” “Leave a review today!” or “Stop in today!”
Always remember to try and create a sense of urgency, and make your desired action clear.
Start Growing Your Practice with Dental Marketing
Growing a business is no easy task.
Luckily, the methods above make it easier than ever to connect with customers.
Pick a few of your favorites and start experimenting – you’ll be seeing results sooner than you think.