Dentists, attracting new patients can be tough. But it’s not impossible. In this post, we’ll share 7 proven ways to bring more people through your door. And none of them require a lot of money or time! So read on and get started today.
Why Marketing Your Practice is Essential
Marketing your practice is essential in order to stay ahead of the competition and reach new patients. By keeping your name out there, you’ll be top of mind when someone is looking for a dentist in your area.
If you don’t market your dental practice, then people might not know about you. There are a lot of other dentists around, so if people don’t know about you, they will go to one of them. That means increased revenue, a packed schedule and more positive reviews for your competitors.
How to Develop a Marketing Strategy
There’s no need to panic if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your practice and there’s seemingly no time for marketing. Developing a marketing strategy doesn’t have to be hard. Just follow these simple steps:
1) Figure out your goals and targets
The first step is to sit down and figure out what you want to achieve with your marketing. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Get more patients through the door? Once you know what your goals are, you can start thinking about who your target audience is.
2) Research your audience
Who are the people that you want to reach with your marketing? What are their demographics? What do they like and dislike? What motivates them? The better you understand your audience, the easier it will be to craft content that resonates with them.
3) Create content that resonates with them
Now that you know who your target audience is and what their needs are, you can start creating content that speaks to them. This could be blog posts, social media posts, e-books, infographics, or even videos. Whatever content you create, make sure it’s interesting and useful to your target audience.
4) Use the right channels to reach them
Once you have some great content, it’s time to start sharing it with your target audience. But where should you share it? That depends on where your target audience hangs out online. If they’re active on social media, then that’s a great place to start. If they’re more likely to read blogs, then focus on getting your content in front of them there. There are a variety of ways to reach your target audience, so experiment until you find what works best.
5) Measure and adjust along the way
As you start sharing your content and engaging with your target audience, pay attention to the results you’re getting. Are people responding positively to your content? Are they taking the actions you want them to take? If not, then it’s time to make some adjustments. Try changing up the type of content you’re creating or the channels you’re using to reach people. And always continue to measure the results so you can fine-tune your strategy over time.
7 Ideas to Attract New Dental Patients for Your Practice
Website Design & User Experience
Your dental practice website is the first thing most prospective patients will see. So, against competing practice websites offering clean, modern designs and an engaging user experience, your practice website must instantly do the same to show prospective patients why you’re the practice for them. If it doesn’t, a prospective patient may leave your website after only a cursory glance at your home page.
Website User Experience
We all enjoy what’s familiar, but if you haven’t changed or upgraded your website in two or three years, it may be outdated and out of step with what patients now want and expect from a dental website.
So, step back, put yourself in the shoes of prospective patients, and ask yourself some honest and impartial questions such as:
- Has your current website provider kept pace with internet browser changes to ensure an optimal experience for prospective patients on all internet browsers?
- Is your website optimized to rank higher on search engines?
- Can website visitors effortlessly navigate your website to find the information they need? Is it intuitive to use?
The more honest you are in your review of one of your most important marketing assets, the better you serve your goal to grow your practice, retain patients, and increase your practice reputation.
Target local keywords
When it comes to targeting the right keywords, you’re not only increasing your brand’s visibility, but you’re also giving people a reason to visit your dental practice. After all, when someone is searching for a dentist near them, they’re likely looking for one that can provide them with the services they need.
So, how do you target the right keywords for SEO?
1. Research what people are searching for.
2. Use those keywords throughout your website.
3. Optimize your website for local search.
Claim local listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing
When you claim your local listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing, you are essentially telling these search engines that your dental practice is the official authority for that location. As a result, your business will be more visible to potential patients who are searching for a dentist in your area. In addition, claiming online directories like Yelp and Healthgrades can help increase brand awareness and attract new patients to your practice.
Make Regular Social Media Posts
Whether you’re engaging prospective patients on social media with oral healthcare tips or wishing them happy holidays, scheduling regular weekly posts is important to maintain a social presence and expand your practice reach through post shares (a.k.a. online word-of-mouth advertising).
The more you post, the more you get in front of potential patients, which does require ongoing creation and scheduling of posts.
To simplify this and save time, many practices use social media management built for dental practices to easily stay connected with potential patients throughout the year while remaining focused on patient care.
Automate Patient Communications
When synced with your practice management system, automated patient communication are more than a time-saving way to schedule appointment reminders to increase revenue and reduce no-shows for your dental practice. Automated patient communications ensure all your practice communications reach the right patients at the right time to optimize your practice marketing.
As part of this, text messaging is a must-have feature of patient communications.
Though many patients will always prefer appointment reminders by phone and/or email, the numbers show that many people prefer text messages:
- 55% of patients surveyed said they preferred appointment reminders by text. (Dentistry IQ)
- 53% of Millennials prefer texts over phone calls, 63% find them less disruptive than voicemail, and 19% never check voicemail. (OpenMarket)
- 7 out of 10 Millennials and Gen Zs prefer texting over talking. (LivePerson)
Using text messaging ensures you’re delivering patient communications in a manner that aligns with patient preferences.
Use Benefit Reminders
Most of your patients are likely investing in dental insurance plans that allow them to access regular preventive care appointments. If they view dental visits within the scope of “just a cleaning,” they short-change themselves.
When you remind patients to take full advantage of dental care benefits they’ve already paid for, you provide a service that strengthens patient loyalty and increases appointments.
Encourage Patient Reviews
People looking for a dentist often check online reviews before they make an appointment. This is because they want to know what other people have said about the dentist’s office.
There are a few things that dentists can do to get more reviews. They can, for example, offer a discount on the patient’s next visit for those who write a review. They can also ask patients to leave a review after their appointment.
Consider doing these things in order to gain more positive reviews from your current patients. Having a good online reputation will certainly bring new patients into your office.
There are a few ways that paid advertising can attract new patients to your dental practice. One way is through targeted online ads. By targeting your ads to specific demographics or interests, you can reach more potential patients who may be interested in your services.
Another way to attract new patients through paid advertising is through search engine optimization (SEO). When your dental practice is one of the top results in a search engine for relevant keywords, you’ll be more likely to attract new patients who are looking for dental services.
Finally, paid advertising can also help create brand awareness for your dental practice. By creating ads that are memorable and eye-catching, you can increase the chances that potential patients will remember your practice when they’re ready to book an appointment.
Be as Flexible as Possible with Payments
One of the reasons patients seek out dentists with flexible payment options is because they may be experiencing financial difficulties. By being flexible with payments, dentists can help these patients maintain their oral health while also managing their finances. Additionally, being flexible with payments can also attract new patients who may not have otherwise considered your practice.
Review your payment options and consider creating or adjusting a flex-pay option in order to attract new clients to your practice.
Dental Marketing Simplified
If the above seems a bit overwhelming, we’ve boiled it down into a few free takeaways and tools for your dental practice to use:
This step-by-step guide walks you through how to build a strong communications plan, including samples and prompts to help your dental practice identify goals, target audiences, and key messaging.
This one-page checklist includes the scheduling essentials already mentioned in this blog, plus 22 others to maximize ROI for your current dental marketing budget.