You may have one of the best dental practices in your town but if you don’t take the time to market it, your client base will not grow and your business will suffer. With skilled marketing being the key to success no matter which sector you operate within, getting your show on the road and the patients flocking in is paramount.
Dental marketing ideas – new patients
It may sound like big numbers but each dentist in your practice needs to see somewhere between 24-50 new patients monthly to run a viable business; you can only do this by attracting them in the right way and this is where good marketing comes into the picture. Providing a great service at a good price is not enough if you don’t spread the word via dental practice marketing ideas.
How to begin putting together your dental marketing strategies
The first step of putting together a marketing plan always seems to be the hardest but it doesn’t need to be. Start with a simple SWOT analysis and divide up your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; make four columns and then list them:
Strengths: Why are you different and better than others? Use these strengths to make the most of any opportunities.
Opportunities: Is there good potential for growth? Once identified, plan these opportunities into your marketing strategy.
Weaknesses: What do patients complain about? Are there any areas that you know need attention? These need to be attended to and improved, thereby preventing threats.
Threats: What do you need to defend yourself against? You need to act by blocking these, using your strengths to reduce them.
Each of these four areas will have as many things as you can think of in each column. When you are finished, tot up the numbers for each and see what is predicted. You can then use this bespoke analysis to target specific areas. Obviously, the more strengths and opportunities you have and the less weaknesses and threats, the better. The idea is to enforce the positives and limit the negatives.
Now we are going to look at some specific tools that can be used to market your dental practice such as SEO, PPC and social media.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Marketing your practice on line is vital so if you don’t already have a website, look at getting one. Existing patients will use this to contact you and new ones will use it to find you. Most of all, once you have your website and content marketing strategy in place, you need to promote it via search engine optimization (SEO).
Dental SEO works in a very simple way; when someone wants to find a dentist in their area, rather than use the old fashioned Yellow Pages they now use an online search engine such as Google. By tapping in the word ‘dentist’ and the name of your town, a whole list of results will be shown and you need to be at the top. Most people don’t go beyond the first page so if you are not here, you are missing out big time. This is an essential tool to be used by all new dentists and those looking to find new patients.
In order to ensure powerful SEO, it is best to make use of the services of a search engine optimization expert. With research showing that the top 5 search results shown account for 67.6% of total clicks, if you can get to this level your website traffic will increase generating plenty of leads and a firm market presence. The end result? More patients on a regular basis. If your SWOT shows that competitors are not really using SEO in your area, then this provides you with a massive opportunity to get ahead of them.
Once you locate the services of a search engine optimization expert, they will use relevant and unique keywords to fish for customers. These keywords will also need to be included in your website or in blogs posted online by you so that when people browse for ‘dentist Phoenix’ (for example), you come on top. You should also ensure that your business is on all of the local directory sites as well as Google Maps, thus improving your visibility for local online searches.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
You are sure to have heard of this term but what does it mean? PPC makes use of targeted ads, usually as part of a regular campaign, that include very specific keywords which trigger the ad to show when the keywords come up in search results. When the viewer (potential customer) clicks through to your advert, you pay a budgeted amount. Most popular for this is Google AdWords. You can use a PPC expert to take care of this for you and you only pay for what you get i.e. costs only apply when a would-be customer clicks on your ad which will then take them to your website. At the end of the campaign, online forensics will show you how well it has performed so that you can measure and improve your ROI. Your PPC advisor will then see what is working best, what is not and tailor your next PPC campaign to suit. Depending upon how much you can afford, you can set a daily budget so that you never exceed your set marketing costs for your dentistry Pay per Click (PPC) campaign.
Social media is the big thing with regard to online marketing so if you are not in it, you are definitely out for a lot of potential new clients. Use it to build your brand, enhance your image and communicate with clients. But having a social media page (such as Facebook) for your dental practice isn’t enough and your social media needs to be managed by an expert. They can take control of all of your social media, managing campaigns, providing unique content and Tweeting or placing on social media site such as Facebook. Your social media manager may also make use of the following dental social media marketing ideas:
Blogs – these are a great way of attracting attention as you can get them written about specific topics such as ‘tooth extraction’ etc., which will attract would-be clients wanting to know more.
Hashtags -great for promoting certain events such as Dental Health Day or special offers and discounts.
Visual content – images provide instant appeal and can attract crowds when words don’t. Infographics also enable data to be illustrated easily. Within this category are videos; even if you don’t have a separate YouTube channel, they can communicate messages in a great way such as how to clean your teeth correctly.
Advertising – all social media sites offer advertising with rates varying. Your social media manager will be able to generate great ad copy and content for you.
So there you have a complete overview on how best to market your dental practice. Make use of these tips to promote your brand online and keep it up-to-date. A good digital marketing company should be able to help with all three i.e. SEO, PPC and social media whilst at the same time providing you with detailed analytics that will show you how well you are doing and what areas need improvement.
Take the time to put together a marketing plan, bespoke to suit your practice and taking account of all of the evidence produced by your SWOT Analysis. This way your marketing campaigns can be accurately targeted and a good digital marketing company will be able to manage all of them on your behalf.