Just like any other business, you need to market or promote your dental practice to grow your customer base. You can’t just rely on your family and friends; and as much as word of mouth can be a very effective way to gain new customers, in today’s very competitive business world, it just won’t be enough to cover all the expenses.
But before we dive into these marketing tips that will help you grow your dental practice, let’s talk about the 4 P’s of Marketing — Product, Pricing, Promotion, and Place.
You need to know your product. Make a list of what makes your dental practice stand out from your competition. This list will help you decide who you want to target.
Know the average pricing in your area. It will most likely also depend on the purchasing power of the population where your dental practice is located.
It’s important where you decide to set up your dental practice. You might have the best dental practitioners in the world, but if your dental practice is nowhere near populated areas, then there’s going to be a big problem.
Every product or service needs to be promoted. Otherwise, how will people know of its existence? But it isn’t as simple as it sounds. There are many ways to promote a product or service, but not every single one will prove to be effective for every business. When you think of ways to promote your dental practice, think of the other P’s — What products/services do you provide? Who can afford your products/services? Where do you find them so that you can communicate and engage with them?
Keeping the 4 P’s of Marketing in mind, let us now talk about the 13 best ways to market your dental practice.
Create your own website and make it engaging
In today’s modern world where everything is practically done online whenever possible, one can say that a business has no business running without its own website. But it doesn’t stop there. Make sure you make your website engaging. Don’t just set it up, add content, and then expect it will do you any good without giving it any attention thereafter. Having said that, here are a few things to keep in mind:
> Keep your web design uncluttered. Be sure to make it look professional.
> Include photos of the dentists and your office.
> Your website should be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
> Have a blog — this is one way to communicate with your target market and encourage engagement as well.
> Your on-page SEO should be on point.
> Have a dedicated page for reviews and testimonials. Research has shown that 93% of consumers say that online reviews affect their purchasing decisions. Encourage your long-term customers to leave testimonials that you can use on your website.
> Make your contact details prominent on every page of your website. Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Give them an option to send a message for queries.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Optimize your website with keywords relating to the services you provide. Make your website “searchable” by adding your postcode or your neighborhood to the word “dentist”. Use long-tail keywords that your potential customers might be using on search engines. Long-tail keywords are generally more descriptive of what your prospective customer actually needs. For example, “kids dental clinic in Lawrence, Kansas” or “teeth whitening dentist in Portland”.
Sponsor a local event
Make your presence known in your local community. Especially when you’re new in the area, seeing your logo on banners and having the opportunity to distribute your business card to people who you know are in the vicinity of your business will be a very good opportunity.
Get your dental practice on the map
Take advantage of Google My Business. It’s a free service. Add or claim your business, and have our target audience find you on the map when they search for dental clinics or dentists in your area.
Make use of directory listings
Online presence is very important. Make sure your business is listed wherever you think your target market might end up searching for the services you provide. Even big companies like Yellow Pages will have free listings. Also have your business listed with Yelp, USdirectory, Business Squares, Thumbtack, and USCity to name a few.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Have your business showing on the first page of Google search results. If you do it well enough, you can have your ad at the top portion of the page as Google Ads are shown above organic results. Here are some tips when running your PPC campaign.
> Use long-tail keywords that focus on the services you provide. Make sure that your ads take your prospective customers to the relevant page on your website. The last thing you’d want is for a customer to leave your website right away just because they didn’t want to bother looking for the right page. Remember, every click on your ad means a spend against your budget. You wouldn’t want that click to go to waste.
> Target a radius or distance where it’s reasonable for people to travel to your clinic.
> Your ads and the content of your website should be relevant.
> Make good use of the ad space and make sure you include your “Unique Selling Points” (USP’s) — you’d want to let people know of what sets you apart from the competition.
> Use the click-to-call feature only for ads that run during business hours.
In addition to the potential business that PPC brings in, it automatically increases traffic to your website which also helps SEO.
Social Media Marketing
Make the most of social media. It’s the easiest way to get the word around…whether it’s about your new office, a new service, or seasonal promotion. But remember, social media is not just about creating posts. It’s also about engagement. Of course, it’s okay to post about promotions and talk about your services. But it’s also good to post about things that your target audience is interested in other than your services. Engage and make a connection.
Use promotions like “new patient specials” or “referral programs”
Who doesn’t want discounts and freebies?! Offer free services for referrals, or discounted bundles.
Of course, at the end of the day, we are not just after new business, but rather, repeat customers. After all, happy customers will advertise your business for free through word of mouth without you having to ask them. So, make sure that every visit is a great experience for every customer who walks in.