Ever felt like the world of the dental industry is a bit crowded? Like there's always a new clinic popping up just around the corner. You're not alone.
Over countless cups of coffee and late nights, I've seen that having top-notch credentials doesn't seal the deal for a dental practice. Stellar service? Essential. And you know what pairs perfectly with that? A rock-solid marketing plan.
Trust me, I've been around the block and picked up something about what works.
Now, picture a day when your practice isn't just another name in the directory but the one everyone's buzzing about. I've watched some practices hit gold with targeted email campaigns, teeth whitening promotions, and the intelligent adoption of digital technology like intraoral scanners and 3D printers.
But there's a bigger picture. Harnessing the power of online reviews, genuine community engagement, top-notch patient care, and cutting-edge technology can redefine how you grow your practice.
Becoming your neighborhood's go-to dental practice is more than finding a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Achieving success in the dental world is more like a treasure hunt. As you explore these marketing gems I've collected, adapt them to fit the unique qualities that set your practice apart.
Ready to dig in and grow your dental practice?
What is Dental Marketing?
Dental digital marketing is a set of activities that help promote your dental practice. It will help you get new patients and keep existing ones happy.
Most dentists find dental digital marketing hard to understand, so they're still determining how to start doing it well. That's why we created this guide—to show you precisely what dental marketing is,
How to Market Your Dental Practice
Digital marketing can conjure several things, like complex social media platforms or endless email marketing ads. Some people think of it as the shady practice of trying to sell something someone doesn't need, while others see it as a way to promote their business and services so that more prospective patients know about them.
Digital marketing is the same for dentists: getting your dental practices out there to attract more patients into your routine. It would be best if you had this because it helps:
♦ To ensure you can pay your dental practice team and bills.
♦ Alleviate the public need for more comprehensive dentistry services.
♦ Grow your local business reputation so your business stays healthy.
♦ Ensures you have a future in the dentistry industry so you can help promote and support others trying to do the same.
More importantly, though, digital marketing helps you grow your business by increasing patient satisfaction and referrals—two factors that have been shown repeatedly to be critical drivers for success in any dental practice.
Here are the fantastic methods of dental marketing I've seen work to grow a business practice so you'll have years of successful business operations.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Grow Your Dental Practice
◊ Build an SEO-Optimized Website
◊ Create a Differentiating Service or Theme
◊ Get Involved in the Local Community
◊ Be Mobile Friendly
◊ Solicit Positive Online Reviews
◊ Unify Your Dental Directory Listings
◊ Leverage Press Releases
◊ Start a PPC Campaign
◊ Create a Patient Referral Program
◊ Hire a Social Media Manager
◊ Run Dental Service Promotions
◊ Capture Leads with Ad Retargeting
◊ Partner with Local Businesses & Schools
◊ Offer Comprehensive Payment Options & Membership Savings
◊ Create an Engaging Blog
◊ Use Online Scheduling with 24/7 Access
◊ Don't Underestimate Paper Flyers and billboards
◊ Sponsor a 5K that Benefits Children
◊ Buy Radio & Podcast Ads
◊ Provide Some Teledentistry Services
◊ Always Have Top-Notch Customer Service
1. Go Digital
Going digital is like upgrading from a flip phone to a smartphone; the benefits are too good to ignore.
I can't tell you how much patients love it when we use intraoral scanners. Why? Because it turns an abstract problem into something they can see on a screen. For instance, those "before and after" photos are pretty much a mic-drop moment when persuading a patient they need to act now on their dental issues.
It's a game-changer, honestly. Plus, let's not forget that a radiant smile isn't just about dental health; it's a self-confidence booster that works like a charm whenever you flash those pearly whites.
2. Build an SEO-Optimized Website
An easy way to grow your practice is by optimizing your website for search engines like Google or Bing. You can do this by hiring an SEO service professional who will help optimize the title tags of all pages on your site to contain relevant keywords.
Then, they will work with you on creating meta descriptions that pop out at people when they search for information about dental services near them (they'll also make sure there aren't duplicate content issues).
Ensure each page has unique content – don't put filler text just because it looks better visually! The unique content on each page means that search engines will find more opportunities for them when people look up stuff related to dentistry services near their homes.
3. Get Involved in the Local Community
Community involvement is a great way to meet new people and get your name out there. If you're shy, don't worry—there are plenty of ways to get involved without being too pushy or aggressive.
Here are some ideas:
♦ Join a local sports team.
♦ Volunteer at an event like Canada Day or Pride Parade.
♦ Sponsor an event.
♦ Help with food banks.
♦ Join a community planning committee.
♦ Set up a holiday-themed party.
After these events, be sure to capture videos and photos to share on Instagram or through direct market opportunities on the internet that boost your presence.
4. Be Mobile Friendly
It would help if you were mobile-friendly. The days of sitting in front of your computer and typing away are over. To grow your practice, your website must be mobile-friendly and easy to use on a phone or tablet.
Try creating a mobile app for your practice to make things even more accessible. That way, users can see your services and make appointments from their phones.
5. Solicit Positive Online Reviews
Be proactive in asking patients for reviews. In the age of digital marketing for dentists, reviews are everything. Whether running a small or large dental practice, positive online reviews will help increase your visibility, attract new clients, and improve your overall brand image.
Respond promptly to negative online reviews. If you receive an unfavorable review online (which is inevitable), respond quickly and politely by thanking the patient for their feedback and offering solutions on how you can help them move forward.
6. Unify Your Dental Directory Listings
Unifying all your dental directory listings is critical to maximizing their effectiveness. This means ensuring every mention of your practice has the correct contact information, website, phone number, social media, and physical address.
7. Leverage Press Releases
Press releases are one of the most effective dental advertising ways to get your name out there and build your reputation as a thought leader in the dental field.
These digital marketing for dentists announcements are posted on relevant websites and social media (like local news outlets), and they're usually available to view by anyone interested, whether they've heard of you before.
8. Start a PPC Campaign
PPC, or paid search digital marketing for dentists, is the act of advertising on Google, Bing, or social media to get more website visitors. It's an effective way to get your name out there and attract new patients and an excellent way to increase brand awareness using local SEO in your marketing strategy.
Getting started with PPC can be overwhelming, especially if you need to familiarize yourself with digital marketing for dentists or local SEO marketing strategy.
Save time by hiring a digital marketing team who understands your target audience.
These are usually reasonably priced and can efficiently run your social media platforms and search engine campaigns. For as little as $5/day, you could see your practice grow exponentially.
9. Create a Patient Referral Program
Referral programs are a great way to get new patients. If you have an existing referral program, make sure that you are promoting it via all channels. You can use your website, social media, and email marketing to inform people about your referral program and how they can benefit from being part of it.
The goal is to incentivize your patients to reach out to friends, family members, coworkers, or anyone else in the local community who may be interested in your dental services.
10. Hire a Social Media Manager
You are busy and already have enough on your plate. Let's be honest; with the right person in place, this can be one of the most beneficial investments you make for your practice.
You will find that it is well worth the cost if you do it properly and find someone who understands your business and its needs.
If you hire an intern or entry-level employee to fill this role, keep at least one eye open for potential problems, as they may need help understanding what is expected of them or fail to deliver results because of inexperience or lack of follow-through ability.
11. Run Dental Service Promotions
Dentists can promote their dental services by offering special discounts on certain services. For example, if you're looking to attract new patients and run a dental discount code promotion, offer free whitening or tooth cleaning.
This can be easily combined with your referral program or visual advertising at local events.
12. Capture Leads with Ad Retargeting
Ad retargeting is a great way to capture leads. It allows you to target people who have visited your website, and dentists can use it to promote products or services, as well as your website or blog.
You can readjust your ads and digital marketing towards specific events, dates, and target market segments, or your dental services have changed.
13. Partner with Local Businesses and schools
Partnering with local businesses and schools can be a great way to reach new patient populations. You can offer free toothbrush kits to kids on the first day of school or discounts to anyone shopping at a candy store.
Get creative, and you may uncover incredibly beneficial partnerships.
14. Offer Comprehensive Payment Options & Membership Savings
One of the best ways to keep your patients returning is by offering them options in how they pay.
Whether you're a private practice or have a chain of dental clinics, offering multiple payment methods will help build customer loyalty and retention.
Remember to build up loyal customers through membership programs. Offering discounts for those who sign up for membership programs means that you can retain more patients over time - which will ultimately mean more repeat business from those same people.
15. Create an Engaging Blog
Blogging is an excellent way to gain credibility with potential patients and generate more leads for your practice through SEO (search engine optimization). In addition, it will help build trust by providing valuable content that educates patients before they visit you in person.
16. Use Online Scheduling with 24/7 Access
Online scheduling is one of the most essential tools for any dental practice. A system with online appointment scheduling and patient management is a crucial part of your business, serving as an integral component of your marketing and patient retention strategy.
A well-designed online appointment book can help you increase revenue, boost your brand awareness, reduce no-shows, increase efficiency, and enhance customer satisfaction—all while increasing your bottom line.
17. Don't Underestimate Paper Flyers and billboards
It's true! Paper flyers can be a great way to get your practice in front of potential patients. You may have heard that they're considered a bit outdated, but they're still used by many dentists—especially those looking for new patients who don't know where to start.
A flyer at your local diner could drastically increase your ROI.
18. Sponsor a 5K that Benefits Children
Look for a local 5K that's accepting sponsors. You can search online or ask around at your gym or community centers if you know where to start.
Once you've found a 5K that fits your goal, talk to their marketing team about how they promote the event. They'll also be able to tell you how many participants usually sign up for each event so you can plan accordingly.
19. Buy Radio & Podcast Ads
Radio and podcast ads are great for dental marketing because they're less expensive than other types of advertising. You can run these ads on stations or shows that appeal to your desired demographics, like talk radio or comedy shows.
20. Provide Some Teledentistry Services
Teledentistry allows patients to see their dentist remotely via video chat. It's a great way to provide remote care and save patients money on travel and time off work. Here are the benefits of teledentistry:
♦ Patients can access dental services in their homes and jobs.
♦ Dentists can be more productive since they don't have to schedule patients into appointments.
♦ Practices get more revenue from the additional monthly patient visits since there is no need for travel costs or lost productivity.
21. Always Have Top-Notch Customer Service
Look, the best dental marketing campaigns worldwide won't save you if your customer service is lacking.
It's the backbone of your practice and where your team can truly shine. I can't stress this enough—every interaction, from the first phone call to the follow-up after a procedure, is an opportunity to grow your practice.
Investing in customer service training for your team ensures that patients return and become enthusiastic advocates for your dental service.
It's a chain reaction: stellar service leads to happy patients, and satisfied patients lead to a thriving practice.
22. Offer Virtual Tours:
Offering a virtual tour of your dental practice is like rolling out a VIP red carpet for potential patients—digitally, of course. Studies have shown (trust me, you'll want to Google this!) that a virtual tour can help a potential patient choose a new dental clinic.
It eliminates the unknowns, letting people explore your practice without setting foot in the building. They get to see where they'll sit, what equipment you use, and maybe even catch a glimpse of your friendly staff in action.
Think of it as a "try before you buy" for the anxious or the skeptical. And hey, it's the kind of preview that could turn a maybe into a definitive "Yes, I'm booking an appointment!"
23. Develop a Loyalty Program
Reward regular patients with a point-based system that offers discounts or freebies. A loyalty program is like a gift that keeps on giving—both for your practice and your patients.
It's a two-way street of awesomeness that fosters long-term relationships while supercharging your practice growth.
Consider it: a patient rewarded for repeat visits is likelier to return and bring in friends or family. We're talking more than just a free toothbrush here; imagine points for service discounts or even a 'refer-a-friend' bonus.
It's a magnetic pull that retains your existing clientele and attracts potential patients like bees to honey. So, a loyalty program is your golden ticket if you aim for a win-win in patient satisfaction and business growth.
24. Host Dental Health Workshops
Hosting dental health workshops is not just about filling seats; it's about filling hearts and minds with valuable knowledge—and hey, it's a genius move in practice management.
I've found that workshops create a community around your practice that extends far beyond your dental offices.
It positions you as a thought leader in the field, someone who's not just after the next appointment booking but genuinely cares about patients' overall well-being.
Whether it's a kid-friendly workshop on the importance of flossing or a deep dive into the benefits of dental implants for adults, these events provide an educational platform that enriches your practice's relationship with the community.
Plus, guess what? These educated attendees are now far more likely to think of your practice first when they need dental services.
It's like planting seeds today for a harvest of patient loyalty tomorrow.
25. Personalized Patient Experience
Ah, the personalized patient experience—it's like the Spotify of dentistry, curating the visit to suit each individual's needs and preferences. And trust me, if you're looking to take your practice to the next level, this is the high note you need to hit.
For example, keeping track of dental hygiene habits or knowing a patient's sensitive areas can elevate the level of care and make your patients feel valued and understood.
This kind of personal touch transforms a routine dental visit into an experience, and these experiences turn first-time dental patients into lifetime fans. Because everyone loves VIP treatment, right? Tailoring visits in this way makes your practice more than just a place for dental care; it becomes a haven of personalized attention
26. Attend Dental Conferences
I've uncovered some of the most innovative digital dental solutions just by walking the conference floors. You're exposed to new tools and technologies that can make dental work more efficient and patient-friendly.
And let's not forget the networking opportunities—meeting experts in the field could lead to potential partnerships that significantly benefit your practice.
27. Invest in Staff Training
Investing in staff training is more than just an expenditure—it's like putting your marketing dollars to work in the most organic way possible.
When your team is knowledgeable and efficient, you can focus on what you do best: providing top-notch dental care.
Comprehensive training programs can help unlock the full potential of your staff, from front-desk management to dental hygienists. This elevates the patient experience and contributes to a smoother, more efficient workflow.
Ultimately, a well-trained team acts like a well-oiled machine, driving your practice toward tremendous success.
28. Automated Reminders
Automated reminders are your practice's secret weapon for keeping the schedule full and the chairs occupied. This isn't just about pestering existing patients with emails or texts; it's a gentle nudge they appreciate.
Reminding them of upcoming appointments or necessary check-ups eliminates the "I forgot" factor that often leads to no-shows.
This strategy also minimizes the need to constantly establish a whole new patient base, as you're booking more appointments with those who already trust your services.
So, if you're looking for a simple yet effective way to keep those appointments coming, automated reminders should be high on your to-do list.
29. Engage in Email Marketing
If you think email is old school, think again. Email remains one of the most effective ways to communicate with existing and potential patients in the sea of digital marketing tactics.
Using a simple, clean design with targeted messaging can attract new patients and keep the current ones engaged. A well-crafted email can serve multiple purposes: it educates, updates, and, most importantly, keeps your practice top-of-mind.
Whether it's a monthly newsletter, seasonal promotions, or just a "we miss you" note, never underestimate the power of a well-timed email.
30. Use Video Marketing
Video marketing is no longer the future; it's the present, especially for a dental practice aiming to stand out. A well-executed video can showcase your services, tell your practice's story, and, most importantly, build brand awareness.
I've seen firsthand how a 60-second video tour of a dental office can put potential patients at ease, even before they step into the clinic.
And let's remember how-to videos or patient testimonials; these can be incredibly persuasive and shareable, extending your reach beyond your immediate network.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine what a video could do for your practice.
31. Telephonic Support
You might think phone calls are a thing of the past, but don't take into account their power in effective dental marketing.
Offering top-notch telephonic support doesn't just help with immediate queries; it's an invaluable way to build your brand and elevate your online reputation. There's nothing like the warmth of a natural, human voice to reassure existing or potential patients that they're making the right choice.
A quick but thoughtful conversation can be a game-changer in booking appointments and nurturing long-term patient relationships.
Remember, it's not just about picking up the phone; it's about creating an experience that complements your entire practice
33. Environmentally Conscious Practices
Go green by minimizing waste and using sustainable products, which can also be a selling point.
34. Modern Interior Design
Refresh the decor to provide a soothing and modern atmosphere, reducing patient anxiety.
35. Offer Family Packages
Bundle services for families to encourage them to use your practice exclusively.
36. Collaborate with Influencers
Collaborate with local influencers to promote your practice on social media platforms.
37. Dental Health for Schools
Propose dental health programs in schools, teaching children about oral hygiene.
38. Upgrade Waiting Areas
Make waiting pleasant with comfortable seating, reading material, and entertainment options for adults and kids.
39. Flexible Timings
Offer early morning, late evening, or weekend slots for those who find regular hours inconvenient.
40. Utilize Virtual Reality
Offer VR headsets for patients during procedures, allowing them to escape to calming environments or even play games, turning a stressful experience into an almost enjoyable one.
41. Curate an Informative Newsletter
Regularly send out a digital or print newsletter packed with dental tips, updates on your practice, and special offers.
Newsletters keep your practice in the minds of your existing patients and can also attract new ones.
Critical Considerations for Successfully Growing Your Dental Practice
You need to know your audience well. Understanding who you are serving informs how you target digital marketing to them and what services you should provide. You will want fun imagery if you are helping primary younger kids compared to a more professional appearance for adults.
It would be best if you also looked at your local competition. Find the aspect of your business that differentiates you from the others offering similar services. This could be lower prices, more technology learning services, or better customer service. Then, you promote this difference through dental advertising.
Stick to your strengths and weaknesses. Every dental practice has something that makes them unique. Once you find that aspect, lean into it!
Taking it to the Next Level: How to Market Your Practice in the Metaverse
The Metaverse is your virtual world when logged into Facebook or YouTube. You can fly on a plane if you don't mind running into photorealistic avatars of other people who want to sell their products and services to you.
It may seem early to make this adoption, but now is when you want to set up your virtual practice that accepts real-life appointments. Even one to two patients a month who find you through the Metaverse will be enough when this technology becomes commonplace.
Alternatives to Dental Marketing
If all of this sounds too overwhelming for you, don't worry. No matter how much or little you plan on putting into your marketing, the key is offering premium service. Word of mouth will get out if your practice is a more inviting experience for your patients.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you grow your dental practice and build a loyal patient base.
Ultimately, it's all about finding what works best for you and your practice. Hundreds of other options are available, so feel free to experiment with different tactics until one sticks.
Karen is your go-to dental diva with over half a decade of hands-on experience in the dental industry. She's not just passionate—she's obsessed with educating dental practitioners on the latest in dental technology and best practices. Think of her as the Sherlock Holmes of dental topics, always on the hunt for the next game-changing insight.