It’s time for people to come back to the dentist after lockdown, which means now is a great time to be marketing your dental practice. This is a great opportunity to start gaining market share, as well as welcoming back your own regular patients. If you want to make the most of this period, you’re going to need a killer marketing strategy that makes use of all the tools available to you. Keep reading for our top four dental marketing tips.
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1. Dental marketing starts with a website
No matter what your dental marketing plan entails, sooner or later patients will be looking at your website. A few years ago, an amateur could put together a website and it didn’t matter that much what it looked like. Nowadays, however, so many people have well-designed sites that anything less can reflect badly on your dental practice. It’s easy to see why. If you’re looking for a dentist to take care of your teeth, you want someone who gives a sense of competence and professionalism in every aspect of their business. A well-designed website, with a clear list of services and costs, is a necessity if you want potential patients to feel as though they can trust you to take care of their oral health.
Your website can also show the human side to your dental practice. Many people are wary of visiting a dentist, and humanizing the process can alleviate some of their fears. Short biographies of your staff members, lots of pictures of the practice, and testimonies from current patients are all dental marketing essentials. They can all help to make the dentist seem much less daunting.
A great website will be the anchor for your entire dental marketing strategy. All of your social media presence, advertisements, and physical marketing will point people to your website. It should be easy for visitors to find your location, your contact details, and your services and costs. This allows them to decide that you’re the dental practice they want to visit and make the necessary appointments.
Read more: Managing online reviews in dental marketing
2. Community building in dental marketing
Social media is the next most important dental marketing tool. It has such a huge reach that not using it is a significant lost opportunity. Social media allows you to produce ads which can be targeted to specific audiences. This targeting can be incredibly specific due to the amount of data people willingly give and the inferences that these companies are able to draw from users’ activity. We’ve written before about how Facebook advertising yields results (you can read that here).
Here, we want to focus on the organic side of social media. When we talk about “organic” on social media, we’re referring to the posts you make on your own profile, rather than paid ads. These posts are visible to people who follow your page, as well people tagged in the comments. This kind of post may not have the same kind of reach as an ad, but it has a different relationship with the people who see it, because it feels more genuine – it’s a modern form of word-of-mouth advertising. It’s easy to present the culture of your dental practice, perhaps with slightly less “polished” visuals, but they let people interact with your practice on a personal level, which builds a community. Dental marketing in this way builds a form a form of brand loyalty, where patients feel that they actually know you.
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3. Dental marketing with Google My Business
Google My Business is a tool that we are recommending to our clients more and more as we see really impressive results. You’ve probably come across it before. When you search for a restaurant or store, you’ll see a box on the right-hand side of your Google Search results page. It can include images, a link to the website, and interactive phone links for mobile users.
We recommend it for the same reason we recommend a professional website: it’s becoming standard, which means not having one can make your dental practice seem less reputable. If all the big-name businesses have Google My Business then not having one makes you seem like a small, slightly unofficial business, and no-one wants to visit an unofficial dentist.
The good news is that it’s is really easy to set up. In fact, we’ve written a detailed guide on setting up your listing here – it’s as simple as finding your listing on Google and claiming it. You’ll want to do this as soon as you can, because the process is so simple that anyone can claim a listing. At this stage, there’s actually nothing that can stop someone else from claiming yours, which isn’t ideal.
Case studies: Grow your practice with these bold strategies
4. Online reviews in dental marketing
Google My Business allows us to slide neatly into our next tip, online reviews. Reviews are integrated into your listing, so anyone who searches for your dental practice can see what others think of you. This is really important. If your practice is well-rated, this will obviously inspire confidence in prospective patients. On the other hand, dentistry is a field where people are already nervous, and the perceived potential for harm is large. In practice, this means that your reviews are going to have a much more significant impact than other types of businesses, such as stores or coffee shops.
The best way to make sure you get good reviews is to give good service, but there are other tricks to maximize your score. You may have heard of a concept called “volunteer bias.” This is what happens when people are voluntarily able to review products. Those who had an average experience don’t put in the time to review, so the aggregate score represents only those who had either a bad experience or a very good experience. As a result, negative reviews can have a disproportionate effect. You can get around this by actively asking people to review your business. This is a fine line to tread, because being too pushy can lead to people be put off and giving a worse review, however, when it’s done well, it can fill in some of that space between the very good and the bad, which improves your score. It also increases the numbers of reviews, so any single bad review is much less noticeable.
Another good strategy for reducing the impact of bad reviews is to reply to them. A well-reasoned, polite response can often turn a bad review into a positive – read this post to learn more.
Worried about your reviews? We can help!
Bonus tip: Using video in dental marketing
Okay, okay, we promised four tips – but here’s one extra. We’ve been writing a lot about video lately. It’s dramatically increased in popularity with the increased performance of mobile devices, and it’s a great way to connect with customers online. For example, it’s an excellent way to cram a lot of information into a format that takes little effort to absorb, and it’s easy to maintain attention.
Not only is video great for information transfer, but it’s also really great for building rapport as it allows you to present a human face to potential patients. As we mentioned before, this is especially important for dental practices as it helps remove some of the apprehension that people may feel. It also gives you a great opportunity to let people see your practice and to talk about offers.
We hope you’ve found this list of our top tips helpful, if you’re interested in learning more about the digital marketing strategies we use, check out our other blog posts on marketing for orthodontics.
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