You want your dental practice to do more than just survive - you want it to thrive. In 2020, the dental industry faced adversity without doubt, but dental marketing and advertising is still the best way to grow and maintain your practice. Figuring out the specifics of marketing - and how to do it well - can be confusing and time consuming. This guide is here to help!
How do you reach the right potential patients in the right way, without wasting valuable time or money? These questions can be the difference between success and failure for your practice. You need to get it right - and that’s just what this complete guide to modern dental marketing will help you do.
Like all forms of marketing in our digital age, dental marketing has undergone a big shift in the past few decades. The recent pandemic has forced more digital practices. The best practices of dental marketing once revolved around direct mail campaigns - sending offers and information to potential customers in your area via mail. It was effective back then, but these days… not so much.
Your potential and current dental patients are spending ever-increasing amounts of time online - whether it’s casually browsing social media or searching for dental services in their area. As a dental practice, you need to capture new patients at every step of the way online. Today’s customers expect your online presence to be prevalent, and if its not- its time to step-up your digital marketing.
Your dental marketing efforts should focus on a few simple areas - showcasing the expert authority of your practice, sharing your caring human side, and reaching the right group of potential customers. The combination of connection and information delivered right to your target patient/customer is the foundation for dental digital marketing success.
All your digital marketing efforts begin with your website. Your website is the first impression most potential customers will have of your practice. It’s like an extension of your waiting room - would you expect patients to come back if your waiting room was outdated, dusty, and confusing?
Clean, friendly, and helpful are the feelings you should aim for - both in person and in the digital space that represents your dental practice. All of the other online marketing components will point back to your dental website, so it’s the very first thing you need to get right.
If your dental website is in need of a refresh, we reviewed and ranked the best website designers for dentist.
Search engine optimization or SEO is a critical component of your dental marketing strategy. If your dental office is not shown in the top of the SERP (search engine result page) for your serviceable area, you need to make sure your site is optimized so patients can find you. If your practice is considering content marketing, dental SEO is a must. SEO is a long term strategy and I recommend working with a dental marketing agency for maximum results.
SEO tools like SEMrush are complete game changers when it comes to dominating your local market.
Social media is an important component of your digital marketing strategy, as well. When used thoughtfully, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube can create authentic and lasting connections with your loyal patients and potential new ones.
Organic content is content you don’t pay to promote - it helps to build your long-term reputation in whatever you’re focusing on. For example, if you want to build a reputation as a high-end practice, or a friendly practice for those with dental anxiety, social media posts and interaction can help build that reputation for you.
You’ve seen paid ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. Why are these effective? They expand your reach to potential new customers in your local area. Google ads can target people who are searching for terms like “dentist near me” so they have the intent to find a new dentist. Working with a dental marketing company is expensive but could be worth it depending on your dental office's goals.
With dental advertising - this dentist could be you. Social media ads are big business these days, so your reach on Facebook will be limited in the beginning unless you pay. teethtalk ads are seen by potential patients that are searching for terms like “dental implant options” or “gum disease” - a critical part of the research phase during the buying process.
It’s critical to have your Google My Business listing set up for your dental practice. Why? Because increasingly, online reviews can make or break any local business. It’s a free tool to manage your listing and can be set up with no technical knowledge needed.
It’s always been true that reputations can make or break a dental office- and that’s even more magnified online where potential patients can see your reputation at a glance.
Why does your dental practice need a digital marketing strategy? It can seem like something that’s more useful for tech-based businesses. But digital marketing, although it all takes place online, is critical to make sure your leads and patients can find you in the real world and learn about what you offer. Google says a consumer will have between 20 and 500 touch-points online before committing to a service or product.
In today’s world, we have a staggering amount of information at our fingertips. Word of mouth is still a great way to build a business and patient satisfaction is as critical as ever. But now, those word-of-mouth referrals can get lost along the way.
Your potential patients hear your name from a satisfied friend, and type your practice name into Google - and find page after page of dental practices they could choose. So making sure your practice is welcoming and easy to find online is important for your brand awareness.
Patients have lots of options when they’re looking for a dentist. So to make sure they keep coming back and telling their friends about you and leaving great reviews online, relationship building is vital. Start the process as soon as they come in for their first visit. Your dental marketing need to reinforce these relationships with patients.
While all this fast-paced change in dental marketing techniques can seem daunting, it’s also an area that’s full of new opportunities. Digital advertising can make finding new patients and retaining loyal ones for your practice faster and often less expensive than old-school methods like direct mail.
When a potential new patient is doing their research, you need to be at every opportunity across search, social, and YouTube. Your patients are online - and that’s why you need to be too.
Dentists can advertise on the largest dental health community. teethtalk ads are different than Google, YouTube, and Facebook because you sign up and an account manager takes care of the rest. It’s highly effective and a fraction of the cost of social and search ads. Learn how teethtalk ads can grow your dental practice.
Google ads, formally know as google adwords, are incredibly effective at finding new patients. Why? Because those online searchers already have intent to buy. Because they’re in the market for a dentist and taking action on that desire right now - that means it’s the best time to grab them.
Google ads put you right in front of them immediately, giving fast results. Of course they come at a price - but they work well and quickly. Get Started Here.
More than two billion people watch YouTube every month. YouTube, on mobile phones alone, reaches more people in the US than any television network. Film a short (less than one minute) commercial for your practice or create skippable video ads, and target consumers who are already interested in dental health on YouTube. For example, TeethTalkGirl’s YouTube channel
TeethTalkGirl’s audience has watched more than 23.7 years of oral health content on YouTube in 2020. Companies, such as Crest, have put ads in front of her videos because they know there’s a concentrated and engaged audience watching because they care about their oral health.
Change is a constant in our fast-paced world - and that’s also true in dental marketing. But there are a few safe bets for dental marketing for dentist.
Social media growth over the past decade has been explosive. Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube all have over two billion users and continue to grow rapidly. It’s safe to say that social media will continue to be critically important for dental practices going forward, even if the platforms shift from time to time.
Were you surprised to see YouTube on the same level as Facebook? It’s just one sign that video marketing and content are a huge growth area. Videos can showcase the human and authentic side of your practice vividly to patients - showing before and after transformation of delighted patients to potential customers who might get inspired to do the same.
Digital marketing for your dental practice is vital to building, growing and maintaining your practice. With a few thoughtful touches and an informed strategy, you can see the results sooner than you think.
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Zach Westerhoff is a dental marketing expert. Join Zach and over 5,000 dentists to learn how to scale your dental business like a tech startup. Zach managed digital marketing teams & campaigns for large SaaS companies and retail giants. As co-founder of teethtalk ads, his goal is to help dentists advertise their practice to patients looking for treatment.