Create a comprehensive Dental Marketing Plan
Marketing for dentists can be challenging as you are undoubtedly busy doing hundreds of different things daily. So it is essential that you devote some time to creating a marketing plan for your dental practice first before implementing any marketing tactics.
When it comes to dental marketing, if you get the strategy part right, you can use any set of marketing tactics, and if performed consistently, you’ll be successful in your efforts. That’s how important the strategy part is.
1. Define the marketing objectives for your dental practice
It can be daunting to start writing a dental marketing plan, so the best way to start is by defining your marketing objectives. What are you seeking out of your marketing efforts? It is easy to say new customers, but you’ll have to drill deeper at this stage.
Start by defining the ideal patient for your practice. Many dentists try to be all things to all people, but in this ultra-competitive niche, it pays to be targeted with your marketing efforts. The marketing for your dental clinic should revolve around getting more of these ideal patients.
For some practices, the ideal patient is someone who can afford their services. For others, it may be more specific. For example, if you offer orthodontic services, you might want to include marketing strategies for orthodontics in your plan.
2. Perform dental clinic competitive analysis
The next step is to determine what your competitors are doing and differentiate your practice from the rest. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to create a new concept, just that your research should enable you to identify the core differences between you and your competitors. Your job then would be to highlight these differences in your marketing efforts.
If unsure how to do it, start talking to some of your best patients. Ask them to recount what drew them to your service in the first palace and what makes them a satisfied customer? Then compare their answers to your competitor’s marketing materials. Soon, you should have some core differences pop up to the surface.
Once you discover these unique values of your dental practice, run with them and double down on them.
3. Identify the relevant platforms to market your service
In 2022, marketing for dental clinics can take place on various platforms. The choices in front of you are limitless in terms of online and physical platforms. So, it is prudent to identify a few relevant platforms based on your target audience and other marketing objectives.
There are specific platforms when it comes to digital marketing for dentists that you absolutely cannot avoid, like running Google Search Ads or nurturing a Facebook Page. However, other platforms like TikTok might not make sense for your target audience. Similarly, regarding physical marketing, you might want to include your services in the local classified but choose to stay away from door-to-door pamphlet delivery.
Identifying these platforms early in your dental marketing plan will help you target your marketing efforts. This will, in turn, save you a lot of money and increase your overall ROI.
4. Fix a dental marketing budget
That brings us to the final aspect of creating a dental marketing plan, which is to fix a marketing budget. Unfortunately, many dentist marketing strategies ignore this component, and that’s usually a recipe for disaster.
The thing is, physical and online marketing for dentists can be a bottomless pit, especially when you are running paid ads. If the budgets are not defined beforehand, it can lead to substantial cost overruns and wasted investments.
So it is better to decide your budget and stick to it before you start spending it on marketing tactics. You can always revise it based on the performance of your campaigns.
Common dental marketing mistakes you should avoid
1. Not creating a brand voice
Your dental marketing materials must have a consistent brand voice representing your practice’s unique personality and core values. Without it, your marketing will come across as generic, which is not advisable when trying to stand out among a crowd.
Remember, it is not just about listing your services or providing educational information. It’s also about connecting with patients on an emotional level and showing them that you understand their needs and concerns. Your brand voice needs to make a connection with your audience on an emotional level.
2. Not defining a customer journey
This is a mistake that many dental practices make. They identify their ideal customer persona but fail to map the customer journey. When it comes to dental internet marketing, it is equally important to map out your customers’ journey as they interact with your various online campaigns. This way, you can create targeted content that speaks to them at each stage and keep them engaged throughout the marketing process.
3. Not developing a marketing/sales funnel
A big part of defining a customer journey is the marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is a process your potential patients go through from awareness to conversion. If you don’t have a well-defined marketing funnel, you’ll likely lose patients at some point along the way.
Just because someone expresses interest in your dental practice doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy. You need to nurture your leads with targeted content so that they can move further down the funnel until they are convinced and ready to buy. A well-defined marketing funnel is a key to the growth of your dental practice.
4. Not A/B testing your dental marketing campaigns
After you have developed a funnel, A/B testing your campaigns and content is a powerful tool that can help you improve your results. By testing different versions of your campaigns, you can figure out what works and what doesn’t. This information is essential for driving conversions and ROI, and you can involve a professional dental marketing agency to help you with this step.
5. Not getting involved in your community
Your dental practice is part of a larger community. And if you’re not involved in that community, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to market your practice. From taking part in neighborhood get-togethers to offering free dental checkups, there are many ways to get involved in your community.
So find one that fits your practice and get started. It will help you develop a reputation within your community which is excellent marketing for your dental clinic.
Develop a user-friendly website for your dental clinic
A website is a powerful marketing tool for any business, but it is especially important for dental clinics. An excellent dental website will help you attract new patients, build trust and credibility, and grow your business.
Here are eight must-have sections and pages for your dental website: Homepage, About Us, Dental Services, Before & After, Patient Testimonials, Contact Us/Book Appointment, Dental Blog, and FAQs.
But how do you create a dental website that is effective and user-friendly? Here are some tips:
A) Tips for creating a user-friendly website
1. Make sure your website is attractive and visually appealing. First impressions matter, so make sure your website looks professional and inviting. Use high-quality images and videos, and make sure your content is well-written and easy to read.
2. Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Your website should be easy to navigate, with clear menus and links that lead to the most important pages. Include a search bar so visitors can quickly find the information they need.
3. Highlight your services. Be sure to include detailed information about the various dental services you offer and before-and-after photos and testimonials from satisfied patients. Video testimonials are great for dental website marketing purposes, so make sure to include a few of them.
4. Include a contact form. Make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you by including a contact form on your website. Include your clinic’s address, phone number, and email address so potential patients can reach out to you with any questions.
5. Add a blog. A blog is a great way to share informative articles, helpful tips, and dental news with your visitors. Not only will this help improve your SEO, but it will also show potential patients that you’re an authority in the field.
6. Include an FAQ section. Many patients have questions about dental procedures, so it’s helpful to include an FAQ section on your website. This will give visitors the information they need to make informed decisions about their dental health.
7. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, making sure your website is mobile-friendly is essential. This means it should be easy to read and navigate on a small screen and load quickly.
B) Get your website optimized according to the latest SEO principles.
Using the right keywords and phrases can help your website rank higher in search engine results, making it more likely to be seen by potential patients. You need to optimize your website for local search.
Include your city and state in your keywords and phrases, and make sure and ensure all your business information is consistent across all of your online listings. You’d also need to use various dental-specific keywords, long-tail keywords, and backlinks to show up on search results successfully.
SEO is a constant process, and it is indeed vital for your dental practice marketing. Getting it right can make the difference between your website generating consistent leads and not featuring in search results. You can choose to do it yourself, but it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a dental SEO agency and get it right from the get-go.
C) Tips to optimize your website to capture dental leads
1. Creating separate marketing funnels with custom content and customer journey is crucial for your dental internet marketing campaigns to succeed. You can optimize their engagement with your services this way, leading to better conversions.
2. Develop separate landing pages for your various dental services. Using these landing pages for your online dental marketing campaigns, you can target different audiences based on the services.
3. Make sure you’re using pop-ups on your website and landing pages. Pop-ups are a great way to capture the email addresses of potential clients interested in your services. You can also use these to inform your audience of promotional offers and give them other important information.
4. Make it easy for your website visitors to take the next step with you. For example, add calls-to-action (CTAs) on each website page and ensure they’re prominently displayed. Be creative with your CTAs; this can lead to many more engagements.
5. Offer something of value in exchange for contact information. This could be an eBook, a dental hygiene guide, or a discount coupon for your services. This way, you can convert many of your website viewers into actual leads, increasing the overall ROI of your campaigns.
6. As a dental clinic, your website’s testimonial page is perhaps the most critical—jazz up this page to build trust with potential clients. Use video testimonials wherever you can. They are way more credible than text snippets. Most clients will be willing to give you their business based on a few good testimonials, so pay close attention to this section.
7. Make your website mobile-friendly. People are mainly using their smartphones to browse the internet. That’s why it’s essential to make your website mobile-friendly. If it’s not, you’re likely to lose a lot of potential lead.
Build a Social Media Presence
1. Why is social media important for your dental marketing
You can be sure that your potential patients are on social media, so you must be too! If you’re not active on social media, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with your target audience.
Social media is great for building relationships with potential and current patients. You can use it to share informative blog posts, answer patient questions, and give your practice a personality that will make people want to do business with you.
When used correctly, social media can be a potent marketing tool. However, if you are unsure where to start, various dental marketing companies can help you set up your pages.
2. Tips for Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are two of the most common social media platforms you’ll use to build your social media presence. So here are some practical tips to help you succeed on these platforms:
● Consistency is vital; post regularly and maintain a content schedule to help you with this.
● Use the Meta Business Manager to schedule your posts beforehand. You can also reuse your posts for both Facebook and Instagram pages. So you don’t have to create two different posts all the time.
● Engage with your audience actively. Remember, social media is a two-way street. It can’t be just you posting; you need to like, comment, and share other people’s posts.
● Use hashtags to promote your posts to the right audience.
● Don’t just rely on static posts. Instead, take full advantage of the new content features such as Reels, IG TV, and Stories to boost your visibility on these platforms.
● Along with a Facebook page, you can also build a community of followers through a Facebook group. This can act as an indirect way to market your dental services by helping people in the community get answers to their questions.
3. Tips for TikTok and Snapchat
TikTok and Snapchat are the new kids on the block. Many dental marketing services agencies are actively using these social media platforms to develop the personal brands of dentists, thereby delivering them leads.
You can use them to do the same. Although, you should be aware that not all your potential clients may be on these platforms. But if you indeed decide to go this route, here are some helpful tips:
● These platforms are geared towards short, engaging content, so make sure your content is not just informative but also fun to watch.
● Instead of focusing on your dental practice, building a personal brand on these platforms would be better. Users here are more receptive to humans rather than businesses.
● Go live often to connect with your audience and interact with them directly on these platforms.
● Most importantly, have fun with the content here and keep it light-hearted.
4. Embrace New Spaces
It is also good to explore new spaces beyond these social media platforms for your dental digital marketing strategies. For example, as an expert in your field, you can answer people’s questions on Quora and generate leads for your dental practice that way. You can also write detailed long-form blogs on platforms like Medium and link them to your website.
You can also explore YouTube as a potential channel for dental clinic marketing by making meaningful and educational videos on various topics.
Search Engine Marketing for your Dental Practice
Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of internet marketing that will help your dental clinic to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEM encompasses both paid and organic strategies, which can be used to target patients who are actively searching for dental services online.
1. Local Search
One of the most effective ways of online marketing for dentists is to use SEM to focus on local searches. Local search allows you to target your ads to people searching for businesses like yours in their local area. In addition, you can do a few things to optimize your dental practice for local search.
First, ensure your website is listed correctly on Google My Business and Maps. Another great way to optimize your dental practice for local search is to get listed in online directories. These websites list businesses in specific categories, such as dentists, doctors, or lawyers. In addition, many of these directories allow you to add your business for free. Finally, ensure you use the right keywords on your website and in your ads.
2. Blogging and Content Marketing
You need to focus on blogging and content marketing to get your website ranked higher on search engine results. By creating informative blog posts about topics related to dentistry, you can attract new patients to your practice.
Once you have a blog or website, you can start writing articles or posts about topics that are relevant to your practice. Make sure to use keywords throughout your content so that it can be discovered by people searching for information about dentistry. This will require significant keyword research and analysis of your niche. Thus, it is a good idea to outsource this bit to a dental marketing agency specializing in organic search services. Once you publish a few articles or posts, you can start promoting your content using paid ads.
3. Google Ads
The next step in dental internet marketing is to promote your content using Google AdWords, which allows you to place ads on Google.com. Then, when someone clicks on your ad, it’ll take them to your blog or website.
You can reach a large number of potential patients with Google ads. Google is the most popular search engine in the world, so your ads will be seen by millions of people. You can also target your ads to specific demographics, such as location, age, and gender. This ensures that your ads will be seen by those most likely to use your dental services.
4. Social Media Ads
Just like Google Ads, you can also run social media ads. This will be mostly Facebook or Instagram ads to generate leads from your social media presence on those platforms. After Google, Facebook has the second-largest ad network, so it has become an important place to do web marketing for dentists.
One thing to remember when running paid ads is to budget for them properly and take full advantage of remarketing campaigns. This will allow your ads to follow customers around as they browse the internet. Unfortunately, both these channels of SEM are a bit technical, so it is recommended that you hire a professional dental marketing company experienced in generating good ROI from online ads.
Online Dental Marketing Strategies that work
1. Email and text marketing
The next dental digital marketing technique that works wonders is email and text marketing. Not just for convincing new leads that come through your SEM efforts. But also to maintain constant communication with your existing customers. Automating your email marketing is essential to developing a successful marketing funnel for your online campaigns.
You can also use Text marketing in conjunction with email marketing or as a stand-alone tool to generate new leads for your clinic. For example, various dental marketing services offer curated SMS lists filtered according to age, sex, location, income level, etc. These can be used to send mass text messages to promote your services.
2. Develop Lead magnets
As discussed earlier in the article, people are often willing to give up their contact information if they get something value-added in return. This is where lead magnets come in. They can range from discount codes to how-to guides on dental hygiene.
Having such lead magnets on your landing pages will make it earlier for you to collect online leads, thereby increasing the ROI of your online dental marketing campaigns. Most importantly, they only require a one-time investment to develop, but they can be used and reused to generate online leads for your dental practice constantly.
3. Make online appointment booking easy.
Digital marketing for dental offices can directly lead to an appointment if there is an easy way for customers to do it. That’s why many dentists these days are using online appointment scheduling systems to skip calling or emailing altogether.
For a few of your online campaigns, instead of collecting your customers’ email and phone numbers, you can use a software like Calendly and ask them to book an appointment directly. This simple automation can save you and your marketing team time and effort.
4. Take full advantage of remarketing campaigns.
If you’re not already using remarketing as part of your online marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Remarketing campaigns allow you to show targeted ads to people who have already visited your website in the past and interacted with your brand on social media or subscribed to your email list.
Remarketing is a highly effective way to keep your dental practice at the top of the mind of your potential patients. You can customize these ads to target specific needs and interests and can be used to promote special offers or drive traffic to particular pages on your website.
5. Host online contests and giveaways
Another great way to drive new leads and appointments is to host online contests and giveaways. Everyone loves a good giveaway, and offering a prize relevant to your dental practice can attract a lot of attention from potential patients.
For example, you could give away a free teeth whitening treatment or a gift card for a new dental exam. Be sure to promote your contest on social media and your website and make it easy for people to enter. This strategy also has the potential for your dental clinic marketing campaigns to reach a wider audience who might not have been interested in your services.
6. Track your marketing campaign’s ROI and adapt according to it
Regardless of your dental office marketing strategies, tracking your campaigns and measuring their ROI is essential. This will allow you to see what’s working and what’s not so that you can make necessary changes.
There are several ways to track the ROI of your marketing campaigns, but one of the easiest is to use Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track your website traffic and see how visitors are interacting with your site. You can also use it to track conversions to see how many people are taking action after seeing your ads.
Bonus Dental Marketing Strategies
1. Partner with other local business
A great way to market your dental clinic is to partner with local businesses that serve a similar target market. For example, if you target young children’s parents, consider partnering with a local daycare center or toy store. You can promote each other’s businesses to your respective customer base and run joint marketing campaigns.
2. Actively take part in your community
Continuing from one of the mistakes you should avoid, actively participating in your community is essential for your dental practice. This will be especially helpful if you are involved in pediatric dentist marketing.
You can participate in your community by sponsoring little league teams, hosting free dental clinics, or participating in health fairs. By getting involved in your community, you’ll not only be able to raise awareness about your dental practice, but you’ll also be able to build relationships with families who are going to be your potential patients.
3. Focus on referral marketing
Another great way to market your dental practice is to focus on referral marketing. You can do this by offering incentives to existing patients for referring new patients to your practice.
You can also offer incentives to employees of local businesses for referring their co-workers to your practice. By focusing on referral marketing, you can quickly and easily grow your patient base without spending much money on marketing.
4. Tips for Physical and Print Marketing
Finally, you should leverage the potential of physical and print marketing. Be sure to give your patients plenty of business cards so they can tell their friends and family about your excellent dental care!
You can take out ads in your local newspaper and put up bulletins on the notification boards of your local grocery, school, or church. Ask delivery service providers to include your marketing pamphlets in their delivery packages. There are ample opportunities to market your dental clinic this way; you are only limited by your imagination.