Growing a dental practice, in this day and age, is no piece of cake. You have the continuous changes in the healthcare and insurance industries to thank for that. And, when you’re constantly focused on the patients currently coming through your doors, it can be challenging to find the time to create and implement a dental marketing plan to find new leads. But, you know it’s necessary if you want to take the crown and grow your practice.
I’ve got good news for you. The fact that you’re reading this post means you’re already ahead of the curve. You realize something that many dental practices do not (more than you can imagine); you need to come up with some seriously unique marketing strategies to not only be relevant, but also stand out from the crowd in today’s tech-focused world. If you’re not confident you can actually generate leads, or you’re afraid that doing so will break you financially, then you’ve come to the right place!
Today, I’m sharing my three favorite dental marketing ideas that you can get started on using today. Say goodbye to traditional methods that decay your budget and hello to digital strategies that help you seal the deal with new patients!
What are the three unique dental marketing strategies that will help my office succeed?
While it can be challenging to get patients to stick from time to time, marketing and advertising a dental practice is by no means an easy task either.
Why? Because you’re coming out of the “dark ages” so to speak. Think marketing by way of mailed letters, tchotchkes such as fridge magnets or branded toothbrushes handed out at local events or cleanings, and even Yellow Pages—all with the hopes of seeing new patients walk through your doors.
All that said, when it comes to using dental marketing strategies, you may have doubts. And, for a good reason. You’re unsure of what it is you should and shouldn’t be doing. You know, to save your precious budget and get the results you’re looking for.
Remember one thing, however: you became a dentist to help others live healthier lives. Marketing simply helps you help as many people as possible. And the best part? You’ve probably done 90% of the work.
So, sit tight because I’m about to walk you through three of my favorite dental marketing techniques that can allow you to help many more people.
1. Share Your Expertise.
Writing for other blogs, publications, or newsletters will help expand your reach and promote your authority. A great place to share your thoughts? On the blogs and websites of dental associations and programs.
Start with the college or university you attended. Just check their website for submission guidelines, and send them your ideas (aka a pitch). A well-thought-out pitch to an editor should include:
- The topic of your story and why it is unique
- The reason you should be the person to write it
- A brief (2-3 sentence) bio of yourself
- 2-3 links to other examples of what you have written
These sites have a built-in authority and great reach. As such, they are often busy and are scheduling posts months in advance. Therefore, if you have a great idea, send it to them immediately! They will help promote your content, sharing it throughout the community, and boosting the ranking on search engines like Google.
2. Stay in the Inbox.
To do this, you’ll need an email list, which you may already have thanks to your current patients! Get to using their addresses to send out monthly newsletters. But, these should not be treated as an opportunity to share everything at once. You’ll want to pick and choose what gets sent out via email and when. Monthly is a great frequency to start with.
If you’re curious how to write an email campaign, stay tuned because, later in this post, I’ll share the tips you need.
3. Maximize Your Social Media Marketing by Simplifying.
Internet marketing is a great way to increase leads, without increasing the amount of time it takes to develop them. Through Facebook, advertisements, and posts (like patient testimonials, offers, and before and afters) can be scheduled in advance (using a tool like MeetEdgar), limiting the amount of time someone needs to spend on them.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the multiple platforms available for social media advertising. I understand. That’s why I suggest making sure your information is correct on all of them. But, only focus on two platforms…
Yelp & Facebook.
Why? Because, these days, these two are where most people look for information about businesses. Considered one of the most trusted review sites, Yelp is the go-to for people looking for a service.
On the other hand, Facebook is important because it is one of the first places people use for researching your business. If your Facebook page is blah, your prospective patients will think your entire practice is also blah. Keeping your page up-to-date with the correct information and regular posts will let people know your practice is alive and active.
Also, Facebook is a great source for generating dental leads as long as you build a jaw-dropping offer (JDO) funnel for the right audience. What’s a JDO, you ask? Keep reading to find out.
How can I use these ideas in my next promotion for my dental practice?
First, here’s the lowdown on what an email newsletter is and why your practice needs one.
Chances are, you have a good chunk of, if not all of your patients’ email addresses. Right?
So, instead of letting those valuable pieces of contact information sit and collect dust, once a month, you write a simple email newsletter (300-500 words) that teaches those patients something valuable and cool as it relates to your practice.
That’s the important part: something valuable and cool that relates to your practice.
A newsletter is definitely not the place or time to beg and plead the recipients back into the office. It’s the time to keep things as non-salesy as possible, while sharing your insightful expertise and dropping a call to action to encourage the reader to call or stop in for a visit.
Once you click “Send” (I recommend on a Monday, either the first Monday or last Monday of the month), that’s when the fun begins. You’ll begin receiving calls from patients on the other end saying something like:
“It was SO weird…I was just thinking this weekend that I’m overdue to see the Doc. And, then I got your email. It reminded me to call and make my appointment.”
That’s not all, though. On the Monday following the initial send, you should deliver the exact same newsletter out to the people who didn’t open the first one. Can you guess the result?
Yes, even more calls continue flooding the phone lines.
So, that brings me to my next important point, which is: why does your practice need an email newsletter? Well, simply put, if it does its job correctly, it'll help you do the following:
- Connect with past patients, and remind them you still exist.
- Remind them why they need to come back and see you in your office.
- Thus, you’ll drive more sales for your practice.
Exciting stuff, huh? We think so, too. Next up…
Follow the winning dental email campaign writing template to drop insight into the inbox.
So, how do you best communicate your insight and expertise via an email campaign to get quality results? By following these steps:
- Craft a highly relevant, catchy subject line to get the recipient to open it. According to MailChimp, the most effective email subject lines are brief, descriptive, and include a compelling reason for the user to open. Make it just that and tease the value you’re about to dish out. For example, say you’re sending out an e-newsletter for your dental patients sometime during the fall season. The subject line could go something like: “Is Your Child About to Sneak Too Much Halloween Candy?”
- Start it off with something highly topical and timely. Play into the time of year when they’ll be receiving the e-newsletter. Continuing with the example for the e-newsletter in the fall, you can open with something such as: “Happy October! It’s officially fall…”
- Use bullet points to share tips or steps to keep kids’ teeth clean and cavity-free during this candy-filled season. Break out the insightful content and make it easy to skim by using bullet points to position it as quick tips or simple steps. It’ll help the reader digest it and, most importantly, remember it. And, when they remember it, they’ll share it with their friends. Thus, the effect of word of mouth kicks in.
- Finish strong with a solid closing remark. Go out in a memorable way! Wrap everything up and consider dishing out one last useful nugget of advice (could be signs or symptoms to look for, etc.).
- Remind them how to get back to you. Consider this the call to action. It doesn’t need to be related to the content you’re offering up in any way. Just remind them how to contact you to get an appointment set up if they’re interested.
- When you're ready to set it up in your autoresponder tool, personalize the email with a custom header and signature (which is easy to create in Canva). Be sure to include your logo and contact information in both, and in the footer, don't hesitate to drop your most recent headshot. It doesn't have to be anything fancy (a selfie will do!), but it gives readers a chance to see you and connect with you.
Set up a jaw-dropping funnel to clean up your dental marketing efforts on social media.
I’m revealing a lot of my secrets today, aren’t I? One being, the root of your dental marketing plan—the jaw-dropping offer (JDO). And, this JDO will be served up on a popular social media platform: Facebook via an ad.
Why? Because that’s where your ideal patients are spending the majority of their spare time. Ultimately, a thriving practice should be able to solve a problem for a specific group of people. To do that, you have to know where to find them.
Yes, I know it seems like Facebook ads are costly, and many people are hesitant to use them as a primary lead generation source. The reality is, if you’re using Facebook ads correctly and targeting appropriately, then your ROI is HUGE when you consider the lifetime value of a customer.
Okay, convinced now? So, what exactly is a JDO? It’s that special something that’ll make the Facebook user stop in their scrolling tracks and go all googly-eyed over your ad, compelling them to click.
While that last paragraph probably got you spinning your wheels about the exact offer you could serve up to your ideal audience, hold up for just one minute. There are a few requirements that go along with creating your JDO.
- It needs to be a narrowly targeted, irresistible sales offer that compels your people.
- It also needs to be a product or service of perceived high value to offer for free (or at little cost).
So, let’s start with the first requirement. You need to determine who exactly it is you want to target. Now, with a dental practice, there are many different audiences you can appeal to.
But, you must focus on only one audience at a time and build an offer that’s exclusive to them. In this case, we’ll focus on women who are 18 years old and up. Women who are brides-to-be, getting ready for homecoming or prom or have an anniversary coming up are often looking to get their teeth cleaned and whitened!
Now that we’ve pinpointed our people, let’s move onto the second requirement: the offering. The most compelling and feasible service you can offer to this type of clientele is a free teeth whitening session.
And, to put this JDO to work, you’ll need to set up a simple four-part funnel, which includes:
- A well-targeted Facebook ad
- A landing page (aka opt-in page)
- A thank you page
- And, a simple follow-up email sequence and text message
Consider it a mini-puzzle of sorts—without one part, you can’t complete it with much success.
To ensure you pass the process with flying colors, I’ve put together this blog post for you, which goes into much greater detail on each component of an effective dental practice funnel.
Should you hire a dental marketing agency?
While these dental marketing and advertising ideas will help you hit the ground running, you might’ve realized while reading that it can be tough to manage on top of all of your other priorities.
As a result, it’s so much easier for things to go wrong. Money often goes wasted due to Facebook ads being thrown together at the last minute with weak copy and design. Not to mention, crummy targeting while playing an absolute guessing game as to who to push content out to.
So, because of how easy it is to make those blunders as a dentist focused on your own practice, it’s important to know how partnering with a local agency can help you—especially if you do not see any results from your current marketing and advertising campaigns.
Without further ado, here are six particular benefits of taking that leap and outsourcing your efforts:
- Frees up your precious time. As a practice owner, you wear many hats. An agency will be able to get the job done at a much quicker rate than you would have otherwise been able to.
- Saves you from breaking the bank. When many think of working with a marketing agency, however, they tack on a bogus price tag to that partnership. But, hiring one to manage, say, your Facebook campaigns can actually be less of an expense when compared to the cost of a full-time employee. Not to mention, they’ll help you steer clear from flying by the seat of your pants with your dental marketing strategies.
- Offers in-house expertise to take you far. No matter the amount of training or classes you take to try and get on an agency’s level, the agency’s employees are pros at what they do. And, whatever opportunities are offered to them to help expand their expertise, they’re grabbing them by the horns.
- Moves you quickly in the right direction to get results you want. Agencies are agile—from strategy development to results. They move quickly because they know from experience the best routes to take to achieve peak performance. The best part? They can have a campaign up and running in a matter of days if needed, which otherwise would’ve taken you longer to do on your own.
- Keeps you current on the latest advertising trends, without a learning curve. A marketing agency has your back. They set aside time and energy to stay ahead of trends for the sake of their clients’ success. They must be up-to-speed and follow the latest developments.
- Gives you the chance to actually learn…a lot. From sitting in brainstorming meetings to getting your hands on result recaps, you have the chance to expand your knowledge. Marketing terminology will be easier for you to understand, new strategy and social media ideas will sprout up more than ever before in that brilliant brain of yours—the opportunities are endless.
Okay, take a deep breath. We went over a lot of info today. But, I hope you feel eager and empowered to get started on the dental marketing strategies shared here so you can attract new patients and enhance your practice ASAP. Now, what are you waiting for? Go on and hit the ground running!
Have questions or something to share on growing your dental practice? Drop them in the comments section below, and we'll get back to you!