Maybe you’ve set up shop and have a regular stream of dental patients but notice a lull at certain times of year. Or you are opening a brand-new practice and want to get the word out to potential patients. Wherever you are in your career, here are 20 dental marketing ideas to attract new patients year-round.
1. Set some goals
Before you send the first email or chat potential patients up on social media, set some goals. Are you interested in families, singles, or business connections? Do you want to grow the number of people in a particular insurance pool? Are you looking for steady, long-term patients or one-off total smile redesigns? Is there a certain service you excel at and want to be known for?
The answers to these questions will guide your entire marketing strategy and should be your first stop.
2. Check your Google listing
A Google business listing is free and often the first contact you’ll have with a prospective patient.
Make sure your clinic’s information is current and include, at a minimum, your address, phone number, and email contact. Hours and a picture or two are even better!
3. Update other local business directories
For more local reach, make sure your local business directory listings are updated.
These include sites like Google, but may also include local-to-you directories, Yelp, HealthGrades, and more. This is especially important if you have moved or have more than one location.
4. Try referral programs
One of the best ways to freshen up your practice with new patients is through dental patient referral programs.
Current happy patients get perks and bonuses just for referring friends. You get the benefits of powerful word of mouth marketing.
5. Cultivate patient reviews
Patient reviews can also act as a referral program that introduces you to new patients online.
Ask your current patients for reviews when they check out, and include links to review sites on all patient correspondence. Worried about negative reviews? These actually give you a chance to show your patients how you resolve problems and go a long way towards excellent online reputation management.
6. Create a healthy teeth rewards programs
For families, a healthy teeth rewards program can be a great way to encourage good oral health. Whether you use a stamp card filled out by parents for their kids (i.e., one stamp for every day their child brushes their teeth in the morning and the evening) or rely on kids to report their healthy dental hygiene, this program encourages healthy teeth and makes kids want to visit the dentist.
Offer a small prize for kids, and give their parents a $10 gift card. Something for the whole family!
7. Be social
Social media marketing is all about getting to know your potential patients and giving them a glimpse into your practice.
Because of this, your social media should reflect the personality of your clinic. If you like keeping it light and funny and family-friendly, posting dental memes, surveys, and contests is appropriate. Focused more on holistic health that includes a healthy smile? You can choose from a wide array of news and recent research. Just make sure it’s authentic to your practice.
8. Develop dental how-to videos
Video is one of the most powerful dental marketing strategies at your disposal. Take your time and make short, professional dental how-to videos on topics like how to properly brush and floss.
Include links for more information and ask for questions, comments, or suggestions for future videos. This is just one more way to keep the conversation going with potential patients who love video!
9. Run targeted ads
Targeted ads are exactly what they sound like. Remember that type of patient you set your sights on?
This is where you reach out directly to them with ads that offer them exactly what they are looking for. These can be placed on Facebook or in Instagram stories and targeted to certain populations or interest groups.
10. Update your website
Even though dental marketing ideas no longer begin (or end) with a website, it’s still crucial that they are an up-to-date part of your overall dental office marketing plan.
You need a lightning fast and reliable web host for a secure and always-on website, as well as an easy-to-navigate design.
11. Optimize for mobile
Your patients are moving around and taking their smartphones with them.
Catch the 87% of people who perform at least one search on their mobile device daily with a fast, responsive mobile version of your excellent website.
12. Create specific monthly campaigns
It’s normal for your dental practice to slow down a bit when the kids head back to school or during the holidays. Creating specific monthly campaigns or promotions can give your practice a boost during these flow times.
Consider these to get you started:
- Back to school campaigns in September (maybe with extended or early hours to accommodate school schedules)
- “New year, new you” promotions in January
- Teeth whitening specials for holiday parties
13. Make your promotions count
If you are going to run a promotion, make sure that A) it’s something that people in your community want, and B) it’s a better deal than your competition.
14. Volunteer in the community
It’s not enough to say you care; these days, patients want to see you care.
Volunteer at community events to generate a visible presence among your patients. Share updates from these events on social media or host donation drives for your favorite community charities.
15. Donate your services
It’s great when dental marketing ideas can be combined with good works for people in need.
Donating your services for special cases can provide not just good publicity for your office. It can also help deliver dental services to those who need it most.
16. Sponsor events
Chances are good there is a fair, a wellness event, or a softball team in your area that could use a few dollars.
Sponsoring events is a good way to get your name out into the community, especially if your practice is new to the area.
17. Reach out to other professionals
Do you specialize in children’s braces but try to avoid cosmetic work? Chances are good there is another dentist in town who would love to meet your cosmetic patient. Make sure they are reputable and do good work, then make contact and start referring patients to them and ask them to do the same in return.
These referral connections will serve you well, long-term, if you carefully cultivate and nurture good relationships with other dental professionals in your area.
18. Keep a blog
Remember blogging? This type of content marketing is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert and give patients valuable information.
If you aren’t a writer, find a high-quality content marketer and follow business blogging best practices for real results.
19. Find them in their inbox
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to stay in touch with patients, keep them posted on what’s new in the practice, and encourage them to make appointments and refer other clients.
With a median ROI of 122% for all businesses that used it in 2017, email marketing is still one of the most affordable and effective dental office marketing ideas out there.
20. Track the success of your dental marketing ideas
Remember the targets you set at the very beginning, the kind of patients you wanted to attract and how many of them? It’s hard to know what’s working if you don’t check your results regularly.
Look at Google Analytics to see who is visiting your site. Track clicks, pageviews, and opens generated by your email marketing campaigns. These tasks are all easy to do and help you see what’s working (and what needs to be tweaked).
Intimidated or overwhelmed by 20 different dental marketing ideas? Let Boost help. We can tailor a marketing plan to you, your practice, and your patients. Get in touch today.