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Top 14 Dental Marketing Ideas To Get New Patients

No matter if your dental practice is brand new or a few years old, to keep your practice thriving, you need to continue getting patients. In the past, word-of-mouth was a great way to get appointments without using time or money. But now, there are a variety of options to help you grow your practice.

Some of these ways you may be able to do yourself for free, but choosing a digital marketing agency can take care of the hard work for you to set your practice up for success.

The most important part about marketing is to collect data and experiment. What works for some practices may not work for you, and vice versa. Test each of these methods to figure out what gives you the most return on your investment.

Here’s what we’ve found as the most effective marketing methods for dentists!

1. Invest in Pay-Per-Click Ads

When it comes to investing into marketing for your business, the goal of any good marketing campaign is to:

Get your name in front of the right people at the right time with the right message.

If you want to start getting new clients quickly, you may want to invest in a good pay-per-click (PPC) ad strategy. PPC ads are the ads that show up on top of a search in Google, Bing, or other search engines.

PPC ads are an easy way to get your name at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) when people are searching for a dentist, even above your competitors. With the right messaging, you could encourage people that you’re the right one for them.

A Google search results page with dentist ads

As a pay-to-play platform, PPC ads can get expensive, so you need a team that bids for the right keywords that not only get clicks but conversions, too. Pair your PPC ads with a call tracking service to better track the effectiveness of your campaigns.

If you’re searching for a company to run ads for you, consider looking for a Google Premier Partner, as Google Premier Partners are given access to proprietary tools that other agencies won’t have, plus they have a Google team on their side to help make the most out of your investment.

2. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

How are people finding your business? What happens when you search for your practice’s name on Google? If you don’t see your name show up in a panel on the search results, you may not have a Google My Business profile set up for your business.

Google offers a free profile to businesses that showcase who they are, where you can find them, and how to contact them. As a business owner, you can claim this panel and make sure your address, phone number, and website all lead to the right place.

A Google SERP with the Google My Business panel highlighted

This Google My Business profile is also what shows up in what’s called the “map pack,” a set of businesses and their locations. The dentists that show up in this pack change often and no business has direct control over what causes a practice to outrank another. It’s also another opportunity to pay for ads to show up at the top.

Example of a map pack on Google.

Some of the factors that affect what businesses show up are:

  • Relevance to what the searcher is searching for.
  • Location of the user searching for a business in relation to businesses around them
  • How prominent your business is in the area

To best set your business up for success, once you’ve claimed your Google My Business profile, you should make sure to regularly check and update your:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Category
  • Attributes
  • Business hours
  • Services

You will also need to verify your location with Google, which lets Google know your information is accurate and allows you to respond to any reviews that show up on your page.

3. Ask for and Respond to Reviews

Paired with optimizing your Google My Business profile, a good strategy to get new patients is to build your online reputation by asking for and responding to online reviews. Not only that, but getting reviews is actually a Google ranking factor and can list your business higher on a Google search.

More and more consumers look to reviews before purchasing from a business, and this is true for dentists too! According to Bright Local 86% of consumers look at reviews in the dental industry. People want to know they’re being taken care of and they look to reviews to get an idea of how people are actually treated at your practice.

While good reviews are ideal, you can expect to get one or two negative reviews, but they’re an important part of your reputation, too! Depending on how you respond to negative reviews, you can build trust with potential new patients. A good response shows that even if someone has a bad experience, they’ll be taken care of.

Read More: Embracing the Negative: Finding the Positive in Negative Reviews

Get your copy of 4 Google Review Pitfalls To Avoid

4. Invest in a Good Website

Is your website doing its job? Investing in a good website can bring back a huge return on your investment by actively helping you get new patients without additional work. A good website should:

  • Showcase what people love about your dental practice
  • Have the features necessary to encourage people to reach out to your business

A good website creates a good experience for current and new patients alike! Think about the features your website can have:

  • A form that makes it possible for patients to reach out to you
  • An online payment portal for patients to pay their fees online
  • An interactive form to fill out new patient paperwork online or ways to download new patient forms
  • Information about any specials, deals, or even your loyalty plan to showcase why your practice could be the best one for your guest
  • Online scheduling and calendar options

It’s not necessary to have all features, instead, the goal is to provide a good user experience. It needs to be fast and have a clear navigation. While it may be tempting to copy another website’s content, the content on your website needs to be helpful, informative, and most importantly, unique.

If your website hasn’t been getting you good results, it may be time for a refresh or even a brand new website.

Read More: Beyond Premium: Why Oozle Proven Layouts Are Better

Creek Dental Group website screenshot

5. Create a Patient Referral Program

While word-of-mouth shouldn’t be your primary marketing tool, it is still an effective way to get new patients to your practice. Give a reward to patients who refer their friends or family to them and make it worth their while!

Some potential ideas for a referral program are:

  • Give a gift card to your current patient for every referral they bring in.
  • Host a raffle, where every patient referral is another ticket for a big prize.
  • Provide a discount on your services for each referral your patient brings in.

What you do is up to you, but if a current patient brings even one patient through your program, you’ll see a higher return in your profit than what you will spend on the prize.

6. Build Your Community on Social Media

Make sure your practice has a business Facebook and Instagram profile and be active. Respond to any comments on your page, answer any direct messages (DMs), and respond to any posts that you’re tagged in. Work with social media micro-influencers to encourage a more active following and grow your reach.

What To Post

Social media isn’t the place to sell, sell, and sell some more. Instead, be a genuine part of the community and offer useful and relevant info to potential patients. Some posting ideas include:

  • Staff spotlights
  • Pictures from silly events or themed workdays
  • Tips and tricks on how to take care of your teeth
  • Answers to some commonly asked questions
  • Debunking or giving your opinion on new dental trends
  • Repost images your patients have posted about your practice
  • Highlight any specials you’re currently offering

Only around 6% of your organic posts on average are seen by your own followers, so social media has increasingly become a pay-to-play platform. To combat that, consider putting money behind your posts to expand your reach and get your practice’s brand in front of a bigger audience.

Screenshot of Burg Children's Dentistry Instagram.

7. Host a Contest on Social Media

The advantages of hosting a contest is that it builds your practice and gets people excited about going to the dentist, even if that’s not always your patient’s favorite place to be.

Hosting contests on social media can get people excited and expand your reach without putting money behind the post. But, if you want to increase the chance more people see your contest, you can put money behind it, too!

The advantages of a good contest is that it can:

  • Build your practice’s brand
  • Increase the number of user-generated content posts you can use
  • Increase the number of people who see your posts without paying money

You can encourage people to interact and comment on your posts, or you can have them share your post in some way to get your name in front of more people. As long as the prize is something people could want, like a good electric toothbrush or even a discount on your services, you can see good results!

Be careful to follow Facebook and Instagram guidelines on hosting a promotion so your business doesn’t get into legal trouble.

8. Rely on a Dental Marketing SEO Agency

If you need support building an effective marketing campaign and get more patients through your door, invest in the help of a digital marketing agency that has experience marketing for dentists. Depending on the agency, they can help you build a content strategy that works and build a website that can help you get results.

A digital marketing agency can help you:

You don’t have to build a successful marketing campaign alone. We can work directly with you and provide the support you need every step of the way to tell your practice’s story.

9. Provide Physical Mailers

This method may be a bit more expensive, but it can bring a lot of patients in, especially if you’ve invested in the right area. You can look at where your patients are currently coming from and purchase lists from those areas.

Add a certain special or deal for those who come in through those mailers for an additional chance to get the most out of your investment. Don’t forget to add a date when the deal ends to create a sense of urgency potential patients can’t resist.

Even better, pair your flyers with programmatic ads, a specific type of display ads that show up based on someone’s location. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do these types of things or don’t have the time to do all these things, call in reinforcements like Oozle Media to help set your mailers up for success!

10. Start a Dental Blog

Building a good content strategy can go a long way to growing your practice and getting new patients. What are the impacts a good blog can do? They can:

  • Grow your site traffic (and number of patients)
  • Build your personal brand and trust with potential patients
  • Increase your rankings on Google

But when blogging on your website, you need to do it right. Hiring a digital marketing agency can help take the hard work for you and provide the tools necessary to find the right topics and make the most out of your time and money.

Screenshot of a dental blog.

How To Build a Content Strategy for Your Dental Practice

To build a good content strategy, you need to find and answer the most commonly asked questions your audience has. If you’re looking to start your blog yourself, building the topics and content can be done in a few steps:

  1. Make sure your website has a blog built in. You don’t want to create entirely new pages that no one can get to, and you don’t want to build your blog on a separate website. Before you get started, make sure you know where your blog is going to go on your website.
  2. Do your research. You can use a paid keyword research tool like Moz to figure out what terms people are searching. Or, you can talk to your office managers to figure out what questions people ask when they call your office.
  3. Write content optimized for SEO. Good content designed to rank is organized, easy to read, and unique. There are a number of resources you can read to learn how to start writing your own good content.

Read More:

10. Create a Good System for Returning Patients

This idea isn’t necessarily for new patients, but you can make sure your current patients come back by having a good system to remind patients when they should get an appointment next. This can come in the form of:

  • Postcards
  • Emails
  • Text messages

Since patients often only need to come in once every six months, setting these reminders can be a big part of helping your patients and making sure they come back to you. Check with your patient tracking software to see what built in capabilities they have.

11. Make Videos

It may sound silly to create a YouTube channel for your business, but video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of a marketing strategy. Get people to know the people behind your practice by creating fun or educational videos.

Some potential video ideas are:

  • Showcase a tour of your office
  • Walk through what to expect at your appointment
  • Give a tutorial on how to brush your teeth

Like most methods on this list, you won’t see good results overnight, but it is possible to grow your audience and in turn your number of patients by providing good, useful video content.

Screenshot of dental videos on YouTube

12. Participate in or Sponsor Local Events

Being part of your community is a relatively low-cost, high-return way to get new patients. When choosing to be part of these events, the important part is to be genuine. Pick and choose events you are passionate about, not what you think people would want to see.

If you have patients who come because of those events, connect with them through those events. They’ll have a better experience with you and are more likely to trust your practice if you show that you genuinely care.

Are you an orthodontist? Choose to sponsor local high school athletics or other extracurricular organizations at high schools or junior high schools. You’ll get in touch directly with the parents of your target audience. It may also create a good opportunity for backlinks, which benefits your SEO.

13. Get Listed in Relevant Directories

In the digital marketing industry, we call this filling out citations. Citations are the name of your practice, the address, and your phone number listed on relevant websites, kind of like in a phone book from years past.

Some directories are free to add your business too, while others may cost money. If you can, add yourself to the most relevant directories, such as the American Dental Association so if people look for your practice outside of Google, you are easily found. This benefits both users and Google, because Google pulls information from a variety of sources. The more places you’re listed, the more reputable you look in Google’s algorithm.

Screenshot of ADA's Find a Dentist tool

14. Radio Ads

Don’t discount the effectiveness of a good radio ad. Many people in your target audience most likely listen to the radio while they’re in the car or working, so invest in a radio ad to get your brand name out there.

With radio ads, you can choose a local station, meaning that your ads will show up close to home. If you have more than one location, this could be an even more effective strategy to reach a broader, relevant audience.

Choose Oozle Media To Build Your Dental Marketing Strategy

See what Oozle Media can do for you today by scheduling a free analysis of your current marketing strategy. We would love to help you set your dental practice up for success and help you get new patients for your practice. Reach out today!

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Becky Banks Jan 21 2021
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