Marketing @ Mouthwatch
Taking a Patient-First Approach to Enhance Your Dental Practice Marketing
Discover how dental marketing takes shape in-person and online to help improve the patient experience and enhance your oral healthcare business success
Effective marketing is an essential part of doing business. This holds true for dental practices, as much as any other business or organization. While knowing where to begin and what to focus on can seem overwhelming, a balance of marketing basics in collaboration with innovation is the key to long-term success.
Innovation can happen in many ways and does not have to result in drastic changes. In fact, doubling down on a “patient-first” approach can help strategically guide your investments, enhance your marketing efforts, and grow your practice.
Hesitation to adopt new, rapidly evolving technology and strategies is nothing new. Within the dental community, change can be particularly hard when some argue that the current way “works fine.” The cost of outdated dental practices, however, is not worth the comfort – especially long-term. Do not risk being perceived as inefficient and out-of-date. Failure to keep up with changes, large and small, can cost you time, money, and your reputation in the eyes of staff and patients alike. Learn how investing in everything from equipment to strategy to a stronger patient focus can bring forward a stronger ROI.
1. Optimize Your Digital Presence
Practice Online Profile Optimization
Understanding and executing the basics are pivotal for success in any endeavor. When it comes to effective marketing, ensuring you have a solid foundation in place will allow you to better leverage new and innovative marketing ideas later on. Assess your own website for usability and optimize your company profile on industry, local, and social directories and platforms to ensure the groundwork is laid for your practice. Make sure information is up-to-date and accurate, your presence is consistent, and your content is optimized to address your patients’ needs and your practice’s potential.
Innovative Onsite Technological Advancements
Highlight the added convenience, comfort, and reliability your patients can receive through innovative in-office dental care technology as a part of your marketing efforts. Patients are seeking professionals in all areas, dentistry included, to provide them with modern and innovative solutions for their healthcare needs.
Not only that, patients are seeking information to help them play an important and active part in their dental journey and treatment planning. Meet your patients’ wants, needs, and expectations by showcasing your practice’s equipment that enables collaboration and education, such as intraoral cameras, oral cancer screening tools, and more. Practices have the ability to operate more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Weaving these capabilities into your marketing materials invites patients to be part of the diagnosis discussion, increasing transparency, trust, and revenue, as patients continue to return and accept cases.
2. Patient Testimonials and the Power of Storytelling
Across ads and promotional materials, many practices showcase images of happy, smiling patients and the potential of what could be to demonstrate the benefits of their products and services. Smiling faces alone won’t tell the full story, however, so don’t rely on images alone to tell yours. The best dental practice marketing is data-driven on the backend and personalized on the front.
With a solid marketing foundation in place, you can more effectively demonstrate the transformation patients experience using their own words. Remember that your dental practice marketing efforts are meant to reach real people who respond to emotion and are inspired by the confidence others gain through your services. When more than 75% of adults suffer from some form of dental fear, hearing from others they can relate to can be both comforting and convincing.
Reviews can be collected and showcased on social media sites and Google Reviews are essential for local businesses today. However, you can take testimonials into your own hands by collecting and showcasing the stories of your patients. From just a few sentences to robust case studies, when you communicate the right message to the right people the right way, anything is possible.
3. Stand Out by Expanding Your Reach
Dentistry, like marketing content, must evolve alongside the practice. Today’s patients expect easy and instant access to everything– including dental care. Offerings such as teledentistry that provide access to dental care technology any time, anywhere set your practice apart from the crowd.
Offsite preventative care, virtual site visits, virtual treatment planning… if you are doing it, you should include a mention in your marketing materials.
Today, meeting patients where they are matters, especially when so much of their life is online and virtually connected. Teledentistry provides significant value in making this possible in many ways. Consider hygienists providing care at school and community events. These interactions are convenient, expand your reach, and lead to new business, additional office visits, and increased revenue. Another example is the use of mobile dentistry, coupled with teledentistry, helps practices serve their communities easily and conveniently. This includes schools, elder care facilities, clinics, and so on.
When marketing your practice to patients, it is essential to highlight these services upfront in materials and conversations to elevate yourself from the competition.
Highlighting your practice’s embrace of digital dentistry solutions is another key differentiator to include in your marketing initiatives. Similar to how in-office teledentistry options can help you work and connect with patients on-site, there are new and innovative ways to do the same with those in your community.
Even if your competition offers something similar, remember that your practice consists of unique talent, stories, and patients. Showcasing these differences even in a similar setting can foster connection among those you reach through your dental practice marketing strategy.
4. Make the Experience Convenient and Connected
The best dental marketing strategies recognize that marketing does not end with a booked appointment. Every interaction and engagement with an existing patient (first time or returning) is a chance to strengthen your relationship with them as well as strengthen your dental practice marketing efforts.
As loyal as they may be, you cannot assume your patients will spread the word about your practice after they visit. You can, however, take a proactive approach to communicate with patients throughout their experience and help increase their chances to market for you via word of mouth. Word of mouth marketing should not be a passive effort on your part, so help your patients spread the word with exceptional service, communication, and inclusive decision making.
According to the Adults Oral Health & Well Being Survey, as noted by the ADA, 42% of Americans in recent years did not regularly visit the dentist as much as they would have liked. This is compared to 29% for primary care doctors, 23% for dermatologists, and 17% for ophthalmologists. Encouragement or the positive opinion of a happy friend or family member (one of your patients) could make all the difference in helping change this behavior and grow your practice.
Innovate and Enhance Your Efforts Today
Dental practice marketing, like any kind of marketing, is dynamic and ever-changing. Keeping up with the essentials and staying open to new and innovative ways to run your business and reach new prospects is a key part of continuous, effective marketing and standing out amongst the competition.
Digital advancements in dentistry offer a wealth of opportunity on this front. Whether you’re seeking new ways to innovate or want to enhance your existing virtual digital services, MouthWatch can help. Explore the new advancements your patients and practice can benefit from – connect with a teledentistry specialist today.