Running a practice is running a business. Direct work with patients makes up just a portion of the effort that goes into starting, maintaining, and growing a successful dental practice. Around routine checkups, complex procedures, managing staff, and daily operations, dentists – like any business professionals – must also prioritize the essential need for a clear and effective marketing plan.
Every employee plays a part in effective dental marketing, so whether your practice already has some digital marketing tactics in place, or is just starting to implement digital marketing best practices, the following tips can help you strengthen your team’s marketing efforts.
Digital Marketing For Dentists
The need for oral health care is always present, and new opportunities for innovative means of operation keep competition within the dental space high. Effective digital marketing helps dentists connect with the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Here are some digital marketing essentials to start or evolve today.
Optimize Your Website
We are long past the point in business where a website is a nice addition to traditional and online marketing efforts. Your website is a 24/7 representation of what your practice has to offer. This essential resource for prospective and existing patients should be:
- Informative and educational – Online users won’t find what doesn’t exist on your website, so make sure to include important information about your practice, services, and resources for patient education.
- Easy and enjoyable to use – Online users have nearly endless choices today and there is very little keeping someone from leaving a website that is too confusing or poorly designed. Think of your website as a virtual representation of your practice and optimize accordingly.
- Search engine optimized – A website alone does not guarantee site traffic or appointments. An effective website is built as much for search engines as it is for humans, and nowadays, the more tailored it is to the human experience, the more search engines will value what you have to share with your online audience. This includes optimizing your site locally, so search engines (and residents) know your practice is the right business in the right location to meet dental needs.
- A referral space – Similar to how prospective patients might visit your site to learn about your practice, existing patients who want to share this information with others. Set up a space on your website that helps your happy patients spread the word. This could be a page where patients enter the name and email of a friend or family member, providing you with a new lead and them with information about your practice (either sent manually by your team or through an automated system if you set that up).
Personalize Your Digital Marketing Efforts
74% of marketers state that targeted messages and personalized emails improve engagement rates. Personalization in marketing means using data to deliver relevant content and messages to individuals. Some ways to implement this include:
- Email Marketing Personalization: Sometimes this looks like addressing a recipient by name in an email. This is the #1 tactic used by email marketers to increase engagement rates, according to HubSpot.
- Digital Ad Personalization: 77% of people are more likely to invest in brands that offer end-to-end personalized experiences, according to a recent Centra survey. This can look like deploying targeted messaging to the right people at the perfect time in an online advertisement. From there, directing people to a personalized landing page will help ensure they’re presented with exactly what they’re looking for.
- Website Personalization: 74% of people (your prospective and existing patients) state that they are frustrated when website content is not personalized. Website design and development is dynamic today, allowing for personalized content, landing pages, and more to help reduce as many barriers between you and your audience as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Gather and Apply Patient Feedback
Marketing is not only about putting your message in front of others. The best businesses and brands know that listening is equally important. This is no different for dental marketing. While a dental website can provide places for patients to leave direct feedback and reviews, many patients use other online platforms like industry directory sites and social media to read and share questions, concerns, and feedback.
The ADA emphasizes that social media can influence healthcare decisions. Watching social chatter in real-time can provide valuable insights into what patients think and feel about their experiences, your competition, and current dental trends. Keep in mind that gathering this kind of data doesn’t have to feel out of your control. Utilize tactics like email outreach to gain honest feedback from the people who know you best.
Keep Learning with MouthWatch
Marketing in every form is constantly evolving, which is why MouthWatch believes continuous education to help practices and programs succeed is essential.
When dentists have the knowledge, tools, and resources to reach new patients, help existing ones, and grow their practice, the mission for improving oral health around the world is strengthened.
Learn more about ways you can enhance your dental marketing effortsDOWNLOAD THE MOUTHWATCH 2021 DENTAL TRENDS REPORT