The following article is a guest post.
Maybe you are a great dentist, but you have trouble when it comes to the business side of the practice. For many dental practices, this issue has been compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. You are trying to do things like calculate your CARES act relief payment and communicate new policies to your patients.
At a time like this, marketing and patient communications are more important than ever. You need to be able to reach patients with your messaging and do what you can to make sure they understand the steps you are taking to keep them and your staff safe.
This isn’t always easy for clinics that are run by dentists. You understand patient care, but you might not have a firm grasp on marketing your practice.
When it comes to marketing a dental practice, there is no perfect strategy that will work well for every practice. With that said, there are different tips and techniques that can make a big difference.
Email marketing for dentists
Email can be one of the best marketing channels for almost any business. It is a good way to reach customers directly and you can send several different types of content. Of course, a healthcare business is going to have different needs when compared to other types of businesses. That is why you will need to follow the best practices of email marketing for a dental practice.
Get local with SEO
If you are not working on local SEO, your practice is not getting everything it can from search engines. SEO will make your business easier to find in search engines, but if it isn’t being found by people in your region, it isn’t doing that much to help your business. To rank well locally, you need to do things like claim your Google business profile and use local keywords on your website.
Build a professional website
Your website is going to make your first impression for many of the potential patients who find your business online. If it looks sloppy or the design seems dated, it is not going to make a good first impression. You not only need a business website that looks professional and modern, but it also needs to be easy to navigate and it has to function well.
Engage on social media
Social media can offer a lot of value for a dental clinic. However, there is more to it than just setting up a Facebook page or creating an account on various platforms. You need to engage with other users and build a community. Social media provides opportunities to connect with patients and it is also great for sharing information about your clinic.
Bring patients back with remarketing
With remarketing, you send ads to people who have an existing relationship with your clinic. With platforms like Google Ads and Facebook, you can use a list of email addresses to remarket to patients you have served in the past. You could target them with ads about services like teeth whitening or you could send them ads that remind them they need a dental checkup while also offering a discount on the visit.
Target ads locally
Facebook ads can be very effective for marketing your dental practice. With that said, the best results come from proper audience targeting. Since most dental practices are local businesses, you want to make sure to target your ads to local consumers. If you fail to account for location, you could end up paying for ads to customers that are nowhere near your practice.
You want to make sure patients show up when they book an appointment. The best way to do this is to send them a reminder. Along with that, you can also send reminders when patients are due for a checkup or follow-up care. Depending on your business, you could remind them by phone, email, text or mail. Just make sure to put the reminders on your schedule so you don’t forget to send them.
Use click-to-call ads
The whole point of marketing your practice is to get patients to book an appointment. One way to do this is to use ads that have the click-to-call feature. You can use this feature with Google Ads and Facebook, and it can be a great way to make it easier for patients to get in touch.
Target emergency keywords
If you are a dentist that handles urgent care, you will want to make sure to target those keywords in your SEO and paid search campaigns. Consider keywords like “emergency tooth extraction” and “urgent dental care” when planning your campaigns. When people search these terms, they are in need of immediate care, so it can be a good way to steer a lot of emergency business to your practice.
People are going to trust the people they know more than any messaging they get from your marketing campaigns. If you can get your existing patients to recommend your practice to friends and family, it can be one of the best ways to get new patients to your clinic. The best way to do this is to identify an incentive you can offer patients and then make it a part of a customer referral program.
Use your blog to boost your site
Having a blog on your website can offer a lot of value. To start, you can establish yourself as a source of reliable information and attract more patients to your site. Along with that, your blog can offer a lot of opportunities for targeting a wider range of keywords for SEO.
Claim your business on Yelp
Customers read and trust online reviews. With Yelp being one of the most popular sites for reviews, you should make an effort to manage your reputation on the platform. Some of your patients are probably already leaving reviews on Yelp, so you might as well be there to respond and address any issues.
Send direct mail
While it might not be as flashy or exciting as some of the newer marketing technologies, direct mail can still be effective. In one study, it was found that the average direct mail campaign has a 4.4% response rate. That might seem low, but when you consider the number of homes you can cover for a low price, it has the potential to deliver a great return on investment.