An effective dental office marketing plan is a must for new practices. We all know that a dental practice can’t grow without attracting new patients on a regular basis and providing excellent dental care. We can’t help you provide excellent dental care, but whether you’re a general dentist, family dentist, pediatric dentist, orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, or any other type of dentist, we CAN help you with some dental office marketing ideas to quickly grow your practice.
5 Dental Office Marketing Ideas for New Practices
Before getting started, it’s important to know the strengths of your dental practice so you can focus your marketing and branding efforts around those areas.
1. Create a Referral Bonus System to get more Patient Referrals
As your practice grows, a significant portion of new patient growth should come from referrals from your current patients. Some established practices claim that nearly 70% of their business comes directly from referrals, but this doesn’t happen without putting referral systems in place.
Most of your patients won’t think about your new dental clinic as a growing business that is actively searching for new patients. The best way to ensure that your patients are aware of your need for new patients is by creating a referral bonus program. The motivation for this is simple – if a current patient recommends the practice to a friend or family member that becomes a new patient, then the referrer receives a bonus. The bonus doesn’t have to be much but you want it to be significant enough that the patient remembers and is willing to share your practice.
Common referral bonuses include free or discounted cleanings or teeth whitenings. Other ideas include free gifts like electronic toothbrushes, gift cards, or even concert tickets. To make this even more effective, consider providing incentives for employees, too. Motivating your employees will encourage them to tell more patients about the referral program, leading to even more patients.
2. Ask Your Happy Patients to Leave Reviews Online
One of the best ways to gather local attention is by getting more 5 star online reviews for your business. Like asking for referrals, it’s important to ask each of your happy patients for an online review. Focus on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, as well as Vitals and Healthgrades. Do not make this difficult for your patients. Make sure the process is as easy as possible for both you and your patients.
Contact us today if you need a hand getting started with your online review process. We’re happy to help!
3. Get Found in Local Search Engines
When someone needs a dentist now, they don’t just rely on friends and family for referrals. In fact, the majority of consumers now rely heavily on search engines like Google and Bing when looking for a new provider. It’s imperative that your practice shows up when local residents are searching for a “dentist in [city]”.
For example, see a search for “dentist is lombard, il“. The top 3 sites that are listed in the local map to the right are at a significant advantage. These 3 dentists are more likely to gain the searching patient compared to practices that can’t be seen the map. If you haven’t optimized your website for local search then potential patients are going to find and choose your competition.
To help boost your search engine rankings, make sure your business is listed on the most important local search engine directories. The top local directories include Facebook, Yelp, Bing, and Google My Business, to name a few. It is also a good idea to start optimizing your website and blog for your local area.
When done right, local SEO will get you great results for a very long time.
4. Offer a New Patient Discount
Everyone loves to save money. Remember this and take advantage of it when you are trying to acquire new patients by creating a new patient discount coupon. Even if you live in a wealthy city or area, providing a discount gives potential new patients an excuse to try your practice rather than visiting their regular dentist. Once created, advertise the special offer using Facebook ads and other effective and inexpensive marketing platforms.
5. Invest in Facebook Advertising
The most effective way to spend your advertising budget is with Facebook Advertising. It’s currently the most effective and affordable solution for reaching targeted local audiences. For example, if your new dental office needs to target “mothers” between the “ages of 26 and 42” that live within a “10 mile radius of your business,” you can do that with Facebook Advertising at a surprisingly low cost.
At this point in time, we recommend investing any leftover or unallocated marketing funds into Facebook Advertising as soon as possible.
The Bottom Line – You Need to Develop a Dental Office Marketing Plan
When it comes to developing a new dental office marketing plan, being creative and thinking “outside the box” can provide great returns. Most new dental clinics make the mistake of going directly to direct-mail campaigns. Unfortunately, this traditional approach typically results in low returns with a high cost-per-impression. With the help of newer marketing channels, dental offices can now reach a larger number of local residents at a much lower cost-per-impression. This approach will always result in better outcomes and returns on investment.
Use the tips above to rethink your marketing plan. If you need a hand getting started, give us a call or contact us and we’ll be happy to help you through your marketing plan.
Have a great tip or suggestion for marketing a new dental office? Join us in the comments below!