Dental marketing has advanced considerably over the last decade. Gone are the days when dental practices needed to take out full page adverts in local newspapers, or even run radio or television adverts. These advertising initiatives were expensive and the results were not predictable or trackable. Nowadays, dental teams have the control and advantages that did not exist previously.
In the age of digital marketing, dentists have the freedom to manage their own free or paid marketing initiatives. This can be kept in house or outsourced to a marketing specialist. The option of free marketing is significant. When this strategy is implemented successfully, results can follow which would attract new patients. The right strategy and action will also result in building higher visibility which will have a stacking effect. This will result in the level of visibility and audience building on a continual basis.
Patient marketing is an initiative all practices must focus on. Dentists will need to attract new patients to meet their objectives and gain patient take up for the treatments they offer. If there are empty appointments and dental chairs, this will result in lost revenue as there are fixed and variable costs at play in keeping a practice open. This includes staff time as a large cost.
Through digital marketing, practice managers can target a geographic location where they wish to attract patients from. For general dentistry patients prefer a local dentist, but for specific private treatments such as Invisalign, dental implants or veneers, patients are generally willing to travel to a practice further away, possibly in a large town or city as this is a specialist treatment which they would be paying for private dental fees.
For this reason, certain treatments can be marketed to a broader geographic location compared to general dentistry such as check ups and cleanings. A practice will need to establish a presence on all the key social media channels. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube and other channels. Practices will need to build followers and share content and offers.
To attract new patients, practices can share their customer reviews as well as images, tips and news. The most effective form of marketing is referral marketing, so asking patients to refer friends and family is a very profitable strategy. Reputation marketing can make this a reality – simply by sharing reviews and testimonials.
Social media channels are free to set up, and if managed in house there are no additional costs. Posting and sharing content is also free of charge as this is an organic strategy. Promotional marketing includes paid advertising on social media platforms but this is very low cost and specific campaigns can be set up which are tracked. Promotions include adverts targeting demographics or locations or both, or promoted posts and offers. The right strategy and consistent action can yield high quality loyal patients for a practice.