How to Get More Patients in A Dental Office
Are you wondering how to get more patients in a dental office? You’ve come to the right place. When it comes to practice growth, dentists used to be able to solely rely on word-of-mouth. Now, most people use the internet to find a dentist. Referrals only aren’t enough to ensure a dentist’s success. Successful dental […]
Are you wondering how to get more patients in a dental office? You’ve come to the right place. When it comes to practice growth, dentists used to be able to solely rely on word-of-mouth. Now, most people use the internet to find a dentist. Referrals only aren’t enough to ensure a dentist’s success. Successful dental practices use digital marketing.
There are several basic strategies that you can implement in order to jump-start the growth of your practice. We’ll give you an overview here. We rely on our expertise as a dental marketing agency who has implemented these strategies successfully for practices around the world.
(Want more? Click here to learn about what we are offering to dentists with small budgets but big growth goals – The Marketing Box.)
Digital Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Dental Practice in 2021
- Know Your Target Audience
- Build a Positive Online Identity for Your Dental Practice
- Set Your Dental Practice Apart
- Create a Consistent Brand on All Platforms
- Leverage Social Media
- Collect 5-Star Reviews for Your Dental Practice
- Film Patient Testimonials
Know Your Target Audience
The first key to successful marketing is understanding your audience. No company, big or small, appeals to everyone. By narrowing down your ideal client demographic, you can be more successful in your marketing. Do you offer luxury higher-end dental services? Then you likely want to appeal to a higher-income demographic. Do you currently have a large Medicaid patient base? Then your target audience is likely to match that demographic.
Not sure where to start? Think through answers to these questions:
Who are your ideal patients? Where do they live? Where do they work? How do they spend their day? What do they look for in a dental practice?
Now that you know your ideal patients, you can build a marketing strategy using the rest of the tips in this article.
Tool: We help our dental practice clients learn about their current patients with BatchGeo. To learn more about how to use BatchGeo, check out our blog post, “How to plot your active patients on a map.
Patient Demographics Blog Post: Your practice may have already narrowed down a client demographic. Check out our blog post, “Dental Marketing Strategies for PPO vs Fee-for-service Practices“.
Build a Positive Online Identity for your Dental Practice
Where do we go when we’re looking for information? The internet. You’re invested in learning how to get patients into a dental office. So, it must come as no surprise that the next step is building a positive online presence. Without one (or with negative reviews and unattractive branding), you can kiss new patient growth goodbye.
The majority of consumers find their doctors online. If they don’t find them online, they research them online before making an appointment. In fact, 71% of consumers search a dentist online before booking an appointment.
Your online identity is the face of your practice for new patient prospects. Ensure your online identity is both present and positive. It’s the first and most important step to successfully grow your practice. We cover many of these tips in detail in this article.
These are the basics of ensuring you have an positive online identity:
- Website: Have a working, aesthetically-appealing, SEO & Mobile optimized website.
- Google My Business: Create an account with attractive and up-to-date photos.
- Branding: Create an up-to-date logo and brand. Use it consistently on all your online platforms.
- Social Media: Choose social media platforms based on your target audience. Use social media to engage in meaningful conversations with current and potential patients.
- Reviews and Testimonials: Encourage your patients to leave you good reviews and testimonials. Share them on your online platforms.
- Engage: Respond to your reviews and comments. (Even the negative ones.) It’s a two-way conversation!
- Spend: Invest in local SEO. When patients in your area Google “dentist near me,” you want them to find you.
- Connect: Get listed in local online directories.
- Write: Publishing blog posts to your website helps it show up on Google. Use blogs to answer patients’ frequently asked questions or to educate about your services.
Set Your Dental Practice Apart
Think about your favorite brands and companies. How would you describe them? Because brands have ways of differentiating themselves, they attract different consumers. Most of us have brand preferences: Walmart or Target? Apple or Microsoft? Ford or Tesla? Whatever you choose, it’s because the brand has create a Unique Selling Proposition.
Your dental office can set itself apart, too. One of the most important aspects of marketing your dental practice and your brand is having and knowing your USP. Your unique selling proposition is basically what makes you special. It is what sets you apart from your competitors.
Having a good and truly unique selling proposition that you can leverage in your dental marketing will help you can draw in a niche crowd that appreciates that USP. There are many ways to establish a USP as a dental office. For example:
- High-end cosmetic dentistry
- Family and kid-friendly dentistry
- Affordable dentistry for people without insurance
- Female-owned practice focused on professional women–with work stations in the waiting room and short wait times
These practices will both market themselves differently. They’ll use different social media platforms, create different branding, and reach different people.
You may be surprised how many dentists claim that their USP is one of the following:
- “We treat our patients like family”
- “Our team does everything we can to make sure our patients are comfortable”
- “We believe in quality patient care”
These are NOT USPs. The large majority of dental practices make this claim. (And they should! All dental practices should treat their patients well with quality care.) Therefore, regardless of if you practice it, these are not your UNIQUE selling point.
If you are having trouble identifying your USP, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you have any membership or in-house payment plans?
- Do you often offer specials or host contests to win cool prizes?
- Does your practice have a theme? (This is typically largely pediatric-based)
- What do your patients experience when they come into the office that you are quite sure they would not experience at a neighboring practice?
- Do you offer the latest technology?
- Are you involved with the community?
- Do you offer waiting-room entertainment? Snacks? Drinks?
- Is there a special type of treatment that you offer that is uncommon amongst your competitors?
- Is there something about your practice that makes it memorable?
Put the answers to these questions together to evaluate your best USP potential.
Create a Consistent Brand on All Platforms
Great branding is another way to bring more patients into your office. As a marketing agency, we help dental offices create brand recognition. The more often prospective patients recognize your brand, logo, colors, and name, the more likely they are to think of you when the need a dentist.
In order to achieve brand recognition, your brand needs to be consistent. Work with your marketing agency or someone on your team who is creatively inclined to ensure you have aesthetically-appealing branding. Then, use it consistently on your website, emails, and social media platforms.
Tips for Building a Consistent and Attractive Brand:
- Create a color palette
- Choose fonts to use them consistently
- Use high quality photos that are consistent in style (have a photographer create custom photos of your practice and team)
- Have a professional design your logo
- Consider your brand’s personality (luxury, approachable, fun, kid-friendly, adventurous, tech-y, or something else)
- Write a mission statement
- Determine your brand voice (how you’d like to sound in written materials)
Leverage Social Media
Getting active on social media is a great step to take when it comes to growing your practice. Remember, posting to social media is free! It’s an effective way to communicate directly with your patients and prospects.
Just because we’re all familiar with social media, doesn’t mean using it for marketing is easy. Many of our dental practice clients come to us searching for social media growth. Here are a few of our tips:
Social Media Tips for Dental Practices:
Post More Frequently for Faster Growth: If you are posting once a week and replying to comments now and then, you may not see the growth you want. We recommend posting at least twice a week and engaging with followers on a regular basis.
Don’t Just Post, Engage:
Speaking of engagement, remember that social media is just that: social. Don’t schedule posts you never revisit. Instead, show up on your platforms. Comment on other people’s pages, respond to your own comments, and keep up to date with each platform’s tools.
Optimize Your Social Media Pages:
Learn more in our blog posts:
Collect 5-Star Reviews for Your Dental Practice
Another great way to get more patients in a dental office is by having a good rating online. Good reviews are worth more than gold in the dental community. They can be the difference between somebody coming to your practice or the next.
We use Swell CX to make the process of reviewing your practice more simple for existing patients and you should do. Setting up Swell will allow you to send a text message to an exiting patient after treatment to give you a quick review. This eliminates the need for you to ask them.
You can also run campaigns to increase the number of reviews you get. Offer a gift voucher to patients who review your practice. Try putting treats at the office door with a note: “Free Chocolate for a Google Review!” (Just make sure they don’t eat it before their treatment!) Find ways to incentivize patients to want to review your practice. (Scratch my back, and I will scratch yours!)
Keep Up With Your Reviews And Respond To Them
Once again, Swell is very handy when you want to keep track of your reviews. This software allows you to have all of your reviews in one place which will make sure you respond to them in a timely manner. If you get a positive review, you need to reply and show appreciation as soon as possible. This shows that patient you care for and also shows potential patients online that you are engaged with your patient base.
It’s just as important to respond to negative reviews. Even if it hurts, you need to rip off that bandaid as fast as you can to make sure the person leaving the negative review will feel that they are heard. Address their concerns. To learn more, read our post on how you should respond to negative reviews.
Film Patient Testimonials
Recording patient testimonials is one of the best ways to feature your practice. Not only are you taking advantage of the shift toward video content on the internet, but you’re also validating the emotions of your patients. We all thrive on emotional experiences. Therefore, giving potential patients something special to remember you by will greatly benefit your efforts to acquire new patients.
Video marketing gives your patients a chance to get to know you as well as engage with your office before deciding to book an appointment. It’s also an extremely useful marketing tool to promote your practice among your target audiences. If you want to geek out and read more about the vital role videos play [pun intended], here are some stats on video growth and importance:
- The average consumer will spend 100 minutes per day watching videos in 2021
- By 2021, 80% of all internet traffic will be video
- You’re 53 times more likely to show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website
- Videos demonstrate excellence and build trust, i.e., Social Validation
- Properly optimized video adds to SEO. We’ll help with the properly optimized part
- Most of your competitors are not doing video and you’ll beat them to the punch
- Video provides a higher ROI (Return on Investment) than other content formats
- Brand recall – videos are more memorable than text or images
Ask a couple of long-standing patients if they’d come in and record a video testimonial. Generally, this makes patients feel special and they are happy to do it. If you’re planning on asking them this at their appointment, do it before you treat them. You should ensure you give them a heads up so they can be ready. Make sure you record your video horizontally/landscape!
Pain-Free Dental Marketing
Do you need more help? That’s why we’re here! We know how to get more patients in a dental office–because that’s what we do for all our clients. We are the complete package when it comes to dental marketing. We’ve proven again and again that we can increase our client’s patient acquisition within the first 90 days. Contact us today. Let’s make this year your best yet!