Need more patients for your dental practice? We’ve compiled a list of the top 29 dental marketing ideas the pros use to drive more traffic to their practice. Use these dental marketing strategies to start acquiring more patients today!
1. Use an Online Scheduling Tool
Maggie Aland, Fit Small Business
Sometimes just the thought of picking up the phone to make an appointment is enough to keep patients from your door. Square Appointments is a booking tool that lets patients schedule appointments online any time of day or night. It integrates with a cloud-based calendar to help you avoid scheduling conflicts and automatically sends friendly reminders for upcoming appointments. Best of all, Square Appointments is free for individuals. Create a free account today.
2. Track Your Sources Across All Channels
Kim Kohatsu, Founder, Charles Ave Marketing
For dentists, being highly visible online is vital. Make sure your office is on review sites such as Healthgrades and Yelp, and encourage your patients to rate you. If you’re using paid channels such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, pair each channel with a call tracking software such as CallRail. With call tracking, you advertise a different phone number that forwards to your main office number. This way, you can track which channels are most effectively sending clients who want to book appointments. This will help you allocate your marketing dollars in the smartest way possible.
3. Target Local Customers with Google Adwords
Devon Vocke, Co-Founder, Evoke Strategy LLC
We use Google AdWords and geotarget a small radius (~5 miles) around the practice. We create ads focused on ‘near me’ queries, e.g. ‘find a dentist near me,’ and so on. We focus on click-to-call ads and track incoming calls with a third-party call tracking service. We only run ads during open office hours. This works because calls convert better than form submissions; we’re only running ads when someone is available to answer the phone, and we’re targeting people with an immediate need for dental services. You can scale this model with the addition of other query types, but this is a solid place to start.
4. Let Dental Marketing Experts Create Your Website
Before choosing a dentist, most people do an online search. Having a beautiful website that also ranks well on Google will bring new business to your practice.
ProSites is a company that specializes in building dental websites and successfully works with thousands of practices. ProSites combines compelling designs with persuasive content and interactive features to communicate your expertise and encourage patients to reach out and contact your practice. Click here for a free demo.
5. Develop an App for your Practice
Izaak Crook, Digital Marketing Executive, App Institute
With your own app, you’ll come across as a trustworthy, professional and modern practice – but that’s not the only benefit. Your own dentist app will provide a simple way for patients to book themselves in for appointments, and you can avoid the annoyance of missed checkups by sending push notifications out to let people know when their appointment is coming up. Offer added value that will keep people using your dental practice by including helpful guides within the content of your app, and even offer loyalty schemes built-in for your most dental-health-conscious patients. It’s not as expensive and time-consuming as you might think to make an app. Using an app maker provides a quick and simple way to make an app for any business, including dentists!
6. Use an Email List to Remarket Audiences
Kaela Mast, Marketing & Branding Strategist, Kaela Mast Marketing
Gather this information with other customer acquired info (name, address, etc). The reason you could and should grow an email list is so you can retarget them or use look-a-like audiences in advertising. It will help a small dentist office narrow in on who to target for advertising and get a general idea of their target audience. One way to build your email list is by creating a lead magnet and target within a 15 mi radius of the dental practice. The lead magnet could be “5 steps to whiter teeth” and you can talk about brushing techniques, products to use at home, and then whitening services. After they download the PDF, you can follow up with an email offering a discount on whitening services.
7. Create a “Photo Booth”
Spencer X Smith, Speaker & Entrepreneur, Spencer X Smith Consulting
Create a person-sized Instagram frame in which happy dental patients can pose to share the pictures of your handiwork. Offer to take a picture with their phone so they can share to their social network, and share the photo (with their permission) on your practice’s Instagram page as well. Create a practice hashtag you can use on each post, and use popular hashtags like #dental (~1.4 million posts), #dentalwork (~54k posts), #teeth (~4 million posts), and #teethwhitening (~600k posts). Share these Instagram posts on your practice’s Facebook account as well, and (after asking for your patient to Like your Facebook page), tag them in the post so they can share with their friends.
8. Automate Your Email Marketing
Justin Knott, President, Intrepy Healthcare Marketing
The dental space is highly competitive and overly crowded so it is essential to utilize unique marketing strategies to reach and attract potential patients in your area. We have found that one of the best and often under utilize marketing strategies is email marketing automation. Dentist needs to put an emphasis on using various tactics including in person, their website, digital advertising and more to build up a quality email list. Once you have done so you can utilize automation to retarget current patients with cosmetic or high dollar procedures and take potential patients through the sales funnel to convert them into patients sitting in a chair in your office via educational pieces, promotions, etc.
Email marketing automation, if done correctly, is not only a viable dental marketing strategy but can return a substantial ROI for your practice. Infusionsoft is one of the go-to email marketing automation software and one we often turn to accomplish this.
9. Use CRM Software to Provide Stellar Customer Service
Nicholas Thomas, Fit Small Business
Great customer service is pivotal for business success no matter the industry, perhaps more so in the dental industry because of the face to face interaction and customer lifetime value. Make a great first impression on new patients while also retaining your current patients, by using Salesforce Essentials.
Salesforce Essentials is a suite of customer service tools powered by the world’s #1 CRM, that automatically pulls relevant patient data from your email, calendar, and other channels to get a 360-degree view of every patient and their individual needs. It even has a robust help desk that lets you preload and customize FAQs for simple solutions, displays pertinent patient data to help you respond to specific customer inquiries, sends auto-appointment reminders, and integrates with Gmail for seamless correspondence. Start your free trial today.
10. Use Google My Business Reviews
Feuza Reis, Director of Social Marketing & Communications, Next Level SEM
Use Google My Business for reviews. This is extremely important for Local SEO rankings and getting your website found online. We saw this with our client SmilesNY.com. As part of their SEO plan with us, they got Customer Lobby which is a reviews widget that helps collect reviews. They used the kiosk feature which is an app you can add to your iPad and request reviews onsite. This helped them improve their SEO rankings for their desired keyword. Getting reviews is not so easy so using something like Customer Lobby can really help.
11. Create Videos to Answer Common Patient Questions
Anthony Gaenzle, VP of Sales & Marketing, SE Healthcare
Dental practice marketing can really benefit from applying content marketing principles. By creating content like “how-to” videos, articles offering advice on particular subject matter, and providing some type of value to patients that enhances their daily lives, practices can build trust and a strong channel of communication. This leads to loyal patients coming back, as well as recommending the practice to others.
The best way for practices to determine what type of content to create is to ask their patients what they’d like to see. Video content really connects, so whatever results come back, if a practice can apply that to a weekly video series (or something along those lines) that gives their patients the advice or info they seek, it can really have a positive impact on marketing efforts.
12. Market Your Practice with Video Testimonials
Doug Dibert, Founder/Creator, Magnfi
Dentist offices can harness the power of patient Video Testimonials. There is nothing better than a real-person talking about how what you’ve done for them made their life better. You don’t need to break the bank to create a polished video – you can do this with your Smartphone, tablet or computer with a webcam. No expensive equipment needed! Remember to film somewhere with plenty of light that is also quiet, and don’t make it long!
Most professional video testimonials are 60 seconds or less. Have the person being filmed talk about one unique aspect of your business that will turn the viewer into a user of your product or service. You can even give the person being filmed a few bullet points to help that person be more confident and compelling when he or she is being filmed. You can also use Magnfi, a one-stop shop video marketing tool that captures and creates video testimonials in a simple, quick and cost-effective way.
13. Create a Universal Brand
Mike Plambeck , CEO, Emergency Dentist US
When creating a marketing strategy that addresses many different demographics, there will be an urge to generalize and zoom out about what your dental practice offers. Don’t! Your practice is your brand and your brand should be the star of all of your marketing regardless of demographics. Talk about your practice with a consistent voice that specifically highlights the care you and your staff give to your patients whether they be young or old. When your brand is the star, multiple demographics will find your practice appealing and you won’t risk alienating potential clients.
14. Encourage Clients to Write Online Reviews
Jeremy Levine, Fit Small Business
One of the best ways to grow your dental practice is with client reviews. They build your reputation and let you gain insights on how your practice is doing. Podium is an online tool that lets you solicit and manage reviews across over 20 review sites, including Facebook and Healthgrades, all from one dashboard. Practices that use Podium have seen up to 15 times more reviews and a dramatic increase in walk-ins. Watch a 3-minute demo.
15. Build Local and Niche Relevant Citations for Your Practice
Donahvan Robello, Owner, #VariantSEO
Citations are a staple for ranking your dental practice for local keywords in search engines, and can also drive customers to your site. The most popular citations are Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Angie’s List. There are also medical specific citations you can add your practice to such as Health Grades and Zoc Doc. The more you create the better you’ll rank in Google and the more customers you can attract.
16. Mimic Your Competitor’s Backlink Profile
Christopher Grozdon, SEO Specialist, Practice Cafe
We use backlink analysis tools and keyword/site explorers to examine our clients’ competition and attempt to garner up similar backlinks for greater domain/page authority. When analyzing a competitor’s backlink profile, it’s important to remember there are “good links” and “bad links”. Good links come about organically or through outreach, bad links consist of comment spam, PBNs, or purchased links. Go with the good links and you’ll see your rankings rise in the SERPs!
17. Build and Promote Interesting Infographics
Danny Kidd, Owner/Head of Link Building, LinkJuiced
Create something visual that potential clients will see. In terms of content marketing potential, the dental industry is as good a niche as any basically because a lot of people are interested in their teeth. The secret of content marketing is to think of a topic that people will be interested in, not just market your services. The business will gain from the content being spoken about in different places. Something I would do for a dental client is something that interests people. Writing content is fine but I would invest an amount in having an infographic created. In order to create something that may carry over into the mainstream media, think of money.
How much do veneers cost? Try and find out the average cost in a number of different countries, and then turn the data into a map with the information. That way, you’ve got some good content that no one else has. I would then reach out to blogs and industry magazines/websites as well as some journalists who would be interested in the piece.
18. Apply Message Matching
Taylor Kerby, Creative Director, Cave Social
Creating a successful ad campaign needs to go beyond making a catchy design to draw in clicks. As a marketer, you need to think about the page people land on once they click as well. For example, if you have an ad that talks about teeth whitening and it leads to a general information page with all of your services, then you are creating a confusing experience for the user. Instead, try ‘Message Matching’ so that your landing page has the exact same headline as your ad, with only one thing to click. It takes a little extra work but we’ve seen conversions jump from 1% to 10% in a matter of days, just by creating dedicated landing pages for each campaign.
There are plenty of resources you can use to create these landing pages, such as instapage.com, landerapp.com, and our personal favorite – unbounce.com.
19. Get Found in More Online Directories
Marc Prosser, Co-founder, Fit Small Business
When potential patients are searching for a new dentist, their first introduction to your practice will probably be in Google search results or in medical directory listings. Yahoo Localworks lets you scan local listings on multiple sites, social media, maps, and more so you can see where your practice shows up and check that your information is up to date. Click here for a free scan and get 20% off on updating your listings (use code LOCAL20).
20. Use Slideshare Presentations on your Website
Shannon Montoya, Director of Account Services, Page 1 Solutions, LLC
Custom visual content that informs patients and presents the dentist as an authority creates leads. We discovered this after embedding a custom Slideshare presentation on the client’s website to increase his visibility in the crowded Boston area. We then drove traffic to the page through multiple social media channels, including automated quarterly reposting, and off-site content. Leads for our client increased 100% in one month, and grew by nearly 150% within both six months and one year.
Bottom line: with the right information and call-to-action, slide share presentations and other custom visuals go beyond good, unique content and become tools for inspiring decisions with patients, building rapport, and converting them into leads.
21. Leverage Facebook for Marketing
Randy Laird, Founder & CEO, 24&7 Marketing
This approach may not be flashy, but with a small dental practice, flashy isn’t necessary. What I would do is start by leveraging social media, especially Facebook. Next, I would use a picture of the dental office staff (smiling, of course) to go along with any messages about their services. By targeting the right crowd (through Facebook) and using a group photo of the staff, your marketing now has authority and authenticity. Now, couple that with client testimonials and you have your social proof.
This is a very cost-effective approach to market a small dental practice, and you can even run Facebook Ads targeted at your specific audience to boost recognition and sales.
22. Hold a Contest On Social Media
Vincit-Lee Lloyd, CEO, Lloyd Media Solutions
One way to get excellent exposure online is through Facebook/Instagram competitions. The dental company can invest in building a mascot (such as a giant tooth that someone can climb into), then the competition would look as follows:
1. You go around the city/state/country and take pictures of “Toothie” (or whatever you name the mascot) at well-known landmarks.
2. You first post a picture of Toothie on FB or IG saying that your company will be running a competition. The winner gets, for example, $5 000 worth of dental products. To stand a chance to win the prize people must comment where Toothie is, like the picture and share the picture.
3. You can post different pictures for a week or even a month; after that, announce the winner.
In the process, you would have gained a social following, engaged with current and potential clients, and generated leads.
23. Initiate a “Best Smile” Contest
Anahid Lisa Derbabian, MA, Founder, Integrity Communications
This fun marketing campaign will bring positive attention to your dental practice, as bright smiles will reflect your brand. Further, it will inspire all sorts of people, backgrounds, and ages to participate, which will bring energy to your initiative and attention to your dental practice as people may share, like, and comment on this campaign.
Invite people via social media to nominate themselves and/or family and friends by sending in photos, and ask different people in the community to do the judging, or perhaps ask your followers to narrow down the winner(s). Run the contest periodically, give away fun prizes, and then share a photo of the winner(s) alongside the dentist(s). Leverage this campaign by placing photos and information about the winner(s) on your website, emailing it to current patients, and even make a poster for your dental practice of the smiling winner(s) with the dentist.
Twitter is a fun tool to connect with your patients and let them know about what’s going on with your practice. This article shares three things you should be doing on Twitter — sourcing information, sharing information from events, and connecting with your patients.
Because of size and location, local dental offices don’t typically get thousands of clicks, likes, shares on Facebook. But your customers (and Facebook fans) probably love your staff, and would love to see the faces of your employees on your Facebook page. Ideas like these will get fans engaging with your Facebook posts, build brand loyalty, and offer your customers a glimpse inside your operation. View more ideas from Facebook pages in this article.
26. Utilize Opportunities to Humanize What You Do
Dr. Bobbi Stanley, D.D.S., Dentist, Stanley Dentistry
One of the ways we’ve been able to establish ourselves as a top practice in the area is by utilizing opportunities to humanize what we do. There are people who are scared of the dentist, or who think of it as a very sterile, harsh environment. We’re not afraid to talk about what we’re doing in the community or to share what our team does outside of work! We’ve written blog posts and used social media as an opportunity for our patients to get to know us. We really do care about our patients and we’re here to help them take care of their teeth, so we want that to come across in the way we interact with them from a marketing standpoint. “We’ve also tried some creative marketing to make our patients a part of the experience!
We recently did a giveaway where we encourage our patients to take pictures of them with ‘Flat Stanley’s’ – photo cutouts of myself and my husband, Dr. Robert Stanley and tag us on social media. The winner won a pizza party and a $100 gift card, it was a fun way to involve everyone and a simple way to spread the word!
27. Promote Your Practice on a Waiting Room TV
Matt Gibbs, Co-Founder & CMO, UPshow
Late last year UPshow launched a product called Waiting Room TV and we targeted it specifically at dental practices. Waiting Room TV is a cable replacement that provides both entertainment and marketing value for the dentist, at a fraction of the cost. The dentist can promote their services, staff and events while hand-picking the games and video entertainment that also appear on screen.
28. Write Articles for a Local Publication
Debra Jason, Author & Speaker, The Write Direction
One way to get your name out to prospects in your community is by writing articles for local publications. In addition to reaching a broad audience, publishing articles conveys your knowledge and expertise about dentistry and enhances your professional reputation. For instance, if you’re a pediatric dentist, you could share a piece about how to ease a child’s fear before a dental visit. On the other end of the spectrum, you could share tips for seniors on how to care for their teeth and gums as they age. You’ll be offering value (vs. an advertisement) to readers who have the potential to become your patients.
Many local papers are receptive to receiving articles from experts. And, most publications will include your photo along with a byline that includes contact information so a reader (i.e., prospect) can reach out to you. Just one article can result in many leads for new business for your dental practice.
You need to attract more new patients to your practice, but you don’t know where to start. While creating and implementing a comprehensive marketing plan does take time, there are many things you can get started on today. The ten dental marketing ideas in the article will help you quickly amp up your practice marketing so you can start attracting a steady flow of new patients.
The Bottom Line
Do you have a tip that was not included in the article? Let us know in the comments section below! We love hearing creative dental marketing ideas.
Want to expand your marketing efforts but need some additional working capital? Read our article on dental practice loans and find an affordable way to finance your next big marketing push.