For many small businesses, the local marketing plan can make or break a small business. A dental cabinet is a perfect example to illustrate this point. If you have a toothache, you’re much more likely to go to a dentist in your city than to book a plane ticket and fly to the best option in the state.
Because going to the dentist is often associated with a sense of urgency, location-based marketing is crucial for dentists. And because we’re living in a world that is heavily reliant on technology, more and more patients are jumping on the internet to find a health provider in their area. In fact, over 70% of people that are actively looking for a medical service will end up on a search engine.
If you’re a dentist, you need to use every local marketing strategy tool at your disposal to attract as many new patients as possible.
Local Marketing for Dentists
Dentists have a lot of things on their minds. Between tending to their patients and staying on top of the latest dental breakthroughs, dealing with the marketing aspect of the business can seem a little overwhelming.
To save you from doing unnecessary experiments, here’s a list of proven local marketing strategies for dentists that will bring more patients to your dental clinic.
1. Create a professional dental website
Creating a website for your business is always a good idea. Even if you already have a well-established clientele base, there’s always room for new patients. The best dental websites are both beautiful and optimized to rank as high as possible.
If you already have a website for your dental practice and it’s not ranking as good as it should, consider enhancing it with a blog section. A well-written blog can bring you closer to prospective patients and portray you as a branch expert. Not to mention it’s good for your on-site SEO (search engine optimization).
And you don’t even have to write the blog posts yourself – there are a lot of great content writers that are happy to do the work for you.
2. Claim your place in the search rankings
Regardless if you’re just starting out as a dentist or you have a well established dental clinic, the major search engines need to be aware of your business. One of the quickest ways to attract new patients to your dental clinic is to build up your online presence.
All the major search engines are heavily reliant on the location when they generate search results. If you have a well-established profile on Google my Business, it’s very likely that you will be featured in the top search results when someone searches for “dentist + *Your City/town*.
The process of creating business profiles are pretty straightforward in every local directory. You will be required to enter some basic information, but it’s a “set it and forget it” type of thing.
3. Tend to your online reviews
Once all your business listings are properly set up, let’s turn your attention towards what the people say about you online. As a medical practician, it might be tempting to ignore the review sections associated with the business pages. This is certainly not advisable and it might make you lose a lot of new potential patients.
Health seeking patients are heavily influenced by online reviews. In fact, a study shows that a staggering 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations.
Responding to patients reviews (good or bad) can leave a positive impact on prospecting customers. Even if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, it’s important to show your potential patients that you are involved and you care about their opinions. You can leave this aspect in the hands of your assistant if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. Here’s an instructive video that explains how you should respond to good and bad reviews.
4. Create an email marketing campaign
One of the most effective ways to remind your loyal patients that you are their favorite dentist is by creating regular email marketing campaigns. But in order to do this effectively, you need to collect regular contact information from every patient that sets foot into your dental clinic.
One of the best ways to build up your email list is to encourage your patients to sign up for your clinic’s newsletter or simply asked them to leave their contact information with your assistant.
Once you have a decent email list, you can send up regular emails with new service offerings, promotions, and anything else that might be of interested to them. Do this regularly and you’ll soon see that more of your patients will stick with their six-month checkup.
5. Offer freebies
A freebie will work with any type of business, but dentists can really get creative on how they approach it. In fact, you can offer anything, regardless of how inexpensive the medical service really is. As long as the patient is thinking that he is receiving value for free, he’ll be a lot more inclined to spend money on additional services.
You can advertise that you’re offering a free consultation. Even if you don’t extract money at the first session (or at all), it’s still a great word-of-mouth marketing tactic. A free initial teeth whitening offer is also a great way to break the ice with a new patient. The point is to provide initial value for free so that the patient will seek even more and remain loyal to your clinic.
6. Create a local PPC campaign
We realize that creating a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign is not something that everyone is comfortable with. However, dentists can greatly benefit from a well-executed PPC campaign.
Creating a PPC campaign on Google is extremely efficient in attracting new qualified leads. However, you’ll have to pay for every user that sees your ad and you can end up wasting a lot of money if you don’t do it right.
If you don’t have any experience with PPC campaigns, we suggest that you hire a marketer capable of selecting the right keywords and running the campaign so you can focus on your medical practice. If you don’t know one yourself, you can use Upwork, Fiverr or a similar website to hire a professional.
If you’re a hands-on kind of person, you can do it yourself fairly easily. Just pick a platform (or just go with Adwords) and decide on the budget, link, and the keyword/s. When choosing a keyword, don’t use a broad one like “dentist”. Instead, use a keyword that contains your specific location like “Liverpool dentist”. If your business is located in a large metropolis, consider including the neighborhood as a keyword.
Here are a few more pointers to help you out if you want to do it yourself:
7. Create an app for your practice
Apps are the new hot thing among dental practicians, and for good reason. Besides screaming at new customers that your business is as serious as they come, a well-designed dentist app will allow your patients to book themselves for appointments instead of calling your office and cancel even when the clinic is closed.
Even more, you can boost cut down on the missed checkups rate significantly by sending push notifications when it’s time to see you.
8. Brag about it on social media
You’ll be doing yourself (and your business) a favor if you take the time to post your best work on social media. Consider creating before and after images or even short clips with the perfect smile that you just created.
And whatever you do, include a popular dental hashtag in your posts like #dental, #teeth, #teethwhitening, #dentalwork, etc. If your audience is split among different social media platforms, cross share your posts so you reach as many users as possible.
This concludes our list of local dental marketing ideas. Please let us know if we missed something via the comment section below. If you need help with any of the strategies featured in this guide, don’t be afraid to ask and we’ll respond promptly.