One of the biggest challenges facing dental practices today is acquiring new patients. Many of today’s dental practices find themselves in a continuous competition for patients and for a dental practice to see growth, a single dentist should be seeing about 20 new patients per month.
Growing your business can seem like a difficult task, it can become even more daunting when there is a lack of marketing efforts. Marketing is essential not only to survive in this industry, but to thrive.
Being in this industry means that you are providing your customers with a service, and without a tangible item to sell you must focus on selling your ideas and promises. This means you will need to take a different strategic approach in the way that you market your business. In order to keep up with the competition, you need to know how to market your dental practice. Here are a few marketing tips that will help grow your dental practice:
1. Get involved with your community
Dental practices are naturally local businesses and rely heavily on their community to provide patients.
Get involved! This can include things like sponsoring or attending local events, sharing your knowledge with a local school, or even teaching classes on dental hygiene. When you are this engaged with your community you begin to build honest relationships with them, which will then lay the foundation for how your business is viewed. This will also give you the chance to take part in word-of-mouth and direct marketing, further spreading awareness about your practice.
2. Get more patient reviews
An estimated 97% of customers look at online reviews and 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family.
A new patient is likely to have a lot of doubts about a new dentist, so you better believe they are checking your reviews to decide whether to use your practice or not. So, making a great first impression will influence their decision to book an appointment with you.
Having these patient reviews will do more than boost your reputation, they have the potential to increase patient engagement, identify gaps in care and ultimately drive revenue. How can you get your customers to review your practice?
- Create incentives
- Ask at the right time
- Respond to every review
- Ask the customer in person
3. Referral Bonuses
Referrals will always offer great opportunities for enhancing your practice - 93% of people trust recommendations from their friends or family.
Not only can referral bonuses be used to expand your practice but can also be used to retain current customers. The incentive for patients is simple: if a patient recommends your practice to family/friends and that person ends up visiting your practice, then the original patient will be rewarded with a bonus, such as a dental product or discount.
Not only does this have the benefit of engaging with your current patients but also opens the door to engage with new patients as well.
You can start by handing out a simple referral card at the office or mail them to your current patients.
4. Focus on local SEO
Local SEO is one of the most effective forms of dental practice marketing. What does this mean? This means you’ll want your practice to rank highest for terms like “Lafayette dentist” instead of just “dentist”, or “best Lafayette dentist.”
Doing this will help you to pinpoint your target audience who is searching for these terms.
While search engine optimization on all popular dental lingo can help the growth of your practice, nothing will bring in new patients like focusing on those popular local keywords.
There’s no question that you want to get the word out about your dental practice and being specific about who you market to is important. You don’t want to be showing up for a search in California when your practice is based in Louisiana, that won’t do anyone any good.
- Use demographic targeting to further narrow down your potential client base. Data shows that 90% of family healthcare decisions are made by women. So, using this information to your advantage, targeting women and mothers has the potential to be very beneficial.
- One thing is for sure, online users are drawn to visuals and by using infographics and pictures to explain your ideas will offer your audience an easy explanation of what you do. Letting them see what you do behind the scenes is a way to build trust.
- Create a video for your practice. It is an effective way to get your message out. It can be placed on your website and then the rest of your social media pages to further engage with your audience or spread awareness about your practice.
You should utilize a strategy that will work best for YOUR practice and the patients YOU want to attract. It does not matter what size your practice is, reaching out to new and prospective patients is a must for every dentist. Marketing your dental practice can seem very scary at first, but if the right steps are taken it has the potential to be extremely beneficial to your practice, you and most importantly your patients.
At Dexcomm we aim to deliver quality service and add maximum value to our customers. If you want your patients to have a personalized and pleasurable experience every time, they contact your practice please don’t hesitate to give Dexcomm a call—we would love to help your practice grow and give you and your patients the best customer service around.