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Updated: Nov 21, 2019
After finally finishing years of dental school, you probably thought the hard part was over. Then you try to launch your practice and discover the harsh reality: no one knows who you are.
And not only that, but the dental market has become increasingly competitive. Patients have tons of local options, all of which are competing for their business. So just being a nearby practice that accepts a patient’s insurance isn’t enough.
That’s why it’s important to have a solid dental practice marketing strategy when you’re first starting. A strong marketing strategy will set you apart from the competition and make it easier to grow your practice.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on Facebook ads or use too much of your dental practice financing to market your business. There are plenty of low-cost and even free options available to you. Let’s look at five dental marketing strategies.
Having a website is no longer optional – it is a must. Even if your customers hear about you from a friend or acquaintance, they will probably go online to see what they can learn.
However, you don’t need to pay a designer to build your website for you in order to make sure you’re optimizing your dental practice marketing strategy. Sites like WordPress and Squarespace makes it easy to get started with pre-made templates. And the advantage of going this route is that your website will automatically be SEO-friendly and optimized for mobile.
You don’t need to go crazy with the plugins or worry too much about design in the beginning. But, you should start tracking your analytics right away. This will allow you to see where your traffic is coming from and how visitors are interacting with your site. Later down the line, you can use this to help inform your strategy for SEO for dentists.
One of the best ways to boost the credibility of your practice is by taking advantage of online business reviews. This is also a great way to get to know your customers and see their opinions of your practice to determine how you can improve. Specifically, you should focus on Google reviews because those seem to be what most customers prefer.
Six out of 10 customers will turn to Google to look at online reviews before doing business with a company. Plus, the more reviews you have, the more you’ll show up in Google searches.
To get started on marketing your dental practice with Google reviews, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business listing. And then you should begin asking your customers to leave you reviews, which most will do if asked.
Going forward, leverage this dental marketing strategy further by monitoring your reviews and responding to each one. Don’t be afraid to respond to negative reviews; customers appreciate authenticity. So, responding positively and constructively to a negative comment could help you in the long run.
Social media is an integral part of dental practice marketing. It’s a great way to reach new customers and strengthen relationships with your existing patients. Facebook is probably the best place to get started. Make sure to provide your practice’s location, hours, and contact information.
Additionally, be sure you regularly post updates and keep your followers informed about what’s going on at your practice. One way to market your dental practice further on this platform is to host contests or giveaways that create more engagement and get the word out about your office.
One of the advantages of opening a dental practice is that you know the majority of your customers will be local. Sending postcards or brochures to local neighborhoods can be a good way to garner interest in your practice and get new business in the door.
If you choose this dental marketing strategy, make sure you put some effort and creativity into it. After all, customers don’t want another advertisement. You can send out brochures that outline some of the specialized services you provide or highlight your involvement with a local event or charity.
Finally, one of the best dental marketing strategies is entirely free. It’s about receiving referrals from your current customers. Make sure you’re providing outstanding service to the customers you already have.
For example, you can send appointment reminders via text message so customers never have to miss an appointment. Send them email reminders if they’re due for an appointment. Go a step further in how you use this when marketing your dental practice by sending them a card on their birthday and remembering details about their family. Additionally, be friendly and welcoming when they visit your practice.
A thriving dental practice is about more than just yearly checkups and dental procedures. It’s about building relationships with your patients. And when that relationship is strong, people can’t help but recommend you to their friends and family. This is where dental practice marketing and customer service combine to help you succeed both initially and well into the future.
Marketing your new dental practice doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Even trying one of the items on this list should help you start seeing results.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.