The Best Way to Market Your Dental Practice in 2014

Author: Jake Taylor

Jake Taylor

Jake Taylor is a medical and dental freelance writer who encourages practitioners to become more proactive on how to market your dental practice in the digital age by blending traditional methods with the latest approaches.
01.29.14 / 10:19 am

Online Dental Marketing

Marketing online means making your information and resources available to people who look for services there, and rely on a range of clue that determine whether your dental office is right for them. By taking control of your online image, you can entice viewers to give your office a call to set up an appointment.

Here are three ways to focus your online marketing efforts:

Social Media

  •  Update Your Blog – Putting up content-rich, original articles on a blog is still the best way for your dental office website to rank high in the search engines. Utilize keywords effectively and create posts that sound natural and contain interesting and timely information. Post blog updates at least twice per week, preferably three times, for maximum benefits.
  • Use Social Media — Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more to promote your business. Offer incentives for people to connect with you and link your social media accounts to your blog for a continuous stream of fresh, new information. Encourage readers to share the posts and always include your office’s contact information in each article. If your office is participating in an event, let everyone know about it via social media.
  • Patient Reviews — Create a space for patient reviews on your website, because prospective patients looking for a dentist are likely to make decisions based on the experiences of others. Encourage patients to post reviews at your site and on other business-centered sites as well. Monitor these sites and make sure that for every bad review, there are four or five positive ones. Provide incentives for people who post positive reviews, such as an entry into a drawing for a big prize or offer smaller rewards to boost those testimonials.

Offline Dental Marketing

Marketing your dental practice in your immediate community is also important. Make sure your office name and contact information is out there and is associated with positive events and situations.

Here are three ways to boost your offline marketing efforts:

  • Referral Program — If you don’t already have a referral program in place, it’s time to start one. If you have one that isn’t working well, it’s time to revamp it. For every referral that a current patient provides, that patient gets some sort of reward. Whether it’s a cool new electronic device, a gift certificate or something else, it must be impressive enough to motivate the current patient to convince friends and family members to visit your office.
  • Contribute to the Community — Your dental practice needs to be visible to the community — and not just your name and contact information. People need to associate your office with positive values and compassion for others, so make arrangements to boost your visibility. Ideas include visiting local classrooms about health and oral hygiene, sponsoring community events such as a 5K or participating in a charity drive. These events can put your dental office’s name in front of many people, bring positive associations and subsequently capture their attention when they need it.
  • Retention Outreach — It’s always easier to keep current patients than it is to recruit new ones. After all, some other dental office out there is trying to take your patients away! Keep in contact with patients you haven’t seen in a while via phone calls or letters. Offer incentives for them to return or just visit the office. Plan for staff members to call recent patients as a follow up to get feedback on the service they received and to keep that positive relationship alive.

Above all, make sure you track your patient referrals so you can tell which of your marketing efforts result in the biggest surge in business. You can then reconfigure your marketing plan to capitalize on the most effective methods and divert resources away from the less effective ones.

 

Jake Taylor

Jake Taylor is a medical and dental freelance writer who encourages practitioners to become more proactive on how to market your dental practice in the digital age by blending traditional methods with the latest approaches.

8 responses to “The Best Way to Market Your Dental Practice in 2014”

  1. Thanks for the article. We have found that we need to make it as easy as possible for patients to leave online reviews by providing a direct link to the review site. We ask patients who are especially complimentary during their time in our office if they would be willing to write a review.

  2. I help run several companies and the most effective marketing tool I have found when we attend events are the use of personalized ice packs. We find that people often throw away pamplets when they get home or to their hotel room but they keep the pack with our name and information imprinted on it and it serves as a constant reminder of who we are and what we represent. It also works well in continuing establish loyalty between current patients and the clinics they visit. I have clients who pass them out at health events, welcome wagons, and even at elementary schools after they do a talk on the benefits of proper brushing.

  3. Thanks for your idea.
    In order to help with referral program, I think a dental practice needs a tool to manage the referral process.

    Nowadyas, the power of “word of mouth” is growing. People trust their friends and family more than any advertisements. How to manage your referral marketing becomes more important than before.

    Take a look at keebitz. It is an automatic referral system, it not only can help you track your referrals but also can help you to creat your own campaign.

  4. I work in marketing and currently marketing a dental update journal to dentist, i have a budget of 10k how do i market this using traditional marketing channels

  5. Unfortunately, most dental practices and dental marketing companies don’t realize that quid pro quo referral programs are illegal. Our practice does not have a typical referral program because of this. While most dental practices will not get slammed over doing this (because so many do), it’s not in our best interest to be made an example of when it comes time to crack down on referral programs.

    However, since existing patient referrals are at least 70% of our new patient base, we still have to concentrate on this area. In order to do this and be compliant, we do not tell our patients that “if you bring us X patients, we’ll give you Y for doing it”, but we do thank them after the fact by sending a thank you card with a gift card inside. This way, we are not telling our patients ahead of time that we will give them something if they refer another person. We have also thrown patient appreciation events in honor of those patients who have referred others.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I don’t want to see any dental practices get shut down for illegal quid pro quo activity.

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