Money Monday: Dental Marketing 101

Marketing and client acquisition are the lifeblood of any business and a dental practice is no exception. While it’s true that the dental industry is an evergreen niche and will always be in demand – there is still a dentist’s office around just about every corner. Due to this fact, it is imperative that you market your business accordingly – here are some ways to help you market your dental practice:

1) Website
Without a doubt, the absolute first thing you should do to market your dental practice is create a website. A study done by The Kelsey Group in 2011 concluded that 74% of Internet users search for local business online. With over 360,000,000 people worldwide accessing the Internet every day, you can see why having a website is important. I recommend WordPress, as creating a website through their platform requires little technical knowledge and provides plenty of customization and functionality options.

2) Blogging
Blogging is a great way to connect with your customers, your local community and dental professionals internationally. One of the many luxuries the Internet provides is the ability to reach an audience of millions simultaneously. Blogging and creating other useful pieces of content can position you and your practice as an expert within the industry. Interestingly, your online authority can lead to offline request from traditional media such as television and newspaper publishers. This expert positioning generates free press for your office.

3) Social Networking
Social networking is no longer a way to just stay in touch with friends. It has evolved into a form of communication that allows you to reach thousands of potential customers. Creating a Facebook page is vital to your marketing efforts, as it allows you to create a sense of customer loyalty as well as gives you another way to communicate with your customers. You can feature promotions, give mention to certain customers, post pictures of the latest technology that your dental practice is using and encourage positive reviews. However Facebook is not the only social media network you should be exploring – Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and Foursquare are also options. Do your homework and make sure your patient pool is already using a social media channel before you start marketing on it. Not every social media channel will be a worthwhile use of your time if potential customers aren’t already there.

4) Review Website
I can’t stress this enough – review websites are unbelievably important. Now this may seem scary but your customers will respond VERY positively to your transparency, so long as you maintain it. Encourage your customers to give you honest reviews – and make the process easy for the customer – directing them to websites such as Yelp, RateMyMD, and Google Places. Unfortunately we can’t make people happy all of the time. If a negative review is posted, respond to it and convey your appreciation to the customer for taking the time to better your business.

5) Portfolio/Imagery
Lastly, the tried-and-true portfolio is an excellent way to market to your potential clients. We are social creatures and therefore look to each other for guidance when attempting to find a dental clinic we can trust – seeing a portfolio full of work from previous clients brings assurance and establishes your credibility.

~Dr. Matt Solic, Drosu Dental clinic


Comments (5)

  1. Katie Divine

    I just went to a CE course on practice marketing and these tips were stressed as well. I know I almost always look up a place online before I go to it. One important tip about websites is if you have a “Contact Us” form, make sure someone is following up on those and website information stays up-to-date. Thanks Dr. Solic!

    Reply
  2. Dr.MattSolic

    Hi Katie,

    I think that’s an excellent recommendation. Following up to messages is extremely important. In some cases it may make sense to have a customer relationship management system installed for larger clinics with higher email volumes.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    Good points – it wasn’t too long ago when dentists were questioning the effectiveness of websites. I can also remember hearing how marketing was never taught in dental school.

    Dental marketing has gone digital, even direct mail.

    Healthgrades, Manta, MerchantCircle, Angieslist and Kudzu are a few more local review sites connecting local patients to local dentists….and their pictures, blogs, reviews…etc.

    Pinterest & Instagram are great ways to visually showcase whatever, and direct traffic to blog or website.

    +1 on follow up – the sooner the better as conversion rates usually drop off very sharply after only hours.

    Thanks for the info Dr. Solic, hearing the message from different voices helps build overall awareness.

    Reply
  4. Dr.DeanBrandon

    I have been blogging since 2006 and found it very rewarding not only professionally but personally. Still, ultimately, the best marketing for your practice is the patient experience. If your patients feel welcome, cared about, listened to, and have their concerns met, they will spread the word like wildfire. Study people (and there are many types of personalities), learn how to deal with people under stress, how to use proper body language, how to ask questions and how to set up efficient business systems and manage a great staff. Easy, right?

    Reply

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