Why Online Dental Marketing is Important for Attracting New Dental Patients To Your Dental Practice
Operating a successful dental practice requires hard work and dedication. A dental practice is a business and like any business, success requires the constant acquisition of new clients. Dental practices need to constantly market and promote their services to remain profitable.
When used properly, online dental marketing has the potential for attracting new patients to your dental practice faster than any other form of marketing.
How to Increase Patient Listing for a Dental Practice:
Increasing dental patient numbers requires a multi-facet approach. In the first instance the marketing must be planned with a defined objective. If the goal is to increase the numbers of patients, then the amount of increase has to be pre-defined. It could be that a particular dentist requires ten or twenty patients per week to remain profitable. Whatever the metric is, it should be made clear to everyone involved within the practice.
When the goal has been clearly defined, the next step in the process will be to map out the strategy. Most dental practices’ marketing strategy takes the form of:
• Internet marketing: social media marketing, website optimization, banner ads and online advertising.
• Direct response marketing: mail shot and postal card distribution.
• Advertising in local press and trade journal.
• Event sponsorship.
Finding the new dental marketing ideas is a hot topic in the dental industry today. In fact, “new dental marketing ideas” is one of the top dental searches done on the internet.
But is any idea really new?
The website craze is probably considered the newest “idea” to hit dentistry, but when you really look at what a website does, is it truly new.
I’ll heed to the point that a dental website is a new media, but hardly a new idea. In fact, many dentists rushed to put all of their old brochure information on a website. This is about as far as anyone can get from new.
Dental spas have been, and still are a growing trend in the dental industry, and although a small percentage of dentists are doing this, there have been many dental practices in the past that have added services to their menu.
In a dental spa, you may be adding spa-like services, but in the overall dental marketing era, adding additional services is not new. Having a hygienist, or adding orthodontic services to your practice is the same thing.
Taking credit payments… it has been happening since the beginning of time. Putting a brand name on something like DentalCredit, does not make it new.
I’m not saying there is nothing new in dental marketing, but 99% of the new dental marketing ideas out there, are simply modifications of old ideas.
how to attract new patients to your dental practice
One effective tool for differentiation is branding.
In the dental industry branding is particularly critical because of the image most people associate with dentists. For many people dentistry equates to pain. When they imagine going to a dentist the only thought that comes to their mind is the level of pain that is going to be inflicted on them by the dentist.
Consequently, it is imperative that dentists dispel and interrupt that thought pattern by branding their dentistry as a place that people get healed. It would not necessarily be a place that they might derive pleasure from going but a place that provides healing.
Those dentists that have managed to transform people’s image of their dentistry from a pain house where they go for pain therapy to a place of healing are the most successful in the industry. But dentists who have not made any effort to brand their dental surgery are the ones who continue to struggle.
Even though people can receive teeth whitening and other cosmetic procedures at dental practices that transform their lives and bring smiles to their faces, the majority of procedures that are conducted in a traditional dentistry are far from those cool stuff. Hence the requirement for proper branding to ensure that peoples’ perception of your dental surgery is positive.
What Is Dental Branding?
Branding is three things:
1. The story of your dental practice.
2. Your dental practice customer experience.
3. The image of your dental practice.
Your logo, your colours, your surgery setting etc. are all a part of your brand. However, they are not the most essential component of a dental practice brand. The most important component of a dental practice brand is the explicit and implicit promise made to the patients.
The goal of dental marketing is to make more money. Using ads, mailers or websites, you can reach out to people who are interested in becoming patients. One of the options is direct mail. Direct mail may generate faster sales, and has been proven to have a high return on investment.
However, most people search online for information. The increase in the usage of the Internet, together with newspaper dropping their readership, people fast-forwarding through commercials, makes Internet marketing the best tool in increasing your practice.
A dental website can gain patients’ trust and build their confidence even before they meet the dentist. It has to be a true reflection of the dental practice. The website needs to impress the visitors and convert them into patients. Visual information will help your visitors to keep your practice and your website in mind. Include pictures of your facility and procedures. Content is however, favored by search engines. Any procedure that is listed on your website should also include an explanation and benefits it offers to your patients.
Consider promoting your site with Google AdWords. Google AdWords are sponsored pay-per-click advertisements that will appear on top of the page in a yellow box. Using AdWords as part of your dental marketing plan is one tool that you can rely on. It can help you in getting top rankings with Google search engine.
The web is constantly changing, so your website should reflect changes and updates regarding your practice. A website that is out of date will not be helpful in your efforts to reach out to your patients.
Having a website that does not offer enough information will not be converting its visitors into clients. Besides information on your location, hours, credentials or specialty, you can offer a newsletter to discuss dental health problems and products. Enhancing your website can be more important than just having one.
A website is however just one step in an efficient dental marketing effort. Blogs and videos will help your patients get to know you before they visit your practice. A YouTube video can be easily embedded in your website, and you do not need a large budget in order to create a tour of your office video, complete with common procedures.