Marketing your dental office can seem like a daunting task when you are busy caring for patients, processing claims, and running the day-to-day of the practice. Effective marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming; a few small steps can make a lasting impression and bring in new patients. We compiled a few tips and tricks to help get started.
It might sound simple but basic branding practices help legitimize your business. Ensuring that your logo, fonts, and colors are consistent across mailers and your web presence is essential. Think of it as a uniform for your office; much like how scrubs show that your office is a professional provider, cohesive branding lets a patient know how organized and professional you are. It shows that you pay attention to detail and instills trust from your patients.
According to the Dental Research Journal, nearly 60 percent of the population has anxiety about going to the dentist. One of the best ways to mitigate that for future patients is by making your space as welcoming as possible. A well-lit, comfortable waiting room can help put new patients at ease while they wait for their first appointment. Tailoring your physical space starts outside the front door with your sign. Many patients will opt for dental practices that are close to either work or home, meaning your sign is one of the biggest opportunities to market. Keeping your sign on so it can be seen from the road and in accordance with your office branding is key to show consistency and accessibility.
Many potential patients will look up photos of your office on social media, trying to get a gauge on how comfortable they will feel in it. Majority of searches for a new medical or dental provider are done through mobile, we will get into more of that later. Social media presence doesn’t require a full-time set of hands to run it. You can have a strong account just by posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram. This gives you a platform to have paid advertisement runs, reviews from patients, and small promotional endeavors. For example, run a raffle on Facebook for a discounted service where existing patients enter by taking a selfie of them smiling and tagging your practice.
Patient referrals are everything! If you have a well established or a new practice this can be a vital way to bring in new patients. Offering incentives like a discount or product for a referral is a low-cost way to find future patients. This can be an especially strong practice for offices that are staples in the community.
The best way to advertise your dental office is on the platforms that your patients already use. Advertising on Waze lets people know when they are near your office and they have the option to save the location for later. Also using Google ads with keywords like “emergency” or “urgent” if your practice offers those services can boost you to the top of a quick internet search. Targeting parents in your area using Facebook ads during back to school season is also a great opportunity.
There are a few hacks that help bring your business further up on a Google search list. Make sure you have a free My Business account on Google. Of course, using Google Ads will bring your office to the top of the list in your area, but you can boost your SEO (search engine optimization) by making sure your website includes your contact information and keeping it in the same order everywhere it is posted. For example, keep it to name, address, phone number.
Much like through personal referrals, your office can gain significant business from online reviews. It’s estimated that 90 percent of people will consult an online review before trying a new business — dental practices are no exception. Yelp, Google, and Facebook are all immediate resources for a new patient. Roughly less than half of all dental offices have a verified Yelp account. Your office can intercept negative reviews by training your office managers and clerical staff to always ask, “How was your visit?” while checking a patient out. Feedback from your patients could halt a potentially damning review before it’s posted, and allow you to solve the problem.
Print and Mail
It might seem archaic to use paper (we agree, Renaissance’s dental claims processing software is an industry leader in EDI) but it can be a direct point of contact for new patients. Joining an automatic mailing list with the post office can help promote your branding and is a perfect opportunity to offer a deal for new patients.