One of the most exciting parts of owning a dental practice is attracting new patients. It is, after all, one of the reasons you set out to be a dentist – to bring a smile to your patients’ faces. Increasing patient volume and attracting new patients, however, can also be the most challenging part of a new or existing dental practice.
You completed dental school, set up or acquired your own practice, hired top-notch employees, and learned/leveraged dental software solutions. Now what? Whether it’s to improve your business model or you have the goal to sell your dental practice with an optimized profit margin, it’s always critical to improve your total patient count.
Gone are the days when patients flipped through the Yellow Pages to find a local dentist. Today, patients need to know who you are, where you’re located, and how your patients rate you and your practice.
If you are in the process of growing your practice, here are several targeted marketing strategies we’ve found to be pivotal in growing a successful practice.
Time to Get Social
With dozens of different social media platforms, it’s imperative to use the power of social media. Studies show that social media ads will surpass print ads in viewership and customer imprint.
Social media is a great platform to share your practice updates, pictures of your office and team members, promotions, participate in dental industry conversations, or respond to dental hygiene questions from your audience. Social media also enables you to connect with new prospective patients as well as foster loyalty and communication between existing patents.
You should choose your platform based on your goals. Here are some examples:
• Instagram is great for patient before and after pictures, showcasing your dental work, and profiling your team.
• YouTube is another great visual medium and offers an ideal platform for practice overviews, office tours, showcasing a patient’s experience, or even discussing procedures so patients have a better understanding of your dental treatment.
• Twitter is ideal for links for blogs and becoming an industry leader.
• Facebook offers similar features as the other platforms and is a great tool for general practice updates and helping ensure your practice is easy to find.
Remember, no matter what platform you choose, you’re sharing content that interests or benefits your potential patients, not your peers.
There is no hard and fast rule for how to utilize each platform, but understanding your goals and selecting which platform is best for you is key. As long as you’re building a strong on-line presence, you’re on the right path. We recommend focusing on one or two of the platforms. Learn the intricacies and then grow organically.
Improve Search Engine Visibility
There are only two kinds of content on the internet – entertainment and education. Your patients have questions; the first and often the only place they are going to find answers is Google and other search engines.
Research shows that over 50% of people searching for a new dentist will use Google. Your website is usually one of the first items to catch a prospective patient’s eye. Does your website represent your brand? Is it professional? Is it crystal clear how to contact your office with the address and phone number? People are busy and they often know the importance of a dentist, but what will set you apart?
Ensure your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is strong and targeted so your practice is the first to populate among practices in your local market. In addition to fundamental SEO practices, you can increase visibility by creating compelling and informative on-line content via blogs, videos, and graphics that speak to your patients’ needs.
Earn Patient Reviews and Referrals
A survey shows that 90% of customers buying decisions are influenced purely by reading reviews on-line. Humans are social creatures and heavily rely on other people’s experiences. The equation is simple: happier patient reviews equals a higher likelihood that new patients will be confident in choosing your dental office.
In today’s practices, testimonials are essential. To help encourage patient testimonials, you must make it easy. Many practice management software packages have the ability to auto-generate review emails after patient appointments. If you prefer a more personal approach, simply place QR codes (directing patients to the review website) in operatories, at checkout, and have your staff ask for reviews after their appointment. Reviews are a great way to provide insight and to improve your practice for new patients. Without testimonials, it’s difficult to distinguish between a mediocre or stellar dentist. Similarly, word of mouth referrals is the best way to attract new patients to your practice.
Who knew dentists could bring a smile to their patient’s face before they even walk in the door? It is not only possible but important to build a trusting relationship with your audience even when they are not in the office. In today’s digital age, there are many options to customize a marketing strategy that best suits your brand and patients. Whether it’s from social channels, search optimization, or review generation, it’s important to determine your marketing strategy by your specific goals, location, and budget.
We want you to break through and exceed your goals as you work toward attracting new patients. For more ways to build and grow a successful dental practice, get in touch with the experts at US Dental Transitions.