A business without a marketing strategy is like a car with no engine: stagnant.
“But, I don’t need marketing. All of our patients are referred to us by word-of-mouth.” Does that sound like you?
If it does, you’ll be surprised to know that word-of-mouth technically counts as a marketing strategy.
It might not drive the same level of ROI as an integrated marketing strategy with all of the bells and whistles, but you’re at least doing something to fuel your sales pipeline in motion.
Are you content with the rate that your patient roster is growing, or are you hoping to accelerate that growth at a faster pace?
You’re going to need a little more gas to achieve the latter.
By that, we mean a full-course dental marketing strategy. This will ultimately maximize your success with your patient acquisition efforts, especially if it includes the right components.
3 Benefits of an Integrated Dental Marketing Strategy
An integrated dental marketing strategy will benefit your practice in more ways than one.
In a nutshell, it can support your sales efforts by getting your name out there, attracting patients who fit your customer profile, and keeping them engaged enough to want to stick around.
Patients Find You
I can only imagine how many practicing dentists there are in your area.
With that in mind, it’s also safe to assume that they desire the same caliber of patients as you.
Call them what they are—competition.
If you want to be the first choice for dental care in your area, you have to stand out from the crowd. That means being visible enough for your target audience to discover you.
Unless you pop up on the first page of Google for “dental care near me,” most people probably don’t know that your practice exists. Brand awareness provides the exposure needed to get your practice found.
It also signals that you offer something to your patients that your competitors don’t, which oftentimes results in users wanting to find out what that something is.
A successful dental marketing strategy can bring you that level of brand awareness you’re hoping to get.
Your Know-Like-Trust Value Increases
It’s one thing for someone to browse your website, ads, and social media channels, and then move on thereafter.
It’s another thing if they like, comment, or share your content.
You can tell when people are interested and invested in your business (even if they don’t buy anything at first). They’ll interact with your brand through your marketing channels.
We call this engagement in the marketing world. It’s a positive indicator that a fan might eventually become a patient in the future.
You Attract the Right Leads at the Right Time
A well-thought-out dental marketing strategy can generate tons of leads that fit the profile of your ideal patient.
It can also capture their contact information and convert them into paying patients on your behalf.
That’s only if you have their demographics, psychographics, and behavioral habits down to a tee.
While some of your leads might convert at a slower pace, not everyone takes weeks or months at a time to make a buying decision.
In fact, there are a lot of people in this country who make impulsive buying decisions. Impulsive buyers don’t usually get what they need until it becomes an urgent priority.
In your case, some dental patients might schedule their routine appointments at the very last minute.
Some might even skip their bi-annual cleanings and come in for the occasional toothache, chipped tooth, or missing tooth.
There’s no such thing as bad timing where your leads are concerned. You’ll want your practice to be seen as a present solution for a current, or a future problem.
This could position your practice as a top choice for dental care, whether an emergency arises or the patient has been simmering on their decision for a while.
7 Components of a Successful Dental Marketing Strategy
The best way to market your dental practice? That’s a loaded question, my friend. There are multiple slices of the marketing pie that you can allocate your budget to.
Implementing all six of these strategies will set your marketing campaign up for the ultimate success.
An Attention-Grabbing Website
They say that websites are the new brochure. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Your website is the heartbeat of your dental marketing strategy. It’s an essential component of it that just can’t be ignored.
You’ll want your leads to have a place to land when they first discover you. A place where you can track the viewer’s activity, get their contact details, and have 100% control of the information they see.
You can knock out all three of these things at once with a perfectly optimized website.
Search Engine Optimization
You know how we were talking about the importance of locals being able to find you? Well these days, you’ll definitely need a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to accomplish this.
Thanks to the internet, patients can find a dental provider in their area at the click of a button.
They can use the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to perform a quick and easy inquiry.
Then, they can scope through third-party review sites like Yelp to narrow down their choices.
What role does your SEO strategy play in all of this? A sizable one.
When a user looks for a dental provider in your area, you’ll want your website to appear in the search results triggered by their query.
Visibility on a platform like Google can bring you a heap of free traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
It’s called organic search traffic, which accounts for 51% of the total amount of traffic the average website receives.
You know those competitors that you see on the first page of Google when you search for “dentist near me?”
They didn’t get those first-page rankings overnight. In fact, they put a lot of time and effort into their SEO strategy to earn those spots.
Without a properly optimized website, you’ll be lucky enough to land on the second or third page of Google (which is frowned upon in the land of SEO).
Are you ready to take SEO seriously? Click here to schedule a free consultation.
SEO is a marathon. It will take months to see a return-on-investment on your efforts.
Pay-per-click advertising, on the other hand, is a sprint. It’s a form of search engine marketing that requires pay to play.
Because of that, the results come quicker. A winning PPC campaign can get you on the first page of Google in no time.
About those third-party review sites. Depending on your approval rating with your community, your online reputation can either defend or destroy your good name.
Most patients don’t sugarcoat their feelings about their dentists. Whether their satisfied or unhappy, some are quick to share their feedback to the public when the opportunity presents itself.
It’s the unhappy patients who especially don’t hold back.
You might have a five-star reputation now, but do you have a plan in place if you get that one review that could tarnish your reputation for good?
An online reputation management strategy helps you prepare ahead of time for those horrendous reviews. Overall, it provides a set of guidelines for handling and responding to them.
Even if your practice has a flawless reputation, it’s good to respond to the positive reviews as well. Your responses can boost your SEO results.
If completely normal for the owner to have limited bandwidth for these kinds of tasks.
You can always appoint this responsibility to a staff member with a smaller workload. Even better, you could also hire a dental marketing agency to manage these efforts for you.
It’s no secret that content is king. From video content to blog posts, content gives your visitors a reason to keep coming back to your website.
It also positions your practice as an authority in the dental industry. When a consumer looks for a service-based business, they tend to gravitate towards the experts.
Thought leadership signals that your dentists know what they are doing.
If your practice is lacking a social media presence by now, you’re really missing out.
The social media population is growing by the second. Facebook, alone, boasts over 2 billion active users.
I’m willing to bet that you can find a bulk of your target customer base on social media.
If not on Facebook, you might find them hanging out on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, or somewhere else.
Your practice should be leveraging every opportunity to reach your patients on social media. You can use it to build brand awareness, increase engagement, and drive lead conversions.
A combined organic and paid social media strategy is necessary for a high return-on-investment.
How do you keep uncommitted leads interested when they aren’t ready to buy just yet?
You nurture them. Email marketing happens to be one of the best lead nurturing tools out there.
Until the stagnant leads are ready for an appointment, periodic email blasts will remind them that you exist.
It also serves as a patient retention strategy. When a patient comes in for their first visit, I’m assuming that they give you their email address to receive email reminders for their future appointments.
Aside from the occasional nudge, there are many other ways that you can use email to engage your patients.
Patients love a good incentive. You can use email marketing to promote limited-time specials, contests, freebies, and more.
Level Up your Dental Marketing Strategy
At Core Dental Solutions, we help dental practices win more patients. We do this by planning and implementing dental marketing strategies that do the patient acquisition work for you.