The dental market is currently experiencing an increased demand for dental services in tandem with a decreased supply of available dentists. Additionally, data from the ADA’s Health Policy Institute demonstrate a sharp increase in the costs of operating dental practices in terms of supplies and materials, lab fees, and staff wages. All the while, insurance reimbursements have decreased.
What do all these factors mean for dental practices looking to scale their operations in 2023?
It’s more important than ever to invest in effective dental marketing strategies and capture the available market share in order to grow your dental practice. By reaching more potential patients, dental practices can offset the rising costs of doing business, improve their bottom line, improve patient satisfaction, meet dental KPIs, and strengthen their brand image.
Whether you’re just starting out in dental marketing, or you’re searching for new ideas to boost your results, here are the top six dental marketing ideas.
#1 Start with your website
No digital marketing campaign would be complete without a dental website. Regardless of industry, having an online presence plays a foundational role in your marketing efforts as a dental practitioner. Your website is your digital calling card, first impression, and virtual storefront all rolled into one.
Designed properly, a dental website represents an invaluable tool you can leverage to:
- Establish an online presence and brand
- Advertise your dental service and unique selling points (such as a specific dental treatment or dental procedures like teeth whitening)
- Build trust and credibility
- Convey your expertise
- Drive traffic, convert leads, and gain new patients
- Build a list and take advantage of email marketing
But for a website to accomplish these feats, it must be easy to navigate, fast loading, user friendly, and mobile responsive. Not to mention, it needs search engine optimization (SEO) to rank for users’ search queries. Also, you need to monitor the progress of these metrics, which is why website data tracking like Google Analytics can help you better cater to your target audience and see what’s resonating with them.
#2 Leverage SEO for long-term results
In the discovery stage, most prospective patients will begin their search for a dentist on Google. They may research topics related to their dental condition, such as dentures or implants, and then discover potential dental candidates by reading about these issues on their website’s blog.
Or, they may look directly for a dental clinic in their area.
In either instance, your goal should be for your website to rank at or near the top of all the relevant queries. Accomplishing this isn’t easy, but it is possible with a well-planned SEO strategy that includes:
- Keyword research – Identifying and targeting the right keywords, particularly those that are relevant to your audience with a high search volume.
- Content marketing – Crafting high-quality content, especially on your blog pages to answer relevant queries, attract links, and foster social shares.
- On-page optimization – Optimizing the website’s content and structure for the search engines. This includes adding:
- HTML tags
- Image alt text
- External and internal linking
#3 Capitalize on local search
When it comes to dental brand awareness, proximity matters. A dental clinic in San Diego will experience little benefit if its website is discovered by a prospective patient in Westchester (this also applies to any local business).
While there is some play in the joints about maximum distance, especially between rural and urban dental practices, as a general rule of thumb, the potential clients will live within a 10-mile radius of their dental practice.
Therefore, you need to be focusing your digital marketing efforts on targeting people within this proximal region. For businesses that depend on community support, such as brick-and-mortar locations, local SEO is an essential way to ensure that customers in your area can find your business when they perform a Google or Apple maps search.
Local search/SEO strategies include:
- Creating and optimizing a Google My Business listing
- Using schema markup for local results
- Optimizing content to include local keywords
- Building up local citations such as online directories and review sites
- Ensuring that name, address, and content information are consistent online
- Creating local content
- Using social media to promote local services
- Posting positive online reviews
#4 Focus on providing value & information
Content creation and dissemination should be at the forefront of your dental marketing strategy. The content you post on your website (and social media pages) enables you to build relationships with customers. By creating content that’s authoritative and relevant, you can educate would-be patients about your dental services while demonstrating your trustworthiness and expertise.
To keep patients coming back for more, your blog should be updated frequently and cover a variety of subjects. Potential topics include:
- Dental tips and advice
- Information about common dental issues and treatments
- News about new dental products and technologies
- Patient testimonials with before and after results
- Behind the scenes blogs
- Interviews with experts
#5 Incorporate digital technologies and highlight them
Increasingly, modern clinics are embracing digital technologies that can streamline and simplify traditional workflows, reduce patient chair time and overcome costs, and improve patient experience and outcomes. These technologies include:
- Intraoral scanner – These devices are transforming the way dentists take impressions, replacing the outmoded analog method. Equipped with these tools, dentists can rapidly scan the patient’s intraoral cavity, register the size and shape of each tooth, and then use the data to create a perfect 3D image—all without incurring taxing supply costs.
- CAD/CAM dentistry – Equipped with computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, a dental lab can take that 3D scan and then make micro-adjustments to ensure proper spacing and alignment for the final restoration.
- 3D Milling – Once the scan is prepared for restoration, a milling machine can shape the piece out of a ceramic block and then perform color-matching, thus ensuring the optimal fit and aesthetic of a dental prosthetic.
If you utilize such advancements in dentistry, you should highlight them so that patients are aware that you run a state-of-the-art practice. When it comes to how to attract new patients to your dental practice, these advancements represent a unique selling proposition that you can highlight in your social media and content marketing efforts to set your clinic apart from the competition.
Social media is often the most underutilized digital dental marketing tool. Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok can help you reach a large audience of potential patients—with each outlet serving as a unique tool in your marketing toolkit.
Leveraged properly, your social media marketing channels can improve your visibility and brand reach, drive awareness, and stoke engagement among potential clients. To that end, some best dental SEO practices include:
- Post consistently to build a following and drive engagement
- Use a content calendar to stay organized and efficient
- Discover and incorporate your brand voice
- Focus on your unique selling propositions, such as digital dental technologies
- Include your CTA information in your profile bios
- Analyze and optimize your social campaigns
- Respond to your community
- Link to and engage with relevant pages
Dandy’s Digital Dental Workflows
With prices rising and competition heating up in the market, dental clinics must go above and beyond to distinguish their services and then market them to current and prospective patients. By embracing the six marketing ideas for dental offices, you can take the necessary steps to improve your visibility and brand reach, especially in the digital space.
Are you looking to incorporate new dental technology into your dental clinic and marketing practices?
If so, the team at Dandy can help you transition to a digital dental workflow, providing an intraoral scanner, powerful software, and the full support of a digital dental lab. Once implemented, you can focus your marketing materials on the benefits of digital dentistry.
So, if you’re ready to unleash your clinic’s full potential, contact us today.
Dentistry IQ. “Through the roof”: The impact of rising costs on dentistry. https://www.dentistryiq.com/dentistry/article/14282852/how-much-are-rising-costs-impacting-dentistry
Dentistry IQ. Why are some dental websites more effective than others? https://www.dentistryiq.com/dental-hygiene/clinical-hygiene/article/16366899/why-are-some-dental-websites-more-effective-than-others
Backlinko. SEO Strategy. https://backlinko.com/seo-strategy