Blog > Digital Marketing > 10 Dental Marketing Strategies to Attract New Patients and Grow Your Business

How to Create an Effective Dental Marketing Plan

November 21, 2023
·
20
min read

If the success of your dental practice was all about providing stellar care to your patients, then your practice would probably be made in the shade right now.

Unfortunately, in such a competitive market, that isn’t always the case. 

If you want your dental practice to succeed, it’s going to take more than outstanding patient care; it’s going to take the right marketing strategies to continuously attract new patients and grow your practice.

So, if it’s marketing inspiration you were seeking when you clicked this article, it’s marketing inspiration we’ve got!

Today’s blog lays out 10 surefire dental marketing strategies to help you attract new patients and grow your business!

How to Create an Effective Dental Marketing Plan

A list marked "Plan" at the top.

The first thing you’ll have to do is to decide what kind of strategies work best for you, your potential patients, and your practice.

To do that, you’ll first have to figure out a few things:

Lay Some Groundwork

First, you’ll need to do a little research so that you can build a strong foundation.

Here’s what you’re looking for:

  • Market Analysis — Start by researching your local dental market. Understand what the demand is for dental services, the demographics of your area, and any seasonal variations that seem to occur. 
  • Competitor Analysis — Who are your competitors? What services do they offer? How do they market themselves? Have a good look at your competitor’s marketing material, their website, and any digital ads you can find. Are there any gaps or under-served areas your competitors aren’t meeting that your practice can? What’s working or not working for them that your brand can capitalize on?
  • User Personas — Use patient data to create detailed user personas for your target audience. Be as detailed as possible and include things like demographics, search strategies, dental services needed, and more to help you understand your ideal patients’ needs so that you can effectively target your marketing to meet them. 

Set Your Goals

What are you trying to achieve with this campaign? More patients? A better online presence? Expansion to new locations?

Be sure that your goals are clear, measurable, and realistic. We recommend setting some SMART goals here. If you’ve never heard of those before, we’ll break it down now:

  • Specific — Your goals should be well-defined and specific. Be clear about what you want to achieve.
  • Measurable — Your goals should have quantifiable metrics. You should be able to easily track and measure your progress with data and numbers.
  • Achievable — Keep your goals realistic. They should challenge you, but not be so far out of reach that you’re demotivated as you go.
  • Relevant — Your goals should align with your overall business objectives and be relevant to the growth and success of your dental practice.
  • Time-bound — Set a realistic timeframe for achieving your goals. This creates a sense of urgency and keeps you on track.

By applying the SMART framework to your goals, you'll have a clearer roadmap for your digital marketing campaign, making it more effective and efficient.

Set Your Budget

Your budget might decide just how many strategies you’ll be able to put into place.

Be realistic about what you have to work with and the resources you’ll need to get it done. Will you have to purchase any new software (more on that later)? Hire on freelancers to get professional-looking results? 

Include their wages and the cost of any new tools or software in your budget while you plan!

The Top 10 Dental Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business

A big tooth with a plus sign for great dental marketing strategies!

And once the groundwork is done and you know more about what you’re working with, give these 10 strategies a read and see which ones would work best for you!

1. Optimize Your Website

These days, a website is a must-have, not an option.

Your website is most likely going to be your audience’s first point of contact with your brand, so make sure the welcome mat is out and you’re making the best digital first impression that you can! 

Here are ways to optimize your website for potential customers:

Make it User-Friendly

Be sure that your website has intuitive navigation, and your web design is neat and visually appealing.

 

Your visitors should be able to easily find everything they’re looking for without frustration, including your location, contact details, services offered, and appointment scheduling.

It should also load quickly and be mobile responsive for those new patients who are visiting you from their smartphones or tablets.

Once a visitor is on your website, it should be quite easy for them to figure out how to take a desired action. Keep any CTAs on your website clearly marked, whether it’s to schedule appointments, subscribe to newsletters, or access any patient resources on your website.

SEO Optimization

To be more visible and discoverable to potential new patients who are Googling dental services, your website must also be optimized for SEO.

Use a tool like SEMRush or Google Keyword Planner to identify relevant dental SEO keywords for services in your area that prospective patients might be searching for. Once you identify those keywords, use them in your website content, including any blogs, service descriptions, and any other written content. 

You can also optimize each web page with keyword-rich content like headers to keep your pages organized, meta tags, and alt tags. These make your page easier to read, keep it accessible to the vision-impaired, and also signal to search engine bots what your site is about.

For a place like a dental clinic, your local SEO is also very important too. 

Make your community aware of your presence by creating a Google Business listing to increase your chances of appearing in local search results and put yourself out there to potential patients in your area.

2. An Active Social Media Presence

Social media has quickly become a powerhouse for any type of marketing, so there’s no reason your dental practice can’t get in on the action. Social media platforms are a great way to engage with your audience, build up your online presence, and, of course, promote your services. 

Here are some other ways to use social media for your marketing benefit:

Influencers

Consider collaborating with social media influencers in the healthcare or beauty industry who have a significant following and whose online activity aligns with your brand. 

This can help your practice reach a wider audience and amplify awareness to bring more foot traffic to your dental office.

Strong Online Presence

Your social media presence is also key to building up an overall strong and recognizable presence online.

Be sure that your social posts are consistent in tone and branding, and that you’re posting engaging and valuable content (more on that later in this article!) that resonates with your target audience and positions you as an authority.

And don’t just post and ghost. Interact with your followers by responding to comments, messages, and questions that they have. This helps build trust and foster a sense of community!

3. Wowing the Crowd with Video

Here is where we start getting into that valuable and educational content that you can share with your followers to build up your base and assert your dental authority.

Video is an extremely engaging medium. It grabs attention and it makes complex topics simple to grasp. It’s also highly shareable on social media or as a part of an email marketing campaign.

Here are some ideas for video content your practice can produce:

  • Educational Explainers — Create videos that explain common dental procedures, oral health tips, or demystify dental jargon. These are highly valuable for patients looking for more information about their dental care.
  • Webinars and Live Q&A — Host webinars or live Q&A sessions where you can interact with your audience in real time. This builds up a sense of connection and provides an opportunity to address patient questions or concerns.
  • Virtual Tour — Take your audience on a virtual tour of your dental practice. This not only familiarizes potential patients with your facilities but also adds a personal touch to your online presence.
  • Promotional Videos — Share videos about special offers, discounts, or new services your dental practice is offering. These can be highly effective in attracting new patients.
  • Patient Testimonials — Feature real-life patient testimonials sharing their positive experiences with your practice. These testimonials build trust and show your commitment to patient satisfaction.
  • Behind-the-Scenes — Offer a glimpse behind the scenes of your dental practice. Showcase your team, the state-of-the-art equipment you use, and the care that goes into every patient's visit. This humanizes your practice and makes it more relatable.

Using video content in these creative ways not only informs and engages your audience but also helps in building a strong online presence for your dental practice. 

It's a great way to stand out in the digital landscape and connect with potential patients!

4. Captivating Content Marketing

Content marketing is a flexible and extremely customizable strategy that you can use to impact your practice’s engagement and online presence. 

We’ve already talked about the power of video marketing, but there are other types of valuable written content that you can use to attract, inform, and engage your potential patients, such as:

The Power of Blogging

Blogging is an excellent way to simultaneously inform and engage your audience. 

Posting regular blogs on your website about dental health topics, treatment options, preventative care, and more makes for an excellent resource for existing and new patients alike.

They engage your audience by providing answers to common dental questions and addressing frequent concerns.

Case Studies

Case studies are a valuable content format that allows your dental practice to showcase real-life examples of successful treatments and patient outcomes. 

By sharing these in-depth narratives of specific cases, you both demonstrate your clinical expertise and problem-solving skills and highlight the positive impact your services have on patients. 

E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritative, Trustworthiness)

If you want to position your practice as an authority in the industry and see your search engine rankings go up, you need to E.A.T. up.

Here’s a breakdown of what that means for your written content: 

  • Expertise — Demonstrate your in-depth knowledge and expertise in the dental field through well-researched and informative content. Share articles, blog posts, and videos that educate patients about dental health, procedures, and preventive measures. Showcasing your expertise helps build trust and credibility!
  • Authoritativeness — Establish your practice as a credible and trustworthy source of information. This involves sharing content that is backed by research, citing reputable sources, and adhering to industry standards. Highlight your credentials, certifications, and affiliations with professional dental organizations to reinforce your authority in the field and show that you’re the real deal.
  • Trustworthiness — Building trust is essential in healthcare. Ensure that your online presence is transparent, honest, and patient-centered. Encourage patient reviews and testimonials to showcase the positive experiences others have had with your practice. Address patient concerns and inquiries quickly and professionally to maintain that trust.

By focusing on E.A.T., you can bolster your practice's reputation and visibility, attracting more patients and improving your online rankings.

Informative Newsletters

Newsletters are a versatile content marketing tool that lets your dental practice stay connected with your patient base, provide valuable information, and nurture relationships.

Use your newsletters to educate patients about oral health, promote services, events, and offers, and feature positive testimonials from satisfied patients. 

This is a great way to stay on your recipients’ minds and nurture leads from any prospective patients who gave you their contact info but never scheduled an appointment.

Content for SEO

Creating informative content like blog posts, white papers, case studies, and more is a great way to use your keywords to rank higher in search engines.

In addition to that, the more quality content you have on your site, the more value your audience will find. Well-written and informative content tends to keep visitors on your site for a longer period of time, which signals to search engines that your website is authoritative and credible.

Blog Post Exchange

Another way to get more valuable content is to collaborate with other dental professionals for guest blog posts or exchanges.

This involves exchanging content to offer a fresh perspective for your audience and is mutually beneficial for you and your fellow collaborator!

5. Local Advertising

A map with a location marker for local dental advertising.

Putting your practice out there to your community is essential since that’s where your new patients are coming from!

 

Here are some tips to increase your visibility within your area and reach more patients.

Rank High on Google Maps

Most new patients start their search for dental services by picking up their smartphone, clicking over to the Google Maps app, and doing a search for a practice near them.

Because of this, it’s very important that you claim and optimize your Google Business listing and keep your business page current with accurate information, images, and regular updates to keep your practice visible to users.

Put that local SEO to work here too with location-specific keywords and geo-targeted content to reach more users near you.

Local Ad Campaigns, Radio, TV

Running targeted online ad campaigns through platforms like Google Ads (more on that too!) and putting your focus on specific geographical areas can also help you draw in nearby patients who are in search of dental care.

Radio and TV are great for this as well. A local radio or TV station can effectively reach your audience and help you amplify brand awareness and reach more potential patients.

6. Engaging Email Marketing

Email is a cost-effective and engaging strategy that can give your dental practice a way to engage with new and existing patients.

Sending regular emails can help keep communication lines open and foster stronger relationships with your patients, keeping your clinic top-of-mind for your patients the next time they or their family or friends in need of dental care.

Here’s a bit more about how you can use email marketing:

Deliver Your Amazing Content

Delivering valuable content like your blogs, educational newsletters, and promotional updates, and more is a fantastic way to keep your new and existing patients informed and engaged with your brand.

You should also be sending your existing patients regular clinic updates and appointment reminders as well to keep them in the loop and keep your clinic on their minds.

Engage with Your Patients

Email is a convenient and easy way to keep communication open with both your new and existing patients.

Segment your list so that prospective patients are getting promotions and other persuasive material from your brand while existing customers’ emails are more focused on gathering feedback through surveys and patient support.

7. Maintaining a Stellar Online Reputation

The first thing many prospective patients will do after finding your practice on Google will be to check your online reviews. Because of this, it’s vitally important that you manage your online reputation so that you’re always making a good first impression.

Here are some strategies for doing that:

Google Reviews

If need be, offer incentives for positive Google reviews because 9 times out of 10, it’s your Google reviews that your prospective patients are looking at when they find you online so positive reviews are extremely important to have!

And if a patient leaves a review that requires a response, be sure that you respond whether the review is positive or negative. This will showcase your dedication to customer satisfaction and give you a chance to make things right with any dissatisfied customers.

Ask for Feedback

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want!

Using social media or email, you can send information-gathering tools like post-patient surveys and post-visit feedback forms for delighted patients to gush about your services. 

And it doesn't have to stay digital. Depending on the patient, in-person requests might be an even easier way to gather up positive feedback. Keep a physical feedback form handy and encourage patients to fill one out before they leave.

You can use these positive testimonials on your Google Business page, your website, landing page, digital ads, and more.

8. Strategic PPC Campaigns

PPC (Pay-per-click) campaigns (like Google ads) are a highly effective digital advertising strategy that gives your practice a way to connect with potential patients through strategically placed display ads on search engines and other digital platforms. 

Here's a look at the benefits a well-designed PPC campaign can bring you:

  • Targeted Ads — PPC campaigns allow you to create highly targeted ads that are shown to users actively searching for dental services or related keywords. This ensures your message reaches an audience already interested in what your practice offers.
  • Budget Control — One of the advantages of PPC campaigns is that you have complete control over your advertising budget. You can set daily or monthly limits to manage your spending effectively. This cost-effective approach ensures you get the most out of your advertising investment.
  • Landing Pages — PPC ads are linked to dedicated landing pages on your website. These landing pages are designed to provide a seamless and relevant user experience, matching the ad's content. High-quality landing pages with clear calls to action can lead to increased conversions, whether it's booking appointments or requesting more information.
  • Geo-targeting — For dental practices with physical locations or service areas, PPC campaigns can be geo-targeted. This means your ads are displayed to users within specific geographic regions, ensuring that you reach local patients who are more likely to visit your practice.
  • Keywords — Extensive keyword research is essential for the success of your PPC campaigns. Identify relevant dental keywords that your potential patients are using in their online searches. By bidding on the right keywords, you can ensure that your ads appear in search results when users are looking for dental services.

By tailoring your ad content, controlling your budget, optimizing landing pages, geo-targeting, and selecting the most effective keywords, you can boost your online visibility, attract new patients, and maximize your return on investment.

9. Sweetening the Pot with Incentives

Sometimes you just need to sweeten the pot to get more traffic to your clinic doors!

Here are some great ways to coax those prospective patients into engaging with your brand or scheduling that appointment!

Contest and Giveaways

Social media contests and giveaways are an exciting way to engage with your audience and attract new patients. 

Encourage your users to participate by sharing, liking, commenting, and more to increase your practice’s visibility. You can even offer enticing prizes like a free cleaning, a teeth whitening session, dental care packages, branded merchandise, and more.

Get creative with your contests and watch your engagement shoot up!

New Patient Specials

Attract new patients with new patient specials, like discounted first visitors, dental packages at reduced rates, or free dental care packages beyond just the toothbrush and floss combo many practices give out.

Referral systems also work great here. Offering discounted visits for new patients and the referrer as well is a great incentive to get new and repeat business.

Oh, and these promotions make great digital ad content and social media posts, making this strategy a double whammy for you!

10. Giving Back to Your Community

Giving back to your community isn’t just the right thing to do, it can also be a strategic approach to growing your dental practice.

Your community may have different and unique needs, but here are some good ideas to get you started:

Fundraising

Fundraising is an excellent way to give back to your community.

Seasonal fundraisers like Toys for Tots or March of Dimes are great causes to get behind. Or if you have local causes and organizations that are near and dear to your heart, that’s an excellent place to start too.

And it doesn’t have to just be your clinic getting involved for the greater good. Involving your patients in fundraising campaigns can drive more donations to these causes as well as help to create a sense of community and shared purpose among your staff and patients.

Fundraising also gives you a chance to team up with other local businesses to connect to more residents, simultaneously amplifying your brand and showing your clinic’s commitment to your local community.

 

Charity Work

It doesn’t bring in direct profit, but offering pro bono services for underprivileged schools, underserved communities, veterans, etc., is a wonderful gesture that showcases your clinic’s commitment to doing the right thing.

In addition to helping out your community and making a difference in someone’s life, charity events also raise awareness and help your clinic make a positive impact.

Don’t be afraid to team up either. Collaboration with dental charity organizations can extend your charitable efforts and help you amplify brand awareness while serving more people in need.

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Monitor Your Campaign for Success

No matter what dental clinic digital marketing strategies you choose to try in 2024, you’ll need a way to keep track of your campaign and keep you informed of what elements are working and what aren’t.

Analyzing the performance of your strategies allows you to adjust as you go to keep your campaign fresh and make sure that you consistently reach your goals!

Here are some of our favorite tools and KPIs (key performance indicators) to watch as you work toward your goals.

Dental Marketing Tools

  • Google Analytics — Google Analytics provides in-depth data on your website's performance, including traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. It's a valuable tool to measure the impact of your digital marketing efforts.
  • Marketing Automation Software — Tools like HubSpot, Marketo, or Mailchimp can help you track and manage your email marketing campaigns, segment your audience, and measure email engagement.
  • Social Media Insights — Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram offer built-in analytics tools that allow you to assess post reach, engagement, and audience demographics.
  • SEO Tools — Platforms like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs are essential for tracking keyword rankings, analyzing backlinks, and identifying opportunities to improve your website's SEO.
  • Heatmap and User Behavior Tools — Services like Hotjar and Crazy Egg provide heatmaps and user behavior insights to understand how visitors interact with your website.

Dental Marketing KPIs

  • Website Traffic — Monitor the number of visitors to your website and track changes over time to gauge the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts.
  • Conversion Rate — Measure the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as booking appointments, subscribing to your newsletter, or downloading resources.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) — Assess the CTR of your email marketing campaigns and PPC ads to evaluate how well your content resonates with your audience.
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) — Calculate the cost of acquiring a new patient through various marketing channels to optimize your budget allocation.
  • Social Media Engagement — Evaluate the likes, shares, comments, and overall engagement on your social media posts to determine the effectiveness of your social media strategy.
  • Bounce Rate — Analyze the bounce rate on your website to understand how engaging and relevant your landing pages are to visitors.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) — Determine the ROI for each marketing channel to allocate resources to the most profitable strategies.
  • Email Open and Click Rates — Track how many recipients open your emails and click on the links within them to measure the performance of your email campaigns.
  • Keyword Ranking — Keep an eye on your website's ranking for target keywords in search engine results to assess the impact of your SEO efforts.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) — Calculate the average cost of acquiring a new patient, considering all marketing and sales expenses, to optimize your patient acquisition strategy.

One More Strategy Before You Go …

Of course, bringing any marketing strategy to life takes time, resources and manpower, not to mention a skill set that involves social media savvy, persuasive writing, and graphic design to create all of the content and eye-catching ads your campaign will need to succeed.

So, if that’s what’s holding you back from attracting new patients and growing your business, then we have a cost-effective strategy you’ll love.

Partner with Designity.

No, really. That’s the strategy.

Partnering with Designity puts an experienced and talented Creative Director in your corner, a special someone with marketing and design expertise who will take over your marketing projects, build out your timelines, and oversee the creation of all of the killer content your campaign needs.

With access to a talent pool consisting of the top 3% US-based creatives, you’ll have everyone from graphic designers to video editors, copywriters, social media experts, and more.

Your CD will take care of managing and sourcing the right talent to get your projects completed and all you’ll need to do is sit back and approve your professional-quality deliverables as they come in.

So, if you’re ready to team up with the marketing partner your clinic has been dreaming of, then why not book a demo call?

Try out our services with a two-week, no-obligation trial. We’re not a match? No problem. 

Cancel during your trial without owing a cent.

But if we are (and we bet that we are) then get ready to start leveling up your marketing collateral, put your strategies into place, and watch your business grow!

Book your demo call today! We’re ready when you are.

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About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
Interested in content collaboration? Email at press@designity.com
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