“Digital Marketing” sounds like the sort of thing you might use to sell physical products like toothpaste, but it’s also an important strategy to have for your dental practice – “Digital Dental Marketing,” if you will.
Online ads, appointment reminders, and reviews can all give your office a leg up over your local competitors while contributing to an even smoother and more enjoyable patient experience.
Here are 9 of the best digital dental marketing practices.
1. Local Awareness Ads
Most patients live within a 10-mile radius of their dentist. This means that local advertising is your best friend, and can help you target potential new patients that live in the same neighborhood as your practice.
Make sure to share details about your business in these ads, like the address, hours of operation, and links to get directions from the user’s location. Both Facebook and Google have options for advertising locally.
2. Click to Call Ads
If you’re a dentist, you don’t want your customers to fill out a form or buy something from your online shop – you want them to call you to book an appointment.
Click to Call Ads let a user call your office directly from the ad they were served on their phone, computer, or tablet. This feature is also available on Facebook and Google, and with the help of a digital marketing friend (like us!) you can trace which ads resulted in the calls your office received during the campaign.
3. Facebook Demographic Targeting
It’s no secret that Facebook knows a lot about its users, which makes it really easy for it to offer some pretty advanced targeting options to advertisers.
Research shows that women make 90% of the dental purchasing decisions for their households – using this information, you can use Facebook to target ads for your practice specifically to women whose relationship status, age, employment, income, and interests match your ideal patient profile.
Utilizing tools like Facebook is a digital dental marketing must.
4. Appointment Reminders
Not only are reminders a great tool for retaining patients and keeping your dental practice top-of-mind, but they also provide genuine value.
A simple text message, email, phone call, or even a postcard can be that one line of communication that influences whether a patient schedules their next annual appointment or not.
There are plenty of options for setting up automated reminders. Google calendar alerts is a great place to start if this is the first time you’re trying it out for the first time.
5. Remarketing Ads
Remarketing is when you serve ads to users who have already interacted with your content, or even patients that have already had their first appointment. The goal is to retain the newer patients by keeping your office at the front of their mind.
One good remarketing strategy is to send reminders to past patients about upcoming cleanings or to come back and get their teeth whitened again since it’s been a while since their last appointment.
6. Emergency Keywords
Using keywords associated with dental emergencies is one way to reach patients with immediate needs and high levels of intent.
Imagine that you knock your tooth out at 2 AM and need immediate dental help – are you going to take your time sifting through search results and comparing prices, or are you going to call the first local office that pops up?
(Side note: if you choose to use emergency keywords, make sure someone is actually available to answer the phone and provide emergency service or risk getting some pretty unhappy Google reviews…)
7. Review Management
Online patient feedback is a huge part of your digital dental marketing.
According to a study done in 2014, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Get yourself a way to request reviews from your patients after their appointments, and make sure you’re responding to them on a regular basis and adding value.
(Hint: We manage reviews for dental practices, and it helps them spend more time with patients while still maintaining their online reputation. If you’re interested of have any questions about that, contact us anytime.)
8. Instagram Posts
Instagram is a great way to show off your practice. People love before and after photos, and it’s a great way to connect with current and future patients when they’re outside of your office. Just make sure that you’re posting on a regular basis and building community by interacting with your followers.
9. Referral Bonuses
Everyone appreciated a good ol’ fashioned reward for referring a friend. Offer your patients incentives like gift cards to coffee shops or 10% off their next teeth-whitening appointment when they refer a friend to your practice. Elevate the promotion on your social media accounts, post signs around your office, and send reminders via email or postcard – however you like to market best.
Running a dental practice is a full-time job, but so is marketing your services. If you’re doing both at the same time, we hope that some of these tips will help ease your workload!
If after trying these out you still could use an extra set of hands, give us a call anytime. We’re happy to help.