Throughout 2020, virtually anyone who could put off medical care did. This effect was noticeable in every field of healthcare, and dentistry was no exception.
Despite being one of the first industries to adjust to the pandemic and having some of the strictest standards, many local dentists went days or weeks with empty schedules.
The result? Dental care has been thrown into chaos from coast to coast. Even patients who would reliably get their teeth cleaned once or twice a year are nowhere to be found.
Small and mid-sized dental practices in particular are scrambling to reconnect with customers and get their attention in a world that’s still hectic in a thousand different ways.
A few approaches to this problem have become common:
- Sending out mailers to past patients to remind them about necessary care
- Calling past patients on the phone, either individually or using auto-dialing
- Conventional paper fliers and media placements displayed in the community
The logic behind these seems sound, but they rarely motivate patients to make an appointment. Dentists can find themselves slashing their prices by 20% or more to create a sense of urgency.
All this can lead to a high cost of customer acquisition that isn’t offset by profitable procedures.
Old-Fashioned Dental Advertising Is All Too Easy For Today’s Busy Patients To Shrug Off
Sometimes, conventional dental advertising hits the spot with people concerned about their appearance. If you want to feel more confident about your smile, everyone knows to go to the dentist.
The majority of prospective patients, however, don’t think much of dental advertising. They have little brand loyalty and might see dental ads as another reminder of something they “should” do – in other words, nagging!
So, how can you flip the script, reduce resistance, and get patients back?
The bad news is that changing someone’s basic beliefs about dental care is a long, hard process. Those habits were fixed early on in life, starting with the way Mom and Dad felt about brushing. If early role models weren’t big on brushing and flossing every day, chances are your patients aren’t, either.
The good news is, you can get patients who are moderately or very enthusiastic about dental health on a regular, recurring schedule. That’s a larger pool than you may think: With one in five Americans almost never visiting the dentist, those who are already on your radar can keep you busy for years to come.
The secret to brand loyalty for dentists is to show them you truly care about their well-being.
The way to do it is through modern digital marketing for dentists.
Digital Marketing For Dentists Makes You Part Of Your Patient’s Life-Long Care Team
Everybody you meet has a support network. A patient who only visits you once a year might have a chiropractor they see every week or a therapist they go to every month. Support isn’t limited to healthcare, either. Maybe your patient is a regular at a favorite local restaurant and visits there as much as possible.
Physicians and allied health practitioners have made inroads using digital technology to position themselves as indispensable members of each patient’s care team – the pit crew that helps them perform their best in the championship race of life. But dentists have often found themselves behind the curve.
With digital marketing, you have the opportunity to go where patients are and make a real connection with them. No matter if they’re thinking about a cosmetic procedure, need to get their teeth cleaned, or simply have some idle curiosity about a subject related to teeth, you can be the one who responds.
Every time you’re there for patients between visits, you cement your status as a trusted advisor.
There are three elements to staying in conversation with patients when they’re not in the chair:
- Helpful, informative website content such as blog posts and videos
- Social media posts on the networks your patients are using most
- Email marketing that helps you to set the tempo of patient visits
Let’s look at each one of them and how they work together in digital marketing for dentists.
Share Your Expertise With Blogging For Dentists
Everyone knows that you should brush your teeth, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it right.
It’s remarkable how, despite a life-long habit of brushing, patients can still find that they have problems with certain teeth, that their gums aren’t healthy, or that their mouth never feels completely clean.
In cases like these, the basic assumptions they have about dental health are not quite right. And while you might have a tough time getting people to brush more, you can always help them brush better.
This is just one small example of the way your advice can solve real problems for your patients.
It might seem like you’re fighting an uphill battle by writing the next article about how to brush right, how to choose the right toothbrush, or how to keep your teeth white longer after a procedure. But that isn’t really the case, because you aren’t competing with the entire internet.
Instead, your blog posts are most likely to appear prominently in searches within your local area.
Any time someone searches for a topic relevant to your business, there’s a chance they will connect with one of your blog posts on that topic. But patients within about thirty miles of your practice are much more likely to see your content near the top of their search results.
This is a very good thing for both you and them.
When people search for dentists “near me,” they’re signaling that they want to compare and choose a dentist for a procedure within a few days or weeks. In marketing lingo, they have high buying intent. You don’t want to miss out on this lucrative traffic, and blogging regularly helps you capture more of it.
There’s a little more to it behind the scenes, of course.
A digital marketing agency for dentists can align your content with the specific phrases – called keywords – your future patients type in when they’re looking for services like yours. If you can’t fit writing into your schedule, your dentist marketing team can even do professional blog writing for you.
For extra oomph, consider video marketing. Video storytelling lets you tell your story in your own words. It inspires first-time visitors to feel like they know you better than all the other dentists out there. And if you’re marketing to people with dental anxiety, it smooths the path to their all-important first step.
Use Social Media To Spark Conversations When Patients Need You Most
At first glance, social media might seem like a madhouse. But with the right strategy, it delivers real ROI.
When people discover your website and read your content, the next thing you want them to do is to follow you on social media. Facebook is especially powerful since it allows you to start your own micro-community of satisfied patients. You can target offers, news, and success stories directly to this audience.
Social media marketing helps you step out from behind the curtain and talk to patients one-to-one.
You may not be in a position to provide health advice without seeing them in person, but you can direct them to content that may solve their problems and assuage their worries. When people hear directly from a doctor’s social media account, they are more likely to pay attention and take action.
Combined with sharing your blogs and videos, social media amplifies your voice in all the right ways.
Deliver Timely And Effective Offers And Reminders Through Email Marketing
One of the top goals in digital marketing for dentists is to get followers onto your email list.
For most dentists, the email list is the most intimate form of communication available. People opt into email with intention. They’re letting you into a space that consists exclusively of the things they want to be aware of.
By segmenting your email into micro-targeted lists for leads, new patients, and past patients, you can be sure everyone gets timely and relevant content. You can also customize your campaigns based on the procedures a subscriber has had in the past or the ones they’ve shown interest in recently.
Email marketing for dentists can lead to extraordinary growth because it gives you control over the rhythm of your business. Instead of putting up fliers, you can click a single button and send your message where it counts.
We won’t kid you: Dental email marketing can take weeks to set up. You need the right text, images, and subject lines to get your messages read. They need to be in a sensible sequence that includes seasonal offers and more.
Once the initial setup is done, however, you have an ongoing stream of valuable, meaningful communication to your customers. I’s all written in your own voice, so patients never need to strain to remember you’re out there.
Email marketing is the secret to avoiding those pesky delays in time-sensitive procedures, such as cleanings. And when cashflow needs a jolt, you can send out limited time offers that spark action in your subscriber base.
The right Central Florida marketing company can get you going in a matter of days.
Referral Business For Dentists Is Possible With Digital Marketing
The ultimate tool for lowering cost of acquisition is, of course, referral business.
But referral business for dentists isn’t always easy to come by. Family dentists whose practice is set up to help every member of the clan can do well in this regard. So can high-end cosmetic dentistry brands who expertly leverage word of mouth from discerning clientele.
But do you have to give up on referral business if you don’t fit those molds? Not by a long shot.
With these three pillars in place, it becomes easier and easier to collect testimonials from your patients. People love social proof, especially when they’re deciding on which dentist to see for the first time. Plus, you can follow up with your most active subscribers and followers to directly request referrals.
With that, your website becomes a lead engine. It has its own momentum and is always working for you.
New York Ave is the trusted DeLand, Florida marketing company that equips dentists to grow and scale. No matter where you are today, we can get you where you want to go. No website? No problem. Our experts will work with you to define your brand, launch your dentist website, and get you on the road to referrals.
To get started, just contact us today.