When you market a dental practice, you’re showing what sets you apart, which helps you find patients who are a good fit, and are more likely to forge a relationship with you that could last generations.
The best way to do this is to market from the heart, showing your community what you stand for as a dental practitioner. Think of it as accessing all the reasons you wanted to become a dentist, packaging them and blasting them out there for everyone to see.
Here are a few specifics.
1. Build a high-end website
You probably didn’t go into dentistry to frown or sulk, or scrape away at teeth without connecting with their owners. You care about people: does your website show it? One of the amazing things in the marketing of dental offices is how many websites show a static shot of the drab office building on the landing page, with prim little links marching the top of the screen.
How about: animation or video, or at the very least, a slideshow that’s full of life? Show your hygienists and yourself in action. Show yourselves interacting with the community, as we’ll outline below.
In addition to having a lively website that goes out and greets the visitor, be absolutely sure, on a regular basis, that all the links go where they’re supposed to, that the site is easy to use, and that all info is up-to-date.
2. Get into the community
Why does a dentist’s office have to be in the shadows, as though cleanings and fillings are something apart from normal life? As a dentist, you are invested in the overall health of your community, in helping folks quit smoking and cut down on sugar, educating people on the acidic nature of soda, etc.
Therefore, partner with a local diabetes association or non-smoking campaign. Get involved in discussions on these groups’ social media pages. But also engage your community as what you also are, part of the business community. Have you and your staff be on boards and committees and have an online presence that spans the spectrum. This allows you to become completely demystified—not the doctor behind the mask but a part of the community like everyone else.
3. Get in the news
It’s all about free advertising. One of the best ways to market your dental practice is without seeming to market it. Get in the pages of your local daily and weekly newspapers (and their online versions) with op-eds, letters to the editor, and newsworthy events such as internship programs with local colleges, workshops or clinics you hold, etc.
Further, matching funds raised by school or scouting groups is a good way to contribute to the community and get your name out there. Co-sponsoring 4K runs and similar events gets your name on the radio. Sponsoring a sports team puts your name all over uniforms and in those group pics in your local paper—there’s everything right about reaching people that way.
But you can also do your best to contribute to the profession, including publishing a scholarly article every so often. Many local papers will run a news story on your findings—this will pair scientific cred with your general outreach.
4. Content marketing
Putting out your own content is especially helpful for dental practitioners as a way of cultivating an image of friendliness and openness. Tweet out a joke of the week. Post a tooth-friendly recipe every month. Publicize all the above community involvement activities. Make your first impression with potential patients as a dental office full of vibrant people with good ideas.
Think of everything you love about dentistry and everything you think you do best. Be sure every bit of outreach you do shines a light on these things.
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