You’re an outstanding dentist offering great services at reasonable prices, but how do you get that message out to potential patients?  In this fast-paced, information-overloaded world, it’s important to find easy, inexpensive ways to market your business so that customers can find you. Here are some dental marketing strategies to help you optimize your online presence and gain referrals from existing customers.

Get Found With These 3 Dental Marketing Strategies

1. Strengthen your online presence.  If you don’t have at least a website, a Facebook account and a Yelp page, you’re behind the 8-ball.  When people search for a dentist, they’re using a search engine rather than a phone book.  The more places your practice can be found online, the higher it will rank in a local search.  Claim your Yelp page and encourage your customers to post reviews.  These will pop up in local searches such as Yahoo Local and Bing Local.  Do a search for dentists in your area, and then make sure to add your listing to every directory you find.

2. Establish yourself as a subject matter expert.  Use a blog or your Facebook page to post articles, advice and information about your particular specialty.  You don’t have to write everything yourself; you can link to other articles on the internet, as well as informative videos on YouTube.  The more information on a particular subject that you post on your social media pages, the more likely your site will pop up when someone is searching for information.  Encourage your patients to visit your site and post comments and ask questions.

3. Exchange referrals with other businesses.  Develop a good working relationship with local orthodontists and other specialists in your area.  This will allow you to help your patients by being able to refer them elsewhere for services you don’t provide, and those businesses will send you patients in exchange.  Don’t limit it to dentistry, however.  If you have a favorite dry cleaner, restaurant, cleaning service or any other business that you strongly recommend, don’t be afraid to feature their business cards on your counter.  Hopefully they’ll do the same for you.

Get Customers with These 3 Dental Marketing Initiatives

1. It’s all about the smile.  Too many people associate a trip to the dentist with pain, discomfort and inconvenience.  Emphasize the positive side of the coin, how great it is to have and care for a beautiful smile.  Rather than seeing your office as a place to go to get a cavity drilled, encourage them to see your business as a place where patients of any age can improve their smile in a variety of ways that will fit just about any budget.  Get lots of before and after pictures and use them on your website, your blog and your social media pages.

2. Offer a special discount for new patients.  This is a great way to get customers into your dental office so that you can show them first hand what a patient and gentle dentist you are.  First time visits can be prohibitively expensive for new patients, with all the X-rays and record-keeping involved.  By offering free X-rays or a discounted package, you’ll get them in the door, and the long term revenue will more than make up for any costs you may incur.  People are very reluctant to change dentists once they’ve gone through all the preliminary work to set up their account and are happy where they are.

3. Reward existing patients by offering bonuses for referrals.  Not only will you get new customers, but this is an excellent opportunity to get your regular customers to try new services such as a teeth whitening treatment.  Be sure to promote referral offers on your social media pages, your website and in your office waiting room.

Get Repeat Business With These 3 Dental Marketing Methods

1. Collect contact information, and send out regular emails and newsletters.  Make sure your patients are kept abreast of special promotions, new service offerings, changes in your office hours and anything else that might be of interest to them.  Include helpful tips for maintaining a healthy smile, and new breakthrough treatments and technology on the horizon.  Don’t go overboard, however.  Keep the emails down to no more than one or two a month, or they may get irritated and unsubscribe.

2. Everyone loves a freebie.  Teeth whitening offers are a great way to keep patients coming back.  Some dental offices offer free, custom-fitted whitening trays with an initial visit, and additional tubes of whitening gel with each six-month checkup.  If a patient is considering having a lot of cosmetic work done, you can encourage them by finding ways to combine treatments and procedures, cutting down on the expense and the number of office visits.  Dentists who are considerate of their patients’ time and money will always have plenty of repeat business and referrals.

3. Treat every patient as if they were your best customer.   The patient who comes in for the discounted new patient special may not be spending a lot of money with you today, but whether or not they come back depends on the outcome of this visit.  Yelp reviews are rife with complaints about scheduling snafus, long wait times and poor customer service.  Everyone has a bad day now and then, but every member of your team needs to understand that without a strong client base, things could get a lot worse.  From the person answering the phone to the X-ray technician to the dental hygienist, everyone needs to do their share to ensure your existing patients and your new ones have an outstanding dental experience!

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