With over 12,000 dental practices operating in the UK, how does your practice stand out? Advertising for dentists plays a critical role in building practice awareness, growing your patient base, and increasing revenue. An effective dental marketing strategy will help your practice stand out from the competition like never before.
Correctly tuning your advertising for dentists strategy will help serve your practice for years to come. Not only in the short term, but the long term. When done well, advertising for dentists improves patient retention, trust, and helps you build a well respected dental brand.
There are many different aspects of advertising for dentists that we won’t be able to cover in full here. That’s why it’s good to experiment with different channels and methods to see which works best with your dental practice.
In this blog we cover 5 genius dentist marketing ideas, that will supercharge your advertising efforts.
1. Social Media Marketing for Dentists
With over 3.7 billion social media users globally, your dental practice can’t afford to not have a presence on the channel. Social media marketing for dentists is an extremely easy to use, versatile communications channel. It’s a brilliant, cost-effective way to get your messages out to many potential and current customers.
There are so many ways your practice can use social media so we’ve broken them up into two key areas.
Organic Social Media
Organic social media is a free method of social media marketing for dentists. It simply involves creating an account and posting relevant content for your followers. Content may include customer testimonials/reviews, important messages, new staff announcements, and giveaways, etc.
To deploy a successful dental social media strategy you will want to ensure your social media accounts maintain consistent branding, in-line with your practice. Not only does this make sure your profiles look great, but your current patients will also feel familiar. Once your accounts are set up, it’s time to draw up a content plan. A content plan is essentially a written guide for your content. It dictates when various posts will be going out and what they are, etc. For example, your plan could say on Mondays at 4pm you will post customer testimonials, and on Wednesday you will post staff-related content. However, remember not to post too much as this can reduce the engagement of your posts.
Creating content for your dental social media is easier than ever before. With easy-to-use online design tools such as Canva, you can use branded templates to create a catalogue of ready-to-post, engaging content in minutes. You can then take this a step further and schedule content in advance, saving you time.
Paid Social Media Marketing for Dentists
Paid social media marketing is a highly effective method for getting your messages in front of the right people. There are many different forms of paid social media marketing your practice can utilise. You can pay to promote a single post, advertise on stories, deploy promotions via direct messaging, pay for placement images, and promote videos to name a few. Each promotion type holds its own benefits, helping organisations meet a variety of goals.
The reason social media marketing has boomed in popularity is all down to its almost unrivalled targeting abilities. When setting up a campaign, you can target specific locations, job titles, interests, ages, and genders. This allows you to tailor your campaigns to your ideal customers and optimise your campaigns.
Paid social media marketing can be achieved at various price points. Some methods such as direct messaging on LinkedIn are among the most expensive, whereas paying for impressions (views) on other channels costs much less. However, it’s important to decide which kind of paid social advertisement type suits your audience and needs best. Budgets can be set daily or monthly, allowing you to keep track of your marketing costs.
A great example of using paid social media marketing could be a local teeth whitening offer. You can set up a campaign for a chosen demographic and apply it to the surrounding area of your practice (i.e. within 5km). All the social media users who fit the demographic and are within the 5km capture zone will see your marketing messages.
2. PPC for Dentists
PPC (pay per click), is a great way to get your dental practice in front of those actively searching for your services on search engines. This form of advertising for dentists is slightly warmer as potential customers are looking for you (or your services), therefore tends to see a better ROI (return on investment).
Search engine PPC marketing simply involves choosing a list of keywords/phrases you want to target and creating text-based Ads. When a user’s search involves one of your keywords or phrases, your Ad will appear. PPC adverts appear above the organic search engine results (unpaid) and are marked as Ads. To determine where (or if) your ad will be shown, the search engine enters you into an auction. The auction will consist of your competitors or those offering similar services. Results are ranked based on a bid amount (£,$) + relevancy score. The higher the score the higher you will rank.
It’s important to remember that all keywords/phrases cost different amounts. High competition/high volume keywords often cost more (i.e. “Dentists”). However, long-tail (longer phrases/more specific) terms with lower competition tend to cost less (i.e. “Teeth Whitening services in Southampton”). To ensure you don’t spend too much or go over budget, you can set maximum bid prices and daily budgets to control your spend.
Here’s some ways you can utilise PPC for advertising for dentists.
PPC Advertising for Dentists with Location Targeting
We briefly covered location targeting in the social media marketing section. However, it is a highly important aspect for PPC too. As a dental practice, you can’t carry out a physical dental procedure online or over the phone (not yet anyway…). Instead, patients need to physically visit your practice for their treatment. With that in mind, the dental practice they choose to attend needs to be easy to get to for routine checkups and emergency treatments. For example, if your dental practice is based in Brighton you’re unlikely to gain a regular patient living in Aberdeen.
Location targeting via PPC is a great way to push your dental services to those local to your practice. You can target keywords that are specific to your location. This could be “Brighton Dentist Near Me” etc. You can then set the campaign to only appear to those searching for dental practices within a 10km radius of your practice. When a user’s search query involves your keyword and meets the Ad criteria, your search result will be shown. It’s important to remember the searcher’s intent here too. The searcher clearly needs a dentist close-by. If your practice fits the criteria, it will have a higher relevancy score and will appear higher up on the SERP.
Targeting Emergency Surgeries with PPC for Dentists
Sometimes someone who is not part of your practice may be in need of emergency dental treatment. Perhaps they are on a work trip, playing a sports fixture away, or on holiday. Whatever the reason, they are in instant need of your services.
By targeting terms such as “emergency dentist near me” or “how to fix broken tooth” your practice will appear amongst these searches. Furthermore, you can add appealing text such as “open late” or “walk-ins welcome” to your Ad copy to entice searchers. You can increase conversions by using something called Ad extensions. With ad extensions you can add a call button to your Ads, allowing searchers to contact you in just a click.
Targeting emergency dental treatments is a great way to drum up more business, grow your practice, and generate reviews.
3. Advertising for Dentists with Digital Signage
So far the advertising for dentist methods we’ve discussed have all been situated online. But what about at the practice. Is there any way to entice walk-ins or upsell treatments? Enter digital signage. Digital signage for dentists involves using digital screens to deploy messages and promotions to a given audience at a chosen location.
Digital signage for dental practices has boomed in popularity. Both as a marketing tool and a communications tool. Through placing digital screens in the window or waiting room, a dental practice can share important messages, promote treatments, share live testimonials, and even reduce patient anxiety. This popularity mostly stems from the usability and ease of use the digital technology holds over its traditional poster counter-part. When posters need updating it needs re-designing, reprinting, and re-installing each time a promotion is updated or ends. This proved to be a big pain point for dental groups with multiple practices. Using digital signage, however, the practice never has to install a poster again. From a central dashboard, the practice manager can control, schedule, and manage all their screens from one location. This saves dental practices both time and money.
There are two main places you’ll find digital signage being used in advertising for dentists at a dental practice.
In the Window Advertising for Dentists
In many dental practices, the window may be left un-utilised featuring only frosted glass, or a small sheet of paper stuck up with some tape. There’s a big opportunity slipping through your fingers here. Hundreds if not thousands of potential patients will walk past your practice each day, but frosted glass or a bit of paper isn’t going to capture their attention and increase your patient base.
As a dental marketing tool, digital signage is effective due to its dynamic, eye-catching features. This allows dental practices to grab the attention of those walking by. In contrast to print or static media, practices can take advantage of videos and animations to really capture attention. For example, an onscreen advertisement could say “Teeth Whitening – Just £199 – Today Only” along with some attractive marketing images, and animations, etc. Those walking by are more likely to turn their heads and will not want to miss out on the offer and are likely to come in and enquire.
In the Waiting Room
These screens are also heavily featured in the waiting room. Aside from sharing practice information and government health campaigns, dental practices can include up-sell content. For example, this could be a brand of toothbrush or toothpaste with a special patient discount.
Another great idea for your waiting room screen is referral content. It is extremely likely that those waiting in your waiting room are current patients. These patients are likely to know other people who need dental services like them. Here you can share referral orientate content such as “25% off your treatment when you sign up a friend”. This can really encourage patients to bring in business for you, growing your patient base and increasing revenue.
Real testimonials are also a popular method of upselling treatments. Sharing successful treatments and stories can be a great way to encourage patients to book a treatment of their own. This can either done by creating custom testimonial slides, or by pulling them from a social media hashtag. Testimonials are great as they can help your practice build trust and credibility. Make sure you share your testimonials across your other marketing channels too,
4. Advertising for Dentists with Dental SEO Marketing
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a huge marketing channel across all industries. In fact, it brings in over 51% of all website traffic (that’s more than PPC, Social and other channels combined). Therefore, dental SEO marketing should not be ignored. And as a bonus (aside from time) it doesn’t cost you anything!
Organic results are the main focus of SEO. By optimising your website for target keywords and phrases you can help your dental website appear higher up the SERP (search engine results page) and gain more search engine market share. Higher ranking and larger search engine market share mean more impressions, meaning more clicks, meaning more conversions, meaning more patients.
SEO is a huge marketing topic that we won’t be able to fully cover in this section alone. Since its origins, SEO has evolved from focusing purely on keywords to now factoring more complex features such as user search intent, image optimisation, website speed, website authority, link profiles… the list goes on (and it does). That’s why it’s important to do a good amount of research around SEO so you can be discovered on search engines. A well optimised, easy-to-use website will see you at the front page of Google each time potential patients are searching for topics related to your dental practice.
Quick Wins Dental SEO Marketing
Although a large and complex topic, there are some quick SEO wins that are bound to set you on the track to success. The best place to start here is on-page SEO. By using a tool such as Yoast you can track how well each page is optimised for a given keyword. For each page, you can ensure you have included the volume of your keyword, have remembered your heading tags, alt tags for images, and correctly optimised your SERP heading and meta descriptions. These SEO tasks are fairly straightforward and are a great way to gain some quick wins.
Doing a good amount of keyword research is paramount for SEO success. By using tools such as Google keyword planner, Google search console, answer the public, etc. you can find out what users are searching for to find your practice or similar services. High volume or high competition keywords can often be hard to rank for. Therefore, it is often suggested to target long-tail keywords. These are keywords/phrases that are more specific. They have less search traffic but also have less ranking competition, therefore it’s easier to rank for them. Targeting these keywords is a great way to start generating organic traffic for your site.
Local SEO is another great tactic for gaining some search engine real estate. A good place to start here is creating an account on Google My Business. From here you can manage Google reviews and tell Google where your practice is situated etc. If done correctly, when users search “dental practices near me” when near your practice, your practice is likely to show up as one of the results.
5. Advertising for Dentists with Dental Email Marketing
Email marketing can prove to have one of the highest ROI (return on investment) amongst marketing channels. Through dental email marketing, you can keep patients up to date with the latest practice news via newsletters, promote products, and give gentle reminders for appointment bookings. Being a purely digital channel, optimising your dental email marketing campaigns is easy too. Most email platforms allow you to see click and viewing data, as well as open rate metrics. This allows you to A/B test your campaigns, and find out which features work best.
Utilising dental email marketing is a great way to boost the awareness of current offers you have. You easily can send an email campaign out to all your current patients (in line with GDPR laws). For example, you can send out a nicely designed email saying “next week only, get 25% off teeth whitening”, your patients will be enticed to sign up and take advantage of the offer. Without seeing the email they would be unlikely to know about the offer and wouldn’t have taken advantage of it.
Increasing Patient Retention
Advertising for dentists through email marketing is a great way to improve your customer retention. Through personalised emails, your patients can feel more of a personal connection with your practice and are able to build a relationship. As a result, patients stay around for longer and are more likely to refer friends, and book treatments, eventually growing your practice. Most email sending services will allow users to send out a marketing campaign to many, many users, however, each email is personalised to the receiver.
How do we know if anything is any good? We look at reviews and testimonials. Buying a new phone charger online? You look at the reviews to make sure it doesn’t break easily, etc. Or are you looking to try a new restaurant or hotel? Maybe you look at the reviews to make sure the service is great and the food is tasty. This also applies to finding a new dental practice. Teeth are extremely important to people, so they want to make sure they are getting the best treatments possible. Or perhaps the patient is nervous when visiting the dentists so wants to ensure the service is excellent. But how will they know? They’ll look at the reviews.
Generating a good volume of authentic, real reviews from your current patients is a great way to build trust for your practice. By simply sending out an email asking for feedback you can generate hundreds of great reviews. With permission, these reviews can then be used across the website, your social media channels, and other marketing material. You can also send out direct links to review services such as Google reviews. These reviews will appear right next to your SERP results (great for local SEO). When potential patients come across your site and see how many people hold your dental services in high regard, they will be much more likely to enquire and join.
Not getting enough reviews? Incentives can be a catalyst. For example, you can offer discounts or products to those who leave a review. E.g. you could write in your email campaign “get a free soft-brush toothbrush when you leave a Google review”. Customers who want the product will be more likely to leave a review. Eventually, this will help build trust and authority for your practice.
If you have any questions or need any more ideas regarding advertising for dentists, speak to an expert today. Call our friendly team on 02380 981110 or Email email@example.com for a no-obligation consultation. Alternatively, click the button below.