The healthcare industry has experienced rapid and consistent growth over the last several years with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But, it’s still important for healthcare practices to market their businesses.
The same can be said for dental practices. It’s no longer enough to have a practice, put out traditional forms of advertising (billboards, commercials, etc.), and expect to be slammed with patients.
Because the healthcare industry is changing and growing so rapidly, it means practices need to work harder to consistently get new patients in the door. As the healthcare sector grows, so does your competition!
Keep in mind that 77% of patients looking for healthcare options and services do their research through search engines. If your practice isn’t showing up or your website isn’t at the top of those results, there’s a good chance they’ll go elsewhere.
So, what can you do to boost your dental practice? How can you make Dental Marketing work for you?
1. Market to Your Local Target Audience
If you have several practices all over the country, then you don’t have to worry about who you’re targeting on a local level. For most dental facilities, though, that’s not the case. So, don’t waste your time or money making general advertisements when you should be targeting those closest to you.
For example, if your practice is located in Chicago, you should hone in on the area within a 50-mile radius of the city.
One of the best ways to do this is through Facebook advertising. Some marketers have suggested that Facebook ads don’t work as well as they used to, but statistics prove otherwise. The cost of Facebook ads is dropping for businesses, while impressions are going up. And, the average user will click on about 11 ads per month. While that might not seem like a huge number, keep in mind that someone doesn’t necessarily need to click on an ad for it to be effective, especially if you have your practice information right within the ad itself and they can easily call or go to your website.
Not only does Facebook advertising allow you to stay within a selected area, but it allows you to focus on a specific audience, too, which includes different genders and age ranges. If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, Facebook ads are an inexpensive and effective way to reach a new audience.
What’s the main advertising goal of your practice? Undoubtedly, it’s to get new patients in the door or to get them to book appointments.
Because there’s so much competition out there, it’s important to make it as easy as possible for prospective patients to call your practice and book an appointment right away when they see an as. Thankfully, both Facebook and Google Ads can implement call buttons. If a person is searching for a dental practice on their mobile device and all they have to do is push a single button to call you, it’s more likely they’ll do that, rather than searching for another business’s phone number.
3. Choose the Right Keywords
Even if you’re not a marketing whiz, you’ve probably heard of or used keywords for your practice in order to boost your ranking in search engine results. But, have you taken the time to consider which words you’re using and the type of patients you really want to attract?
One way to boost your business is to use keywords like “emergency,” followed by the services you provide. Unfortunately, many people don’t go to the dentist until they’re having tooth pain or other problems with their mouths. Even then, some can be hesitant to make an appointment until the pain or discomfort becomes almost unbearable – or, an emergency situation.
Key phrases like “emergency tooth extraction” or “emergency dental services near me” can help to make your practice a knight in shining armor when patients need it most. Plus, if you can market to people who are experiencing dental pain and help them to find relief, they’re more likely to become regular patients.
4. Respond to Reviews
If you don’t pay much attention to your reviews on Facebook, Google, or sites like Yelp!, you could be missing out on opportunities to connect with people and grow your business.
Good reviews can actually improve your SEO and get your website noticed, so encouraging your happy patients to post reviews about your practice online is actually a great way to grow your practice.
But, reviews are also a great opportunity to connect with people and build both your credibility and your brand. It allows patients to see that you’re invested in them when you respond. It shows that you care about their experience, whether it was good or bad. Now more than ever, people want to know that there’s a real person behind a business’s digital advertising. So, allowing your efforts to be more “human” can go a long way, especially in the healthcare industry.
5. Video Marketing
Again, showing your patients and prospective patients that your practice is “real” can make a big difference. One way to do that is with video marketing. The possibilities are endless with this creative outlet, but you can try things like:
- Behind-the-scenes videos
- Patient testimonials
- How certain dental tools/machines work
- Doctor or hygienist interviews
- Tours of your facility
Anything that lets prospective patients see the human side of your practice can help them to feel more comfortable and may lead them to your office over another. Additionally, video marketing can help to get you more exposure. About 87% of video marketers say it helps with lead generation and increasing website traffic. You don’t need to be a video pro to start creating content around the office – just consider the things people might want to see!
Keep these marketing tips in mind as you continue to take your practice forward. The competition may be growing, but you can stay ahead of the game by thinking outside of the box, focusing on your target marketing, and getting a little creative with your advertising efforts.