Turning your business into the go-to dental office for local patients takes more than stellar care. If you know you have the best staff in town, you need a dental marketing strategy that proves it and actively drives your potential patients to experience it for themselves.

Dental care may be a universal necessity, but just like in any other industry, the market is filled with competitors vying for the attention of your target audience. Keeping your current and prospective patients focused on your dental practice requires an effective marketing plan that makes you stand out—both online and offline.

We’ll guide you through six dental marketing tips that you can use to take the lead.

6 best dental marketing ideas

Dental marketing isn’t as simple as it once was. Patients have access to endless amounts of information wherever they go. In order to break through the noise, you need to meet your prospective patients where they’re looking by blending digital marketing strategies with the traditional.

1. Create landing pages

When you have 40 or more dedicated landing pages on your dental site, you can generate 12 times more leads than you would with five or less.

A landing page is a single page on your website that’s designed to attract and gather leads from external sources. Each landing page is catered to a specific segment of your target audience and includes one clear call-to-action (CTA), usually for a visitor to leave their email or phone number.

On your dental website specifically, you may create landing pages for prospective patients who are interested in specific dental services—such as teeth whitenings or routine cleanings—or located in specific cities near them.

These pages are typically paired with search engine optimization (SEO) tactics—such as inserting backlinks, headers, and keywords into your text—or promoted through pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google AdWords. This way, the patients you’re targeting can find you at the top of relevant search results.

2. Ask for online reviews

For many patients, dentist reviews are indicative of a practitioner’s level of care. Patients are constantly heading to Facebook, Google My Business pages, and even industry-specific sites like HealthGrades to decide if you’re the right fit.

In addition to positive reviews, they’re seeking recent reviews—and a large quantity of them. Patients want to hear from real people about their actual experiences at your dental office, so getting consistent reviews is key to building up a trustworthy online presence.

Luckily, all you need to do to build up your online reviews is ask. The majority of consumers, including your current patients, are willing to leave reviews for local businesses just upon request. If you want to step up your review-gathering game, you can always send automatic review invites instead of manually chasing down every patient for feedback.

3. Make video content

Leveraging video in your dental marketing strategy is a no-brainer when this form of content marketing makes you more memorable and better equipped to convert. Videos can actually lead to 80% more conversions than text-based marketing and keep patients focused on you.

Your video content doesn’t have to be fancy. Just by creating a video that’s under two minutes long with interesting thumbnails, you can captivate patients on just about any digital platform. Whether you’re sending it directly to patients via email or simply posting it on your website or social media pages, you’re sending your message in a more personable, visual way.

Videos can be your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise about any dental topic, perhaps by answering common patient questions or diving into how a procedure works. For example, you may teach patients about when braces are needed to prove that you’re an authority on the subject. At the same time, the new knowledge you provide may inspire a current or new patient to seek out an orthodontist at your dental office.

Alternatively, you can also ask your current patients for video testimonials to show your page visitors that real people are backing your brand.

4. Use direct mail

Digital marketing isn’t the only route you can take. As a location-dependent business, your dental office can also benefit greatly from local print campaigns. Through direct mail—which may include postcards, letters, and catalogs—you can capture your audience’s undivided attention and get a 1,300% return on investment.

Of course, not every piece of mail is equally effective. Your direct mail marketing efforts will get the best results when you immediately grab the attention of your potential patients and give them an incentive to act. For example, including discounts or coupons in your direct mail can spur recipients into booking their first appointment before the deal is gone.

Direct mail can also be an effective way of reaching brand new residents, who are likely to be needing a new dentist, as soon as they move into your target market.

5. Implement SMS marketing

A massive 81% of Americans now own smartphones and the number is growing day by day. While many dental practices are still communicating with customers primarily through phone calls and emails, you can stand out by proactively becoming a mobile-first office.

As consumers increasingly use text for their communications, SMS marketing is definitely a channel that businesses across industries are adopting. It’s one of the most convenient and least intrusive ways to reach out and get a much higher open rate than you would through email marketing—98%, to be exact.

Even if you don’t want to create full-blown dental marketing campaigns via SMS, you can always send simple, personalized text messages that your patients will appreciate throughout the year. These may include:

  • Appointment reminders, to decrease your no-show rate
  • Limited-time deals, to bring patients back for new dental services
  • Holiday and birthday greetings, to show you care

6. Build a referral program

Dental offices can also benefit greatly from referral programs. With 92% of consumers more trusting of their friends and family members than they are of company ads, word-of-mouth marketing is just as important as it has always been. Referral programs provide the incentives your current patients need to actively recommend you to potential new patients.

Referral programs can take many forms, and even blend the digital and offline marketing strategies together. For example, many dental offices provide discounts on dental services in exchange for a successful referral. At the same time, they may offer a gift card or other small perk in exchange for a simple social media post that recommends their business.

Some referral programs may even act like loyalty programs, enabling patients to get better prizes the more referrals they provide. At the heart of it is still a system for getting ongoing referrals from current patients, with limited effort on your part.

Master your dental marketing

There are hundreds of dental marketing ideas that you can implement into your business, but with our list, you can hone in on some of the most effective options. Driving new patients to your dental office is all about showing that you’re the right choice, whether it be through captivating campaigns, helpful landing pages, or the referral of your current patients.

As you implement online reviews into your dental marketing strategy, you may want to consider how you can streamline your review gathering and management process. Learn how Podium’s dental software can help you streamline your reviews from every site onto one platform, while helping you get more reviews where it matters.

Bryan Oram
Bryan Oram AVP of Healthcare Enterprise Sales

Bryan Oram is a Healthcare professional at Podium, the leading messaging platform that connects healthcare businesses with their patients.

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