We all know dentistry and for many, it is a routine task. It brings us a fresh and beautiful smile and impacts our overall oral health. However, because the patient typically finds the dentist, marketing to stay ahead of the competition can be difficult.
If you are an independent dental practice, these steps towards an optimal digital marketing strategy are for you!
1. Determine your Target Audience
The first step in organizing a digital strategy for the dental profession is determining your target audience. There are a variety of dental practices that offer different services and it is crucial to know which patients you are targeting. If you know your target audience, you can determine which marketing strategies best serve you.
For example, although pediatric dentists treat children and adolescents, their target audience is typically the mother because they are the primary decision-maker. If your services include orthodontics or cosmetic services, you want to target patients who have large disposable incomes. If your services provide general cleanings and teeth maintenance, your target audience should include women and men between 18-45.
2. Set Goals
Furthermore, goals are a critical component of your marketing strategy. They can help you determine where to focus attention and money in order to achieve your desired outcomes. Your goals can set the direction of your business and keep you motivated towards success.
Your goals should be:
An example of realistic goals for your independent dentistry practice:
- Average 250 views on selected social media platforms
- Average 10 new patients per month
- Within 6 months, have at least 500 followers on selected social media platforms
- Average 500 views on selected social media platforms
- Average 25 new patients per month
- Practice growth of 15%
- Maintain 1,200 active patients per year
3. Create a Website
It is important that your independent dental practice has a website. A website and a strong online presence give you the opportunity to market your business online while establishing credibility.
Your website should:
- Be easy to navigate, allowing the individual to find the information they need
- Share relevant information about your services and/or products
- Promote patients to practice good oral hygiene and maintain dental health through your services
- Introduce yourself and other staff members
- Allow for online scheduling
- Include patient reviews and testimonials to establish credibility
- Show all contact information, making it easier for your patient to communicate with you
4. Pick Your Socials for your Dentistry
With the growing digital world, social media platforms can play a large role in your marketing success. As of 2020, there are over 3.96 billion active social media users, making these various platforms the perfect place to reach your patients. The advantages to utilizing social media platforms in your marketing strategy include connecting with your patients, advertising your services, increasing brand awareness, and generating new patient leads.
Which social media platforms are best for your independent dentistry practice?
- With over 2.89 billion active users, Facebook is one of the best platforms to reach the most people.
- It gives you the opportunity to share both creative and informative content with your chosen target audience as well as receive feedback and reviews from existing patients.
- Facebook users range from 15-49 years old, perfect to reach your target audience.
- Allows you to reach new patients and maintain long-term active patient relationships
- With over 800 million active users, Instagram has the highest rates of engagement in comparison to any other social media platform
- Gives you the opportunity to promote through influencers
- Best platform for creative content, typically a photo or short video
- Allows you to add up to 30 hashtags per post
- Often utilized for brand/practice promotion
- With over 303 million active users, LinkedIn is a prime platform for professional practices
- Allows you to network with colleagues, peers, and patients
- An active presence on LinkedIn increases practice visibility
- Best platform for informational and educational content relevant to your dental services
5. Optimize SEO with Keywords for your Dentistry
The most important component in optimizing your SEO is the keywords you choose to use. You want to select keywords that will allow your website or information to appear first on the page and reach as many potential patients as possible. When selecting keywords specific to your dental practice, remember to include your location, services you provide, and any other words or phrases that could boost where you sit on the search page.
There are several resources you can utilize when choosing your keywords such as Moz Keyword Explorer and Google Keyword Planner. These resources allow you to identify various keywords and phrases and provide you with data on how often they are searched, increasing your chances of success and profitability.
Examples of keywords that are beneficial to your independent dentistry practice:
- Dental Clinic
- Average monthly searches: 33,000
- Competition: Low
- Dentist office near me
- Average monthly searches: 90,500
- Competition: Medium
- Dental Care
- Average monthly searches: 14,800
- Competition: Medium
6. Track Your Success
It is critical that you track the success of your marketing campaigns to determine where to invest your money and time. If you are consistently running ads and campaigns that aren’t allowing you to meet your goals, valuable resources go to waste.
Dental practices have an advantage when it comes to tracking offline marketing success. You should take the time to ask your patients how they found you and your practice in order to best determine which platforms help you reach your target audience. This allows you to track what campaigns and platforms bring your practice the most results.
Other resources such as Google Analytics can also help you track your marketing campaigns. Analytics allows you to see who visits your website and how long they remain on your page. Google Analytics is a free resource and will provide you with a detailed report on your website traffic, bounce rates, backlinks, and much more.
I hope that these steps within the marketing strategy bring patients and success to your independent dental practice!
Learn more about how you can optimize your digital marketing skills at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™.
About the Author:
Ahmed Abu Bakr is a Digital Marketing intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing™. He is completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Dallas. Loves to learn new things and is fascinated by Technology.