Dental practices in the U.S. are some of the most competitive. If you want to stay ahead and keep a sustainable flow of clients, you need an excellent marketing plan. You can only operate successfully with a marketing budget and plan. Discover ten ways to market your American dental practice to success.
1. Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
One of the easiest ways to market your American dental practice is to ask what unique way you solve clients’ pain points. You don’t need a major invention in dentistry, just a unique way that meets pain points better than your competitors. You could offer same-day services, advanced technology, or convenient hours. You may have superior expertise as a cosmetic dentist unavailable in the local market.
Defining your unique selling point (USP) will guide your marketing strategy and how you craft marketing materials. Most people already see many dental clinics nearby offering the same size and having the same blue and white colors. Your USP helps you differentiate yourself as a memorable identity. Besides, it’ll be easier for potential customers to find you because your message is specific.
Before starting any marketing activities, sit with your team or a consultant and ask yourself about your strengths. You can also consider the market you intend to serve, their preferences, and their pain points. Walk around your neighborhood, observing how other dental practices sell themselves. Are there any gaps that you are best positioned to solve?
2. Understand Your Target Audience
To successfully market your American dental practice, you need to understand your target market’s preferences, pain points, and behavior. Are you targeting busy professionals, children, senior adults, health-conscious families, or cosmetic seekers? They’ll all have varying needs, behaviors, and preferences.
Understanding your target market will help you personalize services, which is critical in improving customer satisfaction. You’ll also create relevant marketing material for your audience, thus increasing the ROI of marketing efforts. As a childrens dentist, your messaging to parents will foster trust since they know your specialty and passion. When patients visit your practice, they’ll find a similar offering as promised, thus increasing their likelihood of making a referral.
A good place to start when learning more about your audience is collecting demographic data such as age, location, and income status. You can dive deeper into psychological profiles such as interests, lifestyle, and attitudes. Collect survey results to understand your target audience’s behavior around dental information, if possible.
3. Establish An Online Presence
Once you have a rough idea of your unique selling point and your target audience, it’s time to establish an online presence. Digital presence is a must-have for any American dental practice. A report from Google shows that 88% of people use online sources for hospital research, with 44% of those who research on a mobile phone scheduling a meeting. The best place to start is a website.
Since 93% of all online experiences start with search engines, ensure your website is discoverable using ethical search engine optimization strategies. You may need to hire a company to manage some or all of your digital marketing strategies. Dentistry is loaded with helpful information potential clients are looking for. Someone looking for more information on teeth whitening should find helpful blog posts and videos on your website.
One of the biggest advantages of maintaining an online presence is how it works as a 24-hour sales agent. Prospective clients can find information for themselves on the resources pages, get educated on your blog section, get convinced about your qualifications on your ‘about us’ page, and even make a booking without any human intervention. You can also learn digital marketing and do some of the work yourself.
4. Engage on Social Media Platforms
Maintaining an online presence extends to establishing and engaging on social medial platforms. In an increasingly digital world, most of the world, including your target audience, is on social media. Yet many American dental practice owners shy from engaging on social media, opting to throw a few quotes and images once in a while. Your social media presence can become the single largest source of leads.
While managing multiple social platforms may prove to work, not all platforms may be helpful for your business. If your target market is on TikTok and Facebook, not Instagram, it may not be very effective to spend on Instagram, hoping clients come. A good practice is to hire a virtual assistant or social media manager, so you can concentrate on what matters most to you – clients.
Unlike your personal Facebook account, which can do with a few posts a year to be lively, your business account needs regular attention. Creating a content strategy to bring back more value from your social media accounts is an even better technique. Use them to educate your clients, offer your dental services and respond to questions.
5. Consider Paid Advertising
Optimizing your website for search engines will drive organic traffic to your website, and you may not need to pay for anyone to view your content on social media. Yet that’s often not enough to get qualified leads to your door, especially when you’re only starting. Another option you can use is paid advertising. Both search engines and social media platforms offer an opportunity to place ads for your dental implant services.
Some practice owners often shy off from paid ads because they fear cost and if it will deliver results. Yet that’s the bargain of marketing—it costs something, but it may bring more customers to your door that will cover all the marketing costs. You can hire a paid search specialist to manage your campaigns and report you.
As an American dental practice starting, paid search may offer advantages over search engine optimization (SEO). For instance, paid search delivers more immediate results compared to SEO, which may take longer to deliver results. You can gain more leads and revenue, which can help you fund more long-term marketing efforts. Besides, according to Market Live, paid search has a 35% higher conversion rate than organic traffic.
6. Launch a Patient Referral Program
Patient referrals are one of the oldest dental marketing strategies still relevant today. According to Marketo, of all the customer acquisition channels, patient referral has the highest conversion rate at 3.4% for an American dental practice. You can modernize the patient referral program by making it easy for people to recommend to their friends and family through referral links through email and SMS. Give an enticing incentive such as discounts and free services.
Since you’ll be leveraging an existing patient database, a referral program will cost way less than you would with traditional advertising. Also, since the referrals come from trusted sources, more people will likely take your services, leading to better conversions. Even more, since the leads are high quality, they can become long-term customers. Hence, you’d get stronger relationships that are sustainable, even if you’re only starting.
Before launching a patient referral program for your orthodontics practice, plan, and set goals, for instance, boosting loyalty, online bookings, or specific services. Next, set clear guidelines for your team and clients to follow. It should elaborate on who’s eligible and the potential perks. It’s time to spread the word about your program through your website, email, and social media. You may need a tracking system so you can monitor and reward those who are successful.
7. Participate in the Community
Digital marketing is the next big thing for the coming decade, but offline marketing will always be essential. What better way to get your American dental practice noticed than spending time in your community doing good? You can organize a free dental screening for issues such as gum disease. Most people don’t mind free stuff if they believe you’re trustworthy.
Engaging in community activities positions you as someone interested in more than profit. You’ll get a positive reputation as a clinic that’s human-centric and responsible business. Satisfied customers will spread positive word of mouth in the local community, putting you in a positive light and possibly getting you qualified leads.
Before planning a community engagement identify your goals: do you want to give back, raise awareness or expand your patient base? Knowing your goal will also guide you in understanding your community, its needs, interests, and pain points. Ensure that your community event aligns with your values and meets your needs. You can use social media, websites, and posters to promote your event.
8. Use Email Marketing to Grow Your Practice
Email marketing is another old but effective way to reach potential leads and cultivate them into qualified leads. According to Direct Marketing Association, for every $1 you spend, you will get an average ROI of $40. Email marketing helps you personalize communication, which can lead to more responses. You can also easily track performance to discover areas of improvement.
When it comes to emails, it’s essential to know the different types you can use. If someone just gave their emails, it may be unsuitable to bombard them with sales emails—a welcome email will be better. You can regularly share educational content such as dental cleaning tips and enjoying good oral health. Ensure you’re consistent with your messaging and your emails are well segmented.
So where do you get these emails you’re targeting with marketing efforts? The most obvious answer is right in your clinic. People leave contact details you can use within privacy limits to share helpful content. You can also use your website for email collection. A classic strategy is offering something like an e-book and quiz answers. Ensure you have a safe and secure email collection and management system.
9. Partner with Local Businesses
Networking and partnership have never been more important than today. No business is an island, and other businesses can help you spread and get your American dental practice noticed. The nature of some businesses makes them a good place to source qualified leads. Consider a local relator: they deal with new people in the town daily. Such people always look for businesses to meet their needs in a new town.
Partnerships help cross-promotion, which can add value to a client. For instance, in the above scenario, the practice owner can recommend new clients to a local realtor, and in return, they get leads looking for crown dentistry services. The client gets both her housing and medical needs met without a hassle. You also share resources, such as costs, during an outreach.
As a dental practice owner, you can partner with local cafés, pharmacies, spas, and fitness centers. When looking for a partner, prioritize those with shared values or a target audience. You can proceed and define the benefits of the collaboration and put the agreement in writing. Engage staff from both sides to coordinate marketing efforts for higher success.
10. Create and Keep a Consistent Brand Presence
Your brand is more than your logo, the signs at your door, or your website—it’s an identifying feature encompassing all you are as a business. Some businesses have logos and colors but weak brands. Stand out through a consistent brand presence in a sea of reconstructive dentistry providers. Most clinics have white and blue as brand colors; you can be playful and choose bold colors.
Consistency in branding means you have the same messaging, tone, use of words, color pallet, and even the logo. You don’t use a conversational tone in your emails, then switch to stiff and academic on your blogs. Lack of consistency confuses clients and can quell the trust-building process. A good tip is to hire an experienced brand strategist to help you share your brand consistently.
To bring it all together, despite the competitive landscape, an American dental practice can grow and retain a quality customer base through the right marketing strategies. It’s essential to first have a good understanding of your business before crafting marketing materials. Also, while digital marketing is cost-effective and innovative, don’t do away with traditional advertising methods because they’re effective, too.