Marketing Strategies – How to Advertise a New Dental Office
You just signed the lease or purchase agreement. You are very excited to open your new clinic, and you and your team have many ideas on how it should be designed and how to move through your daily routines. But a very important question arises, more important than the design of the practice or the equipment that you will you purchase: How will you get patients to pay for all of this while making a profit?
Two scenarios will happen. First, you figure out the marketing that you will use, and do get a lot of patients, buy the equipment and material, and hire the staff you need. Maybe after a year or two you will have all four or five operatories up and running. The second scenario could be that you do not invest in marketing or the right marketing techniques, and you end up slowing down and getting only one or two patients a day, totaling to only a handful of patients overall. You lower your fees, accept troublesome low value cases, watch your shiny new equipment collect dust and devalue, continually be understaffed and have your receptionist do every job while you twiddle your thumbs. You’ve seen this clinics!
The only difference between the two outcomes is one thing: marketing. How do you promote your new dental office? Here are some of the most effective ways to promote any new dental office. You need to try them all to ensure you get determine what works best for your local patients.
The best way to encourage people to come to your practice is to hold some sort of competition that requires the person to come to your office or to purchase something. Coupons, sweepstakes, games with prizes and gifts with purchases create excitement, and participation encourages customers to build a relationship with the sponsoring product or service. Consider doing something that will bring in your ideal market – coloring contests for families (with age groups) or bingo for older people. Limited-time offers and entry deadlines add urgency to this advertising technique’s call to action. To save time and resource from organizing these promotions, consider sponsoring other organization that is doing one of these things.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social media marketing is very powerful when done properly, especially if your niche market skews younger. Do more than just automate posts on Facebook and Twitter, do something unique so that your office stands out from the plethora of other people using the same social media platforms. Have a personable background image, and be sure to use the different tabs that you can have on your page, such as photos, links, and more.Don’t just create accounts, be active on those accounts. Celebrate holidays, birthdays, and special months. Make sure you optimize your Google+ page as well. While not many people actually use the resource. Many times, your Google+ can rank on the local results, which is huge, especially for dentists. A potential client will see that your office is close to where she gets her tires changed, and she will pick your office for its convenience.When you search for someone’s company, notice how your Google+ photo and map display on the top right hand corner of the results page. This is a great way to gain something called authenticity.The secret to effective social media marketing posting things your patients want to share. Effective techniques include funny comics, photos or good health tips. Another great method is to take pictures they like to share.
Develop and maintain a professional website
Most dentists and marketers overlook their website. Of course, many dentists have a website, but it is usually bare bones and pretty standard. Your website could get 2,000 clicks per month on your site alone, but that isn’t enough to really generate patients. Make sure you know your conversion rate. That’s how many people coming in are booking. You can do this with a special tracking phone number.Simply by improving your conversion rate, the person you hired to make your website will have paid for themselves. Focus not only on having a website, but keeping it updated with constant material that will encourage readers to share the content, thus bringing other patients in. Consider using a blog to do this or even social media that links back to your website.Your website is the most important element of your marketing. Even patients walking by will check your website. It’s worth the investment to hire a professional and do it the right way the first time. If you are like many clinics with a bad website no matter how much you spend on marketing you will lose them at your site.
For most clinics the street sign and location be their most effective advertising. The main reason is that patients know where you are, how to get to you, and are constantly are reminded of your clinic. Having great street visibility is very valuable. If you are not on the street level talk to your building management to have a large lit up sign on the side of the building. The best is to negotiate this in your contract.When you are purchasing the sign, invest in the most effective and largest sign. It will more than pay off in its investment. Having a good sign can return $2,000-$5,000 monthly saving on advertisement cost.
Get out in the community
Dentistry is a local business. Great thing is that you know and can reach all your customers quite easily. The challenge is that it will take a lot of time and resources. Get your name out in the community any way you can such as have a vendor booth in community events, sponsor local sports teams, sponsor local events, and / or go to schools to teach children, and help out and donate to local charity events. There are many things happening in your community and you should get involve in as many as possible.
Search Engine Optimization – SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a term that everyone talks about. It’s not hype we have seen how effective proper optimization can be. Let’s say you have a clinic in Toronto and your dental website is ranked 2nd for Toronto Implant. What this mean is that all the people that search for Toronto Implant and see your clinic and will click on it. Let’s say two patients book a month, that can be minimum of $10,000 in revenue each month, that’s $120,000 a year and this can go out for many years. Now think of how important it is to optimize your website.Optimizing everything you do for search engines is the best approach to take – before you even start writing or working on the pages. Trying to go back and optimize something you’ve already written is much harder than working it in naturally. Everything from your social media pages, blog entries, and website should be optimized for search engines. Make sure you are using keywords in a way that isn’t obvious, you don’t want to stick in words like “dental implants” twenty times in seven sentences, three or four is a much better feel.
Hold a Grand Opening
Build buzz and excitement by holding a grand opening at your office, one that entices people to stop as they drive by your office location. Recruit the local high school band and cheerleaders to play and perform at the opening. Invite the entire community, and provide them with food, drinks, and gift bags that contain your business cards.
Get Personalize Products
Personalize products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, goody bags, bumper stickers and then spread them around your town. This will improve your word of mouth, and it will also give people a reason to remember you. People are always interested in free stuff, and are likely to go to a dentist that will give them that free stuff.If you want to start your dental practice off on the right foot, consider trying at least a few of these tips or hire a dental marketing agency that can help you along the way. Many marketing agencies will have different plans, so you can use these ideas, and just have help implementing them. These methods work, and have worked for years and helped many new dental clinics like your grow. Even the clinics that are big still do these techniques, why? Because it works and it’s the reason it got to where it did. Keep working at your marketing as well – nothing will work if you quit after a week or even after a month! Every time you do it you will get more experience and build momentum.