Preparing patients for treatment, examining the patient and their records to diagnose a problem, cleaning teeth to remove plaque, and carrying out procedures skilfully with minimal discomfort to the patient are the stereotypical roles we associate with a dentist. However; when a dentist steps foot into starting his own practice, his responsibility multiplies. A dental professional who has started his own practice needs to go beyond the field of dentistry to learn about the business world. He needs to look into hiring staff, keep a check on the cash flow and maintain records, work on improving patient inflow, understand marketing strategies and so on.
The underlying cause for the smooth running of every business is a consistent customer base. When it comes to the dental business too; although there are many factors working in coordination; patient inflow is what generates profits, which is the strongest determinant of the success of your practice and keeps your business running.
But how do you find and reach the potential patient base? Moreover; how do you drive patients to your practice when there are a plethora of other dentists offering the same dental treatments? This is where marketing comes in.
Marketing is an effective tool in every business and the dental business is no exception. With a marketing plan, dental professionals can determine a vision and mission for their practice, define what they want to accomplish, identify and reach out to their target audience, differentiate their practice from the competitors and so on. However; with almost every business using marketing, you need to get beyond simply putting yourself out there.
Here are a few tips and ideas for dentists that will help them market themselves effectively and stand tall amongst the competition.
1] Upgrade your website
Your website is often the first point of contact with the patients. It reflects your proficiency and creates an impression of your brand. Therefore, you must put in your best effort to design it in the most stellar manner. Make sure it is user-friendly and loads fast, thereby enhancing the patient experience. Optimize it for local search and voice search. Today, over 50.88% of web traffic comes from mobile devices so make sure your website functions smoothly on every device. If you are incorporating appointment provisions on your website, make sure it’s easy to fill up and concise.
2] Create engaging content
Content has the power to define you in the most positive light. Although it is widely believed that SEO is what helps you rank higher on search engines, content is what plays a major part. Relevant and informative content builds a sense of trust in the readers about your work. It is important to take note that content shouldn’t promote your brand and center around publicizing it. It should rather be information that the audience would like to know about. In addition, you should focus on the usage of the right keywords. It also helps Google rank your content and display it in the people also search for section. The more relevant your information is, the better it will rank on Google. You can also use this section to learn what content is banking higher in your field. For instance, you could write about tips for maintaining healthy teeth, a diet to follow, what could bad breath mean and so on. Basically, it should answer common questions that demographic faces with regard to dental care. This will educate them and serve as beneficial thereby forming a foundation of trust in your services.
3] Add dental membership plans in dentistry
Most people struggle when it comes to losing dental treatments. People with insurance avail of only those services that are covered by insurance even if more is needed and uninsured people just walk away from treatments thinking the issues will resolve with time. In such situations, adding in house dental membership plans to your practice can come as a huge advantage. People can avail of the membership plan and receive benefits and discounts for a long time. Since they will have flexibility in payment, they will show up frequently and actually follow the treatment procedure in its entirety.
4] Leverage social media
The power of social media has been coming to the forefront in recent years. There are around 4.70 billion social media users today. The figure is enough to indicate where you will find a large patient base. Social media can help you reach the audience with ease. You can pair up with influencers and gain access to their followers too. Communication with potential patients becomes easier with social media. Make sure you link your social media to your website so people can find greater details about you with ease if interested.
5] Offer discounts and incentives to new patients
Patients are always looking for something new and better. Amidst high competition, if you want to stand tall as a dental practice, you must offer discounts or other benefits to first-time visitors. This is a great strategy to retain the patients. You can offer 10% on the second visit, free x-rays, free cleanup etc. Although make sure the benefits you offer don’t put you under financial strain and are well within limits.
There are several other facets to consider when it comes to dental marketing. It is a whole new world in itself that can be explored only with you diving in. So, start with the above-mentioned tips and keep learning and upgrading as time goes by till you attain your goals.