So you need to get new dental patients? You’ve got a great looking dental website, you religiously blog every week and stay as active as you can on a variety of social media channels, yet you’re still not getting sufficient numbers of new patients through your doors.
Don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact this is a common frustration of many dentists who are trying to grow their business. Clearly, acquiring new patients is a fundamental part of expansion, but just how do you get new dental patients who otherwise, mightn’t even know you exist?
Here are 7 methods that just might help….
Method 1 – Create awareness around common dental problems
The truth is that the majority of people don’t even think about their teeth until there’s a problem with them. This is the time that they start searching for a dentist. The good news is that as an oral care specialist you fully understand the most common dental problems that people face, so why not craft a message addressing these specific issues and put it right in front of them in the form of a blog post. This way (hopefully) when they Google say, ‘chipped tooth repair in (insert your area here)’ your post will be exactly what they’re looking for.
Make sure you add a compelling call to action at the bottom and boom, you’ve got a powerful piece of marketing right there. Don’t forget a post doesn’t just have to be hosted onto your site. Instead why not look at other popular websites in your field or area and ask if they’ll post it in the form of a guest post. This way you stand a greater chance of getting your practice noticed.
Method 2 – Know your target audience
I was speaking to a dentist recently and when asked about their target audience they said that their patient base consisted mainly of patients who were professional 55 and overs, living in and around the London commuter belt. This is great knowledge to have because once you understand this, then you can start to target messages and services aimed directly at them.
Maybe your target audience are young, trendy thirty something’s looking for quick fix cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, or maybe they’re older patients considering long term treatments such as dental implants. Alternatively does your target audience have specific dental problems that you can solve? Once you get a handle on who they are, then as George Cohn, head of Columbia Pictures once said…
“Just as long as you give them what they want, they’ll come”
Method 3 – Think outside of the box
I know this is a bit of a cliche but in the world of marketing, thinking outside of the box can often yield great results and could just be the perfect way to get new dental patients. If your current dental marketing methods aren’t getting the results you want then try something new.
As an example, direct mail campaigns using good old ‘snail mail’ may not seem like a modern way to do business but one thing’s for sure, if other local dental practices aren’t doing it, then you’re going to be the one to stand out. Why not try a mail drop using a plain postcard with a simple but powerful message. What about distributing a simple flyer with the details of your clinic and what you can do to help potential patients.
Alternatively how about placing ads in local community magazines for your services, or if you feel like getting really creative, why not organise an event for the local community? In fact anything that’s different and promotes your dental clinic as the ‘go to’place for treatment in your area, is definitely worth considering.
Method 4 – Leverage the power of your current patients
Often dentists overlook the fact that if they really want to get new dental patients one of the first places they should be looking is to their existing patient base. Don’t be afraid to ask existing patients to spread the word about your clinic and the services you offer. Don’t forget they’re already great advocates of your business so it really makes sense.
To encourage them, why not offer some sort of referral incentive where-by when they introduce a new patient to the clinic, they receive say a free check-up or money off a particular treatment. Again whatever works for you is good and remember, despite all the dental marketing methods available, plain, simple word of mouth is still one of the most powerful.
Method 5 – Harness the power of the video
Did you know that despite being known as a video platform, YouTube is also the world’s second biggest search engine? With a staggering 4 billion videos being viewed every single day, it’s a great platform to use if you want to attract new patients. The main advantages of video channels such as YouTube is that they make for a much more accessible platform where potential patients can glean valuable information about your services.
Ask yourself this…. If you were a potential patient seeking a particular service or valuable information about a particular treatment, wouldn’t you rather watch a video of the dentist themselves explaining in patient-friendly terms just how they can help, rather than having to wade through piles of information?
The good news is that the video doesn’t have to be a Steven Speilberg-like epic. Instead, done properly, a simple video is engaging and has the ability to make a personal connection like no other form of marketing can. Now that’s powerful stuff!
Method 6 – Building and managing your online reputation
If there’s one dental marketing method that enables you the ability to get new dental patients it’s having a good online reputation. For this reason you should always be aware of what people are saying about your practice. This means periodically checking everywhere that you’re listed so that you can see what’s being written. If you do have negative reviews (and it does happen) the worst thing you can do is to ignore it. Instead address the issue and try to resolve the conflict. Remember in the eyes of a potential patient reviews are extremely important, so if you don’t have any reviews then don’t be afraid to ask existing patients to leave you some.
Method 7 – Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you’re having to see to the needs of patients, organise staff, deal with suppliers, and generally do everything you can to keep your dental business afloat in a competitive environment, it’s understandable that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Therefore trying to get new dental patients through your doors using new marketing techniques can be a huge challenge. For this reason, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Freelance dental writers and dental marketing companies exist for a reason, so if you really don’t have the time to invest in marketing, then chances are they’re the perfect investment for you.
The bottom line is that trying to get new dental patients through your doors, especially when they don’t even know you exist isn’t easy, but it’s one that can be done if you can position your practice as the perfect solution for their specific dental needs.
Here at Dental Writers we do exactly that. Using the power of the written word, we have the ability to position you as the ‘go’to’ dentist in your area. From patient friendly blog posts and newsletters, to procedural pages and email campaigns, we’ve got it covered. To find out more, visit our website at www.dentalwriters.com or alternatively contact me on 0044 (0) 844 3079127 to see exactly how we can help you.