Running a dental practice comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the key concerns for many dentists is attracting new patients to their practice. In today’s competitive healthcare landscape, it’s crucial to use effective marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd and create a strong patient base as well as retain it. There are some dentists out there who have already overcome this hurdle, so here is some insight and valuable suggestions from other successful dental practice owners whose marketing strategies may help you attract new patients and grow your dental practice.
Hosting Community Events
Because your dental practice serves a specific area and the new patients you want to attract are those already living within your region, hosting community events can be a positive way to get your practice’s name into the community. There are multiple ways you can choose to engage with your community, but one way is to host events for the local community, such as free dental check-ups like the Dental Care Group of Miami Florida.
In Miami, the Dental Care Group has hosted an event called “Dentistry from Our Hearts” since 2011. By partnering with other local businesses, this event allows community members to receive free dentistry treatment like general cleanings, fillings, diagnostics, and even extractions.
By hosting a community event, you can create a positive impression on the members of your community while showcasing your expertise and commitment to oral health. It also provides an opportunity to interact with potential patients, establish trust, and increase your practice’s visibility in the community.
Collaborate with Local Businesses
As evidenced by Dr. Rick Mars’ large community outreach in Miami, forging partnerships is a great idea. Connecting with local businesses, such as spas, fitness centers, health food stores, or even other healthcare providers can help promote your service, but allows you to cross-promote so the collaboration is mutually beneficial.
Consider offering exclusive discounts or joint marketing endeavors to reach new audiences or perhaps a different demographic than you may usually target with your marketing. By collaborating with like-minded businesses, you expand your reach and increase the likelihood of attracting potential patients who may not have considered dental care otherwise.
Referral Incentives & Other Rewards
Another way to attract new patients is by using old-fashioned word-of-mouth referrals. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful, and happy patients can become your best brand ambassadors. Encourage your existing patients to refer friends, family, and colleagues to your practice by offering incentives such as discounts, free services, or gift cards. By rewarding patients for referrals, you not only increase your chances of acquiring new patients but also strengthen the loyalty of your existing ones.
In an interview with Dentistry IQ, Dr. Boyd Newsome of Riverpoint Family, Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry discussed how his dental practice used many different marketing techniques and focused on outcome measures to determine which ones were most effective. Dr. Newsome reported that out of nearly 50 new patients a month, “70% of those patients were internal referrals.”
You may even implement loyalty programs for regular cleanings. Instead of only rewarding patients for referring others, reward them for taking good care of themselves. Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining oral health. To encourage patients to return for routine cleanings, consider implementing a loyalty program.
Offer discounts on services, or some other exclusive benefit like gift cards to other local businesses (another way to cross-promote) to patients who commit to regular visits. This strategy not only increases patient retention but creates a sense of appreciation, fostering long-term relationships with your patients and making patients more inclined to give that word-of-mouth referral.
Online Presence and Social Media
By now, it’s probably no secret that establishing a strong online presence is vital for attracting new patients. Build a professional website that showcases your expertise, services, and testimonials with high-quality images. Optimize your website for search engines to improve visibility and ensure you’re easily found the next time a patient types “dentist near me” into their search bar.
Additionally, create social media accounts to engage with potential patients, share oral health tips, and promote your practice. Regularly posting informative and engaging content can help build trust and attract new patients. Dr. Anissa Holmes leveraged her own skills in social media marketing to build up a renowned dental practice of her own in Jamaica. Now, Dr. Holmes helps dentists use social media to market their dental practices in a way that assists patients with overcoming fears and highlights genuinely positive experiences.
Patient Reviews and Testimonials
While the online presence you control for your practice is crucial, so is the online presence dictated by your patients. Online reviews and testimonials play a significant role in attracting new patients. Encourage your satisfied patients to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, or your practice’s website. Positive reviews act as social proof and instill confidence in prospective patients. In an interview for Entrepreneur Dr. Holmes says, “If we can unpeel and show them that we are impacting lives in the community, that our patients are having really good experiences, we can connect with them and change their life as well. And that’s the power of marketing.”
Knowing which marketing strategies are right for your dental practice can be tough, and you may find yourself stuck when it comes to implementing them in exactly the right way. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing strategies to attract new patients to your practice, Strategic Practice Solutions can help. Contact us today to get started with the strategy that fits the needs of your patients and staff.