Is your dental practice struggling to bring in new patients to increase your patient base? Then a digital marketing plan could be the solution.

Digital marketing is the process of using digital platforms, such as social media and the internet, to advertise your practice and connect with patients. Unlike traditional marketing, which uses physical advertisements, billboards, and signs, digital marketing takes place 100% in digital spaces.

Implementing an effective digital marketing campaign is essential to keep your dental business competitive in this modern, digital age. If you are not currently using digital marketing to your advantage, today is an excellent day to learn how to utilize these strategies to bring in new patients, improve retention, and grow your dental practice.

Our team at Weave has created this guide to help you understand the most successful tactics of digital marketing for dentists. Read on to learn more about these strategies and how they can grow your practice.

Why Digital Marketing Is Important for Dental Practices

You may be wondering why digital marketing is so important, especially if you already use traditional marketing tactics.

However, digital marketing is the marketing strategy of the present and the future. If your dental practice does not currently use digital marketing strategies, you are probably trailing behind the other practices in your area.

At least 70% of consumers say they prefer to learn about products through digital content rather than traditional ad methods. Additionally, traditional marketing leads to about 50% fewer interactions with patients than digital marketing.

Digital marketing for dentists is undoubtedly a more cost-effective and successful marketing strategy than traditional marketing. While there are advantages to using both techniques, emphasizing digital marketing can prevent you from losing patients to other dental practices and promote ongoing growth and success for your practice.

Digital Marketing Tactics That Work Well for Dentists

Organic Social Media Marketing

People spend an average of 145 minutes on social media every day. What if you could capitalize on your potential patients’ social media usage to market your dental practice?

Organic social media marketing is the strategy of advertising your dental practice through your social media page. This strategy does not include any paid advertisements. However, social media presents the perfect outlet to market your services through free text posts, images, and videos.

Your practice’s social media presence can play a significant role in your online reputation and relationships with patients. For instance, you can use free social media tools to reply to patients directly, personalizing your dental practice. You can also ask for feedback from patients on social media to learn ways your practice may need to improve.

Social media also makes it easy for your patients to share information about your practice with their friends and family members. For example, many businesses utilize giveaways to encourage their followers to spread the word about their services or products. Users can enter these giveaways by sharing a business’s post to their own social media pages.

You can use free social media tools to your advantage in numerous ways. However, the first step is to create a profile on each of the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Once your profiles are complete, you can begin shaping your content to create a positive image of your brand and invite new patients to reach out to you.

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Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is another way to use social media to promote your dental practice. In contrast to organic social media marketing, this strategy uses paid ads to promote your practice to potential patients on their social media feeds.

Paid social media ads have a greater reach than organic social media marketing. Individuals who do not follow your social media pages will see these ads, meaning that people who have never heard of your practice before can discover it through social media.

Social media advertising also allows you to tailor your marketing strategy toward a specific target audience, such as people who have searched for a dentist in their search engine or those who live in your region.

Finally, paid social media ads can give you insight into your potential patient demographics. You can view social media analytics for every ad you release. They will tell you how your ad performed, what ads received the most engagement, and what demographics viewed your ads. You can then use this information to tailor your strategy accordingly.

Content Marketing

Your dental practice probably already has a website. If not, creating one should be your top priority.

A website is one of the most valuable digital marketing tools you can have to promote your dental practice, bring in new patients, and teach people about your services. One of the most important aspects of any website is its content.

Content marketing is the process of creating and tailoring the written and media content on your website to attract website visitors and convince them to act in some way, whether by scheduling an appointment or calling for more information. The content on your site can play a valuable role in:

  •  Establishing your dental authority
  •  Building relationships with patients
  •  Educating patients about your services and practices
  •  Increasing conversions
  • Building community around your brand
  • Detailing why your services are necessary

Ideally, your site should feature several types of content to increase the amount of time users spend on your site. Creating a blend of infographics, blog posts, video content, and paid advertisements to include on your website can work wonders to promote your dental practice and produce growth.

SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is another effective digital marketing strategy. This strategy uses various methods to increase your website’s search engine rankings, making it more visible to people who search for relevant keywords in search engines like Google.

Let’s say that you own a dental practice in Boston. As a result, you’d probably like your practice’s website to come up as one of the top search results when users search for “Boston dentist.”

However, the only way to make this happen is to implement search engine optimization techniques to help your website rank for the keywords “Boston dentist.”

SEO techniques include strategies like:

  •  Optimizing the written content on your website for relevant keywords
  •  Using a user-friendly, clean layout
  •  Keeping content up to date
  •  Building backlinks to your website
  • Adding internal and external links throughout your site
  • Establishing authority in the dental industry

Each of these practices tells Google to rank your website higher when people search for related keywords and search terms.

Search engine optimization is a relatively complex practice, as Google uses intricate algorithms and strategies to determine what pages rank higher than others in the search engine results. While you may be able to implement some of these strategies successfully yourself, you should also consider hiring a professional to help you out.

Automated Appointment Reminders

Your marketing strategies should not only target potential patients, but they should also focus on existing patient retention. You want to prevent patients from leaving your dental practice to go to another one that prioritizes their experiences and better appeals to their specific wants and needs.

One easy strategy to improve patient retention is to employ automated appointment reminders. With Weave’s digital tools, you can automatically send text messages to patients a certain number of days before their scheduled appointments. These personalized, professional texts can create direct communication between you and your patients without taking up more of your employees’ time.

Weave makes it easy to customize appointment reminders using your patients’ names, exact appointment times, and personalized language. You can send automated reminders that read something like,

“Hi, John. Just wanted to remind you about your upcoming appointment for a cavity filling at Boston Dental. Does Friday, November 26, at 3:30 PM still work for you?”

Weave reminders can also use artificial intelligence technology to interpret the messages your patients respond with, saving your employees the time and hassle of reading these messages themselves. For example, if John were to respond with “Works for me,” “Yes,” or “Sure thing,” Weave could automatically interpret these messages to confirm John’s appointment.

Automating your appointment reminders is an easy and effective way to prioritize patient retention, reduce employee workload, and improve direct patient communication.

Get Good Online Reviews

When potential patients search Google for a new dental practice, they often read reviews of many practices before settling on one. Your dental office’s reviews play a significant role in your practice’s reputation, and Weave makes it easy to manage the reviews your practice receives.

Weave Reviews can help you stay on top of your reviews on Google and Facebook. This tool can alert you about every new review you receive and send a special notification when you receive a negative review. This fast alert can help you reach out to patients who left negative reviews as quickly as possible to address their concerns.

With Weave, you can also send out automatic review requests to patients after each appointment. Inviting patients to leave reviews soon after leaving their appointments can make them more likely to go through with leaving a review.

Overall, managing the online reviews patients leave for your practice is an important step in maintaining your digital presence. Thankfully, using an automation platform like Weave takes most of the work out of review management.

Text Messaging

We live in an age where many people would rather text a business than call it directly. Offering text messaging as a communication method is one way to minimize barriers for patients to communicate with your dental practice.

However, your staff probably doesn’t have the time to text back and forth with all of your patients. You may also not have the right technology to send text messages from your dental practice’s office phone.

Thankfully, Weave provides an all-inclusive solution to two-way texting with your patients. Through the Weave platform, you can send automated, personalized texts to patients via the computer from your practice’s phone number. Your employees can use this platform on their computers or mobile devices, making it easier to review automated messages and respond to messages requiring a customized response.

 These texts can:

      Remind patients of upcoming appointments

      Remind patients to schedule routine cleanings

      Check in with patients after appointments

      Update patients about changes to appointment times

      Follow up after you miss a patient’s call

If patients have any questions about their appointments, billing details, or anything else, they can text your business phone number. Then, your employees can respond whenever they have a free minute. This method makes it easier for employees to manage high call volume and for patients to communicate their concerns with your practice— a win/win.

Email Marketing

Email is another essential digital communication method. Emailing enables you to include infographics, videos, images, and written information in your messages to patients and allows for direct advertising and communication.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a professional writer or experienced marketer to craft engaging emails for your patients. Weave’s email marketing tool allows you to write emails from pre-written templates and include images from the Weave media library. These features can enable you to write a high-quality email in just minutes.

The Weave tool also simplifies the process of selecting the specific patients to which you want to send emails. You can categorize your patients by variables such as location or appointment type and send emails to patients who meet your desired criteria. You can also easily send mass emails to every patient in your database. 

Contact Us to Learn More About Weave

Digital marketing for dentists may seem overwhelming at first, but learning to utilize these strategies to your advantage can generate significant returns. Thankfully, Weave simplifies many of the most important digital marketing strategies your dental practice can implement. Contact Weave today to request a free demo of the Weave platform.