Creative Dental Marketing Ideas: Dentistry Marketing Strategies

If you're like most dentists, you're focused on providing dental services, not on finding new ways to implement a dental marketing strategy. But how do you attract new patients to your dental practice?

There are plenty of dental marketing ideas, both digital and offline methods, that can help grow your dental practice. With the right one, you can generate more interest and attract new dental patients.

How can a dentist get more customers? In this article, we discuss 20 of the most popular dental marketing ideas, the best practices for implementing them, and how to measure their effectiveness.

Creative Dental Marketing Ideas: Dentistry Marketing Strategies

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What Is Dental Marketing?

Dental marketing is the marketing tactics and strategies that dental practices and dental clinics use to attract and retain new patients, as well as increase brand awareness. The main goal is to get potential patients to make a phone call or book an appointment online. The best way to get patients to take these actions is to run ads on Google and Facebook and position your dental website on search engines.

Most dental patients will agree that it is difficult to find a dentist. But, as dental marketing has shifted almost entirely to digital, as a dental practice manager, you may find that filling your practice with patients is also difficult! In this article, we're going to give you some creative dental marketing ideas to help you market your practice.

For most dentists, the topic of hiring a new dental marketing company rings with some uncertainty. Gone are the days of buying a YP ad and waiting for the phone to ring. Today's dental patients do their research online before choosing a provider.

If you want phone calls, scheduled appointments, new patient acquisition, and retention of existing dental patients, you'll need to invest time and money in a new online marketing strategy. A smart marketing campaign starts with a well-planned, properly implemented, and measurable strategy. 

These creative dental marketing ideas below will help you get started in growing your practice.

How To Develop A Dental Office Marketing Plan

Before you can begin implementing these dental marketing ideas, you need to create a marketing plan for your dental practice by following these steps.

Analyze your market. You need to know who your competitors are, what patients in your area want and need, and what sets you apart from your competitors. For this last part, you'll need a unique selling proposition. For example, you may offer emergency appointments or perform a new procedure that no one else offers in your area.

Define your goals and objectives. Before you start dentistry marketing, you need to know what you want to accomplish. Your goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound). An example of a SMART goal would be to increase your social media followers by 10% in one month.

Set your dental marketing budget. While some dental marketing strategies can be implemented without spending any money, most require some investment to pay off.

Choose your dental marketing strategies. After setting a budget and reviewing your goals, you'll need to decide which strategies are affordable and most likely to help you achieve your goals.

Create your dental marketing plan. Using the strategies you've chosen, develop your plan. Your marketing plan should include information about specific marketing campaigns, including your budget and goals.

Monitor and modify your strategies as necessary. As you launch each campaign, it is essential to track the results and modify your strategies accordingly.

You need to think of your dentistry marketing strategy as something that is constantly reviewed and refined. Once you have your strategy in place, you can try some of the following dental marketing ideas.

Creative Dental Marketing Ideas & Strategies

Now that we've covered the basics of your dentistry marketing strategy, let's dive into the specific tactics dental practices can add to a marketing plan. Here are 20 creative dental marketing ideas to promote your practice and attract new patients:

1. Establish an online presence

A digital presence is essential to the development of any business, including your dental practice. Here's an overview of the key elements needed to establish an online presence (we'll discuss some of these in more detail later in the article).

Website: Think of your dental website as a virtual business card or the primary salesperson for your practice. Make sure it covers the basics: your practice address, phone number, other contact information, and the specific services you offer. The language on your website should also speak to your ideal client. Dental patients are particularly demanding. If your website doesn't give them the information they need, you risk going unnoticed, even if your practice is extraordinary.

Creative Dental Marketing Ideas: Dentistry Marketing Strategies

Keep in mind that most people search for information on their phones, so you need to make sure your dental website is optimized for mobile.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is often considered the Holy Grail of online marketing. When people search for specific services, they usually don't look beyond the first few pages of Google results. By following dental SEO best practices, you'll have a better chance of appearing prominently on the first few pages of a potential client's search.

A key SEO tip is to optimize your website for the keywords "dentist" and "dental office" followed by your city or region. For example, "dental office Boston" or "dentist Short Hills New Jersey." This is called local SEO, which will bring you closer to those most likely to become patients.

Social Media Profiles: We can't leave out social media when it comes to brand awareness. Over and over again, social media has proven to be a powerful tool for dentistry marketing. Dental practitioners are now able to increase brand awareness and connect with potential dental patients around the clock through social media sites.

If you want to use social media to market your dental practice, Facebook is a great place to start. It's where most consumers are, and if you create engaging posts or advertise on social media, chances are you'll show up on their news feed. In addition, Facebook has a "Recommendations" feature, which allows existing patients to directly share your information with others.

Facebook can help generate leads in many other ways. Here are some ways to best use Facebook to promote your dental practice:

- Post engaging content. People go to Facebook to be entertained and communicate, not to see ads. Consider how you can make the content you post on Facebook more fun. Use engaging images, infographics, quotes, surveys, statistics, and even run contests.

- If you use Facebook ads, offer readers something informative as well. Offering interesting statistics, images, or dental tips can help draw people in.

Outside of Facebook, focus on the social media platforms your audience uses most. As long as you're posting interesting and useful content in an authentic way, social media can be a great tool for driving word of mouth and growing your dental business.

2.  Get engaged in your community

Simply being active and engaged in your community is an effective dental marketing idea. Giving back is a great way to go above and beyond the standard dental service, and earn the trust and respect of the community. It also ensures that your dental practice will be at the top of their list when they need a dentist.

Here are some ways to get engaged in your community:

- Sponsor a small local sports team
- Sponsor a local fundraiser (e.g. bake sale, run).
- Organize a themed art, essay, or poetry contest in your school district.
- Offer career information sessions or discussions in elementary schools.
- Perform local volunteer work
- Start a community referral program

Why is this strategy so important? The dental care industry is all about trust. Most people will only entrust their dental health to someone who has a good reputation or who they feel they know personally.

3. Generate customer referrals

Plenty of small businesses, as well as dental practices, thrive on referrals. However, it's often difficult to track and understand where those referrals come from.

Creating an incentive referral program makes it much easier to track your growth. Although you may already be using a physical referral card, a digital referral program is even more effective and easier to measure. With a platform like Referral Rock, you can easily set up a program, automatically track all of your results, and instantly reward a customer when they successfully refer a friend.

4. Use email marketing

By getting your patients' email addresses, you have a direct line to grow your business. Just make sure you send the right emails at the right time.

You can start by asking for a patient's email address to send appointment reminders.

You can also invite people to sign up for your mailing list, where they can receive useful information, such as a guide, video series, or webinars. A catchy title, like "3 Steps to Bright, White Teeth," can be a great way to get people interested in your dental services. Then, once someone has accessed the article, you can send a follow-up email asking for feedback or offering a discounted cleaning or whitening service.

Once someone is on your email list, the goal is to remind current and potential patients about your dental practice. Keep them engaged and up to date with a regular newsletter. Include articles such as:

- Dental hygiene tips
- Fun stories about your clients (with their permission)
- An invitation to your referral program
- Contests and offers
- Your involvement in the community
- Any relevant practice updates (i.e., new location, new services, new equipment)

If you really want to master email marketing, you can check out the Vero Email Marketing and Vertical Response Email Marketing blog for more great tips.

Don't spam your customers. Only send your patients relevant information. If you send messages too frequently, your patients may ignore your emails or refuse them altogether.

5. Show your results

Everybody talks about their services, but not everybody talks about their results. If you show the results of your patients' happy, healthy mouths, others will be more interested in trying your services. Yes, people know that dentists clean teeth and fill cavities, but seeing the end result of that work can be especially compelling.

Give this strategy a boost by creating a "photo booth" for social media. Offer to take photos of the patients and their clean teeth once the procedure is complete, and encourage them to share the photo on their social media pages. Don't forget to make a unique hashtag for your dental business so they can use it in their caption. This is a perfect way to create social proof.

6. Join an online community or group

No matter where you live, there are social media groups and community forums that your practice can use for promotion. Search for your city + "forum," and Google will guide you to forums where you can interact and build relationships with members of your community.

You can also search for local groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you decide to join, make sure you are helpful and contribute to the conversation. There's nothing wrong with passively promoting yourself or your dental practice by putting your website in your signature, but in settings like this, helpful tips are always more effective than overt promotions.

7. Partner with other companies

You may know another company that can benefit from your business and shares a similar target market. Why not form a partnership in which you refer potential customers to each other? This is called a partner program (or partner referral program).

Establishing this type of partner relationship is a great way to find new dental patients because it generates leads directly to your practice. The key is to make sure you have chosen a company or professional who is not a competitor and whom you truly trust. If not, the partnership could damage your reputation and your social currency could plummet.

Here are some suggestions of companies you can consider forming referral partnerships with:

Orthodontists: If you don't offer orthodontics yourself, a great potential partnership is a local orthodontist. After all, dental cleanings become even more important when a patient is wearing braces. Plus, you probably already recommend orthodontists to some of your current patients.

Other non-competing dental practices: As long as they don't compete directly with you, you can partner with a dental surgeon, pediatric dentist, or other professional. You can mutually agree to refer patients to each other in order to grow your practices together.

Local real estate agents: Although not in your industry, these professionals work with newcomers to the community. In return, you can offer discounts on services and other benefits to real estate agents who refer you.

8.  Send out neighborhood welcome packs

Once you've gathered lists of new community members from a real estate agent, community association, or another source, consider sending out "welcome to the neighborhood" cards to make sure these newcomers know about your service. You can even include a coupon for a discount on their first cleaning or a small gift with your dental office name on it.

If a community or homeowner's association already sends out welcome packs, offer a coupon and/or a gift from your practice. This is another great way to build community and gain the trust of potential dental patients.

9. Do something newsworthy

The hardest part of marketing online as a dentist is making sure your efforts reach the local market. However, if you can attract local press, you will receive direct and targeted attention to your online and offline dental business.

One of the best ways to do this is through guerrilla marketing. Guerrilla marketing uses unconventional and surprising methods to promote a product or service. By doing something out of the ordinary, the local media will be more likely to include you in an upcoming story. Here are some examples of guerrilla marketing inspiration.

10. Leverage content marketing

You're here, meaning you're reading our company's blog. Why not drive traffic to your own blog? Make quality content, including blog posts sharing dental tips and patient updates. (This also helps your dental website's SEO).

To align content marketing with your dental marketing ideas, you need to stay consistent. It's also better to write about relevant subjects that your audience is interested in reading.

11. Make marketing a team effort

Creative Dental Marketing Ideas: Dentistry Marketing Strategies

Instead of relying on one person to get the word out, it's best to get your entire team involved. When more people are actively talking about your practice, it's much easier to reach potential clients.

Another reason to get your team involved is that it helps generate new dental marketing ideas. This can be especially helpful when creating articles for blogs and social media. You can then ask your entire dental team to share content from your dental website and social media pages with others. Most of your team members probably use some form of social media, which is a good way to be seen by hundreds of new people.

When offering ideas to your team, be sure to mention that they are optional but would really help the practice. Here are some steps you can take to make team marketing easier for everyone:

- Create predefined social posts so your team members can easily choose one and share it.
- Email any new content to your team members, whether it's a new infographic or a new blog post. If your team is aware of your resources, they will be more likely to share them.
- Encourage members of your team in sharing new content or suggestions.

12. Make offers customers can't refuse

Offering an exclusive deal upfront can help people walk through the door - and encourage them to return. In the dental industry, there are only so many things you can offer for free or at a discount. But that's all you need. Think about what you can offer and send it to your target market. To make it interesting, you can even change the offer every quarter.

For new patients, you can offer a free service, such as a cleaning or teeth whitening. Both of these services can be done fairly quickly and inexpensively, and usually, invite them to opt for another service or return.

For existing patients, you can offer a discount on new services, such as $20 off an at-home cleaning system or 15% off Invisalign. This is a great way to show patients that you appreciate their patronage and invite them to try new services.

13. Create engaging videos

You don't have to use YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram's IGTV for your dental practice. But there's no refuting how engaging video marketing can be. Why not use videos to present entertaining content that gives dentistry a more human dimension? Here are some video ideas:

- Take a tour of your practice
- Answer patients' questions
- Share patient testimonials
- Offer dental hygiene tips

You can share these videos on your dental website, and social media profiles, and even include them in your email newsletters.

Need some inspiration? Orthodontist Dr. Ben Winters (aka TheBentist) has been using TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube videos to become a social media star. Check out his YouTube channel and Instagram.

14. Update your Google My Business page

You may have claimed your (GMB) Google My Business page already - if so, that's great! This is an effective way to increase your presence in your area. Make sure the GMB listing is up to date, with your address, phone, and emails. You can even add images.

The more complete your business page is, the more your reputation will be recognized by potential dental patients. It's a good idea to allow reviews on your Google business page. Reviews are a recommended method of building trust - which brings us to our next dental marketing idea.

15. Get positive reviews

Ask your current patients to recommend you to others. Most new patients will probably research and read a ton of reviews before choosing a dentist. If you have positive reviews online, on sites like Yelp and Google, people will tend to trust you and feel more comfortable making an appointment.

It's important to request reviews at the right time. You can email a link to your clients after their appointment (via a thank you email), or include a request for reviews in the checkout process (via a POS kiosk or tablet). Here's more on how to get positive reviews.

16. Send a postcard

Yes, postcards have been around forever. But that's because they are easy and they work. Postcards and mailings are a relatively inexpensive option, and best of all, they get right in front of potential patients.

An updated version of this strategy is to send a postcard coupon. Here is a good example created by Impact Mailers.

Consider sending a postcard to neighborhoods near your dental office. People are moving all the time, so your postcard may end up in the hands of someone looking for a new dentist. And since you're in their neighborhood, you'll be an easy choice when they need dental care.

17. Retarget your past visitors

Retargeting is a marketing strategy that involves targeting Google ads only to people who have previously visited your dental website. This method reminds people of who you are and encourages them to return to your site after leaving it.

Retargeting is especially effective for potential dental patients who are comparing you to your competitors or who are looking for a dentist but then leave to perform another task.

Since you're sending a reminder to someone who already knows who you are, retargeting makes it much easier to convert that person into a patient. You can even take the opportunity to send them an attractive discount using a retargeting ad, giving you a head start on your competitors and allowing you to "close the deal."

18. Brand yourself as an expert

At the end of the day, patients just want to know that they are in good hands. Give them that assurance by showing your expertise in dental. Contribute articles to major publications or send helpful expert advice to other media. By establishing yourself as a trusted expert in your field, you will build your reputation and gain the trust of your potential and existing dental patients.

19. Include calls to action (CTAs)

Make it easy for people to contact you and get in touch with you. Placing a call to action (CTA) on your dental website, blog page, and/or email makes it easy for potential patients to contact you. Some useful CTAs include "book an appointment," "ask about a service," or "refer a friend". Find out more about designing effective calls to action here.

20. Maintain a consistent brand image

The best foundation for any marketing strategy is to have a consistent brand image. No matter what dental marketing idea you use, having a strong brand ensures that your dental practice is memorable and aligned with your image, mission, and values.

Dental Marketing Ideas Summary

If to be easily found when a potential dental patient searches online, you need to have a dentistry marketing strategy as part of your marketing plan.

Your dental website and social media profiles should clearly communicate your clinic's brand and remain consistent with every interaction. In addition, these media outlets should list all of the dental services you offer in your practice, staff bios, payment policies, and insurance plans accepted by the clinic.

Your website should make it easy for all visitors to make an appointment. Your hours of operation should be clearly communicated. Your website is an opportunity to make a good first impression, so invest in a professional and user-friendly design.

Begin with one or two strategies from our list. Once you've attracted a few new patients, you can add new strategies.

We understand that you may not have the time to manage multiple marketing campaigns. Your best bet is to work with a marketing company that specializes in helping dental practices attract new patients and increase their profits.

FAQs About Dental Marketing Ideas

How can a dental clinic increase sales?

Consider adding patient testimonials to the dental website. Testimonials can highlight the effectiveness and quality of a practice's service and attract more clients. Positive dental patient testimonials can increase the credibility of your business and help increase practice sales.

Why is dental marketing important?

Your dental patients are your customers. In addition to helping you identify your target market, a marketing plan helps your patients understand why your dental clinic is the one they should choose, and what is unique about your dental services.

What makes a dentist unique?

It requires mastery and technique specific to the profession. Dentistry is largely about maintaining good oral health, but it is also a practice that focuses on aesthetics. A large part of dentistry is restoring teeth and restoring a beautiful smile, a smile that the patient is happy to show to others.

Do dentists need digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the key survival strategy for any business, including dental practices and dental clinics. Statistics suggest that over 38% of dental clinics are struggling to find the right traffic and leads. In addition, a higher rate of patients, over 77%, are now using the internet to search for a reliable dental clinic.

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