What are your dental practice goals for 2019? Do you want to get more new patients, complete more treatments and earn more revenues? You can achieve all of those goals and more with the right marketing strategy. Here are 12 dental marketing ideas, one for each month of the new year, that will set you up for a great 2019.
January: Focus on your website.
Your website is key to your practice marketing. Does it need a makeover? Is the information on the site current? Are you still using the correct keywords for your target market, location and goals? Is your website listed on local search directories like Google and Bing? Make sure your website is mobile-first, too—patients look for dentists on their phones just as often as on their desktop computers.
February: Show patients you love them.
Every dental practice has an untapped money-maker: dormant patients. Reach out to patients who haven’t visited your practice in the past one to three years, and remind them that you care about their dental health. Offer a reduced-price or even free exam to get them back in the door. Lighthouse 360 makes it easy to send customized emails or letters to dormant patients. A whopping 90% of Lighthouse 360 clients say it increased patient reactivation for them.
March: Spruce up your reputation.
If you want to attract new patients, your online reputation needs to be top-notch. Before making an appointment, prospective patients visit online ratings and review sites to see what your current patients have to say about you. Set up a system to request reviews from your patients post-visit. Lighthouse 360 can automatically collect and post reviews from your satisfied patients to the top review sites such as Yelp and Google. You’ll also get your own page on RateABiz.com to showcase your reviews. The more reviews you have, the better your practice will rank in search results.
April: Freshen up your social media accounts.
Has your practice’s social media presence grown stale? Review your social media accounts to make sure they portray a professional, consistent brand image. Use analytics to see which kinds of posts get the most engagement from users. Involve your followers and patients by encouraging them to share photos of themselves on social media and tag your practice. You can spur more engagement by holding social media contests. For example, ask patients to post photos for a Best Smile contest and whoever gets the most votes wins a prize. You can also enhance your social media presence with paid Facebook ads that target people similar to your existing followers.
May: Picture this.
People love photos, especially when those photos can help them decide which dentist to choose. Prospective patients want to see exactly who will be caring for their teeth. Sharing plenty of photos of your office, support staff, hygienists and dentists will show people what to expect from your in-office experience. Lighthouse 360 makes it easy to upload images and create photo galleries on your practice’s website.
June: Get involved in your community.
School’s out, families are spending more time together, and everyone’s spending more time outdoors. Get involved by participating in community events such as 5K runs, food fairs or music festivals. You can sponsor the event, donate promotional products or snacks, or set up a booth. Sponsor local recreation leagues and Little League teams. You can even host events at your practice.
July: Market with video.
By 2019, video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the U.S., according to Cisco. Creating video is easier than ever to do and can pay off in a big way. Why not make a series of videos where you answer patients’ dental hygiene questions? You can also demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques or show viewers what happens during tooth whitening or other procedures they’re curious about. Almost three-fourths of social media users say they watch online videos to laugh, so if you have a great sense of humor, don’t be afraid to show it.
August: Educate prospective patients.
It’s (almost) back-to-school time! Reach out to patients with children and encourage them to bring the kids in for a checkup before school gets in the way. Then “school” prospective patients by providing educational content to show your expertise. For example, offering to write a column or guest post for a local newspaper or website can attract attention and position you as a knowledgeable dental professional.
September: Make them an offer.
Discounts, deals and incentives work in dentistry just as in any business. See what kinds of specials your competitors are offering and come up with something different and better. After first-time patients visit, send them a thank-you email with a discount or gift for a future visit. Offer a 5% discount for patients who pre-pay for treatments. Develop a referral program and incentivize your existing patients to refer friends and family members to your practice by offering them gift cards or prizes.
October: Remind patients to use it or lose it.
Patients who have standard healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSAs) will lose any funds that remain in their accounts at the end of the plan year. To get more patients into the office by year-end, send out reminder emails to patients who’ve been waffling about recommended treatments. Lighthouse 360 has an easy email template to remind patients to use their End of Year Benefits. Post reminders on your website and social media pages to encourage patients to use their funds.
November: Give thanks to your patients.
Treat new patients like silver but existing patients like gold. This time of year is the perfect time to thank your loyal patients. Send out digital or paper greeting cards to let them know how much their patronage means to you. Hold a contest and give away a gift basket, gift card, tech gadget or other prize.
December: Say it with email.
Email marketing is an effective way to reach patients one-on-one. Create a monthly email marketing newsletter that contains special offers, news about your practice, and useful dental-care information. Lighthouse 360 can group patients into custom lists and send them emails targeted for their interests. Encourage patients to sign up for emails when they check in or check out. You can also make sign-up an option on your new patient registration forms. Once patients sign up, use email to promote holiday specials like teeth whitening.
No matter what month it is, Lighthouse 360 can help with your marketing. Find out more about Lighthouse 360.