Millennials — people born between 1982 and 2000 — are the future of your practice. The older members of this generation are starting families, with children who need dental care; the younger ones are becoming adults and forming lifelong dental care habits. What are the best ways to market to this key generation? Here are eight tips.
- Make your marketing mobile-friendly. Your dental practice website should be easy to navigate on a smartphone — the device where half of millennials spend up to three hours a day. Make sure your marketing emails are easy to read on a mobile device, too.
- Think visual. Millennials are visually oriented; they love to see photos and videos and prefer more images and less text. Change up the images on your practice’s website regularly to provide a fresh experience each time. When you use Lighthouse 360, you can easily upload photos and create galleries on your website. For example, share before and after photos of patients who’ve undergone cosmetic dentistry procedures.
- Appeal to their vanity. This generation loves posting selfies and understands the value of image. You can market your dental practice to millennials by emphasizing the importance of dental care in maintaining an attractive smile, or by focusing on cosmetic dentistry services you provide.
- Be social. Millennials turn to their friends and peers to get advice about medical professionals, including dentists. They pay attention to what others are saying about your practice on social media, as well as what you’re saying. A whopping 90 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 say they trust medical information shared on their social networks, according to a study reported by Dental Economics. Post and share quick tips about dental health topics like how to quickly freshen your breath or whether baking soda really whitens teeth. Use your social media presence to drive millennial customers to your website.
- Communicate in the way they prefer. Millennials don't necessarily want to call your practice to make an appointment. In fact, more than three-fourths of them prefer a wide variety of options for communicating with businesses, and 40 percent wish they could handle all interactions with businesses online. Your website should allow millennials to contact your practice by email, phone or text. When it comes to appointment reminders, an option like Lighthouse 360 that allows for two-way texting is ideal for millennial patients.
- Use video. Almost three-fourths of millennials regularly watch YouTube videos posted by businesses. Create your own video channel on YouTube and upload videos of your patients and staff. Film quick how-to videos on topics that will pique millennials' curiosity, like "10 things you should never put in your mouth" or “The surprising way to freshen your breath without a toothbrush." Show patients going through procedures of interest to millennials, like teeth whitening (get their permission, of course).
- Build your reputation online. Online ratings and reviews are critical sources of information for millennials choosing dental professionals. Encourage your regular patients to write reviews of your practice. Lighthouse 360 makes this easy by automatically collecting positive reviews and posting them to important review sites like Google and Yelp.
- Show how you can save them time. Millennials like to get things done efficiently, and they’re always in a hurry. The more time your dental practice can save them, the more likely they are to become patients. The new Fill-In feature from Lighthouse 360 helps both your staff and your patients save time. It automatically detects last-minute cancellations and reaches out to the patients who are most likely to want the appointments. Patients confirm the new appointment by text, and you approve it from the Lighthouse 360 portal.