9 marketing tips from dental practice management experts

March 18, 2013
As part of 100 more tips from 100 practice management experts in 100 words or less, here are nine tips on marketing in your dental office.

March 18, 2013

Marketing for the sake of marketing and doing so without a plan will lead you nowhere fast. Imagine taking a trip not knowing where you are going, how you are going to get there, or when you want to arrive. You need a map and a plan so that your trip is everything you want and need it to be. The same is true for your marketing. Develop a plan. Know what you want to invest into your marketing, what results you want to achieve, and your timeline, and then put together a 12-month calendar of activities to support your goals.
-Misty Absher Clark, Jameson Management

Google yourself you’ll find three possibilities:

  • Nothing: This is unlikely. Google is interested in you even if you are not interested in Google. If nothing comes up on a search, essentially you do not exist in the modern world.
  • Something bad: The Internet is overrun with customer review sites, and dentists are a favorite target. If you do not control what is said about you online, others will.
  • A link to your web page: This is the only result that is good. However, Google won’t link to your page if you don’t have one. Even if you have a page, Google won’t link to it if it is out of date and never used.

-Dr. Larry Emmott, Emmott on Technology

We have found that when doctors and team members carry and give out business cards on a regular basis, it creates an incredible buzz for the practice – but here is a simple twist on the regular boring way to give out a card. First, before handing your card out, take out a black Sharpie pen and write a quick note on the card which includes the recipient’s name. It could be as simple as “Sally, great seeing you today.” The next step is to use two hands when passing your card. This technique is different and creates immediate value to the recipient. It is guaranteed that your card will not be tossed away! Try this for yourself!
-Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow, The Madow Brothers
If you have a website for your dental practice, there’s only one main goal you want to achieve, and that’s to get the visitor to call your office – nothing more, nothing less. One of the biggest mistakes I see with dental websites is no call to action. If you don’t tell the visitor what you want them to do, they won’t do anything. Make sure to have a call to action at the bottom of every page of your website, even your “about” page. Write, “Call us today for a complimentary consultation” with your phone number included.
-Mike Pedersen, Internet Marketing Strategist for Dentists
Have you ever wondered what Facebook “likes” were doing for your practice? Now, through a new Facebook search feature called Graph Search, users looking for a dentist can perform a search that will show them the names of all dentists who have been “liked” by their Facebook friends. This magnifies the power of the “like.” With 92% of people trusting recommendations from their friends, it’s more important than ever to maintain an engaging Facebook presence that encourages your patients to like you. Accelerate referrals and new patient acquisition with the help of Facebook Graph Search.
-Dr. Lou Shuman, Pride Institute

Social media is a go-to source for your patients and video blogging is swiftly edging out perceived dry or lengthy content! Two key things to consider when video blogging on your fan pages:

  • Capture attention immediately – it’s how you look and your level of energy and engagement that encourages viewers to listen to your message
  • Value – always share what viewers will learn before you begin and before you close

Most viewers’ attention spans only last about two minutes, so keep them short. And keep them consistent. If you are too busy to post each week, then invest in a video blogger!
-Anastasia L. Turchetta,

There are many who say that digital marketing doesn't work. The problem is that digital marketing is often based on crappy traditional marketing that never worked in the first place. It's easy to track a sale to digital marketing and quickly determine whether your creative concepts or calls to action are working. This “digital truth” is what often exposes a long-running, lackluster campaign with traditional roots. I suggest testing all of your new campaigns on digital media first to determine what works best in a short amount of time, and then adapt it to traditional media.
-Michael Ventriello, Strategic Marketing Consultant
Develop the perception in the minds of the public that you are the expert. Public relations and marketing are twin sisters that must be represented in your business. You have to know the difference in these sisters. Then you have to cultivate them and bring out the best in your business so that others in your community know you by your PR and your marketing activities. Dental practices should always be actively creating PR pieces for the media and be proactive in demonstrating good PR moves within the community. Set the tone with PR rather than react to bad news that oozes from unhappy patients.
-Dr. Bill Williams, Solstice Dental Advisors

Is your practice marketing effectively – and efficiently – on Facebook? Grow word-of-mouth referrals with the following tips:

  • Invite patients to share their thoughts on your page (beyond simply asking for likes)
  • Create personalized scripts for your team to use as a guide in promoting your page
  • Use printed materials to promote your community, such as special business cards and signage
  • Post a mix of content to your page regularly (one or two posts per week is often enough)
  • Keep the “social” in social media by sharing a bit of personality – yet always keep you practice brand in mind.

-Rita Zamora, Social Media Marketing for Dental & Medical Professionals

Lauren Burns is the editor of Proofs magazine and the email newsletters RDH Graduate and Proofs. She is currently based out of New York City. Follow her on Twitter: @ellekeid.