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Ready to supercharge your dental practice’s marketing? Facebook advertising is it. You’ll generate exposure, leads, and sales at fraction of the cost of PPC and other local marketing channels.

Facebook is the cream of the crop for social exposure, and their targeting capabilities can have you laser-focused on just a few miles around your office, if that’s what you desire.

It’s never been cheaper or easier to get involved. So here are 9 reasons dentists should try Facebook advertising.

Here’s Why You Need To Try Dental Facebook Marketing

Your new patients are on Facebook for hours every day

Yes, absolutely everyone you know is on Facebook. Everyone that could be a potential new patient is on Facebook. It’s pretty much the only advertising medium where you’re guaranteed to reach (most) of your potential audience.

If you typically advertising towards towns/neighborhoods within a set of miles from your office, you can do so easily on Facebook. According to the latest figures released by Facebook, 1.55 billion people log onto Facebook every month and 1.39 billion visit via mobile. Massive reach is at your fingertips.

The average American spends about 40 minutes just on Facebook. Many users are “beyond” that average, too!

There’s the social sharing aspect, too. The ability to spread word-of-mouth and referrals will be a significant benefit your business can capitalize on by using Facebook advertising.

Organic Reach Is Over

Chances are high you already have a Facebook page for your office (you do, right?) But Facebook advertising reaches those who don’t follow you already. It’s critical. To push local businesses into advertising, Facebook has stripped away organic reach for your office’s page.

In the early days of Facebook, 100% of your page’s “fans” would see every post you made. Now, that number continues to shrink to less than 5%. So even those who have ‘liked’ your page for the content, barely see anything you post.

When you use advertising services, those ads can been by everyone who likes you page as well as those who don’t. It’s much more powerful.

The good news? You don’t need a huge budget to start. Typically, $50 will get your message in front of 10K possible patients in your area.

Hyper-focused Targeting

When you’re a local business you don’t want to waste advertising dollars on those outside your service area, or those who do not need your services. Thankfully, most people need a good dentist near their home!

Businesses can target users with Facebook Ads by location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behavior, and connections.

You can put your ads in front of the ideal audience for your practice. Including information about recent purchase behavior, life-event targeting (like just moving into your service area!), and lookalike audiences that match the demographics of your current patients. The system is wildly powerful.

Simple tools & tracking to use

Many dentists still think Facebook Ads are “too complicated.” That’s far from the case. The tools used to build the ads are intuitive and there are step-by-step guides you can follow as you learn.

There is no guessing with Facebook advertising. The results are measurable. And, the numbers will speak for itself. You will be able to see how many impressions, clicks, and conversions you are receiving right in the ads dashboard.

Follow up with Retargeting on Email

Your website is generating a lot more traffic now that you’re running Facebook ads. You’re going to want to turn those new eyeballs into email list additions. Retarget those Facebook users by

Test out coupons & offers

Facebook is a great testing ground to push coupons and offers for your practice. Free cleaning! $20 off a crown! Priority appointments! Be creative with your ad copy and images and you’ll find the new patients you’re looking for.

If something works, and works well, keep running it or possibly use it on other marketing channels, like email.

Facebook ads are cheap & fast

Listen, possibly the best part about Facebook ads is you can start right away. Like,  right now. You could be up and running in minutes if you so choose. On top of that, they’re a very affordably marketing channel. Much less expensive than PPC, direct mail, or most other marketing you have going on. Drive eyeballs and patients for a  super low cost and start immediately? Yes, please.

Edge out your competitors

Not many dental agencies have the time, funds, and ability to advertise on Facebook. But you do. That’s a major advantage over the other practice in town. Don’t lose out on this untapped market and let someone else gobble it up!

Facebook ads are mobile-first

In 2019 if you’re not thinking mobile, you’re losing. Facebook ads look incredible and are optimized for mobile phone, specifically. Consider what each ad will look like on your phone (and the ad builder tool in Facebook has options to view mobile screens).

Are you ready to set your office up for marketing success? It’s easier than you think if you know where to start. We’ve been helping dentists establish in-office marketing for years, and we’re happy to pass along some of our favorite tactics to you.

Here are 5 ways to use your physical office space to market your practice.

Office Marketing Ideas for Dentists

Ask for reviews

This is an offline ask, with an online benefit. Ask each and every happy patient for a review – on Google My Business, on your Facebook page, and any other social media pages that you deem a priority. Keep small cards at reception that say “Review us!” with a URL and clear instructions on how to leave an online review. More reviews equal higher local rankings and better social proof for your office.

Street Signage

No brainer, right? You’re going to want two massive signs announcing your dentist office. The first sign should be street-side. If you’re in an office park or strip mall, be sure to have your business sign added to the main entrance area. Potential customers driving by should be able to read the sign easily. New customers visiting for the first time should be able to find you!

Second, your office should have a sign directly above the front door or right nearby.  Use your branding prominently in both these signs – your logo, colors, and font if you have them defined (and you should!) There’s nothing fancy about it, signs essentially saying “DENTIST THIS WAY —>” still work.

Referral Program

Tap your current patients again for help, but this time offer an incentive. Strategize a referral program (and associated give-get) and print out postcards for patients to take with them. For referring friends or family, a patient is eligible for free dental procedures, an Amazon gift card, a gift certificate to a local restaurant – anything you think might help motivate happy patients into sharing your information. Mention this offer during the first visit and place a stack of referral offer reminders by reception.

Closed Circuit Television

A modern office features closed circuit television playing educational and entertaining material. Sure, it’s easy to pop on the local news to keep the waiting room buzzing or long root canals a little less painful – but use your TV system for to push some marketing messages, too. A quick bio of the principal dentists, or perhaps a look into your full menu of services. Putting together even a couple 60-second ad spots will make your office feel ahead-of-its-time.

Special Events

Hosting an event in your office can bring some positive PR and a whole group of new patients. There are two options here. Option 1: Host an event for current patients and solicit new patients. Is it a holiday party? A patient appreciation soiree? A tour of a new office space? Any of these options are a nice way to give back and have a little fun with the community. Option 2: Host an event for a non-dental reason. Throw a charity gala, host a small business seminar, or an award show for local high school athletes. You’d be surprised what some high top tables and mood lighting can accomplish. Bottom line, be a location that locals feel comfortable and talk about. You’ll be glad you did.

We’ll be talking quite often about online or “digital” marketing in this space, and with good reason! That’s still the major way you’ll find and retain your patients.

But let’s not forget that an “old school” touch can go a long way. What do we mean? Well offline or more traditional marketing strategies do still work when implemented correctly. We’re talking about business cards, speaking engagements, sponsorships and so much more.

Here are the best offline marketing strategies for dentists. Try a few of these in your 2019 plan and you’ll be reaping the rewards by spring.

Top Offline Marketing Promotions for Dentists

Business Cards

No brainer and still a great way to make yourself known. Be sure that all employees carry with them a business card with their name, title, office phone, email, physical address, and company logo – at the least. You can hand them out to friends, family, or even strangers. You can include them with every invoice. The cost to print cards is relatively cheap – so this is still a “must do” even in the digital age.

Donations

Giving back to the community is a great way to support your patients and spread the word about your business. You’re helping the community, and you’ll feel great, too. Donate food to the local shelter, help the church clean the front lawn, give your old equipment to the local trade school dental department, donate your old linens/uniforms to a clothing drive – and so much more!

Sponsorships

Along the same lines as donations, keep your eyes peeled for potential sponsorships. The jersey for a little league baseball team, a graduating high school senior scholarship, or a local TV show all fit the bill. Sponsorship is clearly a form of “light advertising” but you’re also helping someone complete a project in tandem. Win-win!

Local Circulars

There are mini flyers handed out in the Sunday paper, at the grocery store, and at church. Take advantage of this micro-advertising opportunity and buy yourself some ad space. It shows you’re involved in the community and will garner some added attention.

Out of home (billboards, bus benches, etc.)

This is taking your offline marketing up a notch. Most likely the most expensive tactic on this list, “out of home” is considered any outdoor advertising you typically see on your commute. Billboards, bus benches, city transit ads, newspaper kiosks, lawn signs and much more. A coordinated effort can really make an awareness impact for your practice. Unfortunately this can cost a lot of money and if your marketing budget is limited, this may not be the best tactic. For those who do have the money to spend, you can reach customers at a low CPM with plenty of upside.

Speaking engagements

Being active in your industry and your community is a great way to drum up business and strategic partnerships. Speak at trade shows (see below), conferences, trade schools, dental colleges, high schools, and anywhere else where there’s a call for speakers. Your “speech” or “class” doesn’t have to be about dentistry – you have plenty of wisdom to share on entrepreneurship, progressing a challenging yet rewarding career, and much more. Brainstorm topics that may be a fit for each speaking engagement and write out a quick outline. If public speaking wasn’t your thing in the past, it might be time to challenge yourself and try again! Speaking leads to networking which leads to more patients and more important local contacts.

Direct mail

A traditional offline marketing strategy that still works very well. Sending postcards to your city and surrounding town can be a great reminder for those who are in need of a dentist or want to switch. Patients are often reluctant to take proactive action (especially for their own health!) and this is the gentle nudge many folks need. You can add your name, address, email, website, specialties/services, and other key differentiators to the creative. You can say a lot in a small area – take advantage!

Canvassing

This old-school tactic is a way to get attention – though must be executed sensitively. Take a door hangar or a flyer and canvass local neighborhoods where many/most of your patients are concentrated. Once a week drive or walk through and place the door hangars or flyers and try to grab a few new patients that way. You never know who just moved in or is looking for a new dentist.

Trade shows

Being an attendee, an exhibitor, or a key sponsor at a dental trade show will net plenty of rewards. First, you’ll be making industry contacts and expanding your local network. A raised profile in the area will surely result in more referrals and business. Knowledge sharing with fellow dentists will also help you advance your business ownership skills and actual dental practice. You never know – maybe you’ll pick up some advice on marketing, too!

As a dentist, you’re so focused on patient care that marketing often takes a backseat. Well, you don’t have to feel that way anymore. As marketing technology continues to improve, apps have emerged that make posting, emailing, downloading, and following up easier (and faster) than ever. You should always be building your marketing “tool kit” by finding which applications work best for you and your practice.

We’ve tried and reviewed hundreds of marketing services and software over the years, and here’s a short list of our absolute favorites – along with a bit about each one. Consider utilizing the following marketing apps and see how easy running a campaign can be.

Best Dental Marketing Automation Software

Buffer

About the app: Save time managing social media for your business. Buffer makes it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage all their accounts in one place.

Takeaway for dentists: Buffer is your classic social media marketing automation tool, but with more upgrades and add-ons than ever before. When marketing hours are hard to come by for a busy practice, you want your social pages to be at a glance, and all in one place. Schedule posts, track follower growth, analyze which themes create the most engagement, and so much more. Buffer can do everything and that means so can you.

Adjust

About the app: Reach your future users anywhere. Adjust’s dynamic integration with over 2,000 ad networks means you can get granular insights four levels deep with campaigns across web, mobile and even TV. Our Fraud Prevention Suite guarantees you only ever pay for genuine engagements, keeping your budget safe and your data accurate.

Takeaway for dentists: Web, mobile and TV advertising is now easier than ever with Adjust. If you have an analyst on staff, or you’re working with a marketing consultant (like us!) ask them about Adjust which is “next level” marketing and so sophisticated you need someone to manage it daily. It’s totally worth it.

Tatango

About the app: Tatango was founded in 2007 with the simple goal of providing easy-to-use text message marketing software and industry expertise to marketers. Since then, Tatango has grown into the market leader in text message marketing. Tatango now powers SMS, MMS, and RCS marketing campaigns for some of the most well-known brands in the world. Tatango is comprised of a team of seasoned text message marketing experts located in Seattle and New York. Our passion at Tatango is helping marketers solve their text message marketing challenges, no matter how challenging.

Takeaway for dentists: Automated text messaging is the wave of the future in dental marketing. Confirming appointments, nurturing prospects, and keeping that “family” feel for your office — all of that is possible when you work with Tatango. Think about how comfortable you are receiving a text from friends or family — now you can have all your patients feel that comfortable by talking to them how they prefer, via text!

ZocDoc

About the app: We created Zocdoc to solve patient problems, beginning with online appointment-booking – and we haven’t stopped building since. With Zocdoc, you can see doctors’ open appointment times and book instantly online, make informed choices with verified reviews, and stay on top of important checkups with tailored reminders. And those pesky waiting room forms? Fill them out online, just once, and keep them forever.

Takeaway for dentists: Zocdoc makes patient & appointment management a breeze. Use it on all devices and you won’t believe how simple practice management (an extremely complicated issue) can be. Follow up with automated review requests and send reminders to keep everyone showing up on time. Almost like having a mini receptionist in your pocket.

ThriveHive

About the app: The ThriveHive Guided Marketing Platform is an integrated solution that enables you to seamlessly market your business. Everything you need to do your own marketing can be done in the ThriveHive Guided Marketing Platform. See your marketing plan, track leads, organize contacts, update your website, send emails, and post to social media—all in the platform. Not only can you perform all your marketing activities, you can see the results too. The ThriveHive Guided Marketing Platform tracks leads and analyzes each marketing activity to show you what is most effective for your business and who is interested in working with you.

Takeaway for dentists: An all-in-one platform that’s taking the industry by storm. If you’re looking for a simple solution to manage all of your marketing suite, you should choose ThriveHive. The best part is the attribution system that shows you clearly which channel is driving the most new patients to your practice.

Vivial

About the app: Vivial is a groundbreaking marketing technology (martech) company that offers a full range of customer engagement tools to help businesses enhance the way they connect with customers, build loyalty, manage content and track results. We help businesses of all types increase their visibility using turn-key solutions, allowing our customers to get back to running their business while we work behind the scenes to get them results. Vivial’s mission is to help our customers grow their business, whether that is through our easy-to-use and affordable local marketing technology or a custom marketing campaign that we create, implement and monitor. Easily said, Vivial makes the complex simple.

Takeaway for dentists: Vivial has everything you’d ever need for your marketing suite. From social media to local search, from paid ads all the way through a massive database of print publications (for real). They work with major brands and have local offices in every major city in the US.

Campaign Monitor

About the app: Campaign Monitor gives you everything you need to run beautifully-designed, professional email marketing campaigns to grow your business. Use our drag-and-drop email builder and pick from hundreds of professionally-designed templates. Make them your own for a completely branded email campaign that looks great on every device. Use our new and unique visual journey designer to create more timely emails that keep your audience engaged, and automatically drive revenue. Data is the fuel for personalized content. Using detailed lists and smart segments, your messages instantly drive more engagement and create more value over time – so it’s not just email marketing, it’s more like email between friends.

Takeaway for dentists: Email marketing made real easy or real sophisticated, depending on how much time you’d like to spend on it. Campaign Monitor has everything you’d need to ‘set it and forget it’, but also has an extremely robust system of tags and segments to send the perfect message to the right patient at the right time. Plus, with thousands of possible templates to modify you’ll feel like an email designer from Day 1.

Appointfix

About the app: Appointfix lets you effortlessly schedule appointments and reduce no-shows using automated text reminders, making your life just a little bit easier. Gain more freedom by being able to check your appointments or schedule new ones no matter where you are. Appointfix is the modern appointment book that syncs across all of your mobile devices. Once you’ve saved an appointment, your job is done! Appointfix automatically sends text message reminders to your clients when their appointments are coming up. No more sending texts manually! Appointfix helps you remember everything about your customers and gives you quick access to essential information, just when you need it. Whether it’s notes, history of purchases, or the time of their next appointment, they are just a tap away!

Takeaway for dentists: With specific focus on appointment scheduling, with a best-in-class calendar feature, you’ll wonder how your practice ever stayed on track without it. Download the Appointfix app on your mobile devices to stay up-to-date when you’re on-the-go and make sure you have in-office coverage on the busiest days. Scheduling help is here!

 

Everyone loves Twitter. For a small business like a dental practice, Twitter should absolutely be part of your marketing mix. But it can be confusing and intimidating to jump right in. We’re here to help you get started. Follow the Twitter marketing tips for dentists below to get a handle on what to do, when to do it, and how to do it right.  Happy Tweeting!

Twitter Marketing for Dentists

Fill out your entire profile

This is where you start. You’re going to want to sign up and claim a name that represents your business. Keep it professional and straight forward. It’s easy to want to be clever and tongue-in-cheek, but for personal branding reasons you should grab your own name, or office name, and sign in.

Once you claim a name, start building out your profile. Choose a hero image (large picture at the top) and a profile image (smaller circle) that represent your business. Best practice for dentists is to put a picture of yourself as the profile picture, and a picture of your office or staff as the header image. Choose a bright, clean image that showcases how friendly your office is!

Lastly – create a bio for your page. Describe what services you offer, where your office is located, and you can even brag about your five-star reviews.

Share your content

You’re reading this article because you want to promote yourself better — so don’t forget to do that! Every piece of marketing content you create for your practice should be sent through your Twitter profile. A blog post, a pamphlet, an infographic, a new wonderful patient review — all of these are opportunities for promotion. Don’t miss out!

Feeling too busy? Set a calendar reminder to Tweet at lunch, and then again at the end of the day. Start with that and build up from there. You’ll find it’s quicker and easier than you’d imagine.

Retweet and follow others

Twitter is a community. It’s about sharing information at rapid speed. It’s about networking and having fun. It’s about sharing cool stuff (see below). So get involved! Follow other dentists, follow your patients, follow the rock stars in your industry, follow everyone that makes sense for your business.

Don’t just follow them, retweet them! Share their posts to your audience and they’ll do the same. It’s a two-way conversation, so don’t forget to reply to those who reply to you. Be respectful, honest, and have fun.

Share industry content

Your Twitter page can seem robotic if all you’re doing is sending out messages about your practice. Mix things up, frequently, by sharing industry content. A national publication writes an article about modern dentistry? Share it. Another practice writes a great blog post about brushing tips? Share it. Share the wealth and others will return the favor. Your audience will be grateful to hear from other voices and know that your page isn’t being run by a robot.

Use #hashtags

To be found on Twitter, especially as you’re beginning to build your page, you’ll need to include hashtags. Do some research by seeing what dental industry hashtags are often used. Do some more research and see what hashtags are used by everyone, but still pertain to what type of message you’re sharing.

You include these hashtags so when people are researching “trending topics” (Twitter’s most popular discussions at that moment) your tweet has a chance to surface.

Promote it

Lastly, since you’re spending so much time working on  your new Twitter page, don’t forget to promote it at the office! Include it in your email newsletter. Put a small business card stand at reception with your Twitter handle prominently displayed. You’ll be surprised how many patients will follow up to stay up-to-date on what’s happening.

And why wouldn’t they? You’re sharing cool facts, information about the firm, industry content, and so much more.

Need a little extra help? Feel free to contact me directly to learn more 🙂