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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!