Did you know that half of all small business owners don't have a written marketing plan? A plan can help you effectively reach your audience and grow your practice.
If you don't know what a dental marketing plan is or how to create one, we've got you covered. Continue reading to learn all you need to know about marketing and growing your dental practice.
What Is a Dental Marketing Plan?
In short, your marketing plan is the roadmap you'll follow as you reach your target audience and generate new leads for your dentist practice.
Your plan is a written document everyone on your team can access so everyone is on the same page as you move forward. This is where you'll create and document the process everyone will follow so your marketing messages are on point and on brand.
To effectively write your marketing plan, you'll need to choose the strategy you want to use as well as determine your tools and budget. We'll dive into each of these below.
You'll also want to remember that this is a living document to revisit regularly and update as your practice grows and as you learn what works and what falls flat with your audience.
Why You Need a Dental Marketing Plan
As mentioned, your marketing plan has many benefits including ensuring that everyone on your team knows what the plan is. It also allows you to be proactive in choosing your strategy and what content you create. Too many business owners don't get started because they fear making the wrong first step; your marketing plan can alleviate those fears.
You don't want to constantly feel like you're reacting to the trends and fads that come and go in the marketing world. When it comes to marketing dental practices online, you don't want to feel like you're constantly running on a hamster wheel or blindly throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks. You need a plan.
Lastly, having a plan means that you know if you've been successful. You will have a framework that you'll follow and be able to measure your results such as new leads generated, new patients brought into your practice, or bringing back previous patients you'd lost over the years.
6 Types of Marketing Plans
You've likely tried various types of marketing ideas. Some may have worked, while others didn't bring you the level of ROI you wanted.
In today's digital marketing age, small business owners such as dentists and orthodontists can now reach their audience directly, quickly, and without spending a fortune. Remember, marketing is much more than simply advertising your practice. Your marketing campaigns allow you to connect and engage with your audience to help grow your practice.
1. Content Marketing
Focus on content marketing when it comes to branding dental practices. This can include any type of content such as blogging, vlogging, social media content, and podcasting. You don't need to create content for all these various types, but you do need to choose the best one for you, your practice, and your audience.
Where do your patients spend the most time online? To answer this question, reach out to your current patients and ask them. Then ask them what questions they have about their dental health or what they wished they had known before looking for a new dentist.
2. Social Media Marketing
Never before have marketers had such direct access to potential clients and patients as you have through social media. You can quickly reach your target audience and share fun tips, upcoming sales, or special events you're planning.
Social media is the ideal platform to grow brand awareness for your dental or orthodontic practice. Be creative with your social media posts and use enticing calls to action so your audience knows what to do next.
Remember the key to success on social media is to focus on your audience, not on yourself, share tips that help them, and show them that you're the best dentist to help them care for their dental health.
3. Influencer Marketing
Don't discount working with local influencers in your area. You don't need to find someone with a million followers. In fact, a smaller audience will usually garner better engagement and better success for your investment.
Reach out to local social media influencers who target similar audiences to yours. If you're a pediatric dentist, consider reaching out to a local mom blogger and offering to partner. Reaching a new audience by borrowing an already established one is the quickest way to grow your reach online.
4. Email Marketing
Regardless of the newest fad in marketing, email marketing still gives businesses across every industry the best ROI for their marketing budget. Email is fast, inexpensive, and allows you to reach your patients without worrying about algorithms or paying for ads.
As you onboard each new patient, ask for their email address. Then follow up with them regularly so you stay top of mind when they need to schedule their next cleaning. You can send regular updates about your practice, top tips for keeping your mouth healthy, and any special events you have coming up.
5. Direct Mail Marketing
As you grow your dental practice, send a postcard to every household in your zip code announcing your opening or a special discount you're offering to new patients. You can also send a note to any previous patients you haven't seen in a while encouraging them to come back for a visit.
The keys to a successful direct mail approach are to know your goals ahead of time, make your offer clear and enticing, and make it easy for them to follow up. The best way to do that is to include a QR code on the postcard that they can scan quickly with their phone to find out more about the special discount you're offering.
6. Word-Of-Mouth (Or Referral) Marketing
Don't discount this age-old method of marketing your dental practice. We all love a great referral, and dentistry is no exception. You can use various aspects of the previous types of marketing to scale your referral marketing.
You can even set up a small selfie station that your patients visit after their cleaning to share with the world that they visited you and took care of their dental health. People want to work with businesses they trust. And when they see a friend refer a business they love, chances are they'll choose your practice over one they don't know anything about.
As you can see, there are many different ways you can market your dentistry practice. When you create the right marketing strategy, you can ensure that they each work together to help you grow and scale your business.
What Tools Do You Need?
Some top digital marketing tools you need as you get started creating your marketing strategy include setting up your website, your email list, and creating profiles on each of the social media platforms. As you begin to grow and scale your marketing strategy, you'll want some type of project management tool such as Trello, Hubspot, or Coscheduler.
How Much Should You Budget?
As you start marketing online, you can soon start to see your budget balloon. The best way to keep to an ideal marketing budget is to know your goals and understand your timeline. Some types of digital marketing don't require a large investment, but it might take longer to see results.
In comparison, running paid ads can start to scale your budget if you're not careful. While paid advertising has its place in growing your business, be sure to also build your organic reach so you're not constantly needing to spend more money year after year.
Grow Your Dental Practice Through Effective Marketing
You know that you can grow your practice and your brand through effective marketing. However, knowing how to get started leaves many business owners paralyzed and posting haphazardly online. When you have a plan, you know what to post and when, as well as what content will move the needle to grow your practice.
Your dental marketing plan is the key you need to scale your practice and reach a new audience both online and off. If you're ready to uplevel your marketing by creating a winning plan, then we've got a program that fits your situation and budget.