Online marketing is the best way to generate more patients to your clinic, if you do it correctly.
Many of your potential dental patients are online right now, and they are actively searching for services such as teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, root canal treatment, and orthodontic treatment.
The best part is, online marketing is STILL much cheaper as compared to traditional marketing methods such as TV, radio, billboard, and magazines.
Online marketing is also more effective as you can specifically target people who need to see a dentist in your location.
In this article, we will share with you everything you need to know about driving new patients to your clinic using online marketing.
Let’s get started.
Online Marketing for Dentists: 5 Dental Marketing Strategies
1. Facebook Marketing
2. Google AdWords
3. Google 3-Pack
5. Instagram Influencer
1: Facebook Marketing – Create an Irresistible Offer and Deliver Valuable Content
The first method is to have an irresistible offer to attract new patients to visit your clinic.
An irresistible offer could be something like:
-60% off For Teeth Whitening
-50 Free Teeth Cleaning*
*Whenever appropriate, upsell patients for teeth whitening service, especially people who regularly consume coffee, tea, or they are a heavy smoker.
Before you call us crazy for suggesting your clinic to offer free teeth cleaning services…
Let’s look at how much can you spend to acquire a patient and how this strategy will eventually give you a positive ROI.
-RM100 for teeth cleaning
-Patients come every 6 months and they visit your clinic for 3 years (i.e total of 6 visits per patient)
Average Lifetime value of Patient: RM600 (RM100 x 6 visits)
-Average Lifetime value of Patient: RM300 (RM100 x 3 visits)
-Average Lifetime value of Patient: RM600 (RM100 x 6 visits)
-Average Lifetime value of Patient: RM900 (RM100 x 9 visits)
Ultimately, you will get a positive return on investment through lifetime value of the patient with a range of RM300 to RM900 per patient as they come back to your clinic for teeth cleaning again.
We are also assuming that none of these patients opt for other services such as teeth whitening or orthodontic treatment to leave room for further potential upside.
If the patients do need the root canal or orthodontic treatment in the future, your clinic will highly likely be their first choice.
One of the most challenging components for any business is to acquire customers, but once you have acquired them, it’s easier to ask them to come back for recurring teeth cleaning and sell higher priced services.
Hopefully you will now see the value of creating an irresistible offer to acquire new patients.
Once you have decided on your irresistible offer, create a Facebook ad to target people in your location, with a radius of 2-4km range as we wouldn’t want to target people living too far away from your clinic.
For your audience targeting on Facebook, target these 4 groups of people before publishing the ads:
Group 1: Life Events
The first group are people who have upcoming significant life events.
People will want to look good during these life events, and the chances of them going for teeth cleaning will be higher.
Here are the targeting group you can set on Facebook:
Group 2: Fashion
People with interests in fashion will want to have a nice overall appearance, including beautiful teeth.
Here are the targeting group you can set on Facebook:
Group 3: Relationship Status
The third group is to target people who have divorced or separated.
They will want to gain back their confidence and improve their appearance.
Here are the targeting group you can set on Facebook:
Group 4: Lookalike Audience
The final grouping is to use the Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature.
A Lookalike Audience is an effective method to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your services because they are similar to your best existing customers.
What Facebook will do is they will find people with similar characteristics as your existing patients using their data analysis. To feed Facebook with the data, upload 100-200 of your existing customers’ data (name, email, phone number) to Facebook Custom Audience and Facebook will populate the data.
Test, test, test: Run ads to each of the 4 groups above and assess which group perform the best. You can then allocate a higher budget for future ads campaign.
Besides giving away irresistible offers, you can also create content on your Facebook page to keep the page active and build a brand for your clinic.
Create content that brings value to your patients. Some examples of content you can create:
- How to Get Rid of Bad Breath (3 Effective Remedies)
- 7 Things to Consider Before You Get Dental Braces
- How to Brush Your Teeth Properly – 4 Simple Steps
- 5 Common Causes of Yellow Teeth (How to Turn Them White Again)
Producing content to educate your target audience will establish yourself as the authority among dentists and your clinic will be the go-to clinic whenever people are in need of dental services as they have already seen your clinic multiple times and you will not be a total stranger.
This is an effective way to develop brand awareness without spending too much money on branding services.
In terms of content format, your content can be in the form of video or blog post.
Before we move on to the next strategy, there is one final component to ensure the Facebook marketing campaign runs successfully.
Retargeting is where you show your ad to someone who exits your website without contacting you or signing up for the irresistible offer.
We often require multiple touch points before making any purchase with businesses we are unfamiliar with.
Retargeting bridges this gap by helping you automatically follow up with the person and turn them into a client for your clinic.
This retargeting data can be captured by installing a pixel code on your website. Here is a guide from Facebook on the pixel installation.
You can also ask your website developer to install the pixel for you. It should take less than 10 minutes to get it up and running.
2: Google AdWords – Get Patients Who Are Already Looking for A Dentist
While Facebook Marketing requires you to create an offer to attract patients, with Google AdWords, you can get people who are already searching and looking for a dentist in their location.
For example, if they search “dentist in Kuala Lumpur”
These are search results are the dental clinics who have advertised their ad on Google.
Their clinic name and website will show up on Google whenever someone types the search term “Dentist in Kuala Lumpur”.
Google will then charge you for each click to your website. If no one clicks on the ad, you will not be charged and the ad will continue to be shown on Google until someone clicks on it.
Here are 3 settings you must get right on Google AdWords to ensure your ads are shown to the right person:
Setting 1 – Location
In your AdWords campaign dashboard, go to “Location” and select your city to ensure ads are only shown to people searching near your clinic.
Setting 2 – Include Call Extension
Under “Ads & Extension”, add Call Extension to your ads and include your clinic’s phone number. This will enable people to call your clinic directly by clicking on the call extension.
Setting 3 – Add Sitelink Extension
Under “Ads & Extension”, add Sitelink Extension to your ads. Sitelink extension allows you to showcase different services in your ad to direct people to the services they are looking for.
For example, you can add services such as teeth cleaning, teeth whitening, and root canal treatment in sitelink extension to help the user easily navigate to the relevant services page of your website.
If you follow all 3 of the settings above, you will observe higher quality clicks and increased number of patients for your clinic.
3: Google 3-Pack – Dominate Your Local Area And Appear As The Top 3 Dentists
With Google 3-Pack, you won’t need to pay Google for clicks as the 3-pack listing are not ads.
The 3-Pack will appear below the ads. For example, if we search “dentist in Kuala Lumpur:
If you click on “more places”, more clinics will appear. However, most people will choose from one of the 3 clinics listed and wouldn’t click for “more places” as 3 choices are sufficient.
So it’s vital for your clinic to appear as one of the clinic in the Google 3-Pack.
Follow this 10 steps process to rank in the Google 3-Pack:
Step 1: Claim Google My Business for your clinic. This will show Google that you are a real local business. Click on this link to claim your listing.
Step 2: Fill up your information – Business Name, address, phone number, opening hours:
Step 3: Verify your Google My Business and request a verification code. Here’s a guide from Google on how to do it.
Step 4: Embed the Google map on your homepage.
Step 5: Include keywords in your title tags, meta description, and Google My Business Page
Step 6: Setup social profiles and have a link back to your website. Here are the lists of social profiles to setup:
Step 7: Add citations from local directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Hotfrog. The key is to ensure consistency of your business name, address, and phone number across all citations to avoid confusing Google.
Step 9: Get Google Reviews from your patients.
Step 10: Outreach to local websites and write a guest post with a link back to your website.
While this may seem like a lot of work, the rewards of being in the Google 3-Pack meant you are getting patients in your local area without having to pay Google for ads fee.
4: SEO – Generate Free Traffic from Google
After Google AdWords and Google 3-Pack, you will see the top 10 results on Page One of Google.
These are considered free traffic (no payment made to Google) and can be done by optimizing your website with SEO.
In the long run, SEO will be the more cost-effective option as you are not required to spend money on ads and SEO will help to reduce your monthly marketing budget, while still driving patients to your clinic.
So what is the secret sauce for SEO?
Backlinks are like a vote from other websites to your website. The more high-quality backlinks you get from other websites, the higher the chance of your website being position on Page One of Google.
Follow this step by step backlinks guide and you won’t have a problem generating backlinks to your website for SEO.
Note: 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google. So if you are not on the first page of Google, your chances of getting patients from SEO are slim.
5: Instagram – Use Influencers to Promote Your Dental Clinic
Instagram has grown in popularity over the years and mostly appealed to younger demographics in their 20s and 30s.
Search for local Instagram influencers in your area and sponsor them free dental sessions or pay them money in exchange for one Instagram post.
To attract more patients, give the influencers a coupon code to share with his or her followers. For example, giving a 20% coupon code for one scaling session.
If you have not tried using Instagram influencers, start by working with 5-10 influencers and give them different coupon codes for the campaign. You can then assess which influencers bring you the most patients and work with the influencer again in the future.
Influencer marketing works well as the influencers are like a close friend to their followers. And people will trust their close friend for recommendations.
Besides using influencer, you can also share photos of your services, before and after pictures and photos of doctors with patients. Keep your Instagram page active by posting at least once a week.
Dental Marketing Bonus: Retarget Existing Patients
All 5 tips above are focused on driving new patients to your clinic.
Our bonus tip is to target patients who have already visited your clinic before and get them to come back through retargeting on Facebook.
Given that they are already your existing patients and have tried your services, it will be much easier to ask them to visit your clinic again.
For example, asking patients who have not visited your clinic for 6 months to come back for scaling.
To get started with retargeting, upload your targeted patients’ data (name, email, phone number) into Facebook Custom Audience and Facebook will populate the data.
Once the data is ready, run ads on Facebook to these group of existing patients.
Besides Facebook ads, you can also use email or phone call to remind existing patients to return.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this guide on online marketing for dentists. Implement these strategies and you will attract a continuous flow of patients to your clinic.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.