Dental Marketing Strategies: 9 Effective Ways to Grow Your Practice

Dental Marketing Strategies: 9 Effective Ways to Grow Your Practice

Reading Time: 11 minutes(Last Updated On: October 14, 2021)

Creative dental marketing ideas are a dime a dozen.


It takes some skill to come up with successful dental marketing strategies since so many people try hard to avoid visiting the dentist’s office!


Fortunately, there are a variety of tips and tricks you can use to up your dental practice marketing plan.


Below, we cover dental marketing front to back. So put on a smile! You’re about to discover the best dental clinic marketing ideas.


9 dental marketing strategies to grow your practice


1. Implement search engine optimization (SEO) best practices

What is it?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of a web page in a search engine’s results. SEO aims at raising the ranking organically or naturally, not through paying for a placed advertisement.


Why is it important?

SEO makes it into the top 6 dental practice marketing strategies because the return on investment (ROI) is so significant. While measuring the ROI of SEO is far from simple, the fact is you can improve your dental SEO at no cost other than time. What’s more is that local SEO is particularly important in terms of dental marketing – nearly 30% of searches for something local results in a purchase.


How do you implement it?

While you can hire a professional SEO advisor to stay on target, you can also use these easy-to-follow dental SEO tips:

  1. Make your page faster
  2. Improve the quality of the content
  3. Save space by compressing images
  4. Research your industry’s keywords
  5. Become mobile-friendly
  6. Start linking smartly


2. Attract customers with an appealing web design 

What is it?

Whether you already have a website or if you’re starting one from scratch, having a visually appealing and user-friendly website is crucial. If your web page looks like it was last updated in 1999, then you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Fortunately, there are free online services, like Wix, that can help you make your web design both attractive and practical.


Why is it important?

Having a website is perhaps the most basic of all steps towards improving digital marketing for dentists. If you don’t already have a website, then today is the day you should make one. If you do already have a website, you’ll still want to make sure you update your web design; nobody wants to visit a dentist who still uses Comic Sans on their website. Plus, make sure it’s mobile-friendly!


How do you implement it?

Sign up for a free web design platform such as Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace to get started. You can also upgrade to a package that offers more customization, or consider hiring a professional to help you maximize the appeal of your web design.


3. Use social media to market your dental business

What is it?

Hopefully you’ve heard of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – if you haven’t, it’s about time to crawl out from under that rock! Social media is a free way for you to introduce yourself to the online community, get your name noticed, interact with potential clients or partners, and much much more.


Why is it important?

A lot can be said about how and why social media presence is important, especially when it comes to dental practice marketing. But, to give you a clear idea of why social media marketing for dentists is such a significant factor, consider this: the majority of Facebook and Twitter users report that those platforms are their primary source for news (60%+ and 70%+ respectively).


How do you implement it?

The majority of social media platforms, namely the big three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), are completely free to join. Simply go to their websites and begin setting up your account. If you would like to take full advantage of the different services that these different platforms offer for business-related purposes, you will have to spend a bit.


4. Start using Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram ads

What are they?

While the big three social media platforms offer their free versions, they also offer specific business-related services including paid advertisements. Social media ads are a way to take your online presence to the next level and draw potential clients in with creative dental marketing ideas.


Why are they important?

There are more than 2.3 billion Facebook users, more than 321 million Twitter users, and more than 1 billion Instagram users. The sheer number of users on each of the top three social media platforms should be enough to convince you of the importance of social media marketing for dentists. Every day more people are joining social media, effectively bringing more potential clients within your reach.


How do you implement it?

First, you’ll have to open a business account for the social media platform you’re interested in advertising on. Then, simply view the ‘ads’ section in the settings section. Follow these links for further guidance on setting up Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and Instagram ads. Always be sure to select your target audience not only by age and occupation but, more importantly, also filter by location.


5. Focus on your target audience with Google ads

What is it?

Similarly to the way we all see billboards on the highways or commercials on TV, Google ads reach potential customers by displaying your text, graphic, or video. Your advertisement can show up next to search results, on any of the 2 million websites in the Google ads network, on YouTube, or within smartphone apps.


Why is it important?

With over 3.5 billion searches every day, Google is – by far – the leading online search engine. As a matter of fact, Google racks up more than 70% of the online search engine market and more than 80% of all mobile traffic. If you want to improve your dental practice marketing strategy, advertising on Google is among the most promising ways to go about it.


How do you implement it?

Google ads have an easy-to-navigate web page where you can learn more about the services offered, pricing, and how to sign up.


6. Be active in your local community

What is it?

This dental marketing strategy is fairly straightforward. One of the best ways to make your patients feel comfortable in your hands is to get out there and introduce yourself.


Why is it important?

You likely have a few friends who do their absolute best to stay out of the dentist’s office, even though it’s for their own benefit. You can turn a scary experience into a relaxing one just by adding a friendly face into the equation. Don’t underestimate the impact of building personal relationships with your clients.


How do you implement it?

While there are a ton of ways you can get more involved in your local community, educating youth is a great place to start. More specifically, participating in National Children’s Dental Health Month (February every year) is definitely worth the investment of time. After all, there are a lot of young patients out there who can benefit from your services after Halloween.


7. Offer clients a referral rewards program

What is it?

Word of mouth is a fantastic way to draw in more business. The two key components that make referrals so effective are trust and accurate targeting. When people need dental care but are too weary of going to the dentist, hearing a good review from a close friend or family member can make all the difference in the world.


Why is it important?

Building up a strong reputation as a good dental practitioner is crucial to maintaining a healthy business. Research has found that word of mouth may be among the most effective marketing communication strategies. That means when potential clients hear great reviews straight from the mouth of someone whose opinion they value, it’s as good (if not better!) than traditional forms of advertisement.


How do you implement it?

Choose a discount that you can offer to clients who came in as a referral – just be sure not to change your pricing strategy so much that it cuts into your ability to earn a profit.


8. Develop a small business branding strategy

What is it?

Having a recognizable logo, slogan, or face (yes, you read that right) is a prime example of a dental marketing strategy that’s worth the investment. Think about how, when you’re driving on the highway, you’re able to recognize McDonald’s ‘golden arches’ in a sea of signs and logos. It’s an extreme example, but that’s the goal!


Why is it important?

Competition in the dental care industry shouldn’t be underestimated. Developing a brand that is easy to remember and hard to forget can come in handy to not only bring in new clients, but to also influence existing patients at other dental practices to ‘change teams’ and come to you instead.


How do you implement it?

The number of different small business branding strategies to pick from are virtually limitless. Don’t be overwhelmed, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create a viable brand. Take lessons from other small business branding strategy examples. One simple, actionable tip: pick the right colors, since it can make up to an 80% difference in your brand’s recognizability.


9. Get even more business with video content

What is it?

Using video content is pretty self-explanatory. While visual content is useful in general, moving images are especially effective.


Why is it important?

Data shows that potential customers are almost 150% more likely to make a purchase if they see a video on the product first. Plus, only 20% of visitors to your pages online will read text, while 80% will watch a video (if it’s there!).


How do you implement it?

In today’s digital age, the mass majority of us own a smartphone. Creating video content to draw in more clients can be as simple as hitting record on your phone. Of course, higher-quality production will appear more professional to viewers and can have a better return on investment.

Most importantly, to implement all of these digital marketing strategies, you’ll need to make sure you have the business funds to do so! Make sure to use a business loan comparison site to get the best possible deal. 

Dental Marketing Strategies

Step-by-step guide for implementing a dental marketing strategy


Step-by-step guide for a dental marketing plan:

1. Brand your business

It’s not enough to exist – there’s a ton of competition out there! You need to establish a brand that will help you stand out from the crowd. While crooked teeth are no good, stepping out of line is what it takes to make your dental marketing successful.


2. Choose target audience

Fortunately, everybody you know has (or had) teeth. This means everyone you can reach with your dental marketing is a potential client. But, you’ll want to narrow your target audience down to people within a reasonable radius of your office location. Not many people will be willing to drive a very far distance to have work done on their teeth.


3. Research competition

You want to separate yourself from the crowd, but it doesn’t mean you need to reinvent the wheel. See how your biggest and most successful competitors operate their marketing; chances are if a method works for them, it can also work for you. It should go without saying that you don’t want to copy exactly what competitors are doing – rather, use them as inspiration.


4. Assess budget

While there are a number of dental marketing strategies that don’t require money to implement, the most impactful marketing methods will come at a cost. Before outlining a dental marketing plan, you’ll need to establish a budget that you’ll have to get the job done. Without a budget, you may end up putting too many funds into one marketing platform and not enough into others. It’s important to diversify and not throw all of your eggs into one basket.


5. Select dental marketing strategies

Chances are, your budget is limited. After making full use of all of the free dental marketing solutions, you’ll need to be selective with which dental marketing strategies you spend your money on. Besides the monetary costs, you’ll also be spending time implementing your marketing plan. So be sure to budget your time wisely as well.

Keep in mind, there are plenty of FREE marketing tools for business growth out there to utilize!


6. Put the plan to action

Press ‘go’ and watch the leads come pouring in! Of course, the first few runs will likely not show the results you hope for. So, the next step is to…


7. Observe, adapt, repeat

Dental marketing is an ongoing process – there’s no simple ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. Track your progress by using the built-in analytical tools provided by Google ads, Facebook Insights, and so on. Tweak your dental marketing strategies accordingly. Then put the new and revised plan to action. Repeat, repeat, repeat.


Current state of the dental practice industry

While it’s not exactly easy or cheap to get your foot into the dental industry, the revenue that dentists see is incentive enough to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way.


The average cost of starting a dental clinic is between $350,000 and $500,000, which can be a daunting amount for recent dental school grads (who average $280,000 in debt upon finishing their degrees). In fact, more than 75% of dental school graduates finish with more than $100,000 in debt – chew on that for a second!


If you’re like most dentists, then financing can be one of the bigger obstacles to achieving your business goals. Consider the variety of dental practice loans that are available, as some types will fit your financial profile and business needs better than others.


With that said, every year there are more than 6,000 dental school graduates, amounting to roughly 200,000 dentists using their degree in some fashion as of 2018. And it makes sense that the number of dentists is growing when you take into account the fact that dental expenditures exceeded $124 billion in 2016.


What’s more is that recent advances in technology have continued to make the dental practice industry more lucrative by turning visits to the dentist into a more comfortable experience. More on that below…


Of course, the type of business will affect the kind of industry loans a business needs, as well as the specific circumstanes that businses finds itself in. Be sure to weigh your options carefully in order to choose the right funding solution for your business.


What is included in dental practice marketing?

Dental practice marketing involves a wide array of methods that are, generally speaking, aimed at increasing the amount of new incoming clients.


While a vast amount of those dental marketing strategies are conducted online through digital forms of communication (email, social media, Google ads, and so on), there are a number of more “old school” dental marketing ideas (‘snail’ mail, appointment reminders, referral bonuses, local involvement, and so on) that still prove their effectiveness.


However you go about it, when you begin dental marketing you’ll need to have one main intent in mind: get more customers!


Digital Marketing for Dentists


Why is dental practice marketing important?


Dental practice marketing is a crucial part of operating a successful dental clinic. It may come as no shock, but, without clientele, it’s flat-out impossible to keep the business running, let alone earn a profit. By improving and ultimately perfecting your dental marketing strategies, you’ll be setting the stage for your savings account to grow.


Beyond the financial gains that will result from successfully implementing dental marketing ideas, you’ll also be establishing a reputation for your business. Without exposure to potential clients, how would they recognize you?


The fact is, 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. And for dentists, the percentage might even be higher – after all, who wants to take a road trip with a toothache?


Let’s just say, the chances of a client selecting your dental practice are definitely higher if you’re actively getting your name out.


What are the major challenges that dental practices face?

There are always hurdles that business owners will have to clear on their route towards success. From equipment financing to scaling up business, many businesses face very similar obstacles. For dental practices specifically, the following challenges are particularly relevant.


Top challenges dental practices face:


1. Retaining patients

To reiterate, without new clients coming into your business, there’s no way to make money. Plain and simple. Dental practice marketing is one of the key steps towards overcoming this fundamental obstacle. Don’t underestimate the power of advertisement!


2. Collecting payments due

It can get uncomfortable chasing patients for the bills that they owe you. Calling and emailing customers is not only frustrating, but it’s also incredibly time-consuming. There are a variety of dental marketing ideas to remind clients of their overdue payments, including


3. Managing cash flow

When patients or their dental insurance companies don’t pay on time, real effects can be seen in your business’s cash flow. It’s important that your dental practice be able to handle changes in cash flow; consider taking a business loan through Become to give your dental clinic the financial boost it needs.


4. Changes in medical aid coverage

With dental coverage continuously getting reviewed and revised by insurance companies, the task of staying up-to-date with who is liable for what can become costly both in terms of time and finances. The American Dental Association offers a number of online resources to help dentists stay informed of the latest updates.


Bridging the gap


This guide was put together, in part, to break down digital marketing for dentists who aren’t sure how to go about it. After having filled in the blanks, dental marketing ideas should be no problem for you to come up with.


Whether it’s dental SEO or social media marketing for dentists, you’ve now got the foundation on which you can build the perfect dental marketing plan. If you feel you haven’t extracted all of the information listed here, you are encouraged to bookmark this page and review it in the future.

Dental Marketing Strategies

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter and should not be relied upon as such. The author accepts no responsibility for any consequences whatsoever arising from the use of such information.