Top 5 Marketing Strategies for Dentists

Any business selling a product is likely to have an easier time coming up with a marketing strategy than one that offers services. The thing about products is that they are corporeal; they can be seen, held, tested, and basically evaluated on the spot, making it far easier for consumers to see their inherent value. Services, on the other hand, may be perfect for one person and totally unacceptable for another. This makes them a difficult commodity to categorize, much less market. And medical professionals, in particular, find themselves in a tough spot when it comes to marketing due to heightened ethics and liability issues. However, you do have a valuable service to offer. And if you want to beat out the competition you must develop a successful marketing strategy, despite the obstacles you face. Here are a few tips to help you reach new customers and convince them that you can provide the superior dental care they're seeking.

1.       Start licking stamps. Because you run a location-specific business (as in, your clients local), mailers that target your geographic area are the first avenue to explore. Whether you simply cover a blanket zip code with brochures or postcards or you send out email blasts to anyone who stumbles across your website and enters an email address when prompted, this type of direct advertising is the best way to bypass the aversion to in-your-face sales pitches and reach customers on a personal level. Just don't go nuts and bombard them or you could have the opposite effect.

2.      Make your site accessible. Your website is often the first way that potential customers find you these days, so you need to ensure that it loads quickly, it's easy to navigate, and that people can actually find it amidst all the white noise generated by competitors. This means first creating a website that reflects your real-world brand and then utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) practices to ensure that anyone seeking your services finds you first.

3.      Start a blog or newsletter. Added value and a human element are two things that consumers seeking your service are looking for. And these marketing techniques provide the ability to hit both marks. You can use these forums to provide customers with quality information about your practice and the dental industry in general. But you can also humanize the interaction by creating articles that showcase your personality and engage your readership, endearing them to you on a personal level rather than distancing them with a traditional doctor-patient relationship.

4.      Build a quality brand. In other words, avoid gimmicks. You know who offers discounts, deals, and coupons? Used car salesmen. Bottom feeders. A dental practice that stoops to this level is just shooting itself in the foot. If you want to prove to customers that you offer excellence and superior quality, you need to build a brand that lives up to these ideals. This means creating a professional (yet warm) office setting, providing excellent customer service, and staying up to date with equipment and procedures that can benefit your clientele. This will turn satisfied customers into brand ambassadors who will spread your name around and secure new business for you, all because you offer the best service rather than low-brow gimmicks.

5.      Hire a marketing strategist. You are not trained in the art and science of advertising, so think about going pro by hiring either a real-world or a digital marketing agency to manage your marketing strategy for you. It may cost you, but having a professional in your corner could bring in enough business to justify the price, and then some.

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