Feb 18, 2022 | 8 min read

Marketing tips for your dental business

For many people, the dentist’s office is a place they’d rather avoid. A root canal on a Saturday morning doesn’t exactly scream “a good time.” Even routine check-ups have been known to give some people anxiety.

That said, when it comes to their teeth and overall health, most people know a good dentist is invaluable, and many will search far and wide for the best dentist to not only take care of their pearly whites but to make them feel comfortable while doing so. 

However, if you’re not properly marketing yourself, you’ll find it tough to build a good client base — no matter how patient, warm, and knowledgeable you are.

Read on to discover ways to market your dental clinic so that your business grows as wide as your clients’ smiles.

#1 Get on social media

Just because you’re a dental office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a fun, personable social media presence. After all, most people love showing their beautiful smiles for the world to see.  When it comes to reaching prospective dental patients, try different creative dental marketing ideas and ramp up your social media activity when implementing a new digital marketing strategy.

Having a social media channel comes with many benefits, but the biggest is being able to market to the age demographic that visits the dentist the least: the 18-44 age bracket.  

To increase awareness at your dental clinic, your social media marketing strategy should include:

  • Share important business information - Making sure you share your business’s most important information with your local community is critical. Post your address, services, operating hours, and contact information on all important platforms.
  • Introduce yourself and your team - Social media is the perfect place to give patients a better idea of who you are. Make sure you introduce yourself and your team. This includes sharing what goes on behind the scenes (if you’re comfortable).
  • Take photos -  There are few things more photogenic than a smile full of white teeth. Show off your happy clients and services by documenting them through photos. You can share these photos in your office and on social media to market your services. 

While building a social media presence is the first step to a successful dental marketing strategy, you’ll need to continually engage with your audience in order to grow your brand. In an interview with Dental Tribune, Mark Schaefer underlines the importance of engagement: “To really succeed in social media, you need to leverage that potential by truly engaging with your audience in a unique, personal and memorable way.”

Asheville Smiles: A local dentistry with a big presence

Based in Asheville, NC, Asheville Smiles Cosmetic & Family Dentistry is a small dental practice that knows the impact of a good social media page.

Curated by Dr. Rebekkah Merrell, Asheville Smiles’ social channel features pictures of beautiful teeth, promotions, and the office’s gorgeous landscaping.

By fully engaging with their audience through social media, Asheville Smiles makes potential clients feel less anxious about visiting the dentist while also finding opportunities to build their customer base with online-exclusive incentives.

#2 Grow with Nextdoor

Like many social media platforms, Nextdoor lets you engage with a wide audience. But unlike the others, Nextdoor doesn’t require you to attract followers. What’s more, by focusing on hyperlocal (rather than global) connections, Nextdoor gives small, local businesses the ability to connect with their local communities in ways that traditional social media platforms simply can’t.

While there are many benefits to growing your dental office’s brand through Nextdoor, a few of the most prominent include:

  • Ease of use - Building a presence through Nextdoor is extremely easy. All you need to do is sign up and create a free Business Page. You can then customize your page, adding important information such as business hours, services, and a mission statement. You can also update your clients about things like service changes or seasonal promotions with free business posts. 
  • Engage with a local audience – One of the best things local dentistry can do is engage with its community. If clients associate a personable, friendly face with their dentist, they’re more likely to trust the dentist with their dental needs. Nextdoor makes it easy to reach a hyperlocal audience by requiring users to verify where they live. This ensures that your dentistry takes care of the teeth in their immediate vicinity.

#3 Update your dental website

A clean, informative dental website is absolutely vital to a successful marketing campaign. In short, if your website isn’t accessible, how can clients trust your practice and find services that address their needs? 

When drawing up the blueprints for your new website, prioritize keeping the design neat and user-friendly. It should be straightforward and intuitive so that users can easily find the information they’re looking for. Another good place to start is by adding a team page that allows visitors to familiarize themselves with the dentists and dental hygienists who’ll be taking care of them. This way, you can start to build trust with your patients before they even set foot in your office. 

Other website essentials include:

  • Contact information that’s clear and easy to locate
  • A service page that outlines the dental procedures you provide
  • An online scheduling system that allows patients to book appointments with the click of a button

If you’re looking to go above and beyond, look to Clemson Dental Associates for inspiration. 

Based in Clemson, S.C, it’s a small dental practice with a carefully considered web design. In addition to a well-organized menu with tabs for leadership, scheduling, and services, their website includes client testimonials, patient education, and pictures of the office’s inside. And though their website provides a lot of information, it never feels cluttered.

Questions to Consider When Designing Your Website

To successfully engage your audience through your website, consider the following questions when building it:

  • Am I building the website with the right audience in mind? Different types of practices require different website designs. For instance, if your dental office specializes in family and child dentistry, your website might include a blog post detailing ways to calm a child’s nerves before a checkup. On the other hand, if your practice focuses on orthodontics, you may want to devote space to detailing the types of specialized orthodontic procedures.
  • Is the website aesthetically pleasing? When done right, your website can be an extension of your office—a welcoming space that helps clients feel right at home. Calm your patients’ nerves and invite them to schedule an appointment by including photos of your team and the office interior. You can also dive into the psychology of web design by working with a developer who can help you decide on a color palette that not only looks sharp but also promotes a sense of calm and relaxation. 
  • Does your website showcase what makes you unique? With so many dental practices out there, how do potential clients know to choose yours? The key is to differentiate yourself in your day-to-day practices and on your website. Include value-driven blog posts, engaging website copy on your homepage and throughout, and testimonials from satisfied patients to show how your dental office stands head and shoulders above the competition.

#4 Community outreach

One of the best dental marketing ideas is also the most community-oriented. A great way to reach a wider audience is to engage in community outreach. 

For Dr. Roger P. Levin, the value of community outreach can’t be understated. “Although community outreach certainly qualifies as “soft” marketing that typically yields actual results (new patients) over the long term,” states Levin, “it serves as a solid foundation for a people-oriented business, such as your dental practice.”

Though community outreach initiatives take on many different forms, the most common include:

  • Pro bono dental care for underserved patients and communities
  • Holding a fundraiser drive at your office to gather things like coats, backpacks, or non-perishable food items for community members in need
  • Maintaining a free blog or newsletter geared toward dental best practices in your community

#5 Establish a patient referral bonus programs

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing for small businesses. 

Similar to loyalty programs, patient referral bonus programs incentivize current patients to bring in new clients. In short, if a current patient brings in a new patient, both end up benefiting.

Though the benefits may vary, common advantages for current patients include:

  • Free cleanings or procedures (be sure to stipulate the guidelines and restrictions)
  • Free toothbrushes, floss, mouth wash, or other dental hygiene products
  • Invitations to select events for clients with the most referrals

But current clients aren’t the only ones who benefit from referral bonus programs. New clients can also take advantage of the program by receiving new patient specials and other promotions. 

However you choose to incentivize referrals, effective strategies make use of the following:

  • Business cards – You could hand out business cards yourself, but you might not be able to extend your reach as far as you could if you shared the work. Instead, ask current clients to hand out business cards to their family, friends, and neighbors, if they know someone who could benefit from your services. 
  • Testimonials – Testimonials can be powerful tools to entice new clients. To that extent, a program that encourages client testimonials may go a long way toward building your marketing campaign. Encourage happy clients to write reviews and testimonials in exchange for dental benefits.
  • Company “swag” – It’s no secret that many people love free merchandise. Promote your word-of-mouth marketing by giving each patient a “swag bag” full of branded pens, mugs, toothbrushes, floss, etc. upon leaving their appointment. Their friends and family are likely to see these products, opening up the door for conversations to be had about your office. 

Keep your clients smiling with Nextdoor

For many people, finding the right dentist can be challenging. Not only do you have to find a dentist who specializes in your needs but also one who you can feel comfortable with.

Fortunately, Nextdoor allows you to build your community’s trust by giving your dental office the ability to reach a hyperlocal audience. By creating a Nextdoor Business Page, you can keep your community smiling—and local dentistry thriving. 

Take the next step promoting your warm, transparent, and knowledgeable dental practice in your neighborhood. Claim your free Business Page to get started. 

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Asheville Smiles. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/rebekkahmerrelldmd/?hl=en

Clemson Dental Associates. Homepage. https://www.clemsondental.com/

Dental Products Report. The importance of community outreach in building your dental practice.https://www.dentalproductsreport.com/view/importance-community-outreach-building-your-dental-practice

Dental Tribune. Interview: Choosing social media content to engage with patients. https://www.dental-tribune.com/news/interview-choosing-social-media-content-to-engage-with-patients/

HealthyPeople.gov. Oral Health https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/leading-health-indicators/2020-lhi-topics/Oral-Health/data

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Author image Nextdoor Editorial Team At Nextdoor, we love local. The Nextdoor Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of local businesses, providing product education, and sharing marketing best practices to help businesses grow.