Dental practices used to be associated with teeth pulling and uncomfortable chairs but now, it can be quite a luxury to visit a dental office.

But aside from teeth whitening and veneers like Simon Cowell's, encouraging your dental patients to book an appointment for a routine check-up can still feel like a big task. You want your patients to want to come into your dental office (voluntarily), but this involves focusing on your dental practice marketing.

Whether you're wondering how to grow a dental practice by attracting new patients or getting more of your existing patients back in through the door, you'll have to start working on your dental marketing strategy.

Dentists' advertising doesn't need to be uncomfortable like a root canal; you can refresh your dental marketing strategy and attract new dental patients daily.

Read on for some quick tips and dental marketing ideas to convert those potential patients to your dental practice.

Marketing ideas for dentists

The dental industry can be extremely lucrative but you need to know what differentiates your dental practice from other dental practices.

What is your USP? What can you offer to your dental patients that another dental practice couldn't? To start outlining and defining your services, you might want to start with some competitor research.

Figure out what other dental practices are offering; compare your prices, services, and branding. Once you've outlined what's special about your dental practice, it's time to get in front of your target audience.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Encourage customer referrals (promote a customer referral program)
  • Focus on your review management
  • Connect with the local community with local events or sponsorships
  • Establish your business online (setting up a Google My Business listing might be your first step instead of just using a Facebook Page for your business)
  • Invest in advertising (such as digital marketing with dentist Facebook ads)
  • Content marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Post regularly on your social media accounts (and have an established social media presence)
  • Improve your SEO strategy
  • Send out welcome packs if you're a new dental practice (direct mail is the perfect way to introduce your services to a local audience)

You might not have the capacity to try all of the above dental marketing ideas - it's a long list - but let's go into detail about of some the above dental marketing strategies.

Patient reviews

Many businesses forget about the power of reviews as a marketing initiative. Yet, it's the truest form of marketing; it's genuine feedback from your previous patients and acts as a personal recommendation.

It empowers prospective patients in their decision-making as they feel they're being told the truth about your dental practice, rather than falling for your expensive marketing campaign.

Potential patients and new patients will be looking at online reviews, so if you're not focusing on your reputation management, you'll miss out on website traffic, increased revenue and conversions.

It's also a very cost-effective form of marketing.

You need to:

  1. Reach out to existing patients and ask them to leave you a video testimonial (which you can then use in your other marketing initiatives) or text review
  2. Monitor reviews on all relevant review sites
  3. Respond to your patient reviews (it's another chance to learn how to improve your business and expand the conversation with your lovely patients)
  4. Showcase your reviews on your dental website, social media campaigns and other marketing efforts (even use a top customer testimonial on your email signature!)

Patient testimonials can drive business your way, simply by you prioritising genuine social proof.

For dental marketing, it's important to request reviews from your patients. But that can sound daunting, especially as it opens you up to receiving negative reviews too.

With Cloutly, you can humanise and personalise the entire review process from start to finish.

Set up a smart-step review campaign that your customers will be excited to receive (and respond to) then use Cloutly to showcase all of your reviews from anywhere - be it Google, Facebook or Glassdoor - all in one place. Potential patients will have an easy route to see your legitimacy and the trust that other patients have in their local dentist.

There's a free trial for soon as you start using it, you'll see the power of reviews supercharging your dental marketing initiative in no time. Reviews also help with your search engine performance so read on for an extra tip on the power of reviews. It's almost like reputation management is the great dental marketing idea, isn't it?

Search engine optimization

Focusing on your performance on the search engines might sound out of your depth, but there are ways to improve your visibility and get in front of more patients than before.

So, what is dental SEO? It means focusing on your niche and populating your online presence - your Google My Business listing or website content or your social media account. It's about putting your business out there, online, to become a prominent business listing on Google and other search engines.

For your dental website, you can improve your search performance across all search engines by making it user-friendly. A well-mapped out website that's updated regularly, with content and business information, will be prioritised for search engines as users want to experience high-quality sites, over low-quality ones.

Focusing on keywords that 'put you in a box' so that you're easily defined by search engines and easy to find for users will help your search engine ranking.

Similarly, being active on your business listings and responding to reviews, generating reviews and updating your details can improve your search results ranking.

Reviews can help your presence in Google Maps, too.

Google Maps is important for search engine optimization and your digital marketing strategy. When your local audience searches for something relevant to your dental practice on Google, Google Maps will show up on the first page of search results and it will display three businesses here. The businesses that Google will prioritise on the map section, will be the ones most populated with information i.e. with reviews and business activity.

Overall, spending time focusing on your search results performance and ranking on Google Maps will improve your visibility and increase traffic, ipso facto: revenue.

Social media marketing strategies

When it comes to dental marketing, establishing a presence on social media can be very effective.

Whether your dental practice is more for cosmetic purposes or more general care, potential patients want to see visuals and branding to get to know your business more.

Consider these things when setting up your social media account:

  • Include a CTA on your social media platform wherever relevant (in your captions, in your bio and in your stories)
  • Include all contact details (you want a booking through your social media accounts, so you need to let people know how to contact you)
  • Post relevant content appropriate to your niche - make it educational and engaging
  • Concise biography
  • A catchy handle name or your business' name - even name the account after an in-demand dentist from your practice like 'Dr John's Healthy Teeth'
  • Choose the right profile photo

Your social media platforms are a place to build brand awareness, establish your skillset and knowledge and engage with potential patients (not just in your local area).

Let's have a look at some dentist powerhouses on social media today:

Instagram for dentist
Instagram for dentist
Instagram for dentist

These Instagram accounts focus on a niche and have a clear aesthetic. They will generate traction and gain new patients just by prioritising their branding through their social media posts.

It's important to have fun with your dental marketing on social media. People care about their teeth, so if you can focus on a certain aspect of dentistry and find a core following, you'll see success in no time.

Local events

Sometimes going back to traditional marketing methods such as networking in person can be truly effective.

Putting up signs and handing out brochures at local community events is a way to get your business name out there. People want to connect with the humans behind a business, and if you're going to be the one getting them to open their mouths wide whilst you pull out a tooth, it's important to establish yourself as an easy-to-talk person.

For any local events that are going on, make sure your attendance is known and, if you can't be there physically, try sponsoring your local football team or a local event. Give back to the community to define yourself as the dental office that cares.

Dentist Facebook ads

Local Facebook ads can work very well for reaching out to new patients.

With Facebook ads, you can be specific and selective with your dental marketing and choose a demographic to advertise to. Dentist advertising needs to be focused, otherwise, you'll be wasting money.

Based on IP addresses, your Facebook ads can appear in the feeds for those in your local area and you can even select a certain gender or age group. This means you can be very targeted with what you put out there. If you're using video marketing in your adverts, you'll be engaging more people as videos tend to have a higher retention rate.

Google Ads work the same as Facebook ads however, instead of showing up on a social media account, your Google Ads will show on the first page of search results - if you're not showing there already in the Google Map Pack - when anyone types in a query that's relevant to your Google Ads.

Google Ads can be very influential in buying decisions. If your Google Ad appears top to someone looking for teeth whitening, then chances are, you'll be the first one they click on. People don't want to spend time trawling through other ads or other websites and if you have reviews that outline your expertise, you'll confirm their buying decision in minutes.

You can get creative with digital marketing. Let's look at these dentist Facebook ads examples:


These images grab your attention and use promotional offers to encourage a timely response from Facebook users.

If you're wanting to craft the perfect message, check out this in-depth YouTube video for your dentist's Facebook ads.

Paid advertising is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing as it's targeted and has a high ROI (return on investment).

Wrapping up

Finding the right dental marketing method for you is something that's attainable, fun and aligns with your branding.

If you want to focus more on digital marketing than more traditional advertising, just make sure it's something to commit to. With any marketing for dentists, you've got to stay consistent. For example, if your digital marketing campaign of writing two blog posts a week only lasts for a month, then you're not going to see many results.

Have fun with your marketing for dentists' campaigns and focus on what works.

The simplest - and most trusted form of marketing for dentists - comes from reviews. So whichever route you choose, make sure you spend some time on your reputation management.

Cloutly makes this easier than ever with our simple-to-use software that can streamline the review process in less time than it takes for you to say "ahhhhh" in the dentist's chair.

Try Cloutly today.