Marketing is essential for a dental practice to thrive. It doesn’t just bring in new patients; dental marketing is also instrumental in solidifying relationships with existing clients. There are several approaches dentists can take to market their practice effectively. Unfortunately, many dentists have launched their business without giving much thought to a dental marketing strategy. Some think they should promote their business using traditional methods; while others believe that online marketing for dentists is the only way.

The truth is, a sound dental marketing strategy is one that uses a combination of traditional and digital marketing methods. Here are some dental marketing ideas that will help your practice grow.

1. Connect with the Community

Let’s start with something that’s as traditional as it can get. Establishing ties within the community where your dental practice is located is the right thing to do. It just also happens to be good business. After all, most, if not all, of the people who come through your practice’s doors are locals.

Considering how trust is a primary factor in dental care, being friends with them and participating in local events like festivals and sports activities is an excellent way of making yourself a familiar—and trustworthy—person in their eyes. Sponsor any of those local events from time to time, and you will elevate your dental practice’s profile in the community even more.

2. Put Up a Website for Your Dental Practice

The digital component of your dental marketing strategy starts with creating a website for your practice. Your website will be the face of your dental practice online. On it, you can publish content that you believe existing and potential patients will find useful, relevant, and actionable.

You can post a list of your dental services that will give them a beautiful smile, articles providing oral care tips that will help keep their teeth and mouth healthy, and even videos where you show off your state of the art facility. Creating profiles of the people behind your practice is also be an excellent way of introducing to patients the team.

3. Optimize Your Website

A business website, by itself, is a marketing tool, but it needs to be marketed, too. Otherwise, people seeking dental services using search engines won’t even know of your website’s—and your practice’s—existence. Your dental practice website needs search engine optimization (SEO) to make it more visible to search engine users. SEO is a collection of techniques that aims to get your web pages to rank high in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In a nutshell, a well-optimized web page ranks high in the SERPs, which boosts its visibility and makes it more likely to be clicked by search engine users. Your SEO efforts will eventually drive more organic traffic to your website, and there’s an excellent chance that a number of those users who get to explore your site will become your patients one day.

4. Create a Presence on Social Media

In all likelihood, not all businesses in the world have a website, but we can say for certain that tens, probably even hundreds of millions of enterprises are on social media. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which have three billion active users between them, have evolved into an incredibly potent business tool.

Aside from being an excellent place to promote your business, social media also allows you to inform and engage your audience further, many of whom may just become your loyal patients in the future.

5. Make Special Offers

Few things are as effective as special offers in getting people to try out what a business has to offer. People enjoy discounts and freebies, and those who are looking for dental services are no exception. Some special offers you might want to make include discounts for the next time they visit or free dental exams for walk-in patients.

6. Encourage Word-of-Mouth through Customer Referral Incentive Programs

Ads are great at promoting a business, but word-of-mouth is just as good. Since people presumably trust the word of a friend or relative who happens to be one of your patients, your practice will be the foremost thing in their minds whenever they need a dental procedure done. And while word-of-mouth is primarily free, it wouldn’t hurt to offer incentives to patients who recommend your practice to friends and family. Give your patients discounts, freebies, and gift cards for every successful referral, and they would be more than glad to spread the word about your practice.

Dental marketing may not be easy, and results probably won’t come as quickly as you would like, but the tips above will always be a good place to start.