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Dentist Marketing: How to Generate New Patients Online

Posted by Casey Lewis on Friday, March 18, 2016

dentist-marketing-generate-leads-online.gifImagine someone walked up to you told you that attracting customers to a dental practice is easy because everyone has teeth. “You have teeth. I’m a dentist.” Marketing done, right?

Many seem to think online lead generation can be this simple, but there’s actually a lot of strategic positioning involved to get the right patients in your dentist’s chair. Save yourself disappointment and frustration by taking these tactics into consideration.

Audience Targeting

While it’s true (for the most part) that all people have teeth, it only tells part of the story when you’re looking at potential patients. Running a dental practice, you know that while most everyone may have teeth, not everyone wants to go to the dentist. Of those who go to the dentist, some only go when they experience a problem or are in pain. A few are extremely vigilant about routine maintenance. A couple of people were traumatized by a painful dental exam. Some feel it’s senseless to go to a dentist after a certain age. Others don’t see purpose in taking young children. He never flosses. She wants whiter teeth…

See where we’re going with this? That’s a lot of individual needs and motivations for one category of “potential patients.” When you’re looking at digital marketing and online lead generation, you must reject a “one-size-fits-all” mentality. By developing audience segments and personas you can more accurately offer information most likely to motivate actions by patients best suited to your practice strengths.

Teach to Earn Trust

People use digital content to learn and solve problems. When it comes to dental patients or potential dental patients, many are looking for symptom explanations or an understanding of specific treatments, such as cosmetic procedures. This offers you a chance to enter into the decision-making process at the consumer’s invitation. By providing professional information in a reassuring and engaging tone, you earn trust and stay top of mind for action.

An area where this is especially effective is calming anxiety about procedures with those nervous due to past experiences. Before they even take a step to make an appointment, you can discuss what’s expected in a procedure and any steps your office takes to provide a relaxed, comfortable environment.

Engaging a New Stream of Customers

Much has been written and discussed about the consumer decision process of the millennial generation. They enter and exit the process differently when deciding what goods to purchase and what services to engage. Certainly, they connect digitally, with many of their consumer decisions occurring in the palm of their hand on their devices. But, they not only operate differently, they think differently.

There is a greater reliance on opinion pooling and philosophical alignment than in previous generations. For example, few would think to question how green your practice was 25 years ago. This generation finds issues like these appealing and often scale-tippers in their decisions. Make certain you, or your digital marketing agency, takes the new decision-making process of this generation into consideration, as they are your largest base of new and potentially life-long customers.

Digital lead generation is certainly faster than traditional marketing. However, it requires much more skill to create quality leads that translate into valuable patients. That’s the old standard of quality above quantity.