These 3 Marketing Strategies Will Explode Patient Growth in 2023 (PODCAST)
You want patients (duh!). But how do you create a marketing plan that gets the job done?
Sure, we could discuss the five hottest marketing trends you need to follow in 2023.
But here’s the thing:
All “marketing trends” are tactics. And if you don’t have a marketing strategy in place, then your tactics will fail.
Not having a marketing strategy is like placing dental implants without x-rays.
Instead of the five hottest trends:
I want to focus on the three marketing strategies that’ll explode patient growth in 2023.
I talked to AADOM … Opens in a new window to AADOM’s website… about how these strategies will focus on specific business objectives for dentists.
Click on the situation specific to you to get your 2023 marketing strategy:
- You’re adding new associates
- You’re expanding to different locations
- You want to focus on high-ticket services
- You’re running a private practice and need patients
Ready? Listen to the podcast or browse through the article.
Let’s start with Marketing Strategy #1:
Marketing strategy #1
This marketing strategy is a must if you’re:
- Adding new associates
- Adding new locations
- Acquiring/buying into an existing dental practice
Here’s what you need to do first:
1. Tap into your current patient database
Many dental offices make the mistake of going after new patient growth when they don’t realize that current patients are leaving.
Practice growth becomes stagnant. In fact, there’s probably $300K-500K sitting in your patient database right now.
It’s stupid easy to get that cash and invest it right back into the dental practice.
Look at your numbers and see who has inactive treatments you can follow up on. Then reach out to those patients through text messages.
Why texting, you ask? They have a 98% open rate!
But how do you get those patients back through the door?
You need an enticing offer.
Some great offers include:
- Free whitening after completing treatment
- A gift card to a favorite local restaurant
- A fun goodie bag (traveled-sized dental kit, branded apparel, etc.)
- Credit toward treatment
The key is to be friendly and conversational! Just the same way you’d communicate with your patients in person.
You can set this up very easily using your patient communication software (if it offers two-way texting).
Or it can be done with your marketing agency. We have a whole system that automates this process, saving you the time of trying to write it and set it up.
Let me show you how powerful texting can be:
We ran a Treatment Acceptance campaign for one of our clients.
This involves reactivating patients who didn’t accept treatment from the dental office.
We reactivated those patients through:
- A tailored offer
- Conversational text messaging
- Proprietary AI
That dental office scheduled $123,278 worth of treatment plans within 2.5 weeks.
All through text messaging.
Your text messages should aim to engage and nurture your current patients.
Don’t sound corporate or professional. The tone from these texts should sound like you’re talking to a friend.
2. Fill up your schedules with a New Patient Generation Funnel
You may be asking: What’s a funnel?
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of the customer journey, from initial awareness to the final purchase decision of a product or service.
It’s divided into several stages:
The purpose of a marketing funnel is to guide potential customers through the buying process and ultimately convert them into paying customers.
A funnel allows us to guide and track the user through the buyer’s journey. We then adjust your marketing campaign to maximize lead generation and revenue.
What does a New Patient Generation Funnel look like?
Strategize your funnel by getting to know your ideal patient:
- What types of customers do you want?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What are their biggest dreams?
- What’s holding them back from seeing a dentist?
- What kind of offer would get them to commit to treatment?
Then you want to entice those people with a tailored offer.
Now, to be clear:
“Offer” doesn’t mean discounting your services.
You can give people an offer that piques their curiosity without coming across as a “coupon” dental practice.
Some offers that we’ve seen work for dental practices include:
- Free take-home whitening with a new patient exam
- Become a “Whitening for Life” VIP with a new patient exam and regular cleanings
- Free personalized consult, which includes a “smile makeover preview”
- Free night guard
- $50 gift card to a favorite local business
NOTE: All communities and practices are different. Not all offers work for everyone. Take some time to figure out your ideal customer. What would get them to say “yes?”
Drive traffic to a landing page that includes:
- Your tailored offer
- A lead generation form
- One strong call to action
What’s a lead generation form? This is a simple form that captures emails and phone numbers.
Now, here’s the kicker.
When you drive traffic to the landing page and someone fills out the form:
Call that lead as soon as you get notified.
Studies have shown that the chances of qualifying a lead decrease drastically after 5-10 minutes.
I know you’re thinking:
“My team doesn’t have time to call people within that time frame.”
We hear that a lot. So… it’s best to hire someone who can dedicate their time to following up with leads and inquiries.
At Roadside Dental Marketing, we have Appointment Setters who do that very task.
Their job is to strike while the iron is hot. They’re trained to adapt to your office’s brand and messaging.
Once your patient generation funnel is up and running, it’s time to start nurturing.
3. Nurture your leads AND patient base
Let me ask you this:
Are you sending emails to your patients and leads?
And I don’t mean appointment reminders or confirmations.
Are you sending patients educational content or videos to continue conversations outside the dental office?
This is what we call lead nurturing.
People need about 5-12 touchpoints before making a purchasing decision, and lead nurturing is a proven method to help people say “yes” to treatment.
Nurturing your patient relationships will grow your practice in the long run. It:
- Maintains regular communication, which builds trust and establishes long-term relationships.
- Improves patient engagement and adherence to treatment plans. You can help patients stay on track with their care, leading to better health outcomes.
- Identifies and addresses questions patients may have, improving patient satisfaction and reducing the risk of negative reviews.
- Increases patient retention and loyalty by keeping them updated with the latest developments in their health, any new treatments, and other relevant information.
Now that you know about lead nurturing… here are some topics you could share with your dental patients:
- Videos of new associates introducing themselves
- FAQ videos
- “Behind the scenes” of the dental office
- Dental jokes
- Healthy recipes
- Dental tips and fun facts
- Education about your services
- Special offers
- Office news
- Bring attention to a blog post
- Highlight the doctor and/or team members
BONUS: When you make videos for your emails, repurpose them for your Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts! Short-form videos are HOT for 2023 (and will stay in the long run).
Marketing strategy #2
This marketing strategy is perfect if you:
- Have a ton of patients
- Want to start focusing on high-ticket services
Here’s what you need to do first:
1. Upgrade your branding
If you want to start attracting quality patients, make sure your image reflects that quality.
Take a look at your logo, colors, and website:
Does it reflect the patients you want to attract?
If not, it’s time for an upgrade. Now, it can be stressful to undergo a brand rehaul, so take it one step at a time.
- Invest in a logo refresh that reflects your quality
- Update your website design
- Update your website messaging so it’s speaking to the right customers
- Gather video testimonials and case studies
2. Become a thought leader
People are savvy enough to know what an ad is and when something isn’t authentic.
Your people want to connect. They want reassurance that you’ll be the right dentist to redo their smiles.
This is where you need to broadcast your expertise, share your proof, and build a community online.
The best way to do this?
Videos. Short-form videos are very popular on social media, and you can create digestible content with:
- Smile reveal videos
- Patient testimonials
- Answers to FAQs
- Tours of your office
- A “behind the scenes” look
Dr. Shawn Keller…Open a new window to Dr. Keller’s site… is the perfect example of generating short-form videos. Check out his Instagram Reels…Open a new window to Dr. Keller’s Instagram page….
He does an excellent job of answering FAQs while showing all of the great work he’s doing with before-and-after photos.
View this post on Instagram
If you were a patient in pain, who would you call?
Dr. Keller, of course, because he has this proof to back up his craft.
Another way to get videos is to hire local online influencers.
Online influencers are becoming an increasingly popular way to reach and engage with consumers. There are several reasons why they’re a valuable asset:
- Relevance: Online influencers often have a specific niche or area of expertise, which allows them to connect with a highly targeted audience. This means that businesses can reach the right people with the right message.
- Trust: Influencers have built a relationship with their followers, which means their recommendations and opinions are trusted.
- Authenticity: Influencers are real people with their own unique voices and style, which can make their content more relatable and authentic. This can help businesses stand out in a crowded market.
- Engagement: Influencers often have a high level of engagement with their followers (and they’re amazing on video), which can lead to increased visibility and awareness for a business.
- Cost-effective: Compared to traditional forms of advertising, working with influencers can be more cost-effective. This is because influencers often have a lower cost per engagement and a higher return on investment.
Overall, online influencers can be an effective way for businesses to connect with consumers in a more authentic and engaging way, which can ultimately lead to increased visibility and sales.
When you create all these videos for your online presence, make sure you’re sending them to your current patient base.
That’s right. Nurture your email list.
It’s another avenue to easily build trust and relationships with your patient base.
This leads to the final step of this marketing strategy.
3. Focus on funnels
You can repurpose all of your amazing videos through multiple marketing channels, especially when you’re going after new patients.
Use this content to launch these 2 funnels:
- Treatment acceptance: Go after your inactive patients and share your smile reveal videos, testimonials, and case studies. Then win them over with an irresistible offer.
- Mini masterclass: This is a funnel that not a lot of dentists are doing, and it has HUGE potential. This is just like a traditional webinar funnel, but it’s shorter (15-20 minutes). Share your expertise, educate an audience looking for answers, and include an irresistible offer.
Marketing strategy #3
This marketing strategy is meant for:
- Private practices that want to grow
- Are in desperate need of new patients
I want you to start small.
1. Reactivate your hygiene patients
Many dental offices make the mistake of dropping thousands of dollars toward paid ads, but if you’re tight on funds, you don’t need to do that.
Instead, go after inactive hygiene patients.
It takes way less time and energy for you and your team.
The reality is:
Acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing customer.
And to add to that:
Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase your profits by at least 25%.
So why not start with your hygiene patients?
To start, come up with an enticing offer, such as:
- Gift cards to a local business
- Free whitening
- Credit toward treatment
Then, text your inactive patients about it.
Here’s an example text message we send for our clients:
“Hey (first name of patient), It’s Kelly from (practice name). It’s been a while since your last cleaning. Would you like to get on the schedule?”
“P.S. I’ve got this gift card with your name on it 😉 I’ll put one aside for you once we get you in the books.”
And it works!
One of our clients reactivated 120 patients within 90 days like this.
If you’d like the entire texting sequence for hygiene reactivation, download it for free here…Open reactivation tools in a new window….
Reactivating your hygiene patients injects revenue into your practice quickly. Then, you’ll have the funds to go after new patients.
2. New Patient Generation funnel
To get the details of a New Patient Generation funnel, revisit Marketing Strategy #1.
But I want to share how to take it a step further.
The dental industry is a saturated market. So…
How do you stand out among a sea of dentists?
Videos! You seeing a theme here?
Videos featuring people build trust and familiarity. And it works:
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. (SOURCE…Click to read more in a new window…)
- Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%. (SOURCE…Click to read more in a new window…)
So how do you use videos for a New Patient Generation funnel?
When a lead expresses interest in your offer, send emails that highlight your office. Make videos that:
- Introduce who you are
- Discuss your philosophy
- Answer questions
- Address top barriers (fear, pain, time, and money)
- Introduce the team
You can even use text messages!
Send a text of the team waving and welcoming the new patient to the office.
People crave connection. So the more you can be authentic and show yourself, the more you’ll stand out.
Turn your marketing strategy into an action plan!
The biggest takeaway you should have from this blog:
Strategy should ALWAYS come first. Not marketing tactics or trends.
We hope you’ve obtained valuable insight to elevate your marketing strategy.
Actually executing a plan is a whole different story.
That’s why we’re giving away our Marketing Action Plan Workbook. It’ll help you take your strategy and turn it into a bonafide action plan.
- 40+ page workbook for creating an actionable plan for your dental practice
- Proven frameworks and tools that’ll level up your revenue
- Fillable worksheets, templates, and formulas to nail your big goals
- 30 days of social media ideas, dental hashtags, 15 blogging topics, and more
And because we want you to kick off 2023 with a bang, our CEO, Shannon, is offering her insight and expertise for free.
Schedule a 30-minute analysis call with Shannon to share your 2023 marketing strategy.
She’ll give you real-time feedback and offer any other tidbits of advice, so you’ll be confident to take action.