Why modern marketing is a must for cosmetic dentists
Patients looking for a cosmetic dentist want the very best care and service available — and they’re willing to put in the time to find the right practice for them. In most cases, this research for a cosmetic dentist begins online. Sure, they might ask their regular dentist, friends or neighbors for suggestions, but ultimately, they’ll turn to the nearest search engine to vet these recommendations or find a new cosmetic dentist on their own. Nearly 75 percent of patients look online when searching for a new healthcare provider or dentist.
Cosmetic dentistry practices that connect with prospective patients in a digital world through the development of a captivating and easy-to-navigate website design, a positive online reputation, and engaging content marketing tools will attract and convert more patients than traditional marketing tactics.
But, attracting patients to your website isn’t enough to support long-term practice growth. Cosmetic dentistry practices with an eye for growth also need a practice growth platform that can provide the modern digital tools, tracking and reporting needed to help practices retain patients and grow their practice for years to come.
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The many benefits of digital marketing and advertising
Digital marketing strategies not only help cosmetic dentists achieve their new patient growth goals, they also support long-term patient retention and continuous revenue growth. Additionally, modern marketing tactics offer a wide range of benefits you won’t find with traditional channels, including:
- Being budget-friendly: Whether you’re a one-provider practice or a large, multi-office operation, digital marketing can work within a budget of any size. Due to low production costs and an abundance of digital ad space, the expenses associated with online marketing are far less than print or broadcast media.
- Providing more data: Traditional advertising channels offer few reliable metrics to show whether you’re getting a return on your marketing investments. On the other hand, digital marketing tactics provide real-time data and analytics to help you set goals, track performance and shift strategies when needed.
- Offering flexibility: When it comes to digital marketing, you make all the decisions. You can establish a set budget, define your targets, and develop goals for impressions, clicks or conversions. Once you’re up and running, you can scale up or down instantly based on how your campaigns are performing. Likewise, you can make timely adjustments to headlines, images and ad copy with the click of a button.
- Being highly targeted: Perhaps one of digital marketing’s greatest strengths is its ability to target audiences based on geography, demographics, personal interests and behavior. This allows for higher conversion rates, which drives greater return on your marketing investment, since you’re only reaching those individuals who fall within your target audience.
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Top branding, advertising and marketing strategies for cosmetic dentists
Generating awareness among new patients for your cosmetic dentistry practice requires the right blend of digital branding, marketing and advertising strategies— all of which help you connect with your prospective patients wherever they are. Like most consumers, cosmetic dentistry patients live in a digital world and spend time engaging on social media, checking their email and researching the products and services they need.
The average U.S. consumer spends nearly four hours a day1 on their mobile devices. Thus, cosmetic dentistry practices that engage with prospective patients in a digital landscape will be poised for greater success and long-term revenue growth.
Cosmetic dentistry is a unique, consumer-driven service, and since the procedures can be costly and are often paid for out-of-pocket, savvy consumers are doing their homework to ensure they find the best provider available. In most cases, this process begins with an online search query.
To ensure your cosmetic dentistry practice lands near the top of search results and makes a great first impression, you’ll need a comprehensive digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that will connect prospective patients with your cosmetic dentists. From there, you’ll need to win them over with stellar branding, informative and engaging content, and a top-notch online reputation. All of these tactics, when deployed together, will drive greater practice awareness and more new patients for sustainable growth.
A cosmetic dentist’s checklist: Top marketing tactics to drive practice growth
Getting started with a digital marketing strategy can feel overwhelming for busy cosmetic dentistry practice operators. Fortunately, there’s a set of proven tactics that work in tandem with any traditional marketing efforts you may already have in place. Below is a comprehensive list of the elements that comprise an effective digital marketing and advertising strategy for cosmetic dentists:
- A professional and appealing website to engage prospective cosmetic dentistry patients who are looking for a healthier, more attractive smile. Site visitors and new patients will expect exceptional online performance, which means the site should load quickly, feature an easy-to-navigate design, and be optimized for use on mobile devices.
- A prominent web presence that will connect prospective patients looking for cosmetic dentistry services with your practice. Your online presence should reach beyond your website to popular online directories and review sites like Google My Business, Yelp and Vitals, which will extend the reach of your practice across the internet.
- A comprehensive content marketing strategy designed to promote your cosmetic dentists and the services you provide through social media, blogs, videos, email marketing campaigns and more.
- An extensive search engine optimization (SEO) and local search engine marketing plan that will help your cosmetic dentistry practice rise to the top of the search engine results page (SERP), driving traffic to your website and thus, more new patients.
- An online reputation management strategy designed to promote positive patient reviews and testimonials, which will reinforce to prospective cosmetic dentistry patients that your practice is the top choice.
- A patient retention program that keeps your practice top of mind with patients through ongoing outreach, appointment reminders, and two-way text messaging.
A cosmetic dentistry practice’s guide to defining your brand
Developing a strong brand can help your cosmetic dentistry practice differentiate itself from its competitors by establishing a unique style and positioning that stands out in today’s busy digital world.
Before you can develop your cosmetic dentistry brand, you’ll need to do some homework. Who is your target audience, and what is your practice’s geographic reach? Defining these important factors can help you set your strategy.
Next, you’ll need to conduct a competitive analysis of the cosmetic dentistry landscape in your market. Who are your competitors, and what services do they offer? How can you differentiate yourself via the services or patient experience you provide? These thoughtful questions will help you identify your value proposition, a key element of your branding strategy.
Once you’ve determined what will set your cosmetic dentistry practice apart from others in your market, you’re ready to get started developing your brand. If you’re at a loss for where to begin, consider researching cosmetic dentistry practices in other markets to get a sense of what you like and don’t like.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive marketing agency to get started. All you really need to establish a powerful brand for your cosmetic dentistry practice are these basic elements:
- A professional logo you can use on all marketing and advertising. The colors used will also help define your brand’s color palette that you’ll want to use consistently online and in any print or promotional materials.
- A select number of fonts (typically 1-3) that can be used for all marketing assets, including both digital and print.
- A verbal identity that helps convey the tone you want patients to associate with your practice. This will include a select number of words you’ll use throughout your website, social media, and content marketing to help differentiate your organization. For cosmetic dentistry, you may want to consider words like confidence, bright smile, affordable, high-quality, healthy, bright, etc.
- A graphical style that will be used consistently in all digital and print materials. As it relates to imagery, some cosmetic dentistry practices choose to go with an icon/illustration style, while others prefer to use photography (think smiling, happy faces). Either approach is perfectly fine, it’s just important to be consistent for brand recognition.
After these brand guidelines have been established, you’ll want to put them to use in your website design, social media channels, and content marketing deliverables, as well as any traditional advertising or marketing strategies you have in place. The use of consistently applied brand standards will make it easier for patients to recognize your brand wherever you may be.
Over time, you’ll want to build upon and strengthen your brand with a powerful website design and web presence that attracts more patients; proven content marketing strategies including blogging, social media, videos, and email campaigns; and a comprehensive reputation management program that features positive testimonials and patient reviews.
Website basics for cosmetic dentistry practices
In most cases, your website is the first place a prospective patient will go when they’re evaluating your cosmetic dentistry practice. Winning them over with memorable web design, exceptional online performance, and engaging and informative content can help you convert visitors into new patients.
To ensure your practice makes a great first impression, your website should include the following elements:
- Eye-catching design: Incorporating all of the brand guidelines you’ve established, captivate prospective patients with a top-notch website design using attractive imagery and engaging copy.
- Staff bios: Help prospective patients get to know your team by including detailed bios and professional photos for each cosmetic dentist, dental hygienist and/or dental assistant, as well as your administrative and support staff (especially those who interact with patients). For your dentists, be certain to include their clinical interests/areas of expertise, and any advanced training or certifications they’ve earned.
- Services: For optimal online performance, create a dedicated web page for each condition you treat and every procedure or service you offer. This will support your search engine optimization strategy, and will help patients searching online for those services land on your website.
- Patient reviews: Showcase patient reviews, testimonials and before/after photos to help patients decide to schedule an appointment. Patients looking for a cosmetic dentist want proof that your team can help improve their smile and that they’ll have a great experience.
- Engaging content: By adding relevant blog posts, education and informative videos to your cosmetic dentistry website, you’ll make a great first impression on prospective patients while also driving better search engine rankings through the addition of rich content.
Call to action: Your cosmetic dentistry patients need to know how to schedule an appointment, so make it easy on them. To improve your chances of converting website visitors to new patients, consider offering online scheduling. This will allow patients to schedule at their convenience while freeing up your staff to focus on other tasks. While online scheduling is the gold standard, your practice phone number should also be front and center on each page of the website.
Enhancing your online presence: A guide for cosmetic dentists
Cosmetic dentists have a lot of competition. From traditional dentists who dabble in cosmetic dentistry to the rise in over-the-counter and direct-to-consumer products for teeth straightening and whitening, connecting prospective patients to your unique practice in a digital marketplace is more challenging than ever.
While your website is critical, your web presence should reach far beyond your URL. For those prospective patients looking for a cosmetic dentist in your area who may not yet be aware of your practice, an enhanced online presence will help increase the chances that your practice will show up in their search results. Aside from your website, there are several important ways to increase your web presence:
- Claim your online profiles: The internet is filled with popular digital directories that aggregate business information to help connect consumers to the services they need. In the world of cosmetic dentistry, some of these directories include Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, Citysearch and others. To help connect prospective patients to your practice, claim your profiles on each platform and ensure your practice information is accurate across all sites. When search engines see consistent, accurate information, they’re more confident in delivering your practice information — which moves you to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Doing so also helps avoid confusion for your patients who may be looking online for your phone number or practice address.
- Focus on search engine optimization (SEO): Enhancing your website and online presence for SEO means using the right keywords patients are searching for when looking for cosmetic dentistry services (think teeth whitening, veneers, implants, straight teeth, etc.) Keywords are especially important for any unique or advanced services you may provide, such as oral surgery, full mouth reconstruction, TMJ treatment, Invisalign, etc. Be sure these words are used throughout your website and also on your online profile pages around the web for greater visibility and search engine ranking.
- Implement a reputation management program. Your online reputation plays a key role in new patient conversion, but did you know it also has a significant impact on your online visibility and search engine ranking? Cosmetic dentists with a higher volume and quantity of online patient reviews are more likely to move to the top of the search engine results page — leading to more website traffic, more new patients and long-term practice growth.
- Publish compelling content: Content marketing strategies such as blogging, social media, and email marketing campaigns help you connect with more patients, and can also boost your web presence. In fact, companies that prioritized blogging received 13 times2 more return on investment than companies that did not blog in 2019. Social media provides more ways to connect with new patients and can help optimize and amplify your online presence. Aside from enhancing your web presence, these strategies can help keep patients engaged by strengthening and reinforcing the patient-provider connection.
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Connecting with prospective cosmetic dentistry patients: Search engine optimization and local search marketing for the win
In today’s digital world, the cosmetic dentistry practices that rise to the top of search engines like Google are most likely to succeed. Whether a prospective patient is simply conducting online research on how to enhance their smile, or is actively seeking a cosmetic dentist, an effective search engine optimization strategy can help your practice gain greater visibility in a digital world.
For cosmetic dentistry practices looking to improve their search engine ranking, you have to put in the work to demonstrate that your practice is relevant, trustworthy and authoritative. Doing so will reinforce your practice’s credibility with Google and will increase your search engine ranking.
While it sounds complicated, many of the proven SEO techniques are founded in common sense and simply require a commitment to basic SEO principles.
Top SEO strategies for cosmetic dentists
- Keep your website fresh and relevant by adding new services, providers and information as often as possible. If your blog lives on your website, this is a great way to generate a continuous stream of new and relevant content.
- Amplify your online presence by being active on social media and claiming your online profiles on websites, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and others.
- Focus on reputation management by encouraging patient feedback, testimonials and online reviews.
- Encourage backlinking, an effective SEO strategy that uses links to your website from other trustworthy sites, to improve your website’s search engine ranking. Consider asking your local chamber of commerce, radio and TV stations, and business partners to include a link to your website on theirs.
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Engage new patients with content marketing
Patients who want a better smile have more options today than ever before, and it’s all available with the click of a button. There are over-the-counter solutions for whitening, direct-to-consumer products for straightening, and even natural remedies to consider.
Cosmetic dentists know the products and services they offer frequently outperform these competing services, but nonetheless, they’re all online vying for the same clicks. This is where content marketing can provide a competitive edge.
Cosmetic dentistry practices with an active content marketing strategy can improve their web presence and search engine optimization by providing the valuable information consumers are actively seeking in an online search.
If you’re new to content marketing, here are a few compelling ideas for cosmetic dentists to consider:
- A video comparing over-the-counter whitening techniques with the professional services your practice offers
- A Q&A with a cosmetic dentist on what to expect from a full mouth reconstruction procedure
- An email campaign targeted at patients with TMJ on the latest research and treatment options
- A social media contest offering free whitening to patients who share a photo of their best smile
- A blog comparing the many tools and techniques available to help straighten teeth
- A Facebook post featuring a positive online patient review
- An Instagram campaign featuring your cosmetic dentistry patients’ before and after photos
Still stumped? Here’s a list of common cosmetic dentistry topics to consider for your next blog post, social media and/or email campaign.
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Symptoms & Conditions
- Periodontal Disease
- Sleep Apnea
- Emergency Dentistry
- Gum Disease
- Oral Pain/Tooth Pain
- Crooked Teeth/Misaligned Teeth
- Broken Teeth
- Discolored Teeth/Yellow Teeth
Common Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures & Treatments
- All on 4/All-on-4
- Bridges/Dental Bridges
- Crown/Crowns/Dental Crown/Dental Crowns
- Same Day Crowns
- Crowns & Bridges/Crowns and Bridges
- Cosmetic Veneers
- Dental Cleaning/Dental Cleanings
- Dental Emergency
- Dental Implant/Dental Implants/Implants
- Emergency Dentist/Emergency Dental Care
- Extraction/Extractions/Tooth Extraction
- Family Dentistry/General Dentistry
- Fillings, Crowns & Bridges
- Full Mouth Reconstruction
- Gum Lift
- Laser Dentistry
- Oral Surgery
- Preventive Dentistry
- Pediatric Dentistry
- Periodontal Cleaning
- Restorative Dentistry
- Root Canal/Root Canals/Root Canal Therapy
- Sedation Dentistry
- Smile Makeover
- Teeth Cleaning
- Teeth Whitening
- Whitening & Veneers
- Wisdom Teeth
Tip: When writing for search engine optimization (SEO), try to think like a patient. Use the questions, keywords and phrases you hear most often from your cosmetic dentistry patients.
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Online advertising for cosmetic dentistry
Advertising for cosmetic dentists has shifted from a focus on shiny billboards, magazine and radio ads to effective digital tactics that offer a greater return on investment.
Using advertising can help complement your other marketing strategies by broadening the reach of your efforts — resulting in more patients and stronger practice revenue growth. A few of the most common and effective advertising strategies for cosmetic dentists include:
- Paid search campaigns, otherwise known as Google Ads or cost-per-click (CPC) advertising, help cosmetic dentists land near the top of search results with paid placements based on keywords that relate to your practice (e.g, Invisalign, veneers, full mouth reconstruction). You only pay for the ads people click on, and you can set your budget by the day, week, or month.
- Social media advertising, such as boosted or promoted posts on popular channels like Facebook and Instagram, can enhance the reach of your messages, drive more website traffic, and help convert more new patients.
- Digital advertising, such as banner ads placed on popular websites or ad networks, can help cosmetic dentists reach prospective patients wherever they spend time online. In the world of cosmetic dentistry, this may include popular wedding planning websites, or sites such as WebMD or Healthline where people may be searching for teeth whitening techniques or what to do about tooth pain. Digital ads can send prospective patients straight to any page on your website, so you can tailor your landing page to match any campaign for greater click-through, relevance and conversion.
Growing your cosmetic dentistry practice: Setting the stage for long-term growth
Cosmetic dentistry practices don’t grow without a growth plan. And in order to survive in today’s competitive market, cosmetic dentists should always be looking for new ways to expand their business and improve revenue — doing so is just good business sense. But growth requires a constant focus on acquiring new patients, retaining current patients, and regularly monitoring your practice’s performance.
In addition to marketing and advertising your cosmetic dentistry practice, adopting a practice growth platform can help you keep a pulse on your practice operations at a glance — supporting you in achieving your continuous growth goals. By watching key performance indicators (KPIs) such as the number of new patient leads, new appointments scheduled, the volume of new patient reviews, reputation management insights, website statistics, and search results rankings, practices can determine how effective their patient acquisition and retention efforts are. Having this information at your fingertips can help cosmetic dentists identify trends and make better decisions that support continued growth.
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Want to learn more about a proven all-in-one platform to help accelerate your practice growth? Request a demo of PatientPop’s HIPAA compliant solution here.
Convert more patients with an online reputation management strategy
Even if your practice has a powerful brand, impressive website and enhanced web presence, very few prospective patients will overlook a negative online reputation. According to PatientPop research,70 percent of patients say they check online reviews when looking for a provider. Your patient reviews and testimonials tell the story of how well you treat your patients and how effective your treatments and services are.
Without a comprehensive reputation management program, your practice is a few average or negative reviews away from appearing mediocre at a glance. That’s because most review sites,including Google, compile all your patient reviews into a star rating. This five-star system allows patients to see your review feedback in aggregate. Since 59 percent of patients say they won’t consider a provider with less than an average 4.0 stars, enhancing your online reputation is a key patient acquisition strategy.
To improve your patient reviews and star rating, the following strategies can help you enhance the customer experience for your cosmetic dentistry patients:
- Offer modern conveniences. Today’s savvy patients are accustomed to doing business in a digital world. Meet them where they are by offering tools such as online scheduling, telehealth, text messaging, automated appointment confirmations and reminders, and online bill pay.
- Respect their time. Limit patient wait times by offering online registration and digital intake paperwork that can be completed prior to their appointment. Avoid overbooking, and keep patients apprised of their wait times via text message.
- Encourage feedback. Asking your patients for feedback lets them know you care about their experience. Sending automated patient satisfaction surveys after each visit can help you identify potential opportunities for improvement and also leads to more proactive online reviews.
- Monitor and respond to feedback: Two-way engagement on social media and review sites lets prospective patients know you are responsive to the needs of your patients. Each review and social media comment provides the opportunity to connect and demonstrate your commitment to open communication, and doing so can often mitigate negative reviews.
More on online reputation management
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Keep them coming back: Focusing on patient retention for cosmetic dentistry practices
Aside from exceptional dental care, today’s savvy cosmetic dentistry patients are looking for convenience and a positive patient experience — that’s what drives loyalty and keeps them coming back. In fact, 70 percent of patients say they’d consider switching their doctor or dentist for convenience and a better patient experience.
That’s why investing in modern digital tools such as online scheduling, telehealth and automated appointment reminders can help support continued practice and revenue growth. Furthermore, practices that focus on nurturing the patient-provider relationship through ongoing communication and education will be positioned for greater long-term success.
A cosmetic dentist’s checklist for patient retention
- Provide online scheduling for patient convenience
- Offer telehealth for consultation and follow-up appointments
- Send automated appointment confirmation and reminders
- Keep patients engaged in between visits through blogging, social media and email campaigns
- Deliver automated patient satisfaction surveys to identify opportunities for improvement
- Respond to patient feedback, social media comments and patient reviews.
More on patient retention strategies here
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