When you have your own dental practice, you may have made all the right investments. You have a great staff, you’ve invested in high-quality rotary instruments, and you’ve built what you think is the ideal business.
Then, COVID hits.
COVID has had a profound impact on all types of businesses, and that includes dentists. It was a unique situation because typically in other economic downturns, the medical industry isn’t affected, at least not significantly.
However, COVID brought with it the shutdown of non-essential medical procedures. There was also a sense of fear about potentially being infected by many patients.
Now, as the world looks to recover and rebuild, how can dentists do the same? Marketing is key right now, and the following are some tips.
Keep Highlighting Your Safety Precautions
You’re probably already doing this at some level, but don’t underestimate the role of safety precautions in your marketing.
Don’t assume that patients are going to know what you’re doing.
They want to hear it loud and clear, so use email marketing and social media to get the message out about the very specific things you’re doing to keep your practice safe and COVID-free.
Introduce Teledentistry If Possible
COVID-19 took a lot of things that we all talked about in theory and made them practice. This includes telemedicine. Tele-medicine grew tremendously in 2020 and that growth trajectory is expected to continue.
You can capture the interest in this trend at your dental practice as well.
What a lot of medical providers are finding is that even though some may feel the most serious threat of COVID has passed, they still like telehealth when it’s an option. It’s convenient, it can make people feel more comfortable, and it’s less time-consuming.
If you can, try to introduce into your marketing your teledentistry options you may have available.
Optimize for Local Searches
If you aren’t fully versed in SEO best practices, now would be a good time to take a crash course or bring someone on board who can help you.
A dental practice should be focusing primarily on local search.
That means that most people are going to be looking for you using location-based keywords. For example, “dentist in Richmond.”
This actually gives you a good opportunity because local searches are less competitive, and you can capitalize on this.
To start with local SEO, you should make sure your Google My Business profile is filled out and is optimized and informative.
When you’re a local business, having a complete Google My Business profile is one of the top search ranking factors.
Add all of the relevant information about your practice. You can include as was touched on above, information about your safety protocols, and include photos of yourself, your staff, and your office.
Similarly, make sure you optimize your Yelp page too. Yelp partners with Apple, so that’s a good way to help your practice show up in Apple Maps.
Another important part of ranking well in local searches is to have your patients leave you reviews. It improves your search visibility.
A lot of doctors are nervous about asking for reviews, but overall if you aren’t proactive about doing so, new patients won’t find you.
You can increase your online visibility by starting a blog too. Remember to include plenty of localized keywords on both your content pages and within your blog. When you have a dental blog, you’re establishing yourself as an authority, and that’s what people are looking for in a medical professional.
Update People with Emails
There’s still a lot of uncertainty in the world, even after a year of COVID. People aren’t sure what to expect and whether or not businesses are open.
Use your email lists to regularly get in touch with your patients. Communicate with them about practice updates and anything else they should know right now. It’ll make them feel more comfortable and loyal to you as their dentist.
Finally, if your budget allows, you might want to consider paid advertising right now.
Targeted ads on Google or social media are a good place to spend your advertising budget.
Paid ads mean you’re going to be front and center as far as your targeted clients who are searching for dental clinics.
If your revenue is down, you may be nervous about spending on advertising, but it can be especially important to do in tough times.
These are marketing tips not just for the immediate post-COVID-era, but they’re great for marketing your dental practice any time.