Special Issues
October 2015
Volume 1, Issue 1

How to Reach New Patients with Digital Dentistry

Show them a new type of dental experience

Brent Parr

Online dental marketing is about getting in front of prospective patients. People generally find dentists through—no surprise—Search Engine Optimization or Paid Search Advertising. What is surprising is that the vast majority of prospective patients are not actively looking for a dentist, and they fall into three categories:

1. dissatisfied with their current dentist

2. don’t have a dentist

3. happy with their current dentist

Taking that into consideration, it makes sense that when you have digital dentistry in your practice you have something to offer this passive group of prospective patients who may not be actively looking for a dentist. A well-managed marketing campaign can sway people to visit your practice.

Take for example the benefits of CAD/CAM—the convenience, speed, and minimal discomfort, as well as the absence of impression trays and temporary crowns. This is incredibly enticing to: (a) people nervous about seeing a dentist and (b) people who are so busy that two appointments are an inconvenience. Again, you are now swaying a group who may not even know they are looking for a different type of dental experience.

Convincing a brand new group of the benefits of digital dentistry makes sense. But you still have to get the word out in a cost-effective, yet targeted, manner.

Advertise on YouTube

YouTube offers a unique video advertising opportunity for dental practices. Not only is it cheaper than traditional television advertising, but you can also target potential patients by geographic location, age, gender, parental status, and interest.

Producing Great Commercials

The strongest dental advertisements address a specific service and clearly demonstrate how the treatment helps. When promoting a specific treatment you want to have strong visuals to support your messaging. We often repurpose our Optio Dentistry™ patient education videos for clients so we can ensure the benefits of the treatments are clear and incredibly easy for patients to understand.

In addition to a great video about specific treatments, you should also film a profile video of the dentist(s) and office environment. Connect with your audience by showing them the real you. Some of the best promotional videos feature the practice owners talking about what makes their office unique. Take this opportunity to talk about your practice, your technology, and why you became a dentist. Let new patients know what they can expect when they come in for a visit. Think of it as the conversation you would have if the patient were right in front of you.

Another idea is asking one of your more outgoing, photogenic patients to talk about his or her experience. It can be challenging to say nice things about ourselves, but an enthusiastic patient singing your praises is worth a thousand words.

Be sure to hire a professional videographer. You will be using this video to advertise your practice so it needs to be high quality. Remember, the footage can be reused for multiple commercials.

Target Potential Patients with Your Ads

YouTube advertisements can be targeted based on demographic information, interests, and location. This is an ideal platform for advertising a local business. With these targeted options, your advertising spend is employed effectively.

When creating an advertising campaign, it is important to be precise about whom you are targeting. If you’re interested in attracting busy professionals, show how one-visit dentistry saves time and discomfort. Then target the video ads based on your geographic location, age, and interest.

The true power of online advertising lies in targeting your audience. Take advantage of these features to ensure you’re only paying for views or clicks for people who are genuinely interested in your services.

Facebook Advertising

If you’re going to advertise on Facebook, you must have an active, vibrant account. Not only will your advertisements draw people to your website, they will draw people to your Facebook page.

Facebook advertising is far easier to implement than YouTube advertising. You don’t need a custom video, just a few quality posts that are relevant and engaging to prospective patients. And when you publish these posts, you have the option to boost the post so that more people in your local community will see them. Keep in mind when boosting the post, you have the option to select who sees your post.

Targeting options on Facebook are extremely powerful so you can easily optimize your spend. Not only can you target your ads to people based on common demographic information, you can target based on interests, education, and even areas of study. It’s also worth noting you have the option to create a traditional big-box display ad that is delivered along with the user’s newsfeed on desktop browsers.

When you combine promoted posts and display ads you can reach a wider audience in your local community—whether they are actively looking for a dentist or not.

The Final Word

A well-coordinated marketing campaign can create a desire for digital dentistry services in people who weren’t even looking for a dentist. By letting people know what they’re missing with their current dentist, or by calming their fears about lengthy procedures, you will be able to reach a whole new audience of potential patients.

About the Author

Brent Parr is the founder of Optio Publishing Inc. Optio provides innovative marketing for dental practices including patient education and online strategies. He can be reached at brent@optiopublishing.com.

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