Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Top 25 marketing strategies for dentists (Vol.1)


From the construction of billboards and the broadcast of television commercials through to the dawn of digital advertising, the world of marketing has evolved dramatically over the past century. Just ask Don Draper.

And while it may not be top on your list of priorities as a dentist, marketing matters.

Here at Wazu, we want to ensure you’re employing marketing strategies that will not only help you maintain strong ties with your client base and build your practice’s reputation, but boost your bottom line.  That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 25 marketing strategies to help you do just that. In this first post, we drill down on 10 strategies that are sure to change the way you look at marketing. Because it’s not all about big billboards and flashing lights.

Social media marketing

Though still fairly new to the scene, social media marketing is expanding and evolving quickly. With such rapid advancement, comes expanded opportunities to market your dental practice online, using platforms like FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, and Intstagram.


  • Social media is an excellent strategy to employ if you don’t have a huge budget for marketing. Unlike more traditional forms of print advertising, social media doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.
  • Outside of saving you money, social media is a great investment when it comes to client engagement. Sites like Facebook and Twitter offer you a unique opportunity to connect and build a relationship with existing and prospective clients in a direct, and personal manner.

How to get started:

  • If you’re new to social media, it’s best to start small. And remember, social media channels are extremely diverse, so get to know your client base and see what social networks they prefer before you sign up.
    Further reading: A Beginner’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses 
  • Once you’ve decided what channel(s) will help you effectively connect with your clients, develop a detailed content strategy and post fresh content daily to help keep your customers engaged.
  • You may also want to consider signing up for an account with a social media management platform like Hootsuite, which enables you to monitor all your social networks in one place, schedules posts and tweets, and respond to conversations happening in real time.
  • And don’t forget to track performance, with platforms like Google Analytics, which allows you to measure and analyze your results to ensure your social media channels are helping you achieve your marketing and business goals.

Content marketing

Unlike more traditional marketing strategies that aim to pitch and sell products or services, content marketing is all about engaging – and sometimes educating – your clients with relevant, informative content, like webinars, digital newsletters, blogs, or even videos.


  • By delivering valuable information directly to your customers, you’ll begin to engage, build loyalty and ultimately attract and retain new and existing clients.
  • But that’s not all. With content marketing, you’re the sole content creator and distributor, which means you no longer have to rely on others to get the word out about your dental practice.

How to get started:

  • With content marketing, start by determining what avenues, or platforms your clients are most likely to engage with. For example, would a monthly e-newsletter be more appealing than watching a video?
  • Next, find out what topics would be most relevant to your clients. Do they want to learn more about gum health or teeth whitening?
  • Finally, after you've determined the appropriate channel(s) for delivering your content, and what the ‘hot topic’ issues are for your customers, create an editorial calendar to keep track of what’s coming up.

Seasonal marketing

When the flowers begin to bloom in spring, don’t just stop and smell the roses. Take advantage of the season as a marketing opportunity! Seasonal marketing centers on using the seasons — whether they be special holidays or simply peak times throughout the year — to remind clients of your dental services, and perhaps offer a promotion or two.


  • A well-timed seasonal marketing strategy is often one of the best ways to get noticed by new — and existing — clients. Don’t believe us? Just think of how effective summer sandal sales are for your favourite shoe retailer.

How to get started:

  • Like all marketing strategies, seasonal marketing starts with getting to know your customer. Determine what holidays, or special occasions your customers celebrate and go from there.
  • Once you have the holidays and seasons listed, develop a seasonal marketing strategy to build loyalty amongst your clients. For example, consider offering your customers a targeted treatment plan in January – after all, it’s a new year and opportunity for a ‘new you.’ Or, offer parents a back-to-school discount for their children in September, or a “sweet tooth clean-up” deal for Valentine’s Day in February. The opportunities are endless.
    Further reading: Seasonal Marketing Ideas

Personalized marketing

Personalized marketing represents the ultimate form of targeted marketing, and requires a tailored approach when it comes to offering services or products to your customers. Remember, each and every one of your clients are unique – which means they’ll be interested in different dental services, depending on their needs.


  • While personalized marketing may sound like a lot of work — and often is — the investment is worth it. Why? Businesses that adopt a personalized marketing approach are guaranteed to reap huge benefits. In fact, companies that have already employed this technique have reported spikes in sales. Just think about how Netflix recommends movie choices based on your viewing history – or perhaps that of your kids.

How to get started:

  • Personalized marketing can take many forms – it could be as simple as greeting your client by name at the door! But, of course, it can also be much more sophisticated.
  • Sending out an e-newsletter to your clients over the holidays? Take advantage of tags that can be used to address recipients by their first name — we’re sure you’ll see a boost in your open and click rate.
  • Or, go one step further and research what dental services your clients use the most. If you have a customer that comes in for whitening once a year, why not offer them a discount on their next whitening visit to motivate them to come back sooner?

Diversity marketing

Diversity marketing involves employing effective communication techniques to target — and ultimately attract — a diverse customer base.


  • By appealing to customers from a wide range of backgrounds, you’ll expand your client base and boost your bottom line.
  • People are also more likely to engage with organizations that openly support diversity.

How to get started:

  • Begin by analyzing your current marketing materials. Do you have a poster to help promote your practice? Take a look at who’s represented in that poster, and who isn’t, and then ask why.
  • If your marketing collateral doesn't reflect the community you’d like to attract to your dental practice, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Begin by tailoring your messages to clients from a range of backgrounds.
  • Remember: You’ll never diversify your client base, if you don’t diversify your marketing strategy.

Transactional marketing

Transactional marketing is all about driving up sales (or transactions) using tried-and-true techniques, such as reward cards, coupons, and promotions.


  • Transactional marketing involves little investment and no long-term commitment on your part. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to bring more customers to your door and help your dental practice turn a profit.

How to get started:

  • It’s easy. Why not try establishing a rewards system for your customers? 
  • Or, if there are services you’d like more of your patients to try, why not offer them a first-time discount to help drive an immediate sale?

Relationship marketing

Selling a product or service is one thing, but if you haven’t invested in building a relationship with your customers, there’s no guarantee they’ll come back for more. This is where relationship marketing comes in. Unlike transactional marketing, which focuses on simply selling a product or service, relationship marketing is all about building a strong rapport with your clients and keeping it — that’s the kicker!


  • By building good relationships with your customers, you’ll gain a steady stream of clientèle, and by doing so, be able to plan and budget better. Hairdressing is a perfect example of just how important relationship marketing can be for your bottom line. If you’re like most people, you swear by your stylist and dread the idea of going anywhere else. Why do you keep going back? It’s not just because you've walked away with a great cut, but a wonderful conversation. You’re invested in the relationship.
  • Once you've built a strong customer base, you may also begin to see your dental practice grow. After all, if your current clients are happy, they’re more likely to recommend your practice to others.

How to get started:

  • Because relationship marketing involves getting to know your customers on a more intimate level, you need to ensure you’re tracking their preferences. Some businesses will invest in sophisticated customer relationship management (CRM) software to help manage client preferences and activities, making it easier to act on customer information. But you don’t have to invest in a new platform just yet.
  • Instead, start by really getting to know your clients and making a simple note of their preferences — this will enable you to provide a tailored experience down the road. For example, if your clients have toddlers who are teething, why not call them, or send an email with tips for soothing sore gums? In the end, through relationship marketing, you’ll begin to enter your clients’ everyday lives, which means when they chip that tooth or decide they want a straighter smile, they wont think twice before coming to you.

Cause marketing

With cause marketing you can set your practice apart from the competition by rallying behind a good cause or partnering with a non-profit or charity.


How to get started:

  • Don’t just pick a charity out of a hat and hope it will help bring you business. Do your research and select a cause that is near and dear to your heart, and one that your clients can get behind too. Oftentimes, supporting a local charity or service organization in your community is a good place to start. If your chosen cause relates to dentistry even better!
  • After you’ve narrowed it down, approach the charity or non-profit and see if they’re interested in partnering. Walk them through what you had in mind and come armed with a list of ways you can help each other. For instance, could you offer joint promotions and offers?
  • In the end, cause marketing is not just about making a donation to a charity. It’s about going much further and making a name for your practice by making a difference. It’s a win-win strategy.

Viral video marketing

Unlike promotional videos that deliberately aim to sell a product or service, viral video marketing centers on telling a story that demonstrates the value of your business (by not actually having to state it). By creating gripping visual content that draws on your customer’s emotions, you won’t need to spend time and effort distributing and promoting your video. Others will do it for you.


  • One of the biggest advantages of viral video marketing is that your content will start to spread like wildfire, reaching a far greater audience than a promotional video about your dental practice ever could.
  • Viral videos are also often deemed to be more credible than promotional videos, as viewers are choosing to share the content, and by doing so, essentially recommending it to their circle of friends.
  • At the end of the day, viral video marketing will also save you money. Though a video may cost a bit to create, if the message is strong, the crowd will pick it up and distribute it for free.

How to get started:

  • Viral videos almost always succeed because they make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, or make you look at the world in a different way. Start by determining what message you want to share, and how you can employ storytelling techniques to reach your client base.
  • After you’ve settled on the story you’d like to tell, grab your camera, or hire a videographer to help you craft the perfect piece.
  • Before you launch your video, make sure you’ve given viewers the tools they need to easily share your message. Social sharing icons, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, will work like a charm.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Don’t forget good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing — we’ve been doing it since the dawn of time. And it remains one of the most powerful marketing strategies around.


  • Word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly effective. Just think of how you’re more likley to visit a new restaurant, or stay at a B&B if it’s come highly recommended by a family member or close friend. The same is true in the dental industry — your potential dental clients will trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising!
  • This strategy is also incredibly targeted and inexpensive. No need to invest in fancy ads and distribute them widely. A little tête-à-tête between close friends is all that’s needed to boost the reputation of your dental practice.

How to get started:

  • The success of word-of-mouth marketing hinges on your customer’s satisfaction with your practice. And this comes back to relationship marketing — and ensuring that your clients are happy.
  • You may want to consider giving your current clients the power to invite their friends and offer them an exclusive discount to try out your practice.
  • Remember: In this digital age, having a strong online presence is critical to word-of-mouth marketing. Maintain a website, and get active on social media channels to ensure your clients can spread the word about your practice with the click of a button.
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