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Tips to Help Market Your Implant Practice

The American College of Prosthodontics estimates that there are 120 million Americans who are missing at least one tooth, and about 36 million have no teeth. The American Dental Association estimates that nearly 5 million implants are placed in the United States per year. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see an enormous untapped market left to help patients replace their missing teeth successfully. Often times however there is confusion about how to reach those patients. There are numerous dental marketing groups and some specifically focused on implant marketing but here are a few tips you may use before you hire your marketing teams.

There is probably not one age group that isn’t affected by missing teeth. Well other than small children of course.  The older population is who we consider first but many younger individuals are missing teeth as well.  People who have been in accidents and even athletes who have damaged their teeth. Before starting on a huge campaign look in house first. Dental software we use daily is a treasure trove of information of patients that are right under your nose. You can generate reports that tell you the age range and mean age of your patients, who is missing teeth and even the year your patients began with you. That is a wealth of information as to their commitment and faith your patients have in you. This is your first audience. Figuring out what your own patients want to achieve by getting implants? What is preventing them from getting implants? Answering those questions will help you be able to create the proper content and advertising materials that will reap the most benefits. Next research local demographics by narrowing your geographical area to be able to properly advertise to figure out what advertising works best

The quickest, least expensive marketing is to utilize social media. Pew research center reports that 89% of American adults use the internet and 77% go online at least daily. Patients are becoming more and more educated and savvy when trying to find services, have questions or need information. It is all about brand awareness. Consumers fall into the trap of if they see the brand often enough they think they are the best. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just ride the wave of what is already designed – and works.

Social media is where to market your practice for current patients and prospective new patients. This is included in what is known as target marketing. It targets a specific individual based upon their search query. This is where the term SEO or search engine optimization comes into play. You tap into people that are already searching for something. Facebook and Twitter are great starting points. Instagram will do wonders depending upon your cliental and of course for business LinkedIn is a reputable source.  Engage with the audience, in appropriate comments to build relationships. It also shows that you care not only about your patients but your practice. Remember what catches the attention of someone in their 20’s might be of no interest to someone in their 60’s. Rules of thumb to live by:

  • Short and engaging
  • Videos, videos, videos only 60 seconds long and NO longer than 90 seconds.
  • Content needs to be fun, educational and relevant
  • A minimum of 2-3 posts a week

What to put in your posts or videos? Introduce your staff, show off your office, show protocols and financing options. If you are just getting into the implant game introduce the procedure and who is good candidate. There are plenty of companies that can actually give you the content to use.

Another important part to social media is getting followers. Promote in your office to follow you. You can have small signs made for the office and add the logos onto your appointment cards and receipts. Ask staff to help as well. Engage in dental pages and that will encourage others to follow you back. It’s a process, it takes time but is one of the biggest returns on investment. Drawing traffic back to your website is the goal and once there give them more!

Speaking about websites, marketing companies frequently recommend having a website dedicated just to your implant business. Prospective dental patients will be looking for your business hours, perhaps learning more about implants, treatment options, and even make appointments. Search engines will recognize your site content if you use appropriate keywords.  Always remember to develop a mobile friendly website as well.

Develop a blog. Over 50% of marketers say that blogging is their top strategy for inbound traffic. Talk about implants. Don’t assume everyone knows what they are and how they can solve their dental issues.  Your blog is your platform. You can do informational videos, infographics, patient testimonials and success stories.  Blogs are the same as social media posts-be consistent. If you or your staff are writing your blogs always include a call to action.  Blogs can vary as too what is included. Have fun with human-interest stories that relate to dentistry, upcoming holiday events and special occasions at the office.

Quarterly offer an open house to existing patients and for new patients to see your office, meet you and talk about the process of implants. It can be a scary venture for some but once patients learn about the procedure, has the ability to ask questions their minds are at ease. An open house is an atmosphere of relaxation that and is fun for the staff to interact in a different way.

Last but not least-direct mail. Insert eyeroll. Truth be told as of 2018 the direct mail response rate for marketing lists was 4.9% making it more impactful than email marketing. Mass mailing is similar to billboards it hits a wide audience. We all know that there are some significant pitfalls to the system and in order to reap the rewards, keep these things in mind.

  • Choose your target audience carefully. You may to decide to target a mix of new and repeat clients and create different mailers.
  • Make your mailer clear. Focus on implants and use relevant images.
  • Track the performance of your mail campaign which is far more difficult than tracking results of social media.
  • Personalize the mailer. Information about implants is the same for consumers but make it unique to you.

Dentists must think like a consumer which is difficult because it is hard to see the forest through the trees. Comprehending why a patient wouldn’t pull the trigger to get their treatment completed when we know so well how beneficial it is. Depending upon the patient, a $5000 treatment is the same purchase as buying a car or a home. Consumers like to gather information, and their top concern is cost, next is fear that includes the pain component, and finally function. Most often they don’t care about your credentials, they want to see compelling before and after pictures. Generally speaking, it takes 6-12 months for a patient to follow through with implant treatment. Don’t give up they will come to the decision in time.

Social media and marketing can be overwhelming and very costly. Driving a dental office success comes from many areas but the potential in marketing especially social media can be crucial to grow your implant business. We want people to connect to us, visit us and ultimately trust us.  You can't only showcase your brand you can emphasize team culture, support your community and show that YOU are the dental expert.

Please read more about this topic in the blog Value Disciplines: Define Your Practice


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