(This article is a 3.5 minute read)
THREE THINGS YOU’LL GET FROM THIS ARTICLE
1. How to use your website to attract new local patients
2. How to understand your local patient base
3. Why you should focus on one group at a time
Your dental practice needs local dental marketing ideas that attract patients. You have already spent a pile of money building a website. It makes sense to use that to attract the locals. But don't focus on the website itself. Instead, ask yourself three questions:
1.Who are the local patients?
2.Which group do you want to attract in the first instance?
3.What content can you create to appeal to that group?
Many dentists would answer, “I want to attract all local patients”. That's a fine ambition. You just need a plan to attract different groups in different ways.
Even if you believe you know an area really well, it's a good idea to do a bit of basic demographic research. It helps you to understand who the local patients are. A quick Google search for demographics of your local area will show you who you can attract, and how many of them live near you.
For example, say you had a dental practice in Mackay, Queensland. You might decide to focus more on older patients or single men than young families. That's because a large percentage of the population working in manufacturing, construction and mining. Also, 50 percent of the population has never been married. That suggests a male skew.
Of course, you don't need to chase the majority. Or you can choose to target them later, after you have locked in the nearly 30 per cent of the female population who are married.
Use publicly available information to get an idea of how many people fit the different patient profiles in your area. There's little point in selling yourself as a child-friendly dentist if your practice is surrounded by retirees.
Certain products or services you offer appeal more to some groups than others. Once you have decided your first target group, you need to identify which services they are most interested in.
Once again, your view of this based on just personal experience can be skewed. Some patients and cases are more memorable than others. A starting point may be your patient records. If you have the data, look at the problems they present with, rather than the treatments you offer.
Are you seeing a lot of cases of bruxism, or TMJ, or snoring? Are a percentage of patients presenting with sporting injuries?
These are the problems that your potential patients will be searching about online. They won't yet be searching for your services. Someone with an aching jaw doesn't necessarily know they need to see a dentist yet. They just know they have a problem.
The next step is to create some articles you can publish on your website to address their problems. Once you publish the articles on your blog, promote them through your Facebook page. Facebook makes it easy to target particular groups. Soon enough, your articles will start appearing on these people's Facebook feeds.
Once you've done a few posts, you can also try approaching a local newspaper or any other local websites, and see if they want to republish them.
If you decide to focus on another target market, you can leave this first lot of content on your website, and continue to promote it. Unlike an advertisement, it can remain visible and useful because it lives for as long as you want on your own site.