How AI will Change Running a Dental Practice

Unlocking the Power of AI: Revolutionising Dental Practice Management

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we live, work, and do business. It’s having a big impact on various industries like education, healthcare, and finance. One field that is benefitting from AI is dental practice management. AI is helping dental practices streamline their operations and enhance patient care. It’s changing the way dental practices work by automating administrative tasks and predicting patient needs. In this post, we’ll explore how AI is used to manage dental practices and how it can improve patient outcomes, increase efficiency, and generate more revenue. If you’re a dentist looking to enhance your practice management, keep reading to discover how AI can create new opportunities for your dental practice.

The role of AI in revolutionising dental practice management

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the field of dentistry too. It can handle lots of information and do complex tasks, which is why it’s being used to manage dental practices. AI offers dentists and their teams opportunities to be more efficient, accurate, and provide better patient care.

Traditionally, managing dental practices required a lot of manual work and human judgement. But AI has become a valuable tool that streamlines operations, improves diagnosis and treatment planning, enhances patient communication, and overall improves the dental experience.

AI is great at automating administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, reminding patients, handling billing and insurance claims. It does these tasks quickly and accurately, freeing up valuable time for dental professionals to focus on giving the best care.

AI algorithms can analyse huge amounts of patient data like medical history, X-rays, and treatment outcomes. By finding patterns and insights, dentists can make more accurate diagnoses, create personalised treatment plans, and predict potential oral health issues before they become serious. With AI technology, dentists can provide proactive and preventive care, leading to better patient outcomes and satisfaction.

AI is also improving patient communication and engagement. Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can answer common questions, provide educational materials, and even schedule appointments. This not only increases patient satisfaction but also reduces the workload on dental staff, allowing them to focus on more critical tasks.

Furthermore, AI helps dental practices optimize their operations and resource allocation. By analyzing patient flow, appointment patterns, and staff efficiency, AI algorithms can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Practice managers can then make data-driven decisions to improve workflow and staff schedules. This leads to increased productivity, shorter wait times, and a smoother patient experience.

Click here to check our webinar on what tools you use for your business.

Understanding the challenges faced by dental practices

Running a dental practice comes with its own set of challenges that can hinder efficiency and growth. Understanding these obstacles is crucial for utilizing the potential of AI and improving dental practice management.

One major challenge faced by dental practices is appointment scheduling. It can be difficult to keep track of a full schedule with multiple patients and different types of appointments. Manual planning processes often lead to errors, double bookings, and significant delays for patients.

Patient engagement and communication are also problematic for dental practices. It can be inefficient and time-consuming to keep patients informed about their appointments, treatment plans, and preventive care. Lack of effective communication can result in missed appointments, low patient satisfaction, and ultimately, loss of revenue.

Managing dental records and information presents another obstacle. Traditional paper-based systems are not only cumbersome but also prone to errors and data loss. Retrieving patient records becomes a time-consuming process, affecting the overall efficiency of the practice.

In addition, efficient management of dental supplies and equipment is essential. Lack of proper equipment or supply shortages can lead to disruptions in patient care and unnecessary delays.

These challenges highlight the need for innovative approaches to simplify dental practice management. AI-powered technologies can revolutionize the way dental practices operate by addressing these challenges and improving overall efficiency and patient satisfaction. AI has the potential to automate appointment scheduling, send automated reminders to patients, implement electronic health record systems, and optimize inventory management. Embracing AI in dental practice management can result in improved efficiency, increased revenue, and enhanced patient experiences.

Contact us to find out more

The potential of AI in solving dental practice management issues

It’s amazing how artificial intelligence (AI) can revolutionize dental practice management. With advancements in technology, AI has become a powerful tool that can address various challenges faced by dental professionals and streamline their daily tasks.

One significant challenge that AI can tackle is appointment booking. Traditionally, dental practices have handled appointments manually, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. However, AI-powered systems can automate this process by intelligently analyzing patient information, dentist availability, and other factors to schedule appointments efficiently. This not only saves time but also ensures optimal use of resources and improves patient satisfaction.

AI can also play a crucial role in enhancing treatment planning and diagnosis. AI algorithms can assist dentists in making more accurate and well-informed decisions by analyzing a large amount of patient data, such as X-rays, dental records, and medical history. This can result in better patient care, fewer mistakes, and improved treatment outcomes.

Moreover, AI can improve patient communication and engagement. AI-powered chatbots can instantly answer common questions, schedule appointments, and make personalized recommendations. This enhances the patient experience, reduces wait times, and increases customer loyalty.

Additionally, AI can streamline administrative tasks like billing, inventory management, and insurance claims processing. By automating these processes, dental practices can save time and resources, allowing their staff to focus on more critical aspects of patient care.

While AI in dental practice management is still in its early stages, its potential is immense. We can expect AI to become increasingly important in transforming dental practices, increasing efficiency, and providing improved oral healthcare to patients as technology continues to advance. By incorporating AI into practice management, dental professionals can enter a new era of innovation and productivity.

Streamlining appointment scheduling and patient management with AI

Managing a dental practice can be complex and time-consuming in today’s fast-paced world. Dental professionals face numerous challenges, including patient management and appointment scheduling. However, with the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), these challenges can now be overcome more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

One area where AI is transforming dental practice management is appointment booking. In the past, dental practices relied on manual scheduling, which often led to double bookings, missed appointments, and unhappy patients. AI-powered scheduling systems have eliminated these issues.

AI algorithms analyse various factors, such as dentist availability, patient preferences, and treatment durations, to automatically schedule appointments in a way that maximises efficiency and minimises conflicts. This reduces wait times and ensures smooth appointment experiences, saving time for dental professionals and increasing patient satisfaction.

Furthermore, AI can assist in patient management by organising and analysing large amounts of patient data. By using AI algorithms, AI systems can identify patterns and trends in patient data, allowing dental professionals to make more informed decisions regarding treatment plans and personalised care.

For example, AI can help identify patients at higher risk for certain dental conditions based on their medical history, lifestyle factors, and genetic predispositions. By proactively addressing potential issues and providing individualised preventive care, overall oral health outcomes for patients improve.

Additionally, AI-powered chatbots can enhance patient communication and support. These virtual assistants can provide instant responses to common inquiries, such as information about treatment options, post-operative care instructions, and appointment availability. By automating these interactions, dental practices can free up staff resources and improve patient engagement, even outside of office hours.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to transform dental practice management by streamlining appointment booking, optimizing patient management, and enhancing communication. By harnessing the power of AI, dental professionals can unlock new levels of efficiency, productivity, and patient satisfaction, ultimately revolutionizing the way dental practices operate in the modern era.

Enhancing patient communication and engagement through AI-powered tools

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming various industries, including dental practice management. One area where AI is making a significant impact is in improving patient communication and engagement.

In the past, dental practices relied on phone calls, emails, and face-to-face interactions to communicate with patients. However, these methods often proved to be time-consuming and inefficient. AI-powered tools are changing the game by streamlining communication processes and providing a seamless experience for patients.

One way AI is enhancing patient communication is through the use of chatbots. By integrating intelligent virtual assistants into dental practice websites or mobile apps, patients can easily ask questions, schedule appointments, or get immediate support. Chatbots offer quick and accurate responses, reducing the need for patients to wait on hold or wait for a reply to their messages.

Moreover, AI-powered tools can analyse patient data and preferences to personalise communication. For instance, dental practices can utilise AI to automatically send appointment reminders, follow-up messages after treatments, or even oral health tips tailored to each patient’s specific needs. This level of personalised communication improves patient satisfaction and fosters a stronger relationship between the patient and the dental practice.

Additionally, AI enables dental practices to engage with patients through voice-controlled assistants. Using smart speakers, patients can access educational content, receive guidance on post-treatment care, and ask questions about oral hygiene. These voice-activated assistants allow patients to stay connected with their dental office in a convenient and interactive manner, ultimately leading to improved oral health outcomes.

By utilising AI-powered tools for patient communication and engagement, dental practices can enjoy several benefits. These include increased patient satisfaction, personalised experiences, and improved efficiency. As the dental industry embraces the potential of AI, it becomes evident that it is reshaping how dental practices manage patient interactions and prepare for a technologically advanced and patient-centred future.

Leveraging AI for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning

In the field of dentistry, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about a significant breakthrough in diagnosis and treatment planning. By harnessing the power of AI, dentists can now achieve more precise and effective results than ever before.

AI algorithms have the ability to analyse large amounts of patient data, such as medical history, X-rays, and clinical notes, with impressive accuracy and speed. This allows dentists to detect even the smallest dental conditions or abnormalities that might be missed by human observation alone.

Furthermore, AI-powered software can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on the analysed data to assist in treatment planning. By considering factors like patient preferences, clinical guidelines, and best practices, AI algorithms can create customised treatment plans that improve both patient outcomes and practice efficiency.

The ability of AI to learn and adapt over time is one of its greatest advantages in dental practice management. As more data is fed into the system, the algorithms continuously improve their diagnostic accuracy and treatment planning capabilities. This enhances patient care and allows dentists to stay at the forefront of their field by leveraging the latest advancements in AI technology.

Additionally, incorporating AI into dental practice management can streamline workflows and reduce human error. By automating routine tasks and integrating AI-powered systems into existing practice management software, dentists can save valuable time and resources while ensuring consistent and reliable results.

It is important to note that while AI is revolutionising dental practice management, it is not meant to replace the expertise and skill of dental professionals. Instead, it serves as a powerful tool that complements their knowledge and experience, assisting them in providing superior patient care and achieving improved outcomes.

By embracing the power of AI, dental professionals have the potential to usher in a new era of innovation, precision, and efficiency in diagnosis and treatment planning. With the help of AI, dentists can elevate their practice to new heights, benefiting both their patients and their own professional growth.

Automating administrative tasks and improving efficiency with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changer in many industries, including dental practice management. One of the great advantages of AI in this context is its ability to automate administrative tasks, streamlining operations and improving overall efficiency.

Traditionally, dental practices have had to deal with tasks like appointment scheduling, patient record management, and billing. These tasks are not only time-consuming but also prone to human errors. However, with the power of AI, these processes can be automated, allowing dental professionals to focus more on patient care.

AI-powered systems can intelligently handle appointment scheduling by analysing the availability of both the dentist and the patient. AI algorithms optimise scheduling by considering various factors, such as treatment duration and required equipment, to maximise efficiency and minimise patient wait times.

Another area where AI can revolutionise dental practice management is patient record management. With AI-powered systems, patient records can be digitised and organised in a structured manner. This enables quick access to patient information, including medical history, treatment plans, and progress. AI algorithms can analyse this data to provide personalised treatment recommendations based on patient-specific factors, ultimately improving the quality of care provided.

Moreover, AI can simplify the billing process by automating tasks such as insurance checks, claims processing, and payment reminders. This not only makes it easier for dental staff to perform their jobs but also reduces the likelihood of payment processing errors or delays.

By automating these administrative tasks, dental practices can achieve significant time and cost savings. This allows dental professionals to focus on providing exceptional patient care and enhancing the overall dental experience, as resources can be allocated more effectively.

In conclusion, the impact of AI in dental practice management cannot be underestimated. By automating administrative tasks and improving efficiency, AI empowers dental professionals to streamline operations, provide better patient care, and ultimately revolutionise the way dental practices operate. Embracing AI technology can usher in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in dental practice management.

Click here to read our article on COVID-19 and the healthcare industry: what has changed?

Addressing concerns and misconceptions about AI in dental practice management

Like any new technology, there are often misunderstandings and concerns when it comes to AI in dental practice management. However, it’s important to address these concerns and provide accurate information in order to fully understand the potential benefits and capabilities of AI in this field.

One common concern is the fear that AI will replace human dental professionals. While AI can automate certain tasks and streamline processes, it is not meant to replace the expertise and judgement of dental professionals. Instead, AI serves as a powerful tool to assist and enhance their work, allowing them to focus more on patient care and complex procedures.

Another misconception is the belief that AI is too complex or expensive to implement in dental practices. However, thanks to advancements in technology, AI is now more accessible and user-friendly than ever before. Many dental practice management software now incorporate AI features that are specifically designed to improve workflows, enhance efficiency, and provide valuable insights for better guidance.

Additionally, some may have concerns about the security and privacy of patient data when using AI in dental practice management. It is crucial to select reputable software vendors that prioritise data security and comply with industry regulations. Strong security measures, such as encryption and access controls, can help protect patient data and maintain confidentiality.

Lastly, the accuracy of AI in diagnosis and treatment planning may raise questions. While AI algorithms are constantly improving, they are not meant to replace the diagnostic skills and experience of dental professionals. Instead, AI can assist in analysing large datasets, identifying patterns, and providing insights to support more informed decision-making.

By addressing these concerns and misconceptions, dental professionals can embrace the potential of AI in practice management. It allows for more efficient operations, better patient care, and staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the field. AI has the potential to transform dental practice management, empowering dentists and practitioners to provide exceptional care in an increasingly digital world.

Embracing the future: Steps to incorporate AI in your dental practice

Incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into your dental practice can completely transform the way you manage and treat patients. AI has become a powerful tool that can improve various aspects of your practice, from patient scheduling to treatment planning, thanks to advancements in technology. Here are some steps to help you embrace the future and successfully integrate AI into your dental practice.

Identify areas for AI integration: Start by assessing your current workflows and identifying areas where AI can make a significant impact. This could include automating appointment scheduling, streamlining administrative tasks, analysing scans or X-rays, or enhancing patient communication.

Explore AI solutions: Once you have identified the areas for AI integration, research different AI solutions available on the market. Look for reputable companies that specialise in AI for dental practice management and have a proven track record of successful implementations. Consider factors like ease of use, compatibility with your existing systems, and the level of support provided.

Implement AI gradually: Introducing AI to your practice doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Start by implementing AI in one area of your practice, such as automated appointment reminders or improving patient communication. This way, you can gradually familiarise yourself and your team with the technology and assess its impact on your workflow.

Train and support your team: As you bring AI into your practice, it’s important to provide adequate training and support to your team. Ensure that everyone understands how to use the AI tools effectively and how it can enhance their daily tasks. This will help maximise the benefits of AI and ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.

Click here to read our article on building a dental team

Evaluate and monitor performance: Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the AI tools you have implemented. Assess whether they are improving the patient experience, increasing efficiency, and achieving the desired outcomes. Make any necessary adjustments and stay updated on new AI technology updates.

By embracing the future of AI and carefully planning, implementing, and evaluating its integration, you can unlock its potential to streamline operations, enhance patient care, and take your dental practice to new heights. It has the power to transform the way you manage your practice and provide exceptional dental care.

Contact us to find out more

AI can play a significant role in enhancing marketing efforts in a dental practice

Using AI can greatly improve the marketing efforts of a dental practice. Here are a few examples of how AI can enhance marketing strategies:

Data analysis and customer segmentation: AI can analyze large amounts of data from sources like patient records, website analytics, and social media. By finding patterns, AI can segment the target audience more effectively. It can identify potential leads and create personalized marketing campaigns based on patient preferences, behaviors, and demographics.

Personalized marketing campaigns: AI-powered algorithms can generate customized marketing content, such as emails, social media posts, and ads. By using patient data and preferences, AI can create personalized messages and offers, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Click here to read our article on email marketing for dentists

Chatbots and assistants: AI-powered chatbots can provide instant responses to patient inquiries on websites, social media platforms, or messaging apps. They can answer frequently asked questions, schedule appointments, provide basic dental information, and even offer personalized oral health recommendations. This improves customer satisfaction and streamlines administrative tasks.

Click here to read more about should you use social media in a dental practice?

Predictive analytics: AI can analyse historical patient data to predict future behaviours and outcomes. By identifying trends and patterns, AI can anticipate patient needs and preferences. This allows dental practices to anticipate demand and adjust marketing strategies accordingly.

Image analysis and treatment planning: AI can analyse dental X-rays, scans, and images to assist in treatment planning and diagnosis. By providing accurate and efficient analysis, AI can enhance the patient experience, contribute to better treatment outcomes, and even be used for patient education and case presentations.

Online reputation monitoring and sentiment analysis: AI can track brand reputation and monitor patient sentiment through online reviews and social media platforms. This data helps dental practices identify areas for improvement, address customer concerns promptly, and leverage positive feedback for marketing purposes.

Optimization of marketing campaigns: AI can analyse real-time performance of marketing campaigns, enabling dental practices to make data-driven decisions. By monitoring key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement levels, AI can provide insights and suggestions to optimise marketing efforts for improved results.

Click here to read our article on how to market your dental practice online

It’s important to remember that while AI can enhance dental practice marketing, it should be used in conjunction with human expertise. Dental professionals and marketing experts should collaborate to develop effective strategies and ensure that AI applications align with ethical considerations and patient privacy regulations.

Click here to read more about Marketing to Millennials for Dentists

How AI tools (like ChatGPT plugins) can help analyse and suggest solutions for SEO or website issues for dental practise

In a dental practice, AI tools like ChatGPT plugins can help analyse and suggest solutions for SEO or website issues. Here’s how they can be useful:

Website analysis: AI tools can analyse the structure, content, and performance of a dental practice’s website. They can identify issues like broken links, missing meta tags, duplicate content, slow page loading times, and other SEO-related problems. By examining the website, AI can create a comprehensive report highlighting areas that need improvement.

Keyword research: AI tools can help identify relevant keywords and search terms that potential patients might use when looking for dental services. By analysing search patterns and user behaviour, AI can suggest optimal keywords to target in website content, blog posts, or meta tags, thereby improving the website’s search engine visibility.

Click here to read our article on how to create a website for dentists

Content optimization: AI tools can assist in optimising website content for search engines. They can analyse existing content, suggest improvements to enhance keyword usage, recommend formatting changes, and provide insights to improve readability and user experience. Additionally, AI can suggest topics for blog posts or articles to increase traffic and help identify content gaps.

Competitor analysis: AI tools can analyse SEO strategies and competitor websites. They can identify keywords, backlinks, or content strategies that competitors are using successfully. Dental practices can use this information to gain a better understanding of their industry’s competitive landscape and make well-informed decisions regarding their own SEO strategies.

SEO performance tracking: AI tools can monitor the SEO performance of a dental practice’s website over time. They can track key metrics like search rankings, organic traffic, and conversion rates. AI can assist dentists and marketers in understanding the impact of their SEO efforts and making data-driven decisions to enhance performance by providing regular reports and insights.

On-page optimization tips: AI tools can provide real-time suggestions for on-page optimization while creating or editing website content. For example, as a dentist writes a blog post, an AI module can analyse the content in real-time and suggest improvements to optimise headings, meta descriptions, or internal linking to ensure best SEO practices are followed.

Voice search optimization: AI tools can help dental practices optimise their websites for voice search queries. With the rise of voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, AI can analyse conversational search patterns and suggest content improvements to align with voice search queries and provide answers to common dental questions.

Click here to read more about SEO for dental websites in 5 steps

It’s important to remember that AI tools can provide valuable insights and suggestions, but they should be used in conjunction with human expertise. Dentists and marketers should interpret the insights provided by AI tools, apply their industry knowledge, and make informed decisions to truly enhance their SEO strategies.

We hope you found our blog post on using AI for dental practice management helpful and inspiring. Embracing AI can revolutionise how dental practices operate as technology continues to advance. By automating administrative tasks, streamlining patient management, and enhancing diagnostic capabilities, AI has the potential to greatly improve efficiency, accuracy, and patient satisfaction. We encourage you to stay informed about the latest developments and collaborate with experts in the field as you consider implementing AI solutions in your dental practice.

Check out Samera learning centre

Grow Your Dental Practice with Samera

Join the Samera Alliance buying group today for free to save money on your consumables and assets, increase your profits and grow your dental practice.

You’ll get access to exclusive discounts on the consumables, products and equipment you need to build and grow your dental practice. You’ll also get exclusive discounts from our Alliance Partners, covering everything from HR, IT and legal services to utilities, compliance and dental technology.

Join for free. Save money. Grow your dental practice.

More on Growing a Dental Practice

For more information on growing a dental practice, check out the articles and webinars in our Learning Centre, like our guide on How to Grow a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

How to Create a Website for Dentists

Dentists can make websites themselves fairly easy using platforms like WordPress and Wix. These platforms make it fairly straightforward for anyone to build a simple website without any knowledge of coding. They’ll even make it easy for you to host the website on their servers without any real training or specialised knowledge.

But how do you make the website stand out? How do you make it rank highly in Google?

Keep Your Website Simple

If you’re going to create your own website, it may be best to keep things simple at first.

Your homepage should take the most time to create since it is the first thing most visitors will see, it’s your first impression. Make sure you have your logo and branding, images of the practice and the team and links to all your most important pages. These will usually be your treatment pages and your fees page.

Try to keep the number of pages low at first – around a dozen to start off. Instead of a page for each treatment, have a page for all of your orthodontic services, another for all of your cosmetic services and another for all of your general treatments. Instead of a page for each team member, just have a page for the whole team.

Once you get more confident in your design and SEO abilities, create individual pages for each treatment and team member and see how highly you can rank them in Google.

The website also needs to be easily navigable. Keep the menus simple and clearly labeled. A good task is to show the website to a friend and ask them to find something specific. If it’s hard for them to find, it’s hard for patients to find. If it’s hard for patients to find, they will give up looking.

Action Plan

When designing your website, focus on simplicity. Prioritize your homepage with essential elements like your logo, practice/team images, and key page links. Initially, keep the number of pages low, grouping similar treatments and team members together. Ensure easy navigation with clear menus. Test usability by asking someone to find specific information. Simplifying your website enhances user experience and engagement.

Use Call to Actions

If your website could only have one element on it, it should be a call to action. In simple terms, the job of a website is to get customers and patients to click a certain button, fill in a certain form or phone a certain number.

Set up an online booking portal like Software of Excellence for your website as soon as you can and put a big, clear ‘book online’ button on each page.

Get your practice’s telephone number and email address onto every page as well. A good way to do this is to include them in the header or footer of your website so they automatically appear everywhere.

Next, you want to include a contact form on every page. Keep them simple – the more information you ask for, the fewer patients will send a contact form! Ask for their name, a way to contact them and their query. You can then set yourself a notification anytime it is filled in so you can contact the lead immediately.

Action Point

Ensure your website features prominent call-to-action buttons, such as “Book Online” for appointment scheduling. Display your practice’s contact information, including telephone number and email address, prominently on every page, typically in the header or footer. Additionally, include a simple contact form on each page to capture visitor inquiries efficiently. Simplifying the form fields encourages more submissions. Set up notifications to promptly respond to inquiries, optimizing lead conversion.

Using Images on a Dental Website

The next step is to make it visually appealing. Remember that speed is essential to a good website so keep the image size and resolution small. Don’t start adding huge 500Mb HD images to each page, you’ll only hamstring your speed. You can find free tools to shrink and compress images online so make sure they are only as big as they need to be. 300/600px on each side is enough for most screen sizes.

Get your best images of the team, the practice and the local area together and pepper them throughout the site. It’s fine to use stock images from websites like unsplash and shutterstock if you do not have any, in fact, some designers prefer it. However, you might run the risk of your website looking like many others – there’s only so many stock photos of dentists out there!

Action Points

Optimize image size and resolution for fast loading times, aiming for around 300/600px on each side. Incorporate high-quality images of your team, practice, and local area to personalize the site. Balance authentic imagery with stock photos to maintain uniqueness.

Make Your Dental Practice’s Website Fast

Speed has become the key to a great website. Google has been putting more and more emphasis on the speed of a website in recent years and it is now one of the key metrics they use to rank websites. In other words, the fast your website, the higher it will rank.

There are lots of ways to keep load times down and the website fast. We often find the worst culprits are images on the page. However, any widget can slow a website down so play around with different layouts and functionalities until you find the balance between user experience and speed.

Plugins like Lazy Loader can help with your website’s speed by prioritizing what images and videos are loaded in what order. Make sure you do regular speed checks on your website to ensure it doesn’t start slowing down and costing you SEO!

Action Points

Ensuring fast load times is crucial for website performance and SEO ranking. Prioritize optimization techniques such as image compression and lazy loading plugins to maintain speed without compromising user experience. Regular speed checks are essential to prevent slowdowns and maintain SEO effectiveness.

Check the speed of your website here.

Local SEO and Dental Websites

Creating a website for a dental practice is not quite the same as building a website for an e-commerce business that can ship products far and wide. You main customer base is going to be your local area and the surrounding regions. This is where your local SEO becomes important.

Google ‘dentist near me’ and you’ll see a selection of dental practices within about a mile or 2 of your location. That is local SEO at work.

Register your website on Google My Business, which allows a practice to be listed for free, with information such as opening times, directions, services and images. This is the directory Google uses to store your information and match it up to local searches like ‘dentist near me’.

You then want to find other local business directories online and get your practice registered on them. Independent online business directories like Yelp and local councils will let you list your business and boost your local SEO. Make sure your name, address, phone number and website are listed on as many local and national business directories as you can find.

You also want to make sure you pepper your location throughout the text on your website. If you’re a dentist in York, make sure you’ve got ‘dentist in York’, ‘York Dental Practice’ and other, similar variations mentioned in the text of your website.

Action Points

Local SEO is crucial for dental practices aiming to attract patients from their immediate vicinity. Registering your practice on Google My Business and other local business directories enhances visibility in local searches like “dentist near me.” Ensure consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) listings across directories to reinforce local SEO efforts. Integrate location-specific keywords throughout your website’s content to optimize for local searches and attract potential patients in your area.

Make it Mobile-friendly

Mobile internet usage now accounts for over 50% of all online activity. This has huge implications for the way your website needs to be designed. What looks great on a desktop might not (and probably won’t) look good on a mobile phone or a tablet. In fact, there’s a good chance it doesn’t even function properly if you haven’t tested it.

Test and preview your website on mobile. In fact, you should be building your website with a mobile-first attitude. Your links, buttons forms and multimedia all need to look and work just as well as they do on desktops. Most of your traffic is going to be coming from mobile phones and that is only going to increase.

Action Points

Optimizing your website for mobile is crucial as over 50% of online activity now occurs on mobile devices. Ensure seamless functionality and a great user experience on smartphones and tablets by testing and previewing your site on various devices. Prioritize mobile-first design by ensuring all elements like links, buttons, forms, and multimedia work effectively on mobile. With mobile traffic on the rise, optimizing your website for mobile usage is essential for engaging users and driving conversions.

Make Use Of SEO Techniques

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important aspects of building a dental website that converts patients. Most people access your online content by using a search engine like Google. This means that you want your dental practice to feature highly in search results – higher than your competitors at least! Making good use of SEO techniques helps you to make this happen. These are aspects you need to effectively digitally market your practice. You need to:

  • Make sure that all online content is easy to read.
  • Think about the keywords that you use, include long-tail keywords, use keywords in titles and sub headings and use locations in your keywords.
  • Keep all of your online content fresh.
  • Include internal links and make sure external links are relevant and to reputable websites.

Action Points

To improve your dental website’s visibility and attract more patients, prioritize SEO techniques such as optimizing readability, incorporating relevant keywords, updating content regularly, and using internal and external linking effectively.

You can learn more about SEO for dental websites here.

If you want to see how we built our dental practice’s website, check out The Neem Tree website.

Our Expert Opinion

“Your website is your main weapon when it comes to getting patients (speaking as a marketer). Your website is one of those things that I will always say it’s worth paying more for. Ads, content, social media, that can all be done very effectively on the cheap. Your website cannot be done cheaply and it’s not something I’d recommend keeping in-house.

Pay a professional to make a really fast, well-built, effective website that ranks on Google. I promise it will be worth it. Keep in mind that there are a lot of developers out there who really aren’t that good and will charge through the nose. Get several quotes, get their testimonials and I can’t stress enough how important it is to get examples of other websites they’ve made first.

Make your website mobile-first, check it regularly and work as hard as you can on the SEO to get it to the top of Google.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Email marketing for dentists

By now, most businesses have made the transfer to online communications. However, healthcare is one sector that is often still going through the process of learning how to communicate online. Patients will obviously eventually need to meet their dentist face-to-face, but their search for the right dentist starts online.

Email marketing is a highly effective digital marketing strategy, no matter what type of business you are. It is a very powerful tool that any business in any field and of any scale can use to acquire, engage and retain clientele. You need to understand, however, that there is an art to email marketing. With everyone being able to unsubscribe with the touch of a button, you need to find the fine line between marketing interesting, informative and insightful and bombarding and hassling your clientele. 

Email marketing helps you connect with your audience to promote your brand and increase traffic to your dental practice. You can actually do a lot of things with emails. Not only are they a great way to market your business, they are also a great way to sell products and drive traffic to your website and clients to your actual practice. 

Click here to read more about content writing for dentists.

Most people also try to fix their problems at home or attempt to avoid them and doing that also starts online. This is where quality content comes in. Your content needs to be good quality so when you start your email marketing campaigns, your patients have good content to read when your emails direct them there. 

Email marketing for dentists helps practitioners to: 

  • Provide quality and helpful content 
  • Engage existing and potential patients 
  • Increase revenue 
  • Prove personalised experiences
  • Advertise discounts, deals and promotions
  • Increase brand awareness

Click here to read more about marketing a dental practice.

Does email marketing work?

While email marketing has a lot of competition in the marketing department, it is undoubtedly a marketing method that still works, while still being very cost effective. Companies that utilise email, and do it well, can reap the benefits that come from that market technique.

Sending mass emails to your marketing list can increase your brand awareness, keep existing patients engaged, help retain patients and promote your special offers. 

Action Plan

Email marketing is a powerful tool for dental practices to engage with patients, provide quality content, increase revenue, and promote brand awareness in a cost-effective manner, leveraging the online platform to reach and retain clientele effectively.

Contact us to find out more

4 types of marketing emails 

We have outlined the main four types of popular email marketing campaigns and how you can use them effectively to help your business grow: 

Email newsletters

One of the most popular and common forms of email marketing are regular email newsletters. As a dental practice, you can use an email newsletter to provide your patients with helpful knowledge and updates. 

It is important to add value to all your patients’ inboxes. 

To do this, you must create engaging content, including new blogs, how-tos and announcements of new services or deals and prices. 

Send a few articles, blogs or videos out in a newsletter once a month. Maybe include a promotion or two. Behind-the-scenes stories of your team and the practice will also help build a relationship with your patients. 

Acquisition Emails

Acquisition emails can help your dental practice acquire more patients by reaching out to those who have opted to receive your emails but have not yet converted into consistent patients. 

By creating attractive offers, discounts and deals, as well as informative content, you can show all those in your email list that perhaps have missed their routine checkups or have been avoiding the dentist. Or, perhaps simply showing those who are unsure of which local dentist they should go to, the value of becoming an active patient at your dental practice. 

Acquisition emails are a great way to move all potential leads through the conversion funnel a lot faster and grow your patient base as well as drive additional revenue and target users who have expressed some interest at some point in what your practice has to offer. 

Promotional Emails 

Promotional emails are one of the greatest ways to drive new signups, sales and new service offerings for your dental practice. Promotional emails include offers that both entice and encourage your target clients to buy a new service. Use promotional emails to reward engaged subscribers with exclusive email only offers, drive new products you are selling or any new services you are offering. Cosmetic procedures that are hot and trending, such as Invisalign, are always procedures that many potential patients are always on the fence about. Therefore, offering promotions on services like this helps entice those patients into buying into that service.

Action Points

  • Email newsletters: Provide valuable content to engage patients and keep them informed about updates and services.
  • Acquisition emails: Offer deals and discounts to encourage potential patients to schedule appointments and become active patients.
  • Promotional emails: Drive signups and sales by offering exclusive deals on services like cosmetic procedures.
  • Retention emails: Maintain relationships with existing patients through personalized messages and loyalty rewards to encourage repeat visits.

Benefits of email marketing for dentists

Email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to engage, acquire and retain patients for your dental practice. By implementing a successful email marketing campaign, your dental practice can benefit greatly. It is important to select the correct email marketing campaign to achieve your goals with this type of marketing. 

Build brand awareness

Before you email your patient list, take some time to design your email template. You need to make sure your emails are consistent in style, reflect your brand and look professional. A poorly formatted, plain email may be worse than no email at all.

Include your brand colours and logo, make your email reflect the design and look of your website. Create a consistent brand and get it out there via email.

Drive traffic to your website

Remember, when your target audience finds your email content interesting or valuable, they are a lot more likely to share it, forward it on or click on your links (make sure to always include your social media links and share buttons).

By emailing a blog, or even just a section of it, and encouraging audiences to click the link, you drive more traffic to your website. You can also increase your social media following and engagement by encouraging them to share and link them on your profiles.

Click here to read more about creating a website for dentists.

Build a relationship

As your business is a dental practice, it often means that interactions with your patients can be very limited in the sense that they will only ever see you for scheduled visits. However, this does not mean that you can’t build impactful and lasting relationships with these patients outside of these appointments.

Keep in touch 

Being a dental practice, is it quite easy to overlook the importance of keeping in touch with your patients when at best, you will only ever see them every 6-12 months. However, with the use of email marketing, you can fill the void in between those routine visits and build trust and relationships with your patients. 

In doing so, you are providing a bigger service than simply taking care of their teeth every appointment. Depending on your email campaign, you can provide patients with various helpful tricks tips, and information that is useful to them, which will make them want to stay subscribed to you. Email marketing will help you create a community of patients.

Action Points

  • Build brand awareness: Design professional and branded emails to ensure consistency and professionalism, which helps in establishing your practice’s identity and recognition among patients.
  • Drive traffic to your website: Share valuable content in your emails and encourage recipients to click on links to visit your website, which boosts traffic and engagement.
  • Build relationships: Email marketing allows you to stay connected with patients even between appointments, fostering relationships and enhancing patient loyalty.

Top tips on email marketing for dentists and dental practices. 

Building a subscriber list 

The only way to make full use of email marketing is to have a subscriber list. You need to build a list of contacts that you can start sending emails to. 

Create a simple contact form on your homepage, called something like ‘Sign up to our newsletter’, or ‘Special offers’. Keep the form as simple as possible, all you need is a name and an email address. You will get more sign-ups that way. 

Include requests to sign up for marketing emails in your communication with new and existing patients. Add these to your email marketing list as well. 

Maintain relationships with current patients 

Now you have your patients emails, you are able to contact your patients and you are given an opportunity to build their trust. You need to prove that you are using their contact information to send them useful and insightful emails, not useless junk or constant emails bombarding them. To keep the patients you already have, you need to keep in frequent contact with them while establishing a regular and personal connection with them. 

It is an absolute game changer for your dental business if you begin to reach out to your customers and provide them with the relevant information they need before they even realise they need it. 

While it is imperative to make a routine for when your marketing emails go out to your patients, you need to make sure that you are not overwhelming your subscribers with too many emails. That’s when you will start to lose your following!

Keep your newsletters monthly, keep your promotions spaced out, don’t make yourself blend in with the other emails. 

Targeted and personalised emails 

The content of your emails are what matters the most. The way you choose to personalise them will help you build relationships with your existing and potential patients. Segmented emails work the best, so your emails appeal to both types of patients. This ensures that each patient on your subscribers list receives content that is both relevant and useful to them. 

A great example of this is age-appropriate content. This may not mean what you think it means. For example, patients over the age of 50 are less likely to be interested in receiving information about braces like Invsalign. They may be more interested in reading about how their gums change over time and your services on dental implants. 

Offering content to your patients of all ages will make each patient feel as if you as a business cares about all of them individually and you are working to build on that relationship and trust.

Sloppy or irrelevant content can have an adverse effect as this will push your patients to unsubscribe. If they are subscribed to your email listing, it needs to be because you are providing them with something of value to them. The last thing you want is for your emails to be marked as spam. 

Personalising your emails is a must. Feeling valued is what you want your patients to feel when they receive your emails. Your goal is to make your patients feel like they matter. Your second goal is for your emails to help build your name and dental practice as a brand. Make sure your content reflects you as a business. 

Personalising your emails can consist of small things such as addressing each contact by their name instead of the vague ‘sir/madam’, sending birthday messages with offers or seasonal offers. This can be done quite simply in all mass email platforms once you link it to your contact lists. 

You can even create automated emails to specific categories of patients. For instance, you could send information on children’s dentistry automatically to only patients with children. You could also send information on gum disease and dental care to all patients who have seen the hygienist. 

All these can make an immense difference to how your patients feel about your practice and also how they view their dentist (as many are terrified). 

What is the most important about the content of your emails and all other content that you post, is your tone. It is important that you convey the appropriate tone that reflects your practice while you are addressing your patients. These details are what can leave a lasting impression on your patients. 

Click here to listen to our podcast episode about marketing to millennials.

Contact us to find out more

Keep patients up to date

Your emails can often consist of special events, offers or discounts you are offering at your practice. This is the main reason why many of your patients will be interested in your emails. Lets face it, dental work is not cheap and everyone loves a good discount!

Providing updates on anything new happening in your practice, such as new equipment, new services or any new staff, anything to get your patients attention and keep your patients informed. Newsletters are a great way of doing this. 

Let patients know about life events in the team as well. This creates a sense of community and will bring you closer to your patients. Birthdays, engagements, weddings, these are all great little additions to liven up an existing newsletter.

Educate your patients

You can use your email marketing to educate your subscribers. This can be through concisely worded emails or short descriptions with links to blogs and articles on your website. Linking your blog and website content can also be personalised to specific patients and you can align them to blog posts that are most relevant to them. 

For instance, send that blog you wrote on top tips for looking after your braces to all your orthodontic patients. 

Think about what questions you get asked a lot in the practice. What problems do you keep seeing in oral health? What are the little tips and tricks you know about brushing and flossing that patients probably don’t? Tell them about it!  

Optimise for all devices 

No matter what sector your business is, you need to be up-to-date with how you promote your services online. This includes ensuring that your email marketing campaign is optimised for mobile devices. Over half of emails that are sent are opened on mobile phones, therefore, it would make sense (and be in your best interest) to have the emails you send optimised for people that are accessing their emails from either a smartphone or tablet. 

The recipients are more likely to open and actually read the content of the email if the email is formatted in the right way for them to view it. 

While doing this, there are a few things to consider. Be sure to understand that the screen sizes are different. A laptop screen and a smartphone have very different screen sizes which is what you need to consider. You need to make sure that the content of your emails are clear and visible and not cut off around the screen. 

Include Call-to-actions (CTAs)

With any content that you write, at some point you need to encourage a call-to-action. A call-to-action (CTA) is simply a button like ‘call now’ or ‘further information’. Calls-to-action are a great way to create a relationship with your audience and get them to take an action you want. 

They are also a great way of pushing traffic to your website.

The point of your email marketing campaigns are to get your subscribers to come to you in some way to get you more business. This is why calls to action are so important. It allows your message to be read, then it gives your clients a way to come to you and create some form of contact. In essence, it is a technique that can make your patients become more responsive and engaged with your practice. 

Calls-to-actions can be a very useful technique helping customers along the purchase process and it can also be helpful in attracting new patients to your practice. 

Having a CTA, like a referral system, in place alongside the emails that you send will be helpful in monitoring how well the emails are doing and how effectively they are working. 

Monitor progress

There are various ways to monitor and track the progress of your email campaigns. These powerful analytics are able to track how many of your patients are actually opening your emails and clicking through the links. 

Monitoring the progress of your email marketing allows you to make any necessary tweaks and changes if they are necessary. This ensures that you are getting the most that you can from using email marketing for marketing your dental practice. 

There are some great ways to measure the effectiveness of your newsletter. You need to analyse whether your content helps build a relationship with your patients and subscribers, increases retention and engagement and strengthens patient loyalty. 

Does your content (like blogs and videos) get shared or liked on social media? Does your engagement on social media or your website traffic see a noticeable uptick after sending out a newsletter? Are recipients opening the email and clicking the link within? 

Action Point

  • Build a subscriber list: Create simple sign-up forms on your website and encourage patients to subscribe to your newsletters or special offers.
  • Maintain relationships with current patients: Send useful and insightful emails to build trust and keep patients engaged, but avoid overwhelming them with too many emails.
  • Targeted and personalized emails: Segment your email list and personalize content to appeal to different patient demographics, ensuring relevance and usefulness.
  • Keep patients up to date: Share updates about your practice, special events, offers, and any new services to keep patients informed and engaged.
  • Educate your patients: Use email marketing to provide valuable information and tips on oral health care, linking to relevant blog posts or articles on your website.
  • Optimize for all devices: Ensure your emails are optimized for mobile devices to accommodate the increasing number of users accessing emails on smartphones and tablets.
  • Include Call-to-actions (CTAs): Encourage patient engagement and interaction with clear CTAs, such as ‘call now’ or ‘learn more’, to drive traffic to your website or encourage bookings.
  • Monitor progress: Track the effectiveness of your email campaigns through analytics to measure open rates, click-through rates, and engagement, making necessary adjustments to improve performance.

You can check out our articles here samera learning centre.

Our Expert Opinion

“We don’t use email marketing as much for the Neem Tree Dental Practices as we do for Samera. However, whenever we have a special offer or important news we always rely on emails. We also often send emails out at Christmas, Eid and Diwali to our patients just to wish them the best and keep us in their minds.

We also use email marketing whenever we have an special offer like the Invisalign open days we sometimes hold. They’ve always worked well and Front of House + Emails usually = patients through the door.

Just make sure you have all your GDPR ducks in a row and don’t send emails out to your entire database – only those who have given the green light for you to contact them!”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

What the Google Experience Update Means for Dentists

Our Expert Opinion

“The Google Experience Update changed the game for SEO. Basically, it now means that the better your website performs, the better Google will consider it.

You need to make your website fast, so pay more for a better server and get a developer to speed your site up. Your website also needs to be stable. This is also probably going to need the work of a developer, but it really will pay dividends.

Keywords, backlinks and the rest of the SEO concepts are still going to matter. However, it’s not just your content that needs to be good anymore. The platform on which they are hosted (your website) needs to be as good as possible too. “

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Grow Your Dental Practice With Clever Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

How To Market A Dental Practice

Paying attention to marketing is essential if you want to appeal to new patients, build your brand awareness and grow your dental practice. It provides you with an opportunity to attract new patients as well as to keep current patients engaged and connected.

Making use of techniques such as website optimisation, SEO, social media, PPC and email marketing helps you grow your dental practice and make sure that it continues to flourish as you want it to.

The basis of your dental practice should begin with getting the right team in place. However, growing your business and getting that attention that you need for your dental practice to succeed, is where your efforts need to be drawn to next. This is where marketing comes in.

After nearly 20 years in the business, it has been a shame to see many dental practices who have the potential to thrive, fail due to the inability to get people through the door. This is why marketing is paramount to growing your business.  Marketing a dental practice effectively can make all the difference when it comes to getting new patients in and retaining current ones.

Click here to watch our webinar on using marketing to grow a dental practice.

Action Points

  • Start by creating a user-friendly website for your dental practice, keeping it simple initially, possibly even with just a homepage that includes all essential information.
  • Ensure the website is easy to navigate without using complex jargon or categorizing treatments in a way that might confuse potential patients.
  • Incorporate multiple contact options, making phone numbers clickable for direct calling, including contact forms on every page, setting up online booking systems, and adding a chat feature or WhatsApp number for ease of communication.
  • Prioritize making your website mobile-friendly, ensuring it not only looks good on desktops but also provides an optimal experience on mobile devices, where the majority of your traffic is likely to come from.

You can read more about creating websites for dentists here.

Search Engine Optimisation

Theoretically, you can have the best dental practice in the world in terms of patient care, and it will still fail to thrive if people do not know that it exists. Gone are the days when word of mouth was the way most people found a dentist. Today, people go straight to Google and search for a dentist in their area. This is why it’s so important to use SEO for dentists, to attract patients to your practice.

SEO helps you to optimise your search engine rankings. So that your practice features at the top of the results list when people carry out a search. For this to happen, it’s important that SEO is done well. There are several things to think about to successfully grow your dental practice with SEO.

Make sure you are using the proper keywords on the relevant pages. For instance, if you’re a dentist in Baker Street, you need to make sure your dental implants page uses phrases like ‘dental implants in Baker Street’ in the body of the text and preferably in the headers.

Start a blog right now if you haven’t already – it’s the perfect excuse to create content around any keyword. Write about the top tips for getting white teeth, the 5 reasons to use Invisalign, the best ways to avoid bleeding gums and so on.

Action Points

  • Implement SEO strategies to enhance the online visibility of your dental practice, ensuring it appears at the top of search results when potential patients search for local dentists.
  • Focus on using relevant keywords throughout your website, especially on service pages, incorporating specific phrases like ‘dental implants in Baker Street’ to match local search queries.
  • Start and consistently update a blog on your dental practice’s website, using it as a platform to create keyword-rich content on various dental topics, tips, and treatments to attract and engage potential patients.

Read our article on SEO for dental websites here.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be one of the most effective way of getting your adverts seen by potential patients. By using platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, businesses can pay to have their adverts shown to the exact audiences they want. With PPC, you pay every time a user clicks on your advert.

Read our blog on using Google PPC to grow a practice.

Google and Facebook both allow you to use narrowly defined target audiences, meaning you are not paying for your adverts to be shown to audiences with no intention of becoming a patient. With Google and Facebook by far being the largest search engine and social media platform, the advertising potential with these two services are enormous.

Start advertising on Google right now for simple keyword searches like ‘dentist in [your area]’. Set up ads for emergency patients especially, they are a great way to grow a practice and find new patients. You can target specific audiences but you can also simply target everyone within a certain radius of your practice.

Facebook can be great for PPC when used correctly. We recommend using Facebook ads for cheap brand awareness campaigns, just to get your name out there to people within your area. You should also use Facebook (and Instagram) ads for one-off offers and discounts. Target the people who have visited your website, your followers on Facebook and Instagram and also upload your patients’ emails. This means your adverts will go to more qualified leads who you know are at least somewhat interested in your services (since they have already interacted with you in the past.)

Set up a Facebook Pixel on your website – this allows Facebook and Instagram to track their users when they use your website. This then allows you to send adverts to people who have visited specific pages on your website. For instance you could send Invisalign adverts ONLY to people who have been on your Invisalign page.

Action Points

  • Leverage Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising on platforms like Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target potential patients directly, paying only when your ad is clicked.
  • Utilize the targeting capabilities of these platforms to ensure your ads reach specific, relevant audiences, such as those searching for a ‘dentist in [your area]’ or requiring emergency dental services.
  • Consider using Facebook for brand awareness campaigns to familiarize your local community with your dental practice and for promoting special offers or discounts to a more engaged audience.
  • Implement a Facebook Pixel on your website to track visitor interactions, enabling more precise ad targeting, such as showing Invisalign ads to visitors who have shown interest in that specific service on your site.

Watch our webinar on using Facebook and Instagram ads for dentists.

Creating Content

Creating great content is key to digital marketing, it’s your ammunition! If you haven’t already – you need to start blogging and writing articles. These are some of the main things that search engines like Google will use to analyse and rank your website.

Write about top tips, give guides to different treatments, do top 10 lists, there are so many options to choose from and so many topics to write about! It takes time, but it will pay dividends in the long run in terms of SEO. Google notices when your website is constantly updating itself with new content and it prefers websites that do.

Read our article on content writing for dentists here.

But blogs aren’t the end of it. The most successful and engaging form of media on any website is video. It attracts customers, it engages them and it converts. Get yourself in front of the camera and talk about your services, dentistry in general, your team and your mission & values.

You can create a short video for each treatment page explaining the procedure. You could also have a video for each team member on their profile page. Video is more engaging for audiences and also performs better than simple text or images.

You can read more about video marketing for dentists here.

Social Media

There is no doubt that social media plays a larger than ever role in dental marketing. Using social media gives you the opportunity to interact with people in the local community who are patients or potential patients. You can post updates about the practice, including details of your community work and of any new treatments that are being provided.

You can also interact with your patients, by encouraging them to provide reviews of your practice, or ask questions. Do not forget that it is not sufficient to simply set up social media accounts; you need to make sure that they are managed effectively and regularly updated.

At the very least, you need to be on Facebook and Instagram. Not only can you keep in contact with your patients, keep them engaged and send them updates, offers and news. You can also advertise very effectively straight from these platforms.

Social media is essential to growing and marketing a practice. Even if you do not use Facebook or Instagram in your personal life, you need to be using it for your dental practice. Post about once a day. Post things like blogs, articles, behind the scenes videos, even content that isn’t directly related to the practice like motivational pictures!

Action Points

  • Actively use social media platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram, to engage with the local community, patients, and potential patients by sharing updates, community involvement, and new treatments.
  • Encourage patient interaction through reviews and Q&A sessions to foster a community around your practice.
  • Maintain a consistent and effective social media management strategy to ensure your accounts are regularly updated with relevant content.
  • Utilize social media for direct advertising, leveraging the platforms’ targeting capabilities to reach specific audiences with updates, offers, and news.
  • Post diverse content daily, including blogs, articles, behind-the-scenes videos, and motivational images to keep your audience engaged and informed about your dental practice.

Read our article on using social media to grow a practice here.

Reviews 

One of the best ways to grow your practice using digital marketing is to encourage current customers to review your practice. Hopefully, these reviews on online spaces such as Google Reviews or Trustpilot will be positive. However, negative reviews can still be an opportunity for you to address them in a helpful and positive manner. Look at the negatives as constructive criticism and make sure you are seen to be addressing the problem.

In this day and age, when prospective patients are looking to go to a new dental practice, the first thing they usually look at is reviews. Reviews are what will entice or repel prospective clients. When people see those reviews online, they will (hopefully) see that your dental practice is reputable and highly thought of. This makes it more likely for them to book an appointment with you and use your services. 

Your best, as well as your worst, reviews equally have a way of quickly spreading online. Encouraging customers to review your company is an easy way to expand your brand’s reach. When people have good things to say and have a positive experience at your practice, they are more likely to spread their review to more sites including external websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and FourSquare

Not only will good reviews impress possible patients, it also impresses Google. The better your reviews, the more reputable and trustworthy in the field of dentistry Google will consider you. 

Action Plan

  • Actively encourage your current patients to leave reviews for your practice on platforms like Google Reviews or Trustpilot.
  • View negative reviews as opportunities for improvement and address them publicly in a constructive and positive manner.
  • Recognize the importance of online reviews in attracting prospective patients, as they often check these before choosing a new dental practice.
  • Promote customer reviews to enhance your practice’s online reputation and visibility, which can lead to increased appointments and service usage.
  • Understand that positive reviews not only influence potential patients but also contribute to Google’s perception of your practice as reputable and trustworthy in dentistry.

Watch our webinar on marketing and patient care here.

Email Marketing 

Email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing methods, if it is utilised in the right way. You can provide a means of people giving you their email address, such as a newsletter sign-up page on your website or in person when they book an appointment. Once you have collected email addresses, you need to decide on your campaign.

Click here to read our article on Email marketing for dentists

For instance, you may want to offer discounts for treatments or an ongoing newsletter with details of latest news within your practice. Newsletters that consist of getting to know the staff segments and continuous updates of your practice, helps your clients feel closer to you as a business. Think carefully about the people you are targeting with your emails and make sure that the tone of your email content is engaging and appropriate.

Newsletters can be a great way of keeping your customers engaged, enhance your brand awareness and build a feeling of community. 

Action Points

  • Implement a strategy for collecting email addresses, such as through newsletter sign-ups on your website or during appointment bookings.
  • Plan your email marketing campaign, considering offering discounts or sending newsletters with updates and news about your practice.
  • Include personal touches in your newsletters, like staff introductions and practice updates, to foster a sense of connection with your clients.
  • Tailor the content and tone of your emails to suit your target audience, ensuring it is engaging and relevant.
  • Utilize email marketing to keep your patients engaged, increase brand awareness, and cultivate a community around your dental practice.

Watch our webinar on using marketing to increase profits here.

Offline Marketing for Dentists

Branding

Before we begin on effectively marketing a dental practice, we need to start with what you are promoting. Needless to say, it is your brand name and image that will define you and get you recognition. But you need to start somewhere else entirely, your brand should come later. The first thing and main thing you need to market is the benefits of your practice. This is what will get you the attention you need. Remember, benefits before branding.

You need to promote the specific benefits patients will get if they visit your dental practice. The fact of the matter is, the dental industry is heavily populated. You need to market what makes you different and special. That is what your audience will respond to, your unique selling points. 

It is hard to be unique as a dental practice, but there are certain aspects of your practice that can make you different, that is what you should market. 

Think about anything positive about your surgery that can be promoted. Here are a few aspects that we have come up with but remember, with the right team, you can promote just about anything. 

  • Easily available emergency appointments.
  • Easy access to appointments. 
  • Orthodontic surgery available on site. 
  • Specialist care for nervous patients.
  • Specialists available (eg, orthodontists, hygienists). 
  • Children’s dental care specialists available at the practice 
  • Cosmetic dental procedures available on site. 
  • Location!

Many dental patients tend to respond well to benefits like these before they even begin to respond to traditional commercial branding. Now you know the specific aspects of your dental practice that you need to promote, you need to remember to navigate a direct path from these benefits to the name of the dental practice. The aim is for patients to associate the benefits of the practice to the name of your practice, this will be your brand. Essentially, you will be branding your dental practice with your unique selling points. 

Action Points

  • Focus initially on promoting the unique benefits of your dental practice rather than the brand itself to capture attention and differentiate from competitors.
  • Highlight your practice’s unique selling points (USPs) such as emergency appointment availability, specialist care, or convenient location to appeal to potential patients.
  • Identify and market the aspects of your practice that set you apart, like specialized services for nervous patients, children’s dental care, or on-site cosmetic procedures.
  • Craft your marketing messages to directly link the benefits of your services to your dental practice, aiming to create a strong association in patients’ minds.
  • Use your practice’s USPs to define and build your brand, ensuring patients recognize and remember your practice for its distinctive advantages and quality of care.

Interact with the community

The patients who attend your practice are part of the local community, so it makes sense that you should ensure that your practice is known and respected locally. Community involvement can be of huge benefit to any business that is so closely involved with people in the local area.

The type of involvement that you can consider includes attending local fêtes, contributing to local charities and sponsoring junior sports teams. You may even be able to attend local schools, to talk about the importance of good dental care or about the pros and cons of a career as a dentist.

Action Points

  • Engage actively with your local community to build a positive reputation for your dental practice.
  • Participate in local events such as fêtes to increase visibility and connect with potential patients.
  • Contribute to local charities and causes to demonstrate your practice’s commitment to community well-being.
  • Sponsor local junior sports teams to support youth activities and enhance your practice’s presence in the community.
  • Offer educational visits to local schools to discuss dental care and career opportunities in dentistry, further establishing your practice as a knowledgeable and caring community member.

Postcards and Flyers 

It is important to remember that not all of your dental marketing efforts need to be based online. Your practice is physically located amongst both your current patients and prospective patients. Therefore, you are in the ideal position to make use of non-digital marketing solutions such as postcards and flyers. 

Make sure that your postcards and flyers are relevant and have something important to say about your practice. Remember that there are many businesses that post their advertising materials through the postboxes of your potential clientele. Many people still get bombarded with many flyers and postcards that are all more or less the same, which is why your content needs to stand out. 

Using customer testimonials on your flyers is always a great thing to add, but be sure not to go crazy with any designs. Sometimes it helps to include a promotion or discount on your flyers to provide more of an incentive for people to come to your practice and actually keep the flyer rather than throwing it away. 

However, with society becoming more environmentally conscious, it is important to use sustainably sourced materials and to advertise that fact. 

Action Points

  • Utilize non-digital marketing methods like postcards and flyers to reach current and prospective patients in your local area.
  • Ensure your printed materials convey relevant and compelling information about your dental practice to stand out from other advertisements.
  • Consider incorporating customer testimonials into your flyers and postcards to build trust and credibility.
  • Include special promotions or discounts in your materials to incentivize potential patients to visit your practice.
  • Opt for sustainably sourced materials for your printed marketing efforts and highlight this eco-friendly choice to align with increasing environmental awareness among consumers.

SMS reminders 

SMS marketing has made a huge comeback recently. If you’re like me and knew nothing about text marketing until recently, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. In the last few years, there have been a lot of new and old marketing strategies that have seen a sudden boost in popularity, and SMS marketing is one of the older ones but is now more effective than ever. It has been around for a couple of decades now but only now has it really caught on, especially with the smaller to medium-sized business market.

SMS reminders are a great way to keep existing patients engaged by reminding them about scheduled appointments or prompting them to book an appointment if they haven’t been in a while. Almost everyone has a smartphone in their pocket nowadays and SMS reminders can help you reach your patients directly, cheaply and easily. 

Action Points

  • Explore the potential of SMS marketing as an effective tool for engaging with patients in today’s digital age.
  • Implement SMS reminders to keep existing patients informed about their upcoming appointments or encourage them to schedule a visit if it’s been a while.
  • Leverage the ubiquity of smartphones to ensure your messages reach your patients directly, offering a cost-effective and straightforward communication channel.

Our Expert Opinion

“Marketing, especially online marketing, is one of the most important aspects of running any business. It can make or break your business, especially if you’re a start-up practice or an existing practice that’s struggling.

My biggest recommendation would be to focus on getting the SEO right. This means you need to focus on content optimisation, user journey, user experience and the speed of your website.

There are so many tools and Google Chrome extensions you can use for free. Download Google Lighthouse and the Website SEO Checker extension on Google Chrome. Feed your website urls into these tools and they’ll tell you what you need to do to your website.

Some of it will need to be handled by your developer, and hopefully they’re already on top of it. But if I can give you one piece of advice, it’s focus on SEO and your website. Ads can work brilliantly but they cost money. SEO is free, it’s effective and it can be done fairly easily if you know what you’re doing.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Marketing to Millennials for Dentists

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | February 24th
George Bellamy, Nikita Kanda, Chris O’Shea

Unlocking the Millennial Market: Effective Marketing Strategies for Dentists in the UK

The millennial generation is a very important group of people in the UK who buy things. It’s becoming more and more important for all kinds of businesses, even dentists, to know how to advertise to them because they have a lot of money to spend. Dentists might find it hard to connect with millennials. So, we’re going to talk about some good ways that dentists in the UK can use to get millennials interested in their services. We’ll talk about things like using the internet to show fun ads, working with popular people and using modern technology. We want to help dentists get the attention of millennials and make their dental practices grow.

Understanding the Millennial Market: Who are the Millennials?

To market your dental services well to millennials in the UK, it’s important to know who they are first. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are people born from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s. They are now in their late teens to mid-40s and make up a big part of the population.

Millennials are different from older generations because of their unique qualities and likes. They grew up with technology and the internet, so they’re really good with gadgets and being online. Before they buy something, they look at reviews and suggestions online, and they use social media a lot.

For millennials, experiences and making things personal matter a lot. They care about taking care of themselves and being well. When it comes to dental care, they want it to be easy, affordable, and a good experience.

Also, millennials care about the environment and social issues. They like brands that have the same values as them, like being eco-friendly and doing good things for society. Dentists who show they care about these things can get millennials interested in what they offer.

But just knowing the age range isn’t enough. To really understand millennials, you need to know how they act, what they like, and why they do things. If dentists in the UK can figure this out, they can make their ads and marketing fit what millennials want. This way, they can really connect with this important group and make them happy, loyal customers.

The Importance of Targeting Millennials for Dentists in the UK

Millennials are a big part of the people in the UK and they have a big effect on many industries, including dentistry. Millennials are the largest group of people alive right now. They care a lot about taking care of themselves and being healthy. They also have a lot of money to spend.

For dentists in the UK, it’s really important to understand that focusing on millennials is crucial if they want to stay important and do well in today’s competitive world. Unlike older generations, millennials like to prevent dental problems and they’re more likely to go to the dentist even if they don’t have a problem yet. This is a great chance for dentists to show that they’re good at keeping teeth healthy, not just fixing problems.

Millennials are also really good with technology and they use the internet to make choices. Dentists can use online ads, virtual campaigns, and good websites to show millennials what they offer.

Millennials also want brands to be honest and clear. Dentists can build trust and make friends with millennials by talking to them online, answering their questions, and sharing useful information about teeth and dental stuff.

A lot of millennials care about the environment. Dentists who use eco-friendly materials, reduce waste, and use energy-saving things can get millennials’ attention because they like things that are good for the Earth.

So, in short, dentists in the UK really need to pay attention to millennials. If they understand what millennials like, use online ads, build good relationships, and care about the environment, they can get millennials interested and become the dentists that millennials like to go to.

Utilizing Digital Marketing Channels to Reach Millennials

Getting the attention of millennials using traditional advertising methods might not work as well nowadays because millennials are very connected to the internet and use it for everything. They look at social media, search engines, and online reviews when they want to decide something. If you’re a dentist in the UK, it’s really important to use the internet to reach and interest millennials.

Social media, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, is a great way to talk to millennials. You can show what your dental practice is like, share helpful information, and talk to people who might want to be your patients. If you keep putting up cool and useful stuff on social media, millennials will start to trust you and think you’re good.

Also, you need to make sure your website shows up when millennials search for dental stuff. You can do this by using the right words on your website and writing blogs that tell people useful things. If other good websites talk about your website, it will show up more in searches, and that’s good.

Millennials also really care about what other people say online. If happy patients write nice reviews about your dental practice on Google, Yelp, or other places, more millennials might want to come see you.

You can also use online ads that are just for millennials. Google Ads and online entertainment ads help you show your stuff to the right people. You can choose who sees your ads based on things like what they like and what they do online. This can help you get more millennials interested in your dental practice.

Lastly, teaming up with famous people online who millennials like can be a big help. These people can tell their fans about your dental practice, and more millennials will know about you.

So, to wrap it up, dentists need to use the internet to talk to millennials in the UK. Use social media, make sure your website is good, get good reviews, use online ads, and work with popular online people. This way, you can get millennials to know and like your dental practice in the digital world.

You can read more articles about marketing your dental practice here.

Creating Engaging and Relevant Content for Millennials

Creating interesting and relevant stuff is super important when you want to get millennials interested. Millennials really like things that feel real, special, and like they’re talking directly to them. If you’re a dentist, you can do this by making content that millennials will like because they know a lot about technology and care about important things.

First, think about where millennials spend their time online. They really like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. You can use these places to show them things that teach them and make them smile. For example, you can make short videos that show how to take care of teeth, how to keep mouths clean, or what it’s like in your dental office.

You can read more about video marketing for dentists here.

Think about what millennials care about when it comes to their teeth. They really like taking care of themselves and being healthy. So, make content that shows how healthy teeth are important for the whole body. Talk about natural stuff for teeth, like how to make them whiter or how food affects teeth. Give them useful tips so they know you’re really good at what you do.

Stories are great for millennials. Share stories from people who liked coming to your dental office and had good experiences. Millennials like real stories that make them feel something. You can also talk about causes you care about or things you’re doing to help the community. This will show them that you’re a dentist who cares about important stuff.

Lastly, you should let millennials join in. They like to be part of things and tell their opinions. Ask them to share their dental stories, ask questions, and tell you what they think. You can do this on social media by having contests, asking questions, and having Q&A sessions. When you include them, they’ll feel like they belong and want to be your patient.

So, in short, if you want to get millennials interested, make content that’s real, special, and looks good. Share stories, talk about what they care about, and let them be part of the fun. If you do these things, you can make millennials want to come to your dental office and become your loyal patients.

You can read more about creating content for a dental practice here.

Leveraging Social Media Platforms to Connect with Millennials

Virtual entertainment has turned into a fundamental piece of our day to day routines, particularly for recent college grads. When it comes to connecting with this demographic and expanding your practice, harnessing the power of social media can be a game-changer for UK dentists.

Right off the bat, it’s fundamental to recognize which stages resound most with recent college grads. This generation is extremely fond of Instagram and TikTok because of their visually appealing content. Making outwardly engaging posts that exhibit your dental administrations, highlighting when pictures, patient tributes, and instructive substance, can enthrall recent college grads and arouse their curiosity in your training.

You can interact more interactively and authentically with millennials by making use of Instagram stories and reels. In the background film, back and forth discussions, and displaying the agreeable environment of your dental office can assist construct trust and experience with expected millennial patients.

Another powerful system is working together with powerhouses or miniature forces to be reckoned with who have serious areas of strength for a following. Find influencers with genuine ties to oral health and who share your brand’s values. By working with them to promote your dental services, you can increase your chances of getting new patients and increase your visibility among millennials.

Social media is all about engagement. Developing a rapport with millennials and demonstrating your dedication to providing excellent service are two outcomes of promptly responding to comments, direct messages, and inquiries. By offering a branded photo booth or hosting events or giveaways exclusively for your social media followers, you can encourage patients to share their experiences with social media.

Lastly, connecting with millennials can be made easier by utilizing user-generated content. Urge your patients to share their dental process, tributes, or even their stunning grins utilizing an assigned hashtag. This not only fosters a sense of community but also provides other millennials considering dental care with social proof.

In conclusion, dentists in the UK can connect with millennials in a variety of ways through social media. You can unlock the potential of the millennial market and take your dental practice to new heights by curating content that is appealing to the eye, collaborating with influencers, encouraging engagement, and utilizing user-generated content.

You can read more about using social media for dentists here.

Building Trust and Establishing Credibility with Millennials

For dentists in the UK who want to get involved with this group of people, it’s really important to make millennials trust and believe in you. Millennials are people born between the mid-1980s and late 1990s, and they really like when brands are honest and clear.

To connect well with millennials, dentists need to show that they know a lot and are really good at what they do. One good way to do this is by sharing helpful information about taking care of teeth. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, or fun online posts that give useful tips.

Millennials like dentists who know a lot and keep up with new things in dental care. Dentists can show their knowledge through happy ads that make them look like trusted experts. Also, sharing stories from happy patients on websites and social media can make millennials trust them even more.

Making sure that going to the dentist is easy and personal is also important. This means letting people schedule appointments online, using email or texts to remind them, and making the dental office a nice and modern place.

Talking to millennials on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook is also a must. Dentists can show pictures of their work, what goes on behind the scenes, and stories from patients. This way, they can show their skills and connect with younger people.

Lastly, dentists should reply quickly and politely to millennials’ questions, comments, and reviews. This helps show that they’re trustworthy and care about their patients.

By doing all these things, dentists in the UK can make millennials believe in them and like them. This will make millennials want to keep coming back to them for dental care.

Embracing Convenience and Technology in Dental Services

In today’s fast-paced world, making things easy and using technology are really important. Millennials, who are young people now, like it a lot when businesses use technology to make things better. For dentists in the UK, using technology and making things easy can help them get and keep millennial patients.

One way to make things easy is by letting people schedule appointments online. Millennials like being able to pick the time that works for them without having to call or wait. Having a simple online system to book appointments not only saves time for everyone but also makes the whole experience better.

Technology like digital X-rays and electronic health records can also make things better. These things help dentists work faster and better. They can quickly find out what’s wrong and make a plan to fix it. This makes millennials like going to the dentist more.

Also, making the dental office comfortable and modern is important. Offering things like free Wi-Fi, comfortable waiting areas with places to charge devices, and even things to do like watch TV or use tablets can make millennials feel good when they come for a visit.

Using social media, like Instagram and Facebook, is a great way for dentists to show millennials what they do. They can share pictures of their work, give tips about teeth, and talk to people online. Letting patients write reviews and stories on these platforms can help make other millennials trust the dentist too.

So, to sum it up, dentists in the UK should make things easy and use technology to get millennials interested and make them want to come back. They can do this by letting people book appointments online, using social media, making the office nice, and using technology for better dental care.

You can read more about building a website for dentists here.

Tailoring Pricing and Payment Options for Millennial Preferences

If you want to do well as a dentist in the UK, it’s really important to know what millennials like and change how you charge them and let them pay. Millennials are young people, and they care a lot about money and being able to pay in ways that are easy for them. By making your prices and payment choices fit what they want, you can get millennials to come to you and keep coming back.

One big thing is to make sure your prices are fair. Many millennials look for deals and might not want to spend a lot of money on dental stuff. Giving them good prices or special discounts can make them think your services are good and worth it. You can also make plans or programs that let them pay less for regular dental care.

Having different ways to pay is also really important. Millennials like having choices, like paying online or in parts. If you let them pay in ways that work for them, it can help if they’re worried about money for their dental work. You could even work with companies that help people with medical bills or make your own payment plans.

Being clear about how much things cost is really important too. Millennials want to know exactly how much they need to pay for things like procedures or treatments. Make sure your website and ads show exactly what you charge, so millennials know what they’re getting into.

Using technology for payments is also a must. Millennials know a lot about technology and they like it when things are easy. If you let them make appointments and pay online, it makes things better for them and they’ll like coming to your office.

By changing how you charge and let millennials pay, you can make them think your dental office is modern and good. This will make them want to come and also tell their friends about you. So, fitting your prices and payments to what millennials like can help your dental practice do really well.

Encouraging and Leveraging Online Reviews and Testimonials

In today’s digital time, online reviews and stories from customers have a big impact on what people decide to do. This is true for dentists too. Especially millennials, who are young people, look at what others say online before they pick a dentist. So, if dentists want more millennials to come to their office, they should ask for good reviews and use them.

One good way to do this is by asking happy patients for their thoughts. After they come for a visit, send them a message to say thanks and ask if they can share how it went online. You can even give them direct links to popular review sites like Google, Yelp, or Facebook to make it easy.

Think about starting a program where patients who bring in new people and leave good reviews get a small discount, gift cards, or other rewards. This not only makes happy patients tell others but also helps make millennials who might come later trust you more.

When you get a bunch of good reviews, put them on your website and social media pages. Millennials really like real stories from real people, so showing what other patients said can make them trust you.

Another thing you can do is talk back to the people who leave reviews, whether they’re good or not so good. This shows that you care about what people think and want to make them happy. If you reply quickly and nicely, it can help fix bad reviews and make millennials like you more.

Remember, millennials like to talk about their experiences and listen to others. By asking for and using online reviews, you can make them want to come to your office and tell their friends about you. This can really help you get more millennials interested in your dental practice.

You can watch our webinar on marketing and patient care here.

Measuring and Analyzing Marketing Campaigns for Continuous Improvement

Checking and understanding how well marketing plans are working is really important for dentists in the UK who want to get millennials interested. To really connect with these smart young people, dentists need to know what’s working and what’s not in their advertising.

One of the most important things to look at is how much money a marketing campaign makes compared to how much it costs. This is called the return on investment (ROI). Dentists can see which campaigns bring in the most money and decide where to spend their resources.

Another important thing is the conversion rate. This shows how many people who visit the website or show interest actually become patients. By tracking this, dentists can find where things are going well and make changes to make things even better.

It’s also important to see if digital marketing campaigns are doing well. Dentists should look at things like how many people visit the website, how long they stay, and if they leave quickly. This helps them know if people like what they see and if they’re interested.

Listening to what patients say is also a must. Dentists can ask patients for their thoughts and reviews to know if their marketing is working. This helps them learn how to make their services better.

So, to wrap it up, dentists in the UK should look at and understand their marketing plans to keep getting millennials interested. By checking things like ROI, conversion rates, website numbers, and patient feedback, they can make smart choices and make their marketing work even better for them.

Our Expert Opinion

“Millennials are making financial decisions now and they’re not looking for your in local magazines or through flyers. They’re looking for you online and they need to hear recommendation – what is known as social proof.

Millennials are going to find you on Google or social media (most likely on Google – social media takes a lot of work to get right). So, your website needs to be as good as possible and your social media needs to exist at least.

We’ve covered websites and SEO for dentists in other articles, and your social media is going to act as more of a reference for future patients, rather than a magnet for leads. Millennials want to see reviews and testimonials. They are more immune to salesmanship and they need to see real patients giving real reviews. This means you need to do anything you can to get Google reviews and video testimonials from your patients.

Millennials also care about values, show that you do too. If you’re sustainable in any way, show it off. If you do work with charity or in the community, show it off.

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

How to use Video to Effectively Market your Dental Practice

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | February 11
George Bellamy, Nikita Kanda

George Bellamy: Welcome back to the Dental Business Guide. I’m George. And once again, we’re here with Nikita, and we’re gonna change things up. Nikita now wants to ask me questions, so fire away.

Nikita Kanda: Yes, I thought I would switch it up today and I would be the one asking George questions because today we’re going to talk about video content and George has a lot more knowledge on this topic than I do, so I thought it’d be fun to switch it around.

So my first question for you George is: If I have a dental practice, what sort of video content should I be putting out on my social media?

George Bellamy: So, for social media, you want small snippets of information. The thing is, people scroll through their feed and if you don’t capture someone with a video in the first five seconds, you’ve lost them.

So really, you want to get your point across as quickly as possible. No one wants to be watching a 15 minute video of you rambling on. So I think if you want to do an advert, if you want to do a walkthrough of your practice for example, then yes, definitely do that. But I think stick it around the 30 second mark, but make sure the first five seconds are punchy and are key, so people can actually engage with it. They want to continue viewing for the rest of that 30 seconds.

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, that’s a really good point and do you think I should be posting videos of my team? What sort of content should I be putting out, the team or more teeth related information? Or is it just those people, those practice owners should find out what their unique selling point is, and then post about that?

George Bellamy: More or less with video, you want to film and edit and upload everything and anything. So the way I put it is, video is photos 24 times a second. I find video more convincing. Because my background is real estate, I would do real estate films and my selling point with the films I create was that they’re true, they’re real.

With photos, real estate photography is great, but you have the big wide angle lens that distorts the room, it makes the room feel a lot bigger than it actually is. With video, sure I use a wide angle lens, but it creates a sense of depth that has a sense of reality to it and same thing with dental practices.

So if you just keep having photos, you might seem like that stock photo surgery or that stock photo practice, if you will. But the video is you showing the real patients, the real dentists, the real place in its correct lighting. It just has that sense of reality to it and personal touch.

Nikita Kanda: I totally agree with you that it’s all about real, especially with what we’re posting on social media. You don’t want it to look like that stock image practice that you said so, definitely you’d say make it authentic content? 

George Bellamy: Without a doubt, definitely. 

Nikita Kanda:  Okay. So how would that relate when I’m trying to make an ad for my practice? How would I go about making an ad? If I’ve never made an ad before, how would you help me with that?

George Bellamy: So I’m a videographer by trade, this is my livelihood, this is my living, I know what I’m doing. But to the average Joe, you probably have no idea where to start and you’ll probably buy some camera or just use your iPhone. Believe it or not, your phone is one of the best cameras you can use because it’s quick and easy.

For example, Nikita you’re on social media, doing small snippets of video is absolutely key. To go back on to your question with having an ad, at the end of the day you can make it how you want to make it. If you’re using your iPhone, as long as your audio is good, I think you’ll be fine. You can really tell the difference between an expensive camera with terrible audio and a cheap camera with great audio, they are two very different things.

Believe it or not, people have actually preferred the expensive audio. So if I was to say anything like that, I would say, to do an advert is, first of all, what do you want to have? What do you want your advert to do? What’s its purpose? Really, that’s the main thing.

If your purpose is to drive sales and gain more patients, then I personally would look into investing the money and to hiring a company to do an advert for you. For example, hiring a videographer just for the week, I don’t know what the going rate is but you can be looking at spending £500-£600 on a decent video and a decent advert, which as we mentioned in the previous podcast marketing and running adverts with that video, that’s the way Facebook works, it’s great.

Contact us to find out more

You can run these adverts and these videos and the way you need to look at it is if you can get one sale out of that video, you probably made your money back in the long term. I think this is what you need to be looking at. Yes, you can make your own advert and I encourage you to. But, I think for big things like this, I would definitely suggest potentially looking into hiring a videographer for the day, and just filming a lot and go from there.

Nikita Kanda: No, that’s a great bit of advice. Actually, that was gonna be one of my next questions that should I hire a videographer but you’ve just answered that. I definitely think that people should definitely have a videographer on hand or on speed dial.

George Bellamy: Have someone in your phone book, that’s all. Someone that you can call and just say, hey, we need this, they’ll come, film it and edit it and then give it to you. But what I stress is, film as much as you can yourself, anything and everything. Film one of your dentists talking about who they are. It’s putting a voice mainly, and a face to the people.

Everyone has on their website, the ‘about me’ page where you have got the list of the dentists with all their qualifications and their little blurb about me, but you can’t convey personality through text or through one picture. So I think video is certainly key, just have a quick 30 second video just about who the dentist is.

That’s all it is because when people are looking for a new dental practice, they’re not just going on the website. They’re not just talking to their friends, they’re also nowadays going through their social media. Would I choose a dental practice that doesn’t post anything on social media, but has good reviews on Google for example? Or will I go with the company that seems to be engaging with their patients, seems to be putting out information, making you feel more relaxed and at home while you’re at the dentist? I think that’s definitely the angle you should be going with it.

Nikita Kanda: For sure. I think as well, don’t underestimate the power of your iPhone or your phone or your camera because they’re so good nowadays. And like you said, as long as you’ve got good quality, good sound, that’s all you need and just be consistent with it. So one question I have for you; quality versus quantity, would you rather be putting out one quality video a week? Or is it quantity where you’re putting out a video a day, what do you prefer?

George Bellamy: That is a really good question because it’s two different arguments you have. So, as we’ve said before, with Instagram, you want to be posting every single day, the repetition, you want to have that presence, but then also you don’t want it to be just random things, you want it to be structured and well thought out.

So there are two arguments to it, there is; should you post multiple videos a week or should you just post one? That is the million dollar question. For me personally, I’m a perfectionist, I like things to be perfect. I like them to be the exact way I envisioned it. But Arun the managing director of Samera, has said ‘I just want to post things, I just want to get that content out there.’ We’ve had some arguments in the past about this, but we’re two different mindsets, Arun just wants to publicise his practice and his business and I just want to create content I’m proud of.

Nikita Kanda: It depends on what you’re posting. With social media like I’ve said before, I mix it up. So I will do one day pictures, one day video ads so mix it up. But when it comes to a video ad, you want to get that quality right but because that’s going to be going out and continuously played.

George Bellamy: Yes, you want it to be shareable, definitely an ad, you want that quality to be perfect. You don’t want a single thing gone wrong. Because like you’ve seen some videos where at the end of it they leave four seconds of black video, that black clip, you don’t want that. That’s giving off the wrong signals.

But then, if it’s a video about a walkthrough of the practice that’s on your Instagram feed, quantity is fine. It really depends on what you’re trying to do. I would say for me, personally I’m more of a quality over quantity. But maybe quantity is better in some sense and to be honest with you, it’s anyone’s guess really. It depends what it’s being used for. 

Nikita Kanda: Okay, you’ve already touched on how you would get people to watch your videos or your ads. You said before in the beginning that you need to capture a person’s attention straightaway, right?

George Bellamy: Yeah, that’s right straight away.

Nikita Kanda: What are the things would you say that people should put in their ads? Or what tips should they be using to capture patients’ attention?

George Bellamy: So being different and standing out, being that one shiny object in a sea of green, the key is to be different. The thing is to stand out in the 21st century especially in 2021 now, where everything is online, it’s very, very difficult.

To make a video go viral, for example, it is very, very difficult, and it’s hit or miss, sometimes you can think you’ve got the greatest idea for a viral video and it absolutely tanks. But other times you think you’re just going to post it even if it’s not that great and it gets millions and millions of views, it’s a very difficult thing to predict. So to get people to watch your videos, I mean realistically, you need to be engaging, you need it to be relatable, you need, as I’ve said before, to get them in the first five seconds.

More or less we now live in a society of bite sized information. People are too busy on their phones, they’re just scrolling, just absorbing information as quickly as they can. So if you have a video that is really informative, but you have the introduction to the video is just not adequate, you’re going to lose those viewers.

So to get people to watch your videos, I would say definitely quickly get them entertained. That’s usually either by comedy or by music or by text. That’s another thing, text – perhaps don’t use too much text because people will just look at a whole paragraph of text and go, ‘I don’t really have time to read all that’ and also, because it’s a video, you just want to be told the information. So more or less, I would say just make it as quirky and as different as possible, use bright colours etc.

Nikita Kanda: I think that’s a great point to make now that those are the things people should be looking out for. I would just like to add that when you said about people wanting to scroll quickly on their phones, definitely in terms of social media, I’d say if you’re going to make a video, or you’re going to post any videos, make it like 30 seconds to a minute, maximum a minute!

Contact us to find out more

People don’t want to sit there and watch long videos anymore, they just want the quick information so that’s definitely a good piece of advice, make sure you’re making quick, informative videos that will keep people watching and keep them engaged because long videos are a thing of the past now, aren’t they?

George Bellamy: Even YouTube for example, five years ago, the goal was to create videos as long as possible and gain their attention throughout. Nowadays youtubers want to get to the ten minute mark, because they’re gonna have two or three adverts inside the video to basically make more money from it. I think quick bites of information are certainly becoming the norm. 

Nikita Kanda: That was gonna be one of my last questions to you about Youtube. So if I’m a dental practice owner do I need YouTube when I’m opening my practice? Is it something that I need at the beginning? Is it something that you would recommend?

George Bellamy: So I personally think YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google and Google owns YouTube. So really, I would say yes but not for the reasons you’re thinking. I would say use YouTube to upload videos, that you can then use the embed code on your website personally, I would do that.

Nikita Kanda: And what does that mean, embed code for people that don’t understand what that is.

George Bellamy: When you have a video on your website, an embed code means instead of linking to the website, you can watch that video inside your page on your website. With social media videos, as I said before, you want it to be quick information. With YouTube, I think it’s not a game changer if you don’t have it but also it’s one of those things that is not expected of you yet, but it’s starting to become that norm. 

Nikita Kanda: Like you said and you can use that in your website, I think that looks nice. It’s really professional when people do that, when you can watch the video right in one space it looks amazing.

George Bellamy: Well, one thing I absolutely love is on the ‘About Me’ page, again it’s what I was saying about videos, making those personal touches and having that personality. On your website when you have the ‘about me’ page, you click on individual dentists or the associates or nurses, and you have a quick 30 second video hosted on YouTube, consisting of who that person is and giving them a quick brief description of where they studied, why they wanted to get into dentistry etc and I think that gives it that personal touch, it truly does.

Nikita Kanda: I totally agree with everything you said about not needing YouTube, but it’s a good tool to use when you are starting up. So it’s not something that you need to be regularly posting on but it’s something that you can definitely use. It’s great for your website but I think definitely with video content, like we’ve said, hire a videographer, if you can.

George Bellamy: If you can

Nikita Kanda: Just shoot as much content as you can in maybe one day, get simple ads made and as you said, get genuine, real content of your team. It will help patients see that you’re real on social media, not just trying to get the numbers up or just post loads of pictures. You’re actually showing the real side of your business. That’s definitely hit the nail on the head with all video content, anything you’ve got to add?

George Bellamy: One thing I just thought of is you’re doing videos of your patients especially, a release form is completely key because you don’t want to be five years down the line where your video then goes viral and the patient says I don’t actually want my face to be on the video anymore. And then you unfortunately have to take that out or take the video down because you haven’t got written permission to film them. You can get your free templates online and I highly recommend them. 

Nikita Kanda: That’s something that we do as well with Samera and The Neem Tree, we get written permission from all of our patients that have agreed to be on social media, it just makes things a lot easier and just covers your back as well.

George Bellamy: Yeah, it’s just hassle free for your future self really, because 99% of the time, the patient’s absolutely happy with it and won’t have a problem with it but it’s that 1% that can really more or less screw you over further down the line. 

Nikita Kanda: I’ve had an experience in the past that the patient is happy for you to use their face in the video but they might not want their name. So sometimes remember, if they don’t want their full name or just ask them beforehand, are you okay with us using your full name or if you’re not, they don’t even have to put a name there. Just put that ‘our patient at…’ whatever clinic you are, so just bear in mind these little tips and things to note for future videos.

George Bellamy: Well, thank you for helping me come out of my shell and answering questions about video making, I’ve always been the one interviewing…

Nikita Kanda: It was nice to be the interviewer. I know.

George Bellamy: I’m too complacent with it. Well, I hope that helps you understand everything about video, it’s one of those things that people overlook.. Many people think photos are the way forward and unfortunately I think it’s the other way around.

Nikita Kanda: Don’t be scared to put videos out. Do it. Try it. You’re not going to know unless you try it.

George Bellamy: Exactly. Also, you’re not going to gain traction overnight. It’s going to be something you’d have to have the repetition. 

George Bellamy: Yeah, well, anyway, thank you so much for listening and we’ll catch you on the next one.

Click here to check out our articles.

Our Expert Opinion

“Video is very important when it comes to digital marketing. Whether it be educational videos, video testimonials or practice walkthroughs – you’re going to need video content. Anything that you host on the main page of your website, like a walkthrough of the practice, you’re going to want a professional involved. They need to look slick and show your practice off. More than that, no matter how great your practice is, if you have a poorly-made video of it you are going to look cheap and unprofessional.

Anything else, like educational stuff and testimonials, can be made on a decent quality phone. In fact, that can even be better as it look more personal.

I think the importance of video content has been a little overblown in the last few years, personally. It’s still incredibly important but it isn’t a silver bullet and it isn’t enough. You need to use a range of different media: text, images audio, video. However, text content will count for the bulk of your SEO.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

How to Market Your Dental Practice Online

The Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | February 11th
Arun Mehra, George Bellamy and Nikita Kanda

George Bellamy: Welcome back to The Dental Business Guide. I’m George and today I’m with both Nikita and Arun – welcome guys.

Arun Mehra: Hi George, Hello.

George Bellamy: Right, I think let’s just dive straight into it. So Arun, obviously when you started Samera and The Neem Tree, you didn’t really have a marketing team…

Arun Mehra: No, not at all, I remember I was the marketing team as well as the loo cleaner as well as helping out with everything behind the scenes. When you start the business, at that point you were learning as you started.

I remember when we started off the marketing, we were putting flyers together, we were getting posters together. In the days when we started this up, I created the website myself using something called Microsoft Front Page which was the tool in those days that talked about early 2000 to 2003. So were you even born? I’m not actually sure.

So I remember creating that and that was a great foundation for learning about marketing, but also a great foundation to realise how interesting it is, but also how bloody difficult it is!

George Bellamy: I definitely agree with that.

Marketing Can Make Your Business

Arun Mehra: It definitely is and marketing can ultimately make your business or destroy it and you can burn so much cash at the end of the day, you’ve got no customers, so you’ve got to be careful.

George Bellamy: I mean fast forward to 2021, Samera has five… six members of the marketing team or the digital team. I like to say; we’re thriving and I think we’re definitely trying to tackle the market as well as we can online.

Nikita this is where you come in, because we focus mainly on adverts and Facebook ads, Google ads and we didn’t really push anything on Instagram. We didn’t really push anything on any social media organically and in a way that’s really where you came in.

So you know, really what I’m just trying to ask is if I was a dental practice owner, why should I invest in a marketing team? Why should I even bother about social media?

You Need Social Media

Nikita Kanda: I think these days in 2021 you definitely need social media, whatever business you have. Whether it’s Dental or GP or anything, you need to have social media like Instagram or Facebook because it’s taken over the world at the moment. Social media has taken over everything and everybody’s got it, doesn’t matter what age you are, everybody is on it.

They will see your business on any social media platform and it’s so important because you can reach so many more people and you can reach more people in different countries and different age groups, there’s so much more reach you can get to and engagement. So I definitely think it helps your business.

It will draw clients or patients in the door, again, you’re reaching a different type of market. I think probably the number one tool at the moment for marketing is social media. There’s so many different platforms, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, you can go on and on and there’s a different trend every single week. So you got to keep up with it. I’d definitely spend at least one hour a day or a couple of hours a day on it, to make sure it can benefit your business, but it will benefit your business.

George Bellamy: Yeah, definitely.

Arun Mehra: I’m very much the dinosaur on the podcast today and it’s evident to me that you guys are in your 20’s me in my late 40’s and I’m 20 years behind. I am not really picking up. Obviously we have social media accounts personally as well, but it wasn’t part of the culture as I was growing up.

However, in terms of marketing, the same principles of marketing that we’ve been doing for the last 20 years still apply today. I think that’s the really important message here. Social media is just a layer on top of that to get that message out, but the principles of marketing definitely remain the same.

George Bellamy: Definitely. So I’m starting a practice and I’ve got the basics. I’ve got your dental nurses associates, I’ve got a receptionist, I’ve got all of that but I haven’t done anything about marketing. Do I need a whole full-fledged marketing team? Because as I said earlier, we have five or six members of our marketing team. I think it’s right, isn’t it? Five, six members?

Arun Mehra: Yeah, about six, yes.

You Need a Team to Support You

George Bellamy: We have many people on our marketing team. Do you need that six people, or can you get away with just having one?

Arun Mehra: I think in my opinion, obviously our marketing team is not just only for us, but we also support other clients. So that’s the first thing, we’ve obviously got more people than a normal dental business would have, but the roles are exactly the same.

So you need to have a team there that will support you through your business. Now, if you’re running a business or running a dental clinic, you’re busy doing dentistry. Do you really have the time, as Nikita mentioned earlier, to spend one or two hours getting the socials right on your website or out there in the marketplace? You probably don’t.

The key is to delegate these tasks to a number of team members, whether you hire someone internally or use an agency external, like ourselves, that’s your choice. But you need to have all these things ticked in the box, so that you’re ultimately getting the customers or patients through the door. 

George Bellamy: Amazing. Alright so Nikita, you and I last time, we spoke about analytics and reading through with a fine tooth comb all your data that you get from your insights, the analytics through your Instagram, Facebook etc.

Analyse the Data

So how can you use that information with marketing? A lot of it is paid for marketing, advertisers doing Google ads, it’s doing Facebook ads, a lot of the time doing things organically takes a while to start to gain traction. Obviously, it’s easier, it’s quicker if you just pay to have adverts done. So how would looking through analytics on your Instagram page help you pinpoint your demographic for adverts?

Nikita Kanda: So with Instagram and Facebook, most social media platforms have this feature where you can see your insights in your data. So what that means is, you can see where your posts or your videos or your adverts are reaching; how many males and females it’s reaching, which age groups it’s reaching, which countries it’s reaching.

So that will help and it will also tell you what time of the day your posts are getting the most engagement or the most reach or being seen by the most people. I think it’ll help you in terms of adverts because then you’ll know which time to post it, when to post, where to post stories or your page is better for your advert.

But also, you can pick which countries you want it to reach to as well, all that sort of stuff. So it just helps you with getting this data, it really helps you know your audience and your followers, what they’re interested in or when they’re going to see your post, which is really important.

George Bellamy: Arun, anything else you would like to add?

Pay-Per-Click for Faster Results

Arun Mehra: I’d like to add, I think it’s important on the social media side, it takes time to build up that following. Whilst it’s great, you want to also think about the advertising side of things, as Nikita said, you can post socially and post organically, but it takes time.

So you can jump to the top of the queue if you want by putting adverts out there and sometimes there’s a bit of confusion between what is social media. But nowadays social media covers the organic as well as the paid side of things.

So you want to put ads on Instagram and put ads on Facebook. It’s such a powerful tool. In terms of the data points that you’ve got, you can choose who, what and where, if they clicked on a certain website link, you can even market to those types of people specifically.

It is a bit creepy, to some extent, but that’s the world we live in these days. It’s just trying to help every kind of company or business who is doing this and trying to follow your path to ultimately lead you to making a sale.

You can do that in your dental clinic as well for this, but it takes time and effort to set up and again, this is something that you could do yourself 100%. But do you have the time and the resources to do that? If not, think about getting a third party to assist.

Take Your Time

Nikita Kanda: Just to add there as well, not to be pushy on social media we do that a lot at Samera. We don’t push people into signing up for this and that, we just organically do that. We want them to just see our stuff, but we don’t want to push it.

But I also think it is important to have somebody that is used to social media because, like I said, you do need to spend a good couple of hours on it every single day to build up that following and build up that engagement.

Because like Arun said, that isn’t going to happen overnight. Especially with social media, you want it to be organic, and you want to have those real followers as real people engaging with you. So it will take time.

So don’t don’t get scared if you’ve set up this Instagram page or Facebook and you’re not getting any followers in the first week, it will happen. But you just have to spend the time over a couple of months and build it up.

Arun Mehra: Valid point you raise there, because there are businesses that have thousands upon thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers. Have they really got those followers or are they fake followers?

George Bellamy: It’s the engagement rate really…

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I think it’s the fake followers. To be honest, I think a lot of these practices or any businesses, they straightaway will have around 40,000 followers. You should think, well look at their engagement and see how many likes they actually get.

Does it compare to how many followers they have? If they have 40,000 followers, and they have ten likes on one picture that doesn’t quite add up. And also, people who have younger followers will see that and be like, ‘that’s not real’ so then they might not trust that dental practice or they might not trust that business and go somewhere else. 

George Bellamy: What else are you lying about?

Always Be Organic and Authentic

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I would always say be organic and it will happen, your followers will go up, you just have to push the right content and be genuine. I think that’s the main point.

Arun Mehra: I think that’s the key word you mentioned. Also ‘trust’ as well as that. Ultimately, you’re displaying who you are and what you do, and it’s that trust that is so important in business and in anything we do and in terms of social media as well. 

George Bellamy: Definitely. So, this is another one for you, Arun. If I don’t have the resources to be able to have someone to do my social media for me full time and I want to start making ads, I want to start getting more patients, which platform should I use for adverts? Should I focus purely on Facebook, or should I focus purely on Google? Or are there any others that I’m completely missing?

Arun Mehra: Great question, George. Now, we’ve talked socials, but I am a huge fan of, ultimately, Google. Google is what I’ve built my businesses on over the last 20 years. Facebook wasn’t even around back then, so my view personally is to dominate Google, if you can.

SEO vs PPC

Now, how do you dominate Google? Well, there’s two primary ways. One is through search, so optimising yourself through Search Engine Optimization to get people to find you organically. Again, that is a long process that takes time, it also takes patience, it takes a lot of effort. Google’s always changing its algorithm to catch you out, but that’s part and parcel of the game.

The other way is through pay per click advertising on Google. It’s those ads you see at the top of Google, when you do a Google search. That’s a shortcut to the top and that’s how Google makes most of its money. It is in fact a powerful way, if it’s set up right, to get customers through the door.

Now, contrast that to Facebook ads, or Facebook social, no doubt, again, very powerful. But that’s social media, Facebook’s very much still around people are in their social element, they’re hanging out on Facebook or on Instagram. Google is very much a search engine, people are always searching for something, either I need a dentist today, I’m in pain today, see who comes to the top.

If it’s you or you’re near to the top, it’s very likely they’ll come to you. So you got to play the market right and play with these things. But, regardless, they’re both very powerful tools to use and I would strongly advocate it. If you don’t have the resources, as an answer to your original question George, if you had one thing to focus on, primarily just focus initially on getting Google right.

George Bellamy: Just Google, so would you then begin to narrow that question down, then would you then focus on just adverts or by boosting your SEO, If you had to choose one?

Arun Mehra: If your time is limited but you’re okay financially, I would go with Google ads because that gets you to the top of the list straight away, as long as you set it up right and optimised it correctly. Over the long term though, you will still want to have an SEO strategy because eventually you want to dominate organically.

So eventually, you won’t need the adverts at all, because you would just come up for the search term that people type in the search bar. That is a long term process that takes time, effort and money to do. If I look at our business, The Neem Tree, for instance, we started off with Google ads. Now, we still do Google ads but our budget has reduced because our SEO positions have just got stronger and stronger over the years, that’s how I would do it. 

Reviews are Key

Nikita Kanda: I think talking of Google, I think Google reviews is another massive thing at the moment that I’m seeing. Every dental practice is posting their Google reviews a lot at the moment. I definitely think if you can, get your patients to send you Google reviews and post those on your social media because people are looking at reviews a lot at the moment.

George Bellamy: Yeah, to back off that, they always say don’t judge a book by its cover but everyone does. You know, if I’m on Just Eat, for example, looking for a nice takeaway at night. If I see a restaurant, which looks pretty good, but the reviews are a bit iffy. I won’t go with it just because I’m judging a book by its cover.

Arun Mehra: Did you see that case earlier this week, there was an unhappy client of a solicitors firm and he wrote a Trustpilot review about the solicitor on their website saying they weren’t very good, the solicitors ultimately sued him. So it definitely had a knock on effect on their business and the solicitor won and now he has to pay them £25,000.

It’s because the impact the review had and the way he did it, and the language he used. So that’s very interesting that now that the courts are showing favour this time, to the law firm, and so people who are posting negative reviews have to be careful as well, increasingly in this litigious environment we live in.

George Bellamy: Wow, I’ve seen lots of images of screenshots of restaurant owners when the customer leaves a one star review, because they can’t leave anything lower than that. They say that the service is horrible etc and the owner has actually replied to the comment to the review and has just completely called him out on everything. You know, it’s quite funny to see actually.

Arun Mehra: That’s the key, the key if you do get a bad review, you should definitely respond to it. There is no point getting into a debate or an argument online, but always respond to it. 

George Bellamy: Accept if you are genuinely in the wrong. Accept it, put your hands in the air and say: ‘yeah we messed up. We do apologise. I hope we can rectify it.’

Arun Mehra: But also, but at the same time, if you’re not in the wrong, you just need to say it. You can make it clear, then obviously it takes two to tango, our opinion is very different but we wish you well.

George Bellamy: Yeah. Just say I’m afraid we couldn’t see eye to eye, etc, etc. I think that’s definitely right 

Google ads, Google reviews are just as important because we do live in a world where we judge a book by its cover. I guess the 21st century it’s 2021, which is ridiculous. I didn’t think we would even get to this year. We do everything on our phones, It’s crazy.

You walk through the town and you see people just on their phones and everyone’s in a state of focusing on what’s on their phones, reading news articles, more or less it’s quite scary, actually.

You know, before lockdown I was on the train through London and people are on their phones on the train. If this was 15 years ago, there would be newspapers out, or there would be people reading books or even just looking out of the window. But nowadays, everyone’s on their phones. They’re watching their new TV series on Netflix and it is scary, it really is. 

Arun Mehra: Where does it all end George? 

Digital Marketing is Here to Stay

Nikita Kanda: I don’t think it will, I think it will carry on like this and social media and all these technologies are just gonna carry on taking over. You’ve just got to use it to your advantage, especially with businesses, use it to your advantage in a good way.

I’d also say, people search on Google for everything nowadays but a lot of younger people usually start searching on Instagram or Facebook first. So if your business doesn’t have an Instagram page or a Facebook page, people are going to be a bit more iffy about that. If you haven’t got a social media page, are you even real? Social media instils people’s trust in you.

Arun Mehra: You’re so right, Nikita. I was talking to my son the other day, and he’s just launched a little website and he’s not interested in getting it advertised on Facebook or Google, he said, it’s Instagram and Tiktok as what he’s doing. It’s all on Tiktok. He’s gonna get his customers through TikTok or Instagram and I’m completely looking blankly at him.

All I know is that some dancey thing that happens, but but you’re right, it’s evolving. As I said, right at the outset, I think, ultimately, it’s about getting your message out and it’s about crafting. Good marketing is ultimately about crafting good stories, interesting stories, which engage with your customers. You can’t be everything to everyone so you just want to engage the right kind of customer that works for you and it works for them and ultimately get a happy result for everybody. 

Nikita Kanda: Definitely.

George Bellamy: Spot on, well, I think we should leave it as that, you know, marketing, it’s one of those things that you kind of turn a blind eye to and don’t think you need it but it’s very important. If you want to drive sales up, you’re going to gain more patients. You know, as you said, running Google Ads is probably your way forward if you haven’t got the resources to run your social media full time. But then again, Instagram is just as important. So they’re both very different angles to look at. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and we’ll catch you on the next one.

Arun Mehra: No worries George and good luck with your marketing everybody and if you need help you know where we are. Give us a shout. Thanks.

You can find all episodes of the Dental Business Guide Podcast here.

Our Expert Opinion

“Marketing online, as apposed to offline marketing such as flyers, local outreach etc, can be quicker, cheaper and reach much farther afield. As the generations who grew up with social media get older and start making more financial decisions, advertising on Instagram, TikTok etc is going to be come ever more important.

It can be a lot of work but by focusing on the best channels, you can implement it very effectively. You probably have someone younger in the practice who at least know the basics of posting and editing on social media – get them to handle posting on your pages. All you need to post is pictures/videos of your team, the practice, reviews and success stories, any blogs you have and any testimonials. Post a couple of times a week and that’s basic social media marketing sorted.

Get yourself on Google Ads, set up a simple campaign with a decent budget. There, that’s your PPC sorted.

The trickier part is going to be SEO, it involves more work but it gets you higher up on Google and will get most of your leads. Use our guides on SEO for dentists to work on the basics or get your web developer on the job and you’ll find yourself generating more leads.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

Should You Use Social Media in a Dental Practice?

Dental Business Guide Podcast Episode | 2nd February 2021
George Bellamy and Nikita Kanda

George Bellamy: Welcome to the Samera podcast, I’m George and today I’m with our very own social media manager, you’re a social media manager or…

Nikita Kanda: Social media expert 

George Bellamy: Social media expert, Nikita Kanda. Hello, and welcome to the podcast.

Nikita Kanda: Hello, George, How are you?

George Bellamy: I’m very good. Yes, right let’s just dive straight in. So we’re gonna be talking about social media, that’s your forte. So, I’ve been reading up on things you’ve written about social media and whatnot. And really, just to start off with, why should businesses use social media? Why should we even bother? Why not do things organically? 

People Want to See What is Real

Nikita Kanda: I think in this day and age, social media is such a big thing that I think if you’re not using it, you’re silly to be honest. I mean, it’s something that you grasp your audience, your viewers, or even you grab sales from it, any sort of business. It doesn’t matter what it is, obviously, we’re talking specifics like dentists and dental businesses, definitely people want to see what’s real nowadays.

So you know, if you’ve got before and after pictures, if you’ve got anything real, videos of your team members and everything, people want to see what’s real. They will straightaway go to search for you on Google.

So I know if I’ve ever wanted to look up a dentist or anything like that, I straightaway go on and look at their social media because I think that’s the time that we’re living in now. It’s just something that everyone is doing and I think you definitely need to have, you know?

George Bellamy: Because 5 or 10 years ago, social media really wasn’t a prominent thing. But as you say, nowadays, it’s just everywhere. You know, I read somewhere once, it’s one in three people in the world have Facebook, or something like that, it’s ridiculous.

Read our article on using social media to grow a dental practice.

Social Media Keeps Growing

Nikita Kanda: It’s just growing on another level, and especially Instagram, Facebook, the two main things, I think it’s just growing, especially for businesses there. I was speaking about this the other day, Instagram for businesses is such a big thing.

Now they actually have made a business account. So you can have a normal account in Instagram, or you can have a business account, which just unlocks so many other features for businesses and just helps you build up your revenue, make more money, get more clients, get more followers, it’s just so much more you can do.

George Bellamy: Right. Okay, so let’s say I’m a practice and I want to start making social media. I don’t have the resources to do all of them. Because I think there’s like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, is Myspace still a thing? No, there’s so many different social media platforms. So which one should I choose? And why, really?

Start With Facebook and Instagram

Nikita Kanda: So if you were to start a dental practice, I definitely think Instagram and Facebook are the two that you should definitely start. It’s just a no-brainer, especially these days. If you’re trying to reach that young market as well, then Instagram is 100%. I’m very, I’m like Instagram pro. I’m like “you have to get Instagram, It’s like the way to go”.

Watch our webinar on using Facebook and Instagram ads for dentists.

And of course, it’s not expensive, it’s free to sign up. So it’s not like you have to be spending money. If you don’t have the money to spend when you do start your business, then it’s something you can do for free. Yeah, I would just say start with a plan though, kind of know what goals you want, what do you want out of it? Start with it with a good business strategy. I would always say start first with: what are your goals? 

What Are Your Goals?

George Bellamy: So, which one would you choose? You’re an Instagram advocate so, would you always just use Instagram over everything else then?

Nikita Kanda: Yeah 100%. I think I’d use Instagram over any other social media apps.

George Bellamy: Right. What are the main differences between all three? Like I said, the three main ones are what? Instagram, Facebook and Twitter?

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I would say that.

George Bellamy: What about snapchat? Do people use that still? 

You Don’t Need Snapchat

Nikita Kanda: Snapchat was more of a craze. I think it’s still used but with younger kids now. It’s just more for messaging and photos and just that it’s more about filters and it’s not really something that necessary. I mean, I guess if you’re like a really big brand or a celebrity, it’s good to have such because I guess your followers can watch you but you know, from a business point of view, I don’t really think you need Snapchat.

It’s something that more younger kids use to be honest, but at the moment, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, yeah, definitely. And also YouTube is another angle if you’re making content creating videos, you definitely would say but Instagram’s more visual.

I think it is great for growing businesses. I think Twitter’s more quick comments it’s like ‘newsworthy’ and then Facebook, I guess every kind of business probably has a Facebook page. So I definitely think it’s got the social aspect but definitely business features as well because Instagram and Facebook are linked now. So if you are setting up an Instagram business page, you will have to have a Facebook page already set up there.

George Bellamy: Right okay. Yeah, that’s interesting.

Which Platform Works For You?

Nikita Kanda: It’s important just to know which platform you think is best for you, and then what will reach your viewers or your followers or your clients.

George Bellamy: So, obviously there’s millions and millions and hundreds of millions, if not billions of Instagram accounts. Would you say that every practice probably has an Instagram? Whether or not they use it or not?

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I think nowadays, everybody’s got a page, an Instagram page, whether they use it or not. And I mean, you know, some people have done this whole fake followers thing that makes them look like they’ve got thousands of followers. I mean, that’s a whole other episode probably.

But yeah, I wouldn’t recommend doing that because people won’t see you as being authentic. I think that’s one of the main things is definitely be true to yourself. Definitely be authentic, and be real with your followers and people watch it otherwise, they’re not going to trust you, and they’re not going to want to come to you for business.

George Bellamy: Right, so how would you stand out then between everything else? Because obviously, you know, we’re going along with a sense of every practice has an Instagram, how can we stand out? How can we be that one shining object in a sea of black really?

Be Yourself, Be Authentic

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, like I said, definitely be yourself, be authentic, but just see your goals, what you’re trying to achieve, look at your team members, what do your team bring to the table and people want to see that real aspect of it.

They want to see your team being bubbly, having fun and being happy. I think Instagram has also turned into this whole posey-posey lifestyle, show the fast cars and this and that, and this glamorous lifestyle. But I think if you show that you’re real, I definitely think you will stand out.

Engage With Your Followers

But make sure you engage with people, because that’s another thing that a lot of these big Instagram pages of people with thousands of followers don’t do. They don’t engage with their followers, they don’t reply back to them with comments, or they don’t, you know, they don’t talk to them.

So people will feel disconnected in that way and then they might unfollow you in the future because they’d be like, oh, you’re not engaging with us so why do I need to follow you so definitely, I think, get to know people that are following you.

George Bellamy: Right. So okay, so how often should I post an image or a video or something? Would you stick with a schedule? Or is it more or less a sense of just putting things on? Like, would it be good if I put on five photos in one day? And then don’t do anything the rest of the week? Or, you know, What, really? 

Commit Yourself Daily

Nikita Kanda: I definitely think it’s a daily thing, you have to commit yourself daily. So every day I would be posting, especially with a new business, every single day post something, even if it’s, you know, one video a day, one picture a day, one advert a day you need to be posting daily like, it is so important.

Because the more you post, the more engagement you’re going to get, the more followers you’re going to get. So I definitely would say start with a minimum, if it’s just you on your own or a small team, start with minimum one hour. But I would say spend a few hours and get a social media manager if you can to just manage all of the accounts, because it’s so important that it’s going out at certain times, certain days as well.

Test to See What Works

I’d say Monday to Friday, think about what you’re going to post there with, obviously Samera Dental Group, every Monday we do a poll, tips every Tuesday, videos on Wednesday, Thursday, live Q and A’s, there are so many things you can do.

But I would set a week where you do it every single day and then you kind of see afterwards, what days am I getting the most engagement, and then you kind of start to see what works. Once you start doing it daily, it really helps you with your insights, and you start gaining all this information of your followers and really helps you for your business to see okay, what’s going to work and what’s not.

Watch our webinar on using marketing to increase profits in a dental practice.

George Bellamy: Okay, that’s pretty cool. So really, it’s just making sure you stick to a schedule. Let me just say how Instagram’s got business pages. Does that come with analytics, so you can see where your posts are on hours of the day and that kind of thing?

Set Up an Instagram Business Page

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, exactly. So that’s really important and I really love this feature, because Instagram business page allows you to see your insights. It allows you to see where in the world and which countries your pictures or videos or content is reaching, how many males or many females it’s reaching. The age bracket is really important as well, because you want to be seeing where is your business and who is it reaching, the age bracket, is it the right age bracket? 

If not, then you need to do something about that and yes, it shows you all these minor details, which is really, really important and shows you who’s exited your story of who’s gone back to look at it or your website, who’s clicked on your profile and how many people, there’s so much information you can gain from just an Instagram insights – it’s really useful.

Yeah, it’s really, really good. So I do recommend that you switch to a business profile if you haven’t done so already.

George Bellamy: Yeah, that’s really interesting. So okay I’ve got my schedule sorted now, do I post just photos, just videos or sprinkle a bit of both? Or do I put on a video on like, a certain day of the week, or what really?

Mix Up Your Posts

Nikita Kanda: I’d say, yeah, you mix it up. So you do photos, videos and do some lives, Instagram stories. The stories are different to the actual posts, stories are something that just lasts 24 hours but you tend to get more viewers on a story because it’s a quick view and it comes up on the homepage, the people just always tend to click straight away on the story.

Okay. So I think that’s really important to make sure when you do, what I do is when I post on the actual page itself, I always go and post it on the story as well. So I’ll be like, ‘click this new post’ or ‘click this new blog’ it’s kind of like an ad for this for the page really. Then people that will see it on the story will be like, okay, cool they’ve got something new, a new blog post’s out, let me go on their page and read it. So it’s really, really important that you kind of sync the two.

George Bellamy: Okay, So with social media, I’ve found that people very much don’t want things being thrown in their face. So basically, try and keep things more or less organic, as we’re not trying to gain a following (but you can if you want). So you’re trying to say don’t push. Say ‘follow us’ and don’t push to go on our website because I think that could scare people off in that sense.

Be Smart With Your Response

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, no, definitely. I wouldn’t be pushy with it because again, like you just said it would definitely scare people away and they might follow you and then again they might unfollow you and you want to kind of keep those followers and you want to keep the authentic followers as well.

That’s why I was saying definitely engage with people if they do comment, or they do send you a direct message, I definitely would reply to that. Make sure you’re quite quick with the response as well.

And again, with Google reviews, I mean, that’s another whole podcast, but definitely reply straight away if you can, because it makes them feel that there is somebody there behind that screen that actually cares and takes time. Because a lot of these social media pages, like I said earlier, they’re all about the glitz and the glamour and they don’t respond to people. So I think if you actually have that response and engagement there they feel like okay, this is a trustworthy brand. There’s actually somebody there that takes the time to respond.

George Bellamy: Yeah. Awesome. Okay, what happens if I’m doing a schedule and do my photos, my stories, all that, I’ve got a colour scheme going, you know, the whole shebang. But I’m not getting the following. It’s not really picking up the traction, so what can someone do to try and change that up?

Keep Going – Stick To It!

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, I would say just keep going because the thing is, when you start off on any social media page, you’re not going to get the following straight away. It’s just how it is, you need to stick to it.

Stick to posting every single day, stick to your plan, stick to what you’re doing in your content, keep pushing out even if one person or two people see it. You know what, that one person or two people – in a month’s time it might be 20 people, then it might be 200 people.

So what I would say is just keep doing it because the more you do it, the repetition is key. And I think don’t get put off by, oh, I posted a video and it’s not getting 1000 views. The thing is, with social media, it takes its time, if you want real authentic followers, it definitely takes its time and that’s just what it is.

Give yourself time, don’t just think this isn’t working because one person or nobody’s seen it, it really does take a while. Don’t go by what you see on Instagram, sometimes you’ll see people with 50,000 followers. But if you really look at what I’ve noticed, if I see a dental practice of 50,000 followers, I look on their photos or their content, and they’ve got about, I don’t know 16 to 20 likes, those numbers don’t add up to me. So then they’ve obviously paid for followers. So really don’t believe everything you see is what I’m saying, because it does take time.

Read out article on 5 reasons to use Facebook ads.

George Bellamy: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, because Exactly. Because half those followers would be fake and then again, what they’re doing, they’ve probably bought the followers and thought okay, we look cool, because we’ve got 50,000 followers, but really, you’re not getting the engagement and the engagement is key.

I definitely wouldn’t go down that route, I think be authentic. Take your time. Keep repeating, keep posting stuff every single day, spend time on it and it will come, it will definitely come like it just takes a while. 

George Bellamy: Yeah. Okay, so how do I gain that following then? Obviously, Instagram and Facebook have those hashtags and that lot? How should I use them? Because obviously some hashtags have got hundreds of millions of uses others have got a couple you know, do I go with the small like the smaller niche type hashtags? Or do I go with the whole filled up wider fetch ones? 

Use Smaller Traffic Hashtags

Nikita Kanda: I would say mix them up, definitely hashtag whatever is relevant to your business. So – ‘dental practice’, ‘dental’, ‘dental hygienists’, ‘dental nurse’, ‘dental business’ all about everything dental, hashtag it and anything else you can think of. Say you did dentistry, visit #dentalbusinesstips.

Okay, it might not have that many posts on it or, you know, it might be like a lower end of the hashtags, but somebody might actually type that in one day and be like, okay, I need some dental business tips, let me type that in and it will come up with yours. It will be the first to come up with because they haven’t been used that much.

So mix it up, use the ones that are quite common, but also make up your own. Also use the ones that you think people wouldn’t use much because somebody will use it. Yeah, it’s just good to mix it all up. And then you will get followers that way with the hashtags.

Also, again, like I said, the more you’re posting, you’re reaching different people, because there’s an explore page on Instagram. So say I’ve been all day clicking on different dental businesses, then in my explore page, it’s going to come up with other dentists or other things that relate to that, what I’ve been clicking on, right kind of relatable posts if you will.

So you know what, you will be seen in loads of different ways. And also ads as well sponsored, and get yourself sponsored on Instagram or ads again, it’s like Facebook ads. That’s a whole other podcast but yeah, that’s definitely something to go with it.

George Bellamy: Okay, amazing. Well, thank you so much for the insight. I’m sure everyone is very appreciative because I am a complete novice when it comes to Instagram. So I have my own Instagram for my Landrover defender has not got the following whatsoever but I might actually start using these tips now so thank you very much.

Read our article on 5 reasons you should use Google Ads.

Nikita Kanda: Oh, I definitely have a quick tip I’ll give is definitely get people that you know, friends, family, whoever to post about your page because the more people that post about it, whoever it is, friends, family, whatever, the more people that post about it, it will get more views, more followers and their followers will want to follow you because they’re seeing it through their page and it just kind of goes in a spiral basis.

George Bellamy: Whole full circle thing really.

Nikita Kanda: Yeah, word of mouth. definitely get people to push it for you, your friends and what not. So definitely, that’s another great tip.

George Bellamy: Superb. Well, that’s right, wrap it up there. Thanks very much for listening everyone and we’ll catch you on the next one.

Nikita Kanda: Thank you.

Our Expert Opinion

“Social media is becoming more important as the generations who grew up with it start making financial decisions. However, it can take a lot of ongoing work to make it work properly as a lead magnet and to convert those leads into patients.

My advice would be to get the team member who uses social media most in their personal life to handle your practice’s platforms. Post blogs, reviews, testimonials, offers and team photos a couple of times a week and use your social media as a touch point. What I mean by that is don’t expect to convert or find leads with your social media (unless you’re paying for ads). I don’t mean you can’t do that with social media – but it does take a lot more work and is harder to get right.

Treat your social media as a reference for leads captured by your website. When leads find your website they’ll read through it but they’ll want more. Your website is the polished, crafted front you show customers. Treat your social media as the behind-the-scenes, real life version where patients can learn more about you and feel closer to you.

They’ll want to see your reviews and testimonials, pictures of the team, reviews etc. They want to see the ‘real you’ so show it to them.”

Chris O’Shea
Head of Digital Marketing

Marketing a Dental Practice: Further Information

For further information on how to effectively market a dental practice, check out our Learning Centre here, where you can find articles and webinars like our guide How to Market a Dental Practice.

Make sure you never miss any of our articles, webinars, videos or events by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.