When you are first opening a new dental office, marketing may be the last thing on your mind. You might think there’s not much to market if you don’t have a facility and a license yet, but you would be surprised to find out how marketing early can help your business growth.
Start-up marketing is all about timing and careful planning.
Nine to Twelve Months Prior to Launch
- Develop your marketing plan including brand awareness, lead generation, lead conversation, retention and advocacy.
- Choose a building in a street with high traffic. If you choose an office inside a professional building, prepare for more marketing because you will be invisible to the community without it.
- Search about local regulations on size, height and placement of the building and share information with your builder or architect.
- Choose a name and a tagline for your practice.
- If you want to open a business with your name, visit the US Patent and Trademark office to see if it’s available.
- Register a domain name that matches your practice name and opt for .com domain extension.
Three to Six Months Prior to Launch
- Build pages on social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
- Invite friends and family to follow these pages.
- Post photos of your officed construction and ask fans to vote on small design decisions. Introduce your team as you hire them. Test a newly installed piece of equipment and share it with the world.
One to Three Months Prior to Launch
- Create or claim your business listing on Google Maps. Patients are likely to write reviews on your Google Maps listing.
- Develop a strategy that will attract new patients. Consider Google Ads, Facebook Ads, retargeting, SEO, direct mail, and letters to spread new-patient awareness.
- Invest in call-conversation training for your front desk because roughly 50% of your patients won’t have dental insurance. You will have to convert a cash lead into a patient.
- Invest in call-tracking technology to measure the leads generated by every marketing source.
- Launch your website at least 3 months ahead to get a lead on SEO. Use a chat app such as Local Med to make your website more user-friendly.
- Start posting content on social media.
- Design and print business cards and highlight any welcome offer and hand it out to as many people as you can.
- Design a patient referral card to new patients can refer to your practice as soon as you open.
- Add a creative coming soon banner to your new location.
- Announce your opening with a live video on Facebook and give viewers a tour of your office. Have members of your team introduce themselves and their roles in your office. Invite your very first patient to record his or her experience and boost it with a new-patient offer.
- Ask your patients to post reviews on the internet.
Three to Six Months After Launch
- Review your website and social media analytics to track what your audience wants. Don’t shift strategies until you’ve given users at least six months of consistent promotion and use.
- Change any strategy that is not working in your benefit.
- Most importantly, always have someone in your office answer calls and don’t let patients reach your voicemail because they will most likely not call back again.