In-house dental membership programs are rapidly gaining popularity among dental practices. These types of membership programs allow dentists to grow their patient membership base while decreasing their dependence on insurance companies.
Many dentists decide to break away from or decrease their reliance on insurance companies and start an in-house membership program, which allows dental practices to focus on curating their patient base while generating recurring revenues. Unfortunately, without proper marketing and education, patients don’t know if dentists offer in-house membership benefits.
Our modern world doesn’t use paper marketing as a primary form of advertising. Today, social media dominates marketing trends and is paving a path for dental practices to reach entirely new generations that need dental work—Millennials and Generation X. Additionally, as more Baby Boomers get on Facebook to view pictures of their grandkids, this age group is turning to the World Wide Web for information about their medical and dental care.
When a practice decides to institute an in-house membership plan, there are some key marketing components it needs to initiate. Additionally, it’s important to remember that it’s more expensive to get new customers than it is to retain existing ones.
Customer service and responding to patients’ needs is an integral part of securing a long-term patient base. Advertise in-house membership plans to current patients via email or patient mailers. But when it comes to attracting new patients, practices need to embrace modern-day marketing techniques.
Update Website and Contact Information
If a practice wants to start advertising on social channels, the first thing it needs to do is update its website with information about in-house membership plans, including contact information.
No matter how great a practice’s social media ads may be, without a reliable website to refer patients to, these marketing endeavors will fall flat. Remember to keep things simple, because if in-house membership plans appear overwhelming, patients will zone out and visit another practices’ page.
Social Media Marketing
There are many different types of social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Each one has its fan base, but Facebook offers highly advanced targeting that makes it the ideal social marketing tool for in-house membership programs. Additionally, when someone boosts or targets an ad on Facebook, it automatically displays on Instagram, making it essential for dental practices to be active on all social media platforms.
While Facebook is excellent as a primary form of marketing, though, it’s a good idea to extend your reach to other social media channels, especially Instagram, which is a great way to show off before and after dental procedure pictures.
The primary market for dentists is 28- to 55-year-olds because they have jobs, which translate into more money to spend on preventative and maintenance dental care. The primary social channel for this age group is Facebook.
Here are some important things to remember when setting up a Facebook business account:
- Optimize both your website and Facebook page for search engines.
- Select a username that is easy to remember and describes the dental practice accurately, such as its name.
- Complete the “About” section and use descriptive keywords that accurately describe the practice and services you offer. Always include the website URL to encourage prospective patients to visit it for more information.
- Tag business categories so patients can “check-in” at the business and so it shows up in searches.
- Optimize all pages by updating your cover and profile photos, making sure they are professional and reflect your practice.
Using Videos and Posts on Facebook
Facebook is a marketing platform for businesses, which means that if practices pay for ads, it pushes that content to prospective patients. Create uplifting, informative videos and posts that encourage engagement.
Instead of only relying on organic likes from followers, build your patient base by using those videos and posts to generate more likes, which will grow the base for future videos and posts. The more engagement that Facebook sees, the more it will start including those pieces in other forms of digital advertising for free.
When a post or video is published on Facebook, it can be boosted as a paid advertisement. However, many dentists say that advertising on Facebook is too expensive.
But would you rather spend $5,000 a year on a traditional advertising billboard, which doesn’t help you target the audience that drives by, or would you instead spend just pennies a post to reach a very targeted market that lives in the area and is interested in the services you provide?
The answer seems like a no-brainer, as you want to target the audience that needs your services to maximize your advertising budget better.
Facebook boasts highly advanced targeting capabilities, which is why it is such a powerful marketing tool. Dentists can target patients who may be interested in joining an in-house membership program by their age, net worth, how far they are from the practice’s location, if they have families, and much more.
This helps to ensure that advertising dollars are going toward viable leads that are not only interested in maintaining their dental health but also have the monetary means to invest in a membership plan.
How Social Media Advertising Works
Using advanced targeting, only the people who can afford dental services see the ads, which means their friends and family may have similar interests in joining an in-house membership plan. Facebook is a superb platform for sharing, which means that it is easy for patients to share posts with friends and family.
Every time a post is shared, dental providers can take that information and start targeting a new audience. This is known as retargeting, which means future ads can be easily directed at anyone who has viewed the post or video and has shown an interest in the dental practice through engagement.
Using a combination of social media platforms, including Facebook, dental practices have the most advanced form of digital advertising at their fingertips. By instituting solid marketing plans, practices can help grow their in-house membership programs to both new and existing patients. Marketing is a long-term investment in the success of in-house membership plans.
Mr. Comstock is the founder of BoomCloud Apps, a software company that allows dental offices to easily create, organize, track, and automate an in-house membership program. You can download a free e-book about membership programs or schedule a live demo. Contact him at email@example.com.