The summer months can be a mixed bag for the average dental office. With school out, families become more flexible for scheduling, however there are last-minute cancellations and no-shows due to vacations, plus a rush in August to get the kids in before back-to-school time.
What kind of proactive dental marketing strategies help a successful practice avoid the summertime blues? Let’s look at several seasonal ways to stay cool in the coming months.
Fun with Social Media
Use your social media platform of choice to stay top-of-mind with patients and parents during the busy summer months. Share tips on oral health, promote specials and services, and remind parents to schedule checkups before school starts. Additional ideas are:
- Share vacation photos of team members on Instagram.
- Schedule a series of posts as soon as school is out, reminding patients to get scheduled.
- Run an online contest and offer a free service or product.
- Tie a social media campaign in with direct mail to encourage timely appointments.
With billions of social media users, it’s a powerful tool for attracting current and prospective patients.
Celebrate Oral Health Month in June by offering summer promotions to attract new patients and keep your existing patients engaged. Consider specials on teeth whitening, free oral cancer screenings, or free consultations for cosmetic dentistry – depending on your practice. You can also even out your schedule by offering a 10% discount to those who schedule before the August rush.
Many communities across the country are very active during the summer which provides interested dental practices the chance to elevate their profile. Sponsoring local sports teams or seasonal events is an easy marketing action. Or consider holding your own event with complimentary dental screenings or hygiene tips for kids.
If your community has a local publication – especially one that’s summer-focused – be sure to get ad space or provide feature content to remind patients to get those appointments scheduled now.
Digital marketing for dental practices helps you shine any time of the year. Use paid ads on social media for promotions or discounts, and target demographics such as families. Time your campaigns with dates for returning to class at the various local schools. Geofencing is a great tool for focusing on areas that busy parents can be found during the summer months, such as day camps, kid-friendly festivals, and back-to-school shopping, likewise with keyword retargeting.
If your practice already has an email newsletter, remember to include valuable information about summer appointments, cancellation policies, educational content, and incentives to get scheduled before the rush.
The important thing is to get in front of the peaks and valleys that can heat up your dental practice from June through August. In addition to the marketing strategies covered, check to see that your website is up to date with all the relevant promotions and information. Consider adding a temporary banner with back-to-school deadlines for kids’ checkups and cleanings.
And by all means, take advantage of slow times now to prepare for the rush of summer by reviewing processes, hiring and training if necessary, and judiciously planning vacation times with the whole team.
If you want to review and refine your summertime marketing goals, we at RAMP would be happy to provide a complimentary consultation. Just contact us to schedule a time – no sweat!