Marketing a pediatric practice today is very different from what it was when you were a child. For starters, the majority of parents with young children are millennials. This means your target market is savvy and usually turns to the internet to search for their pediatric dental care needs.
That’s not to say that nondigital marketing strategies don’t work. On the contrary, nondigital forms of marketing, such as ground marketing, are still highly effective. The catch is that you need to be hyper-intentional and creative with the ways you market your services.
The marketing strategies I share here are easy to implement and most importantly, they will capture your target market’s attention. When it comes to marketing your pediatric practice, specificity goes a very long way. You need to be incredibly intentional about the locations you target for ground marketing. If you’re turning to digital marketing, you need to be very aware of the platforms on which your target market is spending the most time.
Ground marketing to grow your pediatric practice
As I said, ground marketing to grow your pediatric dental practice is going to be a little different from ground marketing a general dental practice. While you absolutely can ground market to local grocery stores and facilities, the best places to ground market are establishments that see and work with children on a regular basis.
- Daycare centers
- Schools (both private and public)
- Other pediatric medical locations
- Martial arts and other recreational facilities
- Stores such as Build-A-Bear, Color Me Mine, etc.
- Other service providers that care for children
We cover the exact strategies and scripts you need to ground market your pediatric dental practice to all of the locations listed. However, for the sake of simplicity, let’s look at why ground marketing to daycare centers is a highly effective approach.
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Ground marketing to daycare centers
Not only are daycare centers open year-round, but you’ll gain a lot of insight into your target market, such as their income levels. At the high-income levels, the daycares that you’ll approach will be privately owned. On the other hand, low-income daycares will be government owned. However, nothing is off limits and I recommend doing your community research and radius check for both types of centers.
When it comes to daycare, you need to be very strategic about who to talk to and what to say. For instance, even though it’s a great idea to host events for kids and make a great impression on them, your main objective should always be to speak to the parents. Instead of focusing too heavily on hosting fun events for kids in the hope that they will pass the message on to their parents, host these events strategically. A great way to do this is to be present at the daycare center between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. This is likely the time when parents pick up their kids.
Having a booth at the entrance that offers freebies is a great way to make a good impression on the kids, while also getting the parents’ attention. This is the key to successfully ground marketing your pediatric practice to daycares.
In terms of what to say, we provide a script you can download so that you can head into your calls and meetings to set up these events with confidence. There’s more where that came from. We provide scripts to get into more locations (martial arts studios, stores, schools, etc.) in our pediatric dental marketing course.
Ground marketing on social media (the hybrid approach)
Ground marketing on social media is a unique way to reach your target audience by combining two marketing techniques. You want to use social media (in this case, Facebook is your best option), search for communities and groups, and start ground marketing there. One of the best ways to do this is to use Facebook and search for mom groups in your location (for example Beverly Hills Mom Groups or Nashville Mom Groups). This is a great way to get in front of the right eyes.
Request access to these groups and when you’re approved, start networking and ground marketing within the groups. Remember, it’s crucial that you do not come in hot with sales pitches. Social media is all about being social. The key to great ground marketing is to always provide value. Make an effort to post or interact in the group daily. Share some advice about how parents can improve their kids’ oral health. If you see anyone post a question about oral care, answer it!
Using social media to grow your pediatric practice
By now, we know that social media marketing is a powerful tool to grow your practice. However, when it comes to using social media to grow your pediatric dental practice, you need to know the platforms your target audience is using most often.
The great news is that the majority of millennial parents use social media to make purchasing decisions. But knowing your numbers and user demographics is key to not spreading yourself too thin across every social media platform. For example, most millennials are on Instagram. However, Pinterest is also a great platform to target moms. Do your research and choose one to two platforms to focus on.
Once you’ve made that decision, dive into creating the best type of content on each platform to capture your audience’s attention. For instance, using reels on Instagram is your best bet since Instagram is currently favoring short-form video content. We cover the exact strategies and formulas you need to create captivating content (from reels and everything in between) in the pediatric dental marketing course so you never have to scratch your head and ask, “What on earth do I post today?”
The bottom line is, being intentional is crucial when it comes to marketing and growing your pediatric practice.
Whether you choose to use one (or all) of the following marketing strategies, knowing exactly what you’re doing, who you’re talking to, and what your goals are will ensure that you have a plan.
Our course covers these strategies and more in-depth so that you have a concrete plan of action that will grow your patient numbers exponentially. So, if you’re ready to grow your pediatric practice and take it to the next level,
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.