Anyone who works in marketing will tell you that trends are constantly changing. What worked a year ago may not work tomorrow. Part of this is that the top search engines and social media platforms like Google and Facebook are changing up their game due to privacy promises and issues. The other half of the pie is that people are changing. What caught audiences’ attention in 2015 is not the same as today’s people are paying attention to. The best advice one can give on marketing is always to be ready to change. Flexibility and fluidity are the cornerstones of effective marketing campaigns. That being said, not all types of marketing strategies work for all businesses. Marketing for the dental industry is unique in that there are special rules to follow, and many techniques that work for products don’t when selling a service. Here are six marketing strategies we recommend and five to consider in 2022.

Pro Impressions’s Recommendations for Maximum Visibility

woman using laptop and cell phone at the same time
Your dental website is still king in terms of marketing. Having a good website optimized for various devices and full of tasty content marketing is the backbone of all your marketing efforts. If your ads don’t send your patients somewhere, why do you have them? If your social media audience doesn’t have a central place to learn more, why are you wasting your time on it? Your dental website is the central place where patients can find more information and ultimately call or book an appointment online.


Search engine optimization (SEO) is still relevant today because it focuses on the speed of your website and how well it shows up on various devices. We have all tried to use a slow website and ditched it after 10 seconds of waiting. Or, in search of information on mobile, we’ve come to a website with words that are too tiny to read and moved on. We don’t like slow and unoptimized websites, and neither does Google. If your website is sluggish and hard to navigate, Google won’t prioritize you on its list regardless of if your service is better than the competition. It’s in your best interest to practice SEO.

Content Marketing

Content marketing goes hand in hand with SEO. Content marketing is the relevant and valuable information you write about on your website that allows patients to find you, encourages them to book appointments, and want to learn more. In our experience, effective content marketing is the difference between online visibility and empty appointment slots. Keywords continue to change, but the underlying necessity for quality content has not gone out of date.

Search Ads

Google search ads are a surefire way to ensure that your audience sees your content and is prioritized by Google. Search ads are a kind of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising served to prospective patients when they search for specific keywords. For example, a patient’s search for “dental implants near me” could display your ad on the top of the search results list depending on your investment and how well your ads are targeted for that string of words. If SEO and content marketing are leaving breadcrumbs to the party’s location, search ads are sending an invite. We recommend search ads because they’re direct and offer accurate reporting to determine if your return on investment is worth it. We have seen tremendous results with Google search ads, especially when in conjunction with Google display ads.

Display Ads

Google display ads are graphic advertising on various search engines and websites. For years, the dental industry has seen display ads as a source for increased branding and mass advertising, but not a great source of leads. That’s changed recently with some of Google’s new audience targeting. These tools have allowed us to build audiences and reach potential patients with excellent results. In the last year, we have been able to bring Google display advertising into the mix. It enhances the effectiveness of search campaigns and brand awareness and contributes significant leads to the PPC efforts.

Facebook and Instagram Ads

Facebook and Instagram advertising is a great way to build brand awareness and contribute to your marketing efforts’ overall leads. The great thing about social media advertising is that your ads are being placed right where your audience is looking, on their phones. Facebook and Instagram collect information on the kinds of things your patients are interested in by analyzing their profiles and activity. When a prospective dental patient suggests that they’re interested in, say, “dental implants,” Facebook and Instagram will determine their relevance by your audience parameters and serve them a digital ad that prompts them to click to find out more (go to your website) or to call your office. Social media marketing is also used to increase brand awareness. Most dentists don’t want to admit it, but it takes multiple impressions (someone seeing your brand/ad) for someone to realize they’ve seen it and then, even more, to become interested enough to call or go to your website. By engaging the long game of branding and brand awareness, you’ll cause patients to think of you when they think “cosmetic dentist” instead of the guy down the road. While branding is a long game, it’s essential to the overall effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

Social Media Engagement

We know it takes time to build a relationship with someone in person. But when we think of social media impressions leading to engagement leading to a sale, we believe it should be instantaneous. The truth is that your social media accounts are there to build a relationship with your prospective patients online. How awkward would it be if you went to a party and said hello to everyone but then went and sat in the corner? For that reason, dentists need to engage with their patients online. Respond to questions, give out advice, let people know what you have to offer, and position yourself as an authority in your field. In our over a decade of dental marketing, we have seen that social media engagement effectively increases brand awareness and creates a sense of reciprocity among your audience. It can be time-consuming but don’t skip it. Either delegate to one of your trusted front desk staff or hire a dental marketing company to oversee your social media efforts.

Emerging Trends to Consider

When considering activating a new marketing trend, look at it in terms of return on investment. How much time will it take you, and will you see an income generated in the end?

Email Marketing

Email marketing uses inbound marketing to seek out subscribers who will opt-in to receiving your future marketing messages. This is frequently done with services like InfusionSoft. The goal is to have a pipeline of subscribers receiving a series of messages that will move them through the buying cycle and convert a decent percentage into paying customers before they leave the funnel by opting out.

Dental practices looking to harness the power of this kind of inbound marketing campaign will have to overcome two massive hurdles:

  • Convincing prospective patients to subscribe for more information rather than just looking for it on readily available websites.
    Creating content to send on an ongoing basis that will move the prospective patients to schedule an appointment.

We think there’s another question to be asked: Why use a call to action to prompt a visitor to subscribe rather than prompting them to email or call? You could argue that some visitors are not going to be ready to do that and that having the “Subscribe” button may capture more prospective patients in the long run. This begs many more questions:

  • What percentage of visitors falls into that category?
  • What percentage of those visitors are local?
  • How long should we keep sending messages to people?
  • Can we send the same messages to new subscribers, or do we always need to send fresh content?
  • Do we want to attract and engage with people who are not ready to become patients, or is this a waste of resources?

This type of marketing has been around for a while, but it is most commonly implemented by people selling a product or paid subscription—not local service-based businesses. We can leverage this, but the office needs to take a front seat in managing the campaign. This isn’t the strong suit or even the desire of many offices.

“Going LIVE”

Going LIVE is an exciting tactic. Facebook lets anyone ‘go live’ and broadcast live videos to their followers and anyone in the world who cares to tune in.

We have seen this promoted by dentists-turned-marketers multiple times, the message being, “Look what I can do! This is the cutting edge of social media. Why are you not doing this too?!”

We see some issues:

  • It’s challenging to find time and momentum to record a video or even take still photos. Streaming a live video will be much more intimidating and, therefore, less likely to happen during any day, week, or month.
  • It’s live! Gulp! Are you prepared to do and say things that you can’t take back?
  • If you can’t do this yourself or don’t want to, do you have someone you trust enough to do it for you? And if you delegate it, will it have the same positive impact?

Though, there are definite intriguing opportunities that live video presents. People who like your page and see your video in their newsfeed may or may not tune in, but Facebook is SO hungry for this type of content that it’s one of the last remaining areas where you have a real shot to show up organically.

Unless you pay to play, your content will rarely be seen in a user’s newsfeed, even if they like your page. Live content, and even the videos available for playback after you sign off from your live recording, is more likely to show up organically than other things you can do on Facebook.

The challenge is finding the time to do it and figuring out if it’s worth the effort. The jury is still out, in our opinion, whether the same medium now used by would-be televangelists and oyster shuckers can help a dental practice bring in more patients.

Influencer Marketing

In recent years, influencer marketing has evolved into a big surge. It is paying “influencers” (people who are well-known social media personalities) royalties from your product or service to talk about it on social media. This is very similar to radio advertising, but instead, it’s served to users on their own time and usually in video form. It’s used by many clothing companies and companies trying to sell a new technology to reach a broad audience. Such videos like “unboxing” and “what I wore this week.” Typically, there will be some sort of discount given to those who use the influencer’s code to buy the product or service. Some things to consider:

  • Is your influencers’ audience the same audience you’re trying to reach?
  • Are you willing to discount your services and give royalties to your influencer?
  • Does your influencer know anything about dentistry?
  • Can you trust what your influencer says about your practice and your staff?
  • Will you need to give your influencer free services?

We aren’t entirely convinced that influencer marketing is an effective way to sell dentistry services. Presumably, the only time that your influencer could talk about it is after they’ve just been in or while they are there. Can your influencer talk about your dentistry enough to be worth the investment? Many times, influencers have an audience that consists of people worldwide. Are you trying to reach everyone or just those relevant to your dental practice?

Instagram Reels

You know that reels are all the rage if you’ve been on Instagram lately. You’ve probably seen many small businesses advertising with reels on Instagram and claiming great success. We aren’t knocking their efforts, and we are happy they’ve seen success with Instagram reels—and you could too if you’re willing to take the time. As we’ve said, organic video content (non-paid) gets much more attention than organic written or photo content. It could be an effective marketing tool to raise brand awareness. We still think there are some things to consider:

  • Is the time it takes worth it to reach an audience that may or may not live in your area?
  • Reels can’t be scheduled. If you want to make reels part of your marketing strategy, do you consistently have the time to do them one at a time?

Yet, Instagram reels can increase brand awareness, create a sense of trust, and position you as an authority in your field.


Remarketing is a tool that has been around for a while. Someone goes to your site, and BOOM: you’ve got a visitor for life who will get your ads again and again wherever they go. You’ve probably noticed this type of creepy ad that follows you around the Web. However, it’s not allowed for healthcare due to privacy issues. So if you have a colleague in another industry talking about remarketing, you can know that it’s not something that needs to be on your radar.

The Future of Marketing

As a dental marketing company, we are always looking to the future to find new ways to get your messages into the hands of those who would benefit from them. If you don’t want to or don’t have time to keep all these things front of mind or do the work to stay current, Pro Impressions Marketing can help. We have been marketing for dentists for over a decade and have the expertise and experience you need to get your message to the right people, in the right way, at the right time. Call (970) 672-1212 today for a free consultation or schedule online.