With a little planning, anyone can develop a powerful marketing calendar to help them achieve incredible growth for their dental practice.
I’ve helped thousands of dentists grow their practices. By far, the most successful practices have planned their marketing ahead of time. The practices that market as they go never outperform the ones that do. Here’s how to develop and execute a twelve-month marketing calendar to maximize productivity and grow your dental practice.
Developing a Twelve-Month Marketing Calendar
Use a spreadsheet to plan your marketing for the next twelve months. We recommend planning a calendar of both patient-focused and community-focused marketing strategies. We also recommend planning activities your entire team can participate in. This combination builds trust with patients and your community while spreading out the responsibilities of executing your marketing plan.
To create your plan, we suggest creating a spreadsheet with the following five columns:
• Patient Focus for the Month
• Community Focus for the Month
• Dentist/Team Responsibility for the Month
• Admin Team Responsibility for the Month
Enter the next twelve months below the month column. Then, insert at least one patient-focused activity and one community-focused activity next to each month. If you need help, here are examples of simple marketing activities that have worked well for many practices.
• Sending a newsletter in January focused on New Year/New Smile/Benefits renewal
• Conducting a coloring contest for kids with fun prizes and promoting the contest on social media
• Promoting specific procedures, such as dental implants or crowns using Facebook marketing, email marketing, and digital marketing funnels
• Announcing a kids club
• Adding benefits to improve patient experience, such as iPads to use or warm peppermint scented towels after treatment
• Providing office tours to all new patients and pointing out your core values as you give the tour
• Doing virtual office tours on social media via Facebook Live
• Creating a VIP referral program
• Conducting an end-of-year benefits campaign
• Conducting an end-of-year toy drive
• Doing a social media giveaway of gift cards to local businesses
• Creating partnerships with local salons, physicians, realtors, and other local businesses
• Clothes drives
• Floss challenges
• “Show us Your Graduates” social media campaign
• Mother’s Day contests
• Father’s Day contests
• School supplies drives
• Spirit week social media promotions
• Christmas toy drives
• Charity fundraisers
• Participating in a community fun run
With your activities listed, write down a specific activity for you and your team to do that month. This might include creating content, attending networking events, or updating brochures. List these under the Dentist/Team and Admin Team columns.
By following these steps, you will have a year’s worth of marketing themes and big-picture action items in one sitting. All you need to do is fill in the details for each activity and execute on your plan.
Filling in the Details of Your Marketing Plan
An easy way to fill in the details for your marketing plan is to do so on a monthly basis. Each month you will do three things.
First, you create a list of action items needed to implement the following month’s activities. For example, if are promoting dental implants, you could assign a team member to call patients with unscheduled treatment. You could also assign a team member to contact financing companies to get help make implants more affordable for patients. You could also assign a team member to create and execute a digital marketing funnel promoting your implant practice.
Next, create a list of action items needed to prepare for future months. For example, if know you will outsource digital marketing for certain procedures, assign a team member to interview dental marketing agencies two or three months before you want the campaigns to go live.
Finally, create a monthly content calendar for social media. Your social media calendar should include posts related to your practice in general, your focus for the month, and special celebrations. Special celebrations could include practice anniversaries, team member birthdays, and holidays.
Use another spreadsheet to create your content calendar. At the top, write down the month’s objective. Continuing the dental implant example, you might write down “Promote Dental Implants.” Then, list the days of the month and add one post idea for each day, such as:
• Holiday celebration posts
• Posts celebrating fun “international holidays” such as “Talk Like a Pirate Day”
• Posts celebrating a team member’s anniversary with the practice
• Facebook live videos highlighting practice technology
• Video testimonials from satisfied patients
• Posts celebrating patient accomplishments, such as a patient completing a marathon or graduating from school
• Pictures of your team smiling with a note about how much you love changing lives
• Video office tours in which you talk about your practice culture
• Posts about amenities you provide to patients
• Multiple “did you know” social media posts about dental implants
• Articles about the benefits of dental implant that you share on your profiles
• Pictures of online reviews from happy patients
• Videos or images of community events
• Videos promoting other local businesses and mentioning this month’s special promotion at the end
Once you have your monthly calendar filled out, all you need to do is assign team members to execute and you are well on your way to consistent practice growth.
Have you developed a marketing calendar for your practice? Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” If you want to grow your practice, you must put together a marketing plan that builds trust with patients and your community. This plan has helped a number of dental practices and it can help you, too.