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Five Reasons Your Dental Practice Should Consider Using Geofencing

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Dentistry is one of the most important health care relationships that people have and although they know they should be having regular checkups, they also lead busy lives and booking their next appointment is not always top of mind. As a practice owner or Office Manager at a dental office, you need to be proactive, make it as convenient as possible for patients and potential patients to book an appointment, and ensure your practice is the first practice that comes to mind when they decide it’s time to see a dentist.

What is Geofencing and What Does a Geofencing Ad Look Like?

Geofencing allows your dental practice to target individuals in a specific location with advertisements to your ideal patient. 

If you were to ask 100 residents that live within 5 km of your location to name the first dental practice that comes to mind in their neighbourhood, how many do you think would say your practice? If you didn’t say 100, there’s room for improvement. The people living within 20 minutes of your practice represent one of the best target demographics  a dental office has for new patient prospects. Imagine having a marketing tool to directly target this group, as well as target your competitor’s clients. Well, with geofencing, you can do just that. If you’re looking for an effective digital marketing vehicle to professionally build your practice’s brand and boost your competitive edge, you’ll want to learn more.

Geofencing ads can be delivered in a variety of formats – through social media, display ads, and even as banner ads in mobile apps. These banners can come in a variety of dimensions, and the ads themselves can be single images, videos, slideshows, carousels, or stories on social media platforms. Geofencing relies on a mix of GPS, Wi-Fi, RFID, cellular data and Bluetooth, which allow your mobile device to be tagged when you enter and exit a location that is geofenced. For example, let’s say you are downtown in the city of Calgary, and you go on your smartphone to check the weather forecast, only to see an ad for a coffee shop that happens to be around the corner. After seeing this ad, you are now in the mood for a coffee and stop by this coffee shop on the way to your destination. Convenient isn’t it? This is the unique power of geofencing!

Let’s get into the five most important reasons your practice should be using geofencing. 

Reach the Right People at the Right Time

Location Based Targeting

Using location-based marketing for your dental practice allows you to reach out to the right people at the right time, with content that appeals to your target demographic. By utilizing location based targeting, you can personalize the content your target is seeing, based on their location. For example, if you are opening a brand new practice and want to alert the surrounding neighborhoods, you can use relevant language in your ads. Moreover, you can precisely target as large or small of a demographic that your business requires. You can choose to target an entire city or specific streets close to your office. You can even choose to target an audience in a 500 square foot room! 

Keyword Targeting

Geofencing allows you to get even more specific by targeting not only geographically, but also individuals in a specific area who have in addition visited a website whose content includes specific keywords within your campaigns. For example, if “Invisalign” was in your keyword list, and someone in your targeted area visited a webpage that contained this keyword, you would have the ability to retarget that person with ads.

Audience Targeting

Geofencing allows you to tune in to your audience and reach your ideal consumer. For example, you can choose to deliver banners to households with an average household income above $100,000, within a 20 kilometer radius, around the city of Houston. You can even choose to target, for example, individuals between 34-55 in Mississauga. Targeting a specific audience gives you an opportunity to speak directly to your demographic, in your area, with relevant messaging, so your ads will land with your audience.

Gain a Competitive Edge

With geofencing, you can target individuals who walked into a building, or who spent a certain amount of time in a small area, such as a competitor’s practice. To gain a competitive edge, you can use this to target prospective patients who were in your competitor’s location with advertisements. You can entice them with certain promotions your practice is offering, or even a specialized service that the competitor practice does not offer. 

It is also entirely possible that your competitor’s clients simply aren’t happy with their dentist, and are looking to switch but have not pulled the trigger to do so. In fact, if this is the case, serving them an ad right after they just had a visit, is the perfect time to market your brand and values. It can take just one ad after an unsatisfied visit to get them to make the switch!


Increased Engagement

Think about it. Your potential patients are overwhelmed with ads every day on most digital platforms they visit. Consumers tend to tune out the advertising they come across, especially when the ads are irrelevant; however, recent studies have demonstrated that 70% of consumers find location-based notifications valuable, and 53% are likely to engage with location-based advertising. 

While it may be difficult to specifically target your audience based on their interests (because everyone needs a dentist, right?), targeting individuals with homes or places of work close to your practice will increase the likelihood of visiting. According to a customer experience study, 53% of consumers visited a retailer after being offered a location based message. 

Targeting your audience with a quick and easy geofencing Ad when they are close by will increase the likelihood of them engaging with your business. Try sending dental exam reminders or promotions such as complimentary teeth whitening. 

Build Brand Awareness

For any health care practice, including dentistry, building local and community recognition becomes your competitive advantage. Geofencing is a great way to introduce potential patients to your practice before you start directing lower-funnel call-to-actions towards them, such as booking a dental exam or other services you offer. Your patients are more likely to book with you if they are introduced to your practice beforehand. 

It is imperative for your dental office to regularly promote its brand image in order to introduce and showcase the type of dental office that you are. Is your practice Family Care Focused? Cosmetic Focused? Child Focused? Think about what makes your practice unique and ensure you capitalize on that in your messaging.

Personalized Messaging

Finally, geofencing allows you to create specific and unique customized content for people in your local area. For example, if you want to target people who work in the office building across the street from your practice, you can create specific messaging relating to their work or taking a lunch break to get a dental exam and/or cleaning. 

Sending messages or displaying advertisements unique to these individuals will increase engagement and the likelihood of them taking you up on your offers. Another great way to increase engagement in your ads is to target your messages around patient benefits rather than practice features. This means tailoring your advertising message to relate to patient pain points, rather than listing off practice service inventory. You can address certain tooth pains, common insecurities, or even generalize the message to promote better health. For example, your ad can say something like “Don’t wait for a dental concern. Preventative oral care is important for your overall health”. This is a great way to send out the right type of message, and encourage a visit. 

Key Takeaway

At the end of the day, when someone in your community starts thinking about looking for a new dental office or dental care provider for their family, you want them to think about your dental office in a positive way. If your practice is looking to boost practice awareness and reach your ideal patient, consider implementing geofencing into your marketing plan right away.

At SmileShop Marketing, we listen to the needs of your practice and create custom geofencing strategies to reach the right people at the right time with the proper messaging. To learn more about geofencing and what it can specifically do for your practice, connect with us. We’re happy and excited to chat.  

Written by Lila Swiatylo

More Articles by Lila Swiatylo
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