The numbers are staggering. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and another 10 million are estimated to be living with TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction). Whether its chipped teeth or patients complaining of dry mouth, dentists are on the front line when it comes to recognizing these conditions. Along with the new dental treatments for sleep apnea and TMD, general dentists are now looking to hang a sleep practice shingle so they can serve their patients rather than turn them away.
Sleep and TMD treatments are a highly marketable services given the large number of people in pain. Demand for relief from snoring, jaw pain and headaches is high. Moreover, the people who have to live with family members or have close relatives with sleep and TMD disorders want solutions, as well.
Another reason sleep practices are so marketable is that the alternative to sleep apnea treatment, the CPAP, comes with glaring drawbacks. Many people know about the noisy machine or are intolerant to the CPAP and welcome a better solution.
We’ve worked with clients that have started their own sleep practice and some that have expanded their service offering. We agree with most industry leaders that marketing your sleep services as its own practice is more beneficial for a number of reasons.
- It might not be clear to prospective patients that you offer sleep apnea treatments if they are listed under your general services.
- Having a website dedicated to the symptoms and solutions patient’s need will make it easier for them to decide to choose your services.
- An online presence will be built for the sleep practice and not lumped under the general practice. Patients will easily find your sleep practice with its own listings on Google, Facebook, Yellowpages and more. In fact, the practice will be able to generate reviews specifically for sleep treatments.
- Social media marketing will be dedicated to sleep and TMD treatments. There will be no confusion when someone sees a Facebook ad for sleep apnea treatments at a dental practice and can’t connect the dots.
While adding sleep and TMD services to your general practice isn’t a bad approach, the benefits for having its own branding and strategy will allow you to market these services to those who need it the most.
Either way you market your sleep and TMD services, leverage your current patients first to increase awareness of your new services. Cross promote the new sleep practice with your general dentistry services. Use your current email list, Facebook page, blog and website to introduce your new service and sleep center to established patients.
Another way to market your new sleep services is by calling on your referral network and using digital marketing to support the efforts. Most referring partners want to feel confident sending their patients to a reliable website, review page, and Facebook page. Make sure you’re online marketing reflects your new services.
Remarketing is another effective way to increase awareness not only with your referring partners but for patients who aren’t ready to take action yet. Remarketing allows you to target visitors to your website and follow them to Facebook where they will be shown ads of your practice. Remarketing is an opportunity to stay in front of those interested in your services.
Above all, your marketing should be focused on educating the market on sleep and TMD treatments. Not only will it make them aware there is a solution, it will also encourage them to take action and seek help. Include in your marketing:
- Statistics on health risks of sleep apnea and TMD
- Adding a tool like a quiz to make them aware they have a health problem in the first place.
- Grab their attention by showing images they can relate to such as a snoring spouse or uncomfortable CPAP.