Here’s a question you might not have thought much about:
When a dentist needs a dentist in your local area, who do they go to?
Dentists stand out among healthcare practitioners in that they may be able to diagnose their own issues, but there are few ways to do their own treatments. Like other physicians, lots of dentists also maintain a rule against caring for their own family members and close friends.
Those dentists that even other dentists trust are usually doing a few important things right:
- They are known for quality care and diligent attention to the specific needs of their patients
- They have worked hard to build relationships of trust and a reputation spanning many years
- They have all of the fundamentals of their practice, like scheduling and paperwork, down pat
No matter where you are in your own dental career, there’s someone out there you trust to help you care for your own teeth and gums. Maybe you’ve known him or her personally for many years. But in lots of cases, you had to pick a dentist the way everybody else does.
The secret is that you knew a little bit more about what to look for in the process.
These days, almost all of your future customers will come to you based on something they heard online. They might read your website and decide you sound like the right dentist for them. Or they might get a recommendation from someone in their circle – usually through social media rather than face to face.
In short, you won’t have the chance to talk to most customers in person until the day they come to your office for the first time. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave their decision up to chance. With content marketing, you have the opportunity to create an atmosphere of trust before you’ve ever met.
Why Digital Content Is Becoming More Important For Dental Office Marketing
As you read this, dentistry is undergoing a sweeping change. And so is dental office marketing.
2020 was a tough year for independent dentists, and 2021 is shaping up to be the same. People are starting to return to their dentists, but many continue to forgo non-emergency dental care. At the same time, large healthcare players are absorbing small dental firms that can’t keep their schedules full.
These larger brands take many forms, including established clinics and hospitals that are expanding into dental care for the first time. Many of them are affiliated with insurance providers who are offering more dental coverage than before and who, as a result, can simplify their patients’ financing.
As a whole, they’re gaining more clout at the expense of neighborhood dental offices.
These enterprises may have top-tier technology and they may benefit from economies of scale. But there is one thing they don’t have: The strong relationships and bonds of trust you can command in your own dental office marketing. The larger a company is, the more impersonal it seems to patients.
Digital content is where you can stand shoulder to shoulder and outcompete the big guys.
Content refers to any useful, informative digital materials published by your brand online. The purpose of most content is to help people understand the problems they may be facing, develop buying criteria, and make an informed decision about their best options for dental care.
Digital content has tremendous power to draw visitors to your website and lead them through the decision-making process. This puts you in the driver’s seat, positioning you as a trusted advisor who first-time patients feel they know better than the big box alternative around the corner.
Done right, digital content energizes dental office marketing in some key ways:
- It draws visitors to your website, especially from within the 30 miles around your office
- It reduces dental anxiety and helps overcome objections first-time patients might have
- It allows existing patients to do some basic self-service, like scheduling follow-up visits
- It distinguishes you from all the other dentists in the area who may have similar services
Without content, your website is all but invisible. It is the cornerstone of dental office marketing. But it also gives you advantages no other brand can duplicate. No matter what size a competitor is or how much money it has to spend on ads, your content can still draw your ideal customers to you.
With the assistance of a Central Florida digital marketing agency, you can publish winning content.
The key is having the right content in place for every step of the buyer journey.
That requires a bit of creativity and the insight to adapt your brand message.
Enticing First-Time Visitors To Put Your Dental Office On Their Short List
The toughest challenge in content marketing is making an impression on first-time visitors.
If someone is looking for dental information online, odds are good they know they need to see a dentist sooner or later. They might want to avoid it or put it off, but before long they will start seeking out a way to get it done with minimal stress. This threshold is where your content comes in.
Let’s look at the pieces of the content puzzle at this stage:
1. Blog Posts To Answer Basic Dental Questions
Blog posts can be thought of as the most basic “unit” of content. Every good blog post has at its heart the answer to an important question. That might be something as basic as “What’s the difference between braces and Invisalign?” or as complex as how to care for your teeth every day.
It might seem like there’s nothing new you can possibly say on these topics. But don’t worry: You aren’t competing against all of the millions of blogs ever written. Instead, your posts are most likely to be seen by people in your local area. Creating helpful content that’s easy to use really does make an impact.
2. Information On Dental Products And Tools
Everyone learns to brush their teeth at an early age, but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it right! Think about it: A six-year-old usually looks at brushing as a tedious chore that takes forever. If they make a mistake with the basics, that can become part of their brushing and flossing habits throughout life.
Questions like “why do they make hard-bristled toothbrushes?” can attract thousands of searches a month and will give you the chance to share your expertise. And while most people keep it simple with a brush and floss, there are also interdental picks, water flossers, and many more.
If you are comfortable in front of the camera, this can even make for excellent video storytelling.
3. Team Biographies And Introductions
Some people have a basic deficit of trust when it comes to the dental profession. They think of the old-fashioned hand tools that might have been in use the last time they went to the dentist and the idea makes them shudder. In short, they need to know the people they are trusting their teeth to.
Not all businesses get a lot of attention paid to their “About Us” page, but dental office marketing is the exception. In fact, your “About” page is one of the first that most customers will look at. It needs detailed information not only on the dentist, but hygienists and other staff your patients will meet.
4. Office Tours (Especially With Video!)
The best way to dispel that old notion of a drab, cramped dental office filled with outdated tools is to show your visitors what a modern office looks like. Video office tours should be performed with all the care of an open house to sell a home: Everything is arranged perfectly, well-lit, and sparkling like new.
This is one time where still photography simply doesn’t do your message justice.
Luckily, you don’t have to master video inside and out to use it to your advantage. A Central Florida digital marketing agency like New York Ave has the connections and tools you need. Even if you’ve never spoken for an audience before, we can help you get a rolling start in a matter of days.
5. Local SEO Content
Search engine optimization is the art of planning and developing your content so it is more likely to rise high in relevant searches. “Local SEO” takes this a step further by targeting search users who are right in your community, making use of “the near me effect” and other subtle signals.
One of the most important things you can do to boost your local SEO is to claim your listing from Google My Business. GMB is a free local business directory operated by Google. After your listing is claimed, you can use it to update location details, respond to reviews, and connect with your customers.
Plus, it will make you that much more likely to appear in the map view for local dentistry searches.
Turning Email Subscribers And Fence-Sitters Into First-Time Patients
We’ve all heard horror stories about people who’ve put off going to the dentist despite symptoms like tooth sensitivity and bleeding gums. Sooner or later, these turn into issues that can’t be ignored! And while you can’t make anyone get dental care, you can craft your messaging to make it more likely.
When someone joins your email marketing list, it usually means:
- They understand they have a possible dental problem and they want to get it fixed
- They are narrowing down their list of nearby dentists, and you’re somewhere on it
- They just need one more little spark of inspiration to schedule that crucial first visit
Here’s how content can help them (and you!) get over that hurdle:
1. Video Testimonials From Your Satisfied Patients
In marketing lingo, subscribers and others who’ve requested information from you are near the bottom of the funnel. They no longer doubt that they want a dentist – now they need to be sure you’re the right dentist for them. That requires social proof, which shows that others “just like them” love seeing you.
Video testimonials are memorable because they let patients speak in their own words. Nothing is more engaging – or more honest – than an uncoached reaction. Would-be patients who still might not believe you are more likely to take it straight from someone they recognize as relatable and sincere.
2. Case Studies For Your More Complex Procedures
Complex, elective, or expensive procedures mean extra resistance from patients. Some of them might simply be afraid of any type of surgery. Others might not feel totally confident they need to take such a step. The more familiar they are with a procedure, however, the easier it will seem.
And if they educate themselves, so much the better.
Case studies allow you to describe a procedure in detail in a way that’s easy to understand. Yet, these still bring in social proof because the patient is at the center of the narrative. Patients can express themselves by discussing their experience and don’t need to take time out to get in front of a camera.
3. Fun And Exciting Infographics And Other Images
Do you have social media? Then you need infographics! Infographics are short, compelling visuals that make complicated information more accessible. They give readers a peek into a subject that might otherwise be too complex to figure out, helping them see some part of their world in a new way.
Because of their novelty, they’re more popular and sharable than the average photo. Ideally, though, you should aspire to have an image for every social media post: Nothing stops scrolling thumbs better than a dash of visual interest. This is another place where a Central Florida marketing agency helps.
4. Interesting Content That Humanizes Your Brand
“Behind the scenes” photos, quick smartphone videos, and more can be used to deepen the humanity of your brand. These little flourishes are unlikely to change any minds on their own, but when they’re embedded within a complete content marketing strategy, they offer a flavor the big guys can’t match.
Keeping Your Newfound Patients Coming Back (Even When They “Don’t Have To”)
We all know the average person should see a dentist at least once a year.
Those at higher risk of complications should drop by even more often!
But unless they’ve done a procedure that requires follow-up, like clear aligners or a dental implant, there is a good chance patients will drop off your radar in the year after their first visit.
Let’s explore some potent ways to re-engage their attention:
1. Personalized Video Follow-Up Messages
Naturally, you don’t want to sit around making dozens of long videos. But you may only need a few every week, and they can be as little as one minute long and still be effective. In a personalized video, you not only explain why you hope to see a patient again, but also highlight what you know about them.
Most patients surveyed say they don’t spend enough time with their doctor. Using video, you can clearly communicate that you know your patients and you’re dedicated to their well-being. It only takes a few lines from your ordinary appointment notes to build out a video that can lead to another visit.
And the time it takes to record a few remarks can deliver a tremendous ROI.
2. Direct Mail: Postcards, Fliers, and More
You might not expect to hear it from a Central Florida digital marketing agency, but it’s the truth: Direct mail marketing is making a comeback. Many dentists already use postcards as a follow-up method when an annual check-up or follow-up appointment is just around the corner.
The key is expanding that concept in a way that sticks.
For example, imagine you have a personalized video message for a “missing” patient. You haven’t seen him in a while. But with a QR code on your mailer, he can access your video and set an appointment in a snap. Suddenly, that piece of extra effort makes a colossal difference.
The content marketing puzzle may seem huge and varied, but we put it all together.
New York Ave has helped Central Florida dental offices like yours go from surviving to thriving.
Contact us to learn more.