There’s a lot to love about being a dentist.
Dentist was the #2 best job to have in 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report. It was beaten only by software developer, long-time holder of the top spot.
As dentistry has soared in quality of life surveys, old worries associated with it have started to fade. The notorious old trope that dentists have the highest suicide rates among the professions has long been proven groundless. Many dentists report excellent job satisfaction.
In fact, your dental hygienist might have the second-highest job satisfaction of all occupations.
But there’s one dismal fact about dentistry everyone involved in it must face up to.
That’s this: There are millions and millions of Americans who never go to the dentist.
Your Dental Market Could Be Twice As Large If You Overcome This One Problem
The statistics are stunning. Dental phobia may keep up to 25% of all American adults away from practices like yours. What’s more, two in five middle-aged U.S. adults don’t get regular dental care. And the issue isn’t only for older Americans: About 22% of Millennials have “avoided” going to the dentist for one reason or another.
Yet, fearing the dentist doesn’t make dental health problems go away. Nor does it mean that Americans who abstain from dentist visits don’t feel stressed about their dental health. In the study touching on Millennials, for example, more than half of those polled admitted to worries about eventually losing their teeth.
Altogether, up to 62% of adults may fear the dentist, with Millennials suffering worst of all.
Many of those surveyed score a dental visit as less desirable than that ancient terror, public speaking.
What does it all mean for your practice?
The data suggests the following:
- Americans of all ages are broadly aware of how dentists can help them
- They often look at going to the dentist as something they “should” do
- Overwhelming anxiety even beats cost as a reason to avoid the dentist
Taken together, the solution is simple: If you can persuade more of these doubters to visit you using your dentist marketing, you can turn customers who have no experience with your competitors into potential life-long patients. After all, once they find a dentist they trust, they simply won’t want to switch!
People who don’t go to the dentist regularly – or at all – are still open to the messages of dentist marketing.
They have the potential to encounter all kinds of dentist marketing when they (almost inevitably) go online to search for more information about their worrying dental symptoms. Millions of Americans search Google for some variation of the phrase “bleeding gums” each year. All of them can benefit from care.
Some live in your neighborhood!
How Your Dentist Marketing Can Capture Attention From Dental Doubters
Does it sound like a pipe dream that your dentist marketing could break through years-long habits?
Two of the biggest reasons patients switch dentists are failure to build relationships and failure to take patient concerns into account. When your dentist marketing focuses on the specific needs of new and worried dental patients, you build solutions to those problems right into the treatment experience.
Digital dentist marketing helps you do this exceptionally well.
The best dentist marketing is inbound, meaning it helps raise the visibility of your dentist website and draw visitors to you right at the moment when they’re thinking about your services. A dentist marketing blog is a key example, helping you get found by all those folks wondering about their raw, red gums.
Inbound marketing also includes things like:
- Email marketing drip campaigns
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
All these dentist marketing techniques can be paired with advertising to capture more immediate traffic, but they also stand on their own as a long-term commitment to current and future patients. In time, their effect on your ability to draw website traffic and generate leads transforms into a lasting competitive advantage.
And they are ideal for communicating with anxious patients in a way that helps them drop their shields.
Modern dentist marketing is about trust, and trust is what gets dental doubters to take the first step.
Six Ways To Use Dentist Marketing To Get Anxious Patients From Your Website To Your Schedule
1. Connect Through Helpful, Informative Blog Posts
When someone in your town makes that search about gingivitis, where do they go?
It’s possible that they end up on one of the major medical websites like WebMD or Healthline. And you would be right if you felt that competing against an established brand like that would be more trouble than it’s worth.
After all, your patients aren’t all across the country – they’re in your surrounding zip codes.
But a funny thing happens when a local brand like yours writes a very similar article. Google and other search engines are much more likely to give it a prominent place in the search results for users within about 20 miles of your location. It may seem like the 4,004th gingivitis article on the internet, but it can make a difference.
For you and for all those people trying to decide if now is the time to finally go to the dentist.
This kind of evergreen content will serve you well as you strive to raise your website’s search rank. Evergreen content covers topics that rarely change and many of your first-time visitors will be interested in. Early on in dentist marketing, you should cover as many common conditions and symptoms as you can on your blog.
When you’re new to blog writing, never assume your audience knows what you know!
Just think of those Millennials from before. According to the research, many of them are brushing only once a day. A person who doesn’t visit a dentist regularly can go well into adult life without realizing they aren’t brushing all the way up to the gum line, a disaster waiting to happen. Your dentist marketing can help.
And that help is a preview of what you can offer those who finally become your patients.
2. Establish Rapport Using Doctor-Led Videos
For creating a real human connection, video storytelling is the next best thing to being there.
Online content is much more authoritative when it comes straight from the doctor’s mouth. Because you take center stage in your content, your future patients no longer feel like they’re trusting their health to a stranger.
Video marketing is incredibly versatile. It’s great for introducing the other members of your team. You can also talk about why you chose to go into dentistry and what makes your practice different from all the rest.
Dentists who go “all in” on video often supplement their blog posts with quick summary videos, too. This may take more of your time, but it can make a significant difference in your search engine performance. When all other factors are equal, a page with video will beat one without every time.
Don’t worry if you’re a little bit camera shy. After all, your audience is full of people who understand that feeling well. You don’t need a perfect, polished presentation – just a clear idea of what you want to say and why. A digital marketing agency can supply the equipment, setup, and coaching that will make it easier.
3. Post A Virtual Tour Of Your Office
Ambiguity and uncertainty are what really breed the desire to avoid a situation. A patient starts off not even wanting to look up symptoms for fear of what they might mean. Actually seeing a dentist is another step into the unknown: “Will I need procedures?” “Will they be expensive?” “Will it hurt?” “Can they save my teeth?”
Every little bit that you can clarify or show off in advance makes things easier!
These days, lots of home listings include a virtual tour that lets you step through the whole property. They use collages of still photos to create a continuous, panoramic view. Your virtual tour doesn’t need to be that complex to be effective: A walk-through video or photos of each room and equipment piece will do.
Be sure to show plenty of smiling faces and top it off with staff bios and explanations of the dental technology you use. This puts everything in context so going to your office no longer feels like stepping into another world.
4. Showcase Anxiety-Friendly Features
Dentists aren’t new to fretful patients, of course, but only recently has their care grown into a cottage industry.
If you already have anxiety-sensitive features such as sedation dentistry, make sure they hold a prominent place in your dentist marketing. Lavish plenty of attention on answering questions around these services. This is one of the best places to describe procedures in your own words through embedded video.
Take a relaxing tone in your dentist marketing and that can transfer to the actual experience in the patient’s mind. They’re expecting a leap of faith, so never miss a chance to reinforce that they’re in good hands with you.
5. Simplify Your Appointment Process
Leads who aren’t too keen on dental appointments might not be thrilled with phone calls, either.
A complicated scheduling process is one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of meeting a new patient in person. Once someone is through the door, you can explain processes, answer questions, and soothe nerves. Until then, they are still eyeing your “Contact Us” page and wondering if this is really a good idea.
That’s why you should provide alternatives to a phone-only scheduling process whenever possible.
Use text, social media, email, a contact form, or even a self-scheduling app on your website – but don’t ever make a telephone call your only option. Callers can always hang up and are far more likely to if they go on hold.
6. Highlight Your Customer Testimonials
As a local business, your dentist marketing already puts the “near me” effect on your side. Go a step further by making sure you actively request testimonials from satisfied patients and show them throughout your website.
No matter who you’re appealing to, testimonials have the same function: To show website visitors that others “just like them” have had success using your services. This is especially crucial for people with dental anxiety since it proves you understand their needs and you’re committed to making a difference.
No matter who your ideal patient is, New York Ave empowers you with dentist marketing calibrated to get more people into the examination chair. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us.