Is your practice the victim of boring marketing? Marketing can be a daunting task for dental practice owners, especially because most dentists have never been specifically trained on the dos and don’ts. Most of the practice owners we meet are accustomed to relying solely on word of mouth to attract new patients. Unfortunately, that approach just doesn’t work like it used to. A solid marketing strategy is essential to the success of any business, and dental practices are no exception.
Let me get this out of the way first… good marketing doesn’t need to be crazy. Some dentists are under the impression that non-traditional or digital marketing means extravagant, outlandish, or risky. Actually, it is quite the opposite. No matter which marketing channels your practice uses, it’s crucial that your efforts accurately reflect your practice’s “brand” and values. If you try to portray your practice in a way that doesn’t reflect its real identity, there will be a big disconnect when patients actually come to see you. And that puts you at risk of losing their trust as well as attracting the wrong types of patients to your practice. So, how can you make your dental practice marketing not only effective but also engaging and interesting? Here are a few tips:
1. Customize your marketing efforts
One of the best ways to make your marketing stand out is to personalize it. Avoid using stock designs or generic templates that make your marketing look and feel like everyone else’s. Snooze. Instead, customize content to reflect the personality of the practice. For instance, you can use real photos of your team and patients (with their permission of course) to make your marketing look and feel authentic. And don’t be afraid to be “real”. Not all photos have to be professional or even staged. Candid shots are a great way to show the lighter side of your practice. The more custom content you use across all marketing channels, the better. It shows that you’re willing to put in the extra effort to create an impression and that you don’t settle for “good enough”.
2. Tell your story
People like stories, so use your marketing to tell yours. Share why you started your practice, what makes it unique, and how you literally change peoples’ lives. Telling your story will help potential patients feel more connected to your practice and actually build rapport even before their first in-person interaction with your team. Consider adding personal content to your website and social media that tells people more about the type of dentist you are.
Short videos on the website and on social media are another way to get your story across. Thirty seconds of you talking about why you love what you do can go a long way towards engaging the type of patient you are looking for. One more way to tell your story is to let your patients do it for you. Ask your most successful and engaged patients if they are willing to talk about their experiences on camera. You might be surprised at how well they capture your practice’s personality with their words.
3. Focus on your patients
When creating marketing content, remember that the goal is to attract patients who need your services. What better way to do that than sharing useful information about oral health and dental care? Address the common problems and questions patients have to show that you understand their concerns. Emails and blog posts with helpful information are a great way to share your expertise and increase your practice’s credibility at the same time. Patients will start to view you and your practice as a trusted resource if you are proactively providing them with practical information they can use and pass on to their friends and family members. It’s also very likely that no other dental practice in your area is making content like that, so your practice will definitely stand out.
4. Have a clear strategy
It’s important to have a solid marketing strategy in place rather than take an “a la carte” approach, using multiple vendors or team members to handle your marketing. Having a cohesive plan and using a single vendor ensures that your message is consistent across all channels. Additionally, you can use different channels to really focus your message for maximum effectiveness. When marketing is coordinated, the overall message is more fluid and clearer, and the overall image you present is just more professional.
If your marketing seems generic or (heaven forbid) boring, it’s time to wake it up! Customizing content, telling your story, focusing on patient needs, and having a solid strategy in place will make your marketing more interesting without making it “weird”, and you will notice that the quality and quantity of patients coming to your practice will improve.