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    5 ways to outsmart your competition online

    Nearly every dentist today has some sort of online presence, so what can you do to set your practice apart?

    Have you ever felt as though online marketing is an exercise in futility? After all, it seems as though every dentist in 2018 has some form of digital presence, making it harder than ever to set your dental practice apart from your competition online.

    Don’t let thoughts like this trick you into thinking that online marketing is impossible because here’s the secret: Not every dentist makes a real investment in his or her online presence. And your competition pool grows even smaller when you consider that many dentists have yet to invest in a content marketing strategy.

    What is content marketing?

    Computer on a tableIt’s a method of marketing where valuable, relevant information is created and distributed to a targeted audience online in order to position the content creator as a thought leader and trusted resource, also known as a “subject matter expert.” The content itself can take many forms: blog posts, social media updates, podcasts, webinars, photos, videos, memes, infographics — the list goes on and on.

    Related article: Why a marketing strategy is crucial for your practice

    When you think about dental practice marketing 10-15 years ago, dentists were mainly limited to print ads and direct mail, types of promotion marketing that pushed your brand upon patients as an interruption, without providing much value. These traditional methods of marketing also weren’t easy to track in terms of performance and effectiveness. Today, content marketing strategies put your practice in front of patients using a less intrusive, more organic approach that can also be measured in real time to help achieve a more profitable return on investment.

    Content marketing is especially advantageous to dentists considering the fact that many patients have some measure of anxiety about coming into the practice for care. Content marketing breaks down traditional barriers to allow dental teams to showcase a more personal side of the office, which helps patients to feel at ease before they ever sit down in the dental chair.

    However, because most dentists are not content marketing experts, they shouldn’t expect to have all the answers themselves, so here are five simple ways any dentist can create a content marketing strategy that resonates with patients:

    Related article: Why small talk makes a big difference to patients

    1. Know your audience

    It can be tempting to write extensively about your credentials and expertise, and while your experience is worth sharing, a better approach is to keep the content focused on the benefits to the patient — a welcoming staff, patient-focused treatment, easily scheduled appointments and late office hours are a few examples. Also, keeping the patient in mind, consider steering away from two things: 1) dental jargon that can confuse the average layperson (e.g., use “cavities” instead of “caries” or “metal fillings” as opposed to “amalgams”) and 2) graphic images of dental disease or surgery (e.g., photos more appropriate for your study club) that can easily turn patients off.

    Naomi Cooper
    Naomi Cooper is President of Minoa Marketing and CEO and CEO and co-founder of Doctor Distillery. Naomi is a respected dental marketing ...


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