As a successful business owner, your goals of providing amazing patient care and growing your practice likely have not changed over the years. However, as the marketing world continues to shift online, ensuring your practice stands out among the competition becomes more of a challenge. Traditional marketing has become less prevalent to make way for a new type of marketing strategy: content marketing.
Let’s start by defining what content marketing is. Content marketing is the strategic approach that is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and reliable content for your online presence. In other words, instead of using a billboard on the side of the road to showcase your expertise, you are providing topical content for prospective and current patients to best serve their dental needs.
First, you’ll need to choose a format to present your content. Options include:
Blog Posts – Known as the pioneer of content marketing, blogs allow people to access quality information for free. When you can craft a marketing plan to share dental-related content such as root canals, veneers, oral cancer and more, the possibilities are endless. By posting one to two blogs a week, you begin to establish your practice as an industry-leading expert. Blogs provide an easy but effective way to get the ball rolling with your new marketing strategy!
Ebooks – When we say ebook, we don’t mean something you download to your Kindle. We’re talking about creating a five-to-ten page PDF that patients can download from your website. A custom ebook is a great opportunity to give insights on topics that need in-depth attention and detail. For example, you can provide detailed steps patients can take to achieve good oral hygiene. Similar to a blog post, your ebook gives you an opportunity to showcase your expertise. Once you’ve written your content, we highly recommend hiring a graphic designer to design your ebook.
White Papers – A white paper is very similar to an ebook, however is primarily educational and uses less imagery. Think of a white paper, as a research paper. Depending on your target audience, you could have a patient interested in the facts and data surrounding a procedure. A white paper about oral cancer would go in depth about the symptoms, what causes it, survival rates, treatments, and so on. Presenting your findings in an in-depth report could help a patient feel more confident in picking you as their provider.
Infographics – Infographics provide fun and exciting way for prospective patients to view content. Let’s say a good amount of your patients want to learn more about the effects of gum disease. An infographic can include warning signs, quick facts and statistics all about gum disease. By creating an infographic, you’re providing patients with content that is eye catching and easy to digest.
Videos – You’re probably aware of the importance of video marketing these days and this can play a vital role in your content marketing strategy. Content doesn’t always have to be boring technical explanations—they can be fun too! Create a video featuring your office staff explaining what makes your practice such an amazing place to be! You could even create a series of short ‘how to’ videos such as how to properly floss or brush your teeth. When it comes to video content, the opportunities are endless!
Case Studies – More often than not, the best content is hiding right under your nose—your patients! You likely have patients who have some truly epic success stories with your practice. Plan to highlight one or two case studies a quarter. You will pull real numbers and interview your patient about their experience with you. A case study focuses on the real results achieved rather than just your brand. A referral and a positive review are a powerful tool your practice can use to gain new patients.
When you start to implement these strategies into your marketing, remember that content is the most valuable when shared. Be sure to post on your website, social media and share content with businesses you are partnered with.
Perhaps the best part of planning your marketing strategy is the opportunity to experiment with different kinds of content and topics to write about. It takes time and resources, so it’s okay to start small and build out your plan. In order to help boost your dental marketing expertise and engage prospective patients, strategic content marketing is the way to go!
—Alexis Mallos, Marketing Manager, Sesame Communications