Content Marketing Tips for Dentists: How to Resonate With Your Audience
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So you’ve decided to use content to boost your digital marketing to help build your dental practice. That’s great! I can tell you from experience that content marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract potential leads and convert them into new patients by being helpful and building trust.
But only if you do it right.
When content marketing efforts are unsuccessful for dentists, it’s often because the messaging fails to resonate with their target audience and demographics. To establish a successful content marketing strategy that truly connects with potential patients, let me share five important things you need to get right before you even begin to create your content.
Knowing who your audience is and what their needs, interests, and concerns are is the very first thing you need to do. Think about who your ideal patient is and try to create a “persona” that represents who you are trying to communicate with to build trust. You’ll probably say that you can’t possibly narrow it down to a single persona, and that’s fine. Just don’t try to capture EVERY type of patient you have. Stick to the few that are best aligned with the future growth of your practice.
To help form your persona, picture your ideal patient and then ask yourself questions like these:
How old are they?
What is their income? What is their occupation?
What are their interests and hobbies?
How educated are they?
Where do they live? What kind of neighborhood are they in?
How important is dental care to them?
Once you have a clear definition of who your ideal patient is, write a short “bio” for them, and even give them a descriptive name. Here’s an example:
Patty Patient is 35 years old and lives with her husband and two young children in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood. When she’s not working as a manager for a local company, she enjoys outdoor activities with her family, exercising, and socializing with friends. She takes the health of her family very seriously and understands the importance of preventive dental care.
With your ideal persona documented, keep it handy. You’ll need to refer to it for all of the following steps.
Next, you’ll need to do a little mind reading and brainstorm everything and anything Patty Patient might want to know related to receiving care at your dental office. Her questions may be very general (What are the health risks of poor dental care?), very specific (What is the best type of dental floss for kids to use?), or somewhere in between. Jot them all down and then group them into logical topics and sub-topics. You want to end up with a list of highly relevant content. To define that simply, think of relevant content as the intersection of everything they want to know and everything you want them to know.
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People like Patty Patient will follow a fairly consistent path toward becoming new patients at your office. Their new patient journey will take them through three distinct stages, and each will have its own set of questions you’ll need to answer. Take the list of questions you compiled in the previous step and separate them into the following categories.
There is always a reason why people visit a dentist. But people aren’t always fully aware why (or even if) they should seek dental care.
Examples of questions Patty might have during this exploratory stage are:
Why is my tooth sensitive to cold temperatures?
Is there an easy way to whiten my teeth?
Are dental implants painful?
How often should children get fluoride treatments?
Once Patty knows more about her question, she will seek information about her options for a solution. These questions will center both around what type of dentistry she should get, as well as who she should select to perform that treatment.
How much does a root canal cost?
Is in-office whitening treatment better than take-home kits?
Do I need to see a specialist for a dental implant?
Are fluoride treatments covered by insurance?
The only thing left now for Patty is to decide which dentist to visit (hopefully you). Close the deal by providing the answers she is looking for.
Are there any endodontists near me that accept my insurance?
Which local dentists offer whitening treatments?
Which implant specialist near me has the best reviews?
Do any dentists near me have an in-office savings plan that includes fluoride treatments?
Before creating your content, you need to decide where you will be sharing it, based on the stage of the patient journey Patty is in.
During the Awareness stage, you might want to focus on social media to try to reach Patty, especially if you are trying to raise her awareness of something she wasn’t already considering.
In the Consideration stage, Patty will be actively searching for answers, so she will turn to search engines to find what she’s looking for. This is where blog posts optimized for SEO are important. You want Patty to easily find your content, not your competitors’.
Finally, in the Decision stage, Patty will likely be browsing through your website to learn more about you. Don’t leave any questions unanswered, or Patty will likely move on to another dentist who does provide the answers she’s looking for.
With those four components of your content strategy in place, you can now dive into the last stage–creating valuable content that answers Patty’s questions in a clear, concise, and complete manner.
But what kind of content should you create?
The important thing here is to remember that you are communicating with a person. That’s why dental marketing content needs to be centered as if you were explaining something to Patty face to face. If you would explain something to her in words, write an article. If you would show her what something looks like, use photos. If you are trying to explain a treatment procedure to her step-by-step, video content is a good route. It comes down to what media will be the easiest for her to understand.
No doubt, healthcare-focused content marketing is a continual process that requires work, but following the organized approach I have outlined here should keep your content focused, informative, and relevant.
And THAT will make Patty happy.