Would you like to attract more patients to your dental practice? Or nurture the patients that you already have? Or position yourself as an expert in dental care? You can do all three of those things at the same time through a solid content marketing strategy.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to create, publish, and promote content that meets the business objectives for your dental practice.
Content marketing is a form of marketing where you create valuable content and then share it with your target audience, i.e. your patients, both current and prospective. The content you create can come in various written forms, from blog posts to eBooks to social media posts and even emails. It can also be in the form of videos and podcasts. Basically, any informational message that you create is considered content.
The purpose of this content is to educate your patients about their problem, and to position yourself as an authority who can fix their problem.
Content marketing is promotional in nature, but it’s not to be confused with copywriting.
Copywriting is a form of marketing where you actively push the reader to make a specific purchase or an appointment. It’s the content written in flyers, direct mail postcards, landing pages, and ads. The goal of copywriting is getting the reader to take an immediate action that results in revenue. It’s pushy, direct, in your face, and unapologetic.
By contrast, content marketing is not pushy at all. Instead, content marketing is focused on gaining the reader’s trust, building a relationship, and educating them so that they can eventually become a dental patient with your practice, and then stick around.
While a lot of content marketing is focused on written content, you can also diversify your approach and include audio and visuals. Some prospective patients would love to see a graphic representation of a procedure instead of just reading about it. Others would definitely subscribe to a podcast, even a limited series, on the benefits of clear aligners.
There are many ways to reach your prospective audience and educate them through content. No matter where you share content, whether on your website or through your social media channels, remember: your number-one goal is to gain their trust so that you can eventually gain their business. That’s content marketing in a nutshell.
Now that we’ve defined content marketing, let’s discuss how implementing this marketing strategy can benefit your dental practice.
When you create educational content, you demonstrate mastery over the subject. People who read your content will identify you as an expert on the topic at hand. This builds immediate trust which can eventually lead them to book an appointment with you.
Search engines, like Google and Bing, love fresh content. By creating new blog posts, you’ll also create opportunities to get found on the search engines. And, when people start reading your blog posts, your website will start to rank higher on the search engine results whenever someone searches for dentists in your area.
When compared to other forms of marketing, content marketing is affordable. It also produces a high return on investment. Depending on how much you spend in content production (for writers, videographers, podcast producers, etc.), you can typically earn back everything you’ve invested and much more. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional, outbound marketing strategies and it produces three times the number of leads.
Not only do you save money, but you produce more results through content marketing. That’s a win-win for every local dental practice with a limited marketing budget.
To summarize, content marketing will do the following:
By creating a content marketing strategy, you will ensure that your practice does all of the above on purpose and repeatedly.
Content marketing is not a get rich quick marketing scheme.
It takes time to create an effective content marketing strategy for your dental practice.
Then, it takes a while to produce, publish, and promote the content.
And it takes even more time for your content to generate the results you’re after. (This is due to a lot of factors, specifically the search engine indexing process.)
So, when it’s all said and done, it may take anywhere from six to 12 months before your content marketing strategy “works.” But trust the plan. If you follow the below steps, you will see positive results eventually. And once you start seeing an uptick in website visits and social media engagement, you can continue to build on your momentum.
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of content marketing, let’s dive into how you can create your very own content marketing strategy from scratch.
Always start your content marketing strategy with a goal. And there are multiple goals to pick from, including building brand awareness, increasing patient engagement on your social platforms, and generating more referrals for your practice.
It’s a good idea to start with one goal and then, after accomplishing that goal, move on to others.
But don’t just create a basic goal. Instead, create a S.M.A.R.T. goal. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for:
Create content for each type of patient you see in your practice. Some patients will be interested in preventative care, some in cosmetic dentistry, and others in dentures or dental implants. In order to reach each of these patient types, you need to produce the content that they’re currently searching for on Google.
Research your patients to find out where they hang out online. Then, read the questions they’re asking on internet forums (such as dentistry forums, Reddit, or Quora). You can use this information to plan out the content for your blog, social media pages, and email newsletters. Be sure to create enough content for each patient type.
Blogging is often the easiest content to start with. To plan your blog content effectively, come up with approximately 12 blog post ideas for each patient type. If you plan to write weekly blog posts, this total can cover the span of three months’ worth of content.
Thinking of adding a blog? Don’t miss this post: Should You Add a Blog to Your Dental Website?
Once you have a basic idea about the content you’d like to produce, it’s time to optimize your content so that it can be seen by search engine users. This process is known as search engine optimization, or SEO.
Content marketing relies mostly on search engines to bring traffic to your website. Adding relevant keywords naturally in your title and within the body of your blog posts will teach search engines what your page is about. Search engines will then use this information to decide when to share your pages to search engine users.
Keywords and SEO can be complicated to learn. But the good news is that you don’t need to know a lot about either to create an effective content marketing strategy. Here’s a simple plan:
Choose keywords that represent what your audience cares about right now. (Tip: Instead of choosing an overly popular keyword like “dentist,” opt for a keyword with less competition, such as “Miami FL dentist.” Then, look for ways to naturally include these keywords into your content.)
For more information about this topic, check out this post: SEO for Dental Websites: 3 Things You Need to Know
We design great dental websites, but that’s not all we do. We can also help you create content that attracts, educates, and converts. Learn more about our content creation services here. And, if you need help with search engine optimization (SEO) or paid search (PPC), we can do that for you, too.