This article originally appeared in December/2023 on DentistryToday.com.
2 Things You Can Do Now That Will Impact Your Marketing
By: Jackie Ulasewich Cullen
Most dentists understand that marketing is almost all online now and may be looking for a way to make their digital marketing more effective. Whether you’re new to digital marketing or you have been harnessing the power of the Internet for some time, there are two things you can do immediately that will elevate your online marketing significantly.
PATIENT VIDEO TESTIMONIALS
Do not underestimate the power of patient video testimonials. Reviews and testimonials are increasingly important to a dental practice’s reputation and one of the key decision drivers for potential patients. Collecting patient testimonials gives your practice a highly flexible and persuasive tool that works in all forms of digital marketing. You can highlight video testimonials on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, on the practice’s website and special landing pages, as well as in emails and blog posts. Patient video testimonials are effective on their own, in a montage, or with added commentary from the dentist and team members. There is virtually no limit to what you can do with them.
Besides their versatility, patient testimonials are instrumental in digital marketing because they resonate well with potential patients. When a person seeking a new dentist sees real patients speaking candidly about their experiences, it gives them more confidence in your practice. Testimonials, especially when they are unscripted, are comforting and give your practice more authority. A potential patient can often relate directly to the person in the video. That gives them a reason to trust your practice over another, because testimonials are essentially “evidence” that the marketing claims on the website and in other advertising are credible.
Nowadays, new patients — even if their first exposure to a practice is the marquee they saw from the street—are likely to look the practice up online first before making contact. Therefore, what they find when they do that matters. Finding a website that is out of date, inaccurate, or not aesthetically pleasing could actually deter these people who were, at one point, considering becoming patients. The website is the face of the practice. It should be clean, modern, organized, user-friendly, mobile-friendly, informative, and easy to navigate and inviting so that people feel good about contacting your office. Even if your patient care and service are beyond reproach, potential new patients can be easily turned off if your website does not inspire confidence. Unfortunately, most dental practices do not update their websites nearly often enough and could benefit from a website audit.
Take some time to look at your website through the eyes of a person seeking a new dentist. Or better yet, ask someone who is unaffiliated with your practice to give their impression of the site. Get their opinion of the images, the information available, and the site’s overall aesthetic, and approach the experience with an open mind. It is easy to become disheartened when you get less-than-positive feedback. After all, your practice is very personal to you. However, an honest assessment can be an opportunity to create something truly excellent.
Consider the following:
- If your website has stock images, replace them with original pictures of your team and real patients (as long as you have their permission). This is a chance to add educational videos, patient testimonials, and before/after pictures that highlight the great work you and your team do. The more personalized your website is with custom images, the more authentically it reflects your practice’s true character, which will draw in patients looking for a high standard of care.
- Make sure all content on every page still applies and continues to be accurate, especially if your website has not been touched in several years. Check that all team bios are up-to-date and that all services listed are still being provided. If you have recently added new services or technology, make sure that information is featured somewhere.
- Update the overall look and feel of your website if it feels dated or too generic. It is especially important that your website flows well and is easy to navigate. If people cannot easily find the information they need on your site, they will move on to another dental practice. Assess how the website comes across on the small screen by looking at it on a mobile device. If there are problems with the navigation when you switch to mobile mode, it could be keeping patients from contacting you.
Boosting the impact of your practice’s digital marketing does not have to be a complicated affair. Simply adding patient video testimonials and taking stock of the current state of your website can make a significant difference. These changes can be implemented in a short time and potentially net immediate results.