Why A Dentist Needs A Blog

We’ve discussed the importance of content before [Read more about how Content is KING here].  For most new patients, the internet is the first place they look for a dentist.  Referrals are important.  Having a family or friend refer a medical professional carries a LOT of weight.  However, choosing a dentist usually comes down to two factors.  Location and insurance acceptance.  From there, it’s up to YOU to differentiate yourself and your dental practice from the rest of the dental crowd.

If you have a website, you’ve created a landing page where searchers can find your business and read about your practice.  If you have a blog, you take a giant step forward in establishing value and building credibility, as well as extending your reach beyond Google searches.

Why Sharing Your Expertise Matters

A known and trusted commodity is a preferred choice.  If you demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, that patient care is most important and that you genuinely want to connect and help the community you practice in, clients will choose you over a dentist they know nothing about.  When you solve your reader’s problems by answering questions or providing information, you become a resource they return to, talk about, link to, forward and share.  Blogging serves the dual purpose of gaining client trust and increasing web traffic to the contact page of your website.

How Blogs Extend Your Reach

Increased website traffic translates to more new patients, and blogs can help facilitate this.  Each post that you publish remains online as an additional searchable web page that links to your homepage and continues to drive traffic there.  The more blog posts you have, the more content readers can link to and share across other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Blog posts increase the scope of your web presence, improving your chances of being noticed.  You need to be posting at least 6 times per month and no more than 8 times per month.  Any less than 6 and you’re getting lost in the crowd or forgotten.  Any more than 8 can be considered self-serving or even annoying.  Plus, the ROI on posting more than 8 times per month isn’t there.  Web traffic doesn’t change much when posting 12 or 15 times versus just 6.  Make your information valuable and effective.  Quality over quantity is a definite virtue in effective blogging.

What You Should Blog About

Your content should give your readers answers they seek regarding dental issues, as well as relevant information they may not have searched for but find interesting.  Avoid posts that are advertisements for your practice or overtly self-promotional.  A share-worthy post is something informative, such as the benefits of using dental floss, but is not one that is promotional and tries to convince the reader to come to your location.  Provide information to parents with regard to their children’s health.  Explain, as simple as you can, some of the procedures that usually strike fear to the heart of your average patient.  What is a root canal?  What do I do if I lose a crown or chip a tooth?  These can be educational and extremely helpful to a potential patient who is using Google before, during, and after a dental emergency.

How to Post Effectively

How you post makes a difference.  Be concise: Use short sentences and paragraphs with white space in between to make your content easy to scan. Post regularly, at least six times each month, so your readers return in anticipation of new content.  Learn about keywords, search engine optimization and metadata.  If time is an issue for you, hire someone to create dental marketing content on your behalf.  Be prepared to wait for a return on your investment as increasing your online influence can take time.  An online presence is vital in business today, and your website is your foundation.  Extend your internet influence even further by entering the world of dental blogging, and watch your practice reap HUGE benefits.

 

Curating Dental Content Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

Today we discuss content curation. CURATION folks, different from content CREATION. Content curation is the process of finding, reading and pushing out information that is relevant to your audience–complementing and supplementing the content that you are creating on your own. Sounds like a lot of work, eh? Stay with me…
The good news!
Content curation is a great way to expand your offering and provide information that may not be your area of expertise–but is certainly relevant—to your customers. It may even provide that extra layer of credibility for a service you are providing!
Think about it this way: Suppose you follow a bank on social media. They create lots of great custom content, which is fantastic. Creative (and way cute) checklists, detailed service overviews, and snazzy mortgage calculators. But at the end of the day, it is all from that bank. Created, developed, and paid for by that bank. If mixed into that custom content flow were also third-party articles that were helpful to you, as a bank customer, but not promotional or biased, perhaps even offering ideas/services outside of what the bank offers, wouldn’t that establish some serious street cred for that bank?
I am always impressed when I walk into a store, and the manager tells me that they can’t help me with exactly what I need, but they know the store on the other side of town that can! What!? They are seriously more interested in my benefit then theirs as a store!? They may lose the sale today, but I am definitely going to remember that and 1) come back and 2) tell that story to my friends and get them to that store! Same thing is true for your patients. I am not saying send them to other dental practices. I am simply suggesting that giving them the resources necessary to make the right decision for themselves can work wonders! It proves you truly care about them and are out for their best interest. Often curated content can help you show that.
Now the bad news…
The bad thing about content curation? It’s quite time consuming. Although it is super interesting—because trust me, you can learn a lot—it also means you gotta read it all and ensure what you are posting is something that 1) resonates with your patients and 2) you are alright with reflecting as your opinion. So, as easy as that sounds, it does take some serious time on your part. But….
 
BACK TO GOOD NEWS! There are tools to help!
Here are a few tools to help you find exactly the content you need, and quickly. Plus a bonus tip…
  • REVENUEWELL: For all you dentists out there that area already using this patient communication portal…dude! RevenueWell makes content curation soooo easy. It synchs right up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and you can select various posts by category–oral health, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, insurance, orthodontics…even dental humor! Not only that, it also has all kinds of practice-specific announcements and appointment reminders. A few clicks and you can line up a series of social posts for weeks in minutes! We are big fans of the RevenueWell.
  • TWITTER: This is my all time fave, because I am already on it every day! Twitter is full of influencers pushing out awesome content ALL THE TIME! But you have to know how to quickly find it and sort through the chatter. Twitter searches and Twitter lists are your best bet to find exactly what you need! (Then you can use another favorite tool, BUFFER, and queue it up to be posted!)
  • POCKET: This is somewhat like a nifty bookmarking tool. You like? It is fantastic for content curation. When you find something you like, simply put it in your pocket. Then when you are ready to load up some curated stuff into your social media stream, just go to your ongoing list and, VOILA! Posts galore!
  • FEEDLY: Basically a fancy RSS feed, Feedly allows you to narrow down subject and source lists to pull together all relevant content for you in one nice spot. You can also SAVE FOR LATER, which is a great thing when you find stuff you like on the fly but aren’t wearing your content-loading hat at the moment.
BONUS SNIPLY: 
Nowhere is your bonus tip, for those still with me. Sniply! Sniply allows you to create a small banner ad that will layover any third-party site you send folks too. This is A-MAZ-ING! It is like free advertising. Sending your patients to the ADA’s website to learn about a root canal? At the bottom of that page, you can have a call-to-action with your logo that says “SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW!”, and it links right back to your page. BOOM! No more lost patients.
You’ve got this!
So, content curation. Beneficial–yes. A little time consuming–yes. But with the right tools, you can maximize your time and reap the benefits! It is important to remember that content curation does not work on its own. It is a value-add to establish credibility and resourcefulness to your own content and service offering. You don’t want to only push out other people’s stuff all day long; then you lose your street cred since you aren’t offering an opinion or value of your own. Creation and curation. Milk and cookies. Peanut butter and jelly…ok, you get it.