Long story short – it’s probably not what you think.
You know what you’d want in a dentist who worked on you. You’d want someone with great hands, advanced certifications, the latest and greatest imaging equipment, world-class case solutions, absolutely impeccable sterile practices, and cutting-edge technique. Right?
None of those are what your patients want. Your patients want to feel better: about their smiles, about their ability to eat what they love without pain, about their lives.
If you’re selling any of the things that you’d want, you’re missing the mark. And loads of new dental patients.
Too many dentists market to impress other dentists. That can work – to some extent – if you get loads of referrals from those dentists. Even so, you’re missing out on the prospects who visit your website and are totally put off by what they read.
Marketing to other dentists is a path to failure for most dentists.
So, how do you market to patients? When it comes to your website, it has to be far more about your dental prospects than it is about you, your staff, and your practice. Your patients are looking for solutions to their dental problems. They’re interested in the benefits of the procedures, not the procedures themselves.
And since dentists are assumed to be clinically competent, patients don’t really care who does the procedure. Except… they want a dentist who they feel good about and who they can trust.
That’s what your marketing should be about: the benefits of choosing you over your competition, because you’re the trusted expert.
You can accomplish that just through your website, but your website alone isn’t likely to get you the number and quality of new patients you need. A dental website is usually the last stop for dental prospects before they choose a dentist. And unless you’re ranking very high in Google search results, your prospects will be looking at a lot of your competitors before they look you up.
All of your marketing should work together to influence patients to visit your website. To accomplish that, your other marketing has to establish you as the dentist of choice. That means useful, informative articles on various dental issues and solutions, written for the layperson’s understanding. That means sharing enough personal information to get you out from behind the dental mask and give your prospects personal reasons, as well as professional ones, to choose you.
Positioning yourself as the dentist of choice takes time and repeated contacts with your dental prospects. Since Google reports that the average buyer consults over 10 Internet sources before purchasing, you want to make as many of those contacts as possible. Ideally, your prospects will see numerous emails from you, read several blog posts, and perhaps visit your Facebook page or reader a message on Twitter.
You can’t succeed by marketing to other dentists. You can attract more of the patients you want to grow your practice by understanding what they want and adjusting your marketing approach.