“If you want to market your business online, you need a blog.”
You’ve probably heard and read that phrase a dozen times, but how does it actually apply to you? How does blogging for dentists even work?
Clothing retailers, restaurants, photography studios, and other more “glamorous” industries have it easier, that much is true. People love reading about fashion, food, and art. Compared to those businesses, you have your work cut out for you.
But I can tell you right now, you can build a killer dental blog that will delight your current patients and influence your potential patients’ purchasing decision during their research phase. Blogging doesn’t have to be a struggle and your blog doesn’t have to be boring.
Before we get to the ideas, I want to put a little extra propulsion behind your blogging success. Once you understand the ‘why’ and the ‘how,’ the ‘what’ becomes much more powerful.
Still, if you want to skip down to the 10 ideas, click here.
Why Blogs Are Important
Your blog is the best place to share your ideas, your expertise, and your creativity. Your blog shows potential customers why you’re different than your competitors. Think of it as a museum (or a storehouse) that puts your best work on display.
- 61% of American online consumers make purchases based on recommendations or research from blogs.
- 81% of online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
Those numbers come from a comprehensive study by BlogHer in 2012 and those numbers have only increased since then.
Blogs answer your potential patients’ questions. They help your business build a sense of community and create brand advocates. They can also gather leads.
A compelling, relevant blog, combined with an effective email signup form, can keep leads coming in at a steady flow. If you play all your cards right, the people on your email list will be excited to hear from you and read another blog post. Possibly even sharing it with their friends.
Your blog can make a difference. And it doesn’t have to be boring.
Start Telling Stories and Never Stop
So, how do you separate your blog from the rest?
After you’ve considered some of the ideas in the next section, focus on telling a story. Make the story relevant to your audience. Craft it with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
People connect with stories, especially if the stories are essentially about them. If your potential patient has a “that’s me! I do that all the time!” moment when they’re reading your blog post, they’re already on the way to liking you and trusting you.
If you want the science of stories and selling, check out this video from neuroeconomist Paul Zak:
Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds but, in doing that, they change the way our brains work and potentially change our brain chemistry — and that’s what it means to be a social creature.
Blogging for Dentists: 10 Real Ideas
Now that you understand the importance of blogging, and the importance of telling stories with your blog posts, here are some ideas.
You shouldn’t go for the hard sell with most of your blog posts. If your blog is solely self-promotional, you might as well not have a blog at all. Instead of just talking yourself up by listing your credentials, talk about your patients.
How does your practice make their lives better? On a daily basis, how do you make your patients into better versions of themselves? Tell your own stories, of course, but tell stories about your patients, too.
Make liberal use of the word “you.”
For your next (or first!) blog post, try something like:
- Patient of the Month: Did you have a great experience with a patient in the last 30 days? Write about their experience at your practice. Take their photo. Learn about their life and make a post about them (always make sure you have their consent, of course). Other patients and potential patients will love that piece of content, and your patient of the month will likely share your blog post on their own social media accounts. Word-of-mouth is great, isn’t it?
- What to Expect: In these posts, you can detail what patients should expect from your procedures. How do you treat them? How do you make them comfortable? How do you answer their questions? Go through the procedure itself, minus any gruesome details, but paint a picture for your reader. Show them why making an appointment with you is the best choice they can make.
- Photos: People naturally love to connect with other people. That’s why they love seeing photos of your staff and your practice. A blog post doesn’t have to be all text– people love images, and image-driven blog posts do very well.
- Humor: Humor eases tension, puts people at ease, and makes them feel connected to you. Tell some funny patient stories, share stories from med school, or make a simple cartoon. The human body is weird and funny. Take advantage of that fact.
- What Patients Say: If you’re in pediatric dentistry, this works especially well. Have you ever seen the viral video, “David After Dentist” (embedded below)? Kids are hilariously honest. If they like your work and they felt comfortable, that’s also a great testimonial. As always, make sure you get parental consent. A story from a teenage or adult patient works well, too. Ask them open-ended questions and build a blog post around their experience at your practice.
- Answer Frequently Asked Questions: What are your patients’ most common questions? Write them down and make each one into a blog post. Chances are, people are entering these questions into Google, as well. Be as thorough as you can and show off your expertise.
- Community Events: If you’re involved in, putting on, or sponsoring a community event, make a blog post about it. Potential patients love to see their dentist involved in the community. Even if there’s an event you have nothing to do with, such as a concert or local festival, you’re excited for, make a post about that.
- How To: Do patients often come to you with a problem they can treat at home? Do they ask about proper flossing or brushing? Walk them through it in a blog post. Don’t give away the proverbial farm, but offer them something useful. They’ll come to you again when they need more help.
- Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes: People love recipes. People love dessert. You don’t want them rotting their teeth. It’s pretty much a no-brainer, especially if you’re a pediatric dentist. Recipes are some of the most shareable content you can create.
- Video: Videos are great because you can upload them to YouTube and embed them in a blog post. They serve you from two different websites, and they have high search engine visibility. Give a virtual tour of your practice, explain a piece of dental technology, or interview a patient. The possibilities are endless.
Your blog is full of potential:
- the potential to be useful and helpful
- the potential to demonstrate your expertise
- the potential to connect with patients
- the potential to separate you from the competition
- the potential to delight everyone who reads it
I fully believe a dental blog can be great. I believe it can be a must-read. Before you create that perfect blog, you have to believe that, too. Use these 10 ideas as a starting point and start building a showcase your knowledge, your expertise, your stories, and your business.
To your marketing success!