Standard dental practice marketing, such as online advertising and direct mail, are ideal for attracting general dentistry patients who are actively seeking a dentist. Those patients who are considering implants are facing a life-changing event and a big investment. These patients need far more education before they will be ready to commit. In fact, they need a lot of education before they will even be ready to contact the practice for a conversation or initial consultation about implants.
Here is where content marketing comes in:
Content marketing is the distribution of insightful, educational articles or blog posts that are meant to nurture potential patients into the practice. Great content does the following:
- Helps people overcome any fears, challenges and obstacles they may have before they part ways with their money or make that big appointment.
- Positions the practice as the area expert on dental implants.
- Helps answer all of the “burning questions” that keep the patient awake at night.
- Includes all relevant search keywords in a natural, easy-to-read way.
- Takes a stand. Offers a big “aha moment” or invites the reader to agree or disagree.
- Is not about the practice. Rarely if ever contains the practice name. May include a byline, such as, “By John Smith DDS.”
- Never contains an offer, discount or call to action. May include an invitation to submit questions at the end. See chart below for example.
Each piece of content is typically 300-1,000 words in length.
How is content marketing shared, and with whom?
Content may be delivered:
- Via email to the entire business/practice database once weekly or twice monthly
- Via the website blog, which is updated as soon as a new piece of content is finished
- Via social media like Facebook or LinkedIn, onto which a link to the content may be posted
Content marketing is shared with current patients rather than potential patients. Current patients are far more likely to know and trust the dentist enough to complete a big implant case with the practice.
What’s the difference between content and marketing copy?
Content is insightful, educational, and never promotional like marketing copy is.
Here are a few examples of the difference:
“Clicking, popping and headaches are not normal. While it becomes the norm for those suffering from TMD, there are plenty of ways to be restored to health and freedom once more. TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder. You may have also heard the acronym TMJ, which stands for the temporomandibular joint. This joint acts as a hinge, connecting your jaw to your skull. Clicking, popping, pain and lockjaw may be caused by problems with the muscles around the TMJ or problems inside the joint itself.”
“There are no credentials right now for implantology. While there are board certified periodontists (who specialize in the health of your gums), board certified endodontists (who specialize in root canals), and board certified oral surgeons, there is no such thing as a board certified implantologist. Implant dentistry is not a specialty, and that’s a problem. Be leery of any dentist who tells you they are an implant specialist, since there is no such thing. Ask about these areas of their background.”
“The implant itself is not an actual replacement for the tooth. It is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to secure the new tooth. The American Academy of Periodontology explains it like this: “A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.” (Source)
“We welcome your questions. Please reach us at 000-000-0000 or email@example.com.”
“As a trusted dentist, Dr. Jones is proud to offer dentistry for your whole family. Always striving to offer our patients the most comprehensive care possible, we focus not just on teeth, but on your health as a whole – keeping you healthy and creating a smile that lasts a lifetime. Experience, education and a passion for dentistry are just a few of the reasons Dr. Jones patients call him the best dentist in the area.”
“We are a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles! A standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve. We provide comprehensive treatment planning and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry to achieve your optimal dental health. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.”
“The beauty of a spectacular smile reaches far beyond your exterior image. When you smile confidently, you literally become happier inside. Dr. Smith offers everything from whitening to veneers to reconstructions to make your life happier inside and out. The practice also offers general, functional and cosmetic dentistry, plus orthodontics to any patient who wants to invest in life-long oral health and true happiness.”
“Explore what’s possible for your smile! Book your a complimentary initial consultation today and get a $500 credit on your bill.”
There is certainly a time and place for marketing copy. Namely, it belongs on the practice website and direct marketing materials.
Content marketing, on the other hand, is reserved exclusively to send to your patient database and share with your current patients. Over time, content marketing can add up to more implant cases – and higher quality implant patients. It often yields patients who require very little convincing to accept treatment.