1 Dental Practice Marketing Guide Introduction to Using Video to Grow Your Dental Practice By Vincent Messina CEO/Founder Otimo Sales and Marketing
2 Hey there! Use video grow your dental practice Welcome to this comprehensive guide on using video to help your dental practice grow. If you are reading this there is a good chance that one or all of these is true: You are a dental professional You want to grow your practice by attracting the type of patients you want to work with. You want to know how video can help. If used properly, video can educate, inform and make people aware of the services you provide. This guide will offer some simple advice to help you get started using video to grow your dental practice. Vin
3 Purpose of This Guide? Video is a great way to interact with your current patients, future patients as well as the community at large. With a well thought out plan, you will be able to use video to give your dental marketing strategy a huge boost. The purpose of this guide is to help dental professionals understand why and how video can be used as a component of an overall dental marketing plan. To ensure that you get the best results from video marketing, we also provide some simple steps and some practical ideas to help you get started using video to market your dental services, right now. Guide Topics Dental Marketing Content Marketing Video Content Getting Started Practical Ideas Conclusion
4 Dental Marketing What is marketing? Very simply, marketing is doing whatever needs to be done so that the right people find you, choose you and ultimately refer you. Promotion is only a small part of a well designed marketing plan. In fact, these days, it is a very small part, and in some cases, not a part at all. A well designed marketing plan starts with you. It is your skills, credentials, experience, ability to serve your patients, and ability to lead your team. The rest of your marketing plan is determined by your goals, your patients, the competition and the resources you want to commit to attracting the kind of patients you want to serve. What outcomes should you expect from your dental marketing plan? Whether you are fresh out of school, or you are an experienced dental professional, a specialist or a general practitioner, starting a practice from scratch, or buying an existing practice, in order for your practice to thrive, people have to: Know who you are Like and trust you enough to choose you Refer you The hard part is designing a marketing system, or plan, to help you achieve all three of these critical outcomes.
5 Dental Marketing Why is marketing harder today than ever before? Dentists, like every other small business owner, are confronted with two major challenges when faced with the need to market their practice. Problem One The Fight for Attention We live in a very distracted society, with a flow of information that is unprecedented in our history. People are really good at blocking out unnecessary information and honing in on only that information which serves a purpose. Problem Two Easy to Choose Your Competition The availability of information however, has also made it easier for people to make choices. They can read peoples testimonials, and experience a practice before ever becoming a patient. They can search for dental services online, and come up with a list of practitioners to choose from. Your job is to make sure you cut through the noise with a message that the people you want to work with find useful enough to pay attention to, ensuring that you are on their list. The first step to solving the two problems above is to create and execute a well designed marketing plan. How do you create a dental marketing plan? Whether you want to do your own marketing, or retain the services of a dental marketing consultant, the steps should be the same. Step 1 Define Your Goals and Ideal Patient You have skills that define the services you provide. The
6 Dental Marketing community you serve has people who need your services. The key is to clearly define your goals and the type of practice you want to have. Then you need to pick the types of people you want to serve, and make sure they are likely to help you reach your goals. Some patients are more profitable, and stress free, than others. You certainly want to be sure you build a practice around the people who don t give you grief, and allow you to practice good dentistry for a profit. Step 2 Differentiate Your Practice to Develop Your Core Message Differentiation is critical to developing your core message. Your core message is used to develop your brand. Your brand is important for attracting your ideal patient. Differentiation can be based on the local community you serve. It can also be based on the services you provide or even something like providing dental services to a particular religious group or group of hobbyists. Step 3 Define the Tactics Needed to Get Found, Chosen and Referred Step 3 is often mistakenly done prior to completing steps 1 and 2, leading to unpredictable results, and a lot of wasted time and money. If you have completed steps 1 and 2, you can confidently determine the tactics you will use to get people to know you choose you and refer you. Tactics will include things like designing a website, creating an advertising plan, writing a blog, creating a referral system and
7 Dental Marketing yes, using video content to educate, inform and promote. Step 4 Execute the Plan A plan is only as useful as the ability to execute it. You and your staff will have to be on the same page, each knowing their part in executing the plan you have created. Execution is critical and should not be considered the sole responsibility of the dentist. The entire team needs to be included to optimize results. Step 5 Measure, Adjust and Repeat Marketing is a funny thing in that not everything you do will work. Everything needs to be measured against your overall objectives and adjusted for better results, or repeated for consistent results. With a well designed marketing plan, you will be much more effective in your choice of marketing tactics. Two things are likely to occur: You will avoid doing things that don t contribute to your goals. You will stop wasting money on marketing that doesn t work. No matter the plan, I can assure you that, one way or another, in most cases, content is sure to play a significant role.
8 Content Marketing Why content marketing? The need for content marketing is defined more by the buying habits of your patients than by the need to promote your practice. People require information to make important buying decisions. Now, more than ever before, they have the ability to find the information they need. They don t choose you because of a fancy commercial or newspaper advertisement. They choose you because in some way, you have been useful to them. Content is one of the primary sources of you being useful. What is content marketing? The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing this way. Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. From a dentist s perspective, content marketing is really about using educational and informative content to get found, chosen and referred. It is a shift from promotional marketing to utility marketing, in that you are using marketing to educate people, or provide them with information they need.
9 Content Marketing It is also a shift from using a monologue to using a dialogue. Old marketing was one directional. You created a message, or a commercial, that people consumed. If they were impressed enough, they called your practice. Now people want you to engage with them. They want you on social media networks. They want to communicate with your current patients about the experience your practice provides. They want a dialogue. What is the job of content? Content in all forms has multiple purposes. It can be used to develop your brand, and ensure that the right people are aware of who you are and what you do. Content is also used to build relationships and establish trust, making it easier for people to choose you. And content is an essential ingredient to a finely tuned referral engine. (believe it or not.) Also, for those of you who love your SEO, if you want to be on page of a Google Search, you need to have content. What types of content can a dentist use? Dentists can use an entire portfolio of content to engage your target audience. A well designed website with useful information is considered the cornerstone of your content plan. When you complement your website with a consistent blog, you have the beginnings of a comprehensive content marketing plan.
10 Content Marketing A website and blog, though, is just the beginning. You can use educational seminars, ebooks or guides, infomercials, patient testimonials or case studies as well as a FAQ for your website. However, video is the essential ingredient to help you spice up your content marketing plan, and leap ahead of your competition.
11 Video Content Why video? Video is far more engaging than other forms of content. It is also, for certain circumstances, a more effective way to communicate. Video is the best way to communicate if you want to introduce yourself to someone, but don t have the time for a face to face meeting, or phone call. Imagine a video introduction of yourself on your home page, so when web visitors find your home page, they also find you. Video is a great vehicle to use for making a complex topic accessible to those that need to learn. Imagine using a video to educate your patients about how a certain procedure works, and why it s important. Video is also a better way to have your current patients tell their stories. New or prospective patients now get a chance to meet your patients, and see and hear the stories that help people feel comfortable choosing your practice. Video is easy to share, making it a more effective way for people to give you referrals. Video can be fun, making an otherwise boring subject entertaining and therefore more effective. Imagine using an animated story to help parents get their children on board with oral hygiene.
12 Video Content How can video be used to market a dental practice? Videos engage the senses to establish a far greater connection with your audience. Video combines visual and audio effects for an enhanced emotional connection, as well as a more refined education experience. Patient testimonial videos help build trust with prospective patients and can also be used to generate awareness. Educational videos can be used to help your patients understand the value of certain procedures or to help the community at large understand the benefits of maintain better oral health. Training videos can be used to educate your staff about office protocol as well as the different services you provide, improving their ability to communicate with your patients. An often overlooked benefit of using video is the ability to use video to measure the performance of other marketing tactics. By analyzing video metrics like amount of time watched, you can determine if your core message is resonating. You can also use video metrics to determine which social media channel is performing the best. What types of videos can be used? Video s can be created in multiple ways, styles and formats. Talking Head videos are the videos you see where people essentially record themselves talking.
13 Video Content These types of videos have become popular with the advent and progress of video production technology like smart phones and digital cameras. Anyone can stand in front of their video camera and communicate a message. PowerPoint presentations can be easily converted to a video and used as a way to present an idea or concept, just like you would if you were presenting to a live audience. Commercial Productions are a more expensive option, but can be used to create your practice introduction. These videos are more like well crafted TV commercials, but deliver the important first impression people have of your practice. Animations, videos that look like cartoons, are a great way to tell a story, entertain, inform, educate and promote. In fact, no matter how old we get, we never lose the joy we experience when we watch a well crafted animated story. Where will your audience see your video? A great byproduct of using video is the many places your videos can be seen. We have already referenced the ability to use a video introduction on your website home page. You can also have videos on every other page of your website to educate and inform your audience about procedures and health concerns related to oral care. Imagine the difference in level of effectiveness if you had an educational video about dental implants vs. a simple paragraph on your website.
14 Video Content People can also consume your videos when they read your blogs, enhancing the educational experience of the articles you write. They can consume your videos on your YouTube channel or other public video hosting site. They can also be invited to your private video channel, using any number of video hosting tools. You can also publish and promote your videos on social networks. The most important thing is that your videos are created with the viewing channel in mind. Particularly, you need to factor in that many people will watch your video on a mobile device. When you have the video assets, the main point here is, you can get heard on multiple channels. What makes for successful use of video? There are three things you must consider if you want to get the most out of your video marketing efforts. 1. You have to know the purpose of the video as it relates to your goals and the needs of your audience. 2. You have to know how your audience likes to consume information, where they are likely to see your videos and what they expect to gain from watching them. 3. You have to consider your videos in the context of your overall marketing plan.
15 Getting Started How can you get started? We defined five steps to creating a dental marketing plan. Step one, identifying your goals and ideal patient, and step two, developing your core message, are essential steps to take before you can consider developing any videos. You cannot and should not start creating videos if you haven t yet established your overall goals as well as clearly defined your target audience. Once you have completed steps one and two, you can start to determine the types are marketing activities you will use. As with any marketing activity, it is always best to ask a lot of questions before getting started. Video is no different. In fact, you have to know quite a bit before you jump in, otherwise, you could waste a lot of time and money. We advise our clients to use the 6 W s Why Who What Where When How as a simple way to determine if a marketing activity is worth the time and/or money, particularly with video.
16 Getting Started Why? The answers to why questions give you the foundation of not only your entire marketing plan, but to the development and execution of every tactic you use, including video. Why do you need to use video? You have to understand the objective of your marketing plan, and make sure that any videos you create will support those objectives. Why will your audience need video or want video? Keep in mind, throughout all of your marketing efforts, that audience is more important than you. What they want and need should govern the videos you create. Who? The answers to who questions will provide you with everything you need to know about the types of videos you need to create and who is going to be responsible for creating them. Who needs to see the videos and why? When you determine who you are trying to speak to with video, you will better be able to create the right kind of video, with the right message. Who will create the videos? Some videos you can create yourself, others you cannot. Once you determine what you need, you need to consult with the right professionals to create the videos, and help you distribute them to the right channels.
17 Getting Started What? What are you trying to accomplish? Getting known, getting chosen and getting referred are your three primary objectives. Within these outcomes you have a variety of tactics that each has their own purpose. Know what you are trying to get done before you create any videos. What does your audience need to know? You have to find a balance between giving your audience what they already know they need, and what they are not yet aware they need. Educational videos are a perfect example of being proactive in delivering content to people they are not aware they need. Where? Where is your audience? Knowing who your audience is will also help you know where they are. As one example, if they are on Facebook, than you need to create Facebook friendly videos. Where will you publish your video? Where your audience is now is important, but video can also help you bring an audience to a place where you want them to be, like for example, your blog.
18 Getting Started What? What are you trying to accomplish? Getting known, getting chosen and getting referred are your three primary objectives. Within these outcomes you have a variety of tactics that each has their own purpose. Know what you are trying to get done before you create any videos. What does your audience need to know? You have to find a balance between giving your audience what they already know they need, and what they are not yet aware they need. Educational videos are a perfect example of being proactive in delivering content to people they are not aware they need. Where? Where is your audience? Knowing who your audience is will also help you know where they are. As one example, if they are on Facebook, than you need to create Facebook friendly videos. Where will you publish your video? Where your audience is now is important, but video can also help you bring an audience to a place where you want them to be, like for example, your blog.
19 Getting Started When? When do the videos need to be created? Knowing what you need to achieve and when will help you determine when you need videos, particularly if you understand the purpose of the video. When will your audience view the videos? Understanding when your videos will be viewed will help you do things like appropriately time the publishing to a social network. Also, certain types of videos can be created to coincide with national awareness months. How? How will you create the videos? Every type of video has a different level of complexity as it relates to video creation. The biggest consideration here is budget. Don t include videos in your plan that you cannot afford to have created. How will your audience consume your videos? The device used to consume your video is a very important consideration. Believe it or not, a video made for a PC may not show very well on a mobile device.
20 Practical Ideas To wrap things up, I wanted to give you a few ideas you can use right now to jump start your video marketing efforts. These are some ideas that I have implemented or have seen implemented by other dental professionals that I know provide results. Patient Testimonials or Stories This type of video should be part of every dental marketing plan on the planet. It is simple to execute and provides enormous value in helping you spread awareness and build trust. Have a camera handy at your office, ask a few patients for their willingness to participate, get the necessary disclaimers in place and record your videos. Once you have the videos, you can post them to your website and/or YouTube channel. Practice Introduction Every dental practice website should have a professionally done video introduction to the practice. These videos should be professionally created by a video pro. This video will function as potentially the fist experience a person has with you and your staff. It should be professional, but also warm, friendly and fun. Often times this type of video starts with the doctor and moves on to have images or footage of the actual practice and staff at work. It can also incorporate patient testimonials as part of the narrative.
21 Practical Ideas Educational Videos Your entire marketing strategy should be one of education and awareness. People in your community need to know why oral health is important, and how they can best take care of their mouth. Every page of your website is an opportunity to use a video to educate and inform. Don t just promote cosmetic dentistry, tell people why it matters. Don t tell people about your technology you use, tell them how it impacts your ability to take care of them. Educational videos are also perfect as how to videos. Show kids how to brush and floss. Show adults the damage that can be done by chewing tobacco. The options for educational videos are limitless, and will provide the biggest bang for your buck in terms of your overall marketing plan. Partner Videos Every dentist works with peers and other professionals for business development and referrals. A simple and practical example of where video can fit here is by creating an educational video for the audience of a peer or professional. Imagine for example, a video you create for an OBGYN, helping expecting mothers learn about the importance of oral healthcare. Or, imagine creating an animated video series for your local school system, helping kids learn how to take care of their teeth with entertaining and informative videos teachers and parents can reference all year long.
22 Practical Ideas Going Viral Many believe that a video needs to go viral in order to be effective. In fact, some go into video marketing believing that it is through the use of video that they themselves will go viral. This notion is pure nonsense. Viral is great if viral is what you needed in order to produce the result you are after. Generally, however, your goals should be: Use video to serve the needs of your audience, when video is the best way to do so. Make sure you are not going overboard with the entertainment side of your video, in order to go viral. You serve a local community. You only need your video to resonate with those near you, that you want to work with. High Definition Before you consider the quality of the resolution of your video, you must consider the performance of it. In other words, if your video is of the highest resolution, it may not perform well over certain networks, or on mobile devices. The biggest consideration here is finding the balance between quality and load time.
23 Conclusion We hope you found this Guide useful. Video can be a powerful tool for you to use to market your dental practice. Focusing on your strategy, making sure you understand your goals and the needs of your target audience, is the best way to ensure success with video marketing. The key is to have a purpose and a plan. The result will be an enhanced experience your practice provides for you, your staff and the community you serve. If you would like to talk to us about helping you get started, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. So, in summary: 1. Have a Plan 2. Understand Your Audience 3. Don t create any videos until you know why you are creating them You don t need to spend a lot on video, for video to produce results. You may, however, want to contact someone who specializes in video production for dentists, as it is very possible that they will point you in the right direction.
24 About the Author Vincent Messina helps dental professionals get found, chosen and referred. His focus is on making sure dental professionals get what they need to market and grow a dental practice, without wasteful spend. His objective is to grow your practice by attracting the patients who value the kind of dentistry you want to practice.