How COVID Changed Dental Marketing (For The Better)
It’s 2021 and we live in a faceless society. As in, we literally can’t see each other’s faces. We’ve got eyes, ears, hair (if we’re lucky), and that’s about it. There’s no denying the effects of mask-wearing on our daily interactions with others. It used to be so simple to smile at another shopper in the grocery store, or casually say “hi” or “thank you” to a stranger. Recently, those small connection-building interactions have become awkward and difficult (if not impossible). And what do our masks primarily cover? That’s right: smiles! The very thing our profession works so hard to serve and protect is now nearly invisible to the physical world. So, how does an economy of smiles survive a faceless world? By making big changes to the ways we connect with others.
Historically, dental marketing has been all about “offers.” Call today for a $99 exam! Save $500 on Invisalign! Get a free consultation! That strategy may have been good enough in the past, but in a post-COVID world, I would argue that people crave something even more valuable than savings: connection. And that’s actually good news for you, because offers make you compete on price. Which means you work more and make less money (not the ideal situation for a business owner). You don’t need to play that game. Leave that to Amazon, Walmart, and Comfort Dental (oh, yes I did). You can provide something none of those others can: a real human connection.
Of course, making a connection in the physical world isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. When you’re hiding behind 37 layers of PPE, you can look more like a mad scientist than a friendly and caring human. While there’s not much we can do about that at the moment, the good news is that there’s an entire virtual world where it’s easier than ever to create a genuine connection and make your practice stand out in your community.
Enter story-driven marketing. Where traditional marketing “yells,” story marketing “tells.” Instead of competing on offers, you can compete on connection by using your marketing as an opportunity to tell a story. And not just any story: your story. Why? Because nothing creates connection quite like a captivating story. People don’t want another offer – they want a dentist they like. Someone who cares about them and shares their values. As Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Your marketing needs to answer the question, “Why?” And that’s what story marketing is all about: letting people see, hear, and know the real you!
Ready to get into the nitty-gritty? Let’s talk about some super practical ways to implement story-driven dental marketing in your practice.
I literally can’t emphasize the following point enough, so I am going to use all the typographical weapons in my arsenal to tell you that in today’s world, people need to SEE YOUR FACE. They also want to see the team of people who will care for them. They want to see them in action, serving happy patients. They want to know what your practice looks like and what they can expect when they arrive. Great photography conveys emotion to the viewer, which creates an instant connection. Just look at these photos and try not to smile…
Then: Slap a stock photo on a postcard and call it “good enough.”
Now: High-quality professional photos of you and your team for the win!
Video is the absolute best way to tell your story virtually. It’s the perfect medium to let people see your face and hear your voice. To see your team in action. To hear your why. To feel confident in knowing that you are the expert that they can trust with their smile.
Then: Generic treatment animations.
Now: High-quality videos that tell your story and show off your team and practice.
3. Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the perfect places to let people meet the real you! Show off your fun side. Show that you care. Show how your team enjoys being together and loves caring for patients.
Then: Dental jokes and special offers.
Now: Give people a live look inside your practice. Let the real you shine!
4. Story-Driven Websites
Your website is where all of the pieces come together. As your practice’s “home” on the Internet, your website should be specifically crafted to tell your story. Through captivating photos, well-produced videos, and compelling writing all tied together with a design that matches your practice’s vibe, your website can be a powerful tool to tell your story.
[maybe a before and after of one of our client’s websites. We made some for the “good design means good business” article that we could borrow from]
Then: A generic, templated website that tells the world what you do.
Now: A beautiful, custom website that tells the world why you do it.
It’s obvious that COVID changed everything, marketing included. Hopefully these tips set your practice on a path to success. If you need help, we’re here for you. As dentistry’s first (and only) story-driven dental marketing agency, we’ve pioneered story marketing with proven success at hundreds of practices around the country. If you’re ready to market differently and stand out in your community through COVID (and beyond), we’d love to help!