Think back to the last time you chose a new Netflix show. Scrolling through dozens of titles and thumbnails, waiting for something to stand out to you.
Now, think about what show you chose. Odds are, the image stuck out to you, caused you to click the title and read more. If you were sold, you clicked play. And most importantly, all of this happened within a few seconds.
Whether you realize it or not, Netflix curated those images according to what they calculated would catch those few seconds of your attention. As Netflix describes on its tech blog;
“If the artwork representing a title captures something compelling to you, then it acts as a gateway into that title and gives you some visual ‘evidence’ for why the title might be good for you.”
What if there was a way to provide visual evidence to patients as to why your practice is the best choice for them? A way to connect with them by showing them the most appealing “thumbnails” of how your practice feels, how it looks, and why you’re different. If something like that existed, wouldn’t you want it?
If you answered “Yep, that’d be cool”, I have really exciting news. (Brace yourself.)
It does exist! And it’s called custom photography.
Okay, so maybe that really isn’t as exciting or mind-blowing as I hyped it up to be, but you’d be surprised just how many websites our team sees on a regular basis who use the same handful of stock photos.
There are a thousand and one reasons I could get into as to why custom photos are the way to go, but here are my top 3.
TRUST - First and foremost, to win over a patient, you need to establish trust. It’s no secret that “going to the dentist” has a reputation for being uncomfortable, scary or even painful.
If you’ve ever asked a patient for a review or invested time in building an online presence through social media, you’ve already started taking steps towards creating trust. Custom photography also provides a unique and powerful opportunity to show firsthand how your practice is different, break that stigma and begin to build trust before the patient even steps through the door.
CONNECTION - By leading with photography that showcases real patients in your space smiling and laughing with staff during their appointment, you’re giving the viewer authentic moments to connect with. When a potential patient is looking through a handful of websites, they’re ultimately going to choose the one they connect with the most. If your website displays the same cheesy stock photos you can find on any website, it’s much harder for the viewer to relate. In the simplest terms, creating connection means you win.
BEAUTY - This one is a no-brainer. Photography can (and should) be beautiful. There is so much aesthetic value in showcasing your practice in a way that is both creative and attractive. Not only is it easy on the eyes, but it also reinforces your brand and your values. For instance, it’s one thing to build a brand that says that you provide a unique dental experience, but showing that through real images takes it to another level. Don’t just tell a potential patient about your practice; show them.
If you’re still not convinced, below is a custom photograph I took for a client. The other is a photo I grabbed after googling “dental stock photo”. Hopefully, it at least gave you a good laugh. But in all seriousness, if we have the ability to build trust and create connection through a beautiful photograph, then why would we choose not to?
In the end, the same concepts involved when scrolling through Netflix apply when scrolling through lists of websites on Google. We’re just looking for visual evidence to know the right choice to make. Take a moment to look through your own website. Do you feel it uses authentic photography to communicate the heart of your practice? If not, it may be time to change that.