Content marketing is extremely important for businesses to encourage repeat customers and attract new ones. However, you may have put this on hold for your practice when the lockdown occurred.
When COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic, dental practices were perceived to be at a high risk of transmission. This is due to aerosol-generating procedures (e.g. teeth cleaning), which are the main ways the coronavirus is transmitted. As a result, dentists were only allowed to treat patients with dental emergencies, while all other services were suspended.
Fast forward to today, a dental patient survey shows that patient-perspective on dentists has shifted. 64% of the respondents now believe their dentist knows how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which is an increase from 42% in April. 60% of respondents said they were comfortable visiting a dentist for a routine cleaning or check-up, which is more than double the percentage compared to April of 29%.
With that in mind, you can more confidently invite your patients back for their recares and/or to continue their treatment plans. Now is also a great time to market your practice to solicit new patients.
One of the most effective ways to do so is content marketing, which allows you to also build a loyal following. However, before you start, planning your approach will help magnify your results. Here’s a quick list of what you should consider to get you started:
- Which platforms are you going to use?
- What and how often will you post content?
- Who will write your content?
Which platforms are you going to use?
Different platforms can help you reach different audiences and give them a channel to interact with you. These platforms include social media, newsletters and SMS texting.
Social media is a great way to interact with existing patients, as well as reach potential leads. This platform is ideal for you to set the tone of your practice i.e. how you want others to perceive you and your staff. For example, if you want to showcase a fun environment, you can use colourful photos and clever captions. If you want to be known for elegance and top-tier service, post images that reflect this tone. Building your brand image will help your audience relate better to you, and in turn, build trust.
Social media also allows potential patients to contact you without calling the office. Communicating through these channels is another way to build trust and confidence in making an appointment with you. It is important to respond to messages promptly to ensure great customer service.
Newsletters are key to building relationships with existing patients. Not only can you keep them in the loop for your latest promotions, but you can also reassure them with important information during this pandemic. Being transparent with your patients gives them peace of mind before making a visit, especially knowing what new equipment you’ve installed to prevent transmission.
Since there will be patients who aren’t able to come to the office, your newsletters can include dental care articles. This will help remind patients of the importance of at-home dental care and how to properly maintain their oral health.
SMS texting is good for quick announcements and flash deals. Since most people have their phones on them daily, this is the quickest way to market to them directly. It is also a convenient way for existing patients to communicate with the office directly.
Schedule marketing content to be sent out accordingly with Paradigm 2-Way SMS and My Contact Pro. For example, a birthday message with a discount for their next visit. You can also build conversations with the patient to continue reinforcing their trust and confidence in your practice.
What and how often will you post content?
Deciding on what to post and how often you post is important, as it will define your branding. Creating a content calendar would be ideal for you to stay organised. It can be overwhelming to plan too far ahead, so you can start with planning for the month.
First, mark the days you intend to post on social media, send newsletters and text messages. The key is to be consistent so that you stay top of mind.but not so frequent that you become bothersome. You can then do a high-level breakdown of what each post will be about (e.g. educational posts, marketing and promotions, about the office, reviews, etc.). You can then add more details about the specific post before creating them.
If you’re stuck for ideas, try coming up with themes for the month. Make it a goal to tie your topics back to the theme. For more variety, you can also lookup national days related to dentistry e.g. National Dental Care Month is in May.
Who will write your content?
Creating content requires a lot of time that you may not have. However, it is vital for encouraging new and old patients to visit your practice. Depending on your office size and how comfortable your staff are with content creation, you can divide up the work.
Each staff can be in charge of creating the content and image for one or two social posts. If your staff isn’t comfortable with it, you can consider hiring someone to manage your social media. The benefit of hiring someone is that they also have the knowledge to optimize social media ads, if you choose to do so.
Those who love to write can also help with the newsletter articles. If you or your staff don’t have time to write articles, Paradigm’s Newsletter module has a library of articles you can easily insert and edit as needed.
Content marketing has always been important, and it is even more so now than ever. While recares may not be a top priority for some patients, you need to emphasize the importance of oral health even during a pandemic. To reconnect with existing patients and reach out to new ones, you need to stay top-of-mind. A report found that the COVID-19 rate among dentists is less than one percent, so reassure your patients and invite them to come back now!
If you would like to learn more about our Newsletter module, SMS services, or My Contact Pro, you can give our office a call at (905) 946-1477 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you!