The 2021 Content Marketing Guide for Dentists
As a dentist you need to be able to effectively market your practice to be able to compete. In today’s competitive landscape, failure to do so will put you against the odds, and potentially out of business in the long-term.
In 2021 digital marketing is king — the internet, Google, social media — this is where it all happens. When potential clients need dental services, they’ll go online, searching for answers. They’re looking for a provider that is suitable for their needs.
To differentiate yourself from the competition, you’ll need to implement an extensive, complete digital marketing strategy.
There are a number of different digital marketing strategies you can use. One of the best ones is the practice known as content marketing.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about it, including:
What is content marketing for dentists?
How does content marketing help dentists?
Why should dentists invest into content marketing?
The most common types of content marketing
A step-by-step dental content marketing strategy
Ready to start winning more clients? Let’s get into it.
What Is Content Marketing for Dentists?
Content marketing is a very old marketing practice that — in recent years — has made a comeback. Thanks to the internet and social media, content is more easily accessible and distributed. Before, it was limited to TV, radio, mail, and print.
Nowadays you have blog posts, website pages, YouTube videos, social media posts and videos — and much, much more.
But what, exactly, is content marketing?
Content marketing is the use of content to educate, inform, and entertain prospective customers, building a relationship with them.
You help someone solve their problems and pain points by providing free value, in the form of content. The idea is that once you’ve done this, they’ll be more inclined to become customers. This has been shown to be true, which is why so many businesses create content.
As a dentistry practice, this is what you should be doing — creating high quality content across a variety of channels.
Content can come in many different forms. I’ll list all the important ones for dentists later on in the “Most Common Types of Dental Content Marketing” section.
How Does Content Marketing Help Dentists?
Content marketing as a whole can help dentists find more clients through the distribution of excellent, high quality content. It acts as a lead generation and nurturing service, finding people who need — or are potentially interested in — dental services.
That’s a generalized answer. More specifically? Here are 5 ways content marketing helps dentists:
1. Content marketing helps you reach and connect with the right audience
The great thing about modern, digital content marketing is you can target your specific ideal audience. This is opposed to older, traditional forms of marketing like TV, radio, mail, or print.
You can create blog posts, targeted for very specific keywords people are searching for on Google. You can do the same for your homepage and services pages. You can also create social media content utilizing the right hashtags for it to be seen by your ideal prospects.
Not to mention you can buy Google ad space for those exact keywords. You’re putting yourself on the SERP along with the organic results — prime position to target the right audience.
2. Content marketing enables you to build a strong reputation
Content marketing enables you to become an expert, a respected authority in your field — a thought leader in dentistry. This builds your practice’s credibility and reputation, which is wildly important for creating consumer confidence.
When someone who needs — or is interested in — dental services sees your knowledge, they’ll want to become a client. You’ve displayed your knowledge and they feel comfortable in trusting you. They feel they can fix or solve their teeth related problems.
Your practice’s reputation online is radically important. Lots of businesses have had theirs tarnished in less than a day. It’s something you shouldn’t gloss over. Luckily, an effective content marketing strategy will keep yours respectable, which allows the customers to keep flowing.
3. Content marketing provides value to current / or prospective patients, by introducing treatment options and possibilities
The great thing about content marketing is that it doesn’t just serve to generate and nurture new leads. It also provides value to existing patients, informing and educating them. It can help expand their dental health knowledge, and aware them on all potential treatments and solutions.
As a dentist, you’re not just providing a one-off service — you’re providing a lifelong relationship. As you well know, taking care of one’s teeth is an ongoing process.
Ensuring you manage your customer relationships is essential to the sustainability and success of your practice.
4. Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with dental seo success
A great content marketing strategy will have synergistic effects on the effectiveness of your dental SEO strategy. Ranking well on Google is all about creating high quality page content, which is 100% content marketing.
Want your service/services pages and blog posts to rank on the 1st page? You need a detailed and outlined content marketing gameplan.
5. Content marketing helps to boost other online activities such as Google Ads or Social Media (content promotion)
Not only does content marketing boost dental SEO, but it also improves your dental SEM and dental SMM efforts.
Dental SEM — search engine marketing — involves your paid advertising efforts on Google. When you purchase Google ad space, you need to send them to a high quality page. You need to utilize content marketing to create those pages.
Dental SMM — social media marketing — comprises your efforts on the various social media platforms. You need to create powerful, resonating content to increase your subscriber and follower counts. Once again, this is done with content marketing.
If you want to turn your paid ads and social media efforts into effective strategies, embrace content marketing.
Why Should Dentists Invest Into Content Marketing?
When executed correctly, it can make a tremendous impact on the bottom line of your dental office. I know this because I’ve done it myself.
During my time as an in-house marketing manager at a dental clinic (2018-2020), we were facing a difficult situation.
The clinic was a new start-up with no brand awareness, 2 dentists 1 hygienist and a 3-chair setup. With no active patient base, we had to do something to attract sufficient patients, to fill capacities and cover costs as quickly as possible.
The goal was to establish the clinic as quickly as possible as one of the go-to-clinics in the city.
The problem? While some of the top 3-4 clinics were working with marketing budgets of $50k – $200k / year, I was constrained to only $30k.
As a result, we had to make the most of organic search and push hard to achieve success with dental SEO. Over time, we managed to secure top 4 rankings for most important keywords and establish a dominant visibility in the city’s local search results on page 1 of Google.
Fast forward 3 years and the clinic now has 6 chairs, and 6 dentists, while also being one of the top-clinics in the city. The brand / clinic name is now being searched for more than 500 times / month and bringing in multiple thousands of visitors each month in free organic traffic.
This is the power of content marketing for dentists, when done right.
Most Common Types of Dental Content Marketing
As a dentist, there are a variety of different types of content you should be creating for your office. Below, you’ll find them listed. These all play a unique part in your overall content marketing strategy — your ability to find and nurture new leads.
Website (Service Pages) Content
Your service/services pages give potential patients information and insight into the services you provide for them. As a dentist, they’ll outline all the different treatments that you offer at your practice.
These pages are important because they provide information on your services, but they’re also important for dental SEO. Service/services pages will be created and optimized for the intent of ranking for a keyword. This keyword will bring in organic traffic to your website, via Google.
Blog posts are individual pages on your website, generally on a variety of topics. For you, those topics will revolve around dentistry. Each blog post will cover a specific topic, giving you a chance to show your expertise, educating and informing readers.
Blog posts are important because they act as pathways to your website, from Google. Each one you write will bring in more traffic to your website, who come looking for answers you provide.
Every blog post you create will be created and optimized with a specific keyword in mind. This will help you rank for valuable search terms on Google, which is obviously how the website traffic comes in.
Your video content provides you with a different way to educate, inform, entertain, and promote your dentistry office. Videos is an incredibly powerful medium for content — in many ways superior to written text.
Video content will largely feature on your social media profiles, like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. You can also post videos on your website, and embed ones from YouTube into your blog posts and services pages.
The types of videos you can create vary to a wide degree. Some examples include:
Treatment explanation videos: A video that supports your services pages.
Blog post videos: A video that supports each individual blog post.
Vlogs: A day-in-the-life of your dentistry office.
Behind the scenes: A video about what goes on behind the scenes of your dentistry office.
Webinars: A live web video event.
Interviews/Q&As: A video of an interview or question and answer session with someone important at your dentistry office.
NOTE: It must be considered that each social media platform has its own restrictions and limits regarding videos. Some limit you to a certain length, for example. This needs to be considered with planning and creating video content for various platforms.
Social Media Content
The content on your social media profiles across the different platforms allow you to reach your target audience. With great social media content you’ll be able to build subscribers and followers, increasing engagement on your posts.
You can then funnel all that activity and engagement on social media to your website. You’re basically generating and nurturing leads, funnelling them to your website. Social media is a surefire way to get more patients for your dentistry office.
Social media also provides a way for you to promote your content marketing efforts, like videos, ebook, infographics and blog posts. It’s an ultimate traffic channel you must take advantage of.
Infographics are images that have text and graphics, like in the example above. They’re designed as a way for you to display your expertise in a form that’s easily shared on social media.
Many businesses have had its infographics gone viral, bringing them lots of attention and brand exposure. This no doubt led to more website traffic for them.
Pinterest is a particularly effective platform for infographics. Facebook and Instagram are good as well.
eBooks are downloadable files — usually PDFs — that are used as an educational resource. They’re typically used as “content upgrades,” or extensions of a particular blog post/guide. They act as “lead magnets” on optin forms, providing the eBook in exchange for an email address.
They provide an effective way to build up an email list, converting the traffic you get from blog posts. This is an important part of a content marketing strategy, as a large email list is extremely valuable. When you’ve got someone subscribed to your list, it’s a direct pathway to an inbox.
Dental Content Marketing Strategy
Putting together your dental content marketing strategy might seem complicated, but it’s not. You just need to follow the right steps. Below, I’ve listed each one you need to take.
Set SMART Goals
What’s the aim for your content marketing strategy? Why do you want to create content for your dental practice? You need to outline your goals before you begin planning your strategy. What you want — and plan — to achieve.
The best way to create and set goals is to use the SMART goals framework. It stands for specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-frame. Here’s a breakdown:
Smart: Target a specific issue to be improved.
Measurable: This issue must be easily measured, to track success.
Assignable: Who will achieve the goal?
Realistic: What results could realistically be achieved?
Time-frame: How long should it take for the goal to be achieved?
As a dentist, your goals are going to largely revolve around the traffic to your website, and all the strategies that entails. So, that means all your dental SEO efforts, your social media efforts, paid Google ad efforts, among other things.
An example of a goal you might have is to increase organic traffic to your website by 15% in the next 3 months. It’s specific, measurable, you can do it, it’s realistic, and has a time-frame.
As a whole, your content marketing strategy will consist of not one goal, but many. You’ll have lots of different SMART goals for all your efforts.
Determine Your KPIs
After setting your goals you’ll need to determine your KPIs — key performance indicators. These are metrics that let you effectively measure your content marketing efforts. They’ll let you know whether or not you’re succeeding, reaching your goals.
Your KPIs will measure your efforts across multiple channels. This includes your social media marketing efforts, your Google ads efforts, and your website efforts. Here are some examples of KPIs you should track:
Unique page views: This is a measure of how many people visit a specific page on your website. It’ll let you know whether or not your pages are bringing in traffic from Google.
Downloads: How many people have downloaded an eBook of yours. This’ll also be related to how many new email list subscribers you get.
Social media subscribers/followers: A measure of how many subscribers/followers you’ve gained over a period of time on social media.
Social media engagement: How much engagement your social media posts are getting. This’ll include likes, comments, shares — things like that.
Video views: The number of views your videos get, both over a period of time and all-time. Includes both YouTube and social media.
Video engagement: How many people engage with your videos on social media and YouTube. Metrics will include likes, comments, and shares.
Cost per click: A metric that measures how effective your Google ads are.
Cost per lead: Another metric that measures the effectiveness of your paid Google ads.
Choose Your Content Channels
After setting your goals and identifying your KPIs, it’s time to choose your content channels.
Content channels are the ways and places in which you distribute your content. Examples for dental content marketing include:
Social media profiles (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc…)
Your own dental website
These are the places that you’re going to be creating and posting your content. Your services pages, blog posts, video content, social media content, infographics and eBooks.
Other channels exist, but for now focus on these 3. Keep it simple. Your website, your social media profiles, and Google ads.
Decide on the Type of Content
Which content channels did you select? This’ll largely determine what type of content you need to create, which is the next step.
For social media, you’ll be creating:
For your dental website, you’ll be creating:
NOTE: Once you’ve created your services pages, you’ll never need to create more. Only the blog posts, eBooks and infographics are continual and ongoing — like more books added to a library over time.
If you’ve decided to use Google ads you’ll be spending time creating small SERP snippets. Basically creating a page title and meta description.
Set a Budget
How much will this content creation cost? This is the next step: setting your budget.
At the end of the day, when it comes to content marketing, you’re making content. Either you’re doing this, or someone else is. If you’re not paying someone else to, you’re spending your own time doing it — and time is money.
As a dentist, you’ve got your hands full. If you can’t create the content and distribute it yourself, look for an employee to do it. You could also hire someone to do it.
Find how much it’ll cost to create the amount of content you plan to post.
Create and Distribute the Content
Now you know what your budget is, as well as who’ll create and post it, it’s time to do just that.
Content creation and distribution is a scheduled activity that is routine. You’ll be posting at specific times of the day, and specific days of the week. You’ll also be posting a certain amount of content per week. We’re talking frequency and volume here.
There’s really no best hour, day, or amount of content to post a week. It varies a lot. Experiment and find out what works for you. The last step “Analyze and Measure Results” is crucial for this.
Just remember: post too much and you’ll put people off. Post too little and they won’t see you at all.
Analyze and Measure Results
At this point your content has been created and posted. The last step involves simply analyzing and measuring the results of your content efforts. This is extremely important as it lets you know if you’re succeeding or not. It’ll also help you adapt and make changes to improve in the future.
For your website, your website builder or content management system should have analytics features/plugins available.
Each social media platform has its own free analytics features. Google Analytics will help provide insight into your Google ads efforts.