It is estimated that the global dental market will reach 37 billion dollars in 2021. These were the estimations before this COVID-19 global pandemic crisis came across our lives.
Now, all this numbers mean nothing. No one knows what is going to happen in the next months, or even years ahead.
This number seems scaring for a little business niche, but numbers confirm that it’s a fully growing market and economically very interesting for many investment groups.
Into this global market exist the ones who produce; the dentists, hygienists, lab technicians, nurses, and all the staff that is directly or nor directly related to the dental business.
Amazingly, a large proportion of the population doesn’t go to the dentist for different reasons, mainly economics, phobias, or social issues.
Up to 15% of the population has some sort of dental treatment phobia!
But that segment that hasn’t the habit of going to the dentist to take care of their oral healthcare, they are not the real threat; it represents a very great growth opportunity for our clinics to start attracting patients that never thought visiting a dentist before.
The great question is, how are we going to seduce these potential patients on coming to our clinic?
Commonly, a dental clinic’s marketing laid in the “word to mouth” that nowadays is still the most effective way of creating awareness of our dental practice.
But times have changed, and those “Classic Direct Marketing” days are far gone now. Google and Facebook changed the game completely.
The other kind of marketing is “Brand Marketing.” The difference between “Brand” and “Direct” marketing is what happens after a campaign kick-off.
Direct Marketing is ahead of the action, and its impact is measurable.
Brand Marketing is cultural and can’t be measured.
When we make a Facebook ad, and we measure clicks, engagement, and phone calls to our clinic is because we are making Direct Marketing.
We can end up doing Brand Marketing using “Direct Marketing” systematically. Still, the cultural change we are looking for in a population segment isn’t something for one day to the other.
This topic has been addressed in the last Seth´s Godin book, “This Is Marketing,” which is a piece of art that you definitely should take a look at if you want to update yourself into the latest marketing trends.
Therefore, the difficulties that big companies are facing when it comes to adapting to this new “Direct Marketing” era.
We all remember those ads: “Coca-Cola, ‘Always Coca-Cola,’” we felt identified; we had grown with that culture. It’s part of us, of our identity, but there had been years and years of Unidirectional Direct Marketing.
Nowadays, clients to companies/startups/little businesses relationship changed utterly.
The final consumer has the power of creating his own tribe, his influence zone, and having a positive or negative loudspeaker. But the fact that everything has changed and the dentist, as a businessman, has to assume this cultural change.
Patients, for good or bad, have a loudspeaker beyond the classic “Word to mouth” marketing, so we have to take advantage of that.
But let’s get into the article’s main topic.
What can we do correctly to help our dental clinics with social networks?
The following tips can be applied to any other local business.
Taking into account that 15% of the population has a dental phobia and this phobia affects directly to general life quality, and transmitting security and trust to potential patients with any phobias is our big challenge as clinicians.
It is certainly a different kind of promotion compared to the one in a store or other local business that almost exclusively has to prove that their products worth their prices.
However, dentists have to conscientize potential patients to check their oral health at least once a year.
Everything is about gaining our potential patient trust.
That’s the key.
#1. First Step. Social network’s audit
Even though the word “Audit” may sound shocking, it is necessary to have an overview of where we are and find opportunities for improvements or changes that must be done urgently.
For that, I made a template that you will find at the end of this article or in the bottom-left corner pop-up.
If you prefer you can create it on your own with Excel or Google Sheets. In this sheet there must be:
- Profile Link (for example, instagram.com/clinicalopez)
- Your ID on this social network (for example, @clinicalopez)
- Collaborator or collaborators in charge of managing the account (also known as Admins, for example, “Aux. Team”)
- This account’s main mission or objective (for example promoting the clinic’s culture showing pictures of workers to humanize your company)
- Main 3 posts in terms of engagement: Likes, comments, clicks, etc.
- Metrics to keep in track (or KPI’s)
This block could be very long, but we can divide it into the main three metrics:
1. Followers Growth:
On “Facebook for Business” clinic’s page we go to “Insights” and in “Followers” we can see the growth along the time.
On Instagram, we have to turn our account onto a Business one and in “Insights” we can use this information. Even though there are some apps like “Report” that are very useful for this.
On Twitter, we have “Twitter Analytics” that give us lots of information about our audience and, obviously, followers’ growth.
Here we are going to check which posts worked better. We can analyze if our audiences like videos, pictures or only a certain kind of picture.
It’s easy to analyze on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
3) Demographic data about our audience
It is very important for us to know the facts about our audience. If we have this item segmented, we can choose better our promoted posts.
#2. Decide which social media channels we should leverage.
In the first chapter we focused our audit in the following Social Networks:
This data gives us information about demographic data and our customer’s preferences when using those platforms.
If our clinic goes to a younger segment, for example, orthodontics, well maybe our strongest social network should be Instagram or Tik Tok.
On Facebook, we find Millennials, even though we can find the older age segment.
Another social network that can be very helpful is YouTube, even though we must create lots of content for its algorithms to begin taking the channel into account.
#3. Positioning yourself as a dental expert.
Social networks give us the chance to spread information about or work limitlessly.
Writing papers, making videos, sharing information that proves that we are experts on what we are doing, help us to position ourselves.
At this point, a reference is Itamar Friedländer’s page.
He has positioned as an expert in his field and in addition, helps patients who have doubts about his articles.
All these articles, that at the end has keywords, if are shared in social networks periodically, will end up appearing in potential client’s google searches.
The final proof that work has been done well is writing on google “orthodontics” and you will see what appears as recommendation immediately underneath.
It’s the persistence and well-done work’s prize.
#4.Clinic Staff. The Best Brand Ambassadors.
Facebook has become a must-have marketing asset on lots of businesses, but also, we have to analyze the reality of our shared content’s organic scope.
The main fact is that the Facebook organic reach is decreasing year after year, and during 2018, Facebook announced that in 2018 their algorithm will prioritize family’s and friend’s posts above business pages.
This means that during 2019 Facebook start showing us lots of videos with puppies wearing sunglasses and dancing and handsome dentists wearing nice suits in dental events.
This strategical change in Facebook has an explanation: Encouraging businesses to increase their spending on Facebook Ads.
Obviously, investing in Facebook Ads is a good option (cheap and effective), but also, we have to choose for another free and effective strategy: Taking advantage of workers’ influence group.
For example, a clinic with 100 workers with average 338 Facebook friends each, and calculating that if one shares a post it will show in 33% of his friend’s feeds, the scope will be about 15.210 accounts.
A Facebook page for having the same scope organically should have a million fans 😱.
According to WeRSM, only 15% of people trust in brands, but -and special attention to this fact- an 84% trust in other people recommendations.
At Cisco, they observed that posts generated by their employees had 8 times more interactions than the ones published by the company itself with more than a million fans.
Employee Advocacy. That´s the future.
#5. Keep the balance between clinic related content and humanizing the company
Remember at the beginning of this article. Our objective is to generate trust and a professional profile.
If we are very “technical” with the content we share, we are going to lose interest. And a way of reducing this tension when we want to show that we are technically savvy is showing a typical “Before and After” and telling the story behind any case.
Only be careful with having our patient’s agreement for using their clinical pictures.
Humanizing the clinic isn’t easy and this video from the “Molar Clinic” in Portugal did amazing work presenting all its team taking advantage of the Christmas season, characterizing a famous song adapted to the company.
As always, here João Mouzinho and his team nailed it again.
Having a sense of humor is going to be really appreciated for many of our patients or potential patients.
Showing in social networks that we aren’t robots and that we have that human side characterized by our sense of humor is a huge asset.
The finally the weekend, time to have fun! Check out our new patient special!— White Crown Dental (@whitecrowndmd) April 14, 2018
$55 for an exam and cleaning
Wednesday 9am-6pm 833-377-6265
Now offering After hours 7pm to 10pm. #WhiteCrownDental #SantaClarita #Valencia #dental #dentist #smile #teeth pic.twitter.com/NUAFuPLcgs
Even accidentally we can make a funny post and turn it viral.
Recently happened to me, even though it was directed to dentists, many dental clinics take advantage of it to remember that homemade treatments aren’t valid.
It is in Spanish, but what the text means is: The water running out of the tap “Toothache” and the scissors “any homemade treatment”
The post was shared 373 times, and I bet you can do much better than this.
#7. Using beautiful images
It is very important to have a picture that identifies us. A color pallet, fonts, and a kind of pictures that represent our business.
The problem is that almost 100% of dentists aren’t graphic designers (even though we are experts with PowerPoints and Keynote), but there is always a company that had thought about us and builds a solution to address that pain.
To achieve the best results in creating images, posts, gifs, and even presentations, Canva is the best choice by far. It also has countless templates ready to be customized with your clinic logo or text. And it is quite affordable (only 12€/month)
The other important part is getting high-quality pictures. Here we can take it by ourselves (I wish some dentists knew both periodontics and photography), or we can use stock pictures.
Pushing the boat out, I’ll tell you my great secret: I download them for free from Unsplash. It has a huge number of free pictures and extremely great quality. There are other platforms but undoubtedly Unsplash is number one.
We had mentioned that having a YouTube challenge for the clinic can be very valuable for helping as to position on SEO level, but also to create awareness around our business.
For example, Hugo Madeira’s clinic has a spectacular Youtube channel where he shares stories of radical changes on their patients, how his team works, what kind of treatments do they do. It is an example for every one of us.
Making good quality videos today isn’t hard, even though the professional touch always needs some tools that today can be bought for a very low price.
One of the key points is the lightings and Wistia in this Blog post give us some pieces of advice.
This light kit and background support are more than enough and very cheap.
As a background paper, Savage has a huge variety of colors and sizes.
Color is something personal, even though grey and dark blue are very professional together.
Regarding the camera for making videos, today almost every photo camera makes excellent videos in HD and the most important thing is the objective.
A 35mm Nikon is a pretty good option for videos.
For video editing my first option is “Final Cut”. It’s an investment that if we are going to do lots of videos it worths the investment.
Also, Adobe Premier is an amazing option and you can take advantage of the subscription packages that Adobe has.
But, undoubtedly Animoto is a tool that meets all the requirements needed to produce compelling marketing videos.
Intuitive, easy to use, and above all, very useful.
In a previous article on Periospot, there is a tutorial on how to edit videos using Final Cut.
Animoto is the tool to edit videos in a few minutes and have an attractive format for social networks.
I have been using this tool for the past 2 years with great success.
Every time I create a video with Animoto, I’ve noticed an increased rate of engagement on my posts on social networks.
It also has several formats, including the square format, which, although it surprises me, is the format with more engagement on social networks.
This video is an example of a video I created for various channels.
There are several templates available that leave your work almost done. You have to drag photos and videos and edit the text.
Animoto is priced at 19.99$/month, although in its annual plan (highly recommended) it drops to per year, which rounds up to$ 9.99 per month.
Another positive aspect of Animoto is that it also includes music for videos, although these are very limited.
How many times have you edited a video, posted it on networks and BAM! Blocked… Has your video copyrighted content?
This issue can easily be avoided by using the various songs available on Animoto.
#9. Social Media Scheduling- Grow your audience while you are sleeping
There are lots of Apps that help us saving time on community management.
The two best known are Buffer and Hootsuite. But they are quite pricy.
Both can add various accounts on different social networks and schedule content for several weeks without converting you into a social network-slave.
This is how Loomly works:
It has an amazing workflow.
Also, Social Pilot allows you to prepare all Social Media posts while you drink your early Sunday morning coffee with a very easy workflow like this video shows:
In this case, we would add or Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and decide which time we want our posts to be published.
Undoubtedly, they are tools that save us lots of time and let us have a detailed analysis of our social network’s performances.
#10. Creating useful and valuable content for our patients
Before we talked about the creation of interesting articles for our patients or potential clients that trough a Google Search have found our page.
This content could have lots of formats:
- Clinical cases
- Educational videos
Video is killing it on social media, so put your efforts on creating nice videos.
This last point deserves special mention if we keep in mind that 6 out of the top 10 viral posts on Facebook were related to dentistry,
It’s amazing and shows us that Social Network users are willing to share content related to our profession.
In this perspective, Periopixel offers educational videos with amazing quality and a high acceptance rate among Social Network users.
It worth having some of these videos, not only to explain our clinical procedures but to explain our audience those procedures entail and also educational videos about hygienic oral habits.
#11. Suscribe to available programs that support your personal growth
Some companies have begun creating programs to help young dentists who are starting in the labor market. Their function is to help them grow their professional career.
Those programs include some courses and congresses that prepare dentists to have a strong online presence and increase their personal brand, or their clinic’s brand awareness.
It worth registering because it’s free and they will be very helpful in preparing dentists in this new Digital Marketing era.
I tried to summarize some basic recommendations that you can start using tomorrow and also to prepare yourself as soon as this global epidemic pandemic ends.
It is important that we keep in contact with patients and share with them valuable content in different formats.
I hope you find this article useful and let me know your feedback. I would love to hear your comments directly into my email box [email protected]
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