Benjamin Franklin reportedly coined the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That holds true when it comes to your dental content marketing.
Many dentists treat their content marketing as an afterthought. They’ve read, or been told, that they need to produce online content, so they do. But there’s often no strategy involved or even a clearly defined goal for their content marketing efforts. That lack of planning carries the seeds of failure.
5 Steps to A Winning Content Marketing Strategy
- Know Your Audience
Most professionals will tell you to define your goal as the initial step in defining a strategy. But what works for one type of business won’t necessarily work for another. When it comes to dentistry, the composition of your market – the demographic and needs of your dental prospects – determine what is possible. There’s no point in spending the time and effort to develop a detailed content marketing strategy that doesn’t relate to the needs of your audience.
Dig in. Do some market research by first looking at the characteristics of your existing patient base. Categorize your patients by age, dental needs, and ability to pay, for starters. Then expand to your dental prospects. What blog posts, articles, or online offers (white papers or similar) are eliciting the the greatest response?
Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for a rundown on the demographics of your area. Depending on whether you practice in an urban or more rural area, your market could range from 5 miles to 25 miles from your office.
Once you have a good grasp on the demographics and needs of your dental prospects, you’re ready for Step 2.
- Define Your Goal
Content marketing isn’t like offering a coupon; it won’t necessarily get you results in the next month. Don’t make the mistake of setting just one goal for your content marketing. Think in terms of intervals – three months, six months, one year, two years. Reaching one goal should put you in position to continue advancing toward your ultimate goal. You might want to increase the total number of new patients, attract more patients representing higher case values, or even open a new location. Make sure that your goals relate to the fundamentals of your market.
- Determine the tone, type, and content of your online marketing.
Research indicates that younger people would prefer to watch short videos rather than read articles online. Infographics, short quizzes, and FAQs are also likely to find favor with many. Your newsletter is also a prime informational and marketing vehicle for your practice.
Most if not all of your content should be cross-marketed across various forms of social media – blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on. Decide what white papers or other giveaways you’ll use to get your prospects’ email addresses.
- Create follow-up content.
Getting your prospects’ attention is only the first step in getting them to book an appointment. Most of your prospects are in the research stage; once you have their email addresses, you have to stay in front of them until they’re ready to choose you. Maintaining top-of-mind awareness with your prospects requires a steady sequence of content that speaks to their dental needs and/or their desires.
- Implement a Content Management System
If you’re sending out content to half a dozen different subgroups in your market, all of whom have subscribed at different times, you’ve got a huge logistical challenge. You have to ensure that your prospects and patients don’t receive content too often, too seldom, or in the wrong order. That can eat up a tremendous amount of staff time, and mistakes are still likely. An automated content management system ensures that the right content goes out at the right times to the right people.
Don’t leave your dental content marketing to chance. Follow these five tips to create a winning content marketing strategy.