Are you puzzled by blogging and branding? Wondering how marketing evolved from Yellow Pages ads to search engine optimization? You aren’t the only one. The marketing world has changed dramatically in the past decade! But there’s hope. You can get on the modern marketing bandwagon and bring in new patients.
Just this evening, CBSNews.com released an article about blogging. In it, Robert Pagliarini provides “7 rules of successful bloggers.” I want to take Paliarini’s tips and evaluate how they relate to dentists and dental blogging.
We’re told to create valuable content. What is valuable, when it comes to content? That depends on who you are. To a potential patient searching for a dentist or an answer to a question, interesting information not found elsewhere online would be valuable. To a dentist, a blog that ranks high on Google would be valuable. To Google, a blog that’s original and informative would be valuable. So, ideally, a valuable dental blog has unique, informative content that’s keyword rich and well optimized. When this formula is used, everyone wins.
Focus on a niche and identify popular markets are tips two and three. Obviously, the niche for a dental blog is dentistry. However, you can be more specific. Perhaps your blog should be about sleep apnea, Invisalign, cosmetic dentistry, or sedation. Many of our clients have two or more blogs. This allows them to focus on general dentistry to attract bread-and-butter patients, as well as a specific treatment that they find profitable and enjoyable. Before you blog, consider which procedures or ideas (holistic, biomimetic, systemic health, for example) are most important to you.
Be opinionated and get personal come in fourth and fifth. You may think that, as a professional, you should not print your opinions. I beg to differ. Patients should understand your philosophy and the passion that drives your practice. This can set you apart and draw in the patients you’d like to treat. For instance, if you feel that there is nothing wrong with amalgam, you might state the facts, share what the ADA and FDA have to say, and then give your opinion. Taking this approach, you’ll attract patients who want amalgam fillings. In the CBSNews.com article, we’re told to “open up” and “share personal stories.” I challenge you to seriously consider this advice. Your practice is built on people – you, your team, and your patients. It makes sense, then, to share opinions and stories on your blog.
The last tips we’re given are to create a brand and market our blogs. A brand is more than a logo, a tagline, and a business name. More specifically, a company’s brand is the impression it makes on people – the feeling people have when they consider the business. For a dentist, I often see serious inconsistency with branding. A practice may go by multiple names, for instance the doctor’s name and a randomly selected domain name. Another common problem is the use of multiple stock icons that substitute for a custom, well thought out logo. Good dental branding pulls together signage, printed materials, and all Internet marketing, as well as staff scrubs and office décor. Marketing, then is different than branding. Marketing your dental practice, and your dental blog, involves getting your practice brand in front of your ideal patients. To promote a blog, you should begin with a solid search engine optimization strategy. Beyond the web, market your blog by including a or QR code on direct mail and print ads, signage, business cards, and t-shirts that you give to patients.
Need help with a dental practice logo, website, blog, copywriting, or brand? Call 972-781-8861 and ask Jill for a complimentary evaluation of your overall website presence. Our team of talented and highly trained copywriters, web techs, designers, and developers focus on dentistry. We understand dental marketing guidelines, and we stay on top of the latest news, technology, research, and trends in the dental industry. We are the experts you need for an effective marketing strategy that will earn you new patients and make 2012 your best year yet!