What’s the most sought after currency in modern marketing? Think about it for a second.
With hundreds of advertisements, marketing emails, social media updates, and more to sift through every single day…. the average person has less time now than ever to consume your marketing message. As time goes on, this will only get worse and worse.
The dental marketing world is no different, it is harder than ever to get your specific brand name in front of your potential patients… but it is still possible with the right approach.
Think about it this way: In the past, marketing and advertising were one in the same. You could pay for a large TV spot, or some other kind of media commercial, and just BLAST your message to everyone in earshot. That works when you aren’t competing with hundreds (thousands?) of other advertisements every single day trying to capture that oh so lucrative attention. But nowadays, people are on their phones while watching TV, they’re on their email while sitting at a ball game and they are more connected than ever… but less willing to give out their attention.
What is it?
The new way… the new kind of marketing that will prevail (and is starting to rear it’s massive head) is called education-based marketing. This is where you educate the patient before they even walk in your door.
You tell them exactly what you are offering, answer as many of their potential questions as possible, and court them instead of the other way around. So while your competitors are blasting away with their un-targeted advertisements that don’t build any sort of connection with the audience… you are free to pick up all of the lost potential patients.
How do you utilize it effectively?
The entire “education-based marketing” approach relies on a few main factors:
1) You need to be providing a quality service
2) You need to be an ethical business owner
3) You need to be better than your competition
Education-based marketing is essentially the new way to level the playing field… to prove that YOU are the authority and deserve your patients… even if your competition is hammering away at them with advertisements.
Step 1: Differentiate – Figure out what makes you better, smarter, more enticing than your competition. What types of less-then-ethical business practices are often used in the dental marketing field? Figure out the exact type of information or knowledge that could help save your potential patients lots of money and unnecessary headaches.
Step 2: Educate – Package that information up into an easily digestible format. Maybe that means an email autoresponder series, maybe a series of blog posts, or even an ebook/recorded phone message. Focus on teaching potential patients about everything they NEED to know, but normally won’t learn until after a problem.
Step 3: Branding and the Call To Action – Here’s the tricky part. You aren’t putting together a 30-second radio spot that ends with “call 1-800-My-Dentist today!” You are taking a very different approach, so the ending call to action needs to be tailored accordingly. Stick with soft calls to action and micro-conversions — get them to submit their email for more info, or their personal number for a quick call to schedule an appointment.
Brand yourself as an authority through your content, educate potential patients, and you will reap the benefits of being the authority in your local region. This works based on the show not tell philosophy people tend to tune you out when you tell them how great you are (aka. an advertisement) but will listen much closer when you show them (through education-based content).
Now go forth and take action — it’s the only way to turn this strategy into new leads and patients for your dental practice!