By PETE JOHNSON
Trust is an invaluable asset when appealing to patients. In order to establish a strong connection, authenticity is key. Consumers are more discerning than ever, therefore, they can see past the smoke and mirrors many companies invest their time and resources into. The key to authenticity is simple — be yourself!
When branding your dental practice, it’s important to become clear on your values. What are your priorities? Why does your practice matter? Think emotionally and consider the big picture. Yes, your practice matters because dental health is important. On top of that, you’re also helping patients gain confidence, become more comfortable, and feel at ease with preventive treatments. You may also be using innovative techniques, paving the way for the industry. Or, you could be a family practice, that provides a necessary service to the community in a safe space. Regardless of your mission, it’s important to decipher what makes you so special and then speak on it.
Once you have reflected on your practice and its value, you can now work towards developing strategies that create transparency. Give patients a look at how you run your business, show off your personality, and let them see the results of your work. By pulling back the curtains, you’re not only attracting new patients, you’re inviting them to stay a while. Transparency not only brings people in, it also breeds longevity. It will invite new patients into your seats, and have them coming back again and again to a comforting place they trust.
Now that we’ve established the importance of trust, let’s dive into specific ways to appeal to patients in an authentic manner.
Use Authentic Imagery
Many websites, and especially dental websites, use stock photos instead of their own images. Stock photos are generic licensed images that are for sale. Marketers, businesses, and individuals often turn to stock imagery as it’s quick and convenient. These photos may be time-efficient and easy to source, but consumers can quickly tell the difference between a glossy, staged photo and an authentic image.
To stand out from the competition, it’s important to take your own photos rather than buy images from stock websites. Imagery of dentists, patients, interiors, and real results will resonate with potential patients. Users are savvy, and they know that the image of a model smiling with photoshopped teeth is inauthentic. It’s important to provide imagery they can relate to and that they will recognize when they step into your practice.
Headshots are also crucial for a dental website. We’re trained as humans to feel more comfortable when we see someone’s face. By integrating headshots into your website design, you’re providing users with a friendly face they can depend on. In an increasingly digital world, we crave human connections more than ever. Therefore, it’s important to capture the essence of who you are by showcasing the faces that make your work possible.
It may also bode well to incorporate photos of the interiors of your practice. Patients always feel more comfortable when they enter a space that is clean and comfortable. Sometimes, the appearance of a practice can be a deciding factor. By providing photos, users will be put at ease, and feel more comfortable booking an appointment knowing they will be entering a squeaky clean space.
Respond to Reviews
Whether they’re good or bad, it’s critical to respond to patient reviews. On your quest to establish trust, communication is key. If potential patients feel that you are a bad communicator, they are likely to look elsewhere for services. On top of that, a lack of communication may make patients feel you are inauthentic or perhaps hiding something. To maintain authenticity, you must remain present, open, and very responsive. The most unsettling response to users is silence.
When good reviews roll in, this offers a chance to celebrate! Let your patients know you appreciate their positive feedback. Not only will this highlight the review, but it will also inspire them and others to continue leaving glowing reviews.
Whether you’re responding to negative or positive comments, you’re letting the community know that you care about their opinions. Growth is important in any business, and the best way to evolve is to listen and adapt. Let these reviews exist as a check-in on your strengths and weaknesses. They can be utilized to benefit not only patients, but the quality of your practice.
We talk a lot about video on this blog, and for good reason! Video is one of the most important marketing channels to utilize nowadays. One of the reasons it is so crucial is because it’s a platform that can be used to showcase authenticity. Videos offer a stage for moving, talking, and breathing humans to resonate with viewers. While words and imagery can have an impact, nothing relates a message and feeling more than a video. Therefore, it’s critical to weave it into your marketing strategy.
You don’t have to be an actor to produce a good video, and for the sake of authenticity, you shouldn’t be! Dental videos should be natural and approachable. They should convey a message in a manner that is warm and easy to understand.
It’s important to instill emotion into these videos. One of the most impactful ways to do this is through patient testimonials. In these videos, patients will discuss treatments they have had, the results, and how your practice has impacted them. Feelings of joy, relief, comfort, satisfaction, and gratitude are expressed through these clips. Not only do they showcase results, but they display the emotional aftermath. There is nothing more authentic than seeing real results, therefore, it’s important to intertwine this type of content into your strategy.
Additional videos you should incorporate include practice and treatment overviews. These videos lend the stage to dentists to explain why they do what they do, and in the case of treatment overviews, exactly what they do. In practice overviews, dentists pull back the curtain and talk about why they opened their practice and what inspires them daily. In treatment overviews, dentists walk viewers through dental processes, providing details in an easy-to-understand manner. Both of these videos offer a behind-the-scenes type of approach to marketing. Nowadays, consumers want to know motives and the intricacies of a company’s process. They want to give their money to a practice with integrity as well as one that’s transparent. Both of these videos provide the assurance users need to book an appointment.
Establish a Distinct & Approachable Voice
When writing your dental website copy, it’s important to establish a voice that’s approachable with a bit of personality. Avoid using language that is extra clinical and speak to users in a way that is educational and also understandable. Not only will readers quickly bounce away from this type of language, but oftentimes, people don’t trust what they don’t understand. Therefore, make sure you’re using language that is easy to absorb, so users can understand and trust your message.
You should also find a way to weave a little personality into the text. When people read copy that is written in a conversational manner, they will feel more open and comfortable. Sterile, generic copy may feel robotic to some. Alternatively, it’s easy to go overboard with personality and detract from your skill sets. Therefore, balance is key here. Weave personality in between sentences that showcase credibility. This distinct voice will separate you from the competition.
Small businesses drive communities. Therefore, your practice is a vital component of your town, city, or neighborhood. Many patients feel at home in a location that celebrates community. Therefore, make an effort to support those around you. Sponsor community runs, parades, events, and more. Not only does this make your practice more visible, it lets people in the area know your concerns extend beyond your own profits and into the betterment of the area. Create a strong social media presence, so those in the community can see what you’re up to and provide commentary easily. Community warms the heart, so by immersing yourself into it, you become part of that comforting feeling that many rely on. Most importantly, it lets patients know how much you care about the community you serve.
Are you ready to celebrate your authenticity? Contact Get Practice Growth today and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.