Online marketing has begun to dominate the way consumers and patients seek information about dental services and products. Dental practices need to provide online content that attracts new patients and retains current patients. An excellent way of presenting valuable information to patients is through a blog on your website. Whereas Facebook and Twitter may be good platforms for promoting special services or deals, a dedicated blog is the ideal space for sharing more detailed content. Whether you wish to showcase specific treatment options or just provide updates on trends within the dental industry, a blog is a great way to increase your practice’s online profile.
The key to blogging is writing valuable content. If the content is informative and practical, patients will begin to think of your practice as an authority on dentistry, and return frequently to check for updates.
Tips for Maximizing Your Blog’s Effectiveness
- Post frequently. Post content to your blog on a regular basis so that visitors come back to find new content. If possible, post to your blog once a week, but a minimum of once a month.
- Write Substantial Content. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, blogging gives you a chance to communicate more substance. An ideal blog length should be between 300 and 600 words. Be sure to include relevant images that supplement your post.
- Use a Compelling Format. Avoid posting a mass of abstract data. Instead, try to convey your message through a narrative or story that grabs the reader’s attention.
- Be Purposeful. Use the blog as a way of responding to your patients’ questions. If you receive comments from Facebook, publish a response on your blog. If one patient in your dental practice has a question, other patients are likely to have the same or similar questions.
- Strike a Proper Balance. The tone of a dental practice blog can be casual and fun, but should also represent the brand of your dental practice. Offering humor, personal reflections, and behind the scenes insight about the staff and practice can be appropriate, but should not be offensive or unprofessional.
- Use Blogs in Your Email Marketing. If you run a dental practice, you should be making the most of your email communications. Use interesting and educational blog posts as an incentive to sign up for emails from your practice. Include relevant blog post excerpts in your email blasts to your readers.
Ensure your blog is accessible from your dental practice website. You can also publicize a new blog post through Facebook, which gives your Facebook followers additional reasons to “Like” your Page and share with their friends. (Read more tips in our Promoting Your Dental Practice on Facebook series.) If you start a blog for your dental practice, have a plan and schedule in place before launching it to ensure success.
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Terry D. Watson, DDS, and Frank Brown, JD, LLM, are with ADS Watson, Brown & Associates, a dental practice transition consulting and brokerage firm in Dallas, TX. They are members of American Dental Sales and can be reached on the Contact Page