The Hard Truth: 5 Reasons Aspiring Dental KOLs Fail to Make a Memorable Impression

Many dentists, dental speakers, and consultants are determined to achieve personal brand recognition as key opinion leaders (KOLs). They may be charismatic figures with truly groundbreaking ideas, but don’t make the grade when it comes to building and leveraging a following on social media.

Here are a handful of reasons most aspiring dental KOLs fall short of the professional recognition they deserve.

They’re Invisible

Emerging thought leaders cannot achieve success if they are difficult to find. Without a social media presence, blog, or podcast, they lack visibility and credibility in the eyes of their intended audience.

Recognized experts leave their digital footprint everywhere. Their branding and messaging are consistent and on-point. Their channels are smoothly interconnected. For example, their social media posts feature a strong call to action that drives traffic to their site, which may also feature a prominent opt-in link to their email newsletter.

Do you have an organized process for leveraging your expertise online? There are many steps to building a robust online presence. Identity Dental Marketing can help with custom blog creation, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.

They Don’t Create Live Content

Some would-be experts have no problem with social media posting but they fail to create one type of content that will push them into influencer territory: Live events. What stops them? Their topic isn’t distilled, so they ramble; they try to memorize a script, which usually sounds stilted; or they suffer from performance anxiety, which stops them before they start.

Established influencers make live Facebook events a routine part of their week. They recognize that being authentic is more important than sounding perfect, and that buoys their confidence. They don’t agonize over every syllable they utter, but they do prepare and learn to modulate their tone, pitch, and pacing. They speak on subjects they know, following a bulleted outline instead of memorizing a script. They do not fear the “GO LIVE” button because they are confident in the value they bring.

If you are ready to head into the live event arena and need inspiration, check out Identity Dental Marketing’s 52-Week Video Marketing Series.

They’re Inconsistent

Many budding thought leaders come out of the gate strong, posting and tweeting madly for a few months, and then — crickets. If no one has seen you in six months, they will assume you aren’t available or reliable.

Key opinion leaders post to various platforms on a schedule and train people to tune in. They streamline their efforts, spinning a single insight into a Facebook live event, a tweet, a blog, an infographic, and a podcast.

They might post once a week, three times a week, or more, but they know success is all about consistency. They are intentional with their use of hashtags, so their posts reach an interested audience.

The key to success is publishing valuable content regularly. Identity Dental Marketing can handle your social media posting to elevate and amplify your brand.

They’re Basic

Novices are more likely to share content than create it, missing opportunities to differentiate themselves. While they might see slight benefits from a service that supplies topical posts in bulk, they fail to add their brand and fade into the background.

If you want to boldly lead, stop following what is being done by others. True authorities share information that is unique, interesting, and helpful. They post content that is custom-designed to enhance their brand while sharing new information in a way that positions them as experts.

Their Website Looks Old

Beginners tend to laser-focus on their social media presence at the expense of their website. A site that looks outdated, is difficult to navigate, and is not mobile-friendly projects an unflattering image.

A KOL recognizes that their website is a digital storefront, and that social media, SEO, and advertising are waypoints. Their site is clean and well-organized, reflecting their brand with a modern sensibility. Pages are updated regularly and align with the ever-changing demands of Google and other search engines.

Identity Dental Marketing has more than a decade of experience creating custom dental websites that grab attention and rank at the top of search results.

They Try to Go It Alone

Many aspiring trailblazers believe they can build a recognizable brand on their own. Determined to save money, they fail to realize that the wrong strategy will cost them more in the end. When their brand-building blitz cuts into business and family time, many give up or burn out.

The old saying, If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting applies here. Successful opinion leaders understand the value of a marketing team in positioning their brand .For help with launching your leadership value on a wider stage, or to engage me as a motivational speaker, email grace@identitydental.com or fill out our contact form. And join our Facebook group, Dentistry’s Growing with Grace.

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The Secret to Making Must-Watch Videos for Social Media

Video posts are the future of social media. They imprint your brand on your intended audience and generate more engagement than other types of content. 

  • Twitter reports its video posts get ten times more engagement than text alone or text and images. 
  • A recent Instagram Engagement Report shows video content on that platform gets more than twice as many comments as posts with images alone. 
  • Facebook video posts have three times the engagement of status posts and twice the engagement of linked posts. 

Why Video Works So Well with Social Media

The personal nature of videos connects with people on an emotional level. Done correctly, video marketing can position you as an authority. The emphasis here is on done correctly. If you have hesitated about creating video posts for social media because you’re afraid of coming off stilted or scripted, here are some tips to make the job easier.

Know your goals. What does your target audience need to know? What information is important to them? Answer that question and you will have the seeds of relevant video subjects. 

Create a content mix. Decide how frequently you want to post videos and then create broad subject categories. If you want your community to know about your technology, your services, and what sets you apart from the competition, create video posts around those three categories. 

Create prompts, not scripts. People rarely come off as authentic when they read from or memorize a script. We have all seen commercials or videos in which it is painfully obvious the speaker is reading from a TelePrompTer or memorized text. It is much better to prepare prompts or questions that you can answer in a natural way from experience.

Stick to what you know. Using your content mix and prompts as references, talk to the phone camera as if it were a patient in your chair (or a client seated across your desk). “As long as you are talking about your area of expertise, actual communication should be pretty easy for you,” says Identity Dental Marketing CEO Grace Rizza. “Just stay within your area of expertise.”

Designating someone to do your videos. If you are wildly uncomfortable with the idea of appearing on camera, you can designate someone else, but choose someone who is extremely unlikely to leave your practice. “That person is going to become the face of your brand,” cautions Grace. It is best to choose an associate dentist, a spouse, or other family member who works at the practice. 

Don’t overthink video length. While some social channels have guidelines, Grace recommends making your videos as long as needed to make your point without extraneous information. Think streamlined but complete. 

Here are two points to remember: If you don’t get all your ideas across in one video, file away the unused points for the future. If your video feels too long, create a short video teaser and link to the complete version on YouTube. 

Are You Ready to Jump into Video Social Media?  

If you’re sold on the idea of videos for social media but don’t have the time to plan, Identity Dental Marketing offers the perfect solution: Our 52-Week Video Marketing Series

This package provides a full year’s worth of weekly prompts and instructions customized to your specialty. It offers flexibility for busy professionals. Post your own videos live and on your schedule or record and send them to us for scheduling and posting.

The Identity Dental Marketing team can also manage all your video marketing across channels and provide professional videographer services anywhere in the country. 
Contact us today and learn about our hassle-free, affordable video social media marketing options for dentists and consultants.

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What’s in a Dental Marketing Session?

When you are ready to grow your practice and reach more of your ideal patients, a short session with a seasoned dental marketer can make a significant difference in your success. While we can’t speak for other companies, we can tell you what to expect from a complimentary initial meeting with the Identity Dental Marketing team.

This exploratory session will help you clarify your marketing goals and how to achieve them. If you have not had such a meeting in the last three to six months, now might be the perfect opportunity to evaluate your current strategies: which ones are working, which ones are falling short, and whether your current practice growth is meeting your expectations.

Many people assume an initial strategy session is a dry, one-way sales pitch full of charts and graphs. We don’t believe that approach is a good use of your valuable time. When you sit down with me or one of my associates, we give you the floor. Our team is interested in you and your goals. We will suggest solutions and how to implement them, of course, but our focus is learning about you and your needs.

What to Expect at a Dental Marketing Planning Session

To make the most of an initial planning session, we will ask you a few simple questions:

  • How many new patients are you now seeing each month?
  • How are your patients finding out about you?
  • What is your ideal growth rate for your practice?

In addition to looking at numbers and projections, our team will ask about your competition and identify any roadblocks to success.

Insist on Ethical Marketing

It’s important that your marketing agency prioritizes a high ethical standard. At Identity Dental Marketing, we don’t hard-sell or suggest solutions you do not need. Instead, we offer transparency. If, for example, you choose to optimize your Google Ads, we insist you pay Google directly, not us. We have seen too many situations in which dental marketers are paid directly to garner a specific number of new leads; instead, they send the client reports of all contacts – not just new inquiries – and count them as leads.

What Outcome Can You Expect?

Our planning sessions generally run 25 to 40 minutes via phone or Zoom. Following that call, you’ll walk away with a clear, concise action plan specifically designed for your business. You will gain an immediate understanding of next steps toward practice growth.

The best outcome I can hope for after a session is an “Aha!” moment. I feel incredibly uplifted when someone realizes that their goals are within reach, and clearly see how to get there. There is no greater feeling for me than knowing I have made a difference.

If you have questions about your dental marketing, I invite you to schedule a complimentary session with me at https://identitydental.com/contact/grace or emailing grace@identitydental.com.

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Video Ads Can Position You as an Expert

Video has become the most popular form of social media advertising. It engages the emotions and builds trust far more effectively than two-dimensional ads. According to a recent biteable.com* survey, 74 percent of marketers say video has a better return on investment than flat ads.

Creating video ads that are engaging and effective takes some thought. You will want to put an adequate budget behind the ad, ensure it runs long enough to make an impact, and set your targeting and retargeting properly. 

A popular approach is to create three ads highlighting your most important services. Each should run 30 to 60 seconds and communicate a unique value proposition.

Structurally, effective ads follow a formula:

  • Present the problem: Do dingy teeth make you embarrassed to smile?
  • Offer a solution: Learn about our teeth whitening services.
  • Explain the benefits: We can give you a smile five shades whiter in just one hour.
  • Explain why you are the best provider: Highlight your credentials or experience with the procedure, for example. We have been whitening smiles in [TOWN] for 15 years and use state-of-the-art techniques that are extra gentle on gums.  
  • Overcome possible objections: We offer Saturday hours and guarantee our work. 
  • End with a call to action: Contact us for a free consultation at [email and phone number].  

To pack this much information into a short window requires tight scripting. Identity Dental Marketing provides expert script-writing and professional videography services.

One last but equally important aspect is how you read the script, known as delivery. Call up your energy but temper it with a tone that matches the subject and the emotion level of the audience. 

Carefully crafted and well-delivered video ads build a bond with patients and prospects and get your phone to ring. To learn more about video advertising and all of our dental marketing services, contact grace@identitydental.com and arrange a free consultation.

Source:

*https://biteable.com/blog/video-marketing-statistics/

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How to Build Social Media Demand Through Facebook Live

Facebook Live is an effective tool to increase awareness of your dental practice. Going live regularly engages viewers with original content for much longer than a typical post. It presents a unique opportunity to educate patients, build brand awareness, and generate new patient leads.

The Identity Dental Marketing team has helped thousands of dental clients develop a strong social presence with tools like customized posting and a year’s worth of live video prompts, the 52 Week Video Marketing Series. Here are some of our key takeaways on doing a Facebook Live event.

How Often to Post Live on Facebook

To build a social media following through live videos, it is important to be consistent. Develop a format and post on a schedule. I suggest a live post once weekly and building up from there. Turn it into a habit: Pencil in specific times to do a live event on your calendar or practice management system. Create a theme, if you would like: Fun Facts Friday or Monday Motivations. You can always post more frequently as you become more comfortable. 

Easy Ways to Develop Engaging Facebook Live Content

The more important task is to make your live posts interesting — something people want to watch. My advice: don’t overthink it. I know that’s easy for me to say, as I go live all the time, often spontaneously. I have years of practice and no shortage of topics to share. I don’t worry about whether my makeup and wardrobe are camera-ready; however, I am sensitive to the fact that most people need time to ponder topics, look and feel their best, and sketch out what they are going to say. 

If you are wondering what to address in your live posts, consider this nearly foolproof topic that anyone can use: Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQs. As a dentist, you are probably asked the same questions again and again. Make a mental note of the most common queries and address them on camera naturally, as you would talk to a patient.

As you become more comfortable talking on camera, you can branch out to address more complex topics. Always remember that people don’t expect perfection; they want to see the genuine you answer their most pressing questions.Identity Dental Marketing can help you create and carry out a rock-solid  social media strategy that suits your needs and goals. To learn more about this and all of our dental marketing services, contact Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com and schedule a complimentary consultation.

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Turn Patients into Practice Ambassadors with Video Testimonials

In just a few clicks, your satisfied patients can become practice ambassadors and help you grow. Collecting video testimonials is a fast, easy, and affordable way. 

Seeing real people extoll your skills makes a powerful impression on prospective patients. It builds a sense of trust and conveys emotion much more effectively than words alone; but how do you go about capturing kudos on camera?

It can be as simple as recording a patient on a smartphone at an appointment and uploading it to your social media pages or website. An even easier approach is asking patients to capture testimonials themselves at home. 

I have had luck with a cloud-enabled platform called GetBravo. I have no affiliation with this company; I just find it affordable and user-friendly for capturing, managing, and publishing video reviews. It allows you to text or email your patients a link so they can create a DIY video testimonial. For those who are not tech-savvy, simply send them home with a how-to card or brochure. I also suggest sending prompts or questions to keep the comments on track: What was your last experience with us like? Why would you recommend us to a friend?  

The video does not need to be perfect. As long as the lighting and sound quality are decent and the patient has a steady hand (or a tripod), testimonials with a cinema verité quality appear that much more genuine. Delegate one person on your team to assume responsibility for handling at-home video testimonials and aim to capture three per week. It’s that easy.

Of course, if you want a more high-quality production, Identity Dental Marketing offers professional photo and videography services. We can arrange a professional shoot in your office. Simply gather your most articulate and enthusiastic patients, and we will do the rest.

When you have built a strong collection of video testimonials, you can use them to your advantage. You can embed them on your website, post and boost them on social media, or create Facebook ads or a funnel campaign. Identity Dental Marketing is well-equipped to help you create and execute video, social and SEO marketing strategies. 

To see how our proven expertise can take your dental marketing to the next level, email me directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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How to Put on a Successful Webinar

Webinars are online seminars that allow for intimate, live interaction between the presenter and an audience anywhere in the world: No hotels or plane tickets, no crazy logistics, no hefty registration fees. What an easy way to build a brand and a reputation.

Webinars are also an effective way to develop new patient or client leads because registration automatically captures email addresses. Here are some tips for launching an effective webinar. 

Promote it everywhere. From targeted paid ads to a banner on your website and social media posts, spread the word. Send out invitations to your target audience several times, including a half-hour before the event starts via automated email. Consider sending a press release to industry or community news outlets.  

Put effort into your webinar. An effective presentation builds trust in your brand. Make it focused, information-rich, and visually captivating; you will gain traction as a KOL in your specialty or as the go-to dentist in your community. Include graphics of key points, images of technology, and videos such as testimonials. If you do use videos, however, keep in mind that some computers and phones will render them well and others will not.

Effective webinars have “legs.” You can easily convert your best content into blog posts, social media posts, infographics, and videos. Be sure to link to the recorded webinar. 

Take technical glitches in stride. Lagging audio, frozen video, slides that refuse to show up — these things happen, and these days people are quite forgiving of live technology. Don’t dwell on it and don’t mention it more than once. This will make for smoother post-production editing, if you choose to add that step before posting.

Consider recording your webinars. Create a YouTube channel of your best presentations and link to them on your website. However, when promoting these recordings, provide links to your website to drive traffic there. If your presentation has some glitches, consider hiring an editor (or use editing software) to smooth out the gaps.

Do not be discouraged by a light turnout. Use it as a growth opportunity to improve your next presentation. Create reports on who tuned in, what questions people asked and any feedback they gave. If you put your presentation on YouTube, it will likely build an audience as you continue your series.

Consider adding a partner

It is generally a smart idea to have a co-host or moderator who can keep the conversation flowing, monitor comments, or screen audience questions. That individual can show themselves or be anonymous behind a full-screen logo. 

You will also need help marketing your webinar. For custom registration pages, branded presentations, and automated email reminders, turn to the team at Identity Dental Marketing. We create robust live event marketing, press releases, and follow-up that gets results. Learn more about our proven strategies and set up a complimentary marketing planning session at identitydental.com/grace

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Are your dental blogs optimized?

When your website is in place — custom-made, branded, and easy to navigate — it is time to jumpstart your search engine optimization (SEO) with content creation. Blogging is a free or low-cost way to garner more website traffic, which translates into more foot traffic for your practice. 

Search engine giant Google processes more than 63,000 search queries a second, according to SearchEngineLand. How does your business compete and get as close to the top of search results as possible?

Many marketing companies would have you believe that there is some secret process behind writing optimized blog content. As an experienced dental marketer, I can tell you that when you stress over it and overthink the process, you miss opportunities. Follow some of the best SEO practices we use at my agency, Identity Dental Marketing. 

How to Choose Dental Blog Post Ideas

Your blog’s intent is to inform and educate your intended audience, so go with what you know. It should be easy to write posts about each of your services. Relevant blog topics for a general dentist might include dental implants, the technology you use and how it benefits patients, and types of teeth whitening. 

How to Use Keywords in Blog Posts

Don’t miss an opportunity to seed your content with relevant keywords, but don’t get hung up on following some SEO formula that might become outdated quickly. Google makes hundreds of algorithm updates each year. 

There is an art to balancing the needs of search engines with the needs of the human audience. As long as your topic is relevant, keyword integration should be organic. Never “stuff” keywords into your content. To save time and stress, let Identity Dental Marketing help you choose the best keywords and SEO strategy.

What is the Best Blog Post Length?

When writing blog posts, 400 to 600 words is ideal, but no fewer. That length allows Google bots, which skim copy just as you would, to get the gist of the post quickly and decide if it is relevant to your topic. The more relevant and information-rich the content, the higher Google will value it. 

Keep Your Writing Intentional

Narrow down your topic and laser-focus your writing accordingly. Do not take three sentences and stretch them out into 400 words with fluffy phrasing and irrelevant asides. Think clear, concise, correct, and complete. If you need to do additional research, use authoritative quotations, or gather expert data to make your point and hit your mark, go for it. 

Use Headings to Your Benefit

Headers within the copy help break your content up into manageable chunks and organize topics for greater readability. H1, H2, H3s and other headers also present a great opportunity to integrate keywords in a way that search engines notice.  

Optimize Blog Images

Photos do more than grab readers’ attention; it is important to write tags that contain your important keywords. Image descriptions, which describe what the image shows, can also contain keywords. 

While choosing keywords for your dental blog is not as esoteric as some marketers would have you believe, there is an art to employing SEO strategy correctly in your content.   Identity Dental Marketing is a full-service dental digital marketing agency that provides blogging as part of its SEO services. We’re focused on providing measurable results in the form of more new patients for your practice. To learn more about our proven strategies, set up a complimentary marketing planning session at identitydental.com/grace.

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Optimizing Your Facebook Audience

How to Target Your Ideal Facebook Ads Audience

The Facebook ads dashboard makes it possible to narrow down potential audiences by broad demographic information, such as gender, age range, interests, and location. What it can’t tell you is whether you have targeted the right audience for your service. 

As the owner of a dental marketing agency, I help clients develop effective, targeted ads and pinpoint precise demographics. Here are my top tips for aligning your Facebook marketing strategy and target audience with your business goals.

Fine-Tune Your Ad to Your Audience

For each ad, even within a single campaign, it is vital to target a specific audience. Let’s say you are a dentist adding sleep medicine to your services. You create a Facebook ad that shows an anxious-looking woman in bed with a pillow over her head as her husband snores, mouth agape, next to her. Are you going to show that ad to men and women? Or just women? What will the message be? Which age range should you target, and does your ad image or video match? 

Don’t Make Your Audience Too Broad

You want to zero in on as many people in your target audience as possible but be mindful of broadening the audience too much. If you are a dental consultant and searching for relevant audience interests to target, the American Dental Association might seem a logical choice; but if you do your research, you’ll find many dental patients follow the ADA. That means some 30 to 40 percent of your target audience will be irrelevant and your marketing dollars will be wasted. Your ad might even generate negative comments from people who were targeted unintentionally.  

In addition to identifying the most relevant demographic information, make good use of exclusion audiences so you don’t keep targeting existing followers. 

Use Pixels for Targeting

Facebook pixel codes ensure your ads are seen by people most likely to connect with you. This analytics tool helps you improve ad conversion rate and realize a better return on investment. One effective way to choose relevant audiences is to use your pixel code and integrate your Google Ads traffic to your Facebook ads traffic. Anyone who goes to your website from highly relevant search terms on Google will also see your Facebook ads.

The takeaway: Think precision in both messaging and audience. If the audience you choose is not relevant, you are squandering your valuable marketing dollars. Identity Dental Marketing provides customized levels of social media marketing and advertising, creating precise messaging and targeting for each client. To learn more about our proven expertise, email Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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Should You Name Your Business After Yourself?

If you are starting a new dental practice or business, your first step is to name it. The most obvious choice is to name it after yourself, especially if you are a solo practitioner; but it’s a good idea to slow down and contemplate Shakespeare’s timeless question, What’s in a name?  

There are pros and cons to naming your business after yourself. It depends on your situation and your goals for the business. Grace Rizza, founder and CEO of Identity Dental Marketing, says you should ask yourself three key questions to make that decision:

  • Do I plan on selling the business in the next five to ten years?
  • How do I want to expand, or do I want to expand at all?
  • What are my long term goals? 

The case against naming a business after yourself

If you have an exit strategy that is less than ten years away, it will be more challenging to create a smooth transition with your buyer if your practice bears your name. Do you want to bring on a partner or associates? If your business is eponymous, you run the risk of clients demanding to see you, the named owner, instead of one of your very capable associates. 

“You are going to create some level of roadblock for future communications and you’re not going to be able to expand as seamlessly as you would with a different business name,” says Grace.  

When should you name your business after yourself?

It can make sense to do this under certain circumstances: You are a solo practitioner who plans to work without associates for the next few decades; your expertise is your selling point; you have an extremely high profile in your community; or you want to grow your personal brand as an influencer or YouTuber.

There are no hard and fast rules for naming but be open to suggestions by a marketing expert.  

“I’m always going to tell you exactly what you need. It doesn’t mean you have to do all of it right away,” says Grace, a dental marketing advisor since 2009. “But just like when a patient comes to you and says, ‘I just want whitening,’ or, ‘I don’t need x-rays,’ you’re the expert. It’s your obligation to tell them where their opportunity lies for a healthier mouth. In the same way, it’s my obligation to tell you where the opportunity lies for a healthier business.” For an expert evaluation of your brand, website, or social media marketing, email Grace Rizza directly at grace@identitydental.com.

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