5 Tips for Terrific Testimonials

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Patient testimonial videos are a surefire way to set yourself apart online as a top dentist in your area. Once you’ve scheduled a few of your happiest patients to record a video testimonial, you’ll want to maximize their time to create a strong, compelling video. We’ve detailed our 5 tips for executing compelling patient testimonial videos below:

  1. Schedule multiple videos on the same day, when the office is quiet.

Lining up multiple interviews on one day will decrease the amount of time you and your team invest in this project. Make it a fun event by offering snacks and refreshments to the patients who have agreed to offer a testimonial.

  1. Choose your background wisely.

Choose a clean, well-lit and uncluttered space to film your patient testimonial. Posters, photos, etc., may distract the viewer and cause them to miss crucial elements of the testimonial. Avoid filming on or around items that may make viewers anxious such as a dental chair and tools.

  1. Make it all about the patient (Which is to say, don’t be in the video!)

The patient’s testimonial should feel natural to the viewer. Prompt the patient with questions from directly behind the camera, so that it appears that they are talking directly into the camera when they respond.

The patient should be the only person in the video. Filming yourself, side by side with the patient in an interview-style testimonial makes the video less authentic. If the video doesn’t seem authentic, it will lose its effectiveness.

  1. Warm up the patient with easy to answer questions

Even the most outgoing, exuberant patients may feel strange when they first start speaking into the camera. Warm them up with a few easy to answer questions, allowing them to settle into a groove before answering the real questions. Some of these questions might include:

  • “What is your name?”
  • “What is your favorite football team?”
  • “When is your birthday?”

These are questions that the patient already knows the answer to, so there is no pressure to perform. Once the patient seems to be settled and camera-ready, proceed into your pre-planned interview questions.

  1. Prompt the patient with open-ended questions

Do:

  • Ask open-ended questions like, “What do you love most about visiting our office?”
  • Ask questions that relate dental care to bigger concepts such as happiness or confidence like, “How has your life changed since receiving care from Doctor ___?”

Don’t:

  • Ask a yes or no question like, “Do you enjoy our practice?”
  • Interject in the middle of their answer. A long and clear soundbyte will make the editing process easier.

 

Contact Identity Dental Marketing at (847) 629-4646 or grace@identitydental.com to learn more about creating effective patient testimonial videos.

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Lights, Camera, Conversion!

Video Blog

If video blogging isn’t part of your overall marketing strategy, it’s time to add it to the mix.

Google’s SEO algorithm favors video content, which is considered “high-quality online content,” and rewards those that are regularly adding it to their online landing pages. Uploading fresh video content to your website on a monthly basis can make a significant contribution to your SEO and boost your overall Internet Marketing efforts.

Moreover, video content allows you to build relationships with current and prospective patients online. According to Hubspot, including video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. Effective video blogs are both informational and authentic.

Here are our tips for creating effective video content:

  • Don’t worry about perfection, just be yourself

Be authentic. Film in your office, relax, and speak to the camera as if you’re speaking directly to a patient. Video blogs should feel comfortable and conversational.

  • Don’t overproduce

You don’t need Steven Spielberg to come into your practice and film your video blogs. Shoot in a clean space with natural lighting. A smartphone or computer camera are perfectly sufficient filming equipment.

  • Speak Confidently

As a patient, I want my dentist to be an expert in all things dentistry. I want to be sure my oral health is in great hands. Speaking confidently and directly into the camera signals to patients that you’re a knowledgeable, trustworthy doctor

  • Smile

Smiling while you talk will ease your nerves and make an excellent first impression on your audience.

Watch below how Dr. Ritter is both relaxed and professional when recording our Dental Minute Videos:

If the perceived time involved in video blogging has stopped you from creating this useful content, we have a solution. Our team will provide scripts, professional intro and exit slides, and upload them to your website. We’ll also optimize and publish the content online to give you the added SEO benefit.

Contact us at (847) 629-4646 or at Grace@IdentityDental.com for more information.

You guessed it: patient testimonials are highly effective if they’re in video format. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post detailing how to create effective video patient testimonials.

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How to Attract New Patients this Fest Season

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The sun is out and spirits are high; it’s officially “fest” season. Festivals and community events are a great place to promote your dental practice.

Here are 5 tips for making most out of your community event marketing:

1. Hand out promotional items–confidently! 

When you and your team are distributing postcards and flyers to fellow community members, extend the promotional item to them and confidently say, “This is for you!” No wishy-washy “Would you like a….” or “Can I offer you…?”

2. The doctor should be there and actively participating

You, the dentist, should have an active role in handing out promotional items, socializing with community members, and promoting your business. Wear a white coat or a name tag, really anything to distinguish (aka brand) yourself as the doctor.

3. Enhance your brand

Every promotional item you distribute should have your logo and contact information on it. Every. Single. One. Your promotional dollars are wasted if they aren’t being used to either create brand recognition or generate buzz for your practice.

4. Bring your book!

Bring a list of available appointment times and schedule new patients on the spot. Hold community members accountable for showing up to these appointments by offering a major discount, but requiring a payment on the spot to reserve the time. For instance, charge new patients only $25 for a thorough exam and consultation. Utilize Square or other mobile payment processing tools. Don’t worry, they are easy and affordable to set up.

5. Follow-Up!

Sure, it’s great to meet and socialize with community members but remember, you’re there to attract new patients. Make sure you have a follow-up system in place for turning those new connections into new patients.

 

Need assistance creating a follow-up protocol or creating effective materials? Contact us to schedule a consulting session and make the most out of your next event!

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Apps in the Workplace

It’s amazing what technology can do for you. It’s true that “robots” are beginning to replace workers. To many this may be shocking and disappointing.

However, to me, it’s great! There’s always going to be a demand for the people who bring true value to your business. Honest, hard workers.

To me, this technology can cut overhead, save time, make for better results.

This month, I’m researching dozens of apps, plugins, extensions, tools, platforms to make my life easier.

I no longer shop in stores. I don’t buy groceries or clothes in stores. I have apps for so many things, allowing me more time with my family and in business.

I’m APPsolutely astonished at what some of these things can do. If you can dream it, it can be done.

 

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Good is Not Enough

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Recently, I purchased a membership to a subscription food service. I did this for many reasons, but mostly for my health. Each week, 3 meals arrive at my door with ingredients, portions and cooking instructions.

After getting my first few recipes and ingredients I was excited. My life quality, health and wellness was instantly improved. Then I started thinking of ways it could be even better.

I visited Facebook and saw a few ads for a competitor. After subconsciously realizing there are several competitors, I became a bit critical of the service and wondered how it could be even better.

I identified 3 weaknesses – in my opinion.

  1. The meals did not come separate in small boxes that can easily be placed in my refrigerator. Instead, I had to separate the ingredients when storing.
  2. The meals did not come with caloric and nutrient information.
  3. The meals were a bit too “gourmet” for my taste. They utilized ingredients that wouldn’t be easy to find or duplicate in the future. If I found something I just truly LOVED, I couldn’t repeat it for a dinner party.

Next, I ordered from a competitor. I noticed the meals came in small individual boxes with vented holes for freshness. They were labeled with caloric information and the meals were, for lack of a better word, “normal”.

The takeaway…

If you want to be the best, don’t settle for “good”. Keep finding ways to improve your service. Your patients want to know you are the absolute best option available. They don’t want to find another dentist, but in a time where information is available 24/7 at our fingertips, never give them a reason to question if you’re their absolute best option.

When it comes to being the best option in any business, the top performers are identified by tiny details. When it comes to profits and financial performance, going the extra mile in customer service often results in substantial financial gain.

When evaluating your business on your marketing plan, service, amenities (that’s right amenities), patient communication, team efficiency, office decor…remember, success is in the details.

Success does not come to those who wait. Success comes to those who get up and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Don’t be good. Be the greatest.

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The 3 Types of Dentists

I’ve been marketing dentists all over the country for about a decade. In this time, I’ve learned quite a bit about how they interpret information. Understanding how to best communicate with my clients has allowed me to provide custom marketing solutions in a timely way.

I know each dentist that I meet is different, but for fun, I have come up with the 3 types of dentists that I most enjoy working with. Here it goes…

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The first type of dentist that I love working with is The Perfectionist. These are the meticulous men and women who enjoy big cases, cosmetics and often advanced services. When interviewing the perfectionist, he or she will tell me that they are “really good dentists” technically speaking. I find many general dentists, prosthodontists, endodontists and oral surgeons fall into this category. They talk about how their work almost never fails and how much continuing education they’ve received. They are often excited about the latest and greatest technology and can’t help but talk about their gadgets. This dentist may enjoy photography or another artistic hobby. This doctor is going to want a website that shows ALL of what he or she can do. I often have to remind the perfectionist dentist that EVERYTHING CANNOT STAND OUT. I help them to prioritize information and selling points for the best ROI. Once I establish myself as the expert and show them that I too am a perfectionist in my field, it’s smooth sailing. I must always explain exactly why we chose a certain layout, font style, color, photo, phone number placement, etc. The perfectionist dentist is a GREAT client for me, because he or she is an open communicator and will give me the feedback I need to make sure he or she loves his or her website. When working with the perfectionist, I must be sure to give him or her deadlines. It’s too easy for this type to slip into paralysis by analysis. It’s up to my team to set deadlines to keep projects moving along. We’ve become experts at working with these doctors and pride ourselves in embracing the characteristics that make the perfectionist doctor GREAT at dentistry and patient care.

The second type of dentist that I love to work with is the People Person. Often times this doctor entered the field because he or she had a parent or relative that was a dentist. This dentist loves talking with the patients and building relationships. He also loves talking to his or her patients. When interviewing this doctor, he or she will tell me about giving back, mission trips or community involvement. He or she will also mention providing high quality work, for the benefit of the patient. This dentist values team training and his or her team enjoys work. This dentist may suffer from the tendency to run late, as he or she gets wrapped up in discussions with patients and team members. This dentist feels energized when he or she can change a patients’ life through dentistry. He or she prefers to build his or her practice organically and sometimes feels guilty about marketing or advertising. I often have to tell this dentist how marketing can benefit his or her community. The exposure allows residents to know he or she is an option. Orthodontists who fall in this category often do very well because they not only establish bonds with patients, but also with referring doctors and local business owners. It’s always a pleasure to take this doctor’s phone call. He or she often starts the call with, “How are your children?” or “How is the weather in Chicago today?” He or she truly enjoys connecting with others. It’s easy to market the sociable doctor, once we get past his or her underlying feeling that “marketing is unnecessary or bad”. This doctor has a very difficult time letting go of an employee. Once this doctor understands how marketing can help him or her to connect with more, great patients it’s smooth sailing.

The third type of dentist that I love working with, is the business person / CEO. This is my personal favorite, mainly because I relate most to this type. On occasion I get the pleasure of working with a dentist that views his practice as a business. He truly embraces his or her role as CEO and wants to build the practice to its full financial potential. These doctors are money motivated, and understand what it takes to grow a business. They read their monthly reports and will even call to discuss them if something doesn’t make sense. This is the doctor that can tell me instantly on a first phone call how many new patients they are seeing on a monthly base and where they are coming from. This doctor is likely to attend business related CE courses and may even consider hiring associates and opening additional locations. This doctor enjoys building relationships and also has an interest in technology, but isn’t afraid to market those points for both his/her benefit and the benefit of his or her community. This doctor has confidence and isn’t slow to let go of a sluggish or underperforming employee. It can be a challenge for this doctor to stick with a given marketing campaign long enough to see results. Setting realistic expectations is vital in working with this type.

All of our clients have the same goal: to grow their business. All are excellent at serving their community by providing excellent oral health.  All enjoy helping people. All have some strengths in business. I personally love working with dentists. I chose to focus my business in providing marketing solutions for dentists exclusively because I saw a need for ethical solutions for dentists. I saw many companies were not taking the time to learn about what makes EACH dentist different and to market EACH business individually. I saw that many other marketing companies were not taking the time to learn about the doctor’s specific goals and pain points and do things to help. I love the field of dentistry and I love working with dentists and their teams. It’s rewarding to contribute to an area of work that is undervalued and under appreciated by the general public. Through marketing, we educate the community about the importance of oral healthcare.

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Snapchat’s Place in Dentistry

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My name is Lindsay, and I am the resident Snapchat Queen here at the Identity Dental Marketing office.

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard of Snapchat. At first glance, investing marketing dollars into the social media platform might not interest you. But hear me out, Snapchat has a significant place in dentistry.

According to recent reports, there are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users. Believe it or not, about 9,000 Snapchats are sent per second! It’s safe to say Snapchat is taking over. So, what is it about the social media platform that’s resonating with so many people? Snapchat allows users to send image and video messages to their friends with a special twist: the message will “self-destruct” once it’s opened. Since its initial development, Snapchat has evolved tremendously. The Snapchat “My Story” feature allows users to publish their images/videos to their network for a 24-hour viewing window before the “My Story” disappears. Snapchat provides a peek into its users everyday lives separating itself from the ultra-curated feeds of Instagram and over-saturated timelines of Facebook. Now boasting a lineup of celebrity users and fun “filters” for users to choose from, Snapchat is a force to be reckoned with and has certainly caught advertisers attention. The app’s new opportunity to create an On-Demand Geofilter for your business provides a huge opportunity for dentists.

So what does all of this mean for your dental practice? At the very least, your practice can create a Snapchat account to be used to document office celebrations, messages from the doctor, and more on the My Story feature. I recommend your practice only use Snapchat’s My Story feature to publish posts–that is, don’t send snaps directly to your patients. You should have a framed “Follow Us On:” handout that informs patients of your social media account handles. Add your Snapchat username to it along with Snapchat’s logo.

The best use of Snapchat for your practice is to create a custom Snapchat On-Demand Geofilter that patients can use when they’re in your office. Your On-Demand Geofilter is geographically-bound and is custom designed to feature your name and logo or any other relevant design you see fit. It increases brand awareness and is a fun way to connect with patients and boost their overall experience. This applies to all dentists, but especially to those who have a large teen/young adult patient-base. If you’re an orthodontist, for instance, imagine a teenager who just got their braces off snapping a photo of their new smile with your geofilter stamped on it. All of their Snapchat friends will see who is responsible for that new, beautiful smile.

Below are a few examples of well-designed Geofilters straight from Snapchat’s website:

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Let us help you get started on Snapchat. Our Snapchat Start-up Package includes a framed “Follow Us” sign, as well as the design and submission of a custom Snapchat Geofilter. Call Identity Dental Marketing now and get Snappin’!

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How Google’s New Update Will Affect Your SEO Strategy

The ever-changing Google algorithm has produced two updates that will undoubtedly affect local search marketing. Here’s what Google’s new updates mean for your dental practice’s Internet Marketing strategy:

About a week ago, Search Engine Land reported that paid advertisements will now appear in Google’s Local Finder results. This update affects the results that appear once a user clicks-through the top three Local Finder listings to see “More Places.” Meaning, dentists who aren’t organically featured in the Local Finder top three-pack can utilize pay-per-click marketing and appear in the top results a user sees once they click through to see more listings.

Here’s an example found on SEO Specialist, Brian Barwig’s, Twitter:

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According to Barwig, “the lawyer is no where to be seen in the Local 3 Pack but is #1 on the Local Finder.”

In other words, paid advertisements are starting to look and function more like organic SEO. If you’re not investing in Pay-per-click marketing, now is the time to reconsider.

Google has also announced changes to how ads display in Google Maps. According to Ginny Marvin of Search Engine Land, “Google will only show ads that include location extensions in Maps; regular text ads will not be featured.” This emphasizes the importance of regularly checking and updating your Google local listings.

Finally, another big change is that Google Maps is no longer considered part of Search Partners. Advertisers that use location extensions but had opted out of Search Partners may see an increase in impressions and clicks, as they will now be able to have their ads shown in Maps. This could affect your SEO efforts either positively or negatively, depending on whether your location extension has been operating through Google Search Partners.

Here is what to take away:

  1. Investing in a Pay-Per-Click campaign to get your practice “seen” in the Local Finder is an opportunity to seriously consider. Continuing your monthly SEO efforts to get your practice ranking organically while simultaneously investing in a Pay-Per-Click Adwords campaign could give your practice a major new patient boost.
  2. A larger emphasis on location extensions requires whoever is managing your Google efforts to be diligent about updating your information.

The move to include Maps as part of Google search inventory will affect your practice’s internet marketing strategy. If you’re interested in investing in a Pay-Per-Click campaign, or have further questions regarding Google’s updates, give Identity Dental Marketing a call at (847) 629-4646.

 

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How to Market Customized Dental Care

Ask yourself this question: Why do patients choose you over other doctors in your area? Your answer to that question is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and in dentistry, your USP should be the foundation of your brand/reputation. So, if your answer to that question is, “patients choose me because I’m the friendly, personable, and reliable dentist” then all of your marketing efforts should be guided by the brand, “friendly, personable, and reliable.” Solidifying your brand is a necessary step to consistently attract new patients. Ultimately, that brand will serve as a cornerstone for all of your marketing efforts.

Furthermore, take a note out of Simon Sinek’s Start with Why and deeply consider this: why do you do what you do? In an age where most patients turn to Google for answers to seemingly every question, your online presence—that is, your dental practice’s website—must reinforce your established brand and clearly articulate your why, or else you’ll risk being overlooked. Once your website clearly reflects your brand and your why, it will not only inspire patients to want the dentistry that they need but moreover, it will inspire them to want that dentistry from you, specifically. Ultimately, the site should feel like an extension of “you.” Whoever designs your website needs to have a clear understanding of what your why is and what, specifically, differentiates your practice from others. Investing in a custom website design, which reflects and enhances your brand, will help to attract the ideal new patients for your practice.

When faced with the choice between a template website and a custom website design, doctors must consider two key factors: time and money. Template websites have a very quick turnaround time which make them enticing, however they rarely work effectively in communicating your USP. Make sure the marketing company you’re working with has a seamless process that allows for quick approval points to keep the process of developing a custom website moving along. Before entering into an agreement, ask your marketing company how much time will be involved in creating your custom site from start to finish. Then, decide if the extra time investment makes sense for you. As for pricing, many believe template sites are less expensive and are enticed by this assumption along with the aforementioned quick turnaround period. However; you usually don’t own your template site and thus, are limited in SEO capabilities. That ultimately limits the site’s long-term ROI. Furthermore, although the template site is seemingly less expensive initially, recurring monthly maintenance fees often make them a more expensive long-term investment than their higher quality counterparts. That said, a custom website is a generally better investment than a template site once one factors in maintenance fees and the higher ROI that can be expected from increased SEO capability and overall quality and personalization of the website.

Here are a few suggestions for making your website true to you:

  • If you’re the type of dentist who takes the time to get to know their patients, perhaps spending a few minutes before every appointment to “just chat,” consider video marketing. Create a welcome video for your homepage and another video where you answer patients’ frequently asked questions. These videos will establish connection, make you seem approachable, and can be easily shared with your patients’ friends and family.
  • If you’re a perfectionist type who is extremely proud of the gorgeous dentistry you create, let your dentistry do the talking. Make sure you have multiple before and after photos on your website. Of course, your most gorgeous smile should be displayed on the front page, so it’s one of the first things prospective patients see. Consider video testimonials of smiling, happy patients.
  • If you’re a beloved pedodontist, consider asking your little patients to sit-in with their parent to film a testimonial about their dental experience. This cute spin on the traditional patient testimonial video and will amplify your ability to delivery quality, parent-approved dental care while simultaneously debunking the myth that “the dentist is scary.”
  • If you’re actively involved in your practice’s community, consider dedicating a specific page on your website to your philanthropic work. Photos from events, links to organizations you feel passionately about, and documentation of in-office charity initiatives are great for authentically branding you as the dentist who’s dedicated to making a difference.

 

The bottom line is: use custom marketing solutions to show off your personal strengths and your brand. Use it to communicate your why.

 

If you have any questions regarding a custom website design, please call Grace at Identity Dental Marketing at (847) 629-4646.

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Google Removes Sidebar Ads

In the latter part of February 2016, Google updated its desktop search platform by removing the sidebar, “Right Rail,” Google Ads section. Now, Google advertisements are displayed either at the very top of one’s screen, within the top 3-4 results, or at the very bottom. This update makes competition higher and drives up rates for Pay-per-Click (PPC) campaigns.

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Those who utilize PPC/Google Adwords marketing will experience the largest impact from this update. If your ad wasn’t in one of the top seven positions in the Right Rail, you’ll notice a drop in impressions. Why? Whereas the old Google layout accommodated 11 Adword spots; the new one only accommodates up to 7. 

However, the updated advertising location, particularly for those that land spots at the top page of the search, will likely result in more effective Google advertising. Consumers are more likely to click through the options at the top of the page than they are on the side.

With Google constantly changing, it’s best to have someone with a deep understanding of Google Adwords monitor your account; and monitor it regularly. A PPC/Adwords campaign is never static and will always require adjustments to improve the quality of the campaign.

Of course, diversifying your marketing efforts and not relying on one strategy to achieve your desired results is ideal. We recommend you invest in both organic and paid internet marketing solutions.

With questions regarding your SEM/PPC or even Organic SEO Campaigns, call us to schedule a consultation. We’re happy to evaluate your current marketing plan and provide a custom solution that will help you achieve your goals.

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