Ethical Dental Marketing | 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.