Simplifying dental video marketing

Dentists: If you think video marketing is hard, think again! Marketing guru Sean Hamel, founder of Grow Practice Grow Dental Marketing, takes you through the new tools and tactics to capture the power of video marketing for dental practices.

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CONTENT MARKETING IS A TERM used over and over and over. It's becoming incessant, isn't it? I see a lot of companies out there pitching all kinds of would-be solutions to the content problem. Let's face it, for most dental professionals, content isn't the problem so much as having the time to do it. Luckily, there are some amazing new solutions available to take your content strategy from mundane to magic.

I know marketing companies inundate you with a lot of fear-based marketing. If you don't do this, that, and the other, you'll never get new patients, no one will visit your website, revenue will tank, and your practice will slowly descend into an agonizing abyss of digital obscurity. Not true. Yes, you need a responsive website that's easy to navigate—not one filled with a bunch of big images and text. You need social media profiles, a Google business listing, and reviews. You need some localized SEO working behind the scenes to keep you relevant. And yes, you need content.

Content marketing is difficult, no matter the size of your practice. To execute effectively, you need ideas, planning, execution strategy, and distribution. Have no fear! I am going to show you an easy, effective way to "kill them with content" while hinging your strategy on the most worthwhile platform in today's digital landscape. Video.

Video is the future of content. It's everything. It trumps all. It will outperform all. It reigns supreme. You need to tell your story. People aren't just buying dentistry, they're ultimately buying you. You need to connect with people. You need to put some emotion into your practice. Give them your personality. Your culture. Your vibe. Make yourself accessible. This is not only great for conversion of new patients, but retention of existing patients. Take the marketing terms out of it. This isn't about click-through rates, SEO, search rankings, or anything else. Yes, those will drastically improve with video, but dentistry is about taking care of people. Keeping them healthy. Improving, healing, and reviving smiles. Focus on that first. The rest will come.

Video's impact

If taking care of people wasn't enough to get you on the video bandwagon, how about some facts? According to data from marketing giant, Hubspot:

● Adding a video to emails can boost click-through rates by up to 300%.

● Embedding video in a dedicated landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%. (Use custom landers for specialty products like Invisalign, implants, sleep apnea, etc. Do not just send them to your website.)

● Video is set to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.

● 90% of customers report that video plays a role in their buying decisions.

● A single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

Yes, you read that right. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a couple million. Blogging is great and can be a lot of fun. I love it! But it takes time. A lot of time. Isn't that really the problem for most of us? It's not the costs associated with marketing. It's not the thought process of what we want to say or how we want to say it. It's in the execution. A profitable dentist should be focused on dentistry. Not blogging. Not coming up with the copy for landing pages, promotions, etc. Use video. Make video the cornerstone of your entire advertising effort.

Getting started

You may be thinking, "I hate being on camera," "I don't like how I sound," "I don't know what to say," etc. Well, sorry sport. Get over it. The more you do it, the more you'll get used to it. The more comfortable you'll become. I've worked with dentists who were painful during their first videos. Now, they absolutely rule it. They own it. And they are reaping the rewards of some killer video.

Here's an easy way to get started. Record yourself on your phone. Buy a cheap tripod on Amazon and a cheap lavalier mic that can plug into your phone's headphone port, and just start talking. About anything. Doesn't matter what it is. The important thing here is to get comfortable talking to a camera. Watch it back. Critique yourself (go easy) and become aware of things you do that could make listening to you difficult. For instance, when I started on video, my "umm" and "uhh" ratio to actual spoken words was abhorrent. I literally wanted to punch myself in the face. But, I got better. I got more comfortable. I got used to the feeling of being on camera. I stopped falling over my words. I'm moderately decent at video now. But hey, that's enough to make an impact!

Next thing you're thinking, "What in the heck do I talk about?" This is the easy part. Don't plan. Yep, do not plan. Don't create. Document. Document your thoughts. Document your life. Document your opinions. Document your passions. Speak your truth. Tell your story. Just do. I've met dentists who want to do video. They want to have this awesome social media and digital presence. They plan and plan and plan, and after about 80 takes they call me and say the videos aren't done. They didn't like how they sounded. They messed up too many times. They're frustrated. What's my reply? Stop trying. Just do.

You know this stuff. You know yourself. You know dentistry. You know patients. Talk to them. Tell them about you. Let them know you care. Let them know how they can take better care of themselves and their family. Let them know your passions, hobbies, funny stories, why you became a dentist, anything! This is your platform. This is your truth. Just start. Just do. Quit making excuses and get it done. It will get easier, I promise.

So how do you make video the cornerstone of your marketing efforts? Easy. Shoot video first. Once complete, have the audio from your video transcribed into text. There is a host of services and even apps that do this. From that text, make your blog posts. Use the text in social media posts. Use the text in your patient e-mail blasts. See how easy that is? You can also take the audio files, do a bit of editing, and voilà! You've got a podcast. See how one video shoot can turn into a lot of content quickly? Your SEO will thank you. So will your tribe of followers, patients, friends, relatives, peers, and the entire whole of digital civilization. Well, maybe that was a little over the top, but your tribe will love it. Your web traffic will love it. Your social media will love it. As will your practice's profitability.

A tool to help you

Using your cell phone and documenting is great, but you also need a few professional videos mixed in, too. Yes, the quick-and-easy videos will be great for connecting with patients, social media, and a lot more. They're easily scalable and repeatable. Professional video is exactly what you need to round out the entirety of your digital-marketing plan. How do you shoot video? Who will edit it? Where can you get some rocking stock music to take your video over the top? Don’t worry, there is a multitude of professionals out there. I'm sure you've already thought at some point in reading this that video is expensive and time-consuming. Well folks, not so much anymore. One such solution can turn your practice into a blockbuster video hub in a matter of minutes. Meet OLIVE.

The On Location Interactive Video Experience, or OLIVE, is a new product from Nashville-based marketing company Hi5 Practice. OLIVE is a fully integrated video studio that allows you and your team to create an impactful and engaging video without the fear-inducing, anxiety-riddled notion of being on camera. The system is delivered to your office. You unbox it. Turn it on. A professional video team works with you remotely. You complete filming. You ship it back. Done and done.

You do not have to buy expensive video equipment, audio equipment, microphones, or lighting. You do not have to hire a group of strangers to come into your practice, run cables and microphones everywhere, set up huge light rigs, and stand around and stare at you while you try to "perform." With OLIVE, it's you, your team, and the ease and fun of creating content that will be impactful while generating a great return on the investment you’re making.

OLIVE has everything you need, built into the system already. There is a teleprompter, so you can speak clearly and confidently while delivering your message. There is a built-in O-light consisting of LEDs that enhance your appearance and give your videos that professional, polished touch. The production team is remote, so your office will not be cluttered and crowded, plus you won't have the hassle of speaking in front of a group of strangers. Once you're done shooting your video, the Hi5 team edits the footage into a beautiful, cinema-worthy final product and distributes it to your website, social media, and in any marketing-automation software you may have. Pretty cool, huh? You can find out more about the system at hi5practice.com/olive. (Watch the video!)

As I said, you can go the traditional route and hire a marketing company to shoot your video. Just remember, it gets expensive and the process can be cumbersome. I've shot quite a few videos over the years, and they turned out beautifully. The professional videos were great for engaging web traffic, converting leads, showing the office to the public with a digital tour, even some fun happy birthday and merry Christmas messages that really made patients feel appreciated, engaged, and got them referring. Did you catch that last part? Referring. Return and refer. That's what you have to do to keep your practice growing. You don't need gimmicks. You don't need to discount your services. Connect with people. Take care of them. Invest in them. Enrich their lives. Establish emotional connections and reap the rewards for years to come.

Author's note: If you love free marketing advice without spam, sales, gimmicks, or constantly having to close pop-ups or fill out redundant contact forms, join my Facebook group—The Art of Dental Marketing. All we do is value-driven, real, genuine content and discussion. Join today at facebook.com/groups/artofdentalmarketing!


Sean Hamel is the founder and CEO of GrowPracticeGrow Dental Marketing (GPG). GPG is a team of dental marketing experts focused on driving new patient inquiries in congruence with optimizing recall and reactivation strategies, ensuring intentional and sustained growth and profitability. The company designs clean, responsive mobile websites and custom content, along with developing video strategy and highly-targeted local marketing campaigns. Sean can be reached at sean@growpracticegrow.com.

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Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions.

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