Dental practices face more and more competition online and in their communities. Selling dentistry really has nothing to do with dentistry. You, the dentist, are the differentiator. Your approach, motivations, and skills all form a unique patient experience that supports the totality of your brand. Storytelling plays a crucial role in dental practice marketing.
Storytelling is the art of using narrative to communicate a unique message and evoke emotion. When applied to dental practice marketing, it can help humanize the practice, establish trust and credibility, and create a strong emotional connection with potential and current patients. How can you do this? Follow these simple steps:
Share the patient experience
Patient experience is what you’re selling. It’s what is driving the narrative around the office, in the community, and in reviews and testimonials around the web. Highlighting the positive impact your practice has on patients’ lives will establish trust and ease fears and anxiety (there are a lot of dental phobias out there). Get reviews, quotes, video testimonials, and photos.
Remember, you have to strictly adhere to HIPAA as it relates to your patient’s personal health information. You also should have a signed release to use your patients' names, images, and testimonials in office promotions.
What’s the story? Every office has one
You have a history. Background. Fears. Success. Experiences. Motivations. A lot has happened to get you to where you are. Share that! People identify with the struggle, mostly because we’re all struggling sometimes. Why did you choose the community you’re in? Why did you choose to be a dentist? Why did you want to own your own business, and what’s that been like? What pitfalls have you run into? What problems have you solved? All are great talking points and will really set you apart from competitors in your area.
Highlight your personal background, what life moments shaped your dental future, your hobbies and interests, and who you are. Humanizing yourself and giving people the opportunity to connect with you, apart from dentistry, is a great way to build connections, friendships, and lasting patients.
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Use your phone and shoot video content
Video and storytelling go hand in hand. It gives you depth and dimension. It makes your marketing, website, and practice come alive to potential patients. By creating videos that highlight patient stories, the practice’s history, the dentist’s background, or the brand story, dental practices can create a deeper connection with potential patients and stand out from competitors. There is a great, and totally free resource, to help get you going with video content on your smartphone: check out Pocket Video Coach.
Incorporating storytelling into your marketing strategy will have a huge impact on your practice marketing. By humanizing the practice, establishing trust and credibility, and creating a strong emotional connection with potential patients, you are outpacing your competitors quickly and effectively. Approach storytelling in your office with authenticity and transparency. Potential patients can quickly sense when a story is fabricated or exaggerated, and this can harm the practice’s reputation. To ensure the success of a storytelling campaign, focus on real stories, highlight the practice’s values and mission, and communicate the message in a clear and concise manner.
By sharing real-life patient stories, the practice’s story, the dentist’s story, and creating a brand story, you’re adding dimension and powerful emotional triggers to your marketing efforts. The emotional cues will drive conversion rates higher and quickly separate your office from your competitors.