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YouTube 101: The basics of marketing your dental practice on video, and how to get started

Oct. 5, 2016
YouTube videos can be a great opportunity for dental practices, and they aren't even difficult! Here are some tips on what videos to take, how to promote them on YouTube, and then watch your patient numbers increase!

YouTube videos can be a great opportunity for dental practices, and they aren't even difficult! Here are some tips on what videos to take, how to promote them on YouTube, and then watch your patient numbers increase!

It’s no surprise that video is the fastest growing online medium. It’s attention-grabbing, engaging, and known to build emotional connections better than any other format. YouTube, just one video platform, gets more than 1 billion unique visitors a year who want to be informed or entertained.

Further, a recent survey showed that 71% of consumers have looked online for health information in the past year.(1) Millions of those views are going to dental videos, from doctor profiles to educational videos to live procedures. Videos like this salivary stone removal (2), which has had 2 million views, and this explanation of how prepless veneers are made, which received 630,000 views and had a Q&A in the comments section (3), have helped these practices build their brands, show their expertise, and gain SEO benefits.

Viewers want to know how dental procedures work, what kind of results they can expect, what you’re like as a dentist, and what patients have to say about you. YouTube videos are a great way to reach those attentive audiences, and the videos don’t take a lot of technical knowledge or high-end equipment to create.

In Part 1 of this two-part article, we’ll share video topics that will resonate with audiences, attract patients, and build your brand.

Introductory videos

An introduction to Whitinsville Family Dentistry (4) Introductory videos are a simple but powerful way to promote your practice and let prospective patients see and get to know you, your staff, and your facilities before trusting their dental care to you.

Practice introduction(5) Let patients experience your practice before coming to your office, and this will create familiarity and reduce their stress and worry. Show them the office, staff, dentist, and a satisfied patient. You can also provide new patient information to make the first visit easier and to soothe nervous patients.

Dentist introduction(6) These 30- to 90-second videos familiarize patients with the dentist who will be treating them. You can talk about what you do and why you’re the right doctor for them. These aren’t just effective with new and current patients; they also help with marketing for prospective patients who want to get a sense of the doctor before making their choice.

Results videos

Before and after dental bonding from Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry (7) Videos that feature results are a great idea for dentists because the results of dental treatments are visible every time a patient speaks, eats, or smiles. They can also address a less visible result of good dental care—a sense of comfort after a procedure that's a source of tremendous stress for many patients.

Before-and-after(8) It’s nearly impossible to really hide your teeth when you go out into the world, so attractive results are important. Consider a compilation video, such as "Best Veneers, Before and After,” with a montage of pre- and post-treatment smiles set to music. Or focus on one particularly compelling or challenging case and include interview footage with the patient, family, and care team. Everyone loves a good makeover video.

Patient testimonials(9) For patients afraid of the dentist, nothing alleviates those fears like patient testimonials. Feature a variety of patients who span the range of demographics and conditions treated by your practice. Ask them about their experience with the office, staff, dentist, the procedure itself, and the results.

This is a kind of before-and-after video in its own right. Before treatment patients were nervous, uncomfortable, and uncertain, which many patients can identify with. Afterward, they were comfortable, relieved, and happy with their choice of dentist, which is the result all patients are looking for.

Informational videos

An explanation of dental implants from Jamal Dental Services (10) YouTube is home to thousands of informative dentistry videos that garner millions of views from people interested in dental topics. Informational videos are less focused on your practice directly and more focused on demonstrating your expertise in your specialty. These videos are more likely to be shared than practice-specific videos, reach a wider audience, and grow your reputation as a thought leader. That’s essentially the cornerstone of content marketing—building your brand and growing your audience by providing relevant, valuable, educational content.

Also,when a dental issue arises in the news—the recent debate about the value of flossing, for instance—interested viewers flock to YouTube to find more information. This response to the flossing controversy (11), shot simply with just a phone on a kayak, has hundreds of views.

Done properly, newsjacking, which is taking advantage of a current big news story to promote your own content, can have great SEO value as it puts your video in the spotlight just at the time that people are searching for it. Establish your expertise on the subject and establish yourself as a go-to educational resource for interested patients and potential dentists.

Read our post about posting responsibly when discussing topics in the news. (12)

Procedure explanations(13) By explaining the procedure in understandable terms, showing nonthreatening images, and highlighting successful results, you can make the experience a little less scary for nervous patients.

Patient questions. Question and answer videos engage the audience because they’re fun and they highlight your expertise and personality. Use your blog, social media, and face-to-face encounters to solicit questions and answer via YouTube. This dentist took it a step further by answering questions live via Google Hangout. (14)

Live procedures. Live procedures are some of the more challenging videos to produce, but they’re also some of the most popular. One root canal video has more than 1.5 million views! (15) Of course, get written consent from your patients to post the video online, and work with your cameraperson beforehand so he or she will be able to maneuver around and get clear shots of the procedure without interfering.

In Part 2 of this article, we’ll show you how to take all the ideas this article has inspired and start filming!

Aylin Cook is the senior content marketing manager at PatientPop, an all-in-one practice growth platform for health-care providers, which numbers many dentists among its customer base. Aylin has nearly a decade in content marketing for small businesses, and enjoys building and engaging an audience through compelling storytelling across multiple media channels.

1. Digital Health Consumer Adoption: 2015. Rock Health website. Accessed August 29, 2016.
2. Removal of a HUGE salivary stone by Cherry Hill Dental in Columbia MO. Cherry Hill Dental YouTube channel. Published May 12, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2016.
3. Cosmetic Dentistry San Antonio Prepress Veneers. Cosmetic Dental Associates YouTube channel. Published May 10, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2016.
4. Whitinsville Family Dentistry Office Tour | Not your average dental office | Northbridge Dentist. Jason Tsubo YouTube channel. Published November 19, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2016.
5. Rochester, MN Dentist, Welcome to our Practice. Janet Calcagno YouTube channel. Published July 26, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2016.
6. Madison WI Dental Office - Meet the Dentist at Madison No Fear Dentistry. Madison No Fear Dentistry YouTube channel. Published June 4, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2016.
7. Cosmetic Dental Bonding in Buckhead: Before & After. Atlanta Expert Local Businesses YouTube channel. Published May 7, 2015. Accessed August 23, 2016.
8. “Before and After” photographs of Gum Grafting, Dental Implants, Crown Lengthening. Dr. Bankhead YouTube channel. Published October 9, 2009. Accessed August 29, 2016.
9. Advanced Dentistry South Florida Dental Patient Testimonial 2. Advanced Dentistry South Florida YouTube channel. Published November 25, 2015. Accessed August 29, 2016.
10. How do dental implants work? Jamal Dental Services YouTube channel. Published May 28, 2015. Accessed August 29, 2016.
11. “Flossing is NOT important”. Ziv Simon YouTube channel. Published August 10, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2016.
12. Blogging in the Age of Zika. The Healthy Practice blog. Published July 13, 2016. Accessed August 29, 2016.
13. Dental Veneers vs Dental Bonding - Explained by Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jafarifar of Las Vegas. Preferred Family Dentistry YouTube channel. Published June 24, 2014. Accessed August 29, 2016.
14. Aurora Dentist Answers Tooth Whitening Questions. Flaviu Oltean YouTube channel. Published May 3, 2013. Accessed August 29, 2016.
15. Tooth preparation under microscope, root canal treatment. Nazariy Mykhaylyuk. Nazariy Mykhaylyuk YouTube channel. Published December 11, 2012. Accessed August 29, 2016.