I’m a massive proponent of blogging. That’s understandable given that a large part of my business is supplying a dental blogging service for dental practices.
But if you read my recent post, you’ll know what happened to my business when I stopped my own dental blogging for 4 months. Hint… it wasn’t pretty.
But here’s the thing… It really doesn’t matter what business or industry you’re in, blogging can and should be used as a lead generation tool.
Think about it for a second…
Unless you have an e-commerce site, there’s absolutely no reason for people to keep coming back to your site. After all, there are only so many times visitors will read your ‘About Us’ page or check out your contact information.
However, if your website has a blog, it gives people a reason to keep coming back. In other words….
“Blogging gives people a reason to know you exist“
So where does that leave dentists/dental practice owners?
Even if your readers aren’t currently in the market for a dental check-up or teeth whitening per se… a regularly updated dental blog keeps your dental practice at the forefront of their minds.
What’s more, if they need to suggest a dental practice to anyone seeking a local dentist, then guess who’s name is likely to be at the top of the list?
So if you don’t currently have a dental blog and are serious about growing your dental practice, then you should definitely be looking to start one right now!
If you don’t know where to start, then I have plenty of suggestions for dental blog ideas to help you. If you don’t have the time or the inclination, then you might want to hire a dental blogging service.
There are many reasons why dental blogging isn’t at the forefront of the 1001 things to do in the life of a dental practice. And of course, time or lack of it, is a key factor.
but here’s the thing…
In the grand scheme of things, dental blog writing really isn’t expensive. Moreover, if you do decide to take the job on yourself, the only cost is your time.
Besides, you can always ask a member of your team with excellent writing skills to take it on. If that’s not ideal, then of course, look to outsource the task to a dental blogging service.
How about if you want to channel your inner Barbara Cartland and start churning out tons of content. It isn’t unheard of for dentists to hire an ‘in-house’ dental content writer to assist.
Whatever you decide, the point is there is no excuse not to start a practice blog. It should be a top priority if you’re looking to generate new patient leads!
So now you know what you should do, what if you want to go down the self-blogging route? Here’s how you to go about writing great dental blogs that convert.
Offer unique content
The first rule is that you’ve got to offer something unique.
The internet is saturated with blogs in every industry. The question is… how are you going to make people read your dental blog instead of your competitors?
Make it unique!
As a experiment, I did a quick Google search for the key-phrase “benefits of dental implants” It turns out that there are 480 pieces of content with that exact title match. Yikes!
So if you, your team, or your dental blogging service were to churn out the same type of content, then right off the bat, that’s 480 search results you’ll need to beat before you stand any chance of being noticed.
Sure, there are other factors that come into play when Google decides who ranks where, but c’mon…why put yourself in that position in the first place?
Instead, stand out from the competition and make your content unique. It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond and distance yourself from all the other ponds out there!
Trust me – if you offer exclusive unique content, people will want to read it!
But how exactly do you do that?
Master the art of story-telling of course…
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding great blogs are that to write one you need to be Shakespeare, Stephen King or JK Rowling. That’s simply not true!
You may be surprised to learn that as the owner of a dental writing company, I’m not a trained writer. Furthermore, I have absolutely no inclination to want to write a best selling novel.
That said, what I have learned from running a dental blogging service is that I and my team have the ability to truly engage with the reader, albeit if only for the length of a blog or e-book.
We’re certainly nothing special and in fact, all we do is to use a few of the following tried and tested storytelling skills and put them to good effect.
Here are some pointers…
We all have numerous conversations every single day, but have you ever tried to use dialogue as the start of a dental blog post? It’s a great way to engage people right off the bat! Here’s a good example of how you can use dialogue and make it work for you
Setting the scene
Alternatively why not create a scenario – fact or fiction – it really doesn’t matter, but it can be used to good effect to engage with the reader . Here’s how I did exactly that in one of more recent blogs.
Let your imagination run
Another way to master the art of storytelling is to be vivid. The secret of a great story – and of course blog – is to get the reader to really feel that they’re there with you. Talking about sights, sounds and smells is a good way to achieve exactly this.
As an example, for dental practices, you might want to talk about the smell of freshly brewed coffee or cut flowers in your reception area as you recount an interesting story. Just don’t mention the smell of patient fear! It’s probably not a good move 🙂
Fables and tales
Finally, you might want to incorporate a story that everyone knows and tap into these memories to illustrate a particular point you want to make in your blog post. It may come from films, fables, current events, history, TV shows, books. to name but a few.
If you adopt one or more of these tactics you are well on the way to creating unique content that people will really want to read. That really is the key!
Congratulations – Now you know the ‘HOW‘ of writing blog posts the next part is to understand the ‘WHY‘
Let’s take a closer look…
Encourage readers to join your email list
Any type of business with online presence should be looking to build their online subscribers. After all, I’m sure you’ve heard countless marketers tell you that “the real money is in the list“
While that may be true, the point is that a dental blog is a great way of getting people to subscribe to your list. Don’t believe me?
Ask any dental blogging service worth their salt and they’ll tell you the same.
The question is….How do you turn a reader – who just so happens to stumble onto your blog – into a fully-blown, cash-paying patient?
Here’s a scenario..
Let’s say that Maria is a thirty-something mother of two who likes to keep up to date with the latest treatments/services in the dental world.
She likes to know, because she wants the best for her family and dental health is important to her.
Maria finds your blog, skims through it and likes it.
The question now is…
At the moment she or her family don’t have any dental problems at this time and apart from regular check-ups, isn’t seeking dental treatment. However, she is interested in reading more of your great content.
So, rather than hoping she’ll come back and find you of her own accord, you encourage her to join your emailing list where she can gets any future posts delivered right to her inbox? See exactly how it’s done right here.
Now here’s the key…
Once you have Maria’s email address you can also use it to send out promotional offers or discounts on latest dental treatments. This way when Maria, or her children are in need of dental treatment, they know exactly where to come.
You see, your blog has already done the job of building trust with Maria. Why? because by writing unique content she feels that she already has a good insight into you and your dental practice.
Now, when the time is right for her, she trusts you enough to make an appointment or to seek a consultation.
However, before you go and bombard them with ‘stuff‘ a word of warning….
Littering someone’s mailbox with promotional offer after promotional offer is a sure fire way of getting them to unsubscribe, fast!
Aside from the fact that it comes across as way too desperate, it will undo all the hard work and good that you or your dental blogging service has created.
So choose your marketing strategy carefully and ensure that when you do offer a promotion or service, it relates directly to their needs.
Here’s a great post I stumbled across on how to reach your specific target market
Promotion, promotion, promotion
For many dentists who use social media as a way to engage with potential patients, one of the biggest problems that they face is knowing what to post.
The good news is that every time you or a dental blogging service writes a post for your blog, it gives you the perfect ammunition. Why? Because it can be Tweeted directly out to your followers.
If you’ve been hitting their social media time line regularly by promoting your blogs, your dental practice is going to be fresh in their mind, when they need a dentist.
Agreed, it might not be tomorrow, but say six months down the line when they have a nagging toothache, or are looking to whiten up their smile, they’ll remember you.
They key is to be consistent, and tweeting your latest posts every time you blog means that you’re doing just that.
Speaking of being consistent…
This leads us nicely onto our next topic of how a dental blogging service can seriously ramp up your customer leads.
Regularity breeds prosperity
If you are looking at starting a dental blogging program for your practice website it’s really important that you don’t fall into this all too familiar scenario…
You’ve carried out some research online and have some content ideas ready to go. You really want this to work and so you start burning the midnight oil, churning out dental blogs like there’s no tomorrow.
Suddenly, 10 posts in, you check the stats and realise that no one is reading them!
You feel agitated and pretty annoyed that all that hard work has been for nothing, so you give up your short-lived career as a dental blog writer and go back to fixing teeth.
The point is this…
Generating leads through dental blogging takes a long time. Did you know that on average it takes around 6 months to see any reasonable results from blogging?
Here’s a great article from Hubspot that explains this in greater detail.
So does that mean that dental blogging isn’t productive?
You see, Google loves content and will reward those sites who produce it regularly, but more importantly, that content needs to be quality.
Every blog post you produce is another page that gets cast out into the webosphere. The more (quality) content you have, the more chance you have of getting found.
So if you can find the balance between consistency and quality, then that’s the real sweet spot right there!
The key is to reach a level of regular blogging that meets your requirements and/or budget restraints. Whether that’s once a day, once a week or once a month, it’s important to maintain and to keep on doing it! This is where a dental blogging service can help.
They can take the pressure off you to ensure that your dental blog is updated regularly and consistently, whether that’s once or twice a month, once a fortnight or once or twice a week, it frees you up to do what you do best – serve your patients!
If you do it regularly and for long enough… you will see a spike in traffic.. That I guarantee! Whether that’s 6 months, 12 months or 18 months down the line.. dental blogging works!
But wait! There’s more…..
Remember we were talking about how every blog published creates a news page in the webosphere? Well during the course of each post, you get the chance to add hyperlinks.
Of course, some of these links should be external in nature. This means that they link directly to other related authority sites. However, other hyperlinks can and should link directly back to your site.
This way, when someone finds your dental blog they have a change of clicking through to your practice website. A bit like I’ve done here. As you can see, this is something I do all the time, and it’s proven pretty effective.
The bottom line is that hyperlinking is great for your Google ranking and the higher your ranking, the more website traffic you’re likely to get. The more traffic you get, the greater the lead generation!
See, I told you this was easy!
So what’s the key takeaway….
Every dental practice should have a blog, By offering unique and exclusive content it’s a great way to get people engaged.
Use your dental blog as a platform to gain subscribers as the bigger your list, the more chance you’ll have of success.
New blog posts also give you the scope to add content to your practice’s social media accounts which you can then use to spread the word further.
However always, always ensure that you post regularly and consistently. You can either do this yourself, ask a member of your team or outsource to a dental blogging service.
Oh, and don’t forget to use those all important hyperlinks to drive traffic back to your site.
So there you have it… how to generate leads through blogging…
if you’re looking to kick start or rekindle your dental blog and are seeking a dental blogging service, then we know a team who can help:-)
Contact me on email@example.com and let’s talk tactics. We can even talk tic-tacs if you like – cos I’m quite partial to those too 🙂