Smile: you’re on camera. Savvy dental practices are now turning to video marketing to alleviate pre-visit jitters and increase business, writes Caroline Bellinger.
Let’s be honest, going to the dentist is not high on the list of most people’s favourite things to do. In fact, studies report that almost a fifth of Australians experience high levels of dental anxiety. Needless to say, this makes enticing new patients to your practice somewhat of a challenge.
For this reason, video has become a valuable asset for many dental practices, as it not only increases credibility, but offers reassurance to patients by emotionally connecting them with the people behind the masks.
“When a patient walks into a dental practice they’ve seen on video, they are actually more relaxed, which leads to a more positive experience,” says Carolyn S. Dean, founder and director of My Dental Marketing, a full service agency for dentists in Australia and New Zealand and author of Fully booked: dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book.
According to Dean, video is now the preferred medium for people to absorb information, with about 80 per cent of online audiences watching videos on a regular basis.
“People like to receive content visually, so when they come to a website, they would much rather watch a video than read. Stats say people are also more likely to buy from a website that’s got video,” she says.
Video is being used in dentistry for a wide variety of purposes, including advertising, procedures, oral health awareness, patient reassurance and ‘about us’ style introductions to the practice and staff. The success of these, says Dean, lies in showcasing your unique selling points.
“It’s absolutely critical that a practice identifies what makes it different and then talks about that point of difference in all aspects of their video marketing,” she says.
“It’s not your equipment that’s important—it’s what you do and what you believe in. You need to talk about the things patients care about.”
The cost of video marketing can range anywhere from nothing for a Facebook post, to up to tens of thousands of dollars for an all-encompassing, professional marketing strategy, but Dean says you don’t need to have a big budget to create an effective video campaign.
“If you want something that really works, that really converts, that really talks to people, then you get a high-end professional video done and add it to your website or email newsletter to increase interaction, click-through rates and conversions. Professional videos are gold for your website, gold for your Google ranking, and gold for your patients,” she says.
“At the low end, there are the self-made videos, which are about interaction with your patients and your potential patients. They are about showing the human side of your practice. It’s about looking natural and relaxed.”
In terms of ‘bang for your buck’, social media is actually one of the cheapest forms of advertising—you can ‘boost’ or promote your photos and videos to a greater, and more targeted, audience for just a few dollars.
“Nowadays, when someone hears about your practice though word of mouth, they will check out your website and reviews, but they will also check out your social media,” says Dean.
“If you have video on your social media, then it makes you look like you’re engaged, that you’re interesting and ahead of the times.
“Facebook’s algorithm also favours video—so you’ll get much higher interaction and visibility with video posts and, if you’re doing Facebook Live, you’ll get much, much higher interaction.”
Facebook Live is a basic streaming function that lets you broadcast live from your smartphone. Your followers have the option to ‘tune in’ to the live broadcasts, or they can watch later when the stream finishes and is posted permanently on your timeline. It’s a tool Dr Kristina Cain, principal dentist and business owner at Refresh Dental Spa in Brisbane has been using alongside traditional video formats. Operating from a high-rise in the CBD, with no opportunities for on-street signage, Dr Cain says having a website and social media presence to increase exposure and connect with patients was paramount.
“I wanted to do something so that people could know us, so they can actually see that we are real people and have a look around the practice. I wanted authenticity,” says Dr Cain.
“That’s why videos are so good, because they give you that really authentic marketing.”
Dr Cain has professionally-made videos on her practice website and playing on a TV in the reception area. She also does a weekly Facebook Live update, rotating themes between connection, calls to action and education.
“I’m giving people information but also showing our unique brand. The feedback I’ve had from patients is fantastic because it’s so authentic,” she says.
“Our social media has so many more followers now and my LinkedIn profile has gone berserk. That indicates to others who check us out that we’re legit and that we’ve got a following who believes in us. It gives us credibility and the recognition that we’re a good company to be involved with. Our business has increased and the patient-dentist relationship is a lot more quality now.”
Dr Cain says she paid roughly $2,000 for each of her professional videos, working with a production company that helped her with scripting, filming, editing, animation and distribution.
Ultimately though, when undertaking video marketing, it’s important to remember who your target audience is.
“A mistake many practices make when they use videos on their website and social media, or in newsletters, is that they are focusing on what they care about and what they find interesting,” says Dean.
“People often post videos and images of procedural work, but unless your target market is other dentists who want to see a complicated root canal, don’t post it. If it’s not something you would show your non-dental friends at a dinner party, it’s not okay to put on social media, your website or in your newsletter.
“You need to think about who you are trying to attract to your practice, why they would come to you, and what makes you different.”
The average internet user spends 88 per cent more time on a website with video.
- 64 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy a service or a product after watching a video about it.
- 70 per cent of marketing professionals report that video converts better than any other medium.
- Visitors who view videos stay on websites an average of two minutes longer than those who don’t view videos.
* Stats taken from Fully booked: dental marketing secrets for a full appointment book by Carolyn S. Dean
Want to use video to market your practice? Here are some things to consider:
- What’s your budget? How much you can afford to spend will guide your approach.
- What kind of look do you want for your video? Slick and professional or a more natural and relaxed vibe? Do you want it to include your staff, or photos and animation?
- What’s your objective? Think about the messages you want to deliver.
- What’s your ‘call to action’? After they’ve watched your video, do you want people to book in for a check-up, call up and ask questions, share the video with friends, or read an article on your website?
- Where will your video live? On your website or social media? If it’s on social media, which platform? Unless it’s a training video that will sit on YouTube, the rule of thumb for video is one minute max for videos on your website or social media.
- Will you produce it yourself, or call in the experts? If you don’t know where to start, a marketing agency can make it easy for you. It’s worth consulting a specialised dental marketing agency, as there are rules and regulations for dental advertising and breaching these can result in hefty fines.