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5 ways to use dental marketing to build trust with prospective patients

Highlighting the human side of your practice is one way you can use dental marketing to build rapport with prospective patients.

A close-up photograph of a dentist working on a female patient's teeth

If you want patients to put their health in your hands, you have to earn their trust. In fact, two-thirds of consumers (67 percent) agree they might try a product if the brand has a good reputation, according to Edelman. But, if they don’t grow to trust the company, they’ll stop buying the product.

Your dental marketing can help you build much-needed trust. Here are a few ideas to show prospective patients you’re a dentist they can count on.

Dental marketing strategies that build trust

1. Demonstrate reliability with consistent online directory information

Most consumers (80 percent) lose trust in a local business if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact information or business names online, according to BrightLocal. Furthermore, most people blame the local business, not the directory, for the error. 

Obviously, online directories play a huge role in dentistry marketing. If you haven’t claimed your listings on popular directories like Google My Business, it’s time to do so.

Being in control of your directory profiles will allow you to ensure your business information is accurate. This will avoid confusion that can turn prospective patients away from your practice.

Read: How to optimize a healthcare practice Google My Business listing

2. Highlight the human side of your dental practice

There were 199,486 dentists working in the field in the U.S. as of 2018, according to the American Dental Association. Finding the right dentist is a very personal choice — and, clearly, patients have plenty of options.

Your dentist marketing should make patients feel comfortable with your practice. Humanize it by sharing photos and videos of dentists, hygienists, and practice staff on your website, directory listings, and social media.

Additionally, show prospective patients they’re in good hands by highlighting your credentials on all web properties and directory profiles. Your expertise will put them at ease because they’ll feel confident you know what you’re doing.

3. Prioritize dentist reputation management

Three-quarters of people (74.6 percent) have looked online to find more information about a doctor, dentist, or medical care, according to PatientPop. About the same amount (76 percent) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal.

Take control of your dentist reputation management by integrating it into your marketing plan. Continuously ask current patients for their honest feedback by sending automated patient satisfaction surveys.

Feature positive reviews on your dental website, and respond to negative public feedback where appropriate. This is key because people won’t necessarily hold negative feedback against you if you try to make it right.

For example, 97 percent of consumers read local businesses’ responses to reviews, according to BrightLocal. This means prospective patients would almost definitely be reading your side of the story, lessening the impact of any negative reviews.

Check out: 4 out of 5 dentists can improve their practices by doing this one thing

4. Share real patient stories

More than half of people (56 percent) trust brands based on their customer experience, according to Edelman. Since you haven’t treated prospective patients yet, learning about those you have can build trust.

For example, you might feature before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures — i.e. teeth whitening, veneers, gum reshaping, etc. — on your website and social media. With patients’ written permission, you can also write about their dental transformations on social media or blog posts on your website.

This is a great dental marketing strategy because it helps prospective patients envision what you could do for them.

5. Educate and inform

Prospective patients want to ensure their new dentist knows what they’re doing. Presenting yourself as an authority in your branch of dentistry will put your knowledge on display.

Dental marketing ideas might include writing blog posts to explain cutting-edge techniques or sharing the steps involved with common patient procedures. This shows prospective patients you’re fully engaged and know exactly what you’re doing.

Prospective patients won’t trust their dental health to just anyone. Thoughtful dental marketing can allow you to connect with people and show them they’re in good hands at your practice.

For more on this topic, see “Online marketing for dentists: A beginner’s guide.”

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