June 2017
Volume 8, Issue 6

Blogging for Dental Laboratories

Best practices for the best results

In today’s increasingly connected world, it can be difficult to set your laboratory apart from competition online. But if you approach it with the right strategy, a blog for your laboratory can be a truly valuable tool in your marketing arsenal.

Why Blog?

Adding a blog to your website is a cost-effective and engaging means for every dental laboratory to share expertise, add personality to your business, and learn what interests your customers over time—to name just a few benefits. Before you start writing, keep these guidelines in mind to give yourself the foundation for a successful blog.

Writing Blog Posts

One of the greatest things about your blog is your ability to control all of the details, and once you get into a steady flow of writing and sharing posts you’ll find it’s quite rewarding too. The most important thing to consider when starting your blog is the kind of content you should be sharing. There isn’t a specific combination of topics to cover that will guarantee success, and there are a number of different, valid approaches to take. You could write your thoughts on the latest trends and pieces of industry news, share a case study, or discuss how your laboratory’s workflow creates ideal results for dentists.

Whether you’re starting off with a list of topics or from a completely blank slate, ask yourself, “Does this topic provide value to my customers?” If you can reliably answer “yes,” then you can be confident that it’s a topic worth fleshing out for your blog. Don’t limit yourself and think of your blog as a place to promote the services offered at your laboratory; there are plenty of ways to create valuable material for dental professionals. For example, if you or someone on your team has knowledge on social media or website design, then consider having them help develop posts on topics such as “social media marketing for dentists” or “designing the perfect dental practice website.”

You don’t need to be all business 100% of the time though. An occasional lighthearted or fun post such as a movie review can add some personality to your blog, as long as the majority of what you’re doing is focused on providing value to your customers.

One of the first questions that come to mind when starting a blog is, “How often should I post updates?” Depending on whom you ask or where you look, there can be a number of answers. The most important thing here is to be realistic for your schedule. It’s much better to start at a slower but consistent pace than to begin posting once per week and quickly grind to a halt. If you think you can dedicate enough time to present one blog post per month, then start at that level.

Engagement

Chances are that the first months of your blog won’t have an enormous amount of traffic or engagement. It takes time to build a strong following for your blog, but there are a couple of ways to expedite the process.

First, make sure that your blog allows people to subscribe, leave comments, and search for specific topics. This may seem obvious to some, but it is possible to launch a blog without these features and their benefits cannot be understated: A subscription option can allow people to receive an email notification when a new blog post is published, automatically reminding subscribers to visit your website. Allowing people to comment encourages more engagement over time, letting readers share their thoughts on a given post and discuss their opinions with one another. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any unsavory or off-topic comments that could derail an otherwise worthwhile discussion.

Distribution

The saying “if you build it, they will come” doesn't apply to blogging. In order to properly reach a wider audience, you'll need to distribute your blog posts through digital channels (industry forums, email, social media, etc). This is especially important when you’re getting started and your following is still growing.

When distributing on social media you shouldn't limit yourself to sharing blog posts on your personal accounts; be sure to share your blog content through your laboratory’s accounts as well. Additionally, reach out to any of your colleagues in the industry and ask that they share select posts on their social platforms as well. You’ll be surprised how far reaching this approach can be. Of course, any social platform is a good place to share your content, but it’s a good idea to prioritize Facebook and LinkedIn, as these are where the largest number of dentists connect. Tactics such as these will help put your content in front of your audience and encourage them to engage with your blog and other areas of your laboratory’s website, as well.

Learning & Optimizing

Once you see consistent engagement from your audience and perhaps even growth in followers and subscribers, it's important to look back and understand which posts are more popular. If you discover that specific topics are consistently getting more views, comments, and traction on social media, you should take note of this and prioritize writing content on similar subjects in the future. Understanding what resonates the best with your audience is essential for growing your blog over time.

This analytical review shouldn't just be a one-time exercise either. Make sure you take the time to sit down every couple of months to consider what content is performing the best. Writing without analyzing will not position your blog for long-term growth.

Don’t be intimidated by the startup process. With these guiding principles in mind, you’re ready to create blog content and encourage client engagement.

About the Author

Dylan McCarthy is Digital Campaign Coordinator and Social Media Specialist for Lanmark360 in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

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