Attract More Dentists with Promotional Content
How to create 12 months of content in days
Jonathan Hill, BS
Do you know that we see over 4,000 advertisements per day, on average? While there's no shortage of content in today's noisy world, marketing is the most effective way to grow your business and get more dentist clients. But it must be content that is valuable to your audience. Your laboratory is different from all the others, and there's a reason why your dentist clients have chosen you.
To thrive in business, it is critical to stay in constant communication with your dentists. The author's father owned a dental laboratory for over 40 years, speaking with his dentists primarily when there was a problem with the case. That model must change.
If your laboratory is not communicating with clients regularly, another laboratory's message could attract their attention and potentially take them away from you. Your clients may not be actively looking for another laboratory in order to switch. What reasons do you give them to stay?
There are countless vehicles to help you reach out to your audience. Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. Still, many small businesses today don't know where to start. They get on Facebook and post random content, without a strategy, then get frustrated and discouraged when they do not reap significant results from engaging in social media. It may seem daunting, but every business needs a strategy to help direct their marketing efforts. Laboratories can create 12 months of content in just days using a simple formula that is available to anyone. Planning and strategy takes the guesswork out of content creation, which can be delegated easily to other employees, freeing up your time to focus on the growth of your laboratory.
To map out 12 months of content, the author focuses on four types of promotions: laboratory services, charity support, discounts, and holiday-themed communication.
This scenario happens far too often: a dentist has a crown-and-bridge laboratory and a different laboratory to fabricate removables, when, in fact, one laboratory offers both services. The dentist did not know, but that is the laboratory's fault, as it is their responsibility to communicate what services they offer. Do not wait for the dentist to ask you about if you offer a specific service; let them know everything that your laboratory can do.
When you communicate with your dentists, you are simply showing them the services and products you offer them in a no-risk, non-threatening way. What you offer them should solve their pain point. For example, addressing the pain point of turnaround time for a denture, your communication could highlight "our new digital denture workflow gets your denture fabricated in 5 days instead of 10." Using pictures of a case is the best way to show your dentists what you offer. Remember that a picture speaks a thousand words, so start documenting your cases through photography.
Support a Charity or Cause
Most people like to contribute to a cause or be a part of something bigger than themselves. Always sending self-serving promotions is a fast way to turn off your dentist clients. Whether you team up with a dental organization providing free services to people in need or collect contributions or donations for non-dental charities, it can help to boost your profile in the eyes of your clients. Additionally, this will break up your delivery of content to where it's not always just about your laboratory. Not only can it help grow your client relationships, but helping those in need will bring tremendous joy to your heart.
There are many ways that this kind of promotion can be communicated to your clients. You can ask your dentists to partner with you and donate directly, or you could tie it to your laboratory services. For example, a promotion could say: For every lithium disilicate case you send to our laboratory this month, we will donate $10 to XYZ Charity. It is that simple. Define the parameters, and your dentists will be enticed to send more work to you, knowing that it is also helping those in need.
These types of promotions are not limited to charities. You can partner with dentists for activities around your community, as well. Take pictures of you, your team, and your dentists together and engaging with people in the community. These photos can be repurposed later for marketing on social media, email, website, and other channels.
Offer a Discount
Businesses always have to spend money to make money. One way to make discounts work in your favor is to give loyal clients a discount on X product or service if they try Y service. For example, if crown and bridge is your laboratory's main business but you want to expand your digital denture offerings, run a promotion where if a client places their first digital denture order with you, they will get a crown for free. It's another win-win scenario: the client gets a discount, and the laboratory gets more work.
Ideally this will help clients become more aware of all your services and products. The important point is to focus on a promotion for a product that you want to grow in your laboratory—one that generates substantial revenue, not one that adds too much time and frustration with small margins.
Fun Holiday Promotion
Offering holiday promotions allows you to be as creative as you want; the goal is to make people take notice. There are holidays almost every month, making it easy to piggyback on those themes for these promotions. The first three months of the year, for example, include New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day.
Think of something to offer to dentists in a giveaway or raffle. It can be directly linked to the holiday, like chocolate on Valentine's Day, or could be completely random, like a small electronic device. This will make clients notice and enjoy working with you more. After all, everyone loves the opportunity to win something.
With potential new clients, this is a great opportunity to get them to opt in to try and win the prize. Once someone opts in to receive communication from your laboratory, you can start contacting them regularly.
Coordinating Your Promotions
Armed with these four promotion types to create content around, consider how to integrate them into your laboratory's marketing efforts over the next 12 months by offering monthly promotions.
An easy schedule is to rotate your promotions throughout the year. Promote your laboratory's services in the first month, ask clients to partner with you for a charity or community cause in the second month, offer a discount on a product or service in the third month, and then offer a fun holiday promotion in the fourth month. Then, repeat these promotions in order through the rest of the year, updating and changing the content.
Once the content has been set, focus on how to deliver it. The three best vehicles for communication are email, social media, and case box stuffers. One stuffer per month, combined with two to four emails and four to eight social media posts during that time frame is sufficient to communicate your monthly promotion.
Promotions should be a mix of focusing on good causes and/or the community, touting your laboratory services, and offering your dentist clients special discounts. Do not wait to offer reactive discounts because a problem occurred. Instead, be proactive and let your clients know you care about them and value their business. That is the key to lasting business relationships.
About the Author
Jonathan Hill, BS, is the owner of EXCELerate, LLC, in Charlotte, North Carolina.