How to Discover New and Compelling Benefits to Promote Your Dental Services

discover benefitsBeing unique for the sake of…well…being unique isn’t a strategy. But there is something about a deep-dive into what makes your services and products “unique” that CAN impact your dental marketing success.

Brian Clark shared a post on Copyblogger that I must credit for “seeding” my thoughts on this one.

“In the 1920’s, Schlitz beer went from fifth in the market to a tie for first. All because a sharp copywriter named Claude Hopkins highlighted their water purification process in an advertisement.

Never mind that all beer companies used the same process. No one had told that story before.” [Read more of Brian’s post]

I’m frequently asked by clients and colleagues, “How can you write fresh content about the same ole’ services over and over again.” Their question reveals what they perceive about the dental niche and what’s somewhat accurate (i.e. how much can you write about dental implants, crowns, etc.?).

That question, perception, and Clark’s content lead to a solution and a strategy that can energize your dental marketing content.

A story that’s not been told

Your services and products are in competition. It’s not so much a competitive process that involves whether one is better than another.

The competitive advantage of your products and services has more to do with the benefit-solution outcome. It’s common in most print and online (digital) marketing promotions to highlight the features of a particular product/service.

Why?

It’s easy to throw the terms “greatest,” “state-of-the-art,” “latest,” “cutting-edge,” etc on top of a few specific technical descriptions and garnish it with a smiling-face image or three…and viola!…send it off to your assistant to post on your website. Then wait for your phone to ring off the desk with inquiries, appointments, or purchases.

What’s missing is the “story that’s not been told.” In essence this is what’s known as your “unique selling proposition” (USP).

It’s as simple an addition to your marketing content as Hopkins highlighting Schlitz’s water purification process.

How to Deep-Dive Into Your Services and Products to Discover a New “Story” That Will Deliver Compelling Solutions

List and lead with benefits.

Always be thinking, “What problem does this solve…what solution does this provide…how is this (?) different than any other approach to solving X problem?”

  • Dimensional-ize every benefit you list by going even further beneath the surface. For example, teeth whitening does more than brighten your teeth up to eight shades (benefit). Teeth whitening gives you the confidence to walk into your next class reunion like you’ve just been crowned homecoming king or queen (deeper, dimensional-ized benefit).
  • Find the deeper levels of solutions and benefits that tap directly into the emotions of your patients, clients, or leads.

Appeal to logic with features.

This the proper use of all those features you’re so quick to talk about. Only use them after you’ve uncovered every benefit-solution you can think of that your product/service provides.

The “story” plot thickens when you get their pulse racing with benefits (”Teeth whitening…confidence…homecoming king or queen…!, etc.”). Then you help them rationalize their decision to schedule, purchase, etc with features (”The newest…no-after-taste…teeth whitening product on the market…available in our comfortable, whitening salon…at our new dental facility…”).

Content marketing works. It’s an effective strategy that promotes your dental services and products with a fresh, new “story” that’s unique…and compelling.

Where “More” is Better When Evaluating Your Dental Website Content

more dental contentWho says, “More is better?” Perhaps the best discussion of “more” is…WHERE it’s better.

I hear this often, “We need MORE content on our dental website home page…on our services pages…” More. More. More.

Enough?

Again, the real issue is where to apply a “more-is-better” strategy. And there’s a strategic point of evaluation that’s often missed.

In a recent post I shared some insight regarding today’s new reality about SEO. Bottom-line: online searches these days return more links to articles/blog posts than they do actual websites.

So, wouldn’t it make sense for you to invest more dental marketing energy (and dollars) creating useful, informative article content than you would in higher word counts on standard toolbar pages (i.e., Home, About, Services/Procedures pages)?

That’s a good question. And it’s only provocative if you still aren’t sold on the strategy that – being useful online via your blog/article content is your MORE important than overly indulgent core web page content.

3 ways to apply a more-is-better strategy where it matters the most.

1-Deliver value through your online dental content

I’ll indulge your quest for “more” throughout your dental website on ONE condition. That you provide value!

What is valuable content?

Valuable content focuses on benefits more than it does features.

Don’t misunderstand. Features are important but not when they’re overused or without a compelling benefit attached.

Your dental service benefits connect with your patient’s or client’s emotional desires. Your dental service features appeal to your patient’s or client’s logic.

Both are necessary in your dental marketing content. But…

Remember to “sell” or “promote” first with benefits then help them rationalize their decision with an emphasis on features.

This takes some strategic thought. And I’ll go on record again by saying it must involve more than throwing “state-of-the-art” or “cutting-edge” ahead of your newest or greatest technology, etc.

2-Write dental content that’s readable.

Not all content will be read. But it’s certain that the time someone spends with your content will increase or decrease based on its readability.

Readable content ditches the tech-speak that’s only understood by industry insiders. Understand, your patients or clients are more than likely not up to speed on the jargon that so easily flows off your tongue at an industry trade show or event.

Readable content sounds and reads like you talk. Apply the bar stool-principle – would you say what you’re about to say in the form you’re about to say it if you were sitting on a bar stool, having a conversation with a friend, colleague, or family member?

Readable content assumes that the reader isn’t up to speed. Thus, it’s job-one of your content to help them understand what it is you want them to do.

Readable content is action oriented. Your content must include – at several points within – a clear, compelling call-to-action (i.e. tell them what to do…tell them again…and tell them again…)

3-Design your dental content to be searchable.

By design I recommend you invest more time, energy, and dollars into your blog/article pages. Why?

Again, this is where more online searches land these days.

  • Listen to your patient/client questions or reviews and write content that answers their questions or insights.
  • Create a content editorial calendar of topics based on what you hear your patients or clients talking about or asking about.
  • Consistently publish content that helps your patients and clients. I recommend a minimum of two times per month on your blog/article page…but weekly is MORE effective.

More IS better. But make sure it’s delivered in the most strategically effective location on your dental website.

How to Find Your “Voice” and Compel a Positive Response to Your Dental Marketing Message

friend to friend conversation“Imagine the person you’re writing to. Picture him or her as a friend. Believe that the (service) you’re (promoting) will improve your friend’s life. Figure out what it would take to convince you to buy the product.” – Paul Hollingshead

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” That memorable phrase contains a “double-edged truth.”

On the contrary, what you say does matter. Mixed messages create confusion.

Equally true is how you communicate. Tone, delivery method, or “voice” can make or break your dental marketing message.

I’m a strong advocate for a particular tone of voice in the copy or content I create. And I’m diligent to coach my clients in the same.

Friend or foe?

You shouldn’t be forced to choose, should you? “Foe” is a bit too strong a label.

It’s not productive to view your readers, patients, clients, prospects, etc as “foes” to be conquered. “Friend” is a better perspective for your marketing promotions, blog posts, or conversations when the goal is to compel a response.

Paul Hollingshead’s words that introduce this post help establish that view in your dental marketing. Voice is the core idea when writing, promoting, or marketing your services.

How to find your voice and compel a positive response to your dental marketing message.

1-Use your imagination

It’s important to break free from the seller-prospect mindset when marketing your dental services. Remember, “People don’t like to be sold.”

This common approach sets up an adversarial relationship from the get-go. And you’ll adopt a “voice” that’s perceived that way too.

Rather…

As Hollingshead encourages, “Imagine the person you’re writing to. Picture him or her as a friend.”

  • View your promotions as a conversation. Write conversationally – friend to friend.
  • Use short sentences. Long sentences typically evolve into something too technical or wordy. Avoid “bloat” and “fluff” throughout your writing.
  • Forget “English class.” Beginning a sentence with “And” or “But” is okay in this context. And (there you go…haha) a preposition is okay to end a sentence “with.” Remember conversational, friend-to-friend communication is not only common these days, it’s accepted (like it or not, thanks to social media).
  • Use the “barstool” filter. Ask yourself if you would say it (what you’re writing) sitting across from a friend at a bar or table.

2-Deepen your beliefs

Believing in your message, service, or product should translate via your voice. If you sincerely believe it will improve someone’s health or life, how could you not communicate it in a compelling way.

Again, the friend-to-friend, conversational voice compels better than a sales-y, hype-y tone.

  • List the “whys” of your product or service. Why is it necessary, useful, beneficial, etc.?
  • Listen to comments and reviews. Readers, patients, and clients will tell you “why” they like or dislike your services.
  • Write to problems and questions. Beneath a negative experience or review is a solution that will improve your marketing message. Fearlessly evaluate the negatives you hear or experience when promoting or applying your services.

3-Identify with the benefits

Walk-a-mile in your patient’s/client’s shoes. Keep the question in mind – “Would I use this, pay for this, try this, etc.?”

The answers will reveal the true, unvarnished benefits of your particular product or service. Features appeal to logic. Benefits connect with emotions.

Friend-to-friend, conversational communication is more emotional than it is rational or logical.

  • Review your products and services searching for benefits.
  • List the benefits of each service. Remember “state-of-the-art” is a feature not a benefit.
  • Answer the question, “So what?” Confirm that your particular service or product actually leads to a compelling result. Identify that result and write to it as often as possible.

Find your “voice.” Make “friends” through your dental marketing content.

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