Weblogs started out as a way for individuals to share their thoughts and feelings, express their views on topics of interest, and interact with like-minded individuals via unparalleled access to communication available through the worldwide web. But it took businesses a while to see the potential inherent to blogging.
While many business owners immediately saw the value in setting up a website as a virtual portal to their real-world operations, there are still those who don’t think the benefits of blogging are worth the time, effort, or money they require. But there are a lot of advantages to be gained when you create an on-site blog.
The main appeal is that you can use your blogs as a means of connecting with potential patients in a non-threatening (i.e. non-sales) manner. Here are just a few ways that your blog can help you to attract new patients.
Build a rapport
The topics you choose, the quality of your content, and the ways in which you use your blog to interact with readers can all help you to build relationships with prospective patients. And when you start out interacting with them sans sales pitch, you have a much better chance of becoming a trusted source of information.
As a dental professional, you can use your blog to establish credibility and expertise, two things that most people are looking for in a dentist. And the brilliant part is that they’ll come to the conclusion that you are trustworthy and reliable on their own simply by following your blog and interacting with you via questions, comments, and responses.
The hard sell can be a big turn-off for consumers seeking services, but your website is geared towards providing a professional portrait of your business – it’s one big sales pitch. That’s why adding a blog and putting a personal face on your company can be such a boon.
Highlight your services
Your blog can provide you with the perfect forum to educate both current and prospective patients about the many products and services you offer. For example, you could create a series of posts discussing different methods of teeth whitening to elucidate readers and help them to decide which service is right for them.
You could also educate them about symptoms related to common oral health issues like cavities, gum disease, infections, and so on. This can give them the tools they need to become aware of their own healthcare needs and better understand when to call for appointments.
Highlight your staff
Putting a personal face on your business could include introducing readers to your staff. You might do this by highlighting their accomplishments in terms of ongoing education, just for example.
Or you could strive to create personal connections by asking your employees to contribute to your blog with their own columns. This is a great way to introduce prospective customers to everyone in your office and ensure that they are comfortable with and confident in your staff before they ever schedule their first appointment.
Offer extras for followers
A blog is a great way to provide added value to current clients and incentives to prospective patients. You can not only use your blog to promote your business and offer education, but you can also include extras for those that follow it.
For example, you could use it to notify readers about special promotions you’re running, such as seasonal discounts on laser teeth whitening. Or you could offer discounts to anyone who joins your mailing list, signs up for your RSS feed, or follows your blog via social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and so on.
You could also offer deals to current patients that refer new blog members and/or patients. The opportunities to provide added value through your blog are only limited by your imagination.
Engage in optimization and outreach
The effectiveness of optimization relies on fresh content, and your blog provides a lot more than your website. However, it also creates new opportunities for outreach thanks to readers liking and sharing posts, as well as other blogs linking to your posts.
In short, your blog can help to increase the visibility of your dental office and give prospective patients a reason to try your services.