Dental Marketing Tips for Building Trust With Patients

Trust plays a huge role in marketing your dental practice. No one wants to visit a dentist they don’t like or trust. As a bonus, when your patients trust you, they’re going to keep bringing their chocolate-loving kids to you for cleanings and the odd filling. What’s more, they’ll tell their neighbors about you at […]

dentist with a patient

Trust plays a huge role in marketing your dental practice. No one wants to visit a dentist they don’t like or trust. As a bonus, when your patients trust you, they’re going to keep bringing their chocolate-loving kids to you for cleanings and the odd filling. What’s more, they’ll tell their neighbors about you at the next summer block party. As you probably know, word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful way to get across your competence and reliability as a dentist because it provides social proof. However, a recent study commissioned by The American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation found that trust in physicians decreased during the pandemic. The study also concluded that while most medical practitioners understand the importance of fostering trust with their patients, they don’t know how to rebuild that trust.

So what dental marketing tips should you follow to convey your competence and honesty online?

We’ve found that the top four ways to build trust with patients in your digital marketing campaigns include:

  • Responding to patient reviews (the good, the bad, and the ugly)
  • Using authentic photos instead of stock photography (patients want to see your real team, not the same stock-photo model they saw on a postcard from their optometrist last week)
  • Filming videos that show your expertise (and personality!) and tell stories
  • Finding a unique selling proposition (USP) for a niche demographic (every dental practice advertises that they treat their patients like family…what truly makes you different?)

Let’s look at these dental marketing tips in-depth.

Respond to patient reviews.

Both the positive and the negative reviews. Replying to positive reviews highlights the great qualities patients are already praising you for. When someone leaves feedback on your Google My Business page such as “He’s so honest and straightforward” or “The procedure was painless and the dentist was very gentle” the least you can do is acknowledge their feedback by saying thank you (this makes that patient even more excited to come back!).

On the other side, responding to negative reviews shows your commitment to improving the patient experience. But first, some quick housekeeping. Before you hit reply to that Yelp review, be sure to follow HIPAA guidelines. When responding publicly, respond with general information about your services, without acknowledging that the person leaving the review was a patient. Address the patient’s experience with empathy and ask them to reach out to see how you can make things right. Read more on our dental marketing tips for responding to negative reviews here!

Use authentic photos instead of stock photography.

Patients want you. Not like that…Although we do have some pretty good lookin’ clients! *wink*. They want to see your dental team and your office. That means stock images of random dentists and pictures of offices that you found on Shutterstock should be kept to a minimum on your landing page as much as possible. These photos do a poor job of conveying your originality and your brand. Anything generic comes across as staged and unnatural.

Worse, if the same photo is found on another dentist’s website, your practice’s identity has no legs to stand on. Instead, hire a professional photographer to take on brand, consistent, high-quality shots of your practice.

They can take headshots of the dentists, hygienists, and receptionists for your website’s “About Us” page. Brand photos build trust by demonstrating your personality, confidence, and professionalism. You can get creative by snapping photos with patients (with their permission of course), smiling after a successful procedure, or talking to a mom and her kids. Other original photo ideas include standing over a patient in the dental treatment room and holding your tools, looking at X-ray slides, walking in a hallway with your team, or catching up on paperwork between appointments. You’ll also want to capture the atmosphere of the office itself. 

Another important note on photos… we know you are a dentist and you LOVE what you do, but we’ve got to be honest with you, patients don’t want to see icky, bloody photos of procedures – not all of them have got the stomach for it – So, let’s keep it G-Rated, people.

Film videos that tell stories and show your expertise.

One of the quickest ways to gain trust is to demonstrate advanced knowledge in your field. But to win someone’s heart, they have to like you as a person. There is an easy way to accomplish both of these things:

  1. Make videos sharing your competence and your values. You can show that you are the expert on oral health (and therefore the dentist patients go to for their Invisalign treatment) in a 3 minute Youtube video titled, “What to expect when getting Invisalign attachments.” We’ll talk more about conveying your expertise in the next point. You can show your warm, empathetic personality by introducing yourself, sharing your educational background, and what you love most about working with your patients. In short, videos tell stories about who you are and what you care about. 
  2. Moreover, they’re powerful tools to share the patient experience. Patient testimonials, or happy patients talking about their smile transformation under your care, play on the viewers’ emotions. They capture the very real emotion of someone who was previously in pain, insecure about their smile, or unable to chew properly, finally able to go about their day as a changed person because of your work. According to Hubspot, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

    The bottom line? You will book more patient appointments through video marketing

Find a unique selling proposition (USP) for a niche demographic. 

 “We treat our patients like family.” Congratulations. So does every other dentist on the planet (or at least so they say). The dentists that are the most successful are not necessarily the best at what they do. Rather, they understand the importance of expressing their individuality. Specific language addresses the real problems of people and shows empathy and understanding.

So, avoid generalities. Instead of relying on cliches, figure out what makes you different from your competitors. Maybe you use a specific technology. Or you are particularly good with making elementary school children feel at ease. Maybe your office has an awesome theme or gives out treats or amenities. You will want to communicate these differentiators in every facet of your marketing.

In other words, your USP determines the way you describe your services. When you think about what makes you stand out, consider the services you offer, the benefits you provide, who your ideal patients are, and the problems you’re solving for them. Don’t know how to find your USP? We talk about how to do so and provide other dental marketing tips here.

More Dental Marketing Tips For Building Trust With Patients

Do you need more help with building trust in your content? That’s why we’re here. We know how to get more patients in a dental office–because that’s what we do for all our clients. We are the complete package when it comes to dental marketing. We’ve proven time and time again that we can increase our client’s patient acquisition within the first 90 days. Contact us today. Let’s make this year your best yet.