In the first article in a series focusing on growth strategies for various sectors, we offer recommendations for dental professionals looking to serve a larger audience, support existing patients and utilize content as a business driver.
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We undoubtedly live in an era where content is king. With the penetration of technology into our everyday lives, it is not uncommon to encounter multiple types of content on an everyday basis. In fact, experts suggest that different types of content impact us in different ways, and for this reason creating compelling content in the right way and disseminating it to the right channels becomes an important consideration for any business. As Hubspot reports, “Video has become the most used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics.”
In this first article in a series of covering various industries, I’ll be addressing the dental industry, an essential health care service that’s also very competitive. As any dental professional will tell you, it’s not easy to thrive in markets that are congested and have multiple providers offering the same value. Running a dental practice is also a big undertaking that requires investments in expensive equipment, among other costs.
But good content can help dentists make significant progress in helping their clients with better oral hygiene, as well as increasing their own odds of reaching target audiences and patients in a much efficient way. Here are some recommendations on how to achieve those ends, based on my own two decades of working intensely with the dental industry.
Related: 5 Out-of-the-Box Strategies for Growing During a Downturn
1. Produce written content
Despite the fact that the world is moving more to a digital format, print and online platforms both represent tremendous opportunities for contributing expertise. From health magazines to industry-association newsletters to community newsletters, publications are always on the lookout for experts who can help their readers be better than they are today, and be more informed about topics that are important and impact their lives.
Awareness about health care and taking care of oneself is more urgent than ever, and thus the need for compelling content is fast taking precedence. Starting from your local community newspaper or magazine, you can move your way up to regional, local and even national publications. Depending on how good your writing is and how broad your reach is, it would not be a surprise if you started writing in international publications. Again, the key is to get started at some point and think about the interest of readers beyond than anything else. What issues are impacting the health of residents in your communities. What improvements can local health authorities make in your region, and why does it matter? There are so many interesting topics to consider.
2. Become a published author
A few days ago, I came across a children’s book that was authored by a dentist. What a wonderful way of reaching your patients and impacting their lives through the power of storytelling. Today, to become a published author, you no longer need a deal with a mega-publisher. Platforms such as Amazon offer self-publishing options where it’s as simple as uploading a document and designing a cover. In order to become a published author, start thinking about topics that would be interesting for you to write about, or that may benefit from additional knowledge that’s not available in the market. And of course have an eye toward sharing your perspective with others, which in itself is a very unique thing.
3. Produce video content
Video is not only a means of entertainment but it’s also a very powerful medium for education and communication. As Statista outlines, “85 percent of all internet users in the United States watched online video content monthly on any of their devices.” You can leverage this in multiple ways, from creating a short video series on good oral hygiene to interviewing others who can share their knowledge and opinions. Think about some topics that you’d be passionate about teaching and a format that you would like to try out. Then shoot a pilot episode, and plan the next few episodes on a video-content calendar.
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Content creation needs planning, and when done right is very rewarding. Like most things, it boils down to having the discipline to follow through on your commitment. And when you keep the ultimate goal of adding value to people and communities in mind, it can help shape society in a positive way.
Stay tuned for subsequent articles, in which I will write about specific approaches to generating more business, adding value to more clients and expanding your reach beyond the normal.