Influencer Marketing for Dentistry: Getting Started
Consumers think all dental practices are the same, but yours is unique. How do you get yours to stand out from the crowd?
The underlying lack of differentiation shouldn’t get you down. You can still craft a unique story in your market. One way to do that is to use influencers to start chatting up your brand to their networks and giving you the type of exposure that’ll position your practice as a leader in your local field.
Before you can start influencer marketing, you have to understand what it is and who these people are.
Who is an Influencer?
Perhaps it’s easier to start with what an influencer is not.
Influencer marketing is not word-of-mouth marketing. Although influencers often use word-of-mouth as a medium to spread your practice’s message, it’s more advanced than asking people to talk about your brand.
Influencers are inspired to share your practice’s message through strategic campaigns, or as a result of your office’s displays of appreciation. In retail, or non-healthcare industries, influencers are often the thought leaders in a field. This isn’t quite the same in the dental industry. Instead, influencers are people already revered as authorities or leaders in your community. They can refer dozens (if not hundreds) of people to your practice because their message carries a little extra weight.
The campaigns done during influencer marketing tend to be more focused. You decide the message you want to distribute and the specific people you want to have distribute it, then you set them loose to share about your dentistry to their network.
Who Are Your Practice’s Influencers?
It’s that last part that’s a little bit tricky. How do you find the right people? Who are your practice’s influencers? There are four places you can look: your team, your community, your existing patients and even your advertisers
How to Find Influencers in Your Practice
Perhaps the easiest place to start is in your own practice. Your team is hungry to grow. They have a vested interest in your success. Better yet, they’re already in your local network so you know they have reach in your immediate surroundings.
Although they’re excited about your growth potential, they might not consider sharing your marketing message with their network. This can change with a simple ask. Set the expectation in your office to help share your content on social media and with their immediate connections.
You can also look to your patients. People who have great affiliations within their industry and organization and are strong connections for your dental business. Look for the person who is a PTA member, school teacher, fireman, member of a country club, etc. Take a look at your patient referral report and see who has been sending you the most referrals. These are the people who already love you and know how to refer you new patients.
How to Find Influencers in Your Community
Within your community are leaders and advocates. There are healthcare professionals who align with your services and refer patients to you already. There are schools who regularly host wellness fairs to promote healthy living. There are politicians and other local authorities who are only too happy to share the message of well being. And there are business leaders who frequent popular events for charities, or regularly attend country club and golf outings. These are the people who can help steer new patients in your direction.
Look over your local Chamber of Commerce page, search Facebook business pages/groups and put together a list of the businesses whose voice resonates with the message your brand is trying to spread. Then, talk to these people and forge relationships.
Give community influencers the content they need to help their network. The easier you make it for them to share your message, the more likely it is that community leaders will talk up your practice and refer you local patients.
Harnessing Your Advertisers
One of places people tap into the least is with advertisers.
You’re already working with a media outlet (or outlets) to promote your business. Within these outlets are journalists and people looking for the next big story. Give it to them by talking about the things your practice is doing for the community.
It’s important to note here that although you work with advertisers to promote your message, you aren’t trying to get them to talk about how great you are in their next news story. Instead, you want to be seen as an authority in the local dental market so that they come to you when a story breaks. These stories can be about the latest research findings or dangers consumers must be aware of. Guide the media to these stories and you’ll get your opportunity to take the local stage.
Is Influencer Marketing Right for Your Dentistry?
Influencer marketing is right for just about any dental office. If you have a clear story you want to tell, and if you want to position your practice as a leader in the local market, you must have the support of local influencers. Talk to your team, forge relationships within the community, and talk to your advertisers to start spreading your marketing message.