What comes to mind when you hear the phrase "brand authority"? It's a popular phrase you will hear when discussing dental marketing that is cast in the light as a cure-all for your advertising woes.
While it's true that having brand authority is desirable for your dental practice, if you don't understand its core concepts and how to apply them to your business, it's simply jargon.
The concept of brand authority boils down to a basic understanding of what we understand about a brand in concrete form. It's a perception of your dental practice's expertise within its industry or specialty. If your dental team is treated as experts in orthodontics by the general public, your clinic would have brand authority.
It's important to understand you can't declare this status independently. You must earn it through the trust and good reputation your patients and community confer on your practice. However, you can influence this opinion of your organization through demonstrated action over time.
Brand authority is all about earning your patients' trust by proving your dental knowledge and care are of the best quality. This means those who come to you for oral healthcare know their hard-earned money is well spent at your office.
Now that you have a better understanding of what brand authority is and why you need it, let's explore the steps involved to develop it for your dental practice:
To better define your brand, you need to have a clear picture of your competition and what you bring to the playing field. Market research can be invaluable for this phase of developing brand authority for your dental practice.
There are two primary areas to analyze:
Who is your ideal patient? First, you need to consider their demographics, like age, income, occupation, dental care, and lifestyle behaviors. These details can help you create a buyer persona to better understand what gets them engaged with your dental practice when it comes to oral healthcare products and services.
Competitor analysis is the next step of the analysis process. Evaluate other companies that provide dental services in your specific niche. You need to figure out what areas of their marketing strategy work the best for their offices and what isn't. Also, take note of any design elements that may be supporting or hurting their branding. Dental practices with large patient bases are a great place to begin your research.
If you had to pick five adjectives that currently describe your dental brand, what would they be? Do you feel it's accurate, or is there a different personality you want to pursue when you look at this list? It's essential you determine this aspect of your business early in this development phase.
You need to also figure out what niche or specialty you belong to. After all, you won't always be appealing to every patient who finds your dental office. To brand your clinic effectively, you need to narrow down this aspect of your business because it will make it easier to create your story.
A brand story shares your dental practice's core values and its mission statement with your audience. These two elements will help your office connect with current and prospective patients who share similar ideas as you when it comes to their oral health.
If you aren't sure where to start with this phase, keep your primary focus on your dental practice's values and primary focus. Everything else will naturally flow from this starting point. While completing this exercise, keep in mind what services, treatments, and patient care options make your brand different from other offices in your area.
The values, purpose, and unique characteristics you decide on will be a consistent aspect of your brand that your patients will see in everything you do.
This step may not apply to everyone reading this article. But, if you're a new oral healthcare startup, the name you choose for your brand should convey your personality and support your credibility from the moment someone hears it.
Keep your dental practice name concise so that patients can easily remember and recognize it. However, keep the future in mind. Should your operations expand by adding a partner or additional branch offices, will your name remain the same? If possible, pick a nearly future-proof moniker, meaning you can add on to it as necessary.
For example, Piedmont Family Dentistry can become Piedmont Family Dentistry and Orthodontics when adding a specialty. You can go for less specific wording by using descriptive nouns and adjectives to describe what services you're recognized for, such as Smiles, Inc. Brand names made up of just a few words should evoke a clear idea of what your dental company is all about.
Before printing up your business cards and sending off a weekly mailer request to be printed and mailed, research your name thoroughly. You can go to your secretary of state online and search a business database to ensure your dental practice has an original title.
You should also do searches on Google and Yelp just to double-check there isn't someone already using the name you created.
You don't necessarily need music to go with your slogan, but not using one for your dental office is a lost opportunity to have a brand asset that helps current and potential patients relate to your dental business.
Don't let it worry you if you can't come up with a slogan on your own. You can always check out other services in your area by researching popular hashtags and slogans on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Or, you can consult with dental marketing agencies like Adit, which has experience helping dental practices create their brand identities and logo development.
The visual you create to represent your dental company when developing brand authority is equally important. Visual language involves more than just your language but your company's look and feel to patients and the public. So, when designing your website, newsletters, and even social media ads and blogs, you need a consistent appearance across all your assets.
One of the best investments you can make in developing your brand's style is to create a style guide. This documentation will outline design expectations to keep your dental office's visual language consistent across different forms of collateral.
Typically, the foundation of a style guide will cover at least the following five elements:
Your dental logo serves as more than a reminder of your company's name. It is a snapshot of your brand's visual style and values. All the elements you choose to represent your business visually should be incorporated into your logo. Your logo will be cohesive with the other assets that your patients interact with, from its color scheme to typography.
A dental brand's chosen color scheme usually consists of anywhere from five to eight colors. These will be used to generate a heightened brand awareness that will instantly remind patients and competitors of your dental practice and its authority.
When choosing the perfect color palette for your brand, make sure they are psychologically appealing and support your personality. For example, if your dental organization specializes in pediatric dentistry and promotes miles of smiles, you probably want to use primary colors in calming patterns. This scheme innately appeals to children's sense of service, caring for their feelings, interests, and breeds trust.
You should also consider colors most commonly associated with your industry or dental specialty. For example, hospitals often have blends of white and blue to indicate cleanliness and trust. Dental offices frequently include green to indicate well-being.
While you might assume that any picture with a bright, healthy smile is appropriate for your website, ad campaigns, or email newsletter--think again! The subjects in any photographs or videos you include need to represent your buyer's persona.
If you serve a diverse community, you want to ensure your models are also diversified. Photos need to be relatable to the viewer to be most effective.
This same principle applies to any infographics you post, videos you upload, and even the type of button styles used on your web pages. Every visual aspect of your content should represent your brand through color schemes, fonts, media, layout design, etc.
Fonts are a lot of fun when creating infographics, sales brochures, and ads for your dental office. However, the typography you choose will directly reflect your brand. You want to select a few typeface options that create a unique look that will instantly remind the reader of your company.
Try to ensure the font styles you choose are:
Most fonts are copyrighted, though there are some no-cost options available. However, it may be best to go ahead and purchase a few use licenses so you won't have to worry about infringing on the artist's intellectual property rights.
As you can see, creating a style guide can answer many questions about what visual language should be used when creating collateral for your dental firm. However, you can also include elements, such as a mission or vision statement, in this documentation.
Your guide will serve as the foundation for your company to build its brand image and ensure consistency and on-message design choices.
With your visuals determined, the next step in developing your dental brand authority is to give it a voice. This is how your company should communicate with your audience. From phone conversations with patients to your website's content, your voice needs to use a consistent tone and personality in every form of communication.
For example, if you want your brand to be cheerful, optimistic, hopeful, and professional, you will use compassionate, empathetic, and professional language. You won't focus on the negative aspects of care but instead, emphasize the positive outcomes your patients can look forward to after receiving dental care at your office.
Brand authority requires consistent messaging and appearance across every aspect of the company's image and actions. Ensuring your dental team and any third parties you rely on for marketing services should adhere to your style guide. Consistent application of your brand's identifying characteristics will ensure your dental practice's voice is recognized far and wide.
With your brand style guide in hand, it's time to leverage it and build your dental practice's "authority." Local SEO and content will be your golden ticket to creating strong Google rankings to put your organization at the top of the list when potential patients look for a dentist offering your services in their area.
However, this effort is like running a marathon. You can't win the race overnight because trust and loyalty take time to earn, no matter how much of an expert you are in your industry. The following steps provide a brief overview of best dental practices to create successful content marketing strategies to develop brand authority for your practice.
Content marketing involves more than using keywords in your blogs, ad campaigns, newsletters, and social media posts on Facebook. You need a strategy that has measurable goals to keep you on track and helps you avoid common by:
Without a plan, one of the first mistakes that dentists make when building their brand's authority is inconsistency. You run a busy dental practice, so how do you have time to generate on-brand content? Marketing strategies can make all the difference and help you determine what additional support you need to succeed.
One of the reasons dental companies earn brand authority is because they are eager to educate. Sharing your expert knowledge is essential to building a strong relationship with your patients and the communities you serve. However, you want to avoid sounding pushy or as if you have an agenda that doesn't treat their well-being as a top priority.
When publishing content to educate your existing and prospective patients, try to do the following when sharing on social media or your blogs:
As a dentist, you probably have a long list of peers you still consult with and look forward to seeing every year at your favorite annual oral health conference. However, you should also seek industry and community peers. Share their content on your newsfeed, regularly interact with the patients in the area your office is located, and continue increasing your professional network.
Renewing some of your focus on building your brand presence within the communities your patients reside will provide a source of relevant content to boost your authority in the public eye. You can also hop into discussions and interact with patients directly on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter..
These options and more are vital to a successful brand authority campaign strategy.
When patients use search engines for information regarding their dental health, they don't always use one or two-word phrases. Additionally, you don't always need to stick to short two-page blog posts that don't give an in-depth analysis of specific oral health topics. Long-form content allows you to put your dental industry expertise on display and thoroughly explore relevant issues.
Long-tail keywords will play a pivotal role in converting new patients because these phrases are highly specific and typically used by individuals ready to book their dental appointment. These longer content pieces must be of the highest quality. No one wants to read a bunch of fluff that doesn't offer the level of information needed to decide.
Authority building requires a narrow focus on a few primary topics that your expertise can show the most. Writing about several oral health categories may be tempting, but it's best to explore only a couple. You can still share interesting facts and day-to-day news on social media, but ideally, what you publish could act as pillar pages.
These pages are high-level content pieces that provide an overview of your primary topic but have additional links to other articles you've written covering crucial sub-points. This is one of the most effective methods to create brand authority to improve your Google ranking.
Your brand is every bit as important as your local SEO and online marketing strategy. Brand authority takes your dental company to the next level and encourages stronger trust and loyalty from your patients. Reinforcing your brand's style, voice, values, and personality in every aspect of its communication with patients and the community it serves will boost your advertising ROI.
The first step to brand authority requires analyzing your dental practice's goals and ideals, determining your buyer persona's characteristics, and planning your content strategy to build up the public perception of your expertise as a dentist.
Adit practice management software provides valuable insight into patient behaviors, treatment trends, and demographics. Our digital marketing experts and technological innovators have extensive experience supporting dental organizations like your own .
Our proven track record shows we know what it takes to convert your patients into booked appointments and keep them returning to your practice for care. From white papers to Google Ads and web development to seamless integrations, we have you covered.
Request a free demo to explore the many practice management and marketing support features that will further increase your brand authority and help you achieve your business goals.
After spending 10 years helping dentists grow their practices, Ali witnessed the time and money dentists were wasting on outdated, fragmented technology that negatively impacted sustainable growth and the overall patient experience. So he developed Adit - a user-friendly SaaS platform that centralizes everything a practice needs to operate and simplifies the business of dentistry so doctors can get back to the medicine.
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