31 Powerful Image Marketing Ideas For Your Dental Practice

We live in the age where literally everyone has a camera in their back pocket or purse.  There are over 2.5 BILLION camera phones currently in use.  What does this mean to you as a business owner?  It means that photos are becoming the universal language.  Social networking with images is the fastest growing marketing strategy of all time.  Every business needs to get on board with this and your dental practice is no exception.  

Why are Images Such a Powerful Marketing Strategy?

Articles with images get 94% more total views. Studies have shown that customers think that the quality of a product's image is more important than the product itself.  People are not searching the yellow pages anymore, they go to Google, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to see if your business is one they can get to know, like and trust.  This is a game changer for marketing and the dental industry is slow to catch the trend.  

Dentists require a different marketing strategy than most other industries. Retail stores, software companies, restaurants and other industries have to convince people that what they’re selling is worth their money—even if it’s something they don’t need. Dentists, on the other hand, don’t need to convince people they need to get their teeth and gums checked. Everyone knows they need to visit the dentist.

Most dentists face the challenge of simply getting people to choose them, then get them to remember to schedule their appointments.  There is also a general anxiety associated with visiting the dentist that needs to also be overcome.

Ultimately, it comes down to building trust and earning a patient’s confidence.  Social media marketing through images is the BEST way to build relationships with your audience.  Use the following techniques to help your patients like you and feel more comfortable with you BEFORE they even step foot into your office!  Remove some of the negative feelings about the dentist through humor and light-hearted social media content.  You are not selling dentistry, as everyone knows they need to see the dentist.  You are selling YOU and you do that by selling confidence, trust, and above all a good experience.

31 Ways to Market Your Business with Pictures

1.  Videos.  Videos are a key to marketing success.  People want to see behind the scenes, and they want to get to know their dentist and the staff at your office.  This is key in building relationships, likeability and trust.  Here are some examples of a simple, low budget videos you could easily create.  

2.  Infographics. The brain processes visual content  60,000 times faster than it does text. (source). Infographics are a great way to convey complex information in a simple and concise way. Infographics are "liked" and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content. (Source). People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations. (Source).  High quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles. The words “infographic” and “infographics” are searched an average of 547,000 times per month in Google. Content incorporating color into the design has been shown to increase reader attention span by up to 82%. Post them in your blog, on your social media accounts and finally on Pinterest.

3. Events.  Anytime you host an event, sponsor an event, attend a relevant event...let your clients and potential clients know by hiring a photographer or a staff member with a DSLR to take pictures.  Don't waste these opportunities for marketing not just during the event and immediately after, but those photos (if high quality and well done) can be used for posts and articles down the road. 

4. Memes.  A little humor can go a long way to show your customers that you are more than just a teeth cleaning machine.  Funny and entertaining Memes are also more likely to be shared and get engagement, which is great for growing your social media following and building relationships.

5. Testimonials. Everyone looks for and acts on (even if subconsciously) social proof in most areas in life, but purchasing decisions even more so.  It doesn’t matter if that social proof comes from friends or strangers. What matters is that they see evidence from others that the decision they are about to make is the right one.  The benefit of testimonials as opposed to reviews is that you can curate and actively select the testimonials you share online.  How does this apply to a visual platform of social media? You can use videos, an image of the client, or even use canva to create a more appealing imagery of the text.

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people conform to the actions of others under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behavior.
— OptinMonster, co-founded by Syed Balkhi

6. Customer Photos.  You can use these customer photos to go with your testimonials, or to welcome new clients, again social proof and adding a level of trust and familiarity to your whole practice.

7. Staff Photos.  People want to see who they are working with and who will be cleaning their teeth and welcoming them to the office.  Again, this goes back to building relationships with your whole practice.  You want coming to the dentist to be a comfortable, friendly experience.  That is more likely to happen when people have relationships with members of your team. 

8. Get to know your dentist photos.  Include photos of yourself in a variety of situations.  Include personal enough information to connect with your clients while still remaining professional.

9. Sponsored sports teams.  Many dental practices sponsor teams, or provide community support.  Be sure and take pictures of these things (attend a game or two even) so that you can post on your social media accounts.  These will be shared

10.  Community Service.  Volunteering in the community as a dental team not only gives your staff members a chance to bond with each other, but it also lets you interact with patients and potential patients on a more personal level.  There are dozens upon dozens of opportunities to participate in service within your community.  The important thing here is that you designate a staff member with a DSLR or hire a photogorapher to document the event.  Use these images in current social media stories, but also as stock photos for future events and fill in social media and blog posts.

11.  Team Member news.  Share an image of a member of your staff and share their news.  Did they just have a baby?  Did their oldest child just graduate from college? Maybe someone just finished a marathon.  Take pictures and share. Build relationships!

12.  Team building activities. Potlucks, ice cream trucks, crafts, games, challenges, theme days...whatever it is you have chosen to do for your team building activities...make sure someone is capturing high quality images of this to post on all of your social media accounts.  People connect with people they like and people who are having fun are likeable!  The key is take (good, high quality, brand cohesive) pictures of things you are already doing and show the world!  This is authenticity at its finest. 

13. Before and After.  There is a psychology to Before and After photos that is effective in nearly any business strategy.  Dentists have many opportunities to utilize this strategy.  Here is a whole video from Derek Halpern from Social Triggers that sums up why this is such a valuable marketing and sales technique.

14.  New Client shout outs.  Start building relationships with your clients from day one.  Take a picture, make a sign or use one of these free downloadable ones from www.mysocialpractice.com.

15. Dental Health Tips.  Use www.canva.com or other image software programs to create brand specific dental health tips.  Keep your social media feed clean and not cluttered.  Make your tips look professional and match your brand and logo colors, etc.

16. Seasonal Activities, Parties, Recipes, News.  If your hours change during the holidays, post this (again, keep your feed clean and professional).  Have a holiday party for your staff? Take pictures and post (no pictures of your had-one-too-many dental hygienist of course, but of your team having a good time or of the venue for the party, etc.).  Holiday or seasonal recipes are always fun and any other relevant seasonal news, tips or updates are helpful for your audience and will be saved, shared and will get good engagement.

17. Dental Crafts and activities.  A quick Pinterest or Google search has hundreds of crafts or projects about teeth and brushing. Curate those for your social media feed, or have a contest in your office and take pictures of the kids working on their craft and post.

18.  Throwback Thursday pictures of dentists and staff. Help your followers get to know you and your team by having a Throwback Thursday Trivia.  Post a throw back picture of a member of your team and have everyone guess who it is.  Baby pictures, awkward teen/hair/etc. pictures are the best and always get great engagement!

19.  Scholarships and Contests and Giveaways.  Referral bonuses, movie tickets, gift cards for referrals, tags, shares, etc.

20.  Caption Contest.  Post a fun picture in your office of a pet, or member of staff or whatever and have everyone come up with the best caption.  Winner gets a $25 GC to a local restaurant.

21. Interview Clients.  This is great for video, or pictures.  Interview your target client so that the post attracts more of your target client.

22.  What services you offer. Do you do Invisilign? Wisdom teeth? In office sedation? Talk about this on social media!

23.  Recipes that include ingredients that are good for dental health. There are thousands of recipes and recipes with pictures get shares, comments and general engagement that is ALL good for your social media accounts.

24. Floss Race Video.  Have a Floss Off and video it and post the video or even better...do it LIVE on FB or Insta!

25.  Publications, Fellowships and awards. Tell your following what you are up to.  Show them why you are a dentist who cares about Continuing Education and what makes you stand out from the rest.

26. Have a "like challenge".  Post a picture of a member of your staff holding a sign saying "if this post gets ____ likes, I will dress like ____" or will dye their hair blue or whatever inspires you.

27. Birthday celebrations for Dr.'s or staff. Remember the whole idea behind social media marketing is to give a behind the scenes look at you and your practice.  Help your followers or potential followers get to know you and your staff and want to be a part of what you have.

28. What to expect when... Walk your patients or potential patients through a procedure.  This can be done via Instagram or Facebook Live, or you can do it through a series of images.  Help them see exactly what happens during an extraction, or a filling or a cleaning.

29. Show off a new piece of equipment in your office.  Most people who visit the dentist have no idea what all the different machines and tools in the office are for. Create an interesting and educational social media post by briefly explaining how a piece of dental technology helps you better serve patients. 

30. Create a two minute or less video tour of your office.  According to a study by Colgate, as many as 40 million people in the USA alone avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety. Show potential patients how welcoming and comfortable your practice is by taking them on a quick virtual tour. A great option here would be to do an Instagram Live or Facebook Live video tour of your office and rooms.

31. BE CONSISTENT. Whatever you decide to do and however you decide to approach your social media marketing campaign, stick with it. Attracting new patients and growing your practice via social media won't just happen on its own.  To be truly effective, you have to participate — and you have to be CONSISTENT in that participation.   Many businesses don’t see the immediate results from their social media efforts, or they start running out of post ideas, and they give up on it. 

Social Media Marketing can be fun.  If it is overwhelming, Delegate, Prioritize, and be Patient and you will eventually see the return on your time and effort invested. For more information on ways to build your Brand read here and Why Every Business Needs Professional Brand Photos here.