For those in the dental industry, it may sometimes feel impossible to keep up with the ever-growing marketing tool kit provided by social media.
There are, today, so many ways to go about promoting your dental clinic, and while you may have many of the general strategies down, Facebook marketing, Instagram marketing, Youtube marketing, it becomes more unclear when we boil down to the intricacies of each platform and their direct usage.
One such intricate outlet is Instagram stories.
Sure we all know how to build our businesses by running ads on Instagram and by posting beautifully shot content with calls to action but the Instagram story feature differs in a way because it’s more like Snapchat.
What can we do with that?
Well, in order to pin-point what we can do with Instagram stories, let’s start with analysing the shortcomings (and also some strengths) of marketing via Instagram at its base.
Marketing your dental clinic using ‘general’ Instagram
- Frequency – the first problem with marketing your dental clinic or any business for that matter on Instagram is frequency.
You can’t build a bond with your audience using Instagram as well as on any other social platform because of the limitations Instagram applies to posting.
Typically, when you post on Instagram, there is an unspoken daily limit of about one post.
Beyond that, your followers may just become annoyed with you. Under this parameter, it makes it hard to build a bond with your audience which is essential to your business, especially if the one post you make on the daily is related more to business selling than anything.
It takes beyond several hours of exposure to make a true fan of your business. Given that your only tools are one-minute videos and picture posts which will be viewed for only a matter of seconds per day, Instagram at its base, just won’t work
- Process – another problem with normal Instagram posting is the process. It takes so many extra steps to get someone to view an offer or landing page presented by your business
Funnelling someone into your process becomes a hassle when the only way to do that is by frequently captioning ‘link in bio’.
However, if you reach 10,000 followers, you are rewarded the privilege of directing people to any external web link from your post, but this can take months if not years to organically reach 10,000 followers
- Form and function – the final drawback of Instagramming beyond stories is form and function.
What I’m trying to describe here is this; so often lots of effort is expected to be placed into Instagram posts. People expect brands to put lots of time and resources into putting out the most quality images in order to make it seem like their businesses are reputable and cool.
But, while there’s tonnes invested into each post, including the long captions attached, there is very little long-term engagement from these type of posts that people require.
Branding in the modern era is all about making the audience feel a personal connection and feel as if they are part of a mass.
They want constant exposure and to feel like they know the individuals behind a product or business on a personal level.
The knowing, liking and trusting aspect that creates long-term returns can be created using Instagram, but the process is stunted due to the limited nature of Instagram posting.
People are captivated through stories and just constant human-to-human interaction. In the modern era, platforms such as Instagram are equivalent to reality TV shows and should be carried as such.
This is most easily done through the Instagram story feature. Instagram stories make it easier to reach the audience of your dental clinic frequently and convert them into customers by building bonds.
Ways to market your dental clinic using Instagram stories
- Behind-the-scenes – by far the most important thing Instagram stories will allow your business to do is post, as frequently as you desire, the small, trivial things that happen through your day.
It’s the small things that contribute to the strongest bonds between a business or business owner and its customer base.
It’s like Keeping Up With The Kardashians, fans are made of a business the more they feel involved and ‘in the know’ about a business.
The stories told through each day provides each viewer with further reasoning to view the next day as western society is obsessed with closure, and two builds upon the knowing, liking and trusting dynamic, which furthers interaction with the business.
The owner of a dental clinic could show anything in their story and it would make sense. They can show the literal behind-the-scenes of their business or they could show their own day to day lives.
- Tutorials – the best way to build a bond with people who will come into your dental clinic is by demonstrating your services can make a difference in their lives.
The best way to demonstrate this is to actually do so by education. To strengthen your bond with the audience of your dental clinic, first and foremost it is effective to post tutorials of things your audience can do at home themselves.
People want results in advance. Things can include daily DIYs, tips and hacks on teeth whitening or breath freshening or anything else in between
- Social proof – another way to strengthen the bond between you and the customers of your dental clinic is to demonstrate that you’ve helped people like them.
This can be done by frequently posting in the stories customer testimonials and reviews that come in every day.
Say, for example, a previous customer posts a before and after picture of the results yielded by their braces.
Reposting a few of these on your story every day could influence someone to partake in the journey themselves
- Special offers – a way to get a quick and strong influx of customers that isn’t available through normal posting is by posting special offers, deals and limited time products straight to your clinic’s story.
This can even be followed by a stream of testimonials. The reason this is effective is because, whereas on a regular post, a call to action to the bio is the only option during your early stage, Instagram allows story viewers to simply swipe up and they will be taken to your business’s landing page where they can receive your special offer without all the extra steps.
Maybe your clinic can offer teeth whitening kits or something of the sort where your audience can swipe up and purchase them directly from the business’s site
- Polls – to better define and improve the accuracy of your services as a dental clinic, the polls within the Instagram story feature can be employed.
Polls make it easier to quickly A/B split test your business’s products and services and gain customer’s insights by quickly getting to the core of what they actually want
- Feedback – your audience’s pains, desires and everything in between can be better defined using Instagram stories ‘question and answer’ feature.
That’s a feature that allows your followers to ask you anything. Gathering the results, a plan to better service your audience could more easily be employed.
It’s the combination of these six things that really does it. The power in using Instagram stories, if anything, is latent in the ability to post about anything and frequently as possible and have it make sense and bring in positive engagement.
This factor is only exponentiated by the fact that there are as many tools as the ones listed above.
The frequently posted content is only made better by the ability to string in an offer which has no hassle to receive, the ability to collect feedback and test different angles, one against the other, the ability to inject in social proof and testimonials and so much more.
It all comes together in a kaleidoscope of opportunities to reach out, facilitate sales, and build up the strongest of bonds.