At ProspectaMarketing, we specialize in providing wide-reaching, impactful digital marketing for dental practices. One of the core tenets our blogging, local listing, and SEO specialists all share is an affinity for creative solutions. This is why today, we will be covering the power of storytelling in dental marketing!

Robert McKee, creative writing instructor and author of the bestseller Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, claims that “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” So, how can you apply this? Is this advice even helpful for a dental practice looking for a viable online brand strategy?

Of course it is! After all, what is marketing if not a transmission of ideas? What is it, if not short-form storytelling? Every time a patient sees an ad, whether it be on television, online, or in a magazine, they are responding to a micro-story, complete with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

But what about the other part of the question? How do you apply it? In order to fully grasp this, it is crucial to understand the potential of dentistry specifically as a storytelling medium. After all, how many of our outreach efforts begin with hypothetic anecdotes?

“If you have ever suffered a traumatic accident that knocked a tooth loose, you’re not alone! Visit our practice for a host of restorative dentistry options that can fix your smile in no time!” or “Do you find that your social life is suffering from yellowing teeth? Come to our practice for whitening services and regain your confidence!” Right there, we have solid story structure!

We begin with a potentially dangerous and inciting incident, like a bad fall or a social faux pas, transition to a journey, as seen in the request to visit our practice, and eventually arrive at the conclusion; a happy patient with perfect teeth!

By adhering to basic story structure, you can craft engaging ads, blog posts, marketing copy, and even brand social media updates! It applies to all avenues of digital marketing. Our team has put together a basic primer of marketing avenues that could be improved through engaging storytelling. Check it out below!

Marketing Options Where Storytelling Shines

  • Blogging: This is the most obvious option, but blogs are perfectly set up for story structure. They consist of large swaths of text and one or two associated images. This wealth of space provides an opportunity for a dental practice to really expand on an idea. Try starting a blog post with a quote (like we did) and see where the story takes you. Or begin with an anecdote based on a patient’s experiences. Just remember to omit personal or identifying information. Whatever your choice, make sure your micro-story has an introduction, a transition, and a conclusion. The three act format has worked for years to convey change, and in the end, this is what we want. Our patients are living with a specific situation – whether it be yellowing teeth or jaw issues – and our job is to encourage them to change this situation through effort. Thus, a structure wherein a problem is presented, discussed, then fixed, fits perfectly as a persuasive technique.
  • Advertising: Whether you’re getting your image out there through local listings, online ads, word of mouth, or a combination of all three, storytelling is a crucial part of your advertising efforts. Unlike a blog, most advertising avenues don’t actually give you a ton of space. In this case, we recommend compressing the story structure to one or two sentences. Practice condensing complex concepts to their core ideas. For example, if you want a patient to come in for TMJ pain, you can write marketing copy to the tune of: “Suffer from jaw pain? An oral appliance can set you free!” Here, the intro is condensed, but still presents the conflict, the transitionary section is almost nonexistent and consists of only the identification of the oral appliance, and the solution is a breezy, catchy “set you free.” And yet, the story structure still draws your attention to the situation, transitions to a new phase, and provides a satisfying conclusion!
  • Website Copy: A website consists of a whole group of stories, and the way you write your copy should adhere to the same storytelling standards we’ve been referring to so far. Your home page should have an easily visible title, tagline, and high quality image. This trio of elements serves as your introduction, ensuring your patients know who you are and what you’re about. Your transitionary elements – ie, the second stage of story structure – consist of call outs and links, so ensure they are attractive and contain short, punchy keywords that will both attract readers and Google index bots. Your conclusion consists of the patient landing on a desired service page, then navigating to the appointment button. However, when they land on the aforementioned page, there must be a story there, too! To clarify, your website is your overall story, but your individual pages should tell their own stories as well. There’s nothing more damaging to site authority than a link that leads to a paltry amount of information – except maybe one that leads to an error page!

At ProspectaMarketing, we encourage all dental practices to consider how basic storytelling structure can improve their marketing outreach. If you are a dental practice looking for experienced marketing specialists that can spin your yarn of dental success, ProspectaMarketing can help!  We are an experienced Internet marketing firm specializing in dental practices and the tools of Internet marketing. We help you reach key prospects who are looking for what your practice has to offer. Our unique and thorough approach provides visibility, financial accountability, and ongoing refinement and improvement. You can find out more by contacting Lane Anderson toll-free at 1-877-322-4440 Ext 101, by email using the form on our Contact Us page, or online at ProspectaMarketing.com.