News From The Wealthy Dentist #38: March 28, 2007
by Jim Du Molin
Dental Marketing with Website Video
It doesn’t take a marketing genius to see that online videos are the next big thing. Video clips are rapidly becoming part of the dentist’s marketing toolbox. Videos personalize your website and increase the conversion rate of visitors to
appointment requests. Do they work? Absolutely! Is it expensive? Not anymore. Is it easy? Relatively.
We are all part of the video generation. We’ve grown up with an average of 2.3 televisions in our homes. Our culture idolizes the people we see on video. Done properly, videos give prospective patients visiting your website a sense of your personality and credibility. It helps you gain their trust, and the medium extends a sense of authority and “celebrity” to the doctor. All of this contributes to our ultimate marketing goal: converting the internet visitor to
an appointment request.
The cost of producing a web video is negligible relative to your return on investment. One additional new cosmetic, implant, ortho or sedation patient is easily worth $3,000 to $10,000 or more in net contribution to your bottom line.
We suggest you use a professional local videographer. These are the same people who record weddings and bar mitzvahs. For $700 to $900, they come to your office or home for two to four hours with all the right lighting, audio equipment and a digital video camera. The bottom line here is that they will make you look good.
To find the right person, just go online and search for “professional videographer” along with your city and state. Pick three and ask each for a bid. Don’t try to squeeze this into your dental schedule between patients! You are going to want to schedule half a day in a quiet location.
Alternatively, you can roll your own. Almost every dental family has a digital video camera these days. Most cameras come with simple editing software, but if you use our guidelines you won’t need to get your resident teenager too involved with any more than pointing the camera and some simple editing.
The reason we strongly suggest using a professional is to get the lighting, background and the audio right. These technical issues often take up more time than the actual video shoot. If you’re recording the video yourself, you’re
going to need to be aware of a number of issues – here are my guidelines to give you a hand.
DV AVI is what we generally suggest. This format comes directly from your digital video camera. After shooting your video clips you just connect your camera to your computer and transfer the video file. A video clip with the DV
AVI format can be transferred endlessly between camera and computer without losing any quality.
When your clips are on your computer you can edit them with the simple video editing software that came with your camera. (Yes, you may need a teenager for this!) Once you have the vid eo clips the way you want them, convert them to Flash format for web playback and post them to your website. You may need some simple Flash viewer playback software for this, but it can generally be found online for little or no charge.
If you are using a videographer, he or she can usually edit your clips for you, convert them to the Flash format and maybe even post them to your website. If not, give your clips to your webmaster for posting to your website. Make sure that all editing and file conversion costs are included in your price estimate
from your videographer.
Individual video clips should be no longer than 20–25 seconds in length. From a marketing point of view, you want to keep your message short. Remember, your audience is used to 15- to 30-second commercials. They have a very short
attention span, plus (remember this!) they don’t have your passion for dentistry. Furthermore, not everyone has a high-speed broadband internet connection – if they’re on a dial-up modem, they’ll be long gone before your video ever loads and plays.
Fade-ins and Fade-outs
We suggest your clips should NOT have fade-ins at the beginning or fade-outs at the end. When taping, you should hold a 2-3 second pose at the start of your video clip and also hold a 2-3 second pose at the end of your of your clip. This
means your website visitor sees your smiling face while the video loads, and the clip ends with a smile that stays on the screen. Holding a short pose will allow your videographer or webmaster to do the proper editing.
Stay tuned next week for the second of this two-part series. I’ll have more tips for you on shooting your video – including lighting, audio, and background – as well as examples of some successful dentist videos.
If you are looking for an affordable turnkey solution to Internet dental marketing, call our support team at (888) 476-4886 or
Jim Du Molin
Survey: Dental Hygienists
In this poll, we asked dentists: Do you support expanding the role of dental hygienists as independent practitioners?
Four out of five dentists don’t think hygienists should have greater independence. A full 81% of dentists responded, “No – many of these proposed changes would harm dental practices and offer patients a lower standard of care.” Only 19% replied, “Yes – Granting dental hygienists greater autonomy would improve access to care for patients across the country.”
The most significant factor in determining a dentist’s vote was geographic location. Rural dentists were four times more likely than their urban or suburban colleagues to support greater independence for hygienists. As rural areas are more likely to suffer from a shortage of dentists, it may be that rural dentists see hygienists as a way to improve access to care for rural patients.
Specialists were completely (100%) opposed to granting hygienists more independence. While most general dentists were in agreement, one in five general dentists (21%) did favor greater rights for dental hygienists.
Here are some of the comments our dentists had to share:
- “If hygienists want to practice dentistry, go to dental school.” (suburban
- “My concern is the insurance industry will find it easy to set up hygiene
clinics that promote minimal care, not optimal.” (urban North Carolina)
- “We have it in Colorado and it has had absolutely no impact. Hygienists are not
the autonomous entrepreneurial sort.” (urban Colorado)
- “It will reduce dentists’ income.” (rural Indiana)
- “In my 35 years as a hygienist… I see many more people who have health care
needs, not fewer people.” (Hygienist, suburban Texas)
Dentist Finds Cancer in Coach’s Mouth
Butch Davis, football coach for the University of North Carolina, received a huge shock after a visit to his dentist last month: a cancer diagnosis! Davis, 55, had no idea anything was wrong until his dentist discovered an unusual growth during a routine cleaning. The dentist removed the growth, and biopsy results showed it was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Though tests suggest the cancer has not spread, the coach is undergoing chemotherapy just in case. “Honestly, I am fine,” he told reporters. “I want the focus of this spring to be about this team. I have every intention of being the coach here for a long time and after we talk about it today, then I really don’t want to talk about it any more.”
Davis coached the University of Miami from 1995-2000, going 51-20 during his tenure there. He went on to coach the Cleveland Browns before joining North Carolina in November.
A few months ago, James Brown’s dentist was the one who told the singer to get himself to a hospital during his fatal bout with pneumonia. Research is constantly discovering ways dental professionals can test for cancer, osteoporosis, and other diseases. These important advancements (and the press that surrounds them) highlight the dentist’s role in a patient’s total health.
British Hope To Open Online Dental School
One of the greatest threats to the UK’s National Health Service is a critical shortage of trained doctors in general – and dentists in particular. In response, the University of Portsmouth has announced an ambitious plan to build an online dental school.
Like much of the country, the Portsmouth area is suffering from a serious shortage of dentists. Within the past year, at least 33 local dentists have quit. Of the area’s 63 dental practices, only three are accepting new patients. “It’s a fantastic, innovative idea. Anything that makes teaching more accessible has got to be a good thing,” said the chairman of the British Dental Association. “My only concern is that about the practical side of learning. That is very important. We can’t train dentists solely over the internet so this project will have to be backed up with hands-on experience.”
Though the university already offers dental education courses, the new school would expand not just the student base but also the dental topics covered. Specialist professors plan to offer training in areas such a dental radiology,
oral medicine and pathology. University officials hope the online school could eventually become international in scope, giving dental students across the world access to top-notch specialist education.
The real question we in North America should be asking is: What are OUR dental schools doing to use the Internet to meet the critical shortage of dentists in rural states and provinces?
Amish Fake Dentist Pulled Out All of Teenager’s Teeth
People charged with practicing dentistry without a license are often immigrants
who worked as dentists in their country of origin. But the US has home-grown
fake dentists too – like 39-year-old Joseph Hershberger of Fredericksburg,
Pennsylvania. The Old Order Amish man was convicted of illegal drug possession
and is now facing misdemeanor charges of practicing dentistry without a license.
Hershberger received a 90-day suspended sentence for possession of lidocaine.
His sentence was far more lenient than the 12 months he was facing due to his
cooperation with authorities. He voluntarily turned over syringes and his supply
of lidocaine, and also named the individual who had provided him with the drug. (The alleged supplier is now under investigation.) Hershberger faces up to 180 days for practicing without a license.
Authorities began to look into Hershberger one year ago when a 14-year-old girl he had treated required hospital treatment for bleeding gums. The investigation revealed a troubling situation: Hershberger had pulled out all of the teenager’s healthy teeth because she wanted to have dentures like her older sister. “I can’t understand why anyone would pull all the teeth of a 14-year-old girl,” said the judge in this case. “I have no doubt you had parental consent (but) that’s beyond the law. That’s something that’s hard for a judge to understand.”