Marketing Ideas for Orthodontic Practices To Do Today!
Orthodontic practices flourish when they implement orthodontic marketing ideas and maintain a consistent presence on social media. Such initiatives augment visibility, boost engagement and ultimately, bolster conversion rates.
Over the years, we have partnered with hundreds of Orthodontic practices and gained significant insights into their digital marketing needs. Orthodontic practices stand to reap considerable benefits from digital marketing initiatives.
1) Improve Your Google Maps Ranking
Orthodontists eyeing high-value patients for treatments such as clear aligners or braces need to assess their current standings on Google Maps for relevant search phrases. Understanding your present rank paves the way for strategic improvement.
The key is your practices rankings on Google maps is your Google Business Profile (GBP). Many orthodontists overlook the fact that they can optimize their GBP to climb in the rankings. Google maps optimization depends on three aspects: Prominence, Distance, and Relevance.
Prominence has to do with how well your Orthodontic practice is recognized in your community. The primarily gauge that Google uses to measure this is through inbound links. For instance, a great inbound link for your Orthodontic practice would be to have a local colleague writing an article about your practice. When that article is published on your colleagues blog and if the post includes a link to your website or GBP listing, you’ll be the benefactor of a great link which will help with your prominence ranking.
Distance relates to the geolocation of your practice and where the person is searching from. A Google maps ranking report will help you understand location-based results by indicating your practice’s ranking for different locations.
Below is an example of a Google maps ranking report. Each of the colored dots indicates where this Orthodontic practice is ranking on the Google map when someone searches from that location.
Relevance, lastly, is the congruity between a patient’s search phrase and your GBP information. For instance, if a potential patient searches for “Invisalign near me,” but your GBP category and services do not mention Orthodontics or Invisalign, you may struggle to rank for orthodontic phrases. Thankfully, updating categories is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your relevance.
To find your GBP and begin optimizing for Orthodontic phrases watch this video tutorial. And, for those of you that want to go the extra mile in your Orthodontic optimization check out these ten steps to optimize your GBP listing.
2) Get on TikTok… Yesterday!
Social media ideas for Orthodontic marketing are an indispensable asset in your digital marketing arsenal. Time after time, social media strategies have proven themselves as invaluable tools for orthodontic practices to attract and retain patients. The hottest trend on the street in 2023 for Orthodontic social media marketing is TikTok. TikTok is a mobile video app that has taken the world by storm and you should pay attention because it’s one of the best online avenues for growing a social media following.
Orthodontic TikTok marketing is still in its infancy and most practices have not adopted a successful strategy. Setting up a TikTok account for your Orthodontic practice is simple and free. There is a simple advertising platform as well.
When TikTok orthodontic marketing is one great way to go viral and become more well known in your area. Being visible online is one thing, but it’s a different game altogether to be the chosen one. TikTok Orthodontic marketing is a crucial social-proof marketing tactic. When you boast a larger follower base on your TikTok account, you position yourself as a more qualified choice than your orthodontic competitors.
There’s no need for hesitation when it comes to getting started on TikTok; dive right in! Perfection is not the prerequisite here, rather it’s your sense of exploration and a team willing to engage with enthusiasm. Encountering a creative block? Don’t worry, our extensive guide to TikTok and Instagram reels is at your disposal, ready to inspire and invigorate your digital marketing journey.
3) Connect with Local Social Media Influencers
Tapping into the potential of local social media influencers is one of the most effective methods to attract new patients in your area. Instagram marketing for orthodontists thrives on creating a diverse range of engaging content, and weaving influencers into your content strategy adds a refreshing spin.
Influencers are individuals boasting a substantial social media following, typically no less than 1,000 followers. They lend their voice to promote products and brands while seamlessly blending these endorsements with their regular content. Though influencers with less than 10,000 followers fall into the category of “micro-influencers,” they prove to be highly beneficial if their followers comprise your local community. Indeed, orthodontic influencer marketing tends to outperform traditional advertising due to the trust and credibility these semi-public figures command among potential patients.
To connect with your desired demographic, opt for a local personality to serve as an orthodontic influencer for your practice. This influencer could be a current patient who wields influence in your community, such as a photographer, personal trainer, musician, or blogger. Approach them with a proposition to document their next orthodontic visit and tag your practice, or explore possibilities of partnering for a giveaway. In exchange, you could offer complimentary orthodontic services, discounted products, or other appealing incentives.
Ensure a smooth partnership by downloading our free Influencer Agreement Template before commencing your collaboration. This template will pave the way for your partnership, ensure compliance with HIPAA regulations, and document any discounts or promotional offerings agreed upon.
4) Host a Social Media Marketing Contest
Leveraging practice giveaways and orthodontic contest ideas present an engaging and effortless method to encourage both your team and patients to participate in your orthodontic social media initiatives.
There’s ample room to experiment creatively with orthodontic contests that advocate for healthy oral hygiene habits. Consider hosting a ‘Flossing Challenge’ as illustrated below. Such contests nudge your patients to commit to a 30-day flossing pledge. Upon acceptance of this challenge, encourage them to share their journey by snapping a quick photo, posting it to their personal social media account and tagging your Orthodontic practice. This not only reinforces good habits but also creates a dynamic, interactive platform for your practice’s marketing efforts.
5) Showcase Photos of Your Amazing Patients
You know how one great patient can brighten up everyone’s day? Why not share that sunshine online? Patient photos are a great way to highlight the human element in your practice, create shareable media, and help prospective patients feel at home, and excited about the benefits that treatment can give them. If you know you need more patient photos, but keep struggling to make it happen, here are some tips:
- Get your team on board with daily or weekly patient photos and make it a habit. You might even incentivize them if they need a push.
- Create a regular system around before and after comparisons that make both your team and your patients proud.
- Use your office layout to make it fun: have a photo corner with a great backdrop and props.
- Take advantage of silly moments.
- Get some social signs.
One more thing: Don’t forget about HIPAA compliance! You can ensure that you have all of your legal bases covered with our free social consent forms.
Showing interest in the lives of your patients and team members is a powerful way to build relationships. Without a doubt, those strong relationships are what allow your practice to thrive. Not only that, but you can also create great content for your social media pages!
As well as being a great place for promotions, social media can be used to show that you care for your patients’ well-being and that you enjoy working as a team. Use it to show patients that you’re ready and anxious to welcome new patients into your orthodontic practice family.
Undoubtedly, orthodontic social media provides a way for your practice to foster relationships in your local community. By following and liking posts from other local businesses, you stay connected and relevant. Remember, referral sources are relying on social media to provide social proof for your practice.
For children, and many adults, the idea of starting orthodontic treatment can be stressful and daunting. They may be nervous about the changes to their diet, speech, and appearance orthodontic appliances bring.
Ease patient anxiety and use these worries as an opportunity to go the extra mile for your patients. Take note and celebrate the beginning of orthodontic treatment with a photo, a goodie bag, or maybe even a gift certificate for a smoothie. Check out these free resources that make snapping and sharing HIPAA safe patient photos easy.
Share a “Patient of the Day” or “Team Member of the Day” post! Congratulate your team member on a recent accomplishment, or just express your appreciation for them. An important part of orthodontic marketing is simply staying connected on a personal level with your patients.
Some of the most effective posts in your orthodontic social media marketing will actually come from your patients, not from you. For one thing, it’s awesome when a patient snaps a photo at your practice. Apart from connecting with your, all of their friends online will see what a great experience they had with you.
Additionally, share their post on your own practice page and thank them for coming by. Patients starting orthodontic treatment will feel at ease seeing that other patients are having a great experience at your practice.
6) Improve Website Rankings with Technical SEO
The intricate technical elements of orthodontic website SEO often fly under the radar for many practitioners. However, Google’s perspective is quite different.
The search engine giant is vested in delivering an exceptional user experience. Consequently, a sluggish website, broken links, sub-par security, or lack of mobile optimization can result in lower search engine rankings. We’ve estimated technical SEO to be about 30-40% of the ranking algorithm. It’s vital to evaluate the technical proficiency of your website as an integral part of an orthodontic marketing strategy.
Monitor your website speed: The digital world is swift and impatient. Slow page loads often lead to high bounce rates, affecting your search rankings adversely. In an age where first impressions matter, a sluggish website is a deterrent. You have a mere three-second window before nearly half of your potential patients decide to navigate away.
Heighten your website’s security and maintain HIPAA compliance: In healthcare, the necessity for stringent security measures is paramount. A HIPAA non-compliant website puts both your practice and patients at risk of OCR fines. Full security, especially for contact forms, appointment requests, and online payments, is an unequivocal requirement for HIPAA compliance.
Ensure your orthodontic website is mobile-optimized: With a majority of searches being conducted on mobile devices, having a mobile-optimized website is indispensable. Google’s mobile-first indexing underscores this necessity, where lack of mobile optimization can lead to lower rankings.
Is your website SEO-friendly? SEO-optimized websites are a cornerstone of successful orthodontic practices.
7) Modern Aesthetic Orthodontic Website
Nearly every Orthodontist maintains a digital presence with a website, and many of these websites are aesthetically pleasing. However, given the specific demands of Orthodontic clientele, it is essential for these websites to be not only visually appealing but also technologically advanced and user-friendly. Patients seeking Orthodontic care anticipate a seamless, mobile-responsive experience when browsing such websites.
Additionally, while a captivating design and mobile optimization are crucial, Orthodontic websites must also adhere to stringent HIPAA guidelines and maintain technological proficiency. The lack of compliance among many Orthodontic websites is not indicative of negligence; rather, it arises from the intricate and detailed nature of HIPAA regulations. For instance, most contact and appointment forms falter in compliance due to the absence of end-to-end encryption. It’s imperative to understand that ePHI (Electronic Protected Health Information) demands encryption both at rest and in transit.
8) Elevate Your Marketing with Innovative Video Content
Despite your endeavors in creating compelling images and articles, without incorporating video marketing, you are merely glimpsing at the potential of online marketing for orthodontists. Nearly all social media algorithms favor video content and push it to the top of your followers feeds. If you’re wanting to get in front of more people you need to start shooting and sharing video content.
Orthodontic video content can be tailored and adapted to fit the unique requirements of each practice, adding depth to your digital marketing strategy. Here are some thought-starters:
- Develop brief informative videos: These could address frequently asked questions, showcase a day in your practice, provide close-up views of your equipment, or demonstrate orthodontic procedures.
- Incorporate videos on your website or landing pages: Presenting your Orthodontic practice through videos can establish a connection with visitors, facilitating their transition from online research to their first appointment. You can also include short description of services and why they are important on your Orthodontic website service pages.
- Engage with social media through fun videos: Creating relatable videos helps foster a sense of community with your audience. Consider employing viral TikTok video concepts for a touch of creativity.
- Skip paying for professional video production: High-quality videos can be achieved with your cell phone camera. Leverage the editing tools, filters and other editing capabilities in free social media tools like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Promote user-generated content: Encourage your patients to submit their own videos. You could create an in-office video hub, conduct quick Q&A sessions, or solicit client testimonials.
- Showcase smile transformations: Highlight your restorative and cosmetic services through before-and-after videos to capitalize on the visual impact.
Feeling camera shy is a common concern. However, comfort in front of the camera grows with practice. Establishing a routine for producing orthodontic marketing videos can greatly reduce anxiety over time.
9) Focus Content on Your Awesome Team
Focusing on creating content around the orthodontic practice team members can be beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, this approach emphasizes the human aspect of the practice, which can help patients feel more comfortable and build a connection with the team. Content that introduces the team, shares their personal stories, highlights their experiences and qualifications, and shows them engaging in their work can build trust with potential patients. They can understand who they are trusting their care to, which could make the decision easier to choose your practice over others.
Highlighting the orthodontic practice team also provides an insight into the culture of the practice. It gives potential patients an idea of the atmosphere, the personalities they will be interacting with, and what to expect during appointments. This kind of content could help reduce anxiety for new patients and reassure them of their decision to entrust their orthodontic needs to your team. Moreover, seeing the same familiar faces on social media or the practice’s website can create a sense of continuity and personal attention, something that is highly appreciated in healthcare.
While educational content is certainly important and can establish the practice as knowledgeable and competent, it is not as personal and relatable as team-focused content. Also, with the saturation of educational content on orthodontics available on the internet, it can be difficult to stand out purely with that type of content. By focusing on the practice team, an orthodontist can differentiate their practice from others, foster a strong sense of community, and ultimately attract and retain more patients.
10) Give Your Online Reputation a Boost
An Orthodontists online reputation is one of the most valuable assets. Primarily your reputation is established through patient reviews on Google. The reason Google reviews are so valuable is because Google is used by approximately 90% of all consumers. On the Bing search engine your Orthodontic practices Facebook reviews are displayed, and on Apple maps your YELP reviews are displayed.
It’s important to ask your best patients for Google reviews. If you don’t ask you’ll not likely get a review. Most reviews that come unsolicited by a Orthodontist or team member are negative reviews. It’s unfortunate but it’s a reality.
You can get more Google reviews by running a in-office Google review campaign. Download our complimentary Google review campaign here.
Orthodontic patients are now more likely than ever to search for online reviews before selecting a new dentist or orthodontist (78%).
It is important to your practice that you collect feedback from your patients. Orthodontists that utilize their online reviews to promote their services reach more patients than those who don’t.
Requesting a review through a text message, while your patient is still in the office, significantly increases the success rate.
11) Become a Giving Practice
One of the best ways to get local media exposure, garner organic shares on social media, and deepen loyalty with your current patient base is to create a culture of giving within your practice. People feel good about businesses that do good, and they want to help when they can.
- Consider making your practice a base for toy donations at Christmas.
- Offer select pro bono work to people in need.
- Let staff members and/or patients choose a charitable organization for you to donate to, or do a fundraiser for one of your own choosing.
- Download our eBook titled, Why Giving Practices Grow
Once you’ve decided what you want to do, make sure that everyone knows about it! Invite patients to participate, notify local media outlets, share on social media, and take lots of pictures and videos.
12) Do Trending Ideas Before Everyone Else Does
When marketing is a constant effort to produce new content, it’s easy to feel tapped out. But don’t worry! You’re not the only one out there looking for creative ways to communicate. The online world is full of dental and orthodontic organizations with huge teams dedicated full-time to keeping things current and interesting. Follow authoritative resources like the AAO, or favorite brands like Crest to get inspired with holiday ideas, trending topics, and industry news.
If you haven’t checked out the MSP Social Media Academy, sign up for a free 30 day trial. Every day we’re on the lookout for trending social media ideas. We send these ideas out in an email each week to our clients.
13) Promote Free Consultations
The hardest step to attracting new patients is always getting people in the door. Once you create that initial connection, it’s easy to turn a prospective patient into a current patient. Even if investigators don’t immediately sign up for treatment, they’ll come back to you when they’re ready to pull the trigger once they’ve become comfortable with your office.
So how do you get patients in the door? A free consultation. Most orthodontic offices initial consultations for free, but few know how to truly leverage that fact effectively. Here are some ideas:
- Leverage local social media influencers by providing an offer to their trusted networks.
- Build a referral campaign via email marketing and encourage current patients to recommend your consultation to a friend.
- Promote free referrals with a limited-time seasonal date or code. Even if you offer consultations for free all the time, a sense of urgency keeps people from procrastinating.
- Insert a (user-friendly) popup on your website’s landing page to encourage people investigating your practice online to take that next step.
14) Create a Paid Ad Campaign
Remember when we mentioned how important it is to focus on local marketing? One great way to do that is with paid media. There are plenty of paid media platforms, but perhaps the most popular is Google ads. Whether you enlist a specialist to run your campaigns, or navigate the tools yourself (Google makes it as intuitive and automated as possible) you’ll need to decide which terms to bid for, how to zero in on your target demographic, how much you want to pay per month, and whether you’ll focus on display ads or search ads.
There are other platforms that you can explore for paid ads, including Facebook, YouTube, and healthcare referrals sites. Whatever platform you choose, your ads will be more effective if you integrate them with a special value offer (i.e. promotional pricing) and a designated landing page.
Marketing Ideas for Orthodontic Practices: We’re Here to Help!
This list is just the beginning. There are so many things you can do to increase your orthodontic practice’s visibility online, and you don’t have to do it alone. We help with everything you need to become a lean, mean, marketing machine, from web design to social media support to patient review tools. Reach out today for a free consultation and personalized advice that will help your practice thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Marketing for orthodontists doesn’t have to be boring or clinical! If you are looking for fresh orthodontic marketing ideas, start by looking at these three areas: your social media, your website, and your online reputation. These three elements have the capabilities (when optimized) to attract new clients and referrals organically, even without paid advertising.
Social media gives you an opportunity to connect with your patients, dental partners, and community in a fun and natural way. Showcase your personality and bring more laughter to your marketing efforts. Don’t forget the power of short-form videos to really grow your audience.
Your website and Google Business Profile are powerful tools for building your online reputation and growing your practice. Make sure each is optimized to its fullest capacity. Try this free dentist bio template to refresh and improve your “About Us” page.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of fine-tuning your website to improve your ranking on search engines like Google. Getting your practice into the top spots on Google Search and Google Maps will give you a higher percentage of overall traffic. Seventy-five percent of users never scroll past the first page of Google Search results.
SEO uses keywords that help the search engine algorithms determine what your website content is about so that they can successfully guide searchers to their desired results. Orthodontic SEO would include using keywords like “orthodontists in [location],” “braces treatments,” “orthodontist for children” or “teeth straightening.”
Improving your orthodontic SEO ensures that you are targeting the right demographic for your practice.
Sure, you can hire any general marketing agency to work with your practice, but that might be like asking a dentist to install braces. Your practice is more likely to get real results with the help of a dental marketing company. Dental marketers have specialized expertise in helping dental professionals navigate the best possible strategies to market and grow their practice. They also have unique tools and resources to help support your marketing initiatives, both in your practice and online.
Working with a dental marketing company also ensures that you can stay up to date with the latest in HIPAA compliance on social media and your website.
Your online reputation is the front line in terms of first impressions that potential patients and dental partners see. This is usually in the form of Google or Facebook reviews. It may feel like you have no control over what people post online, but the key is to saturate your online profiles with overwhelmingly positive Google reviews.
Reputation management for Orthodontists includes being proactive about collecting reviews from patients who are most likely to leave a positive review. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank on Google Maps.
Reputation management also means understanding how to properly respond to both positive and negative reviews in a HIPAA-compliant manner. Putting these strategies into practice can improve your online reputation.
If you really want to dazzle your website visitors, your orthodontic website design needs to be clean, modern, and original. Your website is the first stop for potential patients and dental partners. Make a great impression from the start.
Start with a clutter-free, well-designed homepage that includes your most crucial information. This could be how to book an appointment, your areas of expertise, positive patient reviews, FAQs, your social channels, and how to find your practice.
Your website experience should be a reflection of how you run your practice. So keep things clean, well-functioning, and easy to use. Other great suggestions for a stunning orthodontic website include a regularly updated blog, fun bios about you and your staff, and helpful pages and videos about your practice.
About the Author: Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and a key member of the dental marketing team at My Social Practice. My Social Practice is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Adrian is passionate about helping dental practices grow. If you’d like to book one of the members of My Social Practice’s speaking team, you can do that HERE.