Marketing Ideas for Orthodontic Practices You Should Do Today!
When you’re running a busy practice, orthodontic marketing often falls to the bottom of your overloaded to-do list. However, effective marketing ideas for Orthodontic practices is precisely what will keep your practice busy and thriving. Not only do your efforts keep your schedule full, but a healthy marketing mindset can help you clarify your practice vision, build team unity, and amplify your efforts to support your patients’ health and wellbeing.
Do you feel like your marketing strategy is stagnating? Here are 10 brilliant marketing ideas for your orthodontic practice to revitalize your efforts.
1: Keep It Human
With competition from mail-in teeth straightening kits crowding in on all sides, it’s important for you to emphasize what makes you distinct from big box options. Building a full list of your unique value propositions is a topic for another day, but we’ll give you a sneak peak on one important advantage you have: the human element.
When it comes to our health and appearance, most patients want a seasoned professional who can talk us through our options, questions, and worries face to face. Take every opportunity to show the smiling, caring faces of your team, whether it’s on your website, on social media, on video, or in your paid ad campaigns. Highlight your education, passion, and specialities. Don’t get lost in the genericized demands of mass media. Instead, seek out opportunities to show one-on-one connections between you and your patients.
2: Follow Authoritative Resources for Fresh Ideas
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. Don’t forget, you can always find great creative ideas and tools on Pinterest as well as subscribing to our blog. We’re always on the lookout for trending Orthodontic marketing ideas and we ship them straight to your inbox weekly.
3: 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.
4: 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.
5: Talk About Adult Braces
Many orthodontic practices have refined their ability to focus on the needs and interests of teens. However, the AAO reports that a quarter of orthodontic patients today are over the age of 18, and that number appears to be growing. Many adults today are curious about straightening their teeth, but they hesitate to go into an office full of teenagers. They might even wonder whether their unique needs as an older patient will be addressed.
If you have experience treating adult patients, make sure to highlight it in your online marketing efforts. You might want to build a search campaign specifically highlighting your adult orthodontic services, and addressing the issues that might cause these patients to hesitate in getting in-person treatment.
Another cutting-edge technique is to leverage social media influencers. Influencers are local online celebrities who promote companies they believe in, to their trusted social networks. A local influencer is likely to be concerned about how they look on camera, making Orthodontic treatment a valuable option for marketing consideration. Some Orthodontists have discounted and even given away Orthodontic treatment depending on the Influencer’s marketing capabilities.
6: Explore New Social Media Platforms
The world of digital media moves fast, but that doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. The longer a digital platform is around, the more stodgy and routine it tends to get. On the other hand, new venues like TikTok are fun, creative, and experimental. So don’t be afraid to dip your toes in! You don’t need to be perfectly polished and painstakingly produced. All you need is a spirit of adventure and a team ready to have fun. Feeling stuck? Check out our comprehensive guide to TikTok and Instagram reels.
7: Showcase Your Patients’ Smiling Faces
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.
Remember: it doesn’t have to end with a photo shared on social media. Patient case studies can be leveraged in so many places! Consider testimonial videos that you can use for paid ads on YouTube or Instagram. Use the pictures on your website. Create a comprehensive article detailing the process and experience of a specific case.
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.
8: Understand Local SEO
As our increasingly-digital world gets more and more global, don’t forget one of the most unique characteristics of your practice: it’s local! You don’t need to compete with every orthodontist in the country… just the ones that your patients are willing to drive to.
How do you effectively zero in on a geographic location with your organic digital marketing strategy? There are a few important ways:
- Claim your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). Ensure that your information is up to date.
- Gather reviews on Google. This is one of the biggest factors that helps your chosen out of all the practices in your area.
- Optimize your website for local keywords. Add a location page if needed to be sure that search engines know where your brick and mortar location is.
- Ensure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent in online listings. These may include websites like the BBB, Healthgrades, Yellowpages, and Zocdoc. Don’t forget about associations of which your doctor is a member and products or services that list you as a local provider. Remember that while some referral sites ask for a monthly retainer or ad fees to feature you or improve your visibility, a rudimentary listing is often included whether or not you’re a paying client. You have a right to contact them to ensure your information is accurate.
9: Start an Informational YouTube Channel
Most of us are intimidated by the camera, but once you get started, you’ll probably find that it’s easier than you thought. Designate an area of your office with good lighting and a pretty background, then invite team members to create short talking head videos answering frequently asked questions or sharing advice.
Resolve to quickly create a short series of videos and roll them out over the next six months. Demonstrate how to brush or floss with braces, show close-up shots of clear retainers, explain the different kinds of malocclusion, or show off the different color combinations of bands available in your office.
10: 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.
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.
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.