Orthodontic Marketing Ideas that Attract New Patients
A good marketing plan for your orthodontic practice will keep your business afloat, but a great one will help you thrive! Take your marketing strategy to the next level by building a practice that is engaged with the community and consistently welcomes new patients.
The best orthodontic marketing ideas in 2023 include a mix of social media strategy, website performance, and community outreach. Each small (or large) element you can implement is a new driver for new patient acquisition. Take a look at these 13 ideas for vamping up your strategy this year.
1. Optimize Your Website for Speed
A slow-moving website is a surefire way to send potential patients running toward your competition. Boosting website speed within a marketing strategy for orthodontists will lead to more traffic to your website and converting visitors into new patients.
Start by checking your page speed in Google Analytics or by using Google’s PageSpeed tool. This can help you determine if you need to prioritize fixing page speed over other marketing projects. Just remember that a great-looking website can’t hide these ugly truths—which includes a dysfunctional website that runs slower than dial-up internet.
Key elements to look for when you update your website to improve speed and functionality include:
- Updating all photos to WebP format
- Mobile optimization
- Fixing broken links
Addressing these issues will help your website visitors have a better experience, and make them more likely to pursue your practice.
2. Get More Patient Phone Calls from Google Maps
Your Google Business Profile is an essential tool for driving local traffic to your orthodontic practice, and this includes your Google Maps performance. In order to get more new patient phone calls, you need to evaluate how your website ranks on Google Maps. When people in your area search for “orthodontists near me,” do you know if your practice shows up? If it does, it’s time to figure out how to climb to the top of the search results.
If you want to know how to update your Google Business Profile, start by making sure all of your business information is filled out correctly (hours, location, phone number, etc). Just like any social media platform, Google favors businesses that regularly update their Business Profile. Commit to adding a couple of new photos each week and updating promotions and new services as needed.
Practices with more reviews will also climb higher in the rankings, so you may want to consider running a reviews campaign to remind patients to leave feedback.
For more information on how to improve your rankings, use this Google Maps Report to find relevant keywords like orthodontist, braces, etc.
3. Rank Higher with Blogging
A regularly updated blog is a powerful and underrated marketing strategy for orthodontists. By creating ongoing, custom content on your website, you will organically improve your overall SEO and ranking on Google.
The advantage of blogging is that it can serve as a multi-use tool for different areas of your marketing strategy. You can share posts (in full or in several parts) on your social media channels, and implement them into email campaigns designed to either attract new patients or support current patients.
If you want to make blogging a regular part of your marketing strategy, make it fun for you to write, and fun for others to read. In an industry as clinical as orthodontics, there’s room to make everything from dental care to procedures more approachable and understandable.
To gather topics for blogs, start making a list of the most commonly asked questions you hear from patients, then dedicate a blog to answering each of them. You can also tackle common myths about orthodontics or share inspiring stories.
Blogs aren’t just for you and your patients. They also give you a more robust website that ranks better on Google. From an SEO perspective, a well-performing blog has the following elements:
- A minimum of 800 words
- Both internal links to other pages on your website and external links to other reputable sites
- Mobile optimization so it reads well on all devices
- Multiple sections and headers that make it easy to read or skim
- A clear focus keyword or phrase that is used throughout
- SEO-optimized images
Getting to the top of Google search is no easy task, but blogging can be one of the best tools to improve your ranking. With each new blog post, you are building a more reputable, helpful, and functional website for both your patients and the Google powers that be. This will keep your website full of fresh content.
You can even put your blogging talents to work toward your community outreach efforts. Look for opportunities to write guest posts on sites for associated businesses. This helps your content reach new audiences that would be interested in your services. For example, this could look like writing a blog for a pediatric dental practice, community newsletter, youth sports group, local parenting resource, or pediatrician. Not only can you get in front of new potential patients, but creating backlinks between your site and other websites improves your SEO rankings as well.
4. Start Shooting Videos and Posting to Reels
It’s not too late to start playing around with Instagram Reels and TikTok. These short-form videos are fantastic marketing tools to both inform and entertain your audience. Plus, the more you get in front of the camera, the more fun you and your team can have coming up with creative ideas for your next video.
Get started with this social media video e-book.
If you are new to video creation for social media, you can still keep things simple. In fact, one of the biggest current trends is “B-roll” footage which can be a timelapse or standard-speed video of your day-to-day activities. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
As an orthodontist, there are several ways to start shooting content. Share videos of you:
- Opening/closing down the practice for the day
- Performing your own dental hygiene routine
- Cleaning dental tools
- Working at your desk or filling out charts
- Prepping for a procedure
You don’t have to be a professional videographer to take quality videos either. Just make sure that have good lighting (near an open window is great) and sound if needed. Once you have your video clip(s), you can pair it with a trending song or a voiceover recording talking about your intended topic.
Connect with a trend while it’s on the rise to get more visibility and gain more followers. One of the simplest ways to find trending content is to just scroll through your “For You” page on TikTok or your “Discover” page on Instagram. Keep your eyes and ears open for repeating audio tracks (both songs and lip-syncs) and other trends. Hit that save button and soon you’ll have a bank of fresh ideas when you are ready to start recording.
This free guide to TikTok and Instagram Reels can help you dive deeper into the strategy behind creating viral hits and videos your audience will love.
The advantage of not only Instagram Reels, but TikTok orthodontic marketing as well, is that you can show a fun, more personal side to yourself, your practice, and your team. This type of engaging content allows you to build client relationships and extend trust and confidence before a patient even steps into your practice.
5. Get Tagged on Social Media
Getting your orthodontic practice tagged on social media can be as valuable as a five-star review or even a paid ad. This organic, genuine form of marketing gives happy patients a reason to talk about your practice online.
In order to get more tags on social media, give your patients a space or reason to snap a photo before/after their appointment. This could be a cute and clever photo op in your waiting room or you can include props that encourage patients to whip out their phones. You can start with this free orthodontic social media sign print pack.
You can also gain more tags on social media by running a contest for those who tag you during their next visit. Be sure to respond appropriately and in a HIPAA-compliant manner, but keep everything fun and upbeat.
6. Evaluate Your Current Online Reputation
Online reviews can be the reason why someone does or does not call your practice to make an appointment. Unfortunately, you may not be able to remove negative reviews, but you can make a proactive effort to get more positive reviews online.
Your online reputation is a combination of how your practice culture, atmosphere, and performance are reflected in your online presence. This can be determined by reviews, social media interactions, website functionality, and more.
To fully understand your online reputation and how to build a resilient one that truly reflects your practice, get our free online reputation-building e-book. From here you’ll be able to harness the power of social proof to build a reputation that patients trust and want to share with friends.
7. Revamp Your Dental Website
Function isn’t the only important factor to consider when you are building your orthodontic website. If your website is outdated and visually unappealing, you are likely losing out on new patient opportunities. The best dental website designs are clean, easy to navigate, and personalized to match the atmosphere you want to have in your practice.
A website redesign is the perfect opportunity to address a number of your orthodontic marketing ideas.
- Make your social media pages easier to find by adding them to your site,
- Improve your blog and make it a prominent feature on your website to attract new leads.
- Make it easier for new patients to get the details they need with updated info
- Update bios for your team to draw new patients in.
The “Meet the Team” page is often a lost and forgotten element of a website, and may be a missed opportunity to connect with your patients before they even have their first appointment. While professional credentials have their place, don’t hesitate to make bios interesting and a place to show off everyone’s personality. This can ease pre-appointment anxiety for many patients. Learn how to write a great Orthodontic bio here.
Whether you choose to undergo a total website redesign or just clean up your homepage, make sure you are making steps in the right direction and don’t make these website mistakes that could hurt your practice.
8. Learn the Value of SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of building a website that functions well and is formatted correctly for search engine algorithms. This ensures that your practice shows up at the top of the list of results when someone is searching for your services. Albeit technical in some respects, it is essential to understand its role in helping your website attract new patients.
If you are new to SEO, start with these SEO questions you were afraid to ask. This will help you understand the purpose of keywords, link building, and the steps you need to take to optimize your website.
When you are ready to check the technical SEO of your website, we can do a free deep dive into what elements of your website are functioning well and which are priority items to help it run even better.
9. Share Photos Of Your Team
Marketing ideas for Orthodontic offices should lean on and leverage the social media accounts of the team members. One of the best ways to take advantage of this marketing opportunity is to snap photos of the team.
In your social media caption give each team member a solid by mentioning how amazing they are. Try to be specific and talk about ways that they make your team the best Orthodontic team around. You may not be surprised to see that your digital Orthodontic marketing efforts pay as your team members re-share your posts to their personal social media accounts.
Orthodontic social media post opportunities can happen anytime your team is together. Snap a photo to show off your team culture when your team is going out to lunch, celebrating a holiday, or involved in an Orthodontic marketing charity event, or just visiting with each other in the office.
Sharing photos of your team keeps your social media accounts looking authentic and leads to the benefits of a psychological effect called transference. Transference is when your patient correlates the quality of your Orthodontic marketing with the quality of your Orthodontic care.
Some orthodontic practices feel uncomfortable with taking photos of the team. We’ve developed a great Orthodontic marketing strategy that will take the edge off. Download the Life Events Social Sign pack, which gives you a sign and reminds you of some reasons to snap a photo of a team member.
10. Launch an Orthodontic TikTok Marketing Strategy
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 Orthodontic strategy. Setting up a TikTok account for your Orthodontic practice is simple and free.
There are quite a few dental TikTok accounts that you should follow because they’ll help you understand the type of content that does well and gets tons of engagement.
11. Host an Social Media Marketing Contest
Practice giveaways and Orthodontic contest ideas are a fun and easy way to get your team and patients involved in your orthodontic social media efforts.
You can get creative and run an Orthodontic contest that helps to promote healthy oral habits, like running a Flossing challenge as in the example below. Orthodontic contests like these aim to encourage your patient to take a 30-day flossing pledge. Once they’ve accepted the challenge, invite them to share a photo for a chance to win a prize.
Other great ideas would be to run a caption contest where you ask your followers and patients to caption a graphic for a chance to win.
12. Highlight Events in Patients’ Lives
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.
13. Implement Marketing Strategies to Get More Google Reviews
Independent studies and our research show that reviews significantly impact Orthodontic practice growth more than ever. Your potential patients will decide whether to visit your practice based on your online reputation.
Google reviews influence whether a patient will call and schedule with your Orthodontic office.
A research study by BrightLocal sheds more light on how online reviews significantly influence the growth of small businesses. Every year, online reviews have a dramatic rise in impact on an Orthodontist’s reputation and visibility.
A few new statistics in the study are especially interesting for dental practices.
- 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Nearly 7 out of 10 consumers will write a review of a local business if asked
So what do you do to get more Orthodontic reviews? The answer is to run a review campaign. We’ve developed a set of Orthodontic marketing materials to help a practice launch the campaign.
Start Growing with These Marketing Strategies
Marketing for Orthodontists doesn’t have to be clinical, dry, or boring. In fact, it can be one of the most fun and identifiable things about your practice. Implementing the latest marketing strategies for 2023 is the perfect opportunity to start bringing in new patients, engaging your team and community, and establishing yourself as the go-to orthodontist in the area.
About The Author: Adrian Lefler is a founding member of My Social Practice. He appreciates the opportunity to help dentists grow their practices with dental digital marketing. If you’re interested in having Adrian or one of the dental experts at My Social Practice speak at your event, please contact us here.