Marketing Ideas for Orthodontic Offices: Stand out from the Crowd!
#1. Know your patients and address their unique concerns
Before you begin an orthodontic marketing campaign, you need to know the problems faced by your target patients and how to resolve them. This way, you can create and share a relevant marketing message to attract the right patients. For example: as most orthodontists generally treat adults who are unhappy with their facial alignment, you can create campaigns specifically targeting such prospects.
You can share stories of patient experiences and results. This will educate prospects on what to expect from your services, the values that drive your practice, and more.
#2. Create a great first impression
A well-designed, SEO-optimized medical website can help you create a great first impression on prospective patients. While a memorable logo with a catchy headline can differentiate you from other practices, using high-quality videos, texts, images, audio, etc., will effectively communicate your brand message.
Make sure that your website:
- Is easy to navigate, with well-defined CTAs (call-to-action)
- Has a responsive design for mobile devices
- Doesn’t look outdated or overcrowded with distracting elements
Redesigning your website every few years will ensure that it retains its appeal and offers an enhanced user experience.
#3. Work on your orthodontic website’s SEO
Optimizing your website for Orthodontic SEO will not only boost its online visibility and bring more traffic but also convert visitors into prospects and new patients. With 75% of users never scrolling beyond the first page, it is crucial that your orthodontic practice ranks among the top 5 results to be found by the right patients. A few ways to tighten up your website’s SEO include:
- Optimizing your website with major keywords like ‘orthodontists near me ‘or ‘orthodontics near me’
- Paying a little extra to host your website on WPEngine or Kinsta and get found more quickly by the search engines
- Optimize bulky images with tools like tinyjpg.com to avoid visual clutter and slow loading speed
You may even consider getting professional help in case you are unable to keep up with SEO best practices.
#4. Make things easy for your patients
Your patients must be able to find you easily. Providing online booking and rescheduling options, laying out a simple treatment process, advising on post-treatment care, etc., are a few ways to ensure a better patient experience.
Online appointment scheduling options not only make things more convenient for your patients but also free up time for you and your staff, allowing you to focus on other important areas, such as improving the quality of care. Educating patients on the procedures helps address potential concerns, boosting their trust and confidence in your practice. You can even list out the do’s and don’ts to be followed post-treatment for more successful outcomes.
#5. Be flexible with your offerings
Providing offline or virtual assistance is an effective way to help confused or apprehensive patients and draw them to your practice. Whether a patient needs a clear aligner or new braces for their teeth, offering free consultations can help them overcome their fear and hesitation.
While the pandemic escalated the trend of telehealth and telemedicine, orthodontists can use such virtual methods of assistance over the long term to save valuable time and resources. If feasible, make sure that you are just a call away from your patients, no matter where they are.
#6. Be transparent about pricing
Although in the past, orthodontists used to refrain from disclosing their prices on their website, being completely transparent with patients can set you apart from competitors. Patients are often concerned about their expenses post any dental procedure. By providing a reliable price estimate of your service, say braces for teens, you can let your patients know what they can expect to pay for that service.
This way, they will be better prepared to pay their bills and trust you more without worrying about being overcharged.
#7. Provide real-time assistance through live chat
Adding a live chat option on your medical website is a great way to offer instant support to your patients. It can also save you from responding to bulk emails or calls and use the time saved to improve your services.
Make sure that the chat software you use is HIPAA compliant to ensure the privacy and security of any confidential health-related information shared between you and the patient.
#8. Leverage patient reviews and testimonials
98% of patients factor in positive patient reviews and high average star-ratings when selecting a dentist. Therefore, you must leverage positive patient reviews to attract more patients to your practice. You can even use an automated reputation management tool to track positive and negative reviews, ensuring prompt addressal of the latter before it affects your online reputation.
Sharing video testimonials of happy patients is another effective way to market your orthodontic practice. You can either record the testimony yourself or ask the patient to record it on their phone and share it with you.
#9. Use automated tools to measure patient engagement and satisfaction
Patient engagement and satisfaction are interrelated in that the more connected you are with your patients, the more satisfied they will be with your services. Using automated tools to track patient engagement and satisfaction can help you identify areas of improvement and develop effective orthodontic marketing strategies to enhance the quality of care and attract new patients.
This can include AI-based sentiment analysis tools that let you evaluate patient feedback and help you understand what your patients feel about any aspect of your practice, be it the front desk or the waiting room. You can also send out automated surveys after each appointment to know what your patients are thinking the moment they leave your practice.
#10. Leverage your Google Business Profile (GBP)
GBP is an integral part of the Local Pack Finder. It has been one of the most prominent local ranking factors since 2015 and is continually gaining importance, leaping from 15% in 2015 to 36% in 2021.
Having a GBP makes your orthodontic practice easy to find online. As Google’s algorithm constantly works to match patients with the closest healthcare provider who specializes in their needs, getting your GBP registered will optimize your practice to appear in local search results.
#11. Ensure NAP consistency for higher rankings
At 7%, citations (NAP) are the 5th most important local ranking factor that can affect your search engine rankings. Search engines like Google and Bing are extremely detail-oriented, and any inconsistencies in your registered NAP (name, address, and phone number) will cause them to consider each listing as a different practice, lowering your credibility and ranking.
So, while getting your orthodontic practice registered on sites like Yelp, Yellowpages, or Zocdoc, make sure that the information provided is accurate and uniform across all sites.
#12. Advertise your practice on Google, Facebook, and YouTube
Running paid ad campaigns on Google, Facebook, and YouTube is one of the best ways to put your orthodontic practice right before the target audience. You can use Google ads to place your practice in front of patients seeking a quick appointment. For Facebook, you can choose amongst any of the following four types of ads, depending on the patient’s awareness stage:
- Link Clicks- ads are shown to prospects that are more likely to click on them
- Web Conversions- includes form fill-ups or appointment bookings after the prospect completes an action
- Post Page Engagement- targets prospects most likely to engage with your post
- Video Views- are similar to YouTube ads and will be shown to prospects most likely to watch them
#13. Partner with experts and influencers
Implementing an orthodontic marketing strategy is one thing but following it through is another. You will need an expert healthcare marketer to manage it all. Partnering with marketing experts can free your valuable time, letting you focus on your practice while they promote your services.
Collaborating with social media influencers can also help improve your reach to the right audience. These influencers can talk about your orthodontic services to their loyal followers and bring in new prospects to your practice.
#14. Start a blog or YouTube channel
Another great orthodontic marketing strategy is to post regular blog content on your website or start a YouTube channel. With a YouTube channel, you can create awareness among prospective patients about your services and convert them into loyal patients in the longer run. You can post blogs on topics related to your orthodontic practice, such as:
- How can patients take care of their braces?
- What types of food can boost dental health?
- How long should you wear your retainers?
Avoid complicated medical jargon; instead, use simple and easy-to-understand words with catchy headlines to catch your target audience’s attention.
#15. Follow-up marketing campaigns
Once you have identified interested prospects, it is important to follow up with them regularly to stay in their minds long enough to be chosen as their orthodontists. You can build an email list by collecting emails from every possible channel- your website, no-show lists, leads captured from events, etc. and send newsletters or fun emails to prospects.
Alternatively, you can pull up phone numbers from everywhere and send out text messages like, ‘ Hi there, we thought you would like a free orthodontic consultation this week…” Also, once someone has visited your website or social profile, make sure to retarget them through Google and Facebook ads.
#16. Promote your practice locally
One of the best marketing ideas for orthodontic offices is to promote themselves locally. You can get your practice listed on Google with all the relevant information, and then if someone looks up ‘orthodontists near me’ or ‘orthodontist in a specific area,’ your practice will appear on the search page.
You can sponsor paid ads on the local news channel or be actively involved in your local community. You can also sponsor a local email newsletter for a week or more to get access to potential patients’ email ids.
#17. Engage with patients on social media
In the current digital times, social media presence is mandatory to up your marketing game. Around 200 million social media users visit at least one business profile daily. And, 90% of social media users connect with a business through social media platforms.
So, you need to constantly engage with your audience on social media to attract new patients to your practice. You can do this by:
- Promoting a free service on social media, such as a free consultation or whitening session. Market this giveaway, capture applicants’ data, and follow up with them by offering some discounts.
- Sharing your brand story, personal experiences, patients’ testimonies, a typical day at the practice, useful orthodontic advice, etc.
- Hosting exciting contests and encouraging your patients to participate in them.
- Sharing some unique, exciting, and informative posts to engage with your target audience and gain followers.
#18. Share more about your practice
Patients are always keen to know more about their healthcare providers. You can give them a sneak peek into the human side of your orthodontic practice by:
- Giving a video tour of your clinic or putting images of some activities
- Sharing some fun videos or photos that show you and your staff interacting with patients
- Sharing patient videos or photos (after obtaining their prior permission) depicting before and after treatment differences
- Sharing educational videos with important information related to dental concerns
- Requesting your patients to share testimonies about their successful treatment and tag your practice in it
- Participating in community or charity events and posting videos or photos of the same on your social media accounts
#19. Add some fun elements
People, especially kids, fear dental procedures because of the pain and inconvenience involved. You can remove this fear by sharing before and after treatment photos of your current patients.
You can also add some fun elements for your patients by:
- Creating a kid-friendly environment in the office
- Offering a food coupon for a local restaurant
- Featuring them on your social media page
Your happy patients may even share their experiences with others, and in no time, you will have greater patient inflow due to word-of-mouth publicity.
#20. Remember, it’s all about your patients
Your practice ultimately depends on your patients, which is why it is important to appreciate them both in person and publicly, acknowledging their valuable support. Find out how your patients would like to be rewarded and, if feasible, give them what they like.
You can give out gift cards to patients who keep their appointments or start a referral program benefiting patients who refer your practice to their family or friends.