7 marketing musts for orthodontists in 2023

Dr. Kyle Fagala writes about how to ramp up your marketing know-how by using social media, print materials, and your website to create excitement about your practice. 

Dr. Kyle Fagala offers insights on how to keep your practice in the spotlight

Whatever industry you’re in, marketing can be a tough mountain to climb. But for orthodontic practice owners, there’s an added element of stress as you attempt to juggle a busy practice while implementing the latest and greatest in marketing and maintaining an active social media presence. We’re all looking for better ways to attract new patients and boost our conversion rate, and the good news is, there are several relatively simple tools for successfully advertising your orthodontic practice! Let’s take a look at some of my tried-and-true marketing tips that have helped us continue growing over the years.

  1. Keep things simple with local signage

An analog solution in a digital world? Absolutely! Simple strategies like this one are often overlooked in favor of more technical methods, but signs and other printed materials will help increase your traffic with a one-time investment that will pay for itself over and over again. Connect with your community by identifying the high-traffic areas in town that your target demographic frequents — recreation centers, locally owned coffee shops, and YMCAs can be great places to start. Once you have a list of places in mind, roll in with well-designed posters, banners, flyers, and signs to get your name out there in a memorable way. Don’t forget to include your website URL, phone number, and even a QR code to increase the response rate.

  1. Make your website more appealing

Your website is one of the most important tools in your marketing arsenal, with the potential to drive consultations and convert clients. Even if your current site is functional and attractive, it could probably do with a good once-over to ensure it’s working as well as it should be for your practice. There are a few things you can do to spruce up your site, starting with some shiny, new content. Even if you don’t think anyone is reading it, high-quality copy will boost your brand’s reputation, increase your authority as an industry expert, and help your website rank higher on Google.

You’ll also want several clear calls-to-action on your website. This could be a contact button, link to a free consultation, or an invitation to connect virtually, but whatever it is, make it easy to find and easy to use. The same holds true for reviews or testimonials. Whether you post these in video or text form (or a combination of the two), a page or section of your homepage that’s dedicated to patients singing your praises will go a long way toward convincing potential patients to schedule a consultation.

  1. Pay attention to your Google My Business listing

Aside from your website, your Google My Business listing page is one of your biggest assets. It’s essential that this tool is optimized to drive traffic to your business and improve your rankings. Fill out all the information possible, including your location, the services you offer, contact details, business hours, and so on. The more content Google has for your business, the less it has to guess, and the higher it will rank your site. Back this info up by listing your business everywhere you can using the exact same details — for example, Yelp, BBB, or Yellow Pages.

Don’t forget to post regularly on your Google My Business page. The more activity your business has, the more likely Google will rank it highly, and the more trustworthy its search engine algorithms will find you. This activity can (and should) include reviews. Research shows that most online shoppers use reviews to determine what products to buy and which services to use. Make it a habit to regularly ask former and current patients to leave honest reviews of their experience with your practice. Provide them with a link or QR code to make it easy, and steer clear of paid reviews as they can stand out like a sore thumb!

  1. Keep relevant Facebook and Instagram ads running

Facebook and Instagram ads are the backbone of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. If you’re new to these ads or just want yours to be more compelling, you’ll want to start by creating high-quality photo and video ads to catch the eye of potential patients. Facebook’s Ad Manager is a helpful way to target the key demographic in your area. Feel like your ads need a little extra pizazz? Try creating a big giveaway to increase your brand’s publicity and drive additional traffic your way.

  1. Add a few Google Ads to the mix, too

Once you’ve optimized your website and Google My Business Page, turn your attention to Google Ads. These can help spread your name and create fast traffic for major keywords. They’re also a quick way to get results as you continue building your search engine authority, but keep in mind that Google Ads can sometimes get a bit pricey, particularly when bidding on competitive keywords like “braces” or “Invisalign.”

  1. Get social media-savvy

Successful online marketing revolves around regular content on social media. The key is to keep it as authentic, fresh, fun, and as original as possible. People have gotten pretty good at tuning out posts that feel forced or cliché, but quality content that comes across as fluid and natural is still a fantastic way to drum up interest in your practice.

While some orthodontists put a team member or outside source in charge of their social media, you don’t have to put in endless hours for it to be effective. You can keep followers interested by posting regular shots of happy patients, showcasing your work with before-and-after images, taking viewers behind the scenes with fun videos, or getting in on the latest TikTok trends. Producing simple but engaging content like this will make you more relatable to your target audience and encourage them to contact you when they’re ready to begin their smile journey!

  1. Take it back to the basics with email marketing

Email marketing can be an extremely cost-effective way to remind potential patients that you haven’t forgotten about their interest in your practice. It’s also extremely easy to implement. Collect email addresses from people who visit your website, those who have signed up for a free consultation, or even former patients you want to check in on. You can send emails out in many forms, including those that greet new patients, special offers for new starts, happy birthday wishes, and other miscellaneous notes. If your practice management software doesn’t offering email blasts, and you’re looking for a service to do just that, MailChimp is a great, inexpensive option. With just a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to keep your books full at practically no cost to your practice.

If you’re looking to grow your orthodontic practice, these tips will set you up for success and help you smash all your marketing goals. To discover how each of them will work best for your practice, you’ll need to experiment with the basics and do some thinking that falls outside the box. Social media campaigns, printed materials, a revamped website — once you figure out what excites your target market, you’ve got a clear path toward success.

Reaching out to prospective patients on social media is a big part of your marketing know-how. Read more about how millennials respond here: https://orthopracticeus.com/important-factors-to-millennials-that-you-should-consider-promoting-on-social-media-part-2/

Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS, is an orthodontist and cofounder of Neon Canvas, a digital marketing agency located in Memphis, TN. He hosts the podcast “The Digital Orthodontist: Live!” and runs a popular Facebook Group with the same name.

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