When you compare orthodontic marketing to dental patient marketing, orthodontists have a much smaller target audience with a revolving door of patients. Dentists rely primarily on maintaining current patients while orthodontists need to make sure they have an effective sales funnel that’s constantly generating new leads. On top of that, you’re in a competitive space so having poor reviews or a black-hat SEO strategy can cost your practice big time.
That’s why it’s so important to develop a long-term marketing strategy that will help you build connections with local dentists and target specific demographics who may be searching for your services. While you’re busy making sure your patients are satisfied with their care, these 6 marketing strategies will make sure your practice keeps growing.
1. Connect With Local Dentists
Although most orthodontic practices don’t require patients to have a referral, the vast majority of patients are referred to an orthodontist from their general dentist. If a patient needs braces and he or she trusts their dentist, that patient is likely to trust their dentist’s referral. So, if you take the time to build relationships with dentists in your area, they’re more likely to refer their patients to your orthodontic practice. Dentists know that their patients are going to need orthodontic services at some point in time, so how do you earn these referrals and build a rapport with local dentists?
To earn more dentist referrals, you can connect with local dentists via social media or face-to-face. If there’s a dentist that you want to interact with, connect with their LinkedIn profile and follow their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. Be sure to like, share, and interact with their posts so they can get to know you.
Then, you can take advantage of networking by joining a dental practice group on LinkedIn or inviting a dentist and their staff to learn more about your practice over a catered luncheon. Furthermore, you should make time each month to attend local networking events where people in your industry gather. The more you show up and make connections, the more likely a dentist will refer their patients to you.
When you take the time to learn about the dentists in your area and give them the opportunity to learn about your practice as well, you can begin building relationships with these dentists and earn more referrals. Most importantly, when they do send you a referral, make sure to send a thank-you note to them to keep that connection going.
2. Set up a Referral Rewards Program
Many people are a little skeptical when they visit a new healthcare provider for the first time. However, if they have been referred to you by someone they trust, patients will be more willing to visit your practice rather than one that they don’t know anything about. Of course, getting your patients to refer their friends and family to you starts with offering superior services – but it also includes setting up a referral rewards program.
If you can genuinely stand behind your services and your staff, you shouldn’t feel bad about asking your current patients to recommend your practice to their friends and family. Moreover, if they’re satisfied with your services, your patients will be more than happy to refer you to their friends and family – especially if you offer a small incentive to say thank you.
If a new patient comes in because they were referred to you by a current patient, be sure to send that patient a gift card to a local store or small discount on their next visit. This is a great way to incentivize current patient’s for their referrals and motivate customers to tell their family and friends about you.
3. Create Conversion Driven Web-Pages and Informative Blog Posts
While word-of-mouth marketing and dentist referrals are integral aspects of orthodontic marketing, the 2018 Patient Access Journey Report explains that 47% of people seeking healthcare providers ultimately found their provider of choice online using a general internet search. So, how do you make sure people can find your practice online?
You develop a user-friendly website with conversion-driven service pages and informative blog posts.
Creating interesting and relevant content will help improve your organic search rankings and build your reputation as a trusted resource in the orthodontic industry. However, not all content is created equal. At Stodzy Internet Marketing, our content development team specializes in developing intriguing blog posts that will inform your users as well as service pages that shine a light on your services and rank for local search queries.
Orthodontic Service Pages
Your service pages are what will generate the majority of your traffic from local organic search results. These are the pages people land on when searching for services specific to orthodontics. For example, if you’re an orthodontist in Philadelphia, one service page that you might create would be “Ceramic Braces in Philadelphia.”
Not only should this service page describe what ceramic braces are and how they work, but it should abide by Google’s on-page SEO guidelines in order to ensure that your page shows up in the SERPs. This involves using the right number of keywords, optimizing your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text, and the user-friendliness of your website. Service pages should be displayed on your navigation menu and should provide reliable, trustworthy information that makes visitors want to learn more. When you leave it to the experts at Stodzy to develop your service pages, we’ll make sure your branding is on-point and that your call to action is effective in generating new leads.
You might be wondering, do people really want to read blog posts about orthodontics? Well, if you’re targeting the right audience and providing useful information to your readers, of course, they will!
The best part about developing great blog posts is that they serve a much larger purpose than merely providing content: they can be weaponized to be an integral part of your orthodontic marketing efforts.
Not only can resourceful blog posts rank on organic search results and increase your website traffic, but they can be an opportunity for you to capture the reader’s information and add them to an e-mail list. Or, they can be used as part of your backlink building strategy to point more links to your website and boost your website authority.
Lastly, blog posts can be shared across social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help get the word out about your business and begin building a social community online.
Like service pages, blog posts should be optimized to meet Google’s on-page SEO guidelines, but should also target outside of the box keywords and topics – like “5 Ways to Ease Jaw Pain at Home.” Our content marketing team specializes in developing content strategies that will completely revolutionize the way you look at online marketing.
4. Showcase Your Orthodontic Services on Social Media
Using social media to market your orthodontic practice is a way to showcase exactly what makes your practice unique. In addition, social media lets you build relationships with your patients, share informative content, and attract new patients.
Facebook is great for building a community of followers that will like, share, and interact with your content. You’re able to share videos, infographics, blog posts, and business updates or monthly specials. When your followers interact with your posts, it keeps them engaged with your practice and up to date with any new services you may offer.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are also particularly helpful for orthodontic marketing because they give you the opportunity to share before and after pictures. Most orthodontic services come with a hefty price tag – so people want to go to an orthodontist that will provide them with the results they want to see. What better way to do this than share before and after photos of patients who have had braces or Invisalign through your practice.
Keeping in mind the importance of providing guaranteed results, Facebook reviews and recommendations are two additional features that your practice can benefit from. Word-of-mouth recommendations are crucial and people trust online reviews just as much as they do word-of-mouth referrals.
Whether someone comes across your Facebook Ad or blog post, or a friend tags your practice as a recommendation for a friend, making sure you have plenty of 5-star reviews and that you’re responding to your reviews is an important part of social media marketing. After all, nobody wants to go to an orthodontist who has a bunch of one or two-star reviews – they want someone who is reliable and reputable.
5. Focus on Local Search Marketing for Orthodontists
If you have fully optimized your website and are active on social media, you’ve taken two important steps to begin growing your business. However, if you don’t focus your marketing efforts on local search, much of your marketing strategy is going to waste.
Most people aren’t going to travel for several hours to go to an orthodontist. Instead, they’re going to visit a local practice with a good reputation. Plus, you want to show up in the search results when people search for “orthodontist near me.” Two ways to show up for local search terms are to optimize your Google My Business listings and create Google Adwords campaigns or local Facebook ads.
Using GMB to Improve Your Local Pack Rankings
According to Moz, Google My Business (GMB) signals make up approximately 25.12% of local pack ranking factors. Once you’ve claimed and verified your listing, it’s crucial that you make sure all of your business information is correct, including your business hours, phone number, website URL, address, and services.
Other ways to optimize your GMB profile is to take advantage of all the features it offers – from posts and photos to getting more positive reviews and even using the Q&A feature that lets you interact with potential patients in real-time.
The ultimate goal of optimizing your GMB listing is to rank in the local 3-pack for relevant search terms. You don’t want to rank just for “orthodontist near me” but you also want to rank for services and products, like “Invisalign near me.” The higher your rankings are on Google map listings, the more phone calls and website visitors you will generate.
Paid Advertising Options for Orthodontic Marketing
While GMB is a free tool that will help grow your business, other paid advertising methods can help you hone in on local search marketing for orthodontists. First, let’s look at Google AdWords.
Google AdWords is considered the most popular pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform on the internet and is now widely known as “paid search.” Using this method, advertisers bid on keywords that are commonly used in Google search queries. You can optimize your ad with a title containing conversion-driven keywords and a description or special offer that attracts users to your page.
For example, let’s say you’re an orthodontist in Kansas City offering Invisalign. You can bid on the keywords “Invisalign in Kansas City” and have your ad displayed at the top of the SERPs for that search query. However, as the name PPC suggests, you’ll pay an amount of money each time a user clicks on your ad.
Another popular option for orthodontic paid advertising is Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are also referred to as “paid social” as they allow you to target specific demographics across the social network. Unlike AdWords, Facebook Ads don’t revolve around keyword bidding. Instead, it focuses on targeting the specific types of people who are likely to interact with your practice. For example, part of your orthodontic marketing strategy might involve creating Facebook Ads that target parents with children and young teenagers because their kids may need braces one day. These ads can come in the form of videos, slideshows, images, or display ads.
6. Nurture Your Leads
Oftentimes, people who are searching for an orthodontist want to shop around and do their research before choosing one. So, if someone visits your website or interacts with you on social media, how do you optimize visitor engagement, build long-term relationships, and turn potential patients into paying customers?
You nurture your leads from the very beginning of your sales funnel. Whether that’s by capturing a prospect’s email from a blog post or offering a weekly newsletter with dental hygiene tips, automated e-mail marketing is one of the best and more reliable ways to encourage ongoing communication between you and a potential patient. You have to keep them engaged, find new ways to promote your services, and provide consistent on-brand messaging.
Our healthcare marketing experts at Stodzy use effective data management tools and e-mail automation systems to nurture your leads and turn website visitors into new patients – who will then leave a review, refer their friend, and bring in even more free business.
Build Your Practice With Orthodontic Marketing
There’s a lot of competition in the orthodontic industry and you need to make sure you’re constantly generating new leads while consistently nurturing existing patients. At Stodzy Internet Marketing, we know how to identify exactly which strategies will work best for your practice and how to implement them in ways that will provide you with a hefty return on your investment. Not only will we create a strategic digital marketing plan to maximize your online visibility, but we’ll also enhance your referral strategies and increase your brand awareness.
Orthodontic marketing is difficult if you don’t have the right skills and tools needed to be successful. That’s why we’re here to help. If you’re ready to build your practice and take advantage of all digital marketing has to offer, contact our healthcare marketing professionals today at 1-800-761-1426.