As an orthodontist, the nature of your advertising needs is specific. Your customer base is necessarily local, as is the nature of your optimal branding profile. Your goal is to attract customers from your local community. This means your competition is limited to other orthodontists in your area- but it does not mean that you can ignore the SEO strategies of orthodontists outside your area of influence. While your potential customers are constrained to a specific geographic location- they can still see the advertising efforts of orthodontists in other locations.
That means, while your practice may be limited to local traffic, competing advertisers are not. In short, the power of information technology has broadened your powers of outreach, while exposing you to a much broader sphere of competition. To help you cope with this novel situation, we have developed a list of the most important advertising techniques, designed specifically for orthodontic practices to help you optimize your branding and outreach campaign.
10 Orthodontic Marketing Ideas that Work
Connecting with your local audience does present certain challenges unique to the scope of your practice. However, being tied to a community also gives you special advantages. Leverage the following techniques to hone in on your core demographics and build a loyal customer base.
1. Create a Dental Hygiene Blog
Content is everything. By creating a regular series of blog posts, you will be offering your local customer base a reason to stay engaged with your brand. Your blog posts should be insightful, unique, and informative. People always have questions and ideas about how to achieve better oral hygiene. If you can satisfy their curiosity, they will be more likely to remain loyal and call you when it comes time to seek the help of a dentist. Those who engage with your content regularly are three times as likely to recommend you to others.
2. Be Active on Social Media
Being accessible to your customers is a sure way to keep them engaged with your brand. The more they feel like there is an exchange of ideas between you and them, the more likely they will be to choose you over your competition when it comes time to make an appointment.
3. Make Google Work for You
The more content you create, the more opportunity you have to be found when potential patients search for a dentist in your area. To optimize your chances of showing up in search pages, you should develop a list of keywords that will lead users to your landing pages. SEO can be a lot of work, but all you need to do to get started is include your regional location and your business name in your online content as often as possible.
4. Generate Local Niche Citations
The more local citations you create, the better you’ll rank on local Google search pages. The most popular citations are Angie’s List and the Yellow Pages. Medical specific citations have the potential to add your practice to important lists like Zoc Doc and Health Grades. The more local niche citations you make, the more local customers you’ll attract.
5. Create a Vlog for Constant Contact
Content is king… it’s a cliché– because it’s true. But we might as well face it, not all of your customers will take the time to read a blog. To keep your lower attention span potential patrons on the hook- create a video series that covers common and important dental hygiene topics that your customers can derive value from.
6. Track Your Online Listings
Any successful online marketing campaign takes trends and the competition into account. By using a service like Yext, you can track your campaign’s progress as it compares to your competition. Tools like this also make it easy to find errors in your online copy and sort them out quickly.
7. Offer Customer Financing
In online marketing- just like with any other form of advertisement- offering competitive financing rates and innovative programs is a great way to get a leg up on your competitors. In any medical field, the most lucrative services you have to offer are also the most expensive. By offering your customers flexible payment plans, you’ll attract clients who would otherwise be put off by the price. And remember, the best payment plan is the one that you and your cash-strapped patient work out together.
8. Build a Strong Website
While the look and feel of your website may have no bearing on the quality of your service, if your site looks cheap, loads slowly, or even remotely suggests a lack of professionalism- then you might as well drive your patients to the next dentist in the phone book. Your website should look good, be responsive, and be easy to navigate and understand.
9. Email Marketing for a Local Audience
Email marketing is a common nuisance in today’s information-driven world. However, because of the personal, local, and necessary nature of your practice as a dentist- it’s a bit different for you. In order to have a successful email campaign, you will need to keep it personal. Address your customers by name when possible. Make an effort to reach out with personalized messages to your best customers, and remember- above all else- never waste their time. Give them access to exclusive content, offer them special deals, and make them feel as if you had them in mind when you composed the email.
10. Referral Programs for the Win
In today’s intensely info-driven advertising world, it can be easy to forget about offline marketing opportunities. A dentist should foster and maintain a special relationship with the local community. Build relationships with other local businesses and use these relationships to create active referral programs. It can take a lot of footwork to establish enough connections to make this work, but when you do- it will really pay off. The idea is, when shoppers go to the hardware store, they end up with your business card in their shopping bag, and when people visit you, there is an opportunity for you to return the favor to other local businesses.
As a local business, your goal is to set yourself up as a pillar of the community. Be involved with local events as much as possible. Sponsor a junior sports team, participate in charitable events. The more you weave yourself and your brand into the fabric of your local area, the more you will show up in regional searches. As an orthodontist, you have advantages that larger brands do not. These advantages have everything to do with the connection you have with your community. Keep this in mind as you move your advertising campaign forward, and before too long you’ll be your area’s preferred orthodontist.