20 Genius Orthodontic Marketing Ideas To Get New Patients in 2021

Jan 2021
orthodontic marketing tactics to get new patients delmain

As an orthodontist, marketing is probably the last thing you want to deal with. But as people continue to put off care due to COVID-19, and the popularity of at-home aligner companies only grows, marketing is no longer something you can ignore.

Leverage the following orthodontic marketing ideas to identify and focus on your core demographics, build a loyal patient base, and book more new patients in 2021.

1. Know your audience & the problems they face

The first step of an effective orthodontic marketing strategy is to understand who you’re marketing to and how you help solve their problems. This knowledge will be the foundation of your marketing messaging, so it’s important to get this right. 

We recommend using the StoryBrand framework to help outline the experience and services you offer in a simple way that your patients will understand, value, and respond to.

Top orthodontists across the country are already using this framework to simplify their brand messaging and connect with their audience, and you can, too.

2. Create a memorable logo and tagline

Without a brand, you risk being just another orthodontist, lost in a sea of hundreds of others. Taking time to develop your branding, including a logo and tagline, is a good way to differentiate yourself.

  • Logo & Tagline: Quickly highlights what makes your practice unique
  • Branding: What makes your practice different from any other in your city? The way you answer this question and communicate this difference (via words, images, video, & design) is called “your brand”.

Remember, your patients are much more likely to choose a brand they connect with over generic alternatives.

3. Redesign your website

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When was the last time you redesigned your website? Technology is changing so quickly that most marketing experts recommend updating your website every 5 years.

Take a look at your site and ask yourself these questions:

  • Can a patient easily view and navigate my website on a phone?
  • Does the website feature high-quality photos of my office and staff?
  • Does my website look modern?
  • Is it easy to find a way to contact and book an appointment?
  • Is my website bringing in new patients?

If you answered “no” to any one of these questions, you may need a website redesign.

4. Optimize your website for SEO

Your website can and should be your #1 source of new patients. SEO (search engine optimization) is a critical part of making this happen.

When searching for an orthodontist or for teeth straightening solutions, 70% of people will click on one of the top 5 suggestions in a dental search engine results page. Over 90% of people will never go beyond the first page.

Optimizing your site for SEO means working to get your practice on that first page of results. The higher your rankings, the more visitors to your site, and the more opportunities you have to convert them to new patients.

Dental SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2021

Dental SEO is the process of making your practice appear higher in search engine results — it’s getting your orthodontic website to the top spot in a search engine result page (SERP) without paying for an ad.

5. Add online booking for patients

Your patients want the ability to book an appointment online

  • 43% book appointments after hours (if you’re not providing after-hours online patient booking, you’re losing thousands of dollars a month)
  • 31% would seriously consider switching to a new provider if they offered online appointment booking 

Offering online scheduling is a win-win:

  • You get more patients (and your front desk staff has fewer calls and voicemails to manage)
  • Your patients get an added level of convenience

NexHealth is an excellent patient scheduling system. This platform is customizable and integrates with most major practice management and electronic health record systems, including Dentrix, EagleSoft, OpenDental, and Curve Dental.

When a patient is considering braces or clear aligners, they have a lot of questions. Mainly, they want to know what to expect. Shortening the treatment process to 3 easy-to-understand steps and highlighting this process on your website will help patients feel confident about booking an appointment.

Take a look at these 2 orthodontist websites that do a great job of outlining exactly “how it works” and what a new patient can expect:

7. Outline COVID-19 safety procedures

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Do your patients know the precautions your practice is taking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? Whether you’ve updated your patient processes, implemented new safety procedures, or have new policies in place, make sure patients can easily find this information on your website.

Highlighting these safety procedures will build trust and may help you stand out from practices who don’t talk about the changes they’ve made.

8. Offer free consultations

Getting braces or clear aligners is a big step. Patients often have questions like:

  • Am I a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
  • Should I get braces or clear aligners?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What will it feel like?
  • Will it change my day-to-day life?
  • Why shouldn’t I just do direct-mail aligners instead?

It’s difficult to overcome all these questions and fears on your website alone. That’s why so many orthodontists today are offering free consultations as a compelling call-to-action. This type of offer is meant to get new patients through the door — and it works! This is one of the best orthodontic marketing strategies to try for your practice.

9. Consider virtual options

orthodontic virtual consult marketing idea delmain

In 2020, we saw a surge of practitioners adopt telehealth options to continue serving their patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now, many orthodontists are adopting virtual consult options as a long-term strategy. Are you one of them? If you have the ability, we recommend it!

Done well, virtual consults are more efficient and cost-effective than their in-person counterparts. Best of all, offering virtual consult options gives you a competitive advantage over orthodontic practices that don’t offer this service.

10. Include pricing on your website

Historically, most orthodontic providers have been reluctant to list pricing on their website. However, that trend is changing. Our most recent research of thousands of Google Ads and dental websites shows that about 25% of practitioners are showing pricing for services like clear aligners. We expect pricing to become more common on orthodontic websites over time.

By showing pricing (even if it’s a “starting at” number) you’re setting yourself apart from the competition. Additionally, pricing and finances are a major patient concern. Being upfront about the investment someone can expect will help build trust.

11. Add a live chat option on your website

Live web chat capabilities offer real-time assistance to potential patients in a format that fits their usage preferences. Like online scheduling, this feature also reduces your calls and emails in your office, giving your team more time to focus their attention on the patients in the office.

If you decide to test out this orthodontic marketing strategy, make sure you choose a chat software that’s HIPAA compliant.

12. Gather more patient reviews

Good reviews (and lots of them) will give your practice a major competitive advantage:

  • 90% of patients consult online reviews before booking an appointment
  • 42% of people won’t go to an orthodontist with less than a three-star rating
  • A single negative review can drive away approximately 22% of people

It’s not enough to hope a satisfied patient will leave you a review. You need to be actively soliciting reviews to maintain a steady flow of feedback. 
We recommend using a reputation management system to automate this process and help keep an eye on what patients are saying about you online. 

13. Discover the power of video testimonials

Video testimonials from happy patients are the most effective way to catch the attention of people who visit your website. Don’t overlook their value! Consider the stats:

  • 4x as many people would rather watch a video than read about it.
  • 95% retention rate (people only remember 12% of textual information).
  • 40x more likely to get shared on social. Plus, videos lead to a visitor staying on your site an average of 2 minutes longer.

Video reviews can be created on any budget. Produce a professional video, shoot the testimonial yourself, or ask your patients to record a video on their phone. 

Take a look at some excellent examples of video testimonials from orthodontists around the US:

14. Add your practice to Google Maps

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Is your practice listed on Google Maps? If not, you need to list it there — today! When someone searches on Google for, say, “orthodontist Seattle”, some of the first results they’ll see are Google Maps search results. If you’re not listed on Google Maps, you won’t show up (but your competitors will).

Adding your practice to Google Maps is a 6-step process. We’ve outlined how to do it step-by-step here.

15. Invest in paid advertising

Your marketing strategy should include a paid advertising campaign. You have so many options, but we recommend focusing on a digital strategy that includes both Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Google Ads will get your practice in front of patients who are ready to schedule an appointment now. And for Facebook, we recommend creating a Facebook Ads Funnel. This strategy offers three campaign objective options: awareness, consideration, and conversion. You’ll create unique ads for each stage with the goal of moving someone through the funnel.

Dental Ad Ideas Guaranteed to Attract Patients

This guide features a collection of dental ad ideas that will help bring in more patients and grow your practice.

These ideas are great for all dental practitioners, especially orthodontists!

16. Find a partner to manage it all

If you want the freedom to continue doing what you do best (providing excellent care), an orthodontic marketing strategy is a must — but it does take a lot of time and expertise to do it right. We recommend partnering with an orthodontic marketing company. Doing so offers many benefits:

  • Frees up your time
  • Gives you a team of marketing experts on your side 
  • Ensures you’re spending your ad dollars wisely

If you’re wondering how to promote your orthodontic practice and get more patients, working with a marketing company is a great place to start.

Let us know how we can help

We’ve only cracked the surface of orthodontic marketing tactics. But no matter what ideas peak your interest, it’s all about taking lots of small steps to create one larger, cohesive marketing strategy. If you need some help putting it all together, let us know.

We’d love to hear from you, answer your questions, and help you succeed. That’s what :Delmain does for dozens of practices around the nation every day. Request a consultation today.

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