Marketing for any local business can be tough, especially if you try to translate more generalized digital marketing practices into social media and other ads tailored specifically for local consumers. If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’re going to break down the seven most effective marketing strategies for orthodontists. Follow these tips and you’ll boost your online conversion rate, your consult rate, and your overall marketing effectiveness in no time. Check out this YouTube guide if you’d rather learn through a visual breakdown!
#1. Put Up Local Signs
While this tip may seem a bit obvious, you’d be surprised how many people ignore this strategy in favor of more techy methods. Local signs are arguably the number one way to connect with people in your town or city. And if you’re a local business that needs more local traffic, local signs are the way to get it.
So, how many signs should you put up? As many as you can. Simply put, local signs are one-time costs that keep paying for themselves over and over again. A single sign can get you tons of traffic or consults if it’s well-made and attractive to your target audience.
To make the most of the strategy, identify all the high-traffic areas frequented by people in your target demographic, then put your signs up in those areas. These include banners, posters, and anything else you can think of. Community centers like coffee shops or YMCAs are good places to put posters and local ads, as well.
Even if you don’t have any obvious places to put local signs, do it anyway. Sure, the signs might get taken down, but they’ll be worth it in the short term for a minimum of effort on your part.
#2. Get Your Website Right
Of course, just because you need to focus on local posters in the physical sphere doesn’t mean you can ignore the digital side of things entirely. In fact, it’s key that your website is as airtight and attractive as possible.
What if your website is already good to go? Chances are, it’s not. In fact, lots of people have functional websites or even websites that may look aesthetically pretty. But they don’t get the job done (i.e. they don’t actually convert or drive consults or bring people to contact pages to drive business to your retail location).
So, how can you figure out how to make your website as good as it can be? Here are some resources you can check out right now:
- Ensure that your site has several “linear focus calls to action”. Make sure that your call to action or contact button is clear, easy-to-use, and easy to find above all else
- Ensure that you have an excellent reviews page. Whether your testimonials are video reviews or text reviews, a review page does more than anything else to convince traffic on your site that your business is worth it
- Put some high-quality content on your website. Even if most people don’t read it, it’s worth it to hire a quality copywriter to put some good blog posts on your site, which does a few major things, such as boost your reputation, give you more authority in your industry, and help your site rank higher on Google
#3. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Your Google My Business listing page is likely the single greatest online asset you have (aside from your website, of course). It’s crucial that this is as optimized and well constructed as possible to drive traffic and improve your rankings.
- Tons of great reviews. Don’t cheat with these or pay people to make reviews up; keep them honest and just ask former patients, family members, and friends for good reviews
- Optimize your page’s content and data for Google. Fill out all the information possible, such as your location, the services you offer, and more. The more info Google has, the less it has to guess and the higher it will rank your site
- Don’t forget citations – list your business everywhere you can, such as Yelp, BBB, Yellow Pages, etc. When you do this, make sure you have the exact same information on all these sites, such as your address, phone number, name, etc. and that it’s all spelled correctly
- Post regularly on your Google My Business Page – the more activity your business has, the more likely it will be to be ranked highly by Google and the more Google’s search engine algorithms will trust you
#4. Run Facebook and Instagram Ads
Facebook and Instagram ads are the backbone of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. Run Facebook and Instagram ads by:
- Creating high-quality text and video ads for both platforms. Make sure these are well-designed, that they are punchy and to the point, and that you use Facebook’s Ad Manager to target your key demographic in your local area
- Run a giveaway, such as giving free braces and posting about it on social media. This is free publicity and is great for driving traffic
- Run a virtual consultation campaign (though this may have mixed results depending on your market)
Make sure to check out our complete 2021 guide on Facebook ads for orthodontists here.
#5. Post Effective Content on Social Media
The other major part of online marketing is posting effective, natural-looking content on social media. People are very ad-savvy these days, but posting quality content on your social media profiles that seems fluid and natural is a great way to drive traffic and make people interested in your orthodontic or dental practice.
For example, you can post regular pictures (up to a few per day) of happy patients or satisfied clients in your practice. Showcase your work and the office interior. Consider hiring a social media manager or having one of your receptionists do the job to keep the content flowing.
By posting engaging, interesting content on social media, your target audience will be more likely to contact you if and when they decide to get braces or any other orthodontic work.
The key here to is to post on social media regularly. Not only does this make you seem more active in your community, but it’ll help you make genuine relationships with locals in your community, which is always the goal for any local business marketing.
#6. Run Google Ads
If you’ve already optimized your website and Google My Business Page, this tip is a little less necessary but it can still be great for getting quick results as you build up search engine authority.
Google Ads are excellent for spreading your name and getting fast traffic for major keywords. But keep in mind that Google ads can also be quite expensive, particularly if you try to bid on popular or competitive keywords such as “braces”, “Invisalign”, and so on.
Furthermore, it’s not worth running Google ads if your website isn’t totally optimized. Be sure to optimize both your site and your My Business page before trying this. After all, if people just click away from your website as soon as they arrive, you’re essentially wasting money on these pricey ads.
#7. Email Marketing
Don’t discount email marketing – it’s a marketing tactic that can make you a lot of money if you leverage it correctly. Why?
For one, it’s incredibly cost-effective. For another, it’s great for reminding your future customers that you exist and are a great choice for any orthodontic or dental needs they might have.
Email marketing is easy to start. You can get email addresses from people who visit your website or sign up for a free consult (which should already be a part of your contact page), or from former patients who maybe had a single procedure with you but could use another in the future.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to make sure your books are constantly filled without having to spend a small fortune on ads. Your emails can take a lot of forms, including:
- Greeting emails for new consult your customers
- Reminder emails about special offers or Invisalign
- Birthday or congratulation emails
#8. Bonus Tip! Text Message Marketing
We aren’t done yet – don’t forget text message marketing, which is criminally underutilized by many local businesses. Like email marketing, you can get numbers for texting from a variety of sources, such as the phone numbers of people who signed up for a consult but didn’t close or those who visited your site but didn’t stop by.
Text messages can be used to advertise special offers, reminders, or to convert people who came in for a consult but didn’t sign up for an appointment or procedure. One major thing to keep in mind: be careful about the number of texts you send (so you don’t cost your potential clients any money) and the wording you use. If your texts include the words “free” or words in all caps, they may be flagged as spam.
If you’re looking to grow your orthodontic practice this year, the team at OrthoPatients would love to help you achieve your goals. Sign up for a strategy session today or watch our free 10 minute training and see how we can help you implement the tips from this article – see you on the other side!