28 of the BEST Digital Marketing Ideas for Orthodontists

Looking for marketing ideas for your orthodontic practice?

This article will give you 28 of the best online marketing ideas for your orthodontic practice in 2020 and beyond.

The list covers four digital marketing realms: Social Media, Websites and Search Engines, Follow Up Campaigns, and Local Promotion.

Here’s the list!

NOTE: Join our Social Media Kickstarter for Orthodontists Course completely free for more in-depth training on effective social media posting for orthodontists!

Social Media Ideas for Orthodontists

1. Stay Active on Social

Bill Gates famously said, “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” This applies specifically to social media as an orthodontic practice! However, understanding what and how to post on Facebook or Instagram can be difficult.

The secret of what to post on social media is in the name! Be the most social practice online, and you’ll win. Engage, and your future patients will engage with you.

Avoid canned social media content at all costs! Instead, post exciting content that people actually want to see.

For a repository of 300+ social media marketing and post ideas, check out our Social Media Blueprint!

2. Run Facebook and Instagram Ads

If you want to reach anyone who doesn’t already like your social media pages, you need to run paid ads.

This type of marketing allows you to instantly reach tens of thousands of your ideal customers through social media – this is what Orthopatients specializes in!

Facebook Ads for Orthodontists

If you’re interested in working with a marketing agency who has had experience with 80+ Orthodontic practices in the US and Canada, schedule a call with us here

You can also check out our YouTube channel for practical tips on running social media ads!

3. Create a Viral TikTok Video

Growing on TikTok in 2020 has been described as “[growing on] Instagram…but on easy mode”. If you want a lot of attention quickly, this is the time to get it!

Don’t limit yourself to just TikTok though! Market on whichever platform you’re most comfortable with.

One of our favorite viral videos came from Dr. Doug Shaw in Texas:

Shaw Orthodontics Viral Dance

Viral videos allow you to reach thousands of your ideal customers and show off your brand personality instantly. Plus, it’s fun!

4. Run a Social Media Giveaway

A social media giveaway is an excellent way to connect with your community on social media. Follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Decide what to give away – The more exciting your offer (free braces, anyone?), the more attention your giveaway will attract.
  2. Spread the word – Use online ads, social posts, word of mouth, and in office posters to advertise your offer.
  3. Capture the leads –  Make sure you get some sort of contact information in exchange for entering the giveaway (phone number and email are best).
  4. Pick a winner – Use a site like commentpicker.com to choose your winner!
  5. Follow up with everyone else – Notify the rest of the applicants that they qualify for an additional “runner up” offer (e.g. $750 off braces).

If you’re looking for more details or ideas on giveaways, be sure to purchase our Social Media Blueprint, which has hundreds of great ideas for social posts, giveaways, and holidays!

5. Use Personal Branding

Personal branding positions you (or your doctor) as the face of your company. This is a powerful marketing technique that connects you personally with potential patients. Here are some tips on personal branding as an orthodontist:

  • Clean up your facebook or Instagram profile – get rid of anything you wouldn’t want your future patients to see.
  • Have a photoshoot – Take some professional pictures taken that you can post throughout the year.
  • Lead your Tribe – Jay Abraham said, “People are begging to be led.” Become a local leader by posting advice about orthodontic treatment and life in general.
  • Show your backstory – Humans LOVE stories. Tell yours through your posts on social media.
  • Document your life – Build an intimate connection with your audience by showing what each day looks like for you.

Pro Tip: Check out Dr. Dovi Prero or Dr. Stuart Frost on Instagram for some great examples of personal branding!

6. Use Hashtags

Hashtags gather similar content online into one spot. Be sure to hashtag the cities you pull patients from in your posts so new patients can find you!

You can also tag #Orthodontics, #Braces, #Invisalign etc. to reach a global audience.

Pro tip: Some studies suggest it’s better not to put a huge list of hashtags at the end of a post, instead, sprinkle them throughout what you’re already saying!

7. Create informational YouTube Content

Here’s an excerpt from our Ultimate Guide to Orthodontic Marketing about why Orthodontists should have a YouTube channel:

Picture this: Shelly, a mom of four is looking for an Orthodontist in her local area. It’s been a long day, but she sits down after putting her kids to bed to do some research because she has a few questions about braces.

She searches Google for “Orthodontist near me” and finds a practice called Nelson Orthodontics. On the front page, she sees a link that says “Check out our YouTube channel for answers to common questions”.

Shelly clicks through and sees that every one of her questions is answered by an in-depth video. There is even an office tour! 

Let’s say Shelly didn’t schedule a consultation with Nelson Orthodontics that night. Do you think she’ll be able to forget the amazing orthodontist that answered all of her questions on YouTube?

Not a chance.

Read the rest of our tips on YouTube from the Ultimate Guide to Orthodontic Marketing.

8. Use YouTube Ads

Like social media ads, YouTube ads allow you to target a local audience.

Google Ads for Orthodontists

Create a video that will catch a viewer’s attention within the first 5 seconds to have the most success with your YouTube ads!

9. Join or Start a Facebook Group

Facebook groups are a completely free way to market to thousands of people in your area instantly.

To start, post and engage genuinely in active Facebook groups. Group members will naturally wonder who you are and learn more about your business that way.

If you decide to start your own Facebook group, make sure you make the topic or demographic big enough to attract thousands of members. Some examples might include: Kansas City Business Owners, or Moms on the Treasure Coast.

10. Join or Start a Subreddit

Similar to Facebook groups, subreddits gather thousands of people with similar interests (or geography) onto one forum. There’s a 99% chance that there is a subreddit for your local area. Find yours, then see how you can provide value and get brand recognition.

If you see an opportunity to start a successful subreddit, ensure the topic you make it for will attract a local audience.

Start a Subreddit to Grow Your Orthodontic Practice

11. Join or Start a LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn is like Facebook’s more professional cousin. Joining or creating a group on this platform will connect you with local professionals who might need orthodontic treatment!

Start a LinkedIn Group to Grow Your Orthodontic Practice

12. Collaborate with local influencers

Influencers create loyal audiences online so advertisers can pay them to reach their followers. Consider finding location-specific influencers who will post for your orthodontic practice in exchange for money or special offers.

PRO TIP: Offer your influencer’s followers a discount so they are more likely to start treatment.

13. Comment on related content

Online traffic is directed, not created. In other words, it already exists – you just have to tap into it! 

One free way to gain exposure online is to comment on popular influencer posts. This way their followers will see your comment, then find your page!

Website and Search Engine Ideas for Orthodontists

14. Get Your Website Right

Does your website look like this?


Do yourself a favor and simplify things.

Here are the two most important things to keep in mind as you consider a potential website (re)design:

  • Conversion over Beauty – It doesn’t matter how beautiful your site is if it doesn’t convert visitors into leads.
  • Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes – If you visited your current website, would you want to do business with you?

For an in-depth tutorial, check out this YouTube video we made about orthodontic websites here:

15. Perform Local SEO (Google My Business/Online Listings)

When you synchronize your online listings (citations) to have the same name, address, and phone number (NAP for short), sites like Google and Bing trust your business more. This is because search engines use all the information they can find about your practice online to build an algorithmic “profile” of your business. 

You can get started by registering your orthodontic practice (or checking if you’re already registered) on sites like Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare etc. and that your NAP are spelled the exact same way on each!

16. Post to Google My Business (GMB) 

Google my business (business.google.com) is a free site that allows you to list your website on Google maps. If you post to your GMB listing a few times a week, you’ll build even more trust with Google.

17. Tighten up your Website SEO

Appearing at the top of search engine results is worth your time and effort. Here are a few ways you can do this:

  • Index your site on Google. Use Google Search Console to index your site and make your website more likely to rank in search results.
  • Upgrade your website hosting. Cheap website hosting is just that: cheap. When you pay slightly more to host your website on WPEngine or Kinsta (if you use WordPress), search engines will respect your site more, and it will be faster.
  • Smush your images. Bulky images on your website can slow down your site. Page speed is critical for SEO. Use a tool like tinyjpg.com to reduce the size of your images.

18. Add the Facebook Pixel to Your Site

The Facebook Pixel allows you to match visitors on your website to their Facebook profiles. Even if you’re not running ads on Facebook or Instagram, this data can help those platforms trust you.

You can add the facebook pixel to your website using this tutorial:

19. Start a Blog

A well written blog on your orthodontic website can bring you thousands of extra visitors every month. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Pick popular topics. Save yourself some heartache and do keyword research before you write a blog post on something no one cares about. We like Ubersuggest and the chrome extension “Keywords Everywhere
  • Write like a human. You may be a doctor, but that doesn’t mean you should write like one. Make your sentences concise, use simple words, and organize your posts for easy reading.
  • Pick Great Headlines. Use a tool like Coschedule’s headline analyzer to craft the perfect headline for every article. Compelling headlines mean more clicks and more traffic, which means more love from search engines!

20. Run Google Search Ads

If you don’t have the patience for SEO, Google Ads are a great way to reach high intent searchers quickly. These are the ads that appear at the top of the Google search results for specific keywords.

Google Ad for Orthodontist Example

For helpful guidelines on Google Ads, visit chapter six of our Ultimate Guide to Orthodontic Marketing

21. Buy Google Display Network Ads

Google Display Network (GDN) ads are similar to social media ads, but they appear on third party websites instead of social platforms.

Google Display Network Ads Example

Use them to retarget your website visitors, or reach new customers as they browse the web!

22. List your Business on Small Business Listing Platforms

Bark and Angi are both examples of local listing sites that can help searchers find your orthodontic practice by listing you on their platform. These are the sites with “Top 10” lists that come up when you search something like “Best restaurant in Denver”

Small Business Listing Marketing for Orthodontists

Most of these sites have advertising programs that charge your company per month or per lead. Watch closely to see if they perform well!

23. Ask for and Respond to Online Reviews

Online reviews are as good as gold, getting more of them doesn’t have to be such a pain. One great way to get more online reviews is by sending a text or email drip campaign:

Send a bulk email or text to your past customers with the link to review your orthodontic practice. Here’s an example of what you might say:

Online Review Request Email Script

Pro Tip: Always respond to your reviews, good or bad. Potential customers are watching how you interact with your current customers, do your best to blow them away!

Follow up Campaign Ideas for Orthodontists

Follow up marketing reaches customers who already know (and hopefully like and trust) you. This is where the magic really happens.

24. Build an Email List

Take a few hours to compile your collected emails from every possible channel: your website, no sale lists, no show lists, leads captured from events, etc.

This list is one of your biggest marketing assets! 

Here are some ideas of what you can do with it:

  • Send newsletters to current patients (with deals they can forward to their friends)
  • Notify “on the fence” prospects about holiday sales
  • Build a relationship with prospects through fun emails talking about your practice

25. Build a Text List

This is just like your email list, but with an even higher response and open rate. Go through the same process as compiling an email list – pull phone numbers from everywhere!

Follow up with this list through text about every 3 months. 

Something as simple as:

“Hey [First Name], we haven’t seen you in a while – there are a few free orthodontic consultations open for this week, would you like to come in?”

Can work wonderfully to reactivate people who may have forgotten about you.

Text List Software

Want Orthopatients to set up your text campaign for you? Schedule a strategy session here!

26. Leverage Retargeting

When someone visits your orthodontic website or social profile, make sure you’re retargeting them with ads!

See the Facebook pixel section of this list for more information on how to get started. In addition, the Google analytics tracking code allows you to retarget through the Google Display Network.

Local Promotion Ideas for Orthodontists

27. Appear on the Local News

While news outlets usually have paid advertising programs, with the right story, you can appear on the local news for free!

There’s no tried and true way to do this, but being active in your community, on social media, and sending potential stories to your local news station are three great ways to get noticed.

28. Sponsor a local email newsletter

Many news outlets or community organizations send emails to local residents. If you think the email list might have some of your future patients in it, you can pay to sponsor it!


Phew! We covered a lot of marketing ideas in this post. Our guess is that you don’t have the time or energy to apply all 28 orthodontic marketing ideas in this post, so we thought we’d give our two cents on the best marketing opportunities for orthodontists.

At Orthopatients, we specialize in 1) Social Media ads and 2) Follow Up Campaigns. In our experience, these will be the 20% effort that will yield 80% of your results.

If you’re interested in learning more, please schedule a strategy session with us!

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