Step-by-step orthodontics marketing plan July 16, 2020So you’ve made the decision to grow as an orthodontics practice. Great! Now what? You know that digital marketing is the first step to reaching prospective patients. Your website needs freshening up, you need to run Facebook Ads, and you need to boost your Google ranking. It can be intimidating and time consuming when you’re first starting out. How do you get all of these pieces working together to your advantage? We’re glad you asked. After over 20 years in the marketing industry, we’ve developed the ultimate step-by-step guide to digital marketing for orthodontists that will send new patients flocking to your doors. Find out what we consider to be our “secret sauce” below. Want to talk strategy? Schedule a free consultation. Quick overview of orthodontics marketing If you want to register more patients for your orthodontics practice, you have to think like your prospective patients! It is well-known in the digital marketing industry that people go through four stages as they are being convinced to buy: Attract, Engage, Convert, and Close. We’ve added one more: Prepare. Orthodontics marketing doesn’t work unless you’re organized, with a crystal clear strategy in mind. Make sure your digital ducks are all in a row before you launch into the buying cycle, and you should see results in a matter of months! 1. Prepare your orthodontics marketing strategy The foundation of an effective digital orthodontics marketing plan is strong branding and an optimized website. Without these elements, your strategy will struggle to get off the ground. Here is what we mean when we talk about branding and website design: Branding and graphic design: Your brand, including the logo, colors, and fonts of your orthodontics practice, is one of your greatest assets. It visually communicates to prospective patients who you are and what you do. Without a strong and consistent brand, your orthodontics marketing strategy won’t be effective. Prospective patients will be confused, and less likely to remain loyal, if they see different visuals representing your practice in different places online. Make sure you have an authoritative style guide, outlining which logo, colors, and fonts you can use, to keep you on-brand throughout your digital marketing. Website design and content: Your website is the first impression you give, and the primary source of the content Google will read to rank your position online. Therefore, it’s vital that your orthodontics marketing strategy includes a clean, seamlessly designed website with a good structure and keyword-optimized content. This means writing each service page focused on including a specific service-related keyword (such as “Invisalign”) so that Google knows what you’re talking about. This is called “Search Engine Optimization” or “SEO.” Clean up your website if you can and rewrite your services if you need to before you begin marketing online. Ready to get started? Let’s talk orthodontics marketing. 2. Use orthodontics marketing to attract patients Your orthodontics marketing strategy begins with the “Attract” phase. Here, you should identify prospective patients as people in your area who are starting to become unhappy with their appearance, people who are beginning to notice issues caused by the alignment of their teeth or jaws, or parents who are wondering if their children might need orthodontic work. As a result of this heightened awareness, many of these people are asking questions online, typing them into their browsers or asking friends over social media. All of these people in your region can be targeted and attracted to your business using the following digital marketing tools: Social media marketing: You’ve probably already created a Facebook page for your business and tried to run some Facebook Ads. This is undoubtedly the place to be if you want to reach as many people as possible – in fact, Facebook has 214 million users in the United States alone. That’s almost 66% of the population! Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow you to target these people based on location, their demographics, the groups they follow, their interests, and more, showing your advertisements in their news feeds. This is gold when it comes to your orthodontics marketing strategy. Post consistently with your target marketing in mind, answering questions they may have as they engage with you online. Always, always include a call to action in your posts and advertisements, either by linking back to your website or providing a phone number people can call to schedule an appointment. Google Ads: Never underestimate the power of Google Ads. One of the first things any modern, prospective patient is going to do as they are looking for an orthodontist is research online. Did you know you can put your practice in the number one spot on the Google results page with Google Ads? They show up at the top of the page in the “ad” section whenever a prospective patient searches using the keywords you choose to target through your ad account – for example, you could target “Invisalign.” Be sure to use a catchy title and point the ad toward a relevant, keyword-optimized service page on your website for best results. Blog marketing: A great way to target the *exact* questions prospective patients are searching online is to write a blog answering their question! This is an essential part of every orthodontics marketing strategy. Google Autocomplete is a great way to do this. Simply type in a word like “Invisalign,” see what pops up, and write a blog answering the question. Easy! If you blog regularly (we recommend one to two times per week if you are able), you’ll notice your web traffic increase substantially! The most important thing is to be consistent. Looking to outsource your orthodontics marketing? Call us. 3. Orthodontics marketing that engages Once you have attracted potential customers, your next goal should be to have them stick around. Keep your followers coming back with higher levels of content that answer more of their questions about orthodontics, establish your credibility, and begin to develop a virtual relationship. Use the following orthodontics marketing tools to engage prospective patients: Video marketing: Now that your followers know that they can find quality content from you on social media, they will be on the lookout for more. Video is one of the most easily consumable forms of content and a very effective way to get your message across. Create short, 30-60 second video productions that talk about the benefits of becoming a patient at your orthodontics practice or that answer common questions to keep people engaged. Social media quizzes: Social media quizzes are also becoming increasingly popular online. Create an engaging quiz such as, “What does your smile say about your personality?” Be as serious or as silly as you like – it all helps develop your brand personality. Remember that this stage of your orthodontics marketing strategy is all about engagement! Include a call to action at the end to encourage people to call or visit your website. Need help developing your messaging? We’re the experts. 4. Convert using lead generation After your orthodontics marketing strategy has attracted and engaged prospective patients, you can ask them for something in return. At this point, your followers are interested and will be willing to give you something, such as their email address or their availability for an appointment. Convert these people to leads by requesting their contact information using the following tools: Landing pages: Landing pages are generally the pages on your website that a customer lands on after they have clicked on an advertisement or a call-to-action, however, many landing pages are built with one goal in mind: conversion. These landing pages offer something valuable in return for prospective patients’ contact information. It could be an eBook, free consultation, or whatever you choose (see below)! When creating a landing page, be sure to write a catchy headline, use relevant images, and write concise, relevant content to the topic at hand, always driving the visitor closer to the call to action of submitting their contact info. eBooks: eBooks are a fun way to repurpose the blogs written in the “Attract” stage of your orthodontics marketing strategy! Compiling and indexing relevant blogs into an eBook gives you a valuable piece of content to deliver to prospective patients in exchange for their contact information. For example, after you have answered a comprehensive set of questions about braces, you can create an eBook entitled, “What You Need to Know Before You Get Braces.” Other: There are many ways to capture contact information that are not limited to landing pages. For example, you should have a contact form setup on your website and strongly consider installing a chatbot if your orthodontics practice has the time to manage it. Chatbots can request that visitors enter their email address and/or phone number before they chat. You could also offer free subscription to email updates whenever you publish a new blog or a free subscription to an e-newsletter if you have time to regularly email prospective patients as well. Struggling to convert leads? Let’s assess your strategy. 5. Final stage of your orthodontics marketing plan The “Close” stage is the final stage where a prospective patient makes the decision to register with your orthodontics practice. Now that you’ve reached the end of your orthodontics marketing strategy, make it as easy as possible for them to give you their business using a simple sales tactic: Free Consultations: Free consultations require no commitment and allow prospective patients to take a no-strings-attached peek into your practice. By making the first step, however, they are taking action that will give them a favorable predisposition to you over your competitors. Offer a free consultation form on your landing page or website to take prospective patients through the final stage of the buying cycle. After you have completed the “Close” stage, you’ve done it! You have successfully taken a prospective orthodontics patient through the buying cycle using an effective orthodontics marketing plan. Now all that’s left is to stay consistent with all of these tools and techniques to keep them coming! If all of these stages and tools sound too overwhelming, please know that they can easily be built up over time. That said, it is imperative that you complete them regularly and in a reasonable timeframe if you want this orthodontics marketing strategy to be effective. Please know that we have done this for many practices over the years and we would be happy to talk strategy with you. Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation today.