The average orthodontist is far from average.
We know. It takes a long time and a lot of work to become an orthodontist. Once your education and training are finally done, you face a slew of business challenges that general dentists don’t.
Orthodontics is crucial to overall dental health, but it’s also considered a specialty practice. With that in mind, it’s harder for you to get the funding you need to fly solo – not to mention expensive.
When you finally get there, you tackle a whole new set of challenges.
Millions of Americans have some degree of dental anxiety. And while the exact number is uncertain, plenty of adults have untreated orthodontic issues and wonder if they’re worth fixing now.
When people think orthodontist – if they know the word – they usually think of old-fashioned metal braces twice the size of what’s available today. And they assume it’ll be long months or years before they can see any difference in the mirror. These are just a few of the misconceptions you navigate.
There’s an answer to them: Digital marketing, or to put it another way, orthodontist marketing online.
But if you’re like some orthodontists, just hearing marketing made you groan. You didn’t come all this way so you could spend your days posting on social media. You probably don’t have anyone in the office dedicated to marketing. And no, it’s not a good idea to ask your nephew who’s good with TikTok.
(Don’t feel bad – just about everyone has thought of hiring “the neighbor boy” to do their social media.)
It’s not that your office shouldn’t do some marketing. Posting customer photos online, attending local events in your community, and dropping off gift baskets for your referral partners are all normal, low-stress activities with a high impact – exactly the kind of things you should do when you can.
But posting on Facebook? Yes, it can bring new patients to your door …
… but if your gut reaction is “I have better things to do,” you don’t have to feel bad about it.
Maybe you’ve been trudging along, trying to make time for digital marketing when you have the energy to spare. But if it seems like a chore, it probably slips down your priority list on most days. And the fact is, inconsistent digital marketing isn’t much better than nothing at all.
But don’t panic.
There are plenty of reasons you should focus on your business priorities and leave the orthodontist marketing to the pros. It’s not that you couldn’t do it – it’s that you shouldn’t have to. You’ll get better, faster, more reliable results from people who wake up every day raring to make those Facebook posts.
Yes, such people really do exist. We know because we’re among them.
Let’s visit three of the biggest reasons why orthodontists should outsource their digital marketing:
1. You’ll Be More Productive And Efficient Focusing On The Things You Do Best
Practice management is one area where most orthodontists find themselves dealing with a trial by fire. First, you have to find the right staff, then you have to put the right processes in place. Then, hope it all works out when the world throws a curveball at you – say, an unprecedented global pandemic.
All in all, you and your staff already have full days ahead of them.
Answering phones, setting appointments, assisting with procedures, doing follow-ups – all these tasks and more are on the docket for the average employee working in an orthodontist’s office. And as they’re all patient-facing activities, the slightest delay can cause a negative impression of your business.
Everything you and your staff members do contributes to the way people evaluate your quality. That’s the foundation of whether or not patients will keep their next appointment. And it influences all of your orthodontist marketing, too, since it determines whether you’ll get positive reviews on Yelp and Google.
As a result, our suggestion is to focus on excellent customer care and robust, reliable processes so your patients always feel taken care of. Integrate a touch of orthodontist marketing into your daily routine only when it makes sense and moves the relationship forward in a patient-focused way.
For one big example, let’s circle back to the topic of those online reviews.
In the world of orthodontist marketing, we call that social proof. It’s anything that shows people others “just like them” choose you as their orthodontist. This is highly valuable in any industry, but it’s especially vital in orthodontics, where some people may be nervous about the services you offer.
The sad fact of the world we live in is that more people are motivated to leave negative reviews than positive ones. They want to feel like “their voice is being heard,” so they don’t think about how it affects your business. On the other hand, your most satisfied patients usually have a different thought process.
They think you’re so good at what you do, others must already know it!
And that’s what keeps them from posting those positive reviews, even if they’re effusive with praise.
One of the most powerful orthodontist marketing tasks you can integrate into your day-to-day routine is simple. Recognize those patients who are thrilled with your work, ask them a few follow-up questions to be sure, then pop the question – about leaving a review, that is.
Direct patients to your favorite review platform, whether that’s Google, Yelp, or Facebook. It’s critical to narrow it down because if you give them too many options, they won’t know which way to turn. If in doubt, choose the one where you’ve recently received a negative review.
Get used to doing this even 3-4 times a month and it will boost all your other marketing.
Plus, everyone who leaves a review will feel more personally invested in your success.
2. There Really Is More To It Than You Might Think (And It’s Always Getting Bigger)
Over the last decade, best practices in digital marketing have been gradually revealed as we learn more about how people look for information online. At the same time, search engines – especially Google – have been proactive in uncovering new and better ways to improve the user experience.
There’s good news and bad news:
- The good news is, websites are getting better all the time
- The bad news is, websites are getting better all the time
Let’s look at a recent case, Google’s shift to a “mobile-first” indexing experience. What the heck does this mean, exactly? It started when Google, the company that knows the most about website browsing habits in the world, noticed mobile devices were taking up an increasing share of digital traffic.
As these devices, especially smartphones, rose to about 50% of online traffic, the Big G decided to make the mobile version of your website what it looks at first when it’s deciding how to rank websites for a given search term. Websites not designed for mobile users took a nosedive as a result.
All kinds of companies, including Central Florida orthodontists, were left scrambling to address the issue.
The solution, as any marketers worth their salt will tell you, is a responsive design. A responsive design is one that changes in response to both the display size and the input methods of the user. It makes sure someone on a smartphone can see the most important page elements and navigate effectively, too.
The outcome is that websites are much better now than they were before – no contest.
But the constant pace of change can cause a lot of angst if you suddenly discover your popular, highly visible orthodontist website has sunk to nowhere in the online searches that were bringing you traffic as recently as last week. When this happens, it’s tough to know where to go or what to do.
And this is only one episode among many.
Think about how social media burst onto the scene and, ever since, businesses of all kinds throughout Central Florida have been using it to meet future customers. Or how, a scant few years ago, browsers started flagging websites without advanced SSL encryption as “unsafe.”
As changes like these take hold, the internet is getting faster and safer. But that’s a small comfort if, in the short run, your business is getting disrupted. When you partner with a Central Florida marketing agency, one of the biggest benefits is future-proofing yourself against changes like these.
They are coming, and they won’t stop – but with the right expertise, you can swim rather than sink.
For most business owners, not having to worry about what Google is doing offers great peace of mind.
And the same goes for the controversy around tracking cookies, GDPR, CCPA, and the whole alphabet soup of regulations that are changing the name of the game in marketing. We’ll make sure you’re on track to reach your goals – you can stay focused on what you care about most, your patients.
3. You’ll Have More Time To Devote To High-Value In-Person Orthodontist Marketing
When you think about it, orthodontics is a business driven by relationships.
No matter who you are, you won’t let just anyone work on your teeth. One of the biggest upheavals in orthodontics and dentistry as a whole is the fact that people are taking longer to make decisions. This is all because they want to know, like, and trust their orthodontist, just as in other industries.
It’s no longer solely about cost or even about who has the best treatment technology in place.
Digital marketing provides part of the answer for this. It allows you to communicate in a personalized, humane, one-on-one way with people you haven’t even met yet – those who are checking out your website for the first time and still early in their decision-making process.
There’s a reason video has seen such a tremendous increase in these times when so many people are feeling isolated and even distraught. Video content has traditionally attracted more likes, shares, and comments than any other, and now it stands out as the next best thing to being there.
But what about when being there is an option?
No matter how good your marketing is, the vast majority of your patients will come from a radius of about 30 miles around your business. Digital marketing can help you capture attention from the people who search for “orthodontist near me,” but meeting them around your community is just as effective.
Whatever organizations, causes, and commitments you are already involved in can help you find those future patients. Sometimes, that means doing things the old-fashioned way – with compelling business cards, direct mail, and other collateral that communicates your unique brand at a glance.
With your digital brand in safe hands, you have more time to build relationships in the neighborhood:
1. Attend And Sponsor Community Events
What is it that makes your community unique? From barbecue contests to foot races, every town and city has something special – and that goes double here in Florida. Whether you have the resources to be a commercial sponsor or not, you can always attend and meet some new friendly faces.
2. Build Cross-Promotional Partnerships
Be on the lookout for small and mid-sized businesses you can work with – it’s often free and can benefit both sides. Any company that provides specialized services to families is a good fit. Also, be aware of local coupon books and newsletters you might get featured in.
3. Embrace Some Good, Clean Business Networking
Recent research has shown networking makes people feel dirty. It can spark feelings of inauthenticity and even immorality when the relationships you’re striving after are transactional in nature. So, look for well-run events with experienced organizers and come ready to take a genuine interest in others.
New York Ave Offers Orthodontist Marketing That Gives You Something To Smile About
Your business is unique, just like you. But it doesn’t hurt that New York Ave has helped orthodontists from all over Florida come to grips with their digital marketing. We know what it takes to build and scale a plan that leads to more first-time appointments on your schedule.
And you can always be exactly as involved as you wish.
To make sure we can deliver orthodontist marketing that works, our process always starts by getting to know you. What got you into orthodontics? Where has your business been and where is it going? To help tell your story, we need to meet the main character: You.
We pride ourselves on being friendly and responsive. We’re one of the only Florida digital marketers that launch all of our client partnerships with a face-to-face meeting over coffee. Of course, we know your schedule is hectic. We can also meet you over Zoom or your favorite app if you prefer.
Once the fact-finding is done, the fun really starts.
We build out a strategy just for you, based on your requirements, goals, and budget. Our diverse and experienced team can do it all, but that doesn’t mean we just throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
For instance, many orthodontists see huge success with doctor-led video storytelling. If you want to give it a try, we make it easy with all the hardware, software, and coaching. If you don’t, we will find another direction that produces the results you need – more website traffic and more appointments.
In the end, the right orthodontist marketing will make you money and save you money.
You’ll make money because more people will meet your brand, understand what you have to offer, and choose you over the competition. You’ll save money because you won’t have to waste time with a lot of ill-fated “stop and start” efforts to establish forward momentum on your marketing efforts.
A good marketing team is transparent, so you always see how your marketing is affecting your business.
Marketing is a fact of life for small businesses, but it doesn’t have to remain a mystery … or a dilemma. Let’s put our heads together to find the right marketing plan for you. Contact us at New York Ave today.