Looking for new Invisalign patients? Here’s how with digital marketing….

Dentists, beat the DIY ‘braces-by-post’ suppliers and the national providers!

Clear braces Invisalign The rush to attract new Invisalign patients appears to have reached a peak, exacerbated by dental practices trying to hit treatment targets set by Invisalign to secure lower laboratory costs and other perks.

The savings which can be made by hitting these targets are quite substantial and allow dentists to place attractive treatments offers into the market place to help attract new patients. If you are already an “Invisalign dentist” this will likely sound quite familiar!

However, it’s certainly not plain sailing. It seems that many practices now have an Invisalign provider and consequently competition for a finite number of patients is high. Add to this a couple of national providers of Invisalign treatment and competition from the “aligners by post” brigade, and it’s easy to see why there is a bit of a frenzy in the market at the moment.

Given the current landscape then, how do you compete effectively and ensure that you get those Invisalign cases through the door and into the treatment chair?

To help you get moving, here is an outline of the marketing tools and techniques you need to deploy to get ahead in the clear braces race, tested and proven by the digital marketing team here at Dental Media.

Let’s start with the obvious, i.e. an excellent website with exceptional orthodontics content. Then we’ll move on to the techniques you can use to get the traffic and enquiries you need and how to record and follow them up.

Your website

You may well already have a high-quality practice website, but does it have the depth of content needed to make the difference in Google? Many new enquiries will come via what is known as organic search i.e. people looking for your services and clicking on the traditional, free results they find. To be in the mix in Google you really need to be in the top three positions with the ultimate objective of securing the top spot. Couple this with gaining prominence in the local/map results and you are well on your way to securing over 60% of the traffic from people seeking out your service.

To ensure that Google considers your website to be authoritative, a key factor in securing good ranking positions, you should revisit your content and ensure that it is of the highest quality. This means making sure that you strike the right balance between usability for real people and keeping Google happy with a suitable depth of information – minimalist content won’t make the grade unfortunately, so you’ll have to do some work here. The usual rules apply, i.e. deployment of excellent textual content supplemented with videos, testimonials, case studies etc.

The golden rule here is that content which is appealing and works well for users, also tends to work very well for Google ranking too!

Search engine optimisation

Now that you’ve embellished the Invisalign content on your website, it’s time to consider search engine optimisation or SEO. This includes making sure that your content is SEO friendly, something we call on-site optimisation, and also off-site optimisation including back-link acquisition and content placement. This type of activity is best carried out by a specialist as it is important to comply with Google’s publishing guidelines.

Done well, SEO will boost you to the top of Google and help you attract lots of users who still use Google as their primary information source when seeking out new products and services.

But what happens during the period where you build up your level of website optimisation and improve your rankings? This can be very difficult and take many months to achieve, particularly where competition levels are significant. In this case, you can make a great start using paid ads with Google and Facebook. Indeed, even when you have great natural search positions, it still makes sense to pick up your share of paid traffic by deploying suitable ads.

Advertising on Google and Facebook

As we’ve illustrated elsewhere in this blog, both Google and Facebook have forced businesses to consider paid ads by restricting the free or organic use of their services. So with Google we are seeing more ads appear in prime positions on page one of the search results and in Facebook we see the organic “reach” of posts being severely restricted. In both cases, you now need to “pay to play” and this is particularly so when it comes to advertising your Invisalign services.

There are a couple of ways to do this – the first involves having a set of ads which show to users continuously, sometimes known as a “background” campaign. This continual presence for your ads should return a steady stream of enquiries, assuming of course that you deploy and maintain the ads correctly and have a suitable budget.

The second way to use ads is to advertise one-off events such as an open day – this can be particularly effective.

As with all pay-per-click (PPC) initiatives, it is essential to grab the user’s attention as soon as they’ve clicked on your ad and been directed to your landing page. It is not usually sufficient to simply direct a user to a standard web page, even if it is a good one. Much better is to use a carefully crafted, purpose-built landing page which is designed to be super engaging and to stimulate the user to contact you straight away. You can even include an appointment booking system where the user can book in for a consultation or to attend your open evening. Essentially you need to do everything you can to make their experience as engaging and as simple as possible. If you acheive this, then the chances are that the user will select your services over those of your competitors.

Appropriate offers

Whether we like them or not, offers are a key feature of most successful paid ad campaigns and particularly so for treatments such as Invisalign. Everyone likes to think they’ve got a bargain so you will need to consider a range of possibilities for offers to use with your paid ads. “Money off” usually works well along with the usual “free retainers”, “free whitening” and “free consultations”. But please be aware that these are becoming commonplace and so you’ll need to add a bit of creativity to make your ads stand out from the rest.

Recording and following-up on enquiries – CRM

Although not essential, a tool known as a CRM (customer relationship management) is extremely useful to record your “leads”, follow them up and also to keep a track on progress. Indeed the enquiries which come in via website contact form and ads etc can be configured to load directly into the CRM, so saving on admin time. For more details of a CRM system designed specifically for use by dentists, please give our team a call and we can arrange a demonstration.

What should you expect from your promotional campaigns?

Of course this depends on how well you implement and manage your campaigns. When done well, you can easily compete with and beat the dentists who subscribe to the national network of Invisalign providers who advertise on behalf of their clients and then “divvy up” the resulting enquiries.

Paid advertising and professional SEO is not cheap but the cost of these techniques is easily covered by the new treatment cases they bring.

Summary

As an Invisalign provider seeking to meet treatment targets, it can be daunting to know where to start. But all is not lost as there is a tried-and-tested, digital marketing template for success. To find out more, please call Dental Media on 01332 672548.