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Posted on 07/13/2017 in Technology

How to Conquer Select Braces Marketing Like a Boss

How to Conquer Select Braces Marketing Like a Boss

Introduction: Marketing For Orthodontists  

The landscape for ortho marketing has dramatically changed in recent years.  The traditional methods, such as relying on referrals from general dentists has become less and less effective as general dentists have started to offer many of the services that used to be solely provided by orthodontists. To make matters worse, in light of the recession, many orthodontists simply didn’t retire and the market is now saturated with options. 

With all these changes in the marketplace, the question that becomes increasingly important is: how do you market your practice effectively in 2017’s crowded landscape? 

If you're an orthodontist, orthodontic resident or someone hired to help a practice improve its marketing, this article will give you practical tips and tools that you can use to navigate the increasingly complex world of digital marketing. 

Where should I start?

Begin your quest for better marketing by choosing which way you are going to accomplish your work; do you want to do all of it yourself, hire a professional or do some kind of combination? Let’s explore each and see which best fits your practice’s needs: 

Do-it-Yourself Marketing (DIY-M)

Pro’s: DIY-M is typically the least expensive way that you can do your marketing. It doesn’t require a team, no wages and you get the benefit of being able to know the marketing work hands on. 

Cons: The biggest negative to DIY-M is simply the ever present, and likely to be realized fear, that your hours and hours of work could simply just be done incorrectly with little or no ROI. 

Do-it-For-Me Marketing (DIF-M)

Pro’s: If you’ve chosen a trustworthy professional, with DIF-M you can feel confident that these people have at least some expertise in the field and they are likely to return fairly solid results. 

Cons: The downside of an agency or a professional is that it can get expensive quickly requiring a greater expenditure in order to attain the ROI you’re seeking. Also, if you’re not careful, it can lead to social media posting that feels disingenuous to your brand. 

Do-it-With-Me (DIW-M)

Pro’s: The idea of DIW-M is that you get the best of the other two options. You get close to the ease of having a professional doing it for you with the advantage of spending less and being able to make your brand authentic. 

Con’s: This method costs a little more money than doing it yourself, but is significantly cheaper than hiring a full time professional or agency.  DIW-M allows you to be able to control much more of your online presence without sacrificing the authenticity. In this article we will focus on DIW-M marketing because for most orthodontists this is the ideal approach. 

Where should I focus my Orthodontic marketing efforts?

The short answer to this question is simple: focus on the the activities that move the needle. 


In order to show you what moves the needle, let me share with you a hypothetical example. Let’s imagine that Julie, an affluent and influential mother of 6 pre-teen children who are all in need braces, is looking for an orthodontist (we can dream right?) in the city where they just moved. Where do you think that she is going to look first? 

You're right, she’s just like you. She typed her search into Google. This is what the first page of Google looks like for her search terms: 

Welcome to the Era of the Yellow Star

You’ll notice that the top results for her search are reviews of different orthodontic practices. What do you think her initial impression is of the one on the bottom of this list? Do you think that they even get considered? 

The most crucial part in this scenario (which is not unlike hundreds of thousands of searches performed every day) are the yellow stars that are displayed (or not in the case of no reviews) next to the orthodontic practice names.   

Like it or not  people are making decisions on who they choose for care based on these yellow stars and the content of the reviews. In fact, a study by Vendasta Technologies, found that 45% of consumers say that something in an online review made them decide not to work with a particular business. For practices in 2017, building your online reputation is what will move the needle. 


What is SelectBraces and How Can It Improve My Reputation Online?  

SelectBraces is simply a tool for connecting patients and parents with orthodontic specialists who use SelectBraces as a do-it-with-me marketing tool.  Have you heard of SelectBraces.com? If you haven’t it’s okay. If you have, then you are probably here to learn how you can make the most of the platform to become a SelectBraces marketing master.

SelectBraces is the leading orthodontic practice reputation marketing (PRM) platform. It enables orthodontists to see how their practice looks across the internet and improve upon that view to acquire new patients. SelectBraces helps in the following areas: 

 Online Presence — Create a consistent practice presence on 50+ sites 

Authentic Reviews — Monitor 100s of review sites in one place, get feedback from patients in real-time, resolve patient experience issues quickly 

Review Marketing — Expand reach and patient conversion by promoting best reviews on the practice website, social channels and search engines 

 Analytics and Benchmarking — Stay ahead of the pack by gaining actionable insights from your competitors’ patients 

How Does SelectBraces Work?

SelectBraces is made up of a few important components, an orthodontist and orthodontic resident-only directory, a website creation tool and a streamlined review collection service. In this section I’m going to guide you through the steps of how to use SelectBraces so you can get a feel for how it can help you market your practice. 

  1. Create a profile- With your  free account on SelectBraces you will be able to create a profile in the database that looks like the following: 

Creating a profile on SelectBraces does two things for orthodontists:

  1. SelectBrace’s star ratings of your practice are prominently in Google’s organic search results (Google trusts SelectBraces ratings.) 
  2. You have access to reputation management professionals  when you want to talk to us about your online reputation – ethically and effectively.

As you can see in the picture above, the profile displays important information about you and your practice with big call to action buttons. A paid profile will aggregate your reviews from all sorts of review sites so that your customers can find them in one central location. If you're lacking reviews or are just looking to beef up your profile, you can upload your email contacts into SelectBraces and request feedback from your patients and parents. 

In the right hand corner you’ll see an organization that is probably familiar to you, the AAO. If you are a member of the AAO you can list it on your profile and it will gather relevant details from your profile. 

Other information on your profile includes, of course, your website and your phone number, links to social profiles, the ability to easily post blog articles, photos, videos and events that are indexed by Google so they can be displayed in organic search results.

  1. Customize your Practice’s website (optional)- Your website is the cornerstone of your online credibility. It would be difficult for someone to see your practice as credible without a modern, well-designed website. Additionally, if you are in anyway familiar with web design, you know that it can be a long and expensive process. 

SelectBraces has created a simple way to reduce much the cost of building a website. The solution is orthodontic website templates that you simply drop your media into, change the text and you are good to go. 

Here are just a few examples of the types of sites you can choose from with SelectBraces: 

  1. Install the SelectBraces widget- This widget will show your most recent reviews from many different review websites, all in the same place. It updates automatically and this same widget can be installed on your Facebook business page. This helps to create consistency across the internet and takes one more thing off of your mind. 

There are two kinds of review widgets: 

  1. Sign up for automated reviews- SelectBraces also offers a reputation management software. Patients and/or parents are sent requests for feedback via SMS or email. Positive feedback becomes a review and negative feedback is sent to you as an alert and  can then be resolved privately. More details about this in the next section. 

SelectBraces Marketing Benefits

SelectBraces Marketing Benefit #1: Generate more positive reviews for your practice 

Did you know that (according to a study by Harvard Business School) on average the difference of one star in your reviews can lead to a 5 to 9% decrease or increase in your revenue? This statistic is something to consider. Imagine, what a difference it would make for your practice to have just a 5% increase in your revenue? That’s HUGE!

Do I have your attention now? Good. Generating positive reviews has two components, first an excellent offense (getting the positive reviews) and an excellent defense (preventing and handling negative ones.) In this section we’ll talk about how to leverage SelectBraces to get more positive reviews and in benefit 3 I’ll show you how to defend your practice against negative reviews. 

Every time a patient or parent visits your office, is an opportunity to create a favorable impression, which in turn could generate a positive review. You’re probably aware of this and have tried a bunch of different way to incentivize your patients  (iPads, gift cards, movie tickets, etc.) to leave a review, and your staff, to ask for reviews.  In reality it can be much simpler and cost effective than that, it can also be done automatically.

 A request for feedback with SelectBraces software is simple. Simply enter the patient or parent's name and mobile phone number - if it’s already integrated with your practice management software, this is automatic. A request for feedback is immediately sent to their smartphone.The SMS message first asks if they are pleased with their experience with your practice.

If they click, “Yes,” they are taken directly to your Google, Facebook or Yelp profile to leave a positive review. 

If they click, “No,” the parent or patient is taken to an internal webpage to provide their feedback and experience about your practice. 

This then immediately generates an email alert sent to you, and up to five members of your staff, so that their concern can be resolved privately. This is the golden ticket to improving customer service! You have the opportunity to hear a patient’s concern without a negative review being published online!

Here are the words from Orthodontist, Mary D. about the process: 

“The review system is great.  My patients are always willing to do it because it is so easy. My office is getting more reviews than ever before with ease!”

The process is so simple that patients and parents have no problem completing it. 

SelectBraces Marketing Benefit #2: Publically amplify your positive reviews 

Do you have a lot of different positive reviews but they are all split accross different reviews sites? If you have this or a similar problem you’ll love this next benefit that I am going to share with you next. 

SelectBraces aggregates all your 4 and 5-star reviews from various online channels (ie- Google reviews, Yelp, Healthgrades, Vitals, Facebook, Demandforce, Yahoo, Solution Reach/Smile Reminder, Yellowpages and countless other sites) and then automatically publishes them all together on your own website, Facebook Reviews tab, Facebook timeline posts, Twitter feed, Google Plus page, and 50+ other sites around the web. This allows for automatic and easily accessible social proof to consumers who are searching for orthodontic services in your local community. With lots of positive reviews posted in all of the places people are searching, you will stand out amongst the competition. 

SelectBraces Marketing Benefit #3: Privately respond to negative reviews 

The average disgruntled consumer will tell 9 to 15 people about their experience. 

I’m sure you have experienced an unhappy patient or parent  (or have been one personally).  A little Googling reveals that the comments are nearly always the same regardless of the industry, “Mr. X  of Company Z was so slow, he gave me widget Y when I needed widget F and when I asked for a replacement he was not caring,  I am never going back to this place.” 

It is often not the intention of the reviewer to ruin a business's reputation, but rather it’s sometimes the only way they feel they can communicate a negative experience to the business manager or owner. SelectBraces allows you to address negative concerns personally and privately without having the awkward situation of negotiating with them publically regarding a negative review on Yelp. While these reviews are somewhat entertaining to consumers, they can ruin the day of a practice owner and lower their aggregate rating which could lead to a decrease in business.

Instead of that unfortunate scenario you can work through their issues resolving them without the negative feedback going public. Sure, people can still go write negative reviews manually, but you’ll be surprised how many people just want to be heard and responded to by the practice manager or doctor.

SelectBraces Marketing Benefit #4: Third party recognition of your practice’s excellence

Beginning in 2015, SelectBraces provides Certificate of Excellence awards to honor orthodontists who deliver consistently great service to their patients and parents. This designation is given to practices that have consistently achieved great patient reviews on SelectBraces over the past year. Practices earning the Certificate of Excellence are located all over North America and have continually delivered a superior patient experience.

This award gives you objective, third party social proof that your practice provides exceptional customer service. For more information on the requirements and application process for the certificate of excellence click here

Now what?

Get started! In this article we’ve covered the basics of what it takes to begin to really start crushing it with marketing your practice. Go ahead and sign up for the free account with SelectBraces here. You have nothing to lose, but your gains can be tremendous with increased exposure and  aggregated reviews all of which will increase the confidence that your prospective patients will have in choosing your practice.  

If for whatever reason you're not yet completely sure or would like further information, we offer a free proof-of-concept trial. You can schedule a no pressure free demo here

I wish you the best of luck and let me know what you think in the comments below. 

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