We have recently spent some time looking at the important topic of orthodontic influencer marketing and how this can help an orthodontic practice to reach new patients. Influencer marketing is working with people who have a good understanding of and following on, various social media platforms to help promote your services to a wider group of people.
Influencer marketing is starting to gain popularity in orthodontics. Utilising the success, influence, and expertise of someone who produces content of interest to your own target profile for new patients can help to improve awareness of your practice and the expert services you provide and an increase in new patients enquiring about undertaking treatment.
Many practices are probably already working with influencers without even realising it. Patients regularly write about their treatment on personal blogs, upload progress photos to Instagram and tweet about their experiences and the quality of the content they produce is directly related to the experience they are having whilst undertaking treatment.
Some practices work in a more structured way with influencers and in doing so, are able to benefit from their ability to promote their positive experience to others. This can either be through the endorsement or reviews the practice receives from the influencer or by utilising quotes and testimonials from these posts in other marketing activities.
If you are considering improving your practice marketing by working with influencers, here are some things to think about before getting started:
What type of influencers would you like to work with – this is something that, at first glance, sounds quite easy to identify but the more you look into it, the more difficult it becomes to establish a profile for the type of influencers that will best support the development of your orthodontic practice. Will someone who writes about fashion and beauty products encourage more patients to contact you or a busy working parent who writes about their hectic lifestyle? What about health and fitness, is this more closely aligned to your needs than someone who writes about travel? It all depends on what you are hoping to achieve and how well you understand the motivations of your potential patients.
How much influence do they have – follower numbers, although useful, are not the only metric you need to consider when judging the merits of one influencer over another. Engagement with their followers is important to consider along with how closely aligned their own brand is to what you hope to achieve.
What social media channels do you want to use – influencers will likely have their preferred channels and will have built up a following from others who enjoy their content. They will have developed a style and branding of their own so you need to see how well this aligns with your own brand image. Different social media channels can be used for different purposes so you will also need to consider which channel works best with the content you are already producing.
What do you want to achieve from working with an influencer – the more specific you can be about what you hope to achieve, the easier it will be to identify the right types of influencer and to provide guidance to support the process. Are you looking for more visits to your website, more enquiries, more patients to start treatment or a greater awareness of your practice or services to support another marketing campaign? The clearer you can be about this, the easier it will be to both support the influencer and to measure success.
Is this part of a longer-term marketing or patient engagement project – is this a one-off collaboration with an influencer or part of a wider marketing strategy? Influencers can be useful to help raise awareness of your practice and the experience of undertaking orthodontic treatment but are all your other patient-focused activities aligned to support the work you are trying to achieve? Influencers can help drive an interest in your practice but what happens when the call comes in, does your existing process let you down?
Working with influencers can be very rewarding and can help you to generate an increased awareness of your practice and the orthodontic treatments you provide. The ability of an influencer to promote their positive treatment experience should not be underestimated. Through some thoughtful and insightful posts, great images and engagement with their followers, they can support the marketing of your practice in a way that provides benefits to you long into the future.