Professional practices, whether their expertise is in orthodontics, general dentistry, the medical profession, legal, accounting, etc… they all have one thing in common… finding new and innovative ways to attract new patients and clients to their practice.

One of the greatest research tools ever invented is the Internet. If you know how to use it properly to drive perspective patients and clients to your website… it’s a goldmine of marketing opportunity. The Internet is the greatest marketing tool ever invented… not only for orthodontics, but any professional practice or business.

Why do I make this claim? Because your niche audience is researching online, everyday, for information in your specific area of expertise… Your online presence, which includes your website, provides the perfect opportunity for you to set yourself apart from your competitors. Your online strategic marketing program, if setup correctly, is your ticket to reaching the next level and future success.

Providing the exact information your patients are searching for, at the exact time they want it, is only available on the Internet. You no longer have to drive to a library or wait till marketing materials are mailed to the house to research services. Everything they want to know, good and bad, on any subject is available to the average consumer in minutes.

Knowing how to grab the attention of patients that are already looking for you… is the key to staking your claim to the goldmine of opportunity available today in orthodontics… And what is the greatest advantage of all?… It’s FREE to the consumer and minimal cost to the treatment provider… unlike traditional marketing campaigns of old that targeted everyone with a small percentage of return.

The Biggest Online Marketing Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes made by any orthodontic or professional practice marketing online today, is to believe that all you need is a website, some flash on the home page, nice pictures, and you are good to go. In reality, it doesn’t work that way…

With today’s tech savvy society that eats, breathes, and sleeps with cell phones, iPods, computers and Internet access… a written information website isn’t enough to grab attention. Most orthodontists in the 30 – 50 age groups have a website of one type or another. Many older practices have been slow to jump on the band wagon. They are unfamiliar with the technology and find it easier to resist by saying “I do not need it! My patients do not go online.” It is estimated that 40% of orthodontic practices are still not using a website as a marketing strategy. This is good news to those practices that understand the power a website wields in today’s tech savvy society.

When we look at practices that do have websites, some are more visually aesthetic than others, and some integrate links to patient information 24/7, to make the orthodontic experience more user friendly. Kudos to practices that add this feature. However, all orthodontic websites have one thing in common… the written content. There are not too many ways you can describe orthodontic treatment and services on your website with the written word. What was EXTRAordinary years ago, when the industry was slow to jump on the Internet bandwagon, has now become ordinary. And with today’s skeptical buyers who are looking for answers and perceived value on investment from friends, family, and the Internet before they contact your office, you need to change the look and feel of the experience to grab their attention and create an emotion response that induces the patient to pick up their phone and call to schedule and appointment.

Once visitors have entered your site, you have less than a minute to create a good impression and make them stick to your site. A 30 – 60 second video that grabs attention through the audio and visual senses… creates an emotion response. Since video is virtually non-existent on most orthodontic and professional websites, your visitors can’t help but be drawn to your message. Providing visitors with a strategically targeted audio and visual script, addressing products, services, and a call to action (contact your office for an appointment), is the #1 attention grabber for any business marketing on the Internet today.

I know this all sounds scary and you are thinking.. How am I going to produce video for my website? There is no reason for concern. There is a quick and easy solution to adding video to your website, without hiring a professional videographer, expensive script writer, and lighting professional. You and your team do not have to get in front of a camera. And best of all, it won’t take a big chunk out of your yearly marketing budget like many video production projects.

How is this possible? There is a new online service available through Marketing With Live Video that takes all the anxiety, time, and effort out of producing quality marketing videos for your website. You choose a professional actor to represent your practice and deliver your personal message any way you want.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, faster results are achieved by following in the footsteps of other online marketers. Online marketing for professional practices, with a targeted online marketing strategy that includes video, is in its infancy and a very exciting window of opportunity for those willing to take ACTION and ride the top of the wave in online orthodontic marketing.

Business sites selling products report increases in sales as much as much as 200% when they added video to their homepage. With a professional practice, since you are selling services and not product in hand, this claim is exaggerated. However, it will increase new patients referrals from visitors to your site that my not have found their way to your door any other way. With that said, the additional referrals translate into increased new patient referrals, starts, and production that will build your practice and take it to the next level. You can’t beat that!

Mary Kay Miller is the founder of Orthopreneur Marketing and Training Solutions, specializing in “Ready to Go” marketing systems for orthodontists, dentists and professional practices. The Marketing In Minutes CONTEST Kit was recently launched as the first, all in one, contest system to create word of mouth referrals from patients, while drastically reducing the time required by doctors and staff to implement marketing strategies.

With over thirty years experience in orthodontic marketing and practice management, Mary Kay is the first marketing coach to target orthodontists and dentists, via the internet, with her marketing blog. She offers free contents and discusses the latest marketing strategies available for professionals in the age of digital technology.

Her new FREE eBook “Marketing Your Practice Through Different Eyes” – is a multi-media TEAM eBook and the first of its kind for the dental profession. It was released in June 2008. Mary Kay discusses the steps in creating an effective marketing plan and teaches readers with You Tube and audio and video online streaming, the power of online marketing and how video on your website grabs the attention of your current tech savvy generations, GenX, GenY, and Global Tweens.