Whether in news media or marketing and advertising, the video medium is having a moment. Orthodontists who want to spread the word about their practices should take note.

That’s according to Dusty Green, president and creative director of Texas-based video production company OrthoMedia.

He and his wife Nikki formed the company in 2008 after he spent many years working in television and she spent many years working in orthodontics. They’ve worked with more than 100 clients, traveling from coast to coast, shooting videos not just about orthodontic practices but also about the stories of their patients.

Green said he’s seen a big shift in recent years in the number of practices that are using video, mainly because of the connection it can provide to potential customers. It can also be a huge help with reaching would-be patients of the millennial generation.

“We as human beings are wired to love video, because video reflects our lives,” he says. “I think for the longest time, video was seen as something that is too time-consuming, too intimidating, and certainly too expensive, but those days are gone. Video is doable.”

And it’s not just in this one field. Adweek reported last fall that the future of content marketing is online video, that consumer Internet video traffic will continue to grow at a fast clip, and that shying away from online video “is marketing suicide to any company that hopes to grow its brand online in the coming years.”

For OrthoMedia, the goal is to send an emotional message.

[sidebar float=”right” width=”200″]

Roll Camera

Green has several tips for orthodontic practices interested in growing or exploring their video marketing offerings:

  • Beef up your social media presence.
  • Don’t be afraid to play around with your own smartphone video camera, but hire a professional for full commercials and your website. Do your due diligence to make sure the videographer is both creative and also someone who understands your field.
  • Remember that video is doable and not a passing trend.
  • Stick with it. Don’t expect one video to change your entire game.


As an example, Green points to a woman he met when his company was shooting a video in an orthodontic practice outside of Chicago. OrthoMedia was interviewing a patient whose mother was also in the room, and ended up convincing the mother to provide a testimonial because she had mentioned she also had a son in Afghanistan who had been a patient at the practice.

“She kept asking her son to send them pictures to let them know he was okay,” Green says, “and he sent pictures with this big beautiful smile. And she said, ‘I’ve really got to thank the orthodontist for giving him the smile he deserves.’ And it brought us all to tears.”

Video advertising for orthodontic practices should evoke that kind of emotion, Green says, rather than simply being the digital version of a Yellow Pages ad that says where the practice is located and the fact that it’s open from 9 am to 5 pm.

It’s that kind of emotion that might not come across as powerfully in a text post on Facebook.

Portraying a practice online in a video can also help people develop a sense of familiarity with a place, which can make going to the orthodontist less nerve-wracking for some who might be nervous about going in for a checkup or a procedure.

“The biggest compliment we get from our clients—and it should be the goal for anyone who uses video to market an ortho practice—is when people come into the office and say, ‘I feel like I know this place already,’” Green says. “They have that sense of comfort and being at ease. And that’s just gold.”

And a strategic use of social media goes hand-in-hand with the use of video online.

While platforms like Snapchat and Instagram certainly get attention, the real social media focus remains on Facebook and YouTube, Green says.

Orthodontic practices, he advises, should focus on developing their own personality to channel into videos. When it comes to figuring out exactly what types of videos to share on social media, “there’s no easy answer to that.”

One thing he encourages practices to experiment with is making their own simple videos, using a smartphone, to accompany more professional videos and commercials. If your practice has the budget to hire someone dedicated to things like building a social media presence, that also can be a big help.

Some practices Green has worked with have created music videos geared toward younger patients, and others have gathered stories from teenagers talking about their positive experiences.

“If I’m 13, 14, and feeling awkward about getting braces, seeing someone else might help,” Green says.

But as much as it’s important for orthodontists to think about who they want to target with their video marketing, it’s also crucial to play the long game when it comes to establishing this new presence online or in commercials.

“They’ll put up one video and expect it to do the world,” Green says. “Like any marketing campaign, you have to do it more.”

The practices getting the best results, he says, are the practices regularly shooting and sharing video. That can help them build a real following on social media, instead of looking at it as a passing phase or trend.

It’s hard to measure exactly how effective using social media to promote videos and establish an online presence is in drawing new patients, but there are still many orthodontic practices that don’t have a presence on the Internet at all. That needs to change, Green says.

“We do our research and look across the Internet at what orthodontic offices are doing and a lot of offices still have little to no presence at all on social media,” he says. “We convince them, you need to be doing more.” OP

A.J. Zak is a freelance writer for Orthodontic Products. She can be reached at [email protected].