Strategies for maximizing your presence on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Facebook through video marketing.

By Leon Klempner, DDS, and Amy Epstein, MBA

Orthodontic practices are constantly seeking innovative ways to connect with potential new patients. One strategy that has gained significant traction in recent years is short form video marketing, and for orthodontists, this proves to be an invaluable way to connect and communicate with patients. At People + Practice, we get asked all the time by clients how to best use video marketing and what value it brings to an overall marketing plan.

Online video platforms are more than a repository of cat videos and viral pranks; they’re also places where people search for answers, find solutions and educate themselves while being entertained—especially digital natives that comprise our target patient population. While there is no formula to creating a video that goes viral and gets a million views (believe us, we’ve looked for one!), there are a number of solid ways your orthodontic practice can use video to gain an advantage in the marketplace and capture the attention of potential patients.

A word about short-form videos. These are typically under 60 seconds long and have gained immense popularity due to their ability to deliver information quickly. Social media users spend over an hour per week watching videos on platforms like Facebook and YouTube, with Instagram Reels and TikTok sessions averaging 53 and 95 minutes, respectively. How about this fact? While YouTube remains the leading video service for all Americans, TikTok replaced Netflix as the most watched video service for Americans under the age of 35.

With that information in hand, let’s explore how orthodontists can harness the power of video marketing across YouTube, TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Facebook.

YouTube: The Second Largest Search Engine

YouTube, often regarded as the world’s second-largest search engine, boasts a staggering 2.3 billion users as of the latest count. It’s not just a video-sharing platform; it’s a community, a source of information, and a place where individuals seek answers to their questions. In fact, YouTube also stands as the second most popular social network, just behind Facebook, and as mentioned, is a growing source for video content among digital natives.

For orthodontists, this presents an exceptional opportunity. The question is, how can orthodontic practices harness the potential of YouTube to market their services effectively?

Introducing Your Practice to Potential Patients

When it comes to orthodontics, prospective patients often turn to YouTube to understand the complexities of orthodontic treatment options and discover reputable orthodontists in their area.

By creating informative video content, orthodontic practices can introduce themselves to potential patients even before they step through the practice’s doors. These videos can provide insights into the orthodontist’s expertise, showcase the practice’s facilities and team, and above all, provide a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a patient at the practice. This proactive approach helps build trust and familiarity with potential patients, making them more likely to choose your practice for their orthodontic needs.

4 Tips for YouTube Success:

  1. Educational Content: Create informative videos that address common orthodontic questions, explain different or new treatment options, and showcase the expertise of your practice.
  2. Facility Tours: Offer virtual tours of your practice to familiarize potential patients with your environment, helping to ease any apprehensions they may have.
  3. Patient Testimonials: Share success stories through patient testimonials to build trust and credibility.
  4. Regular Uploads: Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and informed.

Going Beyond Posting: YouTube Ads

While creating engaging video content is a great start, the real game-changer is running dedicated YouTube ads. These ads are designed to bring people directly to your videos, reaching an exponentially larger audience of potential new patients.

Why YouTube Ads?

  • Targeted Reach: YouTube allows you to target your ads based on demographics, interests, and browsing activity. This means your videos will reach individuals who are actively seeking orthodontic information or services.
  • Practice Awareness: YouTube ads serve as a powerful brand awareness campaign. They introduce the orthodontist and the practice to potential patients, creating a lasting impression even before they consider scheduling a consultation.
  • Credibility: YouTube ad views show up combined with the organic view numbers stamped at the bottom of each video. With the higher views ads bring, your credibility factor increases significantly for those seeking a trusted orthodontic practice.
  • Cost-Effective: YouTube ads can be budget-friendly, with options like cost-per-view (CPV) pricing, where you only pay when someone watches your ad for a specific duration. This ensures that you’re getting value for your marketing budget.
  • Analytics: YouTube provides detailed analytics that allow you to track the performance of your ads. You can see how many people viewed your videos, how long they watched, and whether they took any action afterward, such as visiting your website.

Implementing Your YouTube Marketing Strategy

  1. Content Strategy: Plan your video content carefully. Create informative videos that address common questions about orthodontics—think about prospective patient questions as opposed to current patient issues, showcase patient testimonials, and provide a glimpse of your practice.
  2. Ad Campaigns: Work with a digital marketing agency experienced in orthodontic practices like People + Practice to set up and manage your YouTube ad campaigns effectively.
  3. Consistency: Maintain a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and informed.

TikTok and Instagram Reels: The Power of Short-form Videos

Short-form videos have taken the social media world by storm, with platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels leading the way. These platforms prioritize engaging, bite-sized content that can captivate audiences in seconds.

TikTok is the fastest growing social media app ever. If you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve, start getting familiar with TikTok. According to Sprout Social, “Gen Zers are currently using TikTok more often than Instagram, and predictions show that they will be using TikTok more than Snapchat in the next few years as well.”

That’s not all, increasingly people are using TikTok (and by extension Instagram Reels) as a search engine. This New York Times article outlines the phenomenon, mostly among Gen Z. Analysts say that the videos are easier to digest and understand than an endless list of search engine results and are presented in a format that younger folks are more comfortable interacting with.

“As generational shifts happen within the orthodontic patient base (older Gen Z are now entering prime adult orthodontic choice territory, and in just a couple of years they will be parents of treatment aged kids), I think it’s important for progressive practices to be reaching out in this way and develop content that aligns with their audience,” said Arash Shoushtari, People + Practice’s director of digital advertising.

On Instagram, Reels beat out any other type of content being posted to the platform. And don’t sweat it if you don’t have a ton of followers. The reach rate—or the number of people who see your post—for Instagram Reels is much higher for accounts with fewer followers, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. That means even if you aren’t a huge influencer on Instagram, you can still expect your Reels to be seen by a lot of people on the platform.

5 Tips for TikTok and Reels:

  1. Quick Tips: Share quick orthodontic tips, tricks, and hacks in 15-60 second videos to grab viewers’ attention.
  2. Behind-the-Scenes: Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your practice, from orthodontic procedures to the day-to-day operations, and, of course, smile reveals.
  3. Challenges and Trends: Participate in popular challenges or trends relevant to the orthodontic field to stay connected with a younger audience.
  4. Engage with Trends: Keep an eye on trending topics and incorporate them into your content strategy to stay relevant.
  5. Watch and Learn: Spend time watching what other small businesses and local influencers are doing on the platform and mimic what they are doing. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and both platforms offer templates and canned effects and music to use right in the app itself. You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create a decent short video for these platforms.

Facebook: Your Tried And True Social Network

With over 2.06 billion daily active users, Facebook remains a dominant force in the social media landscape. Using video on Facebook can help your practice connect with a diverse audience.

We encourage practices to upload their YouTube videos as native watchable videos on Facebook as well (instead of just posting a link to YouTube). Uploading a full video file directly to Facebook instead of just posting a link to a YouTube video offers several advantages.

  • Native Content: Facebook prefers native content, which means videos that are uploaded directly to the platform. When you upload a video directly to Facebook, the platform’s algorithm is more likely to prioritize it in users’ feeds compared to shared YouTube links. This can result in higher visibility and engagement for your video.
  • Autoplay: Native videos on Facebook often autoplay as users scroll through their feeds. This grabs viewers’ attention and encourages them to watch your video, as opposed to a linked YouTube video, which requires users to click on the link and leave the Facebook platform.
  • Improved Reach: Facebook tends to reward content that keeps users on its platform. When you upload a video directly to Facebook, users are more likely to stay on the platform to watch it, increasing the chances of your video reaching a broader audience.
  • Higher Engagement: Native Facebook videos typically receive more likes, comments, and shares compared to shared YouTube links. This engagement can help your video gain more visibility and reach a wider audience through users’ networks.
  • Access to Insights: When you upload a video directly to Facebook, you gain access to detailed insights and analytics specific to that video. You can see how many people viewed it, how long they watched, and other valuable engagement metrics. This data can help you refine your content strategy and improve future videos.
  • Customization: Uploading videos directly to Facebook allows you to customize the video’s title, description, thumbnail, and other elements specific to the Facebook audience. This can help you tailor your content to better suit the preferences and interests of your Facebook followers.
  • Mobile-Friendly: Native Facebook videos are optimized for mobile viewing, which is where a significant portion of social media consumption occurs. This ensures a seamless viewing experience for users on smartphones and tablets.
  • No External Distractions: When users click on a YouTube link, they are taken to the YouTube platform, where they may be exposed to other videos, comments, and distractions. Uploading directly to Facebook eliminates these external distractions, keeping viewers focused on your content.
  • Paid Advertising: By uploading directly to Facebook, you give yourself the opportunity for increased reach with paid advertising. With a low budget threshold, Meta provides an easy way to push your content across both Facebook and Instagram via paid advertising.

Pro tip: Integrate Reels & Facebook. Since Facebook and Instagram are actually owned by the same company (Meta), you can connect your Instagram account with Facebook so that the Reels you post and upload to IG can be automatically shown on Facebook as well. This process is pretty seamless and can save your staff a lot of time.

Cross-Platform Consistency: A Winning Strategy

While each platform offers unique benefits, maintaining a consistent brand message across all of them is key. Ensure that your practice’s branding, tone, and style remain coherent to build a strong online presence.

4 Tips for Cross-Platform Consistency:

  1. Uniform Branding: Use the same logos, color schemes, and messaging across all platforms.
  2. Content Repurposing: Adapt content for different platforms to maximize reach without reinventing the wheel.
  3. Engage with Comments: Respond promptly to comments and messages on all platforms to foster a sense of community and trust.
  4. Analytics and Optimization: Regularly review analytics to understand what works best on each platform and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Video marketing is a dynamic and powerful tool that orthodontic practices can leverage across various platforms. From the educational depth of YouTube to the quick engagement of TikTok and Reels, and the trusted environment of Facebook, each platform offers unique opportunities to connect with potential patients. By embracing a comprehensive video marketing strategy that spans these platforms, orthodontic practices can establish themselves as trusted authorities in their field and educate potential patients ahead of time so it’s easier to convert them.OP

Leon Klempner, DDS, and Amy Epstein, MBA, are co-founders of People + Practice, an orthodontic marketing agency on a mission to unveil the abundant opportunities for orthodontic practices to thrive by implementing digital marketing strategies, technology, and services that fuel practice growth. They also host The Golden Age of Orthodontics podcast, dedicated to highlighting the most innovative technologies and approaches in the industry. To schedule a complimentary consultation or to learn more, visit