SmileDirect Club is a teledentistry company that is disrupting the orthodontics business. Smile Direct Club’s marketing strategy has allowed the company to drive sales and experience profitable growth. Since its launch, SmileDirectClub has become one of the fastest-growing health technology companies and has quickly become the leading telehealth platform for orthodontia. The company is continuing to grow and is expanding internationally to Mexico and France. Smile DirectClub is a direct-to-consumer brand and its main focus is enhancing the customer experience. They utilize a strong social media marketing strategy by collaborating with influencers and even some well-known celebrities. SmileDirect Club also uses marketing techniques like gated offers, to attract and connect with certain consumers.
SmileDirect Club’s Marketing Strategy
Smile Direct Club relies on paid social media marketing like Facebook and Instagram ads to reach a large audience. They also invest in TV advertising to educate the consumers and get them to visit the website, and fill out the “smile assessment.” They also utilize influencer marketing to promote their product on social media. By partnering with influencers and celebrities they are able to reach a wider audience. Aside from digital media marketing and influencers they also use Gated offers to attract a specific group of individuals. Gated offers connect with potential customers which makes them more likely to purchase from a brand that has gated offers.
Social Media & Influencer Marketing
SmileDirect Club collaborates with B-list influencers or micro and macro-influencers. These influencers tend to charge much less per social media post as opposed to mega or celebrity influencers. “Marketers can optimize a social media campaign based on cost-efficiency and effectiveness. It can make sense to work with B and C-List celebrities who don’t charge as much.”
A mega influencer may charge up to a million dollars per post for a brand. A survey by Klear found that celebrities with 500,000 followers or more may accept fees as low as, $2,085 for an Instagram post, $3,857 for a YouTube video, and $2,400 for a Facebook post. These prices are much more reasonable for global brands but for brands like SmileDirect Club, those fees are most likely out of their marketing budget.
Smile Direct Club uses influencers who are known as SmileDirect Club partners. When utilizing influencer marketing the influencer will promote Smile Direct Club on their social media accounts and provide their followers with a discount code for savings of up to 50% off and $100 off an aligner purchase. These discounts may vary depending on the influencer code they use. These SmileDirect Club partners also use hashtags like #smiledirectpartner or #ad to notify their followers that their post is a paid advertisement in partnership with SmileDirecClub and that they will receive a commission if they utilize their code upon checking out.
They work with lifestyle influencers on Instagram with thousands of followers. Working with these types of influencers allows Smile Direct Club products to reach a very specific kind of audience.
A majority of these influencers have a niche and that is the type of audience they are able to reach. This means that the influencer’s followers look to them for product recommendations and product reviews. Their followers value their opinion and judgment when making a purchasing decision.
For instance, if they were to partner with family influencers who have children using the products, they are likely to reach an audience of other families that may become interested in giving Smile Direct club a try for their own kids.
SmileDirect Club even partners with some influencers that many may even consider celebrity influencers. These influencers have the ability to reach millions upon millions of social media users. Their posts are effective for reaching a much broader audience, unlike niche-driven influencers.
As part of Smile Direct Club’s marketing strategy, the company launched a hashtag challenge on TikTok to reach U.S. teenagers, #SuperlativeSmiles. The challenge behind the hashtag asked teens on TikTok to dress up as their favorite yearbook superlative. For instance, “best dressed” or “most likely to succeed.”
By engaging and utilizing Smile Direct Club’s hashtag the participants of the challenge would automatically be entered for a chance to win a teeth-alignment treatment. Quickly, the hashtag challenge gained more than 4 billion views with thousands of TikTok users participating. SmileDirect club also collaborated with popular influencers and actors to promote their product and their hashtag challenge.
The company quickly found that at the time of their #SuperlativeSmiles campaign TikTok was the most popular app. “It also shows how TikTok can be effective at reaching teens, with more than 40% of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 16 using the app, making it more popular than Facebook, Twitter and Twitch among the group, according to Morning Consult research.”
Did you know that 58% of consumers who would use a gated offer say it increases their likelihood to purchase? Gated offers are promotions that are created for individuals of a specific group. This group can be based on their occupation, life stage, or affiliation. For example, these groups include such as “college students” or “members of the military.” When gated offers are available there is usually a process for the customer to redeem that offer. This is to verify and confirm a customer’s eligibility for that specific offer.
Providing specific groups with an exclusive promotion based on a personal attribute creates a strong connection to a company and increases the chances of a customer purchasing from that company. Our consumer survey showed that gated offers make people feel rewarded, excited, honored, and special, which greatly influences their buying behavior.
One gated offer that SmileDirectClub launched was a gated offer that gave military members $150 off aligner purchases and a free impression. These military members included those that were on active duty, veterans, and even their immediate family members.
Creating a gated offer for members of the military and their family provides SmileDirect Club a significant sales opportunity while also creating a relationship with those military members. The military has 37 million members with $1 trillion in purchasing power.
Once a customer has visited Smile Direct Club’s website they use a customer relationship management system. This helps the company nurture relationships and interactions with new customers and their existing customers. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.
Once a customer or potential customer visits the SmileDirect Club website and takes a smile assessment quiz, CRM then works to maintain a relationship with those customers. It also works to help customers who may have questions about insurance or are unsure if the product will work for the spacing or gap they have.
“Once a customer makes the purchase—which could take up to a full year of consideration—the aligners will stay in their mouths for four to six months. Because of that intimacy, a robust marketing system buoyed by a CRM strategy is critical, Sheldon says.” The CRM strategy helps SmileDirect Club create customer loyalty and customer retention. By creating customer retention and loyalty the CRM strategy helps SmileDirect Club increase profits.
SmileDirect Club’s marketing strategy has ultimately led the company to expand its business internationally to Mexico and is launching into its seventh European country, France. Currently, the company operates in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain.
They are quickly growing and looking to make their premium clear aligners and telehealth platform readily available as it pursues the global market opportunity for their innovative, effective, convenient, accessible, and affordable oral care products.
Smile Direct Club does its research on the market need for its products and services. For example, According to the Company’s research, approximately 80% of French consumers say they have room to improve the straightness of their teeth, yet the cost is the biggest barrier. Priced at 60% less than braces, SmileDirectClub’s expansion into the market will help bridge that gap.
SmileDirect Club’s marketing strategy is making this virtual dental experience gain visibility across social media platforms. This type of treatment is becoming more and more appealing to consumers because of its reasonable and much more affordable pricing as opposed to traditional in-office treatments.
SmileDirect Club’s successful marketing strategy has ultimately led the company to expand its business internationally to Mexico and France. France is the company’s s seventh European country. “SmileDirectClub has straightened smiles for over 1.5 million customers in Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific – the largest international footprint of any company providing clear aligner treatment through telehealth.”
The collaboration with influencers of different followings allows the company to reach an audience of all ages and interests. Their gated offers for military members and student discounts allow them to reach a more specific set of individuals. Gated offers to create a relationship with a customer and a brand as they are more likely to purchase from a company that recognizes their specific groups.
Or are you a dentist looking for ways to promote your practice? Read our article Google Ads for Dentists for an easy but informational step-by-step guide to advertise your practice using Google Ads.