The modern patient has high expectations. Not just for their doctor, but for how they choose their doctor. Your practice needs to understand how perception influences decision making and how some of the choices your practice makes influences new patient acquisitions.
Below are three common scenarios where orthopedic and spine practices (or their marketing team) do the bare minimum without considering the consequences – and how to fix them.
#1. Just Listing Conditions or Procedures on Your Website
So, you’re an expert in rotator cuff repairs? You have an innovative approach to ACL repairs? You perform spinal fusions through a 1 inch incision? Well, your website certainly doesn’t let patients know that. Instead, these procedures are just listed as one of dozens of bullet points on a page with no discussion of what makes your approach, your experience or your practice unique. But, many practices still believe that by simply listing a condition or procedure on the site that patients will understand their expertise or trust that they are the best specialist to choose. False.
If a potential patient is looking at multiple sites to find the best specialist, a bullet point probably isn’t enough to convince them. They will likely want to know what makes you the one they should choose over a competing practice and if your website doesn’t tell them – how would they know?
Not only does this approach have a negative effect on new patient acquisition, but it also has a negative effect on the ability for potential patients to find you in the first place. Google’s algorithm looks at websites with unique content and ranks them higher in searches. So, if a patient in your area is looking for information on herniated disc treatments and your site only has herniated disc listed as a single bullet point and your competitor has a page dedicated to herniated disc causes, symptoms, the treatments they offer and their experience – guess who is going to rank higher on Google?
#2. Just Posting Anything on Social Media
As long as you’re updating your social media pages every so often, you’re utilizing Social Media Marketing correctly, right? Wrong.
Utilizing Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets correctly isn’t about the quantity of your posts – but the quality. Many practices will post anything on their social pages so long as it has anything to do with orthopedics, spine or health in general. What they may not know is that this is a waste of time and resources as they are often sending their social media audiences to other websites that have nothing to do with their own practice.
Take the posts below for example, all of these posts link to websites other than that of the practice. Second, many of them are general tips that do nothing to highlight the actual practice and their expertise or opinions on the subject. What value does this bring to your practice?
This is not to say you can’t post a news piece or article from another source every so often. But, the best practice for social media posts is to create your own unique blogs, articles or videos (that live on your website) and use your social media pages to direct your audience to your site so that they can learn your unique insights and opinions on various orthopedic, spine or health topics. Your practice needs to use your social media pages as an outlet to educate patients – not send them all over the internet.
#3. Just Assuming Patients Will Find You
Having a website and passing out brochures to local physicians’ offices means you’re going to get new patients, right? Don’t count on it.
The truth is that orthopedics, spine and neurosurgery are competitive spaces for new patients, both in terms of digital marketing and traditional marketing.
When a potential patient is looking online for a specialist or treatment options for a condition, simply having a website doesn’t mean your practice is the one they will see. Many practices invest significant amounts of time into developing highly search engine optimized (SEO) content, videos, patient testimonials and articles. Others allocate significant budgets to be shown at the top of Google with an ad (Google Adwords). If your competitors have a strategy for one or both of these tools and you do not – who do you think the patient is going to see first?
Furthermore, many practices understand the value of brand awareness and engage in community sponsorships, billboards, magazine ads, radio and TV commercials. The goal of their brand awareness efforts is to ensure that when a patient is in need of orthopedic or spine care – the patient thinks of them first.
If your only marketing outlet is a website and some brochures, can you really compete?
Finding a Solution for Your Orthopedic, Spine or Neurosurgery Practice
Gold Medical Marketing is the only firm in the country that focuses exclusively on Orthopedic, Spine and Neurosurgery Practice Marketing. Our team works with practices across the country to create the most effective marketing strategies based on their location, competitive analysis and patient demographics. Our CEO, Daniel Goldberg has lectured at some of the most esteemed orthopedic and spine conferences across the country and is a frequent contributor to several orthopedic and spine publications. (See our list of conferences and articles here).
Gold Medical Marketing also offers No Cost Marketing Audits wherein we will objectively review your current practice marketing efforts, competitors and create a strategy for your specific practice. Even if your practice does not have a current marketing strategy, we can create a strategy specifically for your practice. Contact us today to learn more.