In 2020 and 2021, we saw a tremendous shift in how spine and orthopedic practices operate and market themselves to weather the many ups and downs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is being credited with accelerating healthcare’s digital transformation. The continued impact of physicians moving away from independent private practice and challenges with reimbursement.
As a result, it’s more crucial than ever for spine practices to have a solid foundation in place to grow in 2022 and acquire more new patients—no matter what changes come next.
Spine Practice Marketing Strategies- 9 for Growth in 2022
This post will explore 9 marketing strategies that will grow new patients for your spine and orthopedic practice in 2022.
#1 Define Your Spine and Orthopedic Niches
Now more than ever, patients perform their research and educate themselves on conditions and potential treatment options.
Many spine and orthopedic practices still pursue the most common conditions and treatments. However, we’ve found that understanding the niche conditions and treatments that differentiate your practice can often drive more patients and practice revenue.
For example, we worked with a spine surgeon who pioneered a minimally invasive surgical technique for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This isn’t a typical page we see on Spine websites, so we made sure to create content on the site to attract more patients through SEO and create digital advertising campaigns to target the condition.
Need help defining your niche and refining your messaging? We’ve got you covered.
More like this: 4 Must-Haves in a Healthcare Content Marketing Strategy
#2 Offer Online Scheduling for Your Practice
Allowing patients to self-book their appointments streamlines and expedite the scheduling process, but it’s also an integral part of improving the patient experience – it simplifies the process. In addition, it gives patients the confidence and control they desire.
Patients no longer have to sort through available dates and times over the phone or lose patients due to delays in contact or lengthy back and forth communication. Instead, patient information and appointment details are loaded into the EHR and CRM without working for internal staff in just a couple of clicks.
Check out how these tools can easily tie into your marketing technology stack.
#3 Commit to Video Content
According to Moz, video is gaining ALOT more prominence in search results. Saw some industry chatter that video is now being shown in around 30% of all search results in April 2022, up 14% in January.
Video content is one of the best ways to create empathy with potential patients and build trust for your practice and physicians through education—all of which can have a dramatic impact on lead generation and ROI.
In fact, in a recent advertising campaign, we saw 3.3 times more leads come through video ads vs. text ads.
The best part? There’s no need to fear video creation anymore. Expensive, time-consuming video shoots are a thing of the past. Instead, with the right agency partner, you can quickly and easily produce standout video content that aligns with your marketing strategy to help your marketing dollars go further, faster.
We offer a remote video content creation service that allows physicians and practices an easy way to create video without an expensive in-person shoot. We use software that can capture video remotely and even send our partner spine practices a kit that includes audio and lightning to elevate your video creation at a fraction of the cost. You can learn more about our remote video for doctors here.
More like this: Guide to Video Marketing for Doctors: How to Get Started
#4 Explore New Patient Lead Conversion Pathways
The days of solely relying on “contact us” form submissions and phone calls are long gone.
The best way to attract quality leads is by adding new “conversion pathways” to become patient leads. Conversion pathways like chat, SMS, exit-intent popups, and downloadable content are great ways to ensure you’re capturing as many potential leads as possible.
Website chat is one of the most straightforward additions to your spine website. We’ve seen through experience that spine practices that add website chat will create a small amount of additional incremental leads. Some potential patients will prefer to chat with your practice rather than make a phone call. More advanced practices will add some automation to chat responses to try and get the answers patients need at the moment.
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- 3 Easy Ways to Automate Your Medical Practice Front Office
- 3 Proven Calls-To-Action for Spine Practices
- What’s A Good Conversion Rate for Medical Practices?
#5 Buy Search Engine Ads
Search engine advertising should still be the foundation of marketing efforts for your spine and orthopedic practice because it is designed to target those who are in-market and actively searching for the treatments you provide.
Paid search ads are the only way to guarantee you show up for crucial search keywords. But it would help if you focused on the keywords that show the highest intent for a potential patient to become an office visit.
For spine practices, this means keywords like:
- Those actively looking for a doctor, like “spine surgeon near me”
- Treatment searches that indicate the potential patient has been marked for surgery, like “laminectomy”
- Diagnosis searches that show someone has had imaging, like “L6 L7 bulging disc”
- Lastly, conditions that are more likely to require surgery, like “herniated disc”
Remember that a proper tracking setup for search ads is required to understand precisely which search terms are driving leads and patients and establish a return on your investment.
More like this: Google Ads Benchmarks for Medical Practices (with Real Data!)
#6 Run Paid Social Ads
Paid social advertising can be highly lucrative for spine and orthopedic practices and should be considered just as important as your search engine advertising spend.
Specifically, Facebook and Instagram ads allow you to target your specific geographic area for people who are willing to come in for treatments and re-market to the visitors you’re already getting to your site through organic and paid search efforts.
Important to note that your paid social ads must be visual and educational but still within Facebook’s guidelines for spine and orthopedic practices. You don’t want to risk wasting time and money with ads that get disapproved. The best way to achieve this is to work with an agency partner familiar with marketing for medical practices on these channels.
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#7 Launch Patient Nurturing and Re-Engagement Campaigns
One of the easiest and low-cost ways to increase patient volume and revenue is by nurturing and re-engaging leads at crucial points in the funnel. The following campaigns should be a cornerstone of your spine and orthopedic marketing strategy:
Automated Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Often done via email and SMS, these campaigns are triggered immediately upon conversion (in most cases, form fills) and provide your leads with a more streamlined patient experience while supporting your call center or office staff. From providing more information about the follow-up process to offering educational materials to opening up a new line of communication, lead nurturing is a critical element in solidifying that your leads have come to the right place for help.
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- How to Securely Text Message Patients
- Why Email is (Still) Your Single Greatest Determinant for Inbound Marketing Success
Unless your practice is heavily involved in pain management, most spine and orthopedic practices can’t rely on repeat patients to help with practice growth.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t invest in re-engagement efforts. For example, we’ve found that email and SMS campaigns for “cold” leads that didn’t convert the first time around—meaning they didn’t officially close out as a hard “no”—are great for incremental growth.
If you’re looking to ensure you’re maximizing revenue for traffic and leads you’ve already paid for, you can’t ignore the opportunity here.
More like this: 25 Zero-Cost Marketing Ideas for Your Practice
#8 Take Advantage of the ASC Environment
COVID-19 accelerated the migration of minimally invasive surgeries to ASCs, and spine and orthopedics practices with their ASCs performed far better than those without one.
As a result, it’s necessary for spine and orthopedic surgeons who have not already invested in their own ASC or partnerships with ASCs to secure their availability and the opportunity to perform procedures.
If you’re building your own ASC, you MUST make sure you have a marketing plan to drive the patient volumes needed and the operational processes and technology to work new patient leads.
#9 Google Core Web Vitals
The Google Page Experience Update rolled out in June of 2021. Per Google, this major algorithm update grades the experience of your website using Google’s “Core Web Vitals” signals, which include 3 primary dimensions:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – how long it takes the largest element of your page to load.
- First Input Delay (FID) – how long does it take for a user to be able to scroll and click.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – how stable is the page layout when loading.
These dimensions are essential for sites using large images and elements that are not correctly optimized. Therefore, to properly prepare for this update, you must do everything possible to optimize your site and create an SEO-friendly approach to website design and development.
More like this: SEO for Medical Practices: 12 Strategies for 2022
Choosing Growth in 2022
You still have time to grow in 2022. But your spine practice needs a marketing partner who understands the unique needs of medical practices, and spine and orthopedic practices in particular—so you can focus on what matters, your patients.
RUNNER is here to help you create a plan that makes sense for your goals and aligns with your resources. Call us at (214) 396-8500 or schedule a free consultation.
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