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Digital Marketing for Orthopedic Surgeons in 2020

Let’s start this with a statistic that should by itself be enough to have any orthopedic surgeon invest in digital marketing.

87% of buyers start searching for products to buy online. Eighty-seven.

It’s a giant market to not be a part of, and the biggest reason why you should invest in digital marketing.

Nevertheless, here are 7 more reasons along with tips on how exactly to do it.

1. Digital marketing allows orthopedic practices to create long patient relationships

Over 1,000 practice respondents mentioned that their third biggest challenge in 2020 was retaining and re-engaging patients.

It’s safe to assume that most patients are online and using the internet on a daily basis, so increasing digital marketing efforts in 2020 will definitely help.

There are over half a million new businesses started every month in the US, so “losing” patients is a lot easier today than it might have been 20 or 30 years ago.

But, if you know your target customers well, and your services even better, digital marketing is a fantastic tool to keep patients coming for more and pushing competitive practices away.

Unlike many in-store buying experiences, digital marketing doesn’t stop at checkout.

It goes beyond to ensure a buying customer becomes the brand’s ambassador.

Some ways digital marketing improves the “traditional” methods of keeping loyal customers are:

  • Using digital testimonials from happy patients instead of the old “word of mouth”. These testimonials should be posted on your website and used in social media campaigns as well.
  • Automated but personalized thank you and follow up email campaigns instead of the physical letters or pamphlets. You can reach larger audiences for a lot less money, and send an email in the right moment to the right patients.
  • Engaging patients on social media once they leave your clinic, to keep your service on their minds and have them come back next time.

2. You’ll learn more about your patients’ needs so you can service them

Another challenge for orthopedic practices has been to attract, capture, and convert leads into customers.

To successfully do that, an orthopedic practice needs to identify what its target customer needs so it can fulfill those demands. 

Effective digital marketing helps orthopedic practices learn the online habits of customers so they can better target ideal customers.

It relies on solid market research to inform the next course of action.

Smart orthopedic practices do not make assumptions.

They use digital tools to learn what their target customers search for and need. 

Digital tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, and SurveyMonkey can help you identify what your ideal patients’ interests are, what keeps them up at night, and how you can approach them with a highly-personalized, warm email and, eventually, convert them into patients.

Don’t forget to also use social media and your existing audience there to see what they like, what kind of posts do they react to the most and what questions they have had in the past.

Once you do the research, the best you can do next is to create one or several customer personas.

They will allow you to create personalized and very targeted marketing campaigns for specific types of people and, eventually, turn them into buying customers.

3. Digital marketing offers a multichannel approach to boost conversions

Your potential customers could be anywhere online.

Picture this:

  • 3.2 billion people or 42% of the world population uses social media today
  • Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and LinkedIn are the market leaders
  • On average, these people spend 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media networks per day, 80% of the time on mobile
  • 54% of patients browse social media for service research purposes

Email marketing. Facebook and Google ads. Social media marketing. SEO. And so on.

There are many digital marketing channels an orthopedic practice can use to reach their audience and, in the end, get them to buy their product or service.

Each of the channels asks for a different approach, of course, but once a strategy is created and preparations are made in general, it’s easy to adjust the messages to different audiences and boost conversions.

Some potential customers are more receptive to personalized email marketing campaigns while others prefer blogs and a combination of targeted ads to feel engaged enough to convert to buying customers.

Using digital marketing’s multichannel approach can help you find and engage potential customers wherever they are online and using whichever favorite platform they prefer. 

4. With digital marketing, orthopedic practices can compete competitively with larger practices—and win

Digital marketing doesn’t demand that orthopedic practices have an arsenal of expensive tools and huge budgets to get noticed, gain patients, and grow.

Sure, some tools will be needed but a lot of the things depend on the knowledge and experience of the owners.

Knowing your target audience and your service “in-depth” usually means more than any fancy tools – especially with the help of digital marketing.

The great thing about digital marketing is that creativity can always win over larger marketing budgets.

5. Digital marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing

Many orthopedic practices can’t afford a radio, TV or billboard ad campaign.

But many orthopedic practices can afford digital marketing techniques to reach out and engage with ideal audiences.

How affordable is orthopedic digital marketing compared to traditional marketing methods?

Moving forward – free, organic search still dominates web traffic, ahead of traffic driven by paid campaigns.

Take claiming and optimizing a free Google My Business Profile, for example. That will:

  • Boost your local SEO search visibility
  • Increase foot traffic if you are a local business, especially from smartphone users
  • Positive GMB reviews help improve a orthopedic practice’s online reputation for free

Facebook ads, on the other hand, are a bit more competitive to play in because it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending.

But, you can start with just $1 per day, and build from there.

6. Digital marketing offers a measurable return on investment

Unlike traditional marketing techniques, digital marketing is not only targeted, but it also offers credible ways to measure what’s working, what’s not, and how so.

That means an orthopedic practice can easily invest small in online marketing, and see results first, before going all-out and becoming more invested.

Having trouble associating your digital marketing spend to revenue?

Start with setting up a dedicated landing page. The goal is to capture a specific campaign’s inbound traffic.

From there, monitor how many people are landing on the landing page. You can also see how many bounced (and at which point on the page), how many engaged with the entire page, and see how many converted to buyers – all of these are ROI metrics that can be tracked in Google Analytics.

You can also use A/B tests to identify the most converting online marketing techniques, copy, calls-to-action, and page layouts based on real, patient interactions online. 

The tests can help you understand if you need to be more targeted.

Or if it’s better to shorten your landing page content to get more conversions. Or whether adding more above-fold call-to-action buttons can help boost conversions.

7. Your competition is already using digital marketing to spur ahead

About half of the orthopedic surgeons that responded to a survey said they were planning to use online marketing strategies to win more business in 2020 and beyond – many already are.

How to make sure what kind of digital marketing strategies are they using?

Start simply by checking a competitor’s website and social media.

Do they have regularly updated blog on their site? Do they publish updates on Facebook or share images on Instagram?

Facebook also allows you to see what kind of (if any) ads are your competitors running.

Simply click on page info and check their ad library.

After that, do a Google search for their brand name and see if they are mentioned on other sites or if they are linking to them.

You can also use tools like Ahrefs site explorer to see which sites link to your competitors.

Using another tool, SimilarWeb, you can see the sources of traffic towards your competitors and if they are using paid search ads (and on which keywords).

Find more on the ads tracking and which tools you can use here.

The key thing to remember here is to write all your findings down, from the number of social media followers to keywords you find they are targeting.

All that data will be useful in any type of digital marketing campaign you start – SEO, paid search, social media ads, all up to creating content and email outreach.

There are different templates and tools out there for competitor research, but most of the times good old Excel sheets will do the best job.

So, what are you waiting for?

2020 is probably the last digital marketing train you can catch.

We can take care of all of this for you. Contact RAMSEY today.