Marketing orthopedic services requires a highly strategic approach that engages consumers at all stages of the decision journey. Capture pent-up demand and create long-term patient relationships by following these best practices.
Driving revenue for orthopedics is a top-of-mind priority for many healthcare marketers, as the service line fuels financial performance and connects with a diverse set of patients who form relationships with the health system during their experience. Marketing orthopedic services can range from sports medicine services targeting a young and active demographic to joint replacements for an aging population, and a variety of concerns in between.
The topic is particularly relevant today because of the backlog of elective procedures created by COVID 19. This pent-up demand is projected to fuel a surge in procedures through early 2023. Further, with more and more healthcare providers not just embracing digital marketing, but becoming good at it, the competition to capture this pent-up demand is becoming intense.
A strong marketing strategy for orthopedics and sports medicine should include a diverse set of channels and tactics designed to engage with consumers appropriately throughout their care journey to connect them with the care they need. Minimally, your service line growth plans should include orthopedic digital marketing strategies integrated to create a conversion path for candidates.
Here are orthopedic campaign and content initiatives we’ve found to be most effective:
- Paid search to capture high intent search volume and drive consumers directly to care
- Paid social media and native advertising strategies to market-specific orthopedic services to high-value audience targets
- Display advertising, streaming service promotion and traditional advertising to build your brand as a premier orthopedic and sports medicine provider
- Direct mail to complement all of the above and keep your brand top of mind for high-value targets
- SEO performance strategies, both technical and content-focused, to drive as much organic engagement with your service line as possible
- Consistent, authentic and authoritative message and creative strategy throughout the service line to most effectively support the consumer decision-making journey
As you build out your orthopedic marketing plans, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind specific to individual services:
Sports Medicine Marketing
When it comes to promoting sports medicine, the critical points include an emphasis on getting athletes of any level back to activity as quickly and safely as possible, as well as convenient access to services throughout the healthcare journey.
In order to capture volumes, keep these best practices in mind:
- Promote your orthopedic urgent care locations and offerings because like with any front-door service, capturing loyalty as early as possible in the care journey is key to capturing high acuity (procedure) revenue later.
- Build your brand. As an experienced orthopedic marketing group, True North focuses specifically on sophisticated digital marketing strategies that drive demand; however, brand matters a lot in the sports medicine space. Partnerships with local university and professional sports teams can elevate your perception as a provider of high quality sports medicine services in the community and should be both fostered and promoted thoughtfully.
- Define your audience targets. You’re likely going to be targeting both older athletes (think 30+ runners and cyclists just trying to stay fit and active) as well as parents of young athletes. These segments each have unique motivations and needs when it comes to pursuing care, and based on your social media plans and keyword targets, we encourage you to develop personalized messaging accordingly.
Total Joint Replacement Marketing
For many healthcare providers, total joint volumes represent a large revenue opportunity and priority. Pursuing the procedure has many lifestyle benefits for patients, but is often associated with a long decision-making journey with many consumers putting off the procedure for 10 or more years.
With this, there are a few ways to diversify your campaign and content strategy to connect with consumers at various stages of their journey in a way that will propel your orthopedic marketing outcomes:
- Downloadable guides on topics like readiness for joint replacement or recovery from joint replacement can be an engaging asset for consumers at the “consideration” stage of their journey. This allows you to capture their email address and nurture them towards a consult appointment.
- Seminars and events are another engaging way to connect with consumers at the consideration stage of their journey. Through online and in-person events, people are able to ask questions and learn more about the procedure in a low-pressure setting. As a bonus, these events provide social interaction that your 60+ audience might be craving.
- Patient stories, particularly if executed through video, can be a great resource to promote through social media, on your website, through YouTube and more as a way to highlight the benefits of joint replacement and ease potential fears about the procedure.
- Creating a seamless path toward conversion at the bottom of the funnel can be an overlooked piece of the content strategy conversation. Your landing pages designed to facilitate consultation appointments should be informative, share some information about what to expect from the process, and be easy for the consumer to use. Further, appointment requests should be followed up with quickly because joint replacement volumes can face fierce competition when it comes to patient acquisition.
By focusing your messaging on the benefits of joint replacement and providing genuinely helpful information throughout your campaign strategy, you’ll be positioning your brand to win the race for joint replacement volumes in your market.
Hand, Shoulder and Small Joint Marketing
While not always a high priority for orthopedic and sports medicine providers, there is a revenue potential in targeting patients with hand, shoulder and small joint concerns that’s worth capitalizing on.
Here are a few ways to think about incorporating these targets into your orthopedic marketing campaigns:
- Focus on specific conditions or joints in your paid search and social media advertising to maximize efficiency and hone in on very high intent and specific personas who may need help.
- Since these might not be your most valuable patients and you may be challenged with a limited budget, consider focusing on optimizing your SEO performance through content, listing management and reputation strategies to capture consumer search volume organically in an effort to alleviate paid search spend.
- Include these services and conditions in your blog content planning to continuously address topics like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis pain throughout your content marketing and SEO strategies.
As outlined above, effectively marketing orthopedic services requires a strategic, customer-centric approach that engages candidates at all stages of the healthcare journey. Here are a few keys to success based on our experience in working with hospitals and health systems nationwide as a trusted orthopedic marketing group:
- While an overarching orthopedics and sports medicine strategy is important, your campaigns will only be successful if you clearly define the campaign methodology at the service and audience level.
- Content is key throughout your campaign strategy and aligning the resources and stories you provide consumers to their search behavior will optimize engagement and conversions throughout your campaign.
- A diversified, yet consistent and integrated, approach to digital and traditional marketing is necessary for success with a service line like orthopedics with a variety of audience targets and increasingly intense competition fighting for the same leads.
If you’re challenged with promoting multiple service lines and need guidance and/or support to meet volume or revenue goals, turn to an orthopedic marketing agency like True North with expertise across myriad organization sizes, types and geographies.
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