While in a post-pandemic era, orthopedic practices are still looking at a challenging year in 2023. From the ongoing staffing issues to the looming economic uncertainties, orthopedic practices need a steady stream of leads in the current healthcare market. Although a steady stream of leads is not necessary to gain revenue, marketers must implement orthopedics digital marketing strategies to convert said leads.
With that said, the orthopedics market is projected to grow by $756.75 million between 2023-2027. Furthermore, the aging population will ensure that demand for orthopedic services will remain high going forward. If your orthopedic business wants to stay competitive in this space, you need to take your marketing to the next level by knowing the following top marketing trends for 2023.
1. Recruitment Marketing Will Capture Larger Share of the Marketing Budget
Staff shortages are among the most impactful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that plague the healthcare industry. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimated a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034, affecting specialty and primary care. With more healthcare workers getting burned out, many orthopedic groups will grapple with staffing challenges in 2023 and beyond.
Therefore, orthopedic providers will need to invest in a robust recruitment pipeline. Otherwise, the patient experience and quality of care will decline. Many healthcare executives have implemented strategies to cope with the ongoing staffing shortages, including:
- Implementing improved retention programs and initiatives
- Overhauling their operational processes and infrastructure for efficiency
- Increasing compensation packages and systems
- Using advanced technologies to streamline or eliminate redundant work
These strategies are designed to keep healthcare workers satisfied and ramp up recruitment efforts to avoid service disruptions. With more resources allocated for a better recruitment pipeline, orthopedic groups will be in a better position to attract top healthcare talents–which is critical in the current employment climate. Below are some tips to help your orthopedic practice attract high-quality employees:
Communicate Your Brand and Value
It used to be that healthcare recruiters would focus on crafting the ideal persona for hires. Nowadays, you’ll have to think of ways to communicate your brand and value to job seekers. As cited in LinkedIn’s Employer Brand Statistics report, more than three-quarters of job seekers consider the employer’s brand before application. This emphasizes the importance of taking a step back and evaluating your brand personality and reputation as an employer.
Remember that many job seekers have experienced burnout and disillusionment during the pandemic. Your recruitment team must look through the marketing lens and evaluate how potential hires will view your brand. Good employer branding requires you to highlight your group’s positive culture, employment perks, support programs, and staff experiences and achievements. In addition, you should leverage the power of social media to engage potential hires and organically showcase your practice’s culture and working environment.
It’s easier to attract top healthcare talents with a positive digital reputation. Therefore, invest in proactive management of your online reputation in leading recruitment platforms like Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google Business Profile. Showcase the positive reviews on your website and career pages, and respond to negative reviews in an empathetic manner.
Leverage PPC Ads for Recruitment
While most orthopedic PPC campaigns are developed to increase the patient pipeline, a robust Google Ads campaign will help you attract the most qualified office staff, techs, administrative workers, and other hard-to-fill but less specialized positions.
You can efficiently target job seekers in the orthopedic niche with paid search marketing. Your organization’s headhunters must focus on researching long-tail keywords and building negative keyword groups to ensure your recruitment ads reach your ideal candidates. In addition, ensure your ads are linked to highly-optimized landing pages–meaning they should be relevant, have clear call-to-actions (CTA), and include a streamlined application process. Furthermore, job seekers will likely view your ads and landing pages on mobile devices, so a fast and responsive web design is non-negotiable.
Optimize Career Pages and Job Listings
While your website is essentially your practice’s first impression for most job seekers, it’s primarily designed for your patients and their families. This is why you need to have a career page with content geared toward potential hires where you can effectively present your employee perks, what current employees love about your company culture, and promote open positions. Of course, your career page should also include a straightforward application process.
Moreover, job seekers want complete information when looking at job listings and career pages, so make sure you have the following information available:
- Employment type (full-time, part-time, PRN, etc.)
- Clear information on salary and benefits
- Requirements about education and experience
- Clear job responsibilities
- Skill requirements
- License and certification requirements
- Relocation and travel requirements
Once you have your promising candidates, ensure your career pages and job listings are optimized to convert. Lay out clear and comprehensive application steps to encourage potential hires to apply.
2. Orthopedics Digital Transformation Will Continue
Historically, healthcare organizations were slow to get on board with the adoption of digital technologies for various reasons, such as patient privacy. However, the disruption caused by COVID-19 has made it more pressing than ever to implement digital health ecosystems–particularly for healthcare stakeholders. We highlighted this in our The State of Healthcare Marketing 2022 Survey, where 47% of healthcare groups have yet to integrate a customer relationship management (CRM) solution into their operations, which is unthinkable for a service-oriented industry.
While there’s a definite increase in healthcare groups that adopt digital solutions, it can’t come sooner enough. According to McKinsey & Company’s survey of healthcare industry experts, 68% of respondents believe that digital healthcare solutions are relevant even after the pandemic, and 39% stated that their primary purpose of digital transformation is to keep up with the competition. Therefore, orthopedic organizations must continue the process of going digital to keep up in 2023.
With digital healthcare solutions, orthopedic providers can enhance not just the patient experiences but their marketing angles as well. Below are the ways physicians can leverage digital solutions for their practice:
Provide Flexible Care Options
The pandemic ushered in an era of remote, telehealth care, which was very popular with consumers. Telehealth for orthopedics is ideal for patients with orthopedic conditions who wish to remain at home for safety or convenience. Telehealth is also an excellent option for patients who can’t leave their homes due to illness and/or travel difficulties.
Digital solutions will enable orthopedic groups to deliver flexible and more accessible care options. In addition, expanded telehealth is essential for orthopedic practices as demand continues to outpace access and supply.
AI for Healthcare Data Management and Safety
Orthopedic clinics may leverage artificial intelligence or AI for storing large amounts of patient data collected on platforms like mobile apps and helping with analysis. This application could minimize the number of unnecessary in-person visits each year. AI technologies can identify diseases and augment diagnoses, making it possible for patients to evaluate their symptoms before stepping into the doctor’s office.
In addition to giving more control to patients, AI is used to streamline or automate manual processes and labor-intensive tasks, freeing more time for healthcare workers to focus on care delivery.
Real-Time Patient Monitoring
The digital transformation in orthopedics will allow surgeons to leverage mobile health and enable real-time care support and monitoring. This is a game-changer for real-time monitoring patients with chronic orthopedic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and chronic pain. As a result, we will see more physicians implement mobile apps and wearables to monitor patients in real time and provide timely treatments as needed.
3. Patient-Centric Content Shoots Up the Priority List
Last year, Google rolled out the core Helpful Content update, which will forever change how healthcare organizations approach content creation. As Google continues to deliver better user experiences, the Helpful Content Update aims to connect people to value-based information better. It’s part of the search engine’s broader effort to ensure searchers find high-quality and valuable content written by people for the people.
Thus, the days of blogging for blogging’s sake and writing for search engines are behind us. What does the Helpful Content Update mean for healthcare content?
- Google will implement a site-wide ranking signal to check if your healthcare website offers valuable content.
- Google will immediately flag AI-generated content spam with its machine-learning algorithm.
- Content created solely for search rankings and clicks won’t work anymore.
- Manual penalties will become a thing of the past, but you could lose organic search visibility.
A content strategy that focuses on patient-centricity engages readers directly to understand their unique needs and circumstances. In other words, Google will only reward websites that provide more “helpful” content. This highlights the importance of patient-centricity for delivering relevant and helpful content to your patients. Below are the best practices orthopedic providers should follow to create a patient-centric content strategy:
- Understand your patients: Your strategy must have empathy and deeper perspectives to unlock messaging and content that resonates with your patients. Conducting community and patient satisfaction surveys is a good place to start, but you should also talk with staff members who interact with patients daily. These are your doctors, care coordinators, nurses, and other patient-facing staff. These steps will help you gain insights into important issues for orthopedic patients, along with their challenges and motivations.
- Write more useful long-form content: Publishing high-quality long-form content will improve your search rankings and establish your clinic as a trusted source in everything ortho. Authoritative long-form content also offers more link-building opportunities and in-depth answers to common orthopedic questions your audience may have.
- Improve existing content and remove unhelpful ones: Thin, unhelpful content will hurt your search rankings and patient experience. To find unhelpful content on your ortho website, conduct an internal audit using a crawler tool like Screaming Frog (which our team uses) or MarketMuse. Once you find thin content on your pages, you can improve them by optimizing pages based on keywords, adding more content based on secondary keywords, and writing FAQ sections.
Patient-centered content marketing promotes trust and engagement between the audience and your brand. In 2023, brands prioritizing the patient’s needs first are set to improve the overall patient experience and grow their practice.
4. Personalization in Orthopedic Marketing Will Be the Gold Standard
Today, people are more accepting of their role as healthcare consumers, and their expectations have shifted. A study by Dassault Systèmes and CITE Research found that 83% of consumers expect personalization in products and services and are willing to pay and share their data to get it. The pandemic has accelerated this shift, and many traditional ways of healthcare marketing have fallen off. These days, you can’t get away with a one-size-fits-all marketing model that doesn’t always meet the patient’s needs.
True enough, patients prefer to be treated like unique individuals with their own needs and medical circumstances. Even if they’re walking into a multi-location orthopedic practice, they want to feel like they’re visiting a small family practice. So what can you do for a more personalized approach to healthcare marketing?
When people search for an orthopedic specialist, they typically prioritize convenience and prefer going to a nearby clinic. With geographical personalization, you can create targeted landing pages based on the visitor’s location and show them relevant information that will help them convert. Geo-targeted landing pages are exceedingly vital for orthopedic practices trying to attract local patients.
An optimized geo-personalized landing page will have the following information:
- Which of your orthopedic locations is the closest
- Who are the surgeons and specialists in a location
- Which nearby clinics are accepting new patients
- Services offered in that location
- Typical working hours and availability
- Insurance information
Fortunately, geo-personalized landing pages are HIPAA-compliant, so you don’t have to worry about patient privacy violations.
Take Advantage of Patient Portals and Mobile Apps
Patient portals and mobile apps are some of the best implementations of personalized marketing. For example, patient portals provide a centralized interface where people can access their health data, communicate with physicians, view test results, renew prescriptions, manage appointments, and more. Meanwhile, mobile apps work like a patient portal, but you can conveniently send push notifications for appointments, health updates, and other relevant health information.
5. Orthopedics Must Focus on Keeping Their CPL Low
With tougher competition, ongoing staffing shortages, and a looming recessive economy, healthcare businesses will have tighter marketing budgets, increased patient acquisition costs, and higher ROI targets. With the inevitable budget constraints, orthopedic groups must implement Google Ads optimization strategies to maximize budgets and lower cost-per-lead (CPL).
Below are some of the best practices to optimize orthopedic PPC campaigns in 2023:
- Abandon low-intent, low-quality keywords: These keywords may have high search volumes, and they’re tempting to target, but they rarely lead to meaningful conversions. Remove low-intent keywords and keywords that are too high up in the patient funnel since they can sap your marketing dollars with little to no results.
- Refine your keyword strategy: Only target relevant keywords that yield high-quality leads. This highlights the importance of monitoring keyword performance, updating the negative keyword list, and getting rid of poor-performing keywords from your paid search campaigns.
- Improve your ad copy: A highly-optimized Google Ads campaign features refined messaging and ad copies. Keep your ads compelling and relevant to the searcher’s goals. In addition, use personalized and empathic messaging instead of appearing generic or robotic in your ads.
- Optimize your landing pages: Your Google ads must be linked to a relevant landing page instead of your home page or a generic service page. For example, if your ad promises to connect you with a carpal tunnel syndrome specialist, it should lead to a landing page where they can book an appointment or get in touch with an orthopedic hand doctor.
These are the top orthopedics marketing trends you should look out for in 2023. Ortho groups will undoubtedly deal with challenges like staffing shortages, increased competition, and economic uncertainties. This year will be about leveraging digital marketing and tech solutions to increase the patient pipeline, attract new hires, and maximize budgets. Staying on top of these orthopedic marketing trends will help your organization remain competitive in 2023.