1. Build a website. The first step of an online marketing strategy is creating or updating the practice website. Independent spine surgeons and groups must have a website regularly updated with relevant information to appear in patient searches.
"You need a place where potential patients can go to become educated about your treatment offerings," says Ms. Cienkosz. "Your website will have a huge role to play in practice marketing."
The website should include information about the surgeon or surgeons in the group, services provided, conditions treated and the practice location. Once the website is in place, you can move ahead with additional social media initiatives.
2. Make your approach patient-centered. Online marketing efforts should have a patient focus. Make sure the patient's wants and needs are at the forefront of all advertisements and material you put online.
"The most important thing is making your approach patient-centered," says Ms. Cienkosz. "Your communication touch points should describe the services you provide. It's important not to mislead the patient about what you do or how you do it; be very forthright."
Patients want to know what the surgeon has to offer and how they would benefit from treatment. "The content doesn't always have to be created from scratch," she says. "If you have marketing content from somewhere else within the organization, repurpose it for online space."
3. Engage with social media. Create a social media page that allows patients to dialogue with one another about past or upcoming surgeries or general health topics. Social media channels you may consider using to start the conversation include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube.
"Patients communicate in a forum and ask each other questions," says Ms. Cienkosz. "The conversation happens naturally. It's a great marketing effort and it takes very little internal resources to keep up."
Laser Spine Institute doesn't moderate the discussions; they flow organically. However, posts will be removed if they are threatening or violate HIPAA.
4. Educate patients with marketing efforts. Educate patients about surgeons in your group and their services online. You can go a step further by educating patients with substantive articles and videos about common conditions and treatment options.
"We have condition-specific information about our procedures on our group website," says Ms. Cienkosz. "We also want to educate patients about our surgeons because that's what is really important to them. We have bios on our website for each surgeon where they are featured in an introductory video about their backgrounds to make patients as comfortable as possible."
The marketing manager can also post relevant articles and other resources on the social media and website outlets to stay current and start conversations about hot topics for the day. "We post updates on a daily basis about different health-related topics to continue engagement with potential patients," she says. "They are thought-starters for people who visit our page."
5. Upload more video content. Video content will become increasingly important heading into the future. Patients will be looking for videos about different procedures for education as well as surgeon profiles to become more familiar with their providers.
"We have procedure animations, condition animations and surgeon biographies where they describe what the procedures are like," says Ms. Cienkosz. "Video content will be very important from a marketing perspective as well as for patient education. Our surgeon biographies aren't scripted; they communicate who they are and connect with potential patients. You want that to be very natural and allow them to really show who they are and what they've accomplished."
More Articles on Spine Surgery:
22 Spine Surgeon Leaders on the Most Fulfilling Aspects of Their Careers
6 Ongoing Challenges for Spine Surgeons & Innovators
50 Spine Surgeons on the Move
5 Steps to Optimize Online Marketing for Spine Surgeons FeaturedWritten by Laura Dyrda | Monday, 31 December 2012 13:29
Briley Cienkosz, senior marketing director of Laser Spine Institute, discusses five steps for spine surgeons and groups to optimize online marketing efforts.Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2012 13:41
© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2017. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies here.
Most Read - Spine
- 10 most popular spine stories of 2016
- Behind bars for fraud: Neurosurgeon Dr. Aria Sabit receives nearly 20-year prison sentence — 8 key insights
- Physician-owned ASCs driving lumbar spine fusion market growth — 4 things to know
- 40 statistics on spine surgeon and neurosurgeon pay
- Dr. Allan Friedman to perform spine surgery on Duke's Mike Krzyzewski: 5 key notes
Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months
- 20 new MIS spine devices in 2016
- 44 MIS spine devices to know | 2016
- Police investigate death of American Spine Center's physician accused in federal kickback scheme: 6 things to know
- Suicide likely cause of Dr. Sandeep Sherlekar's death, police report shows: 6 things to know
- 12 statistics on social media's presence in the healthcare space
- 38 female spine surgeon leaders to know
- Dr. Gregory Sherr sues HealthEast, CentraCare & 6 neurosurgeons for allegedly ruining his reputation & career — 6 things to know
- 4 North Carolina orthopedic practices merge to create EmergeOrtho: 5 key notes
- Oregon spine surgeon implicated in $22M lawsuit for paralyzing patient with dropped instrument: 5 things to know
- US News & World Report: Top 10 hospitals for orthopedics
- 7 things to know about Mazor Robotics & Medtronic's plans to roll out Mazor X
- 11 highest-paying states for orthopedic surgeons: New Jersey tops the list at $494.5k
- UPMC to pay $2.5M+ to settle neurosurgery-related False Claims Act violation allegations: 7 things to know
- Beyond the implant — DePuy Synthes pushes innovation inside & out of the OR
- 21 statistics and facts for orthopedic surgeons — compensation, net worth and more
- The state of minimally invasive spine surgery: Dr. Frank Phillips on devices, payment & outpatient ASCs
- Are Stryker's hip implants about to be recalled?
- 19 more things to know about orthopedic bundled payments — September 2016
- Understanding the Impact of the CMS 2017 ASC Payment Rule on Spine Procedures
- Trump or Hillary? The physicians have voted
- 5 trends for orthopedic surgeons to watch in 2017
- 15 spine surgeons discuss techniques revolutionizing spine care
- FDA regulation, insurance coverage: Dr. Raj N. Sureja talks challenges in regenerative medicine
- Do you know what patients really care about when choosing a spine surgeon?
- Robotics is here to stay — Drs. Kornelis Poelstra & Dennis Devito on working with Mazor technology
- Medtronic, SeaSpine, Zimmer Biomet & more: 17 key notes
- 3 orthopedic clinics to pay $2.39M to settle False Claims Act allegations: 5 things to know
- 10 thoughts and statistics on medical malpractice claims against orthopedists
- 33 of the largest orthopedic groups in the US by number of physicians
- UCLA pays $8.5M to settle 2 lawsuits after undisclosed spine surgeon relationship with Medtronic: 5 key notes
- 4 of the most pressing challenges orthopedic surgeons face in 2017
- What not to wear — Physician's attire elicits mixed responses in outpatient orthopedic centers
- 5 largest orthopedic companies have 61% of market share
- 8 spine codes CMS proposes for ASC coverage in 2017
- 6 spine physicians ranked #1 on Google - 2016
- Dr. Robert Watkins performs spine surgery on Patriots' Rob Gronkowski
- 8 biggest stories in 2016's spine market — Acquisitions, lawsuits, bundled payments & more
- Orthopedic residency programs violate Match Code of Conduct: 6 things to know
- 7 trends in the spine surgical robot market
- The science of healthcare delivery: 10 thoughts on the future structure of healthcare organizations