marketing strategies for surgeons

Why now is the time to take control of your marketing as a surgeon

Discover why now is a good time to radically transform your online presence as a surgeon or a specialist doctor. New data allow you to target with laser precision. There has never been a more ROI-friendly way to market your private health practice and to create a system for ongoing growth. 

marketing strategies for surgeons

Why now is the time to take control of your marketing as a surgeon

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

January 20, 2022

3 Power questions about your marketing as a surgeon

surgical marketing

If you were asked how certain you are about your current marketing strategy as a surgeon in private practice, what would you say?

If the current times make you wonder how useful it is to work on your digital profile now, take a look at the three power questions I use to inspect where a surgeon can create a more future-proof strategy.

Why is there so much focus on digital for doctors?

digital for surgeons

The impact of digital marketing in healthcare can no longer be ignored. If you run a practice in a larger town or a big city, you would have experienced changes in the way new patient leads come in. The traditional pathways, based on referrals from general practitioners, are under pressure. Every year, new research confirms that patients do shop online when they need healthcare services and to fully understand what this type of shopping entails, we use our sets of patient behaviour data.

What we do at our production centres in Tilburg (The Netherlands) and Perth (Australia) is map the behaviour of patients across medical specialties: 

  • What specific questions do they type into Google?
  • What are the keywords around the conditions that you treat?
  • What symptoms-related searches are most common?
  • What are the FAQs around surgery types?
  • Which content is most popular among patients who need surgery?

All of the searches that patients do are what we call ‘shopping around’. Perhaps they were initially only shopping around for information that helped them understand the name of an injury, or the mechanics of a joint. But the time they would have spent on a surgeon’s medical website, reading the articles and watching a few videos perhaps, may have triggered a conversion that was not a logical consequence of the initial GP referral.

This irreversible change in online click behaviour now impacts your lead generation as a surgeon. It is the main reason to take control of your online presence sooner rather than later.

How to get a spectacular ROI with your medical marketing

tracking medical website visits

Digital marketing results can easily be tracked, as opposed to radio ads or newspaper advertorials. Because your digital campaigns are targeted, and we now know this is entirely data-driven for your specialty and your local market, it creates a high ROI.

The secret to improving your returns over and over again and to creating a system for continuous growth is…ongoing optimisation. 

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Co-founder Digital Practice

"What we call our Optimiser program is a quarterly in-depth analysis of the movement patients create on and around your website. When we fully analyse what they search for, click on and spend time with, we can make waterproof choices for the next piece of content that will make your website more visible."

Ongoing optimisation has led to doubled and tripled turnovers for some of our customers after 12-18 months. Why? Because this is where they took control of their online visibility, with ongoing efforts to add content that Google can index, flag as valuable and mark as quality content. If you want to learn more about ranking higher in Google with your medical website, check out this article about quality content

marketing strategies for surgeons

The success ingredient: medical content marketing

advertising for surgeons

Traditional advertising is often a delicate area for surgeons. If it’s not for advertising guidelines issued by your medical college, chances are that the advertising legislation in your jurisdiction has a few things to say on that topic. In other words: there may be risks involved. 

Content marketing on the other side falls within the guidelines that allow you to educate the patient. Leading surgeons and specialists use it to publish pages on the conditions they treat or the surgery types they perform.

Content marketing makes use of skills that are traditionally not linked to advertising:

  • Public relations: this ties in with managing your reputation as a doctor and it requires knowledge of PR and brand positioning.
  • SEO or Search Engine Optimisation: at Digital Practice we call it ‘on-page SEO’ or the production of content that is optimised not only for your patients, but also for Google’s crawling robots so your website is indexed as valuable content, worth a higher position in Google ranking.
  • Journalism: organising information, asking the right questions on behalf of the general public, analysing and summarising complex stories so they become palatable and visually compelling, is the skill mastered by a content expert with a degree in journalism. Both co-founders of Digital Practice are senior journalists with extensive experience in general information, pharma and specialist medical topics.

Ideally, your content marketing mix uses different formats: content pages, blogs, downloadable PDFs, or YouTube videos to name just a few.

The goal is to make your content accessible, so patients who have not studied in Medical School can still grasp what you are discussing. The pages on your website are not a place to show off your expertise to a colleague – they are a place where you can either hook the audience or lose them…to a competitor with clearer content.

Content marketing is also a way to find your own voice. When patients read your pages or watch your videos, they should get an idea of what you stand for. If they feel comfortable and find that you come across as approachable, you are one step closer to welcoming a new patient.

How important is social media for surgeons?

social media for surgeons

Do you need a Facebook page as a surgeon? An Instagram profile? Opinions differ and it depends on the specialty you are in. 

Having a professional social media presence definitely helps build your overall reputation and gives patients something they can share with a friend when your name comes up. You can also use it to build your leadership status and position yourself as an educator.

Content types that work best for medical marketing are:

  • Videos: They generate more interest compared to articles
  • Links to your website: They generate traffic and Google detects this, seeing it as a good sign because your content must be engaging if people click through.

Your social media channels can be very useful when you need to communicate changes, or when the services have a strong lifestyle component: Diet, linked to fertility for example, or stretches and exercises, related to orthopaedics.

When you embark on a social media journey, first ask a professional to build an editorial plan for your brand, in line with your target audience and the type of traffic you want to generate in the local community. Again, think ROI and if you are in doubt about what social media can do for your practice, let’s have a conversation.

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Let’s build your practice

private practice business development

At Digital Practice, we are all about results. Effective digital marketing strategies for surgeons start with a reconnaissance session of your market, your business goals and your ambitions. Book your obligation-free consult now and let’s discuss your business growth!

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