The healthcare industry is undergoing a massive metamorphosis, thanks to the changing preferences of patients across the globe. Gone is the time when healthcare providers were only concerned about enhancing their brand awareness. The concept of healthcare marketing is shifting its focus from being brand-oriented to being consumer or patient-centered.
Healthcare marketing is being rethought with the sole objective of achieving enhanced patient engagement and loyalty. Are you prepping up to be a pioneering healthcare provider who will do everything right to market your services? This blog post will give you a sneak-peek into some of the marketing tactics that you should follow.
1. Train Your Support Staff Effectively
Build an internal knowledge base and include general information about different types of diseases, causes, symptoms, and the ways to treat them. Educating every para-medical staff right from nurses to helpers will be extremely helpful in those days when duty doctors aren’t available and your patients need immediate assistance. A hospital-wide online knowledge repository enables your support staff to self-train and equips themselves with the right knowledge so that they are able to handle emergency situations.
2. Create a Mobile-Responsive Website and Include an FAQ Section in It
Ensure that your website runs well on mobile phones, as most patients prefer checking out websites before turning to you in person. Your website is the virtual face of your firm, hence you cannot afford to go wrong with it. Its interface should be user-friendly, and navigations should be a breeze with all information rightly placed.
A report by Statista confirms that mobile devices currently account for more than half of all global web pages served. This data shows how crucial it is for you to have a website that runs smoothly on smartphones. Furthermore, adding a comprehensive FAQ section to your healthcare portal will give patients a channel to instantaneously find solutions to any questions they might have, without reaching out to you in person. Having a mobile-first approach and a ready optimized FAQs section can help you gain patient attention while at the same time promote your brand as well.
3. Maintain a Personal Touch
Make your patients feel cared for. Send them daily or weekly tips on maintaining their health. The tips should be specific to the disease your patients are suffering from. For example, a dermatologist who has adopted technology in a way that after patients leave his clinic, they get a text message that says – “Hope you are feeling better now. In case your pimples continue to erupt, follow these simple tips…”
You can also give them lifestyle-related advice such as specific exercises and a dietary regimen. Besides this, you can send them text reminders of their next appointment. Another thing you can do is sending voice messages to patients as a reminder to follow their prescription. Doing these simple things can help establish a stronger connection with your patients.
4. Adopt Health Video Marketing
Videos aren’t the ‘Next Big Thing’, they are the Now Big Thing. Consider YouTube, its search volume every month is 3 billion hits, which is bigger than Ask, AOL, Bing, and Yahoo combined. According to Mushroom Networks, YouTube is now the world’s second largest search engine that reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any other cable network. It makes sense to leverage such a powerful video platform and an effective medium for health marketing.
For example, just like Seattle Mama Doc, you can create your own YouTube channel that showcases videos on your treatments and facilities you provide, etc. You can even talk about the credentials of doctors working at your hospital and how different diseases are treated. Heard of the white coat syndrome? Most people have it. Who doesn’t get intimidated by doctors and medical equipment? Having a human-touch video in place can help you connect with your patients better and make your brand more approachable.
Take the example of Orlando Healthcare. This Florida-based healthcare organization has its YouTube channel where it posts videos on its doctors, nurses and other support staff working there, the experience they have and their expertise in their respective domains. The videos also show how doctors treat different diseases and medical conditions.
5. Embrace Multiple Channels to Reach out to Patients
Restricting to just one channel while marketing isn’t a good idea as you might miss out on a lot of present as well as potential patients. Diversification is key to make sure that your current set of patients are catered nicely and prospective ones get a channel to communicate with you and know your brand.
Explore options like email marketing, text messages, chatbots or self-service knowledge base that helps new and old patients solve, if not complex, then at least basic health issues on their own. This will enhance user engagement and provide them with an excellent experience, which will ultimately decide whether they like your brand or not.
Glance through the website of John Hopkins Medicine and you will find a section on “Search the health library”. That section assists readers to find information on various diseases, treatments, tests, and procedures. This is nothing but a self-help section that lets users get their facts clear on various issues related to health.
6. Why Do You Need to Market Yourself Carefully?
According to the Pew Research Center, one in three American adults goes online to figure out a medical condition. The research also pointed out that 8 in 10 online health inquiries start on a search engine. This corroborates the fact that you have to make yourself visible in the online arena by being search engine friendly. In fact, not just visible, you have to dominate the space, in order to attract visitors and cater to their requirements.
Given the rising expectations of patients, the time is right to ditch your micro approach and switch to an approach that is macro and all-encompassing, meaning, something that helps you connect at a personal level with your patients.
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