Modern patients are remarkably different from those in previous generations, particularly in their approach to selecting healthcare providers and researching treatment options. This change was inevitable with the massive influx of health information accessible through digital technology. Healthcare marketing must evolve to address these informed consumers who possess the knowledge and power to select their preferred doctor.
How Does Healthcare Marketing Adapt to Today’s Consumerism?
In the current landscape, healthcare marketing involves a blend of online strategies designed to attract and maintain a patient base. Practices excelling in patient acquisition and retention recognize that patients conduct thorough research on a physician’s reputation, expertise, and achievements.
These physicians also consider the opinions and feelings of their existing patients and how they may share their experiences with others. Essentially, healthcare marketing in the era of healthcare consumerism must consist of patient-centered digital efforts that enable practices to cultivate strong, enduring relationships with their patients.
Why is Marketing More Crucial Now Than Ever?
Enhancing online visibility is a core goal of digital healthcare marketing. This is how most digitally savvy patients will initially discover your practice or learn about your qualifications. Additionally, establishing yourself as a respected expert or thought leader in your medical field will draw more patients who extensively research online when choosing a provider.
Creating a unique brand identity is critical for achieving such market leadership. This process involves focusing on the distinctive emotions, values, and characteristics of your potential patients, who will use these factors when evaluating your practice in comparison to competitors.
Which Marketing Strategies Can Healthcare Organizations Employ to Stand Out?
• Develop patient-centered content. About 80% of US web users search for health information online. It’s crucial to offer relevant healthcare content that leaves a positive impression on prospective patients during their research and discovery stages. When crafting articles, aim to demonstrate thought leadership in your specialty by producing original, well-researched healthcare content.
• Utilize patient sentiment analysis. A McKinsey report indicates that many providers still struggle to meet patients’ unique care requirements. However, the increasing availability of consumer data and AI-powered tools enable providers to extract and analyze patient feedback to address individual care expectations. Sentiment analysis is one tool you can use in healthcare marketing campaigns, helping you enhance clinical outcomes by understanding patients’ perceptions of your services and identifying areas for improvement.
• Embracing new-age digital marketing strategies. As the healthcare industry adapts to the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s essential to pivot into innovative marketing strategies like connected TV and HIPAA compliant remarketing. Connected TV allows healthcare organizations to reach the rapidly growing audience of “cord-cutters,” who have abandoned traditional cable or satellite services in favor of streaming platforms. With connected TV advertising, your campaigns become more financially efficient and trackable, allowing for better targeting and improved return on investment.
HIPAA compliant remarketing strategies enable healthcare organizations to re-engage with potential patients who have previously interacted with their digital content or website while adhering to strict privacy standards. These strategies ensure that sensitive patient information remains protected while still delivering personalized and relevant ads to interested individuals.
• Utilize virtual health assessments as lead generators. Incorporating virtual health assessments into your digital marketing strategy can be a game-changer for your healthcare organization. These assessments can act as lead generators, providing valuable insights into a patient’s health while also increasing their health literacy. By offering virtual health assessments, you engage potential patients with a micro-commitment, demonstrating your commitment to patient-centered care and making them more likely to choose your practice.
As patients complete virtual health assessments, they become more aware of their health and develop a better understanding of potential treatment options. This heightened health literacy empowers them to make informed decisions about their care, which can lead to improved patient satisfaction and long-term loyalty to your organization. Furthermore, by offering these assessments, your practice sets itself apart from competitors, showcasing your dedication to providing convenient, personalized, and accessible healthcare solutions.
• Conversion rate optimization for healthcare organizations. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for healthcare organizations. By focusing on CRO, healthcare providers can improve their website’s ability to convert visitors into patients, ultimately increasing the overall effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
By implementing CRO in your healthcare organization’s digital marketing strategy, you can boost patient acquisition, foster loyalty, and enhance your online presence, ultimately leading to long-term success in an increasingly competitive market.
• Optimize content for search engine rankings. Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for directing users to your educational online content by boosting your website ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Optimization is crucial in healthcare marketing since most SERP clicks go to the first three organic results. Effective SEO involves using relevant keywords that align with your target patients’ search intent. Don’t forget to include local SEO in your strategy to attract high-quality leads from patients seeking care within your practice’s vicinity.
• Implement online reputation management. Approximately 90% of the US population uses social media, and over 80% of prospective patients consult online reviews before selecting a healthcare provider. Healthcare organizations must pay attention to these statistics, as patient feedback on popular review platforms or social media can influence their ability to attract new patients.
Practical tactics for establishing an excellent online reputation include developing a review generation plan and actively collecting feedback from current patients.
• Enhance access to care via telemedicine. The McKinsey survey revealed that most patients desire quicker appointments (shorter wait times) and that 58% prefer physicians who offer appointment reminders through text, email, or phone. Consumers are also increasingly seeking more digital communication and one-on-one interactions with their caregivers. By incorporating telemedicine components such as apps, two-way SMS, online chat, and video/virtual visits, patients can access quality care easily, and your practice will appeal to a broader audience.