The healthcare industry has seen radical change over the last decade with the increase of technology. While the adaptation was slow and steady at first, the healthcare industry has finally found its way into the digital world. This has had a significant impact on everything from patient retention to physician satisfaction. So how does a health system adapt its marketing strategy to include changes in technology? Here are five recommendations we have for 2020.
1. Digital Video
Digital video is becoming a dominant force in the digital marketing universe. Given that 45% of people spend more than one hour a day watching videos, it is no surprise that video marketing is gaining a vital place in the healthcare marketing plans of most medical practices, regardless of their size, specialty, or location. Healthcare marketers are using video marketing to connect with existing and potential patients, engage with them, and convert them into regular patients. To connect with current and potential patients, we recommend utilizing video anywhere from your website to your waiting room.
2. Physicians’ Online Presence
A survey of more than 1,700 U.S. adults found that 80 percent of respondents have made a healthcare-related search online in the past year. The survey, which was commissioned by Doctors.com, also revealed that over 63 percent of respondents will choose one provider over another because of his or her online presence (i.e. availability of relevant, accurate, and compelling information). Being visible online will continue to become more important for physicians, regardless of the practice, as online reviews become more trusted and as consumers desire more information before making medical decisions.
Even older consumers routinely check the online reputation of potential healthcare providers. According to the Doctors.com survey, more than 75 percent of respondents aged 60 and up used the internet to make a healthcare-related search last year. More importantly, the results suggest older consumers are more affected by what they find online. Nine out of ten patients in this demographic said they would choose a different provider after seeing negative reviews online. Regardless of who your target demographic is, we recommend making your physicians more accessible online – from video bios to social media posts to online reviews.
3. Reputation Management
Google review monitoring is crucial as it helps you showcase your business in a positive light, while minimizing the impact of negative opinions that patients have about the hospital or facility. Negative reviews can significantly damage a health organization as it reflects poorly on management and it can diminish trust among consumers. Reviews are powerful for healthcare institutions, so it’s best to monitor, address, and if possible, avoid negative ratings.
It is common for patients to write reviews about the billing process. Working through co-insurance, premiums, and co-pays can be a frustrating process but shouldn’t impact a patient’s perception of the entire hospital. In 2020, focus on providing more transparency to the billing system. Patients will appreciate it.
4. High-Quality Healthcare Content
Typically, when a patient gets sick, the first thing they do is look up their symptoms online. Investing in a blog and creating valuable content to intersect with these searches could lead these prospective new patients to your health system. Validating these blogs with information from a physician (or even having a physician write them!) creates high-quality, credible information to share. Don’t stop at creating the content. Amplify it with organic and paid social sharing.
Telemedicine is becoming more relevant as the rise in technology enables healthcare systems to incorporate it as a viable method of patient care. Not only is this technology a selling point for the hospital system, but also the consumer appreciates the access to care from the comfort of their home. Telemedicine combines the need for access to healthcare with advanced technology that allows for quality service. In addition, telemedicine helps solves healthcare issues like physician shortages. Now that the technology has caught up and insurance companies are reimbursing for the services, we fully anticipate telemedicine to soar in the coming years. And now is a great time to test the waters with telemedicine. Not sure where to start? MBB can help you out.
At MBB, we know a lot about healthcare marketing because we do a lot of healthcare marketing. As you begin your planning for 2020, let MBB help.