From health insurance companies and hospitals, to healthcare attorneys and private medical practices, marketing plays a key role in cultivating new patients/clients and building trust. Here are top ways to improve healthcare marketing:
Make it personal
While technology has helped to streamline record keeping and increase operational efficiency by automating traditionally manual processes such as appointment confirmation calls, having a doctor sit behind a computer while taking down deeply personal information can feel a bit impersonal. However, deciding who to trust with the care of your health and wellbeing is a deeply personal decision. Healthcare marketing tip #1: make it personal.
Whether your practice develops a “meet the doctor(s)” video that lives on the homepage of your website, or you engage patients of your practice to share their stories in your email newsletters and on your blog, finding ways to help prospective patients connect with your practice and your practitioners is key to building trust and attracting new patients.
A personal touch can strengthen a healthcare public relations program and provide the overall direction for a content marketing program (think blogs, videos, social media, expert articles, etc.). It can also help to set your practice apart from the competition.
Embrace online reviews
What are patients saying about your facility on social media? When was the last time you checked out your hospital’s reviews on Yelp? Online reviews offer a third-party perspective on the patient experience and can help prospective patients in honing their search for a new practitioner.
Soliciting online reviews from existing patients can be done in a variety of ways – some subtle and others more direct. Representative opportunities to help drive online reviews include in-office signage, email marketing campaigns and even putting requests in invoices.
The ACA has significantly changed the healthcare landscape, from the health insurance climate to hospitals mergers and acquisitions, to name a couple. With many folks feeling overwhelmed by these significant changes, knowing their opinion is valued can play an integral role in building trust.
Research can come in many different forms. For example, a private practice looking to improve the patient experience may deploy patient satisfaction surveys after each visit or a database-wide survey following a merger or acquisition to gauge how well the changes were communicated to patients.
Larger research studies may entail engaging a firm to conduct healthcare market research. For example, a health insurance company may elect to conduct an Omnibus poll to determine the masses’ largest frustration with the current health insurance landscape. A specialty practice may engage a research firm to gather data to help bust a myth about the treatment of a particular disease. The findings from this third-party research can help to building compelling media angles for a healthcare PR program and for ongoing patient communications.
Engaging a healthcare marketing agency to ensure a steady stream of audience-focused communications and healthcare PR stories are coming from your practice can help to increase both market share and patient retention. As hospital systems continue to merge and private practices are acquired, it is critical to proactively communicate with both existing and prospective patients/clients about these changes. Whether you are speaking directly to the end-user or a third-party who is involved in the decision making process (i.e. baby boomer choosing an elder care facility for their aging parent(s), parent engaging a healthcare attorney on behalf of a minor in their care, etc.), it is important to focus on what matters most to your target audiences and how to effectively communicate this information with authority, accuracy, and the appropriate amount of empathy and compassion.