Getting new patients to consider your telehealth services as an alternative to traditional medical care can be challenging. How you position the key benefits of your telehealth program can determine how quickly you will be able to attract and retain patients. Here are the three best practices you should implement.
As technology has revolutionized how patients access information to manage their health, the quiet takeover of telehealth is taking place. With the rising cost of healthcare and patients demanding more convenience and affordable options, telehealth is on pace to be the fastest growing healthcare segment. Though the demand is present, the challenge becomes how best to market a new telehealth service to increase patient adoption.
There are three telehealth marketing best practices that must be implemented to ensure your program is both strategically positioned to appeal to your patient demographic and designed to meet their evolving healthcare needs.
- Define your audience. Understanding who your audience is is the first step in knowing how best to craft your marketing messages to immediately resonate with them. Though your larger healthcare services may serve a wider audience, ranging in ages, demographic makeup, geographic areas, etc. your telehealth audience may be more well-defined or fall within a specific niche or age category. For example, 40% of Millennials report that telehealth options are a must when considering using a new healthcare provider. In addition, with telehealth you will be able to reach a larger geographic area, making it essential that your key benefits are as compelling, clear, and concise as often as possible. With your target audience identified, you are better positioned to incorporate the language and key phrases to attract that specific audience.
- Visualize the patient’s journey. What steps or factors contribute to how a patient chooses one healthcare option over another? Identifying the patient journey from initial inquiry to scheduling an appointment is important in being able to craft marketing messages that speak to each step of this process. For example, 63% of patients research symptoms online before consulting with a doctor. Therefore, having search engine ads or publishing informational blog content around commonly searched disorders or symptoms for your target audience can be an effective way to get in front of them as they begin their patient journey. Likewise, finding ways to stay “top of mind” is also critical in building brand recognition and aligning your telehealth services program as being a leading one in the area. Finding ways to get on social media or use native advertising to insert yourself throughout the patient journey are critical in driving traffic to your telehealth services.
- Develop patient personas. Not all telehealth patients are equal. And, your marketing cannot take a one-size-fits-all approach. The common objections you may have to overcome with a Baby Boomer-aged patient in terms of their resistance to telehealth is very different than the objections a Millennial-aged patient may have. The key is to have well-defined patient personas that clearly outline who your patients are, what they are looking for in healthcare, what obstacles to telehealth adoption they may have, and what key benefits they are looking for in their healthcare journey. By having marketing personas that speak to each of your target audiences, you will be able to craft tailored marketing campaigns that will immediately appeal to each segment. With these marketing personas in place, you will want to test the success of various campaigns and look for ways that you can replicate these results across all of your other marketing channels and targeted segments.
Telehealth is here to stay. The key to growing your telehealth services program will be in how well you define, target, and attract your audience. If you invest the time now to understand your market, you can then seamlessly create highly effective marketing campaigns that will help you quickly grow your patient base.