Crafting a proven marketing strategy to drive traffic to your new telehealth services program can be easier than you think. Here’s why leveraging your existing patient base could be the advantage you need to master telehealth marketing.
As the healthcare landscape becomes highly-fragmented, finding ways to break through the marketing clutter to get your telehealth services in front of your target audience can seem like a daunting task. However, if you have an existing patient base, tapping into them first by sending out preliminary marketing campaigns can be a cost-effective and low-risk way to test the telehealth marketing waters.
How do you best leverage your current patient population?
By performing marketing segmentation.
Your patients are unique and may fall into distinct consumer categories based on their demographics, age, socioeconomic status, geographical region, etc. It is important to segment your customer base to see what groups may exist. Once you have these groups identified, you will want to create detailed consumer personas that speak to the interests, medical needs, preferences, and health outcomes of each group. In this way, you will be empowered to provide each targeted segment with the right marketing message, disseminated on the right digital platforms, to drive a specific call to action.
When segmenting your patients, be sure to look for those with a higher propensity for utilizing your urgent care and quick service locations. These patients tend to seek immediate medical care, making them a great candidate for your telehealth services. Likewise, researchers have found that by implementing a telehealth option, hospital systems were able to eliminate nearly one in five emergency room visits.
In addition, by surveying your patients or conducting detailed focus groups, you can get a better idea as to the common objections patients may have to using telemedicine as well as ways that you can position your new services to appeal to each designated market segment.
Marketer beware! Not every medical service may be well suited to offer as part of your telehealth program. Likewise, not every patient will be a good fit for using your telehealth services. To ensure the right fit, you should examine your service lines carefully and determine which can be transitioned into a virtual option without compromising the level of care patients need.
With your identified telehealth services and clearly defined target personas based on your current patient base, the next step is to craft marketing messages for each segment. You will want to consider the medical provider preferences for each persona group, keeping in mind that these may shift depending on the age demographic of your patients.
Equally as important is to conduct thorough marketing research to pinpoint what online channels each persona group can be reached through. Older patients tend to prefer email, radio, or television advertising, whereas, younger patients will respond well to social media campaigns. However, if you are starting with your existing patients, you can try a simple email marketing campaign followed by more targeted social media advertisements to see what messages resonate and with what groups.
The more marketing testing you can do within your patient base, the more refined you can make your marketing campaigns to then be applicable and effective to a larger telehealth audience. Looking for some help with testing your efforts or improving your audience segmentation? Let me know!