If you’re considering adopting telehealth solutions for your organization or medical practice, good for you! It’s a great first step in the right direction. But, before we get into how you can better market to today’s health consumer, let’s take a look at why this is so important.
About Telehealth’s Impact on Healthcare
It’s no longer optional. That’s one of the biggest impacts I’m seeing to date. To refuse or fail to adopt a telehealth solution is to be anti-patient.
That’s a bold claim, but here’s why.
American Well’s 2017 Telehealth Index found that “20% of consumers would switch to a PCP that offers video visits if another PCP in their area offers them.”
Are you willing to send 20 out of 100 patients out the door by saying no to telehealth?
Just imagine — your competitors are acquiring more new patients because they have a telehealth offering. that could be a barrier to your ability to acquire new patients. And 20% of your current patient base is on the chopping block if you don’t offer telemedicine as an option…
How long can slowed new patient volume and patient attrition go unchecked without some serious business consequences?
What Consumers Want from Healthcare
Convenience is king.
Just think about the rise in services like Netflix, Uber Eats, Lyft – it’s the economy of convenience. So it makes perfect sense that consumers would be looking to their healthcare providers to follow suit. That means apps, virtual visits, and less time spent waiting.
Consumers want healthcare experiences to be as seamless and natural as those they encounter in the world of retail and services.
From the same study, American Well also reported: “among those willing to have an online video visit with a doctor, many are willing to use video visits for routine needs like getting prescriptions renewed (78%) or getting birth control (33%).”
People simply aren’t as willing to get out and drive to the doctor, pay a copay, and spend time in a waiting room to accomplish something that could easily be solved over the phone, through video chat, or on a mobile app.
Telehealth is perhaps the best way you can move toward solving that pain point now.
How Do I Market Telehealth to Today’s Health Consumer?
Before you go to market with your solution, the first thing you need to do before you wage any kind of marketing is to ensure that the user experience is seamless. And with Zinopsis reporting that 96% of health systems are planning to adopt a telehealth solution – this should concern you.
Chances are, only a fraction of these health systems will be able to provide a great patient experience via their software solution. Patients and doctors both can quickly become frustrated and dismissive when technology isn’t working well.
So, as you’re considering telehealth products and services for your practice or organization, make sure they’re not just serviceable in the role – they must be excellent.
If you’re convinced that the product or service is an asset and not a liability, the next step is to create a strategy and investment plan to wage digital marketing for your telehealth option.
Digital Marketing Tactics for a Telehealth Launch
More than any other avenue, digital marketing provides a robust ecology of channels and tactics to drive awareness, educate and convince users and patients to adopt your telemedicine offering.
Whether it’s downloading an app, scheduling an online visit or taking another clearly-defined high-value action, digital marketing can help you achieve this goal in a clear, measurable way.
Digital Telehealth Awareness Marketing to Current & Prospective Patients
If you’ve already made a digital connection to your patients either via email or text message, you can directly contact them through a contact management solution to inform and educate them about their new care options by sending an email or SMS message. You can also create sequences of emails and texts to remind and reeducate them over a period of time to foster more awareness and drive adoption. Include links to the app store or the relevant online destination to make it easy for them to opt-in.
It’s also critical to announce new care options on your website and on other web properties like your social media profiles, review platforms, and Google My Business.
Prospective patients looking for care will be more likely to choose you over a competitor if your profiles and website are current and include references to your telehealth solutions.
Simultaneously, it’s also important to understand the value of paid digital advertising.
Organic (non-paid) tactics like updating your website and online profiles won’t be enough to ensure that you’re always top-of-mind with prospects. A multi-prong approach using paid ads, banners, or display and paid social media posts is a great way to drive the awareness you need to grow your patient base.
But don’t take it from me. Chances are, all you’ve got to do to see the proof is to do a few searches. You’ll see that the competition is already hard at work to crowd out both the organic and paid spaces.
Left unchecked, they’ll be getting more share of the market that you could be getting – with the help of digital marketing.
So, if you’re still thinking about how to get this done and you’re not sure where to start, let me know how I can help you with that – just send me a quick email.