Consumer-centric marketing is the new norm across categories. The top-down traditional methods of marketing won’t be effective in this digitally empowered age. In healthcare, this means marketing based on patient insights and geared toward improving patient experiences.
Before we get to strategies, it’s important to analyze the broad changes that have happened in the healthcare marketing landscape. Without an awareness of these profound shifts, it’d be difficult to understand the precise marketing tactics a healthcare facility will have to incorporate.
Changes in healthcare marketing
Consumers are increasingly turning to online search to know about their potential health issues, find healthcare institutions, and know more about possible treatments. While this is true for all products and services, the change in healthcare is profound because people are not just looking to find solutions but also to define their problems.
Like in all other facets of their lives, consumers prefer digitalized communication with their treatment providers. Importantly, digitalization is a crucial factor in their analysis of a brand’s effectiveness. This has exceptional significance for a category that has always relied on the “human touch.”
Consumers want their service providers to know their prior interactions - patient history in the case of healthcare - and suggest solutions accordingly. For healthcare, the stakes are high but the technologies for granular customization are already finding acceptance.
Healthcare has arguably been a pioneer in influencer marketing. A trusted and expert healthcare professional is the main driver for not just small-scale clinics but even large hospitals. In a digitalized world, there is tremendous scope to utilize the personal brand equity of leading doctors.
Above all, an excellent patient experience is the main key to gaining the trust of patients. All these learnings should be deployed to create experiences that are not just effective but patient-centric. To help out those in healthcare, here are five technology-related tools for marketing.
5 tech-led strategies for healthcare marketing
1. Get a high-functioning website
Merely having a website isn’t enough. It needs to be easily found online and it needs to convince users. Importantly, the core objective of any healthcare website should be whether it inspires trust.
For that, your website should be exceptionally easy to navigate. There’s no need to stuff everything on a single landing page. There should be pages devoted to various specialties with adequate information.
Next, it should be easy to schedule appointments through the site. It’s important to ensure that this functionality doesn’t become intrusive. A user shouldn’t be nudged several times into seeing a doctor.
Finally, the website should be mobile-optimized. No matter how good your site looks on your laptop, if it isn’t easy to read or navigate on a mobile phone, your users will be in a hurry to leave.
2. Invest in local search - SEO
Search engine optimization is crucial to any business’s online success. But for healthcare providers, what’s important is optimizing for local search. This means understanding what those in your region are searching for and what your competitors are doing.
Although they play an important part, local search isn’t about short long-tail keywords. It’s also about how well you can brand yourself as a trusted local healthcare provider or as someone rooted in the locality.
You should also collect and respond to patient reviews on all platforms. Online reviews are how future patients and their families will get feedback from existing patients.
3. Use chatbots
The standard “Frequently Asked Questions” won’t work well in a world that seeks personalized answers. This is why healthcare websites should invest in chatbots to answer user queries.
Think about it this way. A user will go to whoever can easily answer their queries.
Chatbots should also be used for routine administrative tasks including updating patient information and providing information on appointments and payments. This will also take the pressure off of your staff.
4. Have a long-term content strategy
Your website shouldn’t be a mere digital reception of your hospital. It should be where your patients get authoritative, trustworthy, and expert views. Importantly, the tone, format, and delivery should be patient-centric.
There should be blogs from reputed doctors or researchers within the system. You should also have helpful and explanatory medical videos on important topics. Along with those, you should invest in a dynamic social media strategy that’ll create a friendly, informative, and helpful persona for your healthcare brand.
5. Digital signages
Healthcare facilities should deploy a digital signage system to optimize operations. When you deploy interconnected screens in your hospital, your patients will be able to find information on wait time, appointments, and health protocols. It’ll also make it easy for outsiders to navigate the system.
The digital signage system can also be used to communicate to the staff about any emergency measures or safety regulations. You can also use the system to broadcast entertainment, news channels, branded content, and plug it with your social media accounts.
A well-deployed digital signage system will make your healthcare facility look modern. Importantly, it conveys to the patients that you believe in open communication and that you want to make it easy for them.
You’ll also be able to keep people occupied if they have to wait long for their appointments. They can spend that time watching news or entertainment on the digital screens in front of them.
Finally, there are demonstrable savings with digital signages. You won’t have to dedicate too many people to the reception as patients and visitors will be able to find the necessary information from the screens.
Like every other sector, healthcare has been disrupted by digitalization. While it has opened several avenues for companies to learn from consumers and track their behavior, it has also armed patients with new technologies to analyze and choose their providers. So, healthcare marketing will have to use all available tools, from SEO to digital signages, to stay ahead of the curve.
What’s the best part?
The implementation of a digital signage system does not require much effort. You only need EasySignage and the appropriate hardware to get started. To take advantage of all the benefits of digital signage, sign up for a free licence with EasySignage.