The most effective healthcare marketers own the patient experience. It begins with the consumer’s first interactions through search and social media and continues with exposure to online ratings and reviews, through to goal conversions and access to care.
Strategy leads at Binary Fountain and True North came together for a webinar offering strategic tips on how to power the consumer journey by combining content, reviews and SEO tools.
Ultimately, we look to equip healthcare marketers with content and reputation management strategies that create a frictionless online experience.
Aaron Clifford and Jane Crosby break down how COVID-19 has shifted priorities for healthcare marketers, the state of content marketing, and how to meet patients at the “moment of truth” in their decision-making process. They discuss ways to use marketing content and reviews to turn prospects into patients through strategic calls to action. Plus, they show you how patient feedback data can inform your listings and reputation strategy.
Here are the key takeaways:
Healthcare Marketing in the Next Normal
Healthcare organizations face the dual threat of declining surgical and elective volumes combined with consumer fear of returning for medical care. Marketers now need to fill the online space with content and reviews that rebuild consumer knowledge and trust in your brand.
Email marketing and paid advertising decreased sharply in months following coronavirus outbreak, according to Binary Fountain’s survey of healthcare marketers. Meanwhile, changing hours and processes lead to a significant increase in focus on listings management. Those efforts match the demands of consumers, who say one of their biggest frustrations in 2020 is missing or inaccurate listing information.
Texting has also become a crucial tool for patient engagement, with high click-through rates and usage by about half of U.S. healthcare marketers. Social media, too, hosts significant conversations about your brand. Social listening has become a key part of many health systems’ strategies – more so than ever before, Clifford says.
A True North survey revealed what types of content healthcare consumers are looking for: “How-to” guides, specific landing pages, infographics and checklists work best for attracting awareness. Crosby says marketers now need to align content marketing strategies with listings and reputation management strategies to keep customers moving quickly through the funnel.
Meeting Consumers at the Moment of Truth
Patients still heavily use clinic and provider websites to look for a doctor, so it’s important to invest in your website. Use CAHPS surveys to populate provider profile pages with ratings and reviews that will build consumer trust and improve search rankings.
But you need a seamless path to conversion wherever the digital patient journey starts – at the moment of need – through listings and content, as well. Especially for younger demographics, if it’s not an easy online process, they will go somewhere else.
“Align your content with the consumer journey,” Crosby says, “so that every step of the way there are guides, tips and options that will help them make a care decision.”
Clifford adds that healthcare marketers and digital managers should use all fields available on third-party listings, such as Google My Business, WebMD, CareDash and Facebook. These set apart your brand, boost search rankings, and ultimately help the consumer find care.
Steward Medical Group and Prisma Health serve as examples of patient surveys being used to increase website traffic and improve local search results. Along with patient feedback, you can infuse landing pages and ads with content that converts patients quickly.
Driving Patients to Take Action
Patient reviews and user-generated content are crucial to the “action” stage of the patient journey. Effective content uses real people and authenticity to tell customer stories and offer product overviews that are relevant to potential customers.
Trust is invaluable to healthcare brands – and trust starts at online listings for many of today’s patients. Stay updated with new features on listings platforms and Google My Business attributes.
The bottom line is this: In your listings, ads, emails and other messaging, use patient reviews to make content that is relevant to patients, understands their needs, and ultimately offers to solve their problem. Engaging the digital conversation will drive patients toward conversion, loyalty, and contributing to your service-line revenue.
Read more about converting patients through digital marketing:
- Online Reputation Management ROI: Knowing Costs and Maximizing Returns for Your ORM Program
- How to Engage Physicians to Recover Lost Revenue from COVID-19
- How a Multi-Specialty Physician Group Leverages Patient Feedback
- Willis-Knighton Text Messaging Campaign Boosts Immunization Awareness During COVID-19
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist