Healthcare consumers are influenced more than ever by local search, review sites and online ratings. To understand their behavior, marketers and patient experience professionals must analyze the digital patient journey before and after they visit a provider.
In this data-driven webinar discussing the new healthcare consumer mindset, Andrew Rainey explains how to strengthen your online presence, brand reputation and customer experience using patient feedback.
The webinar covers how consumers search for providers, where they leave reviews and engage with healthcare brands online, and which digital touchpoints are becoming most valuable.
Here are the key takeaways:
Where Patients Find Doctors and Decide on Care
High trust in healthcare authorities has created an opportunity to present relevant, helpful information to consumers. To understand what people are searching for, Google search trends offer a full picture.
In September, the shorthand “corona” and “covid” are appearing more frequently. Searches including “during coronavirus” have surged as well, such as “going to dentist during coronavirus.” These terms should join your keyword lists for any social listening initiatives.
According to Binary Fountain client data, branded searches for healthcare organizations haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels – now at about 25% fewer weekly searches than in February. Clicks on healthcare companies’ Google My Business profiles rebounded more rapidly, now up 17% from late-February click volume. Meanwhile, clicks to phone calls have increased by a whopping 56% from pre-outbreak levels.
Healthcare marketers must ensure local listings have updated phone numbers, URLs, hours and contact information for each facility. Otherwise, they risk losing significant patient volume. Furthermore, information in your listings offers a sense of comfort to consumers that leads to conversions.
There are several new Google My Business attributes and features worth monitoring, including Health & Safety, Covid-19 Testing, More Hours, insurance availability and virtual care. Different attributes are available based on your primary category in GMB, whether that’s a hospital, urgent care center, dentist or dermatologist.
Where Patients Leave Reviews and Engage with Healthcare Brands
Binary Fountain’s recent survey of healthcare consumers found that they read an average of nine reviews before choosing a physician. Ratings and review sites have doubled in usage for finding doctors since 2017, and reliance on personal recommendations has dropped 17% from last year.
The hospital/clinic website was the most-used source for choosing a doctor this year, barely eclipsing Google. But trusted healthcare-specific platforms continue to see growth. Consumers are sharing experiences on WebMD, Zocdoc, U.S. News & World Report, ShareCare and CareDash more frequently every year.
Binary Fountain also surveyed healthcare marketers about their priorities changing due to COVID-19. It found that, though Twitter dominates the COVID-19 conversation online, just 18% of healthcare marketers are using it to communicate with patients. Brands should take this opportunity to close the communication gap and become a trusted health authority on social media.
Mobile Campaigns in Action and Key Takeaways
Healthcare consumers and marketers alike agree that text messages are an efficient, effective method for communicating about crucial health information. Two recent examples prove their worth:
- Willis-Knighton Health System sent text reminders to pediatric parents reminding them of available immunizations. The message, which linked to an immunization-focused landing page with find-a-doctor functionality, led to phones ringing off the hooks at pediatric clinics for two days.
- Baptist Health South Florida, meanwhile, used SMS text campaigns to request reviews for its urgent care locations. In six months, it recorded a 322% increase in online reviews across those facilities with an average conversion rate over 15%.
Rainey also offered a list of tasks to consider as healthcare marketers approach the end of 2020:
- Add Covid-19 Testing Center information to Google listings
- Monitor GMB profiles for health insurance info
- Add telemedicine questions to patient surveys
- Check for virtual care badges on third-party sites
- Look out for Apple Maps Ratings
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist