Social Media and Healthcare
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Want to score on social, pharma? Follow Sanofi's lead, experts say | FiercePharma

Want to score on social, pharma? Follow Sanofi's lead, experts say | FiercePharma | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

 

Sanofi could have just let it go. When actress Roseanne Barr blamed its sleep aid Ambien for a racist post, the pharma company could have simply ignored it and let the Twitterverse call out the inaccuracy. Instead, Sanofi seized the moment and responded with a pithy, yet relevant and product-accurate tweet response that wryly noted: “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.”

That sort of real-time social media response isn't easy to pull off effectively. Consumer brands like Moon Pie, Wendy's and Oreo do it regularly, but there are also plenty of big brand social media flops to make companies think twice about going for the clever retort.

 

Which makes Sanofi’s leap even more significant: It's a regulated pharma company that has to send its messaging through compliance reviews. But Sanofi’s U.S. communication team moved fast enough to write, vet and post the response within hours of the original tweet, stepping into the cultural conversation as it happened.

 
 

Social media experts applauded and consumers responded—the post has been retweeted 68,800 times and liked by 186,000 accounts. It also garnered more than 6,100 comments with many people replying  “thank you,” “well done” or posting congratulatory memes. The previous top performing post from @SanofiUS garnered 78 retweets and 241 likes.

 

Pharma marketing insiders, meanwhile, praised Sanofi for its message, timing and boost to pharma social media credibility overall.

Julie Hurvitz Aliaga, vice president of social media at CMI/Compas said via email, “They tackled it before it had an opportunity to be an issue, educated about their drug and what it does not do, and won praise for doing so—as being a company who is not going to sit back and watch—but take action to educate.”

The balance of humor and seriousness was important, noted Klick Health’s senior director of social practice Brad Einarsen in a blog post: “The dry wit that infuses the tweet itself is fantastically balanced. There are many very serious issues surrounding these events, and we cannot lose sight of that, but the understated facts really pull off the corporate message and provide just the right amount of spark for others on Twitter to carry it along.”

 

RELATED: Pharma's social media strategies are growing up—and working better, too, report finds

Wendy Blackburn, vice president at healthcare and pharma agency Intouch Solutions, added her own kudos and hope for the industry: “Good for Sanofi for standing up and speaking out. I applaud their ability to react with swift action. Done the right way, we’d all like to see more of this from pharma.”

For pharma companies that might be interested in doing that, she offered a few tips. Companies should listen especially for well-known people or celebrity mentions of their brands because whether positive or negative, those get a lot of attention on social media. She also advised setting up an action plan so that the company can act quickly in those moments. And finally, just do it.

“Respond as immediately as possible. Current events move too quickly. Tomorrow is too late,” Blackburn said.

 
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Social Media and Healthcare
Articles and Discussions on the intersection of Social Media and Healthcare.
Relevant to Healthcare Practitioners, Pharma', Insurance, Clinicians, Labs, Health IT Vendors, Health Marketeers, Health Policy Makers, Hospital Administrators.
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Social Media Implementation Checklist

Social Media Implementation Checklist | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Set goals first. If traffic, leads and sales are part of the goal, then gotta have the next focus be on content creation. Then, using social to share. Can't get much value out of social unless you're actively creating, publishing and sharing content. 

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What Policies Should Dentists Be Aware of When Marketing to Patients?

What Policies Should Dentists Be Aware of When Marketing to Patients? | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Let’s face it, if you want more patients, then you are going to need to do some marketing. But times have changed, haven’t they? Marketing is not like it used to be, especially for dentists who relied heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. Years ago, it was easier to obtain new patients. These days, however, it’s often difficult to even get noticed, let alone stand out among the many (sometimes dozens) practices in your market. 

Before most people began using the Internet, marketing for dentists primarily involved placing ads in the Yellow Pages. It was a great way to attract new patients, but things have certainly changed since then.  Patients have several ways to find a dentist and are more particular when making a choice.

Now, patients often try to self diagnose what is wrong with their teeth and gums, and if they end up needing a dentist, they’ll perform an online search, or check with their insurance and choose a dentist who they feel fits their needs. Patients are a lot more savvy about their options these days. First to appear in the Yellow Pages doesn’t mean anything.

 

As a result of these industry-wide changes, dentists (and all doctors really) have had to get their marketing online and adapt their digital marketing strategies to not only find, but also acquire their ideal patients. Furthermore, dental marketing strategies have evolved alongside market trends and government regulations.

 When it comes to marketing your dental office, there are some policies that you should be aware of.

 

Is Your Website Following Google Quality Guidelines?

Find out now by downloading our Google Quality Guidelines Checklist

 

 

Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act)

When creating and delivering dental promotions, it’s good to start out by reviewing the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act).

As a general rule, you can’t claim or imply overall superiority over your competition when it comes to the quality of dental services offered. Because your audience won’t be able to properly verify these claims without having to visit every dental office in the area, it’s best to avoid this kind of claim altogether.

In addition, you should also follow the rules we’ve outlined below to avoid violating the FTC Act:

  • Don't mislead or deceive (via partial disclosure of relative facts)
  • Don't make false claims to create unjustified expectations
  • Don't guarantee uncharacteristic results
  • Don't distort facts
  • Don't misrepresent charges
  • Don't suggest unusual conditions

This goes hand-in-hand with the American Dental Association’s Code of Professional Conduct, Section 5F:

 

Although any dentist may advertise, no dentist shall advertise or solicit patients in any form of communication in a manner that is false or misleading in any material aspect.

 

American Dental Association

As a business professional, this makes sense. You don’t want your patients’ expectations to be misaligned with what you offer as a dental practice.

Remember to be careful with the words you choose.  Before publishing anything to the market, it’s a good idea to have an outside party review your marketing materials to verify that all messages are clear before publication and that you are not in violation of any of the conduct codes set forth by government and industry agencies.  Sometimes this can be hard to spot, which is why hiring experienced professionals is worth the value it can add.

Marketing Dental Practices and HIPAA Compliance

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that internet marketing for dentists can transform your practice. It’s no secret that the internet can help you build a robust practice that provides help to many patients.

Online marketing services such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and email marketing can attract a knowledgeable group of patients. There patients will essentially make a decision based on their own research results, and if you can help ‘feed’ them information, then you will be seen as the expert. SEO helps to position your dental practice in front of the right audience, but it’s not an overnight success.  It takes a lot of dedication on behalf of the dentist to make those efforts work long-term.

In other words, if you’re not using effective internet marketing strategies, your potential patients will have a difficult time finding you. Even worse, they will probably find a competitor who is marketing effectively. With all of the ways the internet provides you to reach patients, it also provides your competitors the same access. Patients have a right to choose, and they might not always choose your practice.

When it comes to being HIPAA compliant, remember patient privacy above all else. When developing your healthcare marketing strategy, create campaigns that don’t include the use of patient data (regardless of whether they’re existing patients or potential patients). These are simple strategies you can follow to ensure you are not in violation of any codes of conduct and rules.

Overall, you want complete clarity when it comes to the rules around public and private data, remembering especially that sharing patient data is not okay.

Internet Marketing for Dentists and Marketing Data

Did you know that you can target specific individual profiles online to put your dental practice in front of the right people?  One of the easiest ways to do this is with Facebook Ads.

If you want more details about how to run successful Facebook ads, check out our post regarding Facebook.

As a business owner making advertisements and claims, you are allowed to collect certain types of data to make your campaigns more effective. However, this information is usually limited to the following:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email address

You can collect this information through social media, emails, surveys, online forms, or by other approved means of collecting user data.

The most effective way to obtain this information from website visitors is by giving them something in return for sharing that data. For example, providing a downloadable document that teaches patients something is a simple way to get patients to offer up their email. This could be something like a free PDF download on your top 5 ways to keep your teeth healthy.  Patients who want this information will submit their email address to receive the document in their inbox.  This is referred to as email marketing.

It may look something like the below. (Compliments of Techila)

 

You can collect this information through social media, emails, surveys, online forms, or by other approved means of collecting user data.

The most effective way to obtain this information from website visitors is by giving them something in return for sharing that data. For example, providing a downloadable document that teaches patients something is a simple way to get patients to offer up their email. This could be something like a free PDF download on your top 5 ways to keep your teeth healthy.  Patients who want this information will submit their email address to receive the document in their inbox.  This is referred to as email marketing.

You don’t always have to give away a free download to get someone’s email address to start marketing to them through email. While you can’t (and shouldn’t) just spam email people without their consent, you can obtain emails through other methods.

For example, you might run a special where you offer free Invisalign consultations. In order to book a consultation, you ask the patient to sign up and give you their email.

You can see how that can be effective in helping to grow your email list, as well as your marketing reach, and potential patient list. All that’s happening is you are asking those that have an interest in a service if they’d like to talk to you about it a little bit more. Most people will oblige.

Because the information that you collected from the online forms is marketing-oriented (and not anything to do with any relationship with your dental practice), you’re allowed to use this data to contact them directly.

Private data can’t be used in conjunction with internet marketing, but you must take necessary steps to avoid breaking the rules. If you fail to do so and break HIPAA rules, then you will be faced with not only losing your license, but also possible jail time. We’re not just talking about email lists here; we’re talking about violation of patient privacy.

 The best way to get around this issue is to manage your patient data separately. If you’re using customer relationship management software (CRM) to manage appointments, make sure that it isn’t linked to the database with patient health data.

When Do Policy Issues Arise?

Policy violations and problems can come up when your digital marketing campaigns include Protected Health Information (PHI). Although most marketing strategies for dental practices will not involve any private health information, we recommend that you thoroughly read the code to fully grasp what’s allowed. Educating yourself on the rules and regulations is the best way to stay ahead of the problems.

PHI essentially has two vital components:

1. Health-related data must be comprised of information related to the past, present, or future physical care the patient received and any payment that was received.

2. The data has to be specifically refer to the dates associated with patient care, last name, address, email address, telephone number, social security number, medical record number, health plan, photographs, fingerprints, or voice prints.

Basically, for problems related to PHI compliance to occur, the data must include both of these components.

Where To Turn Now

If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about moving forward with internet marketing after reading this, then don’t worry!

We aren’t trying to scare you. It’s our job to inform dentists of how we can help them avoid such violations.

Before launching any marketing campaign, take some time to ensure that you properly investigate your marketing campaign fully and make sure that you’re not violating any government policies.

Let’s take an in-depth look at PHI with the help of some examples to clarify solutions.

Policy Violation Example 1

 

You have a patient who is an NBA star from your local team and you want to take advantage of this relationship.

You want to promote the fact that this athlete comes to your practice on your social media platforms. This seems like a logical way to promote the business and ride a little claim to fame, which makes sense, right?

It can add credibility to your practice, help you build your online presence, and attract new patients.

But you didn’t get permission from the basketball player to share this information or you failed to get signed consent.

In this scenario, if you shared this information without permission, it is a clear violation and improper use of your patient’s private health information.

Even if it’s exciting and flattering to have celebrity patients, you have to respect the fact that they are also protected by HIPAA - which your practice needs to adhere to.

If you think that you or your staff can’t maintain confidentiality, don’t accept a celebrity patient.

If you think that you, or you staff can't maintain confidentiality, don't accept a celebrity patient.

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Policy Violation Example 2

Let’s say that you’re building an email list to send to your current patients. To create this list you collect email addresses from two locations:

  • Intake form (in the office)
  • Your website

Both the form and website state that patients aren’t required to share any information as it’s for marketing purposes only. There’s no request on the site or the form asking for private information (and the email address is optional).

However, you also state that the information submitted will be used for marketing purposes, but private patient information won’t be included.

As you want to send them the most relevant information, you sync their contact information with your practice management software.

Can you do this?

NO!

No obtaining information in the guise of marketing and then using their personally identifying, private, healthcare records.

Policy Violation Example 3

You want to start a dental hygiene newsletter to target new patients. A lot of your current patients have already signed up for the newsletter on your website. Further, many regular patients also show interest in receiving the newsletter when you mention it during appointments.

You go ahead and compile email addresses from the website, along with those email addresses from the patients who expressed interest in the newsletter.

In this scenario, your newsletter campaign is only half HIPAA compliant. The email addresses that you collected from the website are compliant while the list you created verbally violates HIPAA regulations.

Even though the patient gave you consent verbally, no written consent was acquired to add them to the newsletter list.

And seeing as they are your existing patients, they have not been properly informed as to how their information will be used.

Digital Engagement is Rewarding, But Requires Care

Considering all these rules and regulations, you may feel like throwing your hands up in the air and avoid getting started with marketing your dental practice online.

But is that the right choice?

The short answer is no. A better choice would be to engage in social media the right way.

If you take the necessary precautions when collecting patient or potential patient data, you can confidently execute your marketing efforts while staying compliant without worry.

Don’t be afraid of getting started with social media because the rewards can be huge. The best approach is to develop strict guidelines for yourself and your staff to follow.  At the end of the day, traditional marketing methods like the Yellow Pages are now almost irrelevant and avoiding online engagement would mean missing out on opportunities to expand your practice.

Thousands of patients in your area are already active on social media, so even if you avoid it, you might already have a presence on Google, Yelp, and Facebook.  It’s better to take ownership of your profiles and manage it on a regular basis rather than lose out on the opportunities.

One way to take advantage of the social media opportunities for your dental practice is to create local listings on these websites, and add your social media profiles to the listing.  This approach also offers SEO benefits because you are getting a link to your social profile, and Google (as well as other search engines) will see your business as more relevant.  And of course, we know that claiming local directory listings such as this is beneficial, and can help improve your local search results. Remember that internet marketing is an ongoing process.

What’s The Best Way To Share Pictures and Videos Online?

If you want to share pictures and videos of your practice online that feature patients, past or current, you must obtain written consent before taking any videos or pictures of patients. Simply give them a waiver to sign during new patient intake or while updating information of current patients and inform them that from time to time you like to showcase pictures on the website, social media platforms, or wherever else you intend to use the photos. You can also take it a step further and verify consent during each visit.

When you take pictures of patients, have an idea as to how you will use them ahead of time so the patient can understand the motive for wanting the pictures in the first place. You can also ask patients during their visit to like your posts and share them on certain social media platforms. If you upload to your Facebook Page, for example, you can even ask patients to tag themselves in your pictures.

This can, in turn, drive more visitors to your page without the fear of violating any regulations.

It’s also good practice to be careful in allowing patients to take pictures at your practice. Patients might take pictures of their kids or themselves while at an appointment, but these images might include other patients in the background and this can cause issues.

It’s not likely, but possible. And you want to minimize risk when it comes to these guidelines and ensure that everyone feels safe in your dental office.

 When you develop your own photography policy, consider including rules on patient rights at your premises as well and post this policy in multiple places in your office. Ensuring patients have access to this information and are reminded of your photography policies when they enter the premises will help avoid problems.

Compliance in Marketing is Crucial and Simple

Being in compliance with these rules and regulations is simple but takes practice. A good rule of thumb is to always act in the best of interest of your patient. Think about times in your life when you were not treated fairly in email lists or when someone had your contact information that you didn’t want them to have. If you aren’t sure, ask. How has government regulation impacted your marketing efforts?

 Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below. We’d love to know what you are doing to stay compliant in your dental practice marketing efforts
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Healthcare’s Next Frontier: The Omnichannel Patient

Healthcare’s Next Frontier: The Omnichannel Patient | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

We live largely digital lives, with the average U.S. adult spending more than 12 hours a day with online media, according to Nielsen. We also demand ease and simplicity in all of the interactions we have with businesses and expect engaging and personalized content.

But until now, the healthcare industry has lagged in its digital capability. This is changing, however, with the rise of new sources of competition and growing patient expectations for comprehensive digital experiences in which they can search, schedule, interact, and pay for healthcare via the channels of their choice. This new “digital front door,” spanning patient acquisition through fulfillment, will increasingly replace the emergency department as the primary acquisition strategy. With consumers migrating toward this digital front door, providers must embrace a host of new capabilities and approach their digital experience strategy as a crucial differentiator to ensure success.

Digital experiences are not only good for patient engagement, they also impact the bottom line. Deloitte researchshows that health systems with excellent patient-experience ratings have a net margin of 4.7%, on average, compared with 1.8% for hospitals with low ratings.

So what do patients consider a good digital healthcare experience? Not surprisingly, it mirrors the digital retail experiences they encounter almost daily. After conducting hundreds of interviews over three years, Change Healthcare has identified three primary pain points in the healthcare digital experience.

1. Lack of transparent and clear information: Patients are customers, and they want to shop for and choose their care using the same digital tools they use everywhere else, with access to consumer reviews, pricing, and location. But most healthcare systems fall short in providing this information. In fact, lack of clear information was mentioned as a major pain point by 92% of patients while shopping for healthcare.

2. Lack of integration and convenience: In the retail world, consumers’ shopping preferences and data follow them along their digital journeys. In healthcare, on the other hand, patients are expected to be the gatekeeper of their own data and preferences, which often means knowing and repeating their information at every new interaction with the healthcare system. No wonder 86% of consumers surveyed in our study cited lack of integration and convenience as another pain point.

3. Not feeling respected or cared for by their doctor: Care providers are busy and can often feel disconnected from patients as they strive to hit revenue goals. This has an unfortunate impact on patients and, in turn, the entire care system. A whopping 92% of patients surveyed in our study mentioned not feeling respected or cared for by their doctors. Now imagine such results applied to the retail word. If 92% of customers felt unwanted, a merchant wouldn’t stay in business very long. And with value-based care becoming more prevalent, providers with this model won’t be able to stay in business very long either.

Now, flip each of these three pain points 180 degrees, and the ideal consumer healthcare experience emerges.

  • Providing clear and transparent information to prospective patients builds trust.
  • Removing the burden of patients acting as gatekeepers of their healthcare data creates convenience, reduces redundancies, and eliminates errors.
  • And extending care beyond the four walls of the doctor’s office through personalized information and support nurtures a respectful and caring relationship between provider and patient.

Imagine a world where a patient can not only access care but experience the delight of a purposefully designed, digitally enabled experience. Patients could choose a provider based on consumer and peer reviews, cost, and location, then schedule their appointments, receive after-care instructions, view and pay their bills, access their medical records, and follow up with their care provider, all via the channels that work for them: SMS, email, mobile app, or portal.  Additionally, they would receive personalized messages, recommendations, engaging content, and digital interactions.

This is the way of the future for healthcare, where the same customer experience management strategies that so effectively build loyalty and retention for the best retail brands also serve as the foundation for a pain-free customer experience.

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6 Aspects of A Result-Oriented Healthcare Digital Marketing Plan

6 Aspects of A Result-Oriented Healthcare Digital Marketing Plan | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

The healthcare industry has evolved over the years, not only in terms of the innovations and improvements in patient care but in the way it connects with the patients as well. When it comes to reaching out to the audience, things have changed a lot as providers and organizations understand the need to have a strong online presence. People are keen to search about conditions and providers on the internet before they actually visit a doctor or hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

Since the internet is where the audience is, it becomes essential for providers to have a well-established digital marketing plan that makes them visible and ensures a trustworthy reputation. So if you run a clinic or healthcare facility, you need to have a proper strategy to reach your target audience online, engage them and build their trust in your expertise and services. Here are some key aspects of a result-oriented healthcare digital marketing plan.

A Feature-rich Website

To start with, a website is something that you must absolutely have to make yourself an online brand. This is your touchpoint with the potential patients and has a key influence on their decision to choose you as their provider. Since your healthcare website is supposed to replicate your brand, make sure that it makes a great first impression on the prospective patient who lands thereon. The idea is to have a perfect blend of look and feel.

Essentially, it should be appealing in appearance and have easy navigation to render a good user experience. Strong content elements like information related to your services, team, track record, infrastructure, and expertise can make an impact as well. Be sure to include patient testimonials as these add to your credibility. Blend these elements with good imagery for creating a story that is capable of impressing the visitor.

An Informative Blog

While an impressive website serves as the mainstay of your online presence, a blog is no less important. Healthcare is an industry that thrives on trust and the more information you serve to the potential patients, the more credibility you will gain. This is easily done by having an informative blog that serves rich, search-friendly content for potential patients.

The blog has a dual benefit for your online endeavors. Firstly, it positions you as a trustworthy provider that is concerned about patient care and wants them to be well-informed about conditions, symptoms, risks and treatments. Secondly, it improves your website’s ranking, traffic and engagement as patients are more likely to navigate to the website through a blog while searching for information online.

Robust SEO Strategy

The next significant aspect of a healthcare digital marketing plan is a strong SEO strategy that gets you positioned on the top of web searches. Even the best website and most informative blog will not get you traffic and engagement unless you figure out in searches. The idea is to optimize your website’s content with relevant keywords that the audience is most likely to search.

Besides keyword optimization, there are several other things that are covered in an SEO strategy. Parameters such as website speed and responsiveness are crucial because visitors are least likely to access a site that loads slowly or does not give a good mobile experience. Having an SEO team looking after your web presence, therefore, is not a choice but a necessity.

Educative Videos

In the article “Healthcare Marketing Trends”, Lauryn Preston explains that because the trends in the healthcare industry change with the times, the way healthcare providers advertise needs to change as well. Video marketing comes to the forefront in this context. The obvious reason is that potential patients are more interested in seeing things rather than reading them. A video of a doctor explaining his or her expertise or describing a condition and its treatment is more likely to get the attention and trust of the patient.

Similarly, you can leverage the video testimonials of real patients to increase patient engagement and build credibility for your clinic or organization. People are more likely to feel connected with real people rather than with textual stories. As a part of your healthcare digital marketing strategy, videos can be blended seamlessly within the website and propagated on popular video-sharing channels such as YouTube.

Engaging Social Media Strategy

Since social media is where the majority of the audience is, you cannot ignore this digital marketing channel at any cost. A provider or organization cannot expect to reach the audience unless it has a strong presence on social media. Building your presence on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is essential to engage with the right kind of audience and extend your outreach.

Most players are creating doctor and patient communities as well. These communities enable patients to connect with healthcare professionals and other patients to share their views and ask their queries. An engaging social media strategy entails coming up with interesting and informational posts to keep in touch with the audience and stay in social conversations.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another worthy aspect of a result-oriented healthcare digital marketing plan. Nothing works as communicating directly with your audience and this is exactly what personalized emails do. A solid database of targeted audience lies at the core of a successful email marketing strategy. You need to know your audience and build resourceful emails to be in connection with them regularly.

Try sending a monthly newsletter to keep them informed about the latest research studies and treatment options. You can also share the current industry developments, recent blogs, and videos to keep their attention. If you run an offer, do shoot out emails to get patients coming to avail it. Email marketing involves good planning and innovative ideas to stay connected with your audience.

A thoughtful blend of all these strategies lies at the center of a successful digital marketing plan for a healthcare player. Since establishing a robust online presence no longer remains a choice for this industry, you must have a dedicated digital marketing team to ensure that all these aspects are covered. This will definitely be a worthwhile investment because it has the potential to grow your audience and build the credibility of your brand online.

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Opinion: The kind of healthcare marketing that people understand | 

Opinion: The kind of healthcare marketing that people understand |  | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

The healthcare industry is in the midst of a revolution as we pivot away from so-called sick care and embrace preventative care, shifting our attention from illness to wellness. Amidst this paradigm change, digital capabilities have given rise to more seamless experiences, and an influx of new data means we can now get more patient-centric than ever before. As those who help shape customer experience—in this case, patient experiences—we have a tremendous opportunity to leverage the new landscape and the current wellness boom to re-imagine how healthcare feels for patients everywhere.
 
Use simple messaging
Despite healthcare becoming more convenient, the industry itself is still highly (and appropriately) regulated to protect the privacy of those we serve. To the average patient, it’s an intimidating world, full of indecipherable jargon, lengthy forms, and multiple medical specialties. Add to this mix an additional layer of insurance which brings its own challenges and complexities, and you have the perfect recipe for disengagement at best; frustration at worst.
 
To counter this dynamic, healthcare marketers have a unique opportunity to deliver information and guidance in a way that simplifies the overwhelming and clarifies the confusing. By shaping the ways in which patients interact and engage with the industry at various touch points, brand leaders can improve healthcare literacy, break down barriers in communication, and ultimately help cultivate relationships between patients and doctors that are founded in compassion, honesty and trust. At its core, it is changing the culture, inside and out. And to do this, what isn’t needed are celebrity actors, scripts, and massive production budgets. Instead, simple and honest communications which connect directly with the needs of patients and consumers will what wins the future.
 
Get creative
This industry is known for being overly dry, rigid and creatively limited. While there are many legitimate reasons for this, we can leverage the powerful opportunities that the new social and digital landscape provide us with and bring new thinking to how we connect. It has never been easier for brands to become part of consumer conversations and daily lives as it is today. But it must be done with the patient in mind. Social media and other platforms now enable us to reach consumers directly, and by speaking to patients in ways that are compelling, interesting, and even humorous, brands can share stories, spread relevant information, and present themselves in ways that are more approachable, relatable, and trustworthy. There are endless ways to develop ownable experiences that are creative and unique, all while staying true to the singular purpose of providing a better experience.
 
One word: empathy
Healthcare can be daunting and intimidating for many people, and this in turn can create barriers, preventing people from pursuing the care that they need. After all, medical issues and illnesses are all sensitive areas that come with worry, stress, and fear. As an industry, we have a unique opportunity to help people navigate these challenging emotions and help them in these truly sacred moments. At their core, people want to feel acknowledged, heard, and understood, and being empathetic to their needs is at the core of how best to achieve this. At the end of the day, we’re in the business of helping people, and there is no greater way to help patients than by putting ourselves in their shoes, identifying their pain points, and creating an experience that is as frictionless as possible. It won’t be easy. But it’s a worthy goal of everyone who is in healthcare.
 
Empower the patient
Today’s consumers are savvier than ever. Chances are that they’re reading up on their symptoms, conducting their own research at home, and checking out reviews, all before they’ve even visited a doctor. In this modern healthcare landscape, patients have a world of information at their fingertips, and healthcare marketers need to connect them at the right touch points if they want to be seen. By centering on the patient and thinking about what will help their various healthcare endeavors, from researching and learning, to scheduling appointments, to ordering labs and finding clinics, marketers can improve the online experience, and empower patients further on their wellness journey.
 
Get personal
Looking forward, healthcare is only going to become more personalized and predictive. As we continuously learn from new data and insights, we’ll have the ability to create highly tailored, individualized medicine, treatment plans and patient solutions. We’re already seeing personalized services like at home testing and virtual medical consultations take off. Along with these more custom services, our communication should become increasingly more individualized, too. Marketers who focus on reaching people via an individual, human scale will succeed. And brand experiences that evoke humanity, by leveraging compassion, honesty, and emotional awareness, have a greater chance to resonate.
 
Finally, be understood
Great brands make the complex understandable. Think of how Apple simplified owning a computer. And then later, made the smart phone an object that was intuitive and elegant. Brands have an important role in illuminating that which is core to a product or service. And in healthcare, never has that clarity been needed more. People have a right to expect healthcare services to be simple and intuitive. And this journey toward creating a more frictionless healthcare experience depends on messages that don’t scare or confuse but connect and empower.

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3 Medical Marketing Digital Strategies for More Patient Leads

3 Medical Marketing Digital Strategies for More Patient Leads | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

According to Google, one in 20 search results are healthcare-related. While many people are actively searching for healthcare advice online, determining how you should advertise your healthcare services, treatments and solutions to prospective patients can be tricky to navigate: You must carefully follow patient privacy rules and medical sensitivity best practices.

Since 2013, we’ve partnered with a leading hospital group to run over 300 digital advertising initiatives for all their healthcare specialties, ranging from maternity to oncology to bariatrics and more. This medical marketing experience has given us insight into what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to executing healthcare digital media campaigns successfully. If you’re looking for new ways to improve your own medical marketing – how to engage your own audience, drive more site traffic and gather more patient leads – here are our top three healthcare digital strategies to try when setting up your next digital campaign:

 

Take Patient Privacy Seriously

Get HIPAA-certified

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which was enacted in 1996 and strictly governs how patient records are handled and shared in the United States. Having this certification gives those who work with you the confidence and peace of mind that you fully understand current HIPAA privacy laws and how to keep patients’ personally identifiable information (PII) safe.

At Goodway, we are all currently HIPAA-certified and are recertified every two years. This ensures we have a firm understanding of patient privacy and can diligently follow all regulations. We keep patient data secure and anonymous because we use a secure hashing process to anonymize hospital customer relationship management (CRM) data before targeting it, then delete that data when a campaign is over.

Advertise to Prospects While They Search

To not intrude on prospects’ privacy, never retarget prospects from medical webpages. You never want to appear insensitive by reminding patients of their medical condition or make them feel tracked.

To be most respectful of their privacy, let prospects conduct their own search for medical information; then, have your advertising appear at the top of search results so they can discover on their own what you have to offer.

Produce Patient-Centric Ad Creative

When it comes to your healthcare digital advertising creative, make your messaging patient-focused. Keep it upbeat and positive and focused on healthcare services and solutions. This isn’t the place to get heavy or to mention illnesses or treatments.

 

Determine the Right Targeting to Find Your Audience

Take Advantage of First- and Third-Party Data

Use your first-party data, the customer relationship management (CRM) data you have already gathered and own. Marketing to your own prospects who are already open to and interested in what you have to say is valuable and could just be the key to generating more patient leads.

But, what if you don’t have enough first-party data for your campaign? If you need more data to work with, you can supplement it with third-party data. Third-party lifestyle data segments can offer similar prospects to your existing patients who are just as receptive to your message.

Or, take another approach: Go after those third-party segments beyond patients that include caregivers, those who help patients day to day and who are likely to have a say in their medical decisions.

Make Site, Search and Cross-Device Targeting Work for You

Once you’ve made the most of first- and third-party data, try these targeting types:

Use site targeting to find those sites that over-index for your audience so you can get in front of the right people at the right time with your message.

Since you can’t target by a specific ailment when running a medical digital marketing campaign, use category and keyword contextual targeting to reach prospective patients effectively with your ads at the precise moment they are reviewing relevant content online. Don’t forget to conduct daily keyword-level performance reviews and adjust the keywords as needed across all the channels of your healthcare campaign so all channels can benefit from your keyword optimizations.

Or, try cross-device targeting and reach patients on all their devices to reinforce your message, no matter what digital device they may be on – their desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.

 

Develop a Multi-Channel Digital Media Campaign

At Goodway, we followed a multi-channel digital strategy for our hospital client’s oncology medical specialty area. When we did, their site traffic saw a 196% increase and their display activities (defined as visits to their custom landing page, which you could only get to through search or clicking on an ad) saw a 252% increase throughout the campaign, which led to high-quality patient leads. Using search and display digital channels together helped us surpass our patient lead goal for our campaign by 114%, from two leads a month to an average of 4.3 leads a month.

 

It can be tough to know where to start and how to go about healthcare digital advertising, especially when patient-privacy rules are daunting and healthcare advertising best practices seem to keep changing all the time.

If you need guidance, a helping hand or want access to the latest available digital tools and healthcare advertising strategies, connect with us. We can show you how to make the most of your medical marketing: how to achieve highly targeted healthcare campaigns that will appeal to and engage your prospects and turn them into patient leads.

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Why You Need Micro-Influencers in Your Next Healthcare Campaign 

Why You Need Micro-Influencers in Your Next Healthcare Campaign  | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Micro-influencers, authentic, knowledgeable and passionate influencers in their niche community, have the digital clout to convert conversation into action while increasing ROI for your social media campaign.

These days, your healthcare company needs to have a robust social media presence with plenty of approachable educational information, reviews and a vibrant digital community. Social media marketing is now necessary for all generations.

  • Nearly two-thirds of American adults use social media
  • Between 2005-2015, the rate of seniors using social media has tripled

The influx of new social media users is intrinsically linked with the necessity for online reviews and recommendations of your healthcare brand. While in the past a static digital presence was enough for patients to trust your brand, patients now believe that if your company isn’t being reviewed, discussed, or talked about online, it doesn’t appear credible. With a focus on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, any and all healthcare companies should be engaging with followers across multiple platforms.  

  • 41% of people say that comments on social media would affect their specific choice of a doctor, hospital or medical facility
  • Social media users’ behaviors are indeed influenced by what their peers are saying
  • Someone who watches a hospital’s video on Youtube is 30% more likely to book an appointment

Utilizing trusted digital mouthpieces that can advocate for your brand is the most innovative edge of healthcare social media marketing. Enter: the micro-influencer.


 

Who are micro-influencers?

With only 1,000-10,000 social media followers, micro-influencers are small and mighty. They are the authentic, passionate and knowledgeable voice of their social media sphere. Not unlike the well-known pharmacist your family has trusted for years or the nutritionist at the gym whom you routinely ask for healthy eating tips, micro-influencers build relationships within their digital community. When it’s time to make decisions, their followers trust what they have to say. In healthcare, micro-influencers are expert doctors and healthcare professionals that offer peer-to-peer recommendations, inspire calls-to-action or explain educational information. They are also patients living with a specific condition whose followers consist of other patients and caregivers. No two micro-influencers are alike. However, the trait they all share is using their real voices to communicate what they truly believe.

Why do micro-influencers matter?

Trust is the bedrock of both micro-influencers and healthcare marketing. Micro-influencers provide experiential inspiration to their followers, your target audience, give an authentic voice to your campaign and increase ROI. These micro-influencers can assist in wellness campaigns, online reviews, recommendations, and feedback from current and potential patients. As social media has progressed, micro-influencers can be used and measured effectively with tangible and standard KPIs including website traffic, sales and lead generation with a focus on engagement. They are a cost-effective, tangible way to authentically influence your current and potential patients’ decisions.

 

benefits of a micro-influencer

Pre-laid foundation of trust

Whether as a patient or an expert healthcare professional, micro-influencers are knowledgeable, authoritative and energetic in their niche community. This dedication has built trust with their followers. 94% of surveyors in and out of the marketing industry found influencers more credible, believable and knowledgeable than the general population. While celebrity or influencers with larger followings influence overall trends, micro-influencers are influencing purchasing decisions. Having built and participated in their own community, followers have seen since the beginning that they have a stake in the game and choose to take their advice.   

Targets your specific and relevant audience

A micro-influencer’s well-established community aptly targets the specificity of your social media campaign. Whether it’s geographical, illness-specific or only for the 45-year-old and under knee surgery patients in southwest Michigan, pinpoint accuracy is what makes your social media campaign work for you. Using your micro-influencer’s followers and digital community meets your target audience where they already are.

Higher engagement rates than an average influencer

Due to their constant connection and conversation with their followers, micro-influencers have 60% higher campaign engagement rates. They are continually discussing, recommending to, and inspiring their followers to create 22.2 times more weekly conversations than the average consumer. Their commitment to conversation is what sets them apart from other influencers on social media.

Cost-effective and increases ROI

Campaigns using micro-influencers are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with larger followings. Unlike larger influencers, micro-influencers are cost-efficient for your marketing budget and don’t require the expenses of enlisting a larger or celebrity influencer. Having gained their followers’ trust, micro-influencers are also more effective in their role in your campaign, doubly increasing ROI. All of the previous benefits of micro-influencers combine together to give your ROI wings.

 

Adding micro-influencers to your healthcare company’s social media strategy is a cost-effective way to authentically engage and market to your desired audience by being smack in the middle of the conversation. Using micro-influencers within niche communities that are relevant to your healthcare brand allows you to make the most of your company’s social media presence and keep ahead of your competition. Social media is here to stay. So, invest in building your online community and churn meaningful conversation into action for your brand.    

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Healthcare Social Media Guidelines & Medical Device Marketing 101

Healthcare Social Media Guidelines & Medical Device Marketing 101 | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Should we comment on content produced by customers? A blogger just shared inaccurate or off-label information about our product – are we able to correct them? Working with influencers could be risky, what are the rules? What is the FDA’s latest position on healthcare social media guidelines?

As a branding and digital marketing agency focused on medical device companies, we understand your merited fears and questions. To start, below are the basics of what medical device companies need to know about social media, but contact us if you want guidance on building your company’s credibility with social media and digital marketing.

Let’s get started with a few facts:

  • 80% of individuals go to the internet and social media in search of information about their health.1
  • 88% of physicians use the internet and social media to research pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices.
  • 42% of those looking for health information also search for health-related customer reviews.

As the facts state, having engaging social media pages give your company credibility and provides a way for doctors and patients alike to learn about new devices, treatment options, and innovative procedures. Additionally, people coping with disabilities or chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or pain, and those who have been recently diagnosed are some of the most engaged social media users.2 They are seeking a peer community, treatment knowledge, and support from those who are helping to share their experiences hoping to make a difference for others in similar situations. Therefore, your medical device marketing or health-related company would be remiss if it ignored harnessing the power of social media to connect with potential and current consumers.

FDA Guidance on Correcting Independent Third-Party Misinformation

But with great online engagement comes great responsibility. People are expressing themselves online with pictures, videos, and text like never before, and can be amazing marketers for your product. However, they are most likely not medical or biotech professionals, and could also be sharing inaccurate or slanderous information.

To figure out how to manage all of this, let’s dissect what FDA guidelines have to say about third-party information, such as User Generated Content (UGC) and how your company should correct any misinformation. You can read the full social media draft guidelines here and learn about specific advertising and promotion rules here.

In short, your company is responsible to ensure that all of your branded online content is completely accurate as stated by the FDA guidelines, “A firm is responsible for communications that are owned, controlled, created, influenced, or affirmatively adopted or endorsed, by, or on behalf of, the firm.” A firm is thus responsible for online communication made by its employees or any agents acting on behalf of the firm to promote the firm’s product.”

In regards to all third-party content and conversations about your products, the FDA states that the draft guidance applies when:

  1. “A firm is not responsible for a product-related communication that appears on (1) the firm’s own forum, (2) an independent third-party website, or (3) through other social media sites, and
  2. The firm chooses to correct misinformation about its own product contained in that communication.

To put these words into real life, here are some examples:

Example: A firm becomes aware of a blogger who is posting inaccurate information about the firm’s product. The blogger does not have any relationship with the firm, and the firm is not responsible for the content of the blog. The firm may decide to attempt to correct the misinformation, but it is not obligated to.

Example: A firm hosts a discussion forum about its product’s FDA-approved use on its corporate website and does not participate in the discussion, but monitors the forum for profanity/obscenity. The forum includes an overarching clear and conspicuous statement that the firm did not create the content of the forum. The firm is not responsible for posts by independent third parties and can, if it chooses, correct misinformation according to this guidance.

If your company decides to comment on misinformation that was created by an independent third party about your product, as it is considered to be “appropriate corrective information,” your company’s communication should:

  • Be relevant and responsive to the misinformation
  • Be limited and tailored to the misinformation
  • Be non-promotional in nature, tone, and presentation
  • Be accurate
  • Be consistent with the FDA-required labeling for the product
  • Be supported by sufficient evidence, including substantiated evidence, when appropriate
  • Either be posted in conjunction with the misinformation in the same area or forum (if posted directly to the forum by the company), or should reference the misinformation and be intended to be posted in conjunction with the misinformation (if provided to the forum operator or author); and
  • Disclose that the person providing the corrective information is affiliated with the company that manufactures, packs, or distributes the product.

Protect the Image and Best Interest of Your Company: Pinned Posts, About Sections, and Disclaimer/FAQ Blogs

Creating informative disclaimers and policies can proactively answer consumer questions or lead them in the right direction, protect your image and best interest, and show transparency in how your company monitors your online channels. A few ways to do this are:

  • “Pinned to the top” post on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages. This can include a brief statement about your company, how to contact patient/customer support, information about new products, and a link to a “Social Media Guidelines” page on your website. For Instagram, you can use the link in the profile section and include extra information in a “Featured Story.”
  • Social Media Guidelines page. This could include an FAQ page about how your company responds to comments seeking medical advice, questions, and complaints about products, comments that contain personal info, how to contact customer support, A great example can be found on the Boston Scientific’s website.
  • Facebook and LinkedIn About Section | Facebook’s “Story/Who We Are” Section and Twitter Profile. All of these sections can be alternative places to showcase your social media guidelines.

Additionally, all companies, not just those in the medical device industry, should have clear social media guidelines that all employees are fully aware of. This can help prevent negative outcomes from employees using social media while being associated with your company.

Main Takeaway

In summary, here’s the social media doctor’s prescription.

  • Be socially responsible on social media. Proactively engage with potential and current customers in creative ways. Remember: you do not legally have to correct misinformation from independent third-party content
  • Content that is controlled by your brand is your responsibility; ensure that it is accurate
  • Be proactive and transparent; list your guidelines in visual locations
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How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice

How to Use Digital Marketing to Grow your Healthcare Practice | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

As a healthcare practice, it is really important to stay top of mind with your current patients and also future patients. By using digital marketing there are so many ways to stay connected.

One question we get asked a lot is:  

“How do we increase our engagement and promote our practice with digital marketing?”

Well, that answer is a little tricky since there are many different options out there. It’s more of a combination of different tools to make your digital marketing work for you. In the digital marketing world, it is about trial and error, seeing what your audience responds to the most and how to start those conversations. 

In this blog, I am going to talk about 5 ways to help increase your engagement and promote your practice. 

Word of mouth and referral marketing are still the best ways to grow your practice, but with people being able to access information from SO many places we have to be a little more creative and think outside the box to build those relationships and loyalty.

Once they have come into your practice you want to make sure you stay top of mind, more importantly, you want to make sure you have good online profiles so it is easy for your audience to refer you.

How many of you have wanted to try something new with digital marketing but just don’t know where to start or what to try?

Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to get in front of your current audience and potential new patients.

You can do this organically or implement paid ads as well. This is not an overnight success, it does take time, but it does work!

Let’s talk about the 5 Ways to Help Increase Your Engagement and Promote Your Practice:

1. Instagram

We have been talking about Instagram a lot this year and we will continue to do so, it is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with the average age 35-65-year-olds. Instagram is all about the visuals, from building a strong brand presence on your feed, having font styles on your images, color scheme, image theme, etc. this makes your feed look clean and interesting. Let’s dive into how to master Instagram Stories

This biggest thing with Instagram right now is the Instagram Stories, these stories only stay up for 24-hours, so this is a great place for:

One really cool thing you can do with these stories is “Highlight” them, this saves them into an area about your feed pictures, you can categorize them so all your stories go to the correct boards.  This turns into a great resource for your audience, each video on Instagram Stories can be 15 seconds long, you can record a 45sec to a 1 min long video and then use this app called CutStory and it automatically cuts your video into 15-second increments for you to share.

You can also create branded Instagram stories images with Canva, they have different themes you can choose from, you can use your own font styles, brand colors, logo, and images.

Now, you may be thinking what if I do a video that is more than 1-minute long, where should I put that? Well, don’t worry, Instagram has you covered and that is where IGTV comes into play. This is similar to YouTube but it allows your audience to watch the full video on Instagram, they don’t have to leave the platform.

A few ideas to create IGTV videos around are:

  • New mother tips
  • Birthing Plan
  • Vaccines
  • Physical Therapy
  • Counseling Tips
  • National Observance Days
  • Surgery Tips
  • New medical practices
  • Interviews with nurses and doctors

Instagram has a lot of bells and whistles you are able to tap into and really grow a long-lasting relationship with your audience.

2. Video Marketing

It’s 2019 and it’s all about the videos! Video marketing is huge and will continue to grow. Videos are great because it allows your audience to connect with you quicker. We wrote a blog a few months ago about “How to Create a Strong Video Marketing Strategy” videos are something you either love or hate.

Videos can be educational for your audience, videos with closed captions are even better. Here are a few good stats about video:

Let’s dive into the statistics behind healthcare marketing with video:

  1. About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic, as 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies. (Source: Eloqua)
  1. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)
  1. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.(Source: Mist Media)
  1. Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors, doubles their time spent on the site and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
  1. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz
  1. 59% of senior executives prefer video over text. (Source: Brainshark)
  1. Having a video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google(Source: Mist Media)

Source Here

When you think of video marketing, most people think you have to have a studio, pay a professional, take a lot of time on editing, props, backgrounds, and more. In all honesty with the technology of the newer smartphones and HD cameras, you can really shoot your own videos in office. Actually, the more authentic videos are the ones that get the most engagement online.

A couple of things to remember when shooting a video from your smartphones when you are recording a video for Instagram be sure to have your phone vertical, and when shooting a video for YouTube, Blogs, or Facebook you will want your phone horizontal.

Let’s start recording! Be Authentic, real, give value, and have fun!

3. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are climbing higher on the list for digital marketing, gone are the days where just having a Facebook page worked, Facebook pages work great if you plan on spending money on ads.

There are a ton of Facebook groups out there that your practice can join, you can even start your own group.

For example – Let’s say you are a women’s medical office, Your services include OB-GYN, birthing center, primary care, pediatrician, etc. But, one special thing that your office focuses on is wanting to help new mothers with education. Vaccines, breastfeeding, car seats, home care, feeding, etc. Most of your patients come from within a 25-mile radius of your office, you can create a group on Facebook called “Tips for New Mothers YOUR CITY” in this group you can invite your current patients to join, post daily, as your group continues to grow you will post two or three times a day. You are creating a community of women that are going through the same thing and want answers. You can allow the members of the group to post questions and concerns for your practice to answer. This is a wonderful way to create trust with your patients. You can then start to mention the other services your practice offers.

In this video below, I will show you how to start a group from scratch and also how to search for groups to join.

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is NOT dead, I know some may think that email marketing and newsletters are a waste of time, but they actually work great. It is a convenient way to stay top of mind with your patients. With social media marketing and the algorithms it’s hard to really know who has seen your organic posts, then to monitor the engagement. Now, the insights and analytics on the social media platforms tell you how many likes, comments, and shares you had on posts. With email marketing, you can actually see who opened your emails, who read them, and who clicked through to your website.

There are a few ways to incorporate email marketing into your plan:

  • Content Upgrades, also known as Free downloads. This is a piece of content you put together for your ideal patient to download, in order for them to download it they have to submit their name and email. For example – if we go back to the example in number 3, you could create:
    • Newborn checklist
    • Going home checklist
    • Breastfeeding Tips
    • New Momma Myths
    • Top 10 products to have at home for your new baby
    • etc.

This pdf would then be uploaded to your website and linked into MailChimp or Leadpages to create a landing page with the form for name and email, you can then push this out to social media, your current email list of current patients. Over time you will create quite a few content upgrades. Make a list of different checklists, ebooks, resources you can create for your patients now and then you push that out to gain new email subscriptions to grow your email list. This is an example of what a sign-up form looks like:

 

  • Newsletters – You can send weekly or monthly newsletters to your lists, in some cases you may have multiple lists and can customize a newsletter for each list based on your audience. It is important to understand what your audience wants to know about so you can pack your newsletters with valuable content. It doesn’t matter if you do weekly updates or monthly, what matters most is consistency. Whatever you choose to do be sure to stick with it. You can also incorporate your videos into these emails, this allows you to build those deeper relationships!

5. Blogging

Blogging serves dual purposes, it is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it allows you to show your expertise. When you are promoting your practice on social media your end goal is to get them back to your website to sign-up for your email list, book an appointment, or fill out paperwork, how do you give them an incentive to go back to your website?

When blogging just like everything else we have spoken about it is all about consistency. One blog per month or two, as long as you do one each month, these are no longer 300-500 word blogs, these are cornerstone blogs which means 1500+ words per blog. We recently wrote a blog on how to share your blog, in that post there is a FREE download, a blog checklist, you can download it here.

Your blogs should cover content that your audience wants to learn about, whether this is myths around vaccines, childbirth, new momma tips, etc.

This is where you tie the above 1-4 items into your blogging. In each blog post you will be:

  • Making an image you can share onto Instagram
  • Make a “teaser” video for Instagram with 3 inside tips from your blog
  • Create a longer video for IGTV about your blog
  • Create videos to go inside your blog post – you will place these videos on YouTube then insert them into your blog posts
  • You can also create a content upgrade or call to action for your readers to sign-up for your email list. Here is an example of a great blog post

Your website/blog is your hub, you want to drive traffic to your hub. Once your blog is complete you can then share it to multiple platforms with links back to your site, this helps reach new potential patients as well.

As you can see through these 5 different marketing platforms, they each allow you to grow your practice and connect with your audience on a deeper level. They all work based on consistency and planning. This is why having a digital marketing plan is so important.

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Using Social Media Marketing As A Medical Spa

Using Social Media Marketing As A Medical Spa | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

A lot of people think of social media as a place to stay in touch with friends and family members. Social media is a useful tool for connection, but it can also be a fantastic way to market your Medical Spa. These are some of the ways you should be using social media marketing as a Med Spa.

Make Sure Your Business Is Easy To Find

Decades ago, people would pick up the phonebook when they wanted to find a local business. Today, people use social media in a similar way. A lot of people don’t use search engines when they want to find a business near them. Instead, they search on sites like Facebook to see what is available.

You’ll want to make sure you have a presence on major social media platforms, and you’ll also want to make sure your contact information is posted there. If you make it simple for people to find your business, you’ll naturally attract more clients.

Use Social Media To Engage With Potential Patients

You won’t want to be overly distant with prospective patients if you can help it. Instead, you’ll want to make it easy for people to reach out to use. Patients and people that are considering your practice can send you messages via social media. You should make a point of responding to these messages quickly.

If people have a question for you, you’ll want to give them a prompt response. This kind of engagement could draw people to your practice, and it could boost your overall customer satisfaction levels as well.

Social Media Marketing Can Bring More People To Your Website

If people find your Med Spa practice on social media, they may not stop at visiting your social media page. A lot of the people that find you on sites like Twitter and Facebook are going to click through to your website.

Social media is useful on its own, but it’s also a way to attract people to both your website and your practice. As long as you have plenty of links on your social media accounts, you’ll be able to guide people to where you want them to go.

Social Media Can Establish Your Brand

Think about the brand you want your Medical Spa to have. How do you want people to perceive your practice? Social media can help you to build a brand and shape the way that other people see you.

With every post you make on social media, you’ll be able to control the impression that people have of your practice. A lot of people will encounter your practice for the first time on social media. You can make sure that their initial impression is a positive one.

If you’re not using social media marketing as a Med Spa, you should learn more about social media and how you can use it effectively. Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal. If you’re able to use it effectively, you can expect to see some big results.

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9 Digital Hospital Marketing Strategies To Find Today's Patients |

9 Digital Hospital Marketing Strategies To Find Today's Patients | | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

With urgent care centers popping up all over and clinics tucked in the back of pharmacies, patients now have more choices than ever when it comes to their healthcare providers. The same goes with hospitals. These days, many patients are becoming more involved in choosing a hospital for their procedures, relying less on a simple reference from their doctor. Hospital marketing strategies have had to change with the times, too. This form of modern healthcare marketing acknowledges that patients have a choice and helps them understand why they should choose your hospital group for their care. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Why is hospital marketing so important?

It used to be that family and friends were the most reliable and trusted source of doctor and hospital recommendations, but now 89% of patients trust Google to answer their questions and recommend healthcare providers.

And then there is this: in 2017, the U.S. had 5,564 hospitals. In 2019, that number has risen to 6,210. That rise may not seem like much, spread as it is over two years and the entire country, but remember the ubiquity of urgent care centers and pharmacy clinics. Urgent care centers and clinics see millions more patients every year than emergency rooms do, and that gap is increasing every year. Simply put, there’s more competition out there.

You know your hospital offers high-quality care by your compassionate and experienced doctors and nurses. It’s time to use hospital marketing strategies that let everyone else know, too.

9 digital hospital marketing strategies to use

Here are nine digital marketing strategies to help you connect with your local patients.

1. Set clear goals

What are you trying to achieve with your healthcare marketing? Deciding on some goals before you begin is crucial.

You need to figure who your audience is and what they want and need as a part of this crucial first step. If your facility focuses on cutting-edge, world-class cancer treatment services, for example, your hospital marketing strategies might not include targeted ads for new mothers. Keep the message consistent and directed to those you want to reach.

And remember that patients are not the only ones watching. Physicians and other organizations (e.g. universities) are keeping an eye on your digital marketing efforts. If you are actively recruiting both patients and new team members, this is important to consider.

2. Focus your healthcare marketing on quality of care

Because Medicare now may reimburse on the basis of patient satisfaction, some hospitals are rolling out the red carpet and offering amenities that rival the swankiest day spa.

While this might be on-brand for your hospital, it’s not absolutely necessary in terms of how many patients choose you. More polling indicates that although a plush robe is nice, what patients really want is expert doctors and low rates of surgical error or complications.

3. Stay HIPAA compliant

No matter what hospital marketing strategies you use, make sure that your digital marketing efforts are HIPAA compliant.

This means protecting sensitive patient information and getting the proper releases whenever you use images or patient data (among other things!).

4. Be social

With millennials on the horizon about to overtake the Baby Boomers as the biggest generation in the U.S., the best marketing strategy for hospitals might just be to swipe right on social media. Millennials have $1.3 dollars in buying power annually, and they are beginning to enter hospitals as new parents. And because 85% of millennials have a smartphone, this is the most digitally connected generation ever.

Meet them where these patients are with the perfect social media campaign.

What’s considered perfect will depend on your goals, your audience, and what you want to achieve. Are you trying to be more connected to current patients? Are you looking to develop more partnerships with your community leaders? Make sure your social media campaign is authentic and focused on those efforts and patients.

Once you know what you want, consider moving beyond simple organic social media to localized social media ads or other tools for engagement.

5. Develop great content

Many hospital marketing strategies begin and end with a website that’s more than a few years out of date. Don’t make the mistake of treating your website as a digital version of the yellow pages. Create great content to engage patients and their families.

This could include:

  • Information on your services
  • Videos of patient testimonials
  • Videos of procedures
  • Blog posts on issues in your hospital or healthcare
  • Links to relevant articles and research
  • FAQ pages that might include actual patient questions and your team’s answers

Great content keeps patients on your site and engaged for longer (and “dwell time” increases your Google search rankings).

6. Don’t forget the facts

Make sure patients can find your facility with your thoughtful, well-designed, easy to navigate website that has complete contact information and easy-to-use directions. Claim your Google business page and use Google My Business for classes, events, or to introduce new staff. Prominently add information you know new patients will want, like accepted insurances.

Make sure all information is up-to-date, and place contact information on every page. If your hospital has multiple locations, use best practices for local SEO to differentiate one location from the other.

7. Get mobile, and get fast

Mobile devices account for 64% of all daily Google searches. Optimizing for mobile isn’t optional anymore. A page’s mobile responsiveness has a direct impact on their Google ranking.

Regardless of where the searches happen – on the go or at the desk – site speeds matter. You have about three seconds for your hospital’s page to load before prospective patients click away. Test your site’s speed and adjust if you need to.

8. Don’t neglect SEO

As with all digital marketing, hospital marketing strategies must include SEO.

SEO (search engine optimization) makes your website easy for search engines to read and, thus, easy for patients to find.

9. Get out into the community

Sometimes the digital tools just won’t cut it, and you need to go analog. Focus some of your marketing time, attention, and dollars on community health initiatives that address concerns in your hospital’s region.

This combines digital tools (asking for suggestions for health-related classes on social media) with IRL actions to strengthen your hospital’s relationship with your community.

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Why Your Medical Practice Needs Digital Marketing

Why Your Medical Practice Needs Digital Marketing | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Making yourself known to the people who need your services is the whole purpose behind marketing, and the medical field is no exception. Finding the most efficient, reliable way to deliver treatment to the people in your community is paramount, and long before you ever have the opportunity to help patients, your practice must be made readily available (and accessible) to the people you are hoping to treat. By giving your medical practice a wider, more receptive audience every day of the year, social media and digital marketing can help make this process as easy as possible.

Though print ads may still hold value for many practices, the vast majority of your clients are going to find and evaluate your practice online. Consequently, social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram provide the greatest and most immediate marketing value of any medium in use today. Of course, much of this value stems from modern audiences’ expectations rather than the actual medicine. The prominence of social media throughout every aspect of users’ lives makes having an appealing, active Facebook business page a necessary component of your marketing strategy and an invaluable digital representation of your practice. Beyond just the quality of your services, the presentation of your practice online plays a large part in convincing clients to seek you out for treatment over another practitioner in your field. Particularly for medical practices, maintaining a current, modernized presence online gives prospective patients the impression that the rest of your business is as up-to-date, responsive to clients, and accomplished as your website and social pages. Regardless of your area of expertise, finding a digital identity that suits your practice and shows you and your work in the best light should be the first step in optimizing your marketing.

In addition to bringing your practice to the widest overall audience currently in existence, the Facebook and Instagram platforms grant you greater precision when targeting smaller audiences for your content, from standard demographics to personal and professional interests. This has the benefit of saving you both time and money and reducing the amount of work that goes into promoting and creating each new piece of content. By only showing your ads to the people who are most likely to respond to them, you can more directly engage your audience and cut down on less effective, broad advertising. Moreover, these features are also applicable to staffing, should you ever need to fill a position or expand your practice.

The other critical advantage of social media and digital marketing is the level of interaction and personalized engagement with your audience enabled by social platforms. Where before you only had the opportunity to express concerns or exchange information over-the-phone and during exams/sessions, neither of which has proven especially popular among patients, social media establishes a direct line of communication between you and your audience. As well as gauging your audience’s response to certain pieces of content, social media engagement can help you augment your marketing and services according to audience preferences and interests without delay. All of this, more importantly, goes into improving clients’ experiences with your practice and, by doing so, increasing the likelihood of referrals and recommendations while optimizing your business in the meantime. Social media may not cover every aspect of digital marketing (you will always need a strong, built-out website as your foundation), but it is an increasingly vital component and one that no medical practice can afford to go without.

Even in a field as well-entrenched and demanding as medicine, social media and digital can fulfill most of the marketing needs for a growing practice in 2019. Make the switch today, and start giving more patients higher-quality care in less time. Call us at (702) 720-6560 to learn more and discuss your unique marketing needs.

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Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Businesses

Social Media Marketing for Healthcare Businesses | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Watching your doctor’s Instagram Stories or hashtagging your latest surgery might seem a bit, well, odd.

The reality, though? Social media and healthcare go hand-in-hand.

Consider that a staggering 80% of people take to the web to research conditions, diagnoses and doctors.

And yeah, you better believe social media is part of the mix.  

From hospitals and dentists to cosmetic surgeons and beyond,  there’s a reason why medical professional are stepping up their digital marketing like never before.

But social media can be tricky for growing practices.

From minding your messaging to generating leads, medical businesses can’t afford to just “wing it.”

The truth, though? Social media for healthcare businesses doesn’t have to be brain surgery. In fact, it’s surprisingly similar to just about any other type of social marketing once you break it down.

Think about it. Your patients are your customers. You want them to come through your doors time and time again, not just for their business but also for their well-being.

Below we’ve highlighted how healthcare businesses can put together a social media strategy that makes sense.

 

What Should Healthcare Businesses Post, Anyway?

Fair question and a solid place to start! Healthcare marketers might feel like they’re at a standstill when it comes to their content strategies.

Don’t sweat it. Here are some ideas that apply to just about any medical practice.

 

Factoids and Educational Content

As noted, patients and prospects are on the hunt for education and answers.

Many healthcare professionals see it as their duty to make sure the public is well-informed. That’s why posts related to medical news, statistics and surprising facts are so effective. Such posts can prompt your patients to take action and likewise serve as a reminder that you’re looking out for their well-being.

 

Show Off Your Team

Anything you can do to show your practice’s personality and warmth is a plus.

After all, not everyone looks forward to a doctor’s visit (including the rising number of Australian’s who suffer from “white coat syndrome”).

Highlighting the smiling faces and professionals behind your practice can help give patients some much-needed peace of mind. Likewise, it only takes a few seconds to snag a snapshot and publish it to Facebook or Instagram.

 

 

 

Show Off Your Patients, Too

User-generated content such as customer photos are awesome for marketing but can be somewhat complicated due to patient confidentiality laws.

Before you post anything regarding a patient to social media, make sure you have explicit permission and that your messaging is something positive. For example, many professionals use their patient photos to inspire or motivate their followers.

 

 

On a related note, customer photos via influencers are becoming increasingly popular among practices including dentists, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. If your social media healthcare produces “before and after” results, getting in touch with local micro-influencers is a smart move and a scalable way to show off your success stories.

 

 

Side note: use your best judgment when it comes to your healthcare business’ tone on social media. For example, cracking jokes or posting lighthearted content might be fair game for a cosmetic surgeon, but not always in good taste for a practice serving seriously ill patients.

 

Take Your Followers Behind-the-Scenes

If you think that people aren’t interested in the day-to-day happenings at a medical office, think again.

For example, Australia’s own Davin Lim has amassed over 300k YouTube subscribers and 50k Instagram followers who watch procedures from his dermatology practice.

 

YouTube, in particular, has become somewhat of a goldmine for very specific healthcare niches. For example, there’s Dr. Sandra Lee (aka “Dr. Pimple Popper”) with over 5 million rabid subscribers who are obsessed with gross-out content like blackhead removals. More recently, chiropractic adjustments have been all-the-rage.

 

Weird, right? You’d be surprised at just how fascinated the public is about medical procedures in general: you can use that curiosity to your advantage with the right content.

 

How to Generate Healthcare Leads from Social Media

Now, the end-game of social media for healthcare businesses should be an influx of new and returning patients.

The good news? You can achieve both brilliantly, particular through the use of Facebook.

For example, you can run remarketing ads that reach your current followers orpeople who might have bounced from your practice’s website. Facebook themselves have highlighted a number of healthcare industry success stories to better illustrate how such ads could work for your business.

Another benefit of Facebook is that you can laser-target demographics to squeeze more out of your budget.

For example, a cosmetic surgeon in Sydney who primarily works with women can hone down their ad-serving based on factors such as location, age and interests which mirror her target audience. The same rules apply to practices serving new parents or the elderly.

The beauty of Facebook is that you can encourage bookings directly from the platform by placing a call-to-action button on your business page. This funnels your social traffic directly to an appointment or contact opt-in so people can get in touch ASAP.

You can likewise use Facebook’s Messenger as an easy point-of-contact for patients and prospects. This is ideal for customers who might be nervous about getting on the phone or have simple questions.

Better yet, we’re seeing chatbots being used in social media for healthcare businesses to put customer service on autopilot. These are useful for answering simple questions for patients at a moment’s notice to keep them from bouncing. Check out how bots such as Florence make it happen.

And of course, regularly posting content (articles, promotions, reminders) serves as a consistent push for your followers to book appointments.

 

Which Social Channels are Right for Healthcare Businesses?

There is no “right” answer to this, although Facebook is definitely the go-to platform for just about any local, brick-and-mortar business. Healthcare businesses are no exception.

Between Facebook’s awesome ad platform and the ability to engage local customers, it’s a no-brainer.

The platform likewise boasts the largest audience of any social network, especially among customers who aren’t Gen Z. Oh, and Facebook also allows for ratings and reviews which serve as awesome social proof for future patients.

Instagram has plenty of potential for specific healthcare niches. Again, it’s a prime platform if you have a practice that relies on forward-facing results. If nothing else, Instagram is ideal for showing off your team and publishing testimonials.

 

 

For healthcare businesses who want to highlight their professionalism, LinkedIn is a great place to put your expertise front-and-center. This includes highlighting your mission statement, industry research and connecting with fellow healthcare professionals.

And lastly, there’s YouTube. With video marketing booming like never before, publishing some form of video content whether it be your practice in action orsimple advice videos can be valuable. Solely for the sake of SEO, having a YouTube presence can help you rank for high-competition keywords related to your business  (for example, these YouTube videos are on the first page of Google for the query “Sydney cosmetic dentistry”).

And with that, we wrap up our guide!

 

Could Social Media Give Your Healthcare Business a Boost?

Chances are your prospects and patients have a medical question on their minds.

Why not be the helping hand that they need?

Promoting your healthcare business via social media is a surefire way to introduce your practice to new patients and nurture the ones that you already have.  If you’re interested in doing just that, feel free to contact Hello Social today to see how we can help get things rolling!

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Healthcare Website Redesign: A Checklist for Staying Focused

Healthcare Website Redesign: A Checklist for Staying Focused | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

A successful healthcare website requires a perfect balance between attracting the right website visitors, providing information, answering questions, and converting the virtual visits into opportunities for appointments and consultations.

When you add in the fact that most hospital websites have multiple website personas, multiple centers of excellence, and massive amounts of information, this balancing act becomes a bit more complicated.

It’s this diverse set of visitors, specializations, and an ever-growing amount of content that forces hospitals into website redesigns at a fairly regular interval.

So how does an organization balance all the moving parts of a healthcare website redesign? Balance begins and ends with a strong focus on the organization’s goals and objectives. And in most cases, those objectives have a strong tie to the human connection.

Let’s review the most important elements to consider when redesigning an outdated hospital website.

Website Goals and Objectives

Unlike a traditional doctor’s office, a hospital website must manage information for a variety of website personas who all have very different objectives. Consider these ten basic objectives for most healthcare websites:

  1. Attract future patients that are a fit for the hospital’s expertise, programs, and services.
  2. Provide potential patients with the information they seek at each phase of the patient journey.
  3. Provide support information for caregivers and patient families.
  4. Convert potential patients into appointments and/or requests for second opinions.
  5. Provide current patients with quick and easy access to information such as contact information, forms, directions, etc.
  6. Attract future employees and entice them to apply for available positions.
  7. Attract healthcare professionals by showcasing events, residency programs, and fellowships.
  8. Provide easy to find information to allow outside physicians to transfer or refer patients.
  9. Attract researchers by showcasing training programs, clinical studies, and research programs.
  10. Position the hospital and staff as subject matter experts in their geographic area and area of specialty.

If the hospital is a nonprofit organization, we can easily include the critical objective of fundraising and donor acquisition. For many healthcare organizations, this additional objective is a top priority, as it ensures the sustainability of all other activities.

No matter what marketing channel is utilized, success is measured by answering a few simple questions:

  • Did we make a human connection with those who visited our website?
  • Did we help solve their problems or provide information to assist with solving their problems?
  • Did we make their lives better?

Merriam-Webster’s definition of healthcare is:

“Efforts made to maintain or restore physical, mental, or emotional well-being especially by trained and licensed professionals.”

At the end of the day, quality healthcare organizations are trying to do just that –
make peoples’ lives better.

And at the end of our day at emagine, everyone at emagine has this as our ultimate goal as well. We don’t cure disease or provide life-saving measures, but we do everything in our power to help healthcare professionals reach more people and do their jobs better.

To Do Item: Review your organization’s goals and objectives. Are they core to everything you do? And are they a key part of your digital marketing efforts?

Website Personas

At the heart of every good website or digital marketing campaign is a solid understanding of website personas. We’ve covered marketing personas in prior posts, so I won’t go into them in great depth here. What I do want to cover is some sample website personas that we’ve encountered in our prior work with hospital websites.

Below is an overview of four major hospital personas and a list of content they often seek when visiting a healthcare website.

Persona 1: Patients and Families

  • Research diseases, symptoms, and causes
  • Research testing, treatment options, and procedures
  • Read news and medical updates
  • Browse through case studies and patient stories
  • Find a doctor, physician, or specialist
  • Get a second opinion
  • Find and/or apply for a clinical trial
  • Find a support group
  • Validate insurance and billing options
  • Make an appointment
  • Pay a bill
  • Locate forms
  • Obtain directions to available facilities
  • View facility maps
  • Access private patient portals
  • Request medical transcripts
  • Make a donation (nonprofit hospitals)

Persona 2: Healthcare Providers

  • Research diseases and treatment options
  • Read news and medical updates
  • Find a doctor, physician, or specialist
  • Obtain second opinions for patients
  • Refer a patient
  • Attend an event
  • Register for training courses
  • Research fellowship opportunities
  • Review residency programs and options
  • Review options for surgical research and development

Persona 3: Researchers and Academics

  • Find a scientist
  • Search publications
  • Explore research labs and facilities
  • Locate clinical science research and trials
  • Explore opportunities for research programs

Persona 4: Future Employees

  • Learn more about the organization’s culture
  • Explore benefits like health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and wellness programs
  • Research resolution assistance
  • Browse open positions
  • Submit applications
  • Check application status
  • Attend a career fair or other related event

The interesting thing about website personas is that most hospitals simply fail to properly define personas and their individual needs as part of the website redesign project. That is a major oversight and one that causes lost traffic, weak website conversions, and a significant reduction in patient acquisition.

To Do Item: Take a moment to review your hospital website and ask yourself how easy it is to locate the above items? Pretend you are a persona and brand new to the website. Can you locate the information you need? Can you do so without stress and confusion?

To Do Item: Now do the same for your largest competition? How well do they serve their audience? Does this present an opportunity for you or is a bigger threat than you previously thought?

Journey Mapping

Once there is a solid understanding of website personas and their needs, a journey map is the next imminent need. This is especially important within websites that have centers of excellence and this is because a patient will shift their search and information needs as they progress through the patient journey.

Let’s take a center of excellence that focuses on breast cancer as an example. We’ll walk through a typical patient and her journey through awareness, consideration, and discovery.

Stage 1: Awareness

In the Awareness Stage, our female patient realizes she has an issue with nipple discharge or possibly she has discovered a lump. She doesn’t yet know what it is or what it means, but she does know she needs to seek assistance from a qualified healthcare professional.

Our patient would most likely start a search on Google for phrases like “lump in breast”, “pain in breast”, “nipple discharge”, or some other ailment or symptom. She needs to feel in control of an out of control situation, so she starts to educate herself way before she reaches out to a physician.

In a utopian scenario, the patient would find her way to a center of excellence on our hospital website. Once there she would be able to explore some initial information on breast cancer, review the expertise of the doctors and researchers, and realize the hospital would be an excellent source of help and support.

Stage 2: Consideration

As the patient learns more about what is ailing her, she will move into the Consideration Stage. By this time, she has probably met with an OB/GYN or family physician but suspects she will eventually seek the support of a specialist. As she begins to learn more about her health and possible illness, her search activity and information needs will shift. She will begin searching for testing and diagnosis related phrases such as “breast biopsy”, “breast cancer stages”, or “MRI on breast.”

At this point, we hope she finds her way back to our center of excellence so she can learn about our testing and diagnostic options. She can explore insurance information, download new patient forms, and reach out to set an appointment for her necessary tests.

Stage 3: Decision

After she gains even more information, our fictional patient enters into the Decision Stage of her patient journey. At this point, she searches for possible treatment options, specialists, surgeons, or insurance coverage.  Her searches get very detailed and she becomes very close to taking formal action.

She might also decide that she requires a second opinion. And if this is the case, she will require a hospital that provides a safe and easy way to request a second opinion, submit the necessary information, and obtain an in-person appointment. Now let’s not forget that at this point, the patient is in a high state of stress and that information overload is a major issue. And yet, she still must visit website after website to find enough information to take that next step towards recovery.

But do hospital websites help make this process easy? Do they provide a low-stress way to locate information, gain confidence in the facility, and take the next steps to a healthier tomorrow? In many cases, the answer is no. And that is because no one on the website redesign team put themselves in the position of the patient. They didn’t walk through the patient journey to validate they are serving the needs of the individual, helping them find information, helping they feel comfortable with their decision, and helping them lead a healthier life.

To Do Item: Select one of your areas of specialties or a center of excellence, place yourself in the position of a fictional patient, and walk through their journey of awareness, consideration, and decision. How well are you helping them educate themselves, learn more about your services, and set an appointment?

Today’s patients expect to find much more than just forms and insurance information on a hospital website. They want to be able to research conditions, learn about signs and symptoms, explore treatment options, and review physician qualifications, center expertise, and real patient stories.

Patients want and need hospital marketers to help them discover a better tomorrow and they want you to guide them through the path to get there.

The Website Foundation

Up until now, I’ve covered a lot of the human elements of a website, and while this is extremely important, healthcare websites also need to have a solid foundation of technical, graphic design, UX, and SEO in place to be successful.

Let’s explore the most important elements to review and prioritize for hospital redesign projects in the coming year.

1. Technical Requirements

  • Accessibility is at the heart of today’s web. It goes beyond compliance and now reaches into SEO and conversion optimization. The graphic design and coding process should include a solid plan for creating accessible websites and validating these to online accessibility testers prior to launch.
  • Mobile friendly websites were once a luxury, however, more website searches are now performed via mobile than desktop. Mobile and desktop must align throughout design, development, and user testing. People want a responsive website that effortlessly adapts to multiple devices.
  • Online scheduling transforms a rigid website into a tool for automation and self-service. It allows future patients to set appointments at any time and from anywhere. And it expands a hospitals call center into a 24/7 service center.
  • Second opinion processing must be easy to locate, easy to understand, and easy to process. Visitors need to have expectations clearly set, the next steps outlined, and data collection simple. Patients are already in a state of high stress when needing a second opinion, so it is very important to make sure this process is effortless.
  • Click to call usage is a convenient and user-friendly way to encourage that important human interaction. Not all users will prefer to use this option, but for those who do, you’ll increase conversions with a single line of code.
  • CRM integration is often overlooked in healthcare since much of the technology focus is pushed to EMR systems and implementations. This is discouraging because there is no better way to track marketing efforts than by following a website conversion past the submit button. I know my PPC Strategists love having actionable data that helps them correlate digital marketing efforts to real patients purchasing services.
  • Patient review integration doesn’t just help encourage new patients. It’s an important part of ranking in local SEO. The more reviews obtained, the more Google and Bing consider the hospital and staff as viable options in search.
  • Online donation submission is a critical part of digital marketing for nonprofit based hospitals. But donations won’t flow unless the call to actions are easy to locate and the donation process is easy to execute.

2. Design and UX Considerations

  • Authenticity, displayed in imagery and messaging, is extremely important as it helps to align the overage brand with the website and it offers an opportunity to deepen the human connection.
  • User flow and content mapping need to closely align with the patient journey and their discovery through awareness, consideration, and decision. The website needs to assist visitors by offering a clear path to content specific to their needs. The easier the website makes this flow, the longer the visitor stays on the website, and the higher the chance for converting visitors into appointments and requests for second opinions.
  • Navigation options, such as mega menus and breadcrumbs, should be easy to digest and they should flow with the patient journey map. Menus, in particular, require information presentation that is simple, yet directional.
  • Multimedia usage of images and video are a core part of modern websites. Removing outdated sliders and replacing them with a more modern look and feel will help the website visitor flow effortlessly through their journey, while also building trust through authenticity.
  • Call to actions should be clear, concise, and easy to identify. CTAs should refrain from being overwhelming and obtrusive. The more users can digest content and critical information, the more apt they will be to convert.
  • Landing pages and inquiry forms should assist the human visitor in taking action by building trust through information and efficient use of space and data requirements.

3. SEO Considerations

  • Keyword research is the heart of SEO and ranking in search. This should be done with every website redesign to make sure the website aligns with the current search patterns, user search intent, and with the current state of SERPs (search engine results pages). Google has made significant changes to SEO and the SERPs are much different than they were in years past. The Knowledge Graph has shifted search and any hospital redesign should be updated to reflect these changes.
  • Keyword to URL site mapping is an overlooked practice by most marketers and webmasters, and yet, it is critical to excelling in search and providing a positive user experience for humans visiting the site. Having a strong roadmap of keyword usage and placement will help content writers better serve the human readers, help search engines locate the right content for each phase of their journey, and assist with internal SEO efforts of on-page optimization and internal linking.
  • Semantic search is driving the internet and ranking in search. Due to this, it has become a core component of SEO efforts. Knowing what semantic search is and how it relates to content is important for everyone on the website build project team.
  • E-A-T is a measurement Google uses to grade and rank websites in search. E-A-T website elements help search engines value a website for their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Simple elements like physician profiles, post author bios, and patient reviews will help elevate your E-A-T with search engines, while also improving the trust with human visitors.
  • Structured data and schema have become a powerhouse for search engine optimization. For hospitals, schema markup would apply at both the local and healthcare-specific level. A hospital website refresh should include structured data as part of the core build out, which means this process should be a core requirement of design, coding, and content creation.
  • The usage of voice search in healthcare is growing at a fairly quick rate, so this coding element should be included in the build-out of content that would apply to voice-enabled healthcare search queries. Few healthcare organizations are adopting this technology, so it offers an opportunity for hospitals to be leaders in search and well ahead of their competition.
  • Many hospitals have a strong focus on attracting international patients, yet few organizations actually implement the right international targeting within their websites. A standard “international page” is not enough to rank in international search queries. A hospital website requires solid hreflang support for international targeting, along with proper architecture and translation.

I’ve provided over twenty different considerations for your next redesign project. While some of these might be on the project team’s radar, I suspect many of these items are not currently in consideration. But they should be. The web moves at a very rapid rate and savvy hospitals need to stay connected to these technology shifts and incorporate them into their future website design and development activities.

To Do Item: If you are in the midst of a website redesign project, take a moment to review the above list of items and compare this list to your current project plan. Document your gaps and create a revised plan to include as many items as possible.

Ongoing Reporting & Analysis

Measure the effectiveness of your website redesign requires a focus on data collection, reporting, and analysis. But how do you gather the right data and make sure it gets delivered to internal stakeholders in a timely matter?

The answer it Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Data Studio. These three tools will help you set up the proper tracking of data, monitor this data, and report this data via customized reports that match up to your internal KPIs.

I’ve been a longtime advocate of Google Analytics, but it wasn’t until this last year that I learned to embrace (and also love) Google Tag Manager and Google Data Studio. It’s the addition of these tools that allow you to truly dig in and learn about your website’s performance in search, the visitors that come to your website, and the actions they take once within the boundaries of the website pages and posts.

Important KPIs for Healthcare Websites

  • Page views
  • Unique website visitors
  • Page views per visit
  • Bounce rate for the site as a whole, by section, and by URL
  • Traffic by channel
  • Traffic by search engine
  • Traffic by social media network
  • Traffic by referral source
  • Top landing pages
  • Most popular pages
  • Top exit pages
  • Overall organic keyword universe
  • Click through rates of keyword phrases in search
  • Click through rates of keyword phrases in paid campaigns
  • Click through rates of paid campaigns
  • Call to action clicks by source URL and conversion URL
  • Conversions by individual contact form, click to call, second opinion request, PDF download, or event registration
  • Email subscribers
  • Donations
  • Social shares by content URL
  • Incoming backlinks as a whole and by destination URL
  • Overall website health (this is a larger report with many data points)

The above website metrics are generally provided for the hospital website as a whole. We also have many clients who request a number of these KPIs be provided by each center of excellence within the hospital. We use Google Data Studio to create reports at both the hospital and center of excellence level. It is a great tool for providing the right KPIs to the right people.

Humans can only make solid decisions when given a strong dataset to review and evaluate. The metrics above will help you better understand your current search performance and website conversions, but more importantly, what can be done further improve your website for search engines and human visitors.

To Do Item: Compare my above list to your existing website reports and internal KPIs. Are you capturing everything you need to make strong digital marketing decisions?

Prioritization and Balance are Key to Overall Success

These common website objectives should be reordered to coincide with your overarching business goals. Weighing one more heavily than the others, however, will change the look of your website and the performance you achieve.

For instance, if patient intake is key and the goal is to onboard 15% more new patients than last year, then you would likely weight website conversions as a top priority. Your SEO strategy would focus heavily on patient-related phrases and your website design would feature CTAs more prominently than other value-added content. Landing pages, offers, and live chat windows are among other features a site with this business-centric model would use.

There’s no argument that such a site would most likely convert at a higher rate than a patient-centric site that is architected around the visitor’s needs and wants. But, with a consistent and well-thought-out optimization strategy, a patient-centric site can still position you are an expert, generate more leads, and boost your flow of new patients.

Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of digital marketers to balance the organization’s objectives with the visitor’s needs. They are many times different and a give and take approach to the website redesign will be required.

One of the largest pitfalls for healthcare organizations is when they solely focus on the needs and goals of their own organization instead of keeping the patient at the center of their strategies. This is exhibited in long, dry and drawn out “about us” sections and homepages that boast greatness instead of showing empathy. Patient-centric websites focus on providing the “proverbial hug” to the patient in addition to educating them.

Are You Redesigning Your Hospital’s Website?

If you’d like help updating your hospital’s website, we’d love to help. The emagine team is focused on the healthcare industry and has a significant amount of experience helping hospitals with branding and messaging, website design and development, as well as, search engine optimization and paid advertising.

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Digital Marketing Technology Is Driving Patient Satisfaction -

Digital Marketing Technology Is Driving Patient Satisfaction - | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

While a remarkable level of technical innovation exists in the clinical world today, technology is seldom applied to solve business problems in healthcare. The contrast is striking: Clinicians can have augmented reality in the OR, intelligent closed-loop systems for diabetes patients, and data-collecting wearables, but still exchange information by fax.

This technology lag is more than just inconvenient. When patients arrive at an appointment before their chart does, or lab results aren’t shared in a timely fashion or are overlooked, patient health can be at risk. Despite the communication hurdles that exist between practices, providers can take firm control over their communication with patients. Today, technologies can strengthen the provider-patient connection, help practices meet evolving patient demands, and even attract new patients.

The key is meeting patients’ needs across the “patient journey,” like a high-performing marketing initiative. When this is well-executed, technology powers each patient communication touchpoint, from the first time a patient searches online for care.

Step 1: Patient searches online for care

According to a PatientPop survey, three of four people have looked online for information about a doctor, dentist, or care service. With that volume of prospective patients, providers need to offer accurate, actionable information on their website and across their web profiles (think Google My Business, Facebook, Vitals). Practices should also employ a comprehensive SEO strategy so patients searching for their services can easily find them.

Step 2: Patient assesses provider and practice

Once a patient finds a practice online, they will often look at patient reviews to determine whether they’d like to book an appointment, along with the practice’s branding, photos, hours, and location. Software Advice confirms that 72 percent of patients read reviews first when looking for a provider, so an online reputation management service is a critical technology here. It can help any practice stay on top of online sentiment, so they can react quickly to feedback, both positive and negative.

Step 3: Patient schedules an appointment

Today’s patients don’t just want convenience, they expect it. Once a practice gets a patient’s attention online, they should be offering online scheduling on the spot. Online scheduling, and click-to-call functionality for mobile users, satisfies patients (68 percent say online scheduling is a decision-making factor) and drives patient acquisition.

Step 4: Patient receives an appointment reminder

This is one of the most common requests from a 2018 patient “wish list” report, and can be a big winner for patients and practices when done well. Sending automated appointment reminders via text or email — and allowing patients to confirm — eliminates manual staff work, and cuts down no-show rates and late cancellations.

Step 5: Patient gets opportunity to share feedback

Far too many medical practices treat the end of an encounter as the end of the patient path. That’s shortsighted, and antithetical to good customer service and retention. Clinicians should expand contact beyond the visit by asking patients to share feedback, which they already do on Amazon or OpenTable, but not many providers ask: PatientPop data shows that one-third of medical practices receive reviews from fewer than one percent of their patients. By implementing convenient, automated patient satisfaction surveys, practices are more likely to receive valuable feedback, and see that feedback shared online as a review.

Step 6: Patient is properly alerted to next steps

Finally, practices should help patients maintain control over their care by sending them timely information, whether it’s a follow-up appointment prompt, lab result, or specific message six months after a well visit. In that wish list report, 57 percent of patients said they expect proactive communication like this. Providers have a variety of options to send their message, including text messaging and targeted email campaigns.

The demand for convenience and access has become the most important decision-making factor for patients, according to a recent NRC Health study. When a practice takes its cue from the clinical world and makes the most of technology to meet demands — with an entire practice growth solutioncovering all the bases — higher rates of patient acquisition, satisfaction, and retention are easily within reach.

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Social Media For Dentists: The Dos & The Do Nots

Social Media For Dentists: The Dos & The Do Nots | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Social media is no longer just for sharing cute photos of cats and summer vacations anymore. Social media is increasingly becoming a powerful component of top-tier service industry marketing strategies and for good reason. With the ability to engage with local viewers who are already interested in your company and the services you provide, social media can be a vital force in your online marketing strategy. However, social media for dentists requires more that the skill of choosing the perfect filter for photos, or using a catchy hashtag. There are an abundance of dos and do nots than can make or break your social media campaign. With that in mind, brush up on a few in each category so that you can start leveraging social media to win patients and grow your practice today!

Social Media For Dentists: Do Nots

Do Not Fail to Create a Social Media Strategy

It’s not possible to “just wing it” when it comes to social media. There’s so much to research and consider, from which hashtags, images and content to use, to which social media platforms to employ. It’s also important to set goals, like reaching a particular audience and sending a specific message, so you know how to measure the success of your social media campaign. Determining the right KPIs for your dental marketing campaign (see below) can help you save time and get far more effective results than merely posting at random.

Do Not Respond Negatively to Bad Feedback

Nobody likes being told that they’re doing a bad job, but when you operate a business, negative reviews are a given. Lashing out at people who leave bad reviews or comments on your social media pages makes your practice seem immature and difficult to work with. At the same time, keep in mind that ignoring the negative reviews altogether shows a lack of concern for your patients’ experiences. Responding to negative content, maturely and compassionately, while difficult, shows that you really do care and want to improve your business in the future.

Do Not Spam People

Nobody likes getting junk mail, and the same is true for online content. Posting incessantly, tagging (random) people in content in which they have shown no interest, and posting links to your website in irrelevant conversations, all make your brand look pushy, out of touch, and greedy. It also doesn’t work. Rather than showing that you are intentional about your relationships with your clientele, spamming people shows that you’re merely concerned with marketing at people and growing your business than helping other people improve their dental health. That’s no way to earn their attention, trust, or business.

Do Not Buy Followers

While it may be tempting to buy followers in an effort to look more influential, this strategy is one that never works well. These followers typically do not interact with your content and often consist of spam accounts, businesses selling questionable products, and other companies your dental practice likely doesn’t want to keep around. Taking a shortcut like this also puts the integrity of your practice at risk — if you’re willing to cut corners with your follower count, what other corners might you be willing to cut in regards to your overall dental practice? Focus on generating a strong following organically by posting engaging, relevant dental-related content instead.

Do Not Skip Using Data Analytics

Your social media strategy is only as good as its analytics. In order to truly improve, your dental practice should never simply implement a social media marketing campaign and then ignore it. Tracking data can provide you with a trove of information that can be used to upgrade everything from your marketing plan to your services, making your content more relevant and your strategy more effective. If you’re unsure how to use social media analytics, consult a digital marketing agency…but don’t let all that invaluable data go to waste!

Social Media For Dentists: The Dos

Do Establish a Target Audience

Not everyone uses every type of social media platform. For example, women are more likely to use Instagram than men, while Instagram users (in general) tend to live in more urban areas. Twitter users, on the other hand, typically command higher paying jobs and thus have higher salaries. This information can be vital to your dental social media marketing strategy because it tells you where your ideal audience tends to spend its time online. This can save your practice both time and money by posting only to the most relevant social media channels and times of day.

Do Post Engaging Content

People go on social media to be entertained, even if they’re viewing marketing content. Post blog posts, videos, contests, surveys, and questions with which your audience can interact. Doing so not only holds your followers’ attention while you provide valuable information, it also helps you position yourself as a knowledgeable source. This in turn will make your audience feel more confident in your practice’s ability to provide the dental results they need, easing any potential resistance to becoming a lifetime client.

Do Set KPIs For Your Social Media Campaign

Setting KPIs for your dental marketing campaign, (marketing-speak for “key performance indicators”), gives your dental practice a yardstick by which it can measure its progress. Setting them for your social media strategy helps show what’s working and what isn’t, providing you with more information about what your audience prefers to see and who is viewing your content in the first place. For example, you may choose to track the number of new patients you receive as a result of social media posts, or measure fluctuations in your follower count to determine what social media strategies are most effective.

Do Adjust Campaigns Based on Prior Data

Tracking essential KPIs can also help you adjust your campaigns by providing valuable data on your campaign. If a series of short, educational Instagram videos receives a high volume of comments and likes, for example, it would likely be worth the time to create similar posts in the future since people seem to enjoy them. Understanding what your followers enjoy seeing and talking about can help you focus on creating content that is most applicable and relevant to them, showing that you understand their needs and that more importantly, they need your services.

Do Interact With Other Users

Social media for dentists has the unique benefit of making it easier than ever to interact with your potential patients, so don’t ignore this opportunity. Interacting with people by providing them with helpful information, sharing posts, and otherwise keeping in touch humanizes your brand. This can lead to increased brand loyalty, as people will feel like your practice truly cares about them as the individuals that they are, rather than just another client. This can be particularly effective for smaller dental practices marketing to a local audience online.

Work With A Professional Social Media Marketer

Interested in learning more about social media for dentists? The web marketing experts at 321 Web Marketing can help you develop a dental marketing campaign that avoids pitfalls and capitalizes on the critical elements of a successful social marketing campaign. By working to understand your goals, practice, target audience, competition, and local area, our marketers will create a customized marketing plan that meets all of your goals and helps you grow.

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Reasons Why Healthcare Providers Have A Digital Marketing Strategy

Reasons Why Healthcare Providers Have A Digital Marketing Strategy | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Digital marketing has become an all-pervasive need for businesses, irrespective of the industry they belong to. The popularity of the internet as selling and branding medium is the reason for the growing need for digital marketing for businesses. The healthcare industry is no exception as it is leveraging digital tactics in addition to conventional marketing strategies. If you are still in doubt about embracing them, here are some of its benefits that you should absolutely know.

 

Connect with a larger audience

Like any other business, the objective of a healthcare provider or organization is to reach out to the targeted audience and connect with them. The proliferation of the internet has changed the way people live. Without any doubt, the internet is the best place to find potential patients because this is where they start looking for options.

In fact, surveys show that patients access online information about diseases, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments before actually seeing a practitioner. Moreover, they are also likely to search for expert doctors and specialized hospitals on the internet. There are several sites and apps that are widely used by patients to look for specialists nearby.

 
Get the branding advantage

Before the trend of healthcare websites began, providers and organizations relied on print media, radio and television to propagate their brand. But the advent of digital media has changed the scenario altogether and businesses cannot imagine sustenance without having an impressive online presence.

Whether you are just starting your practice or already have an established one, you need to build your reputation online for the audience out there. Not being visible to the potential patients who search for providers online can be a huge setback for you. Having a digital marketing plan that encompasses online branding can open new opportunities for your business and make you a trustworthy brand with minimal effort.

 

Interact and engage with patients

Another reason that you cannot afford to ignore a digital marketing strategy is that it plays a key role in patient engagement. The potential patients might want to interact with you and know your expertise before seeking treatment. Having an updated website, informational blog and social media presence are important for interacting with the patients and engaging them.

The tactics may differ on the basis of your target audience and field of medicine. For instance, you can check out https://www.digitallogic.co/blog/plastic-surgery-marketing/ to know how it works for plastic surgeons and hospitals. Similarly, the expectations of dental patients or those seeking any other treatment vary and your engagement strategy will vary accordingly.

 

Keep pace with the competition

The competition in the healthcare domain is booming and you need to stay on top of the trends to be in the race. Since your competitors will probably be doing it, you cannot miss on building your online presence. In fact, you need to keep a close eye on their tactics and the latest trends to ensure that your strategy is working well enough.

The objective is to be ahead of them as users prefer the websites that appear on the top. Moreover, it is imperative for them to trust the top ranking sites and prioritize their services over the competing providers and organizations. Ignoring the competition and not making efforts to beat them online can be a big disadvantage for your business.

 

Serves as a cost-effective strategy

Not all healthcare practices are capable of spending millions on their marketing plans. Smaller ones and startups struggle in particular when it comes to investing in promotional activities. Digital marketing emerges as a smart investment because it is cost-effective and offers a larger reach without having to expend a fortune.

Tactics like social media marketing can connect you with a huge audience with a limited budget and efforts. Similarly, you can invest in tactics such as search engine optimization, content marketing, and email marketing to connect with and engage a huge audience base. Compared to traditional advertising such as television and newspapers, you get a wider outreach with lesser ad spending.

Growing your practice and building trust of the potential patients is essential as a part of the long term strategy for healthcare providers. Having a robust digital marketing strategy can make all the difference in this respect because it secures a position online for your brand. The future of the industry is deeply connected with the internet, which is the reason that you must have a plan in place. The best approach is to partner with an expert digital agency that specializes in healthcare marketing and has an in-depth understanding of this industry.

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Best times to post on social media for 2019

Best times to post on social media for 2019 | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Social audiences increasingly expect healthcare practices to have a social presence. Facebook is a great place to highlight your local practice and provide essential info to current and prospective patients. The best times to post for healthcare to reach these audiences include:

  • The best time for healthcare practices to post on Facebook is Wednesday at 9–10 a.m.
  • The safest times to post are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m.–3 or 4 p.m.
  • Times to avoid are Saturday and Sunday, which have minimal engagement, and every day

 

It’s clear from our findings that Instagram still isn’t a priority for many healthcare practices. However, considering the high engagement it drives for many other industries, it’s clear that audiences, including prospective patients, are on the platform. It’s well worth it to expand your reach by planning around these times to post:

  • The best time for healthcare practices to post on Instagram is Tuesday at 8 a.m.
  • The safest time to post is Tuesday from 7 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • The lowest engagement times are evening and overnight every day from 6 p.m.–6 a.m.

 

As we’ve emphasized, Twitter is ideal for conversation and customer care. Health questions can be the most pressing of all, so whether it’s an account for a local practice or a major pharmaceutical brand, be ready for your audiences by being aware of the best times for healthcare accounts on Twitter:

  • The best times for healthcare practices and business to post on Twitter are Wednesday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
  • Other notably high engagement times include Monday at 2 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday at 8 a.m. There’s also additional engagement on Wednesday morning compared to other weekday mornings.
  • The safest times to post are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • The day with the least engagement is Sunday.
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How Digital Transformation is affecting the Pharma and Healthcare Industry 

How Digital Transformation is affecting the Pharma and Healthcare Industry  | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

From scientific detailing to the use of newer algorithms for better consumer insights, the trend of digital marketing has caught up with the $17 billion Indian Pharmaceutical Industry. More and more pharma and healthcare companies are moving away from traditional marketing. Global digital marketing trends are also seeing apps and social media playing a bigger role in this industry.

Pharma companies in India like Sun Pharma have already started adapting to this technological trend with the launch of their mobile app called RespiTrack. The app is for raising patient awareness of asthma and ensuring their adherence to the treatment schedule. Abbott Healthcare has introduced several tools like Knowledge Genie, an app for heart and liver and another for vertigo exercises. Few of them make use of augmented and virtual reality in order to engage with patients and doctors alike.

RAPID ADOPTION – PHARMA DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital holds the dual benefits of making information easily available and accessible online, anywhere. Also, the growing interest of consumers in exploring digital technology has led businesses to successfully try newer things online. This digital age has even seen many doctors starting to adopt digital technology in their practice. Pharma Digital Marketing in India has also helped sales representatives to contact doctors easily. Even patients are looking for health-related information online.

Although this recent technological foray has tremendous potential, companies are still not making full use of the vast number of options that digital has made available to them. For example, only 4% of pharma companies employ mobile-friendly websites whereas most people access the web from their mobile.

Ways Digital Marketing is Transforming the Pharma Industry

Transparency in medical procedures and products

With the advent of latest digital transformation trends, both patients and pharma companies have access to information surrounding the impact of any healthcare strategy or medical product. This transparency regarding the impact on the overall well-being and everyday life of patients enables patients and their loved ones to discuss treatment progress and medication effects.  Mobile apps tracking the effect of these measures on a patient provide analytics experts with actionable insights into the safety and efficiency of a drug or therapy.

Patients are more involved in their care

Digital trends demonstrate that more and more patients are more engaged with their medical treatment procedures and understand how they can access online resources to assist them. Modern patients are more comfortable taking their well-being into their own hands because of the sheer amount of digital information accessible online. This allows them to be empowered when it comes to making decisions regarding their health and evaluating the cost of the medicines, products or services. This provides an opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to connect and engage with potential patients online.

24/7 Virtual Care

One of the major benefits of digital transformation in the pharma industry is optimizing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints. So there will be broader engagement between patients and physicians through the patient care process. Up-to-date and 24/7 virtual care is bound to become the norm throughout the industry. From restricted office hours to 24/7 access to care, personalization and technology will allow for unique patient care - a more customer-centric change. Pharmaceutical companies will be able to provide complete treatment and value as part of a “digital ecosystem.”

Enhanced Research & Development

Digital innovations will allow future-forward technologies where AI-based platforms can make complex decisions through in-depth data and analytical calculations. Patient care will be enhanced through analytics and pharmaceutical research & development will also be transformed. Advanced digital transformation will also allow real-time information from both clinical trials and patients, enabling drug manufacturers to gain a better understanding of drug development and how it affects patients in the long run.

Pharma Digital Marketing in India

Various internet sources about Digital Marketing in India demonstrate an annual growth rate in the range of 25% to 40%. What started to gain visibility in 2010 has spread to almost all the business sectors in India. Digital marketing will continue to be a robust growing industry at least for the next 5 to 10 years. For starters, India is well on the way to be the fastest growing online retail market in the Asia Pacific, slated to grow at a staggering 31% per annum for the next 5 years. So it’s not surprising that digital marketing is in high demand with the opportunities and scope being huge in India right now.

Digital marketing will soon become the core of marketing campaigns for the pharma industry in India. The internet is a growing platform for information, awareness, and solutions about healthcare. As a result, a pool of better-informed patients and better- networked doctors are being created. Pharma marketing will span multiple channels like social media, messaging, web, mobile and more. Therefore, pharma companies need to strategically leverage the opportunities available to them in order to thrive in this digital age.

Focus on Building a Digital Culture

It’s important to build a digital culture rather than narrowing your focus on various apps and gimmicks. A need to define a digital marketing strategy for the pharma industry is necessary, divided between healthcare professionals and patients. With a digital boom in the country, a holistic digital culture will help to reduce the increasing gap between patients and doctors. With so much data being available pharma marketers should be using it to serve customers better. By making data the currency and building a patient-centric environment through digital, people will feel more engaged in the industry.

While considering pharma digital marketing in India, marketers need to be better equipped in this digital world but also understand what can and cannot work in India. Understanding the industry in the Indian context - doctors, patients and the regulated industry that work here will result in better marketing efforts and return on investment. The Indian Pharma market being a highly regulated one, marketers need to think twice before playing with data. Know more on how to leverage data-powered insights and solutions with the experts in digital marketing in India here: Amura-  Pharma Marketing Company

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Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Marketing to Witness a Healthy Growth during 2015 – 2025

Pharma and Healthcare Social Media Marketing to Witness a Healthy Growth during 2015 – 2025 | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Social media platforms refer to the interaction among the people that involves creation, sharing and exchange of information and ideas in virtual networks and communities. However, use of these social media tools for marketing pharma content is still debatable. The rationale behind this is that the regulatory teams of several pharma companies demand the preventionof comments or sharing features resulting in only a one way interaction,which in turn deprives theessence of social media marketing. However, with the impact of these tools, there is an increased adoption rate of these platforms for strategic decisions.

 

Efforts of pharma sector to leverage the benefits of social media tools to widen their customer base, strengthen customer relationship and enhance brand performance further fuels the usage of social media pharma and healthcare marketing. Other major aspects favorable for pharma sector are building investor relations, corporate communication and customer service at the corporate level. The involvement of regulatory authorities in drafting and issuing guidance for use of interactive media for drugs and biologics proves to be instrumental in deciding the importance of social media marketing in pharma industry. For instance,in second week of January 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a guidance draft for industry that needs to fulfill the regulatory requirements for post marketing submissions of interactive promotional media for animal and human drugs and biologics. Through this draft, the US-FDA provided clarity on working with bloggers and content creators to disseminate branded information.

Incorporation of consumer feedback and their experiences would prove decisive for the companies in the course of novel drug development and other crucial strategy building. Hence social media involvements are further expected to increase product sales in the near future. For instance, Novartis has initiated the use of social media platforms to enhance the sales of its over-the-counter drugs such as Comtrax, Bufferin and Orofar. Another illustration for the use of these social media platforms is by Johnson & Johnson that uses these platforms for crisis management during recall of its products. It has used these social media platforms for apologizing to the consumers for irregularities found in its manufacturing plant by U.S. FDA. It is company’s mode of being personally, emotionally and socially in touch with its clients.

The pharma and healthcare social media market can be analyzed by the extent of use of social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, etc. by pharma industries along with benefit and risk ratio analysis of these tools in healthcare. In addition, impact or effect of these tools on healthcare stakeholders such as hospitals, patients/consumers, healthcare professionals and biotechnology companies coupled with a geographical landscape focusing on the popularity of these tools also can be provided. The geographical landscape includes the analysis of four major regions namely North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and RoW.

 

The major factors favoring the growth of the market are increased expenditure by pharmaceutical companies for online advertising along with increasing adoption rates of online marketing tools by the consumers. As per few research studies in the year 2012, the overall pharmaceutical and healthcare spending increased nearly by 45 percent year-on-year to approximately USD 1.1billion of which 6 percent represented online advertising costs. This revenue is generated through paid advertisements and subscriptions from various electronic devices and unique IP addresses. On the other hand, the disadvantages and risk factors of these platforms such as privacy and security in question along with improper content validation are some of the issues that might pose the challenge for the growth of the market. Some of the companies engaged in use of social media are Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Inc., Novartis and Bayer AG.

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How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success

How to Set Up Your Healthcare Social Media Profiles for Success | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

In a recent study, 90% of older adult internet users said they’ve used social media to find or share health information. Undoubtedly, social media is a major part of many people’s lives. And if you’re in the business of healthcare, social media may help increase brand loyalty and boost your reputation.

You just may need a little help getting started setting up and maintaining your healthcare social media account. But first, make sure you know what you’re getting into…

Healthcare Social Media: Is It Really Worth It?

Here’s the hard truth: Facebook’s organic reach is dead. Businesses hoping to reach potential patients and clients by simply posting somewhat frequently on Facebook are extremely unlikely to see a return. Due to changing algorithms on Facebook and Instagram, followers are much less likely to see organic (unpaid) posts from your brand than from their own friends and family. 

For more on this topic, see our article: The Biggest Misconception about Social Media in Healthcare

That said, it is certainly worth setting up and claiming your social media accounts. Updating your social media accounts can also boost search engine optimization and generate patient referrals. But if you’re simply hoping to gain patients from your marketing efforts, we recommend you do not spend a large portion of your time on organic social media.

Paid advertising is another story. Targeted campaigns reach people throughout your geographic target (not just followers) based on age, gender, and other qualities. For this, we recommend hiring a healthcare social media advertising agency.

Either way, you’ll want to get your account up and running as soon as possible, and establish some guidelines for posting and sharing. Here’s what a healthcare social media account manager should do.

1. Create a new page (or claim an existing one)

Facebook

Of course, the first step with any new social media platform is creating your new page. With Facebook, you’ll simply go to facebook.com/business and follow the directions on the screen.

You’ll be able to link this new business page to an existing personal profile or create a new profile to manage the page. You can also invite current employees as administrators and give select access to posting and editing capabilities.

In some cases, a Facebook page already exists for a business thanks to patients checking in at your location and tagging themselves on Facebook. In this case, you can claim the page using these instructions.

Instagram

To setup an Instagram account for business, first create an account from the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. Then, find the settings (the gear icon on your page) and press “Switch to Business Account.”

Twitter

Twitter’s page creation is incredibly simple. Keep in mind that Twitter uses the same profiles for business pages and personal pages. Simply go to Twitter.com to set up your new account.

2. Learn your social media platform

Once you’ve updated your basic information, you’ll want to get to know the particular platform you’re working in. Each platform is unique. For example:

  • You’ll need a header image and profile picture for each account, but every platform has different requirements. You can find an up-to-date guide on image sizing here.
  • It’s a good idea to use relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, but it’s not very useful on Facebook.
  • On Twitter and Instagram, it’s a good idea to start following other accounts related to yours as soon as possible.
  • Facebook is a great place to post and share events.

3. Get to know your audience

Doctors may be interested in sharing the latest research studies or stats on the newest equipment out there. But do you think patients want to comb through a complicated 30-page report? Of course, patients are interested in your expertise. However, they would prefer an easy-to-read, quick professional assessment of a study.

Learn what types of content your audience prefers, and try to contribute something they will appreciate and share. 

  • Can you explain a new treatment option briefly and succinctly (or link to a source that does this)?
  • Can you direct them to in-person or online support groups for their illness or recovery?
  • Do you have an announcement to make about your location or services? (Note: Important announcements to existing patients are better left in email inboxes.)

4. Use clear images throughout your profile and posts

A plain text post may go over well with your friends and family. But if you’re trying to attract attention from prospective patients, images and video are key to gaining attention—especially with paid social media advertising.

You don’t need any fancy equipment for this. The latest iPhone takes incredible high-quality images. However, if you don’t already have a collection of in-house photos to use in your posts, stock photos are a good way to go. There are free stock photos available on sites like Unsplash and Pexels.

You can also overlay text using free, easy-to-understand tools like Canva.

5. Remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations

Of course, you take HIPAA and other regulations seriously, but it helps to remind staff members who are the most active on your social media platforms.

We recommend consulting a lawyer if you are unsure of any issues of compliance. Some starting tips:

  • Photos of patients and clients, of course, require their signed consent.
  • Any pharmaceutical promotion requires disclosure of risks, etc.
  • Patients may comment on your page regarding their visit, but you should take care not to confirm they are a patient.

Organic Social Media vs. Paid Healthcare Social Media Ads

Some doctors have seen success by posting organically on social media—but these accounts are few and far between. If you hope to gain followers as a “thought leader” in your specialty, you’ll have to post very frequently and become involved in conversations online daily.

Still, thought leadership does not guarantee patients in your area. Social media can help build your brand and even improve morale around the office—but it’s not recommended for lead generation. That is, unless you work with a social media advertising agency to target local patients in your demographic.

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Digital Marketing for Healthcare Podcast Interview with Daniel Goldberg, Gold Medical Marketing

In this week's podcast, I had the honor of interviewing Daniel Goldberg, Founder and CEO of Gold Medical Marketing. Daniel Goldberg is widely regarded as
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Importance of Having a Blogging Strategy for Medical Practice |

Importance of Having a Blogging Strategy for Medical Practice | | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

With your busy schedule, creating content and blogging on a regular basis are likely not your top priorities. However, by not having a blog and blogging on a regular basis, you are limiting your opportunity to grow.

I know how hard it is to juggle multiple tasks without compromising the care that you provide your patients. From being a great doctor to make sure you get paid, there’s a lot of your plate. And there’s a lot that you have to keep in mind in order to ensure that your practice thrives. However, you have to consider medical marketing as well in order for your practice to grow.

Creating blog posts can help promote your medical practice. It can improve your clinical services, position you as a thought leader, improve search rankings, and can even attract new patients. It’s a must for every doctor to market their medical practice. Unfortunately, most doctors are ignoring the significance of blogging. This blog will help you realize how important blog posts are.

Why Doctors Don’t Write Blogs

More than ten years ago, writing blogs was just done mainly by bloggers. Today, it’s mandatory for every business to post blogs. According to Hubspot, medical practices who post blogs experience a 55 percent increase in traffic to their website and are around 13 times more likely to see a return on investment each year. With such amazing potential of growth, you’ll probably think that every doctor all across America is blogging, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

A recent webinar in the industry has hosted the benefits and challenges of blogging and found out that nearly half of the attendees said that they don’t post any blogs despite having a website. Almost all medical practices in the U.S have their own website. However, only a few of them feature blogs on their sites. Does your practice fall into the category of not having a blog? If so, as you can see, you’re not alone.

These are the top reasons why healthcare providers don’t blog:

  • 40.3 percent said that they don’t have enough time to write and create content
  • 35.1 percent said that they don’t have enough ideas for fresh regular posts
  • 15.8 percent said that they don’t know a thing about managing the initial blog setup
  • 8.8 percent said that they don’t understand the technical end of the process

Truth be told, these are all valid reasons. Most doctors really don’t have the time to sit down and learn how to set up a blog or write blogs. Blog writing is really time-consuming and doctors would rather spend time providing care to their patients rather than think of topics to write about. As much as doctors want to deliver a superior online patient experience, they’d rather not dedicate time to blogging.

 

Importance of Medical Content Marketing

I’m pretty sure you desire to show up on the first page when patients are searching for a new doctor, right? Of course, you do. In order for that to happen, you’re going to need a page that is dedicated to your topic which can lead patients to your website. Content marketing involves creating a strategy of writing accurate information (that relates to your specialty) to help your SEO efforts. This can attract new patients to your website.

Traditional marketing strategies such as TV, radio & print ads are so old school. Strategies like these won’t work in this type of market anymore. They may have worked 20 years ago but as technology rose, search engines, social media, and the world wide web began to dominate the marketing world.

An awesome thing about content marketing is, you don’t need to push yourself to your patients. By providing relevant and interesting blogs, your patients will definitely be the ones pulling you in. With numerous blogs about a certain topic, you can stand out by posting a blog that makes your patients feel like you’re talking to them instead of just showering them with facts that they can read anywhere else.

What Does It Take To Have The Perfect Medical Practice Blog

It doesn’t require much to create a blog. But in case you are wondering, I will list down a few key components that a blog should have:

  • An eye-catching and interesting headline. If your blog posts have an eye-catching headline, people would click. So, instead of saying “All About Back Pains”, try saying “Back Pains Can Be Linked To Mental Health Problems”. Did you see what I did there? Who would have thought back pains can be associated with mental health issues? That alone could make your readers want to click on the blog.
  • Provide at least 500 words. If you could write as many as 1000 words, why not, right? Longer blog posts help with your SEO. And, the more relevant words you use with the correct keywords, the better the blog.
  • Know your target audience. Please refrain from medical jargon. Not all of your patients understand the medical terms you use on a regular basis. They might find this annoying and will not bother reading your blog if they don’t understand it. Keep the content of your blog as simple as you can.
  • Use striking images. Aside from an eye-catching headline, what better way to attract patients than to provide striking images? Psychologically, we are more drawn to read something if it catches our eye. People are more into visual aspects. Use striking images. Make the readers want to click on your blog with awesome photos.
  • If possible, add a call to action. A call to action button could be your contact info or how to schedule an appointment with you. If you provide your patients with a convenient way to connect with you through your blog, they will be more likely to visit your website.


See, blog posts are significant to any medical practice, especially if you’re new. It can drive your potential patients toward your website which increases organic traffic.

 

 

What Should You Write About

Now that you have a grasp of what your content should have, it’s now time to brainstorm on what your content should be. The content of your blog should be relevant to your practice. Blogs can act as your stepping stones for earning a patients’ trust. Here are a few content ideas that you can use to make your blog stand out:

Latest news. There is always something new in the medical industry. Writing a blog is a great way to share and relay information about the latest medical discoveries and anything related to a person’s general health. 
With so much fake news circulating on social media nowadays, one of the most reliable sources that the patients can really trust is when it comes from a physician. Remember to include your views and opinions and not just only share the facts.

Frequently asked questions. When it comes to our health, people have so many questions. When you write blogs pertaining to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), your posts will be more relatable to your patients. One of the best ways to find out what most people want to know is through surveys and personal discussions. Social media platforms can also be a great place for discovering information.

Discuss an event. If there are certain events coming up (such as a major conference or seminar), you can write a post about it. Aside from reading about it online, patients would also love to ask questions that might have been bothering them. In this type of blog, you can write down what the patients can expect, provide highlights and share other pertinent information. If your readers missed the event, you can include key takeaways from the event.

Industry trends. The healthcare industry keeps on evolving. We all know that. You can use your blog as a platform where you can write down and thoroughly discuss upcoming trends or seasonal health problems that you think are valuable to both you and your patients. You can even include news alerts. This can ensure that your patients stay updated on emerging trends.

How You Should Strategize Your Healthcare Blogs

The blog section of every physician’s website is a highly visited page. However, most bloggers assume that they need to write a blog weekly or even daily. To be quite honest, even the occasional blog can still attract patients to your practice and at the same time, it can enhance your credibility. Here is how you can yield maximum return with minimal effort.

Primary-care physicians: Primary-care physicians are usually very busy doctors. They mostly handle anything related to general health questions. They can post blogs at least once a week. If you’re a primary-care physician, you can post blogs about general health issues and the most common questions you hear in the exam rooms.

Specialists: If you’re a specialist, you can post at least twice a month. This frequency is just enough to convey regular activity on your website. You can focus on writing anything that is relevant to your specialty.

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Growing Your Patient Referrals Through Healthcare Marketing

Growing Your Patient Referrals Through Healthcare Marketing | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Some of today’s most effective strategies to grow medical practices revolve around digital marketing. Having a general understanding of digital marketing can make a world of difference when promoting your medical practice.

 

With a strategic digital marketing plan in place, your practice will attract more patients, and grow faster than ever through patient referrals. We know you are busy serving your patients and helping your community, which is why it’s important to have the most efficient and streamlined digital marketing practices in place.

Some of the newest healthcare marketing trends include improving your Instagram presence, hosting live streams, and staying on top of new Google algorithm updates.

While you may already have a significant digital presence, it is never a bad idea to continue learning and implementing new practices to grow your audience, increase website traffic, and boost conversions. All of these enhancements will allow you to provide medical help and value to more people in your community.

Ways to grow your patient referrals using digital marketing

When looking for a product, service, or professional, most people turn to the internet first. After all, it is much easier and faster to search Google than ask everyone you know for personal recommendations.

However, when people do seek out the advice of their friends and family, it is often on social media. Social media has made crowdsourcing an instantaneous and ever-present resource, available to anyone with access to the internet.

In this hyper-digital age, it is important to be on top of your healthcare marketing strategy to put your best foot forward in the digital space. That is why we want to share these five tips for promoting your medical practice online:

1. Be aware of how patients use their smartphones.

Sixty-two percent of people who own smartphones use them to research medical information. People who move somewhere new or need medical advice for a health issue turn to their phone for answers. One of the most widely used phrases on Google is “near me.”

Additionally, people use their phones to look up all kinds of health and wellness information, from the day’s pollen forecast or air pollution level, to their prescription refill status, to researching medical symptoms.

Depending on your business, you can advertise your practice on one or all of these sites. By showing up continually among your potential patients’ research, your practice will stand out next time they need your services.

People also pay close attention to reviews, so it is always a good idea to ask patients, especially very satisfied ones, to leave feedback online.

2. Learn about your SEO ranking.

To increase the likelihood that customers will find your business through Google or other search engines, you will need to develop a strategy to increase your search engine optimization, or SEO. SEO strategies are important because they can help put your practice at the top of the results page when people search for a doctor near them.

To optimize your SEO, start by filling out your Google “My Business” page. Be sure you are listed in the correct business category, and include the following information:

  • The primary phone number for your practice
  • A clear description of your business
  • Your business hours
  • The address and service area of your practice
  • Reviews from other customers

Improve your local SEO by enhancing your website. It should be secure, fast, and mobile-friendly. Be sure your content includes the optimal keywords for your specialty and industry.

Videos also boost SEO, as they are 50 times more likely to show up organically in searches. Partner with authoritative websites to link to your site, and improve your site authority for more people to find your practice.

3. Pay attention to content marketing.

Research has shown that healthcare topics are the second-most searched content online. People typically search for health-related advice to understand their symptoms, seek medical advice, or schedule an appointment with their doctor.

To generate more leads online, try to create digital content around these topics. Consider the questions that patients ask you most often, and answer those through blog posts or other online content.

Use natural, conversational language. Google’s algorithm is constantly refining search results, and straying further away from long, clunky keywords and phrases. A short, specific keyword will rank higher than a long phrase, like “where to find an OB/GYN in Arkansas.”

Make sure you use one strong call to action on landing pages to incentivize users to make a call or fill out an online appointment form.

4. Invest in a professionally optimized website.

Maintaining a good website entails prioritizing your digital footprint, understanding the importance of digital content, and willingness to invest in a tool that will help new patients learn about your services.

More than 80 percent of people visit a medical practice’s website before booking an appointment. Your website will typically be a patient’s first impression of your business. Enhance user experience by creating a mobile-friendly format, making sure the loading speed is fast, and designing it using high-contrast fonts and colors.

5. Social media as a free referral service.

Think of social media as your most affordable referral service. The ability for customers to interact with brands helps to build trust, camaraderie, and loyalty. Take advantage of video marketing to gain more traction online and appear higher in searches.

If you have a strong presence on social media and regularly engage with an active audience, you might consider investing in social media ads to further grow your audience. Social media ads blend into regular content as people check their feeds, and act as a subtle reminder to contact your business for their healthcare needs.

How to promote your medical practice with digital marketing

Elevating your SEO and online presence makes finding your business far easier for future patients, and makes former and current patients feel reassured about their decision to use you as a provider. Providing valuable, informative content online encourages patients to leave positive reviews, which make the decision to choose your practice easier. This naturally boosts patient referrals, further improving your business traffic.

For more tips and strategies on improving your online footprint, get in touch with our team of healthcare marketing experts today. It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time and effort to improve your digital marketing efforts. We would be happy to create a personalized marketing plan to enhance your business, attract new patients, and leave a lasting impression on those you currently serve.

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20 Strategies to Boost Your Healthcare Marketing Campaigns

20 Strategies to Boost Your Healthcare Marketing Campaigns | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Think about the last time you went online to search for healthcare information. Maybe it was for quick answers about possible causes of the lingering headache you’ve had over the past few weeks. Or maybe you wanted tips on the best way to remove a stubborn splinter from your first grader’s foot.

It isn’t surprising that your first inclination would be to open up a browser in Google – before even calling your doctor’s office. Pew Research Center data shows 77% of all health inquiries begin at a search engine, with 72% of total Internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year.

So, what does this mean for healthcare marketers?

As a result of this change in patient decision-making, digital marketing in healthcare has become critical. Digital helps to successfully communicate with, acquire, engage, and retain patients and physicians.

In today’s digital world, it’s crucial for marketers in any industry to develop a multichannel marketing strategy that reaches consumers on the channels they prefer to use. For healthcare marketers in particular, the challenge is to develop tailored messaging across channels that promotes patient engagement and a healthier society overall.

Let’s take a look at 20 campaign best practices for healthcare marketers to improve their organizations’ bottom line and create better outcomes for patients:

1. Allocate sufficient digital marketing spend

Digital marketing isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a new concept: Statistics show that an average firm allocates about 42% of their marketing budget to online expenditures.

The trick, however, is for marketers to determine where and how to allocate the online portion of their budget among various channels (i.e., search engine marketing, online display advertising, social media, mobile, etc.). With a healthcare CRM system in place, marketers can expand their patient marketing reach by building, deploying, and tracking multichannel messaging that maximizes their return on investment.

2. Develop a collaborative process for the marketing team

Given the wealth of patient information available to today’s healthcare marketers, it’s critical to not only integrate multiple data sources in a healthcare CRM but also to align marketing efforts with other departments (sales, contact center, etc.) across the organization. A truly integrated marketing program requires a cross-disciplinary approach that leverages patient insights from across departments and ensures a coordinated effort and consistency.

3. Incorporate new ideas and channels

A cross-disciplinary strategy can’t just be added on top of existing marketing infrastructure, however. In order to maximize marketing effectiveness, it’s important to keep current with the shifting healthcare landscape, incorporating new ideas and channels into the program as needed.

FICO data, for example, shows 80% of consumers now want the option of using their smartphones to interact with their healthcare providers. What this means for marketers is that the consumer public has gone mobile – and marketers must tailor programs and messaging accordingly.

4. Align with consumer information

Despite increasing pressure to move toward digital media, marketers also need to be able to show a positive ROI associated with digital efforts. The best way to do this is to align marketing efforts to consumer insights and business intelligence.

This is where the analytics side of the healthcare CRM platform comes into play. After data has been compiled and integrated into the system, marketers can explore and analyze information, attributing marketing efforts to clinical and financial outcomes.

5. Leverage social media

As noted in Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 92% of consumers trust opinions from people they know. In the healthcare space, this translates to patients trusting online healthcare content that comes from doctors and nurses.

The challenge, of course, is getting this inevitably busy group to contribute the kind of content patients are looking to consume. One way to do this is encouraging patients to educate themselves on certain topics using live tweeting. In 2013, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center capture the attention of thousands of twitter users by live-tweeting a total knee replacement. This ultimately built interest and trust in the hospital.

6. Be proactively reactive

No industry is experiencing as much transformation as healthcare is. For healthcare marketers, this presents both challenges and opportunities. Proactive marketers will watch for changes in trends and consumer interests and behaviors – and be ready to respond.

By leveraging real-time reporting and analysis, marketers can take advantage of unexpected opportunities (i.e., mobile marketing, live tweeting, etc.) that may not have been possible in the past.

7. Don’t be afraid to experiment – and fail

In 2015, the Apple Watch was released. This wearable technology initially intended to provide a way to keep users connected to their phones without holding their phone. However, the Apple Watch’s utility for healthcare has quickly been realized – users are now making healthy lifestyle changes, including walking more often, making healthier dietary choices, and playing sports more regularly. In fact, 83% of Apple Watch owners believe the device positively contributes to their overall health.

The resulting imperative for healthcare marketers is to embrace change – because change in the healthcare industry is here to stay. It can be daunting to explore a new tactic or channel, as opposed to relying on proven techniques, but without experimentation, it’s impossible to know what works and what doesn’t.

8. Establish trust

As any healthcare marketer knows, establishing trust is integral to patient engagement from the first office visit throughout the entire care continuum. But creating the type of connections that inspire proactive patient care over the long term is easier said than done.

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics shows that 40% of online healthcare advice comes from social media, providing healthcare marketers with the opportunity to engage a large percentage of patients via the networks they seek out for medical information.

9. Leverage competitor intelligence

As the $3.5 trillion healthcare industry continues to evolve, competition among healthcare organizations will become increasingly significant. Proactive healthcare marketers understand this and keep current on what their competitors are doing to inform their own healthcare marketing strategies and remain top of mind with consumers.

Specific tactics will vary among marketers, but examples of how to leverage competitor intelligence might include competitive auditing or simply monitoring competitors’ social profiles. The end result is understanding the competition and getting actionable strategies based on analysis.

10. Look toward the future – and stay grounded

Since the nature of digital marketing is to be constantly evolving, effective healthcare marketers make it a priority to be aware of shifts in legislation, technology, innovation, etc. At the same time, marketers may also need to take a “wait and see” approach in some areas.

As noted above, we have already seen the impact of newer communications channels such as mobile and social media on the healthcare industry. The question then becomes: How can healthcare marketers prepare themselves for the next wave of digital marketing innovation?

 

11. Reach the right audience with advanced targeting

The goal of any marketing campaign is to reach the right people with a message that resonates with them. Employing the right tactics to reach this audience can also help save some of the marketing budget. Advanced targeting and geo-fencingare two strategies healthcare marketers can use to ensure relevant users see their campaign.

Advanced targeting takes advantage of predictive modeling to score potential patients in order to identify and target those who are most likely to respond positively to communication. When advertising on social media, targeting options like “interest targeting” ensures the right audience sees health systems’ ads.

Geo-fencing allows marketers to target users on their phones within a 5-10 mile radius of a specific location, and can be used competitively. For example, a hospital could serve ads to people who are waiting at a nearby facility.

12. Take advantage of marketing automation

Certain marketing tactics, like email appointment reminders and follow up care instructions, are repetitive and can actually see higher levels of engagement if automated. In fact, marketing automation can help transform healthcare marketing departments from a reactive body to a proactive one.

For the long lead attribution periods of certain service lines, marketing automation can help nurture inactive consumers until they convert, or support ongoing engagement of existing patients over a long period of time. The goal is to automate the communication process so health systems continue to engage their patients and build loyalty over time, even outside of the clinician’s office.

13. Try A/B testing

A/B testing is defined as a method of comparing two versions of a web page or app against each other to determine which one performs better. In practice, this tactic allows healthcare marketers to make data-informed decisions about patient communication and messaging to ensure they have the greatest impact on their audience.

When starting out with A/B testing on a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to define metric goals so that marketers can measure success effectively. Other tips include starting small and taking it slow – marketers should make their first test on button colors, for example, to see which results in the highest click-through rate, and give each test sufficient time to run to get an accurate result.

14. Make strategic adjustments in real time

Even the greatest campaign idea could fall flat with target audiences after launching. For that reason, it’s critical that marketers track performance over time to get an accurate representation of which campaigns and messaging work best. With this insight, they can optimize campaigns in real time to ensure they’re getting the most out of the spend.

The benefit of digital marketing (versus traditional marketing tactics) is being able to pivot a marketing strategy throughout the campaign timeline to optimize engagement and boost success.

15. Employ remarketing

Remarketing advertisements can be a great tool to re-engage users who visited a site and dropped off. This digital tactic allows marketers to reach this audience by showing display or social media ads about their practice while they’re on other sites. In fact, remarketing can be a great way to lower the cost-per-acquisition (CPA)of campaigns.

Gary Druckenmiller, Evariant’s VP of Client Solutions, notes that your marketing dollars will be going down the drain without a remarketing campaign in place because many visitors start activity on sites but simply don’t convert. Setting up a remarketing campaign in Google AdWords, Facebook, or Bing can help keep CPA low and conversions high.

16. Focus on the user experience

Healthcare consumers are now expecting personalized communication and higher quality of care from their clinicians. The healthcare industry can borrow from the retail’s marketing tactics to succeed in a consumer-driven market. For example, marketers should make sure their website is optimized for mobile users – studies have shown 79 percent of users will search for another site if the one they land on doesn’t meet expectations.

Health systems should also strive to provide holistic experiences for consumers and patients. All customer touch points, including the website, emails, requesting an appointment, and online patient tools, should be optimized and designed to offer a similar experience for users. 

17. Meet consumer research with content

Due to the value-based trend in healthcare, research has become a big component of consumers’ health decisions. In fact, prior to booking an appointment, 77 percentof patients used search, 83 percent used hospital sites, and 50 percent used health information sites.

As a result of this, healthcare marketers need to empower their consumers with relevant, transparent information on their website. Effective healthcare content marketing answers common inquiries that patients or consumers may be searching for, such as information about services lines, patient portal access, physician directories, and insurance coverage.

18. Add conversion opportunities

Any digital marketing campaign would be amiss without a call to action. For new website visitors, frequent opportunities to “Schedule an Appointment” and “Talk to a Representative” could urge them to schedule a visit or learn more about a particular facility.

For existing patients, easy patient portal access and downloadable resources can help users quickly access medical records or give them the opportunity to learn more about a previously diagnosed condition. Healthcare typically has lengthy lead times – for example, from first ad clicked to coming in for an appointment – so a clear CTA can help guide users to take the next step.

19. Track and measure ROI

In order to create successful digital marketing campaigns, marketers need to know what worked and what didn’t in past campaigns, including which content users find engaging and how many people actually become patients.

To get this insight, marketers must set goals prior to launching a campaign, as well as track and measure success and ROI after it has run its course. This practice is necessary to successfully engage consumers in a competitive market.

With this insight, marketers can answer bigger questions, such as “Was this campaign worth the investment?” and “What is the most profitable digital marketing tactic for our health system?”

20. Don’t forget about physicians

Digital marketing tactics shouldn’t just be used to acquire or engage patients. Research has shown that combining physician with consumer marketing initiatives can result in significant operational and financial returns, such as increased customer retention, and increased patient visits.

One major health system used a combination of traditional marketing, physician relationship management, and digital marketing to target consumers and referring providers with online display ads, PPC, and emails about new physicians. As a resultof this year-long campaign, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC Health) saw 1,322 unique new primary care physician appointments scheduled.

Final Thoughts

A shifting healthcare landscape demands a proactive approach to healthcare that is more efficient, effective, and personal. As a result, the healthcare industry must meet consumer demands with effective digital marketing techniques. The above tips represent a few of the ways healthcare marketers can leverage their messaging to educate, inspire, motivate, and engage consumers to the extent that they become actively involved in their own care and healthier over the long term.

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9 Ways Patients' Demands are Fueling the Digital Revolution in Healthcare

9 Ways Patients' Demands are Fueling the Digital Revolution in Healthcare | Social Media and Healthcare | Scoop.it

Like most industries, healthcare is rapidly going digital.

However, in the digital world, patients no longer see themselves as just patients. They view themselves as consumers of healthcare products and services. And they want access to high-quality healthcare that won’t break the bank.

In their quest to keep patients satisfied, clinicians and providers turned to technology-based solutions.

Patients Are Setting the Pace for the Digital Revolution

There’s mounting evidence that patients are at the forefront of the digital revolution in healthcare.

According to Healthcare Weekly, “70 percent of healthcare businesses have implemented telemedicine in some way as a way of diversifying their practices and connecting with patients in a way that better suits them.”

That’s only one example of how patients’ wishes and needs are changing the healthcare landscape. In this article, you’ll learn about nine more key changes driven by patients.

  1. The rise of on-demand healthcare

As consumers, modern patients are putting more emphasis on convenience and experiences. That’s why on-demand healthcare has gained more and more traction in the past few years.

On-demand services like telehealth apps and telemedicine platforms take healthcare right to patients’ virtual “doorsteps” (example: TeladocHello AlvinBabylon Health). Some providers and clinicians even make home visits prompted by mHealth apps.

So, what’s fueling the proliferation of on-demand healthcare, beside patients’ wishes and needs? The rise of mobile technology.

Mobile phone ownership is empowering patients more than ever, enabling them to make more informed healthcare decisions. Over 77 percent of Americans already own a smartphone, laptop or tablet and 65 percent of physician-patient communications are mobile in nature.

  1. Millennials and virtual care

Millennials (people born after 1980) have been widely criticized for their lifestyle choices. It’s been said that they are the death of the American Dream, given their inclination for renting versus buying a home.

Regardless of your opinion on the generation, one thing can be said, they are rapidly changing the culture to be that of one based on convenience and efficiency, with a high level of focus on technology. And they have been as vocal about their preferences for healthcare services.

According to a recent Accenture survey, millenials are inclined towards non-conventional healthcare models.They are big fans of virtual care (VR), retail clinics and digital health devices.

In fact, 16 percent of survey respondents said they are dissatisfied with doctor’s office waiting times, and 13 percent aren’t happy with the location of their physicians.

As a result, 39 percent of millennials participating in the survey said they have already switched from seeing a primary care provider in person to virtual care, and 41 percent said they visited retail clinics instead of seeing a primary care provider.

  1. Gen Z and retail clinics

Similar to Millennials, Gen Z (people born between 1995 and 2015) have developed an appetite for retail clinics and virtual care. Having been brought up in the digital era, these younger patients want healthcare that integrates emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Gen Z is foregoing its primary care providers as well. The same Accenture survey found that only 55 of these patients have a primary care provider, compared to 84 percent of baby boomers.

  1. Patient-facing apps

It seems like new patient-facing mHealth apps are being launched every other day. Thankfully, cutting-edge medical device software development combined with a data-driven marketing approach has made it possible for mHealth apps to be more intuitive, minimizing patient risk.

Companies like OrthogonalSvitla and Integrant are developing medical device software that make connected devices safer and more efficient than ever before.

Unfortunately, not all patient-facing apps are created equal. In fact, less than 50 percent of patient-facing apps available on the App Store and Google Play have the potential to improve outcomes and engagement for patients.

This is the reason why Mount Sinai Health System has developed a robust platform called RxUniverse, enabling doctors to prescribe mHealth apps they deem useful and relevant to their patients.

  1. Improving customer service with chatbots

Excellent customer service has always been extremely important for patients, but has become even more so in the digital age. This is where chatbots come into the picture. Chatbots not only improve customer services, but they also act as point-of-care for providers and as medical assistants for patients.

In addition, chatbots are an asset to care teams and managers. Take Cancer Chatbot, for instance, an AI-powered chatbot that helps chemo patients better manage their care by offering them tricks and tips.

  1. Using social media to enhance and track patient experience

The digital age and social media go hand in hand. Companies across the board are having to create social media strategies that are both impactful to their customers and meaningful to their business plans. But how does this correlate to the medical field?

Like most brands, social media allows healthcare organizations to create interactive experiences with their patients. It also allows medical industries to access more data about their customers as well as track health trends in real-time.

  1. Healthcare for every budget

One of the most well-known issues in the US healthcare system is the high price of life saving drugs. But thanks to new apps, patients are now able to shop around for the best possible drug prices, all from the comfort and convenience of their smartphones.

This is especially important for low-income populations or those living in remote areas. This segment of the population may not otherwise have access to these medical services.

  1. Shoppable healthcare

In a race to make healthcare more transparent and affordable for the patient, providers started offering digital solutions for comparing the quality and prices of medical services and prescription drugs. In a matter of seconds, customers can now discover if there’s a cheaper – yet equally effective – alternative to the medication prescribed by their doctor.

  1. Centralized, more accessible patient data

Smart, patient-driven, digital healthcare has forced hospitals and practices to seek software solutions that make patient data accessible from a secure, unified system. AI command centers, for example, leverage the massive amounts of data generated by hospitals to increase operational efficiency.

Conclusion

As they become more educated about healthcare, patients are demanding more personalized, affordable, transparent and convenient healthcare services that integrate with technology.

Consumers are not only willing to be monitored wirelessly using mHealth apps, but they are also taking an increased interested in their health. Patients want to work in tandem with their providers to better manage their conditions.

In response, healthcare providers and organizations are turning to technology-based solutions to meet their patients’ needs. Healthcare organizations and clinicians are shifting from fragmented care delivery systems to more integrated models that will better serve the patient.

In other words, members from across the healthcare sector, from caregivers to non-profits, are harmonizing their services to ensure that the patient is an active participant in their health across the spectrum.

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