Saturday, 1 February 2020

How To Properly Convey Just How Essential Your Healthcare Services Really Are

These days, people of all types and from all backgrounds are more concerned about their health than ever - and they're increasingly turning to modern technology to help get the assistance they seek.

According to one recent study, approximately 5% of all searches conducted via Google are directly health-related. Based on that, it should come as no surprise that patients who end up booking healthcare appointments with local providers tend to execute about three times the number of searches that those who don't. Another study revealed that about 60% of all consumers say that they ran at least one search before scheduling an appointment with not only "traditional" healthcare providers like optometrists, but also physical therapists and even nursing homes, too.

All of this means that in the modern era, technology is absolutely one of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to connecting with not only the right type of patient as a healthcare provider, but also as many of them as possible.

Unfortunately, all of your competitors know it, too.

With so many people turning to the Internet to get answers to healthcare questions both large and small, and to find providers in their area that they know they can trust, the market is growing more crowded than ever on a daily basis. Therefore, having a digital presence is no longer enough to "get the job done" in this particular context. To lay the groundwork for true success that will carry your practice into the next decade, you need to position yourself not only as a trusted source of information but as a provider that people can depend on when times get tough.

Doing so will likely require you to reconsider a lot of what you think you know about healthcare marketing, but make no mistake - your practice will come out all the better for it.

Reaching the Modern Patient on the Internet: Breaking Things Down

By far, one of the most important things you can do to guarantee success in the digital marketing age as a healthcare organization involves crafting collateral that showcases not only what you can do, but what you can do for your patients.

Case in point: the healthcare/medical products that your practice offers access to. Whether you're working on a new website for your practice or are in the process of sending out that next monthly newsletter to patients, don't focus on what a piece of equipment can do in the most literal sense. You're talking about highly specialized technology that most people have a hard time grappling with on the best of days.

Instead, focus on what those same products can do in terms of the unique value they provide. Don't rely on sheets of technical specifications and instead go into detail about what conditions they treat. Talk about the problems that they can help someone solve. Talk about how someone's life will be better after their experience than it was before they arrived.

You're essentially conveying the exact same information about what your capabilities are, but you're doing so in a totally different way. The former is cold and calculated, while the latter is far more emotional and naturally engaging.

This same patient-centric focus should carry on into other areas when you create a website, too. Absolutely every design choice you make - from the images you use to the font choice to the language and beyond - should draw someone into your practice instead of push them away. You need to position yourself not only as an authority (besides, your degrees already help enormously to that end), but as someone who genuinely cares about the health and wellbeing of every last person that walks through your door.

Even something as seemingly simple as a business card maker like Visme (which I founded) can help tremendously in that regard. By paying careful attention to things like color and font selection, you can subtly convey that you're more than just another healthcare provider. You're a friend who only wants what is best for someone and who is willing to do anything in your power to make that happen. For a lot of people, this alone can make the difference between choosing one provider over another.

People dread going to the doctor not only because they're afraid that they'll receive bad news - but because of the impression they generally have of who they'll be receiving that news from. If you can use your digital collateral to instantly create the impression that you're someone who genuinely cares and who has the capabilities to help people during stressful and emotional times, you'll absolutely come out all the better for it.

Even More Healthcare Marketing Best Practices

On the subject of establishing yourself as an authority and still remaining compassionate at the same time, one of the best opportunities you have involves crafting a blog for your practice's website. Head to a site like Respona and conduct as much research as possible into what your ideal patients really care about. What questions do they keep asking over and over again? What are their fears? Can you craft a 500 word blog post (complete with images, of course) to help relieve some of those fears? Are there certain misconceptions that you can put an end to once and for all?

These are all a perfect opportunity to not only provide people with something inherently valuable free of charge (in this case, that "value" is information and education), but to also remain at the top of someone's mind all throughout their healthcare journey. At that point, when they are ready to choose a healthcare provider and make their next appointment, you've increased the chances exponentially that the provider in question will end up being you.

At the same time, you'll also want to make sure you're taking your own personal blend of conversation directly to the people, meeting them not necessarily where you want them to be but where they currently are. This means creating a "Google My Business" page to make it easier for people in your area to find you in the first place. This means maintaining a healthy social media presence so that you can interact with people via a communications channel that they're comfortable with.

You could even offer to speak to local businesses as a free, "lo-fi" way to market your practice. Healthy employees tend to be more productive employees on average, and that is something that all business owners care about regardless of industry. Reach out to local business via sites like LinkedIn and ask if you can come in for a consultation, seminar or workshop. Even if the effort only nets you one new patient, it's still better than what you started off with.

At the end of the day, there's a deluge of healthcare related information on the Internet and a lot of it can be difficult to wade through. People are more concerned with their health than ever, but they're also feeling overwhelmed. Anything you can do to help them get over that and take back control of their lives will set your practice up for a dramatic level of success - which is why healthcare marketing in the modern era is and will remain so important over the next decade and beyond.

About the Author

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.

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