How Healthcare Marketing is Evolving
This blog post was reviewed in August 2023 and updated to ensure it contains the most current and accurate information.
Providers Competing for Patients are Investing in Strategies, Technology
Billboards and TV ads were once the primary media healthcare providers used to market their services. But billboards aren’t targeted – of the hundreds or thousands of people who pass a billboard in a day, how many are actually in need of specific medical services? (And with more people working from home these days, billboards don’t have the same reach they used to).
TV advertising offers some degree of targeting, but the audience for traditional TV has been shrinking steadily over the past few years. With billboards and television ads losing impact, operators of healthcare practices, hospitals, and healthcare networks have begun investing in new ways of reaching potential patients. Here are some key considerations as you begin to develop your institution’s marketing strategy.
Digital Marketing Campaigns for Healthcare
Facebook ads, Google Ads, and YouTube ads can be effective ways to reach new patients, although healthcare providers must be mindful of HIPAA regulations when using these tools. For example, healthcare providers cannot target internet users by health conditions, but they can target demographics such as occupation or Facebook interests. There are certain nuances to marketing in healthcare that require some extra experience and specialized knowledge.
Disclaimer: Rules about healthcare privacy and marketing are always evolving, and they may vary from one social media platform to the next.
Digital marketing can also help in the retention of existing patients, but providers must have permission from a patient in order to send them marketing messages. A double opt-in process – one in which a patient agrees to receive marketing materials, then confirms that by validating their email address or entering a numeric code received in a text message. This is a marketing best practice and keeps your marketing from being mistakenly labeled as spam.
Improving the Patient Experience
Modern patients have more options than ever before when it comes to healthcare providers, and they approach their healthcare choices in the same way that they do other commercial goods and services: they’re looking for positive reviews, easy access to online resources and information, and personalized options. Modern patients will expect the ability to schedule appointments and complete paperwork online, automated appointment reminders, and telehealth options. They will expect their providers to be transparent, and informative, and work to build trust.
To improve the patient experience, healthcare marketers can use technology, such as:
DocMeIn – This free online appointment scheduling software is designed for small and solo health practices. A la carte pricing for add-on services, such as text message reminders, helps providers get the most benefit from this software with minimal costs.
QueueDr – This scheduling software reduces patient wait times by bumping up patient appointments to fill cancellations and no-shows.
- Doxy Me – This HIPAA-compliant, secure video conferencing software can be integrated with electronic health records, and patients can pay providers through this platform.
Rethinking Healthcare Websites
A website is the foundation for digital marketing and for the overall patient experience. Visitors want to know what services are offered, but they may also be looking for wellness content, provider bios, and content that demonstrates a practice’s provider-patient philosophy.
BoxCrush has built new websites for healthcare providers and launched multifaceted marketing campaigns to generate reviews, improve patient engagement, and drive new patients to conversion goals. We also have experience navigating some of the more difficult aspects of medical marketing to ensure a safe, secure, and smooth experience for patients. Ask us how we can help you attract and retain patients.