By Jennifer Christensen CMO
We’ve all had that nightmare healthcare experience of waiting for hours to be seen, and then waiting even longer before your doctor shows up. Then, 15 minutes later, you’re being shuffled right out the door. It should go without saying that this is simply unacceptable — but it only illustrates a problem that has pervaded the healthcare industry for decades: a lack of effective communication.
In today’s interconnected healthcare landscape, patients are now realizing that they have the power to choose which healthcare provider they prefer to wait on — and which one they prefer to pay. For a provider, capitalizing on this simply entails leveraging personable and effective communication skills. Fortunately, this is also where digital marketing comes in.
The thing about digital marketing that’s so exciting is not the advanced tech that we get to use every day. Though the latest technological advances are brilliant and make our jobs easier, it’s how these tools transform communication and offer our clients a stronger bridge to building patient relationships in a genuine, transparent way that makes digital marketing such a great investment for healthcare professionals.
Communication is key in any relationship. So, how has digital marketing transformed healthcare communication? Well, without it, we’d still be passing out flyers and hoping someone heard our latest radio blast.
Are you ready to provide your patients with an enhanced healthcare experience and transform patient communication? Connect with Beacon Media + Marketing today for a free discovery call!
Effective Communication Creates Accessibility
Just like any consumer, patients want results. Today, we live in a world where instant access to whatever we need is almost considered a given. And that’s exactly what your patients want from you — accessibility.
Through digital marketing, your patients can get exactly what they’re looking for without having to “hurry up and wait.” Just consider what real-time accessibility and information through digital marketing can offer your patients:
- Company Culture: Patients can research you and your clinic, decide if you’re a good fit, and take a peek into what an experience at your location is really like. By leveraging digital marketing, in turn, you can leverage your company culture, reviews, and testimonials, and showcase a patient experience that will draw in more patients.
- Telemedicine Services: Patients can access virtual appointments and consultations, receiving immediate medical guidance or advice without physical presence, reducing patient anxiety, promoting convenience, patient safety, and timely healthcare delivery.
- Online Appointment Scheduling: Enables patients to book appointments at their convenience, reducing wait times and providing flexibility in managing their healthcare appointments.
- Educational Content: Sharing informative content online allows patients to access resources that empower them with knowledge about health education, conditions, treatments, and preventive care, fostering informed decision-making and active engagement in their health.
- Interactive Patient Portals: Offer patients secure access to their medical records, test results, and treatment plans, promoting transparency, and allowing them to actively participate in their care journey.
- Social Media Engagement: Utilizing social platforms facilitates direct communication, feedback sharing, and community building, creating a space for patients to ask questions, share experiences, and engage with healthcare providers and peers.
Traditional healthcare communication relied heavily on one-way interactions, often leaving patients powerless. By giving the provider all of the power, this narrowed the potential pool of patients significantly. And while patients remained worried about their health, “care professionals” reaped all of the benefits.
While these methods once served their purpose, they lacked the personalization and real-time engagement that could truly make a difference in patient care. But the advent of digital marketing has ushered in a new era of healthcare communication, one characterized by two-way dialogues, data-driven insights, and a patient-centered approach; one where patients feel more like partners on their care journey.
Fostering Patient-Centric Interactions
Digital marketing enables health professionals to move beyond generic communication and tailor their messages to the specific needs and preferences of individual patients. Through targeted messaging, healthcare organizations can provide relevant and timely information about preventive care, disease management, and treatment options. This personalized approach empowers patients to take an active role in their health decisions, leading to improved adherence to treatment plans and overall better outcomes.
Embracing Real-Time Engagement
Digital marketing tools provide healthcare providers with the ability to engage with patients in real-time, facilitating seamless communication and building stronger relationships. Through secure online portals, patients can access their medical records, schedule appointments, ask questions, and receive updates from their healthcare providers. This real-time engagement fosters trust and transparency, ensuring that patients have access to the information they need, whenever they need it.
Leveraging Data-Driven Insights
Digital marketing platforms also generate a wealth of valuable data about patient preferences, behaviors, and online interactions. For example, healthcare teams can analyze this data to gain deeper insights into their patient population, enabling them to tailor their communication strategies and personalize their outreach efforts. This data-driven approach ensures that healthcare organizations are reaching the right audience with the right message — at the right time.
Harnessing the Power of Digital Tools
The digital marketing landscape offers a wide range of tools and marketing strategies that healthcare providers can leverage to enhance their communication with patients. Here are a few examples:
- Email Marketing: Personalized email campaigns can provide patients with timely updates, educational resources, and reminders about appointments or preventive care recommendations.
- Social Media: Healthcare organizations can use social media platforms to engage with patients, share informative content, create targeted ads through social feeds, and build a strong online community where engagement drives results.
- Patient Portals: Secure online portals offer patients convenient access to their medical records, appointment scheduling, and secure communication with their healthcare providers.
- Content Marketing: Creating informative and engaging content, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, can educate patients about health conditions, treatment options, and lifestyle changes.
- CRM Software: Keeping up with your patient’s health communication is perhaps one of the most important tasks you can engage in. With digital Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, you’ll have a robust toolkit that empowers you and your patient to keep in touch.
Remember, effective physician-patient communication is not just about sending out messages; it’s about understanding the impact of those messages on patient behavior and outcomes. As such, healthcare providers can use various metrics to measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing efforts, such as website traffic, email open rates, social media engagement, and patient satisfaction surveys.
Are you ready to improve your messaging and bring in more patients? Reach out to Beacon Media + Marketing today to learn how we can take your practice to the next level.
Patient-Physician Communication: Diversifying Your Messaging
We want to be clear. Digital marketing is a great asset, but you can rely too much on digital marketing. And it’s best not to get caught on this slippery slope. The key is to leverage digital marketing — but never forget your entire outreach plan.
Here, you have to remember that you’re likely not just serving only one demographic. But if you set up your strategy without taking into consideration the diversity of your community, you’ll end up catering to only one patient pool. For example, targeting your ads and content to a specific audience is one way to go. But if you want to edge out your competition, considering language barriers, cultures, and gender, you need to be able to target everyone without offending a specific group. And digital marketing can make this possible through a multi-layered campaign and targeted messaging.
Lastly, when it comes to campaigns and messaging, the data you collect will be extremely critical to your success. After analyzing, you’ll be able to determine if you need to set up channels to deliver messaging or commercials in Spanish, or if you should target women expecting birth, or those suffering from cancer, cognitive decline, or other ailments.
The Future of Effective Health Communication
When we think of the future of digital marketing and healthcare, we’re really excited about a return to the core values in marketing — and focusing on what patients truly care about. And this speaks to our philosophy of prioritizing people over profit, or what we like to call “profit with a purpose.”
We can see this now in how social media engagement is evolving. People aren’t just sending out friend requests at random anymore. The fact is, your prospective patients are looking for providers with lifestyles, hobbies, and interests that they can connect with on a personal level. The best part is, when you showcase these qualities, who you are becomes part of your brand — and everyone will see it as a genuine expression of your practice.
In addition, the future of digital marketing is increasingly heading toward fully utilizing high-functioning technology, such as advanced AI tools that bring SEO and web content together in a robust way. And as consumers engage with video 80 percent more than written content, short-form video is also an expected direction that will become much more personal and targeted as digital marketing tools evolve.
At the end of the day, while you’re going to ultimately rely on a nurturing doctor-patient relationship, interpersonal skills and patient understanding are going to bring it all together. Just keep in mind that other healthcare professionals are likely going after the same pool of potential patients, but with the ability to leverage digital marketing at your side, you’ll be set up for the future of this shifting dynamic.
Take Your Healthcare Business to the Next Level With Beacon Media + Marketing
Whether you practice general internal medicine, you’re partnered with a group of primary care physicians, or even if you’re part of the World Health Organization, any healthcare system needs marketing. And this is what we do best.
At Beacon, we know firsthand the impact that digital marketing can make — not only on your business but on patient communication and their overall health outcomes. When you can find the synergy between enhancing your marketing efforts and improving the lives of your patients, this is exactly where you want to be — and we can help get you there.
At Beacon Media + Marketing, we know that your patients matter most to you. So, naturally, you want to provide them with the most comfortable and seamless healthcare experience possible. And with digital marketing, you can achieve this result.
Our team is well-versed in communication and messaging in the healthcare space, from mental health clinics to functional medicine practices. Whether designing the perfect paid ads or creating the best UX-driven website experience for your clients, we’ll deliver it on a personal level that connects with your specific clients.
Are you ready to improve your patients’ lives as well as to bring more prospective patients to your door? Reach out to Beacon Media + Marketing today to learn how we can take your practice to the next level.