When the pandemic arrived, it overturned norms in every industry, including healthcare. Suddenly, business as usual became an odd phrase. Consequently, telehealth and digital marketing for healthcare businesses is one of the main topics of discussion in the industry right now.
Quarantines and social distancing altered how we communicate on a daily basis. In healthcare, this meant a fundamental change that some practitioners weren’t ready for. However, technology is becoming increasingly integral to a healthcare facility’s existence.
Telehealth and Technology Adoption
COVID-19 has made video consultations a reality across the healthcare industry.
In some locations, telehealth is practically the only way for healthcare providers to remain open and readily available to patients. Consequently, it’s a smart idea to revise your geographic targeting plan to account for fewer people traveling to your location and fully prepare for the continued increased use of telehealth.
You need to eliminate any technical issues associated with virtual consultations. For example, don’t let patients sit on their smartphones waiting too long for a virtual consultation to begin. They will become just as impatient with a virtual waiting room as they will with a real one.
In addition, iron out any video/audio issues associated with telehealth. This includes something as simple as ensuring that physicians conducting video consultations are in a room that doesn’t compromise audio quality (such as a room that echoes or a loud air handling system that makes it hard for callers to hear the doctor properly.
The Benefits of Telehealth and Digital Marketing for Healthcare Businesses
Without video conferencing and consultations, many in the healthcare industry would have difficulty functioning at all. Fortunately, the lack of face-to-face communication doesn’t mean effective interaction cannot take place. Virtual counseling with existing and prospective patients enables you to remain accessible and provide information. It’s quite possible that when we look back on these events, virtual counseling will be remembered as a key component that kept everything together.
If you’re making use of virtual counseling (and you should), be sure that all current and prospective patients know about it. Send out emails discussing this valuable form of communication. Get on social media and talk it up. Add it as a service to your website and public business listings, such as your Google My Business account. Discuss how it works and reinforce why it’s beneficial.
When using telehealth, you have delivered an immediate source of help for those in need of treatment. A visual connection to you and your professional space serves to underscore your trust level with new patients. There are other benefits as well:
- The patient and the counselor can conduct the session from any location and from any device.
- It’s easy to invite patients to a session through SMS or email.
- Patients can wait in virtual waiting rooms for their session to begin.
- Sharing images and documents is easy.
- Sessions can be recorded and reviewed at a later date when necessary.
How Telehealth and Digital Marketing for Healthcare Businesses are Affected
Your marketing strategies must adapt to the new normal. For example, PCs and laptops are being viewed more by prospective patients who are still working remotely. As a result, display ads will temporarily work and convert better.
Organic SEO is always important. For it to work, your website and blogs require more fresh, timely content. This is ideal because you’ll want to upload COVID-specific content, such as updates about how you are dedicated to keeping the community safe through increased cleaning and sterilization procedures, etc.
Paid ads have become even more hyper-localized due to a minimalized desire and ability to travel. It’s likely this hyper-localization will apply for the immediate future.
Healthcare Digital Marketing Steps To Take Right Now
Build up your SEO and PPC efforts and market confidently through the pandemic and beyond. These have always been important healthcare digital marketing tools. The pandemic didn’t change that. In fact, it only emphasized it.
During the shutdown, virtually all attention shifted online as a primary research channel. That probably won’t change anytime soon. In fact, it may have signaled a long-term shift in how people conduct their lives.
Take advantage of the fact that you have a large captive audience due to pandemic conditions. Provide effective educational messaging and content that addresses the concerns of patients.
Telehealth and Digital Marketing for Healthcare Businesses is the Way of the Present—and the Future
Healthcare digital marketing is the key to securing a more secure future. The pandemic accelerated changes that were already underway. Telehealth, for example, is likely to become a permanent fixture in healthcare. It’s exact role once the pandemic is over, however, remains to be seen. Clearly, telehealth and digital marketing for healthcare businesses will be how centers not only survive but thrive in this difficult time.