of patients perform online research before booking an appointment
It's a given that your patient's experience should always be top of mind, both in office and online. But do you know how much their online experience impacts your bottom line? With 77% of patients performing online research before booking an appointment, a patient's online experience is crucial to whether they will convert from lead into customer. If you focus on creating an exemplary online experience for potential patients, you're bound to see a high ROI.
Acquiring more leads with digital marketing
For healthcare marketers, a patient's digital experience begins with your organization's website. A whopping 83% of patients visit a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. Ensure it's easy to navigate, utilizes a strong SEO strategy (more on that later), loads quickly, and provides a wide array of patient-focused content. It's also important to give potential patients options on how they interact with your brand. Consider offering online appointment booking, a customer service chat bot, electronic patient registration, text reminders, and video appointments.
Make your website mobile responsive and design with mobile in mind. More than 50% of web searches are now performed on a mobile device, and mobile searchers are more likely to convert.
A patient's research doesn't end at a healthcare provider's website—that's just the beginning. Potential patients will be reviewing social media, curated content, news articles, and reviews. To ensure you're getting in front of patients, potential and current, make sure your healthcare marketing plan encompasses a robust range of content for your website, social media, and press pitches. The more high-quality content you can put out, the more likely potential patients will find (and use) your services versus a competitor.
Content to add to your healthcare marketing plan could include:
- Q&A pages on common health issues
- Videos featuring healthcare professionals
- Patient success stories
- In-depth articles focused on chronic illnesses
- Blog posts about healthy living and preventative care
Turning leads into long-term patients
Once a patient has set an appointment, if you're not continuing to digitize their experience, you'll likely lose them. This is especially true for millennials, who generally prefer digital interactions above phone or paper. The key is to make the patient's digital experience simple and quick, while keeping everything HIPAA compliant.
To start, implement online forms on your website to ensure patients can easily sign up for appointments, submit their medical information, communicate with their healthcare professional, and answer health-related questionnaires. It's a win-win for patients, the back office, and healthcare marketers—less paper, more efficiency, better data capture, and higher patient satisfaction. Add patient portals, email campaigns, and various communication channels to your digital marketing mix to turn one-time patients into lifetime customers.
78% of healthcare marketers see their digital presence as the most important piece of growth for their healthcare marketing strategy in 2019.