In the age of mass digitization, an effective marketing strategy for healthcare is key to educating, retaining, engaging, and motivating patients, whether potential, existing, and new. In particular, and we will see this in this post, the success of a brand’s communication initiatives in such a complex environment inevitably hinges on the success of an inbound marketing plan that is designed specifically for the healthcare sector.
Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector succeeds in the feat of providing immediately actionable answers to highly articulated needs.
- It supports rethinking the model of care that digital transformation makes possible. It is Digital Health: a “Connected Care” system within which, thanks to the latest advances in mobility and connectivity, health care services are increasingly connected and communication distances between patients, physicians, and providers are increasingly reduced.
- It fully grasps the specificity of its target audience. In the healthcare sector, the consumer is also a citizen, a user and, above all, a patient (and therefore a person who is probably experiencing a moment of fragility). Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector makes it possible to enhance the relationship with this hybrid consumer: it addresses the micro moments of the funnel by avoiding focusing exclusively on conversions and sales, but enriches the “customer-patient” journey with content that is dedicated to enhancing their knowledge. In other words, inbound realizes a unique marketing approach that does not end in the initial stages of the relationship but develops over time, contributing to centering and enriching the reputation of the care provider and also to creating a positive patient experience.
- At its best, it translates the concept of “patient-centeredness” into concrete initiatives, through the search for and distribution of correct, transparent, and personalized information and the commitment to the implementation of interactive features that can facilitate access to services and activate a true brand-user dialogue.
Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector can make a decisive contribution to increasing the knowledge, autonomy, and awareness of the patient himself. It also “imposes” an additional commitment on those working in the Healthcare sector who are called upon to demonstrate greater accountability with respect to their own practices and goals in all of their actions. Before delving into the role of inbound marketing in the healthcare sector, let’s try to quickly describe the arena where different players face off in order to convince both prospective patients and those already acquired.
An extremely vital industry and market: some numbers
If the global healthcare industry–composed of thousands of companies, medical practices, nonprofits, universities, and government organizations–was worth nearly $8.5 trillion in 2018, by the end of 2022 it is on track to exceed $10 trillion (source: policyadvice.net).
The growth prospects are enormous. The question then becomes about being able to stand out in an environment that is very promising but at the same time extremely competitive.
Reaching the target audience: where to start?
The strategies that companies tend to implement most often start with search engines (especially Google) and secondarily with social networks.
- On the internet, 70,000 searches per minute are related to Healthcare (7% of Google). If we dwell on this figure, we can conclude that more and more patients are choosing their medical and care providers based on what they see online.
- About 77% of people use search engines to start a care path (source: Milestone). That makes them, at this stage of the funnel, the most used, most influential, and most engaging channels.
- According to a recent survey by WEGOHealth, social media users use at least one social platform to access health-related information or to support their decision making. The top platforms for consulting news and getting informed are Facebook and Twitter, while YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram are chosen for a lighter type of disclosure. Specifically, 97% of respondents use Facebook to connect with others who share similar situations and to explore new products or services.
- As of 2021, 79% of users turn to social media to answer specific questions related to personal health. Many of these conversations take place in private groups or with other patients.
How to gain visibility and build valuable relationships with (potential) patients?
The statistics we just mentioned seem to indicate that building a brand-patient relationship must come through a solid and authoritative web presence, and that, for organizations, intercepting potential patients is primarily about directing traffic to their sites or social channels. Again – and this is a constant in markets in the age of mass digitization – the imperative is to build a relationship with one’s target audience, a relationship that can last over time, offering experiences that live up to ever-higher expectations.
Through the “right” inbound strategy–developed from the collection and management of available data–healthcare companies can lay the foundation for creating the trust that is able to turn potential customers into leads and finally into acquired customers.
The question we need to ask ourselves at this point is: How do we structure an effective inbound strategy? The answer definitely points toward content.
Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector: the power of personalized and interactive content
Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector unfolds its full power only if it can rely on a careful and calibrated content strategy. Developing a content strategy, on the other hand, is a long-term process in which market research, keyword selection, and customer insights are combined.
To be able to capture in depth the needs, urgencies, and desires shared by the target audience, the most valuable resource is the knowledge:
- of the individual patient-consumer, not just a biographical or demographic profile but habits, behaviors, and preferences;
- of the company itself, with its value system and goals;
- of the industry in general (competitors, dynamics, cultural and technological innovations).
All of this information must be selected, organized, and analyzed to be able to produce insights that are useful for making the best decisions. But the results of this process are often very difficult to present to the end user in an immediate and understandable form.
The most advanced forms of inbound marketing seek to overcome precisely this critical issue: from the data they build stories that are able to return the uniqueness of the patient’s personal situation in a narrative form. Not only that, the introduction of interactive elements allows a wide variety of operations that can be performed remotely: from payments, to booking an appointment, to downloading documents.
Doxee Pweb®, which we will come back to later, is the solution designed by Doxee for companies that combines the possibility of personalization with full interactivity. In fact, it is able to represent data in a way that is easy to use and understand, and thanks to features such as interactive charts, navigable and filterable tables, dynamic forms and smart calls to action, it allows the user to perform a series of actions, such as exploring and representing their data in a way that is easier to understand, calculating the costs of a treatment, and obtaining more complete information on a certain aspect of the care pathway.
Doxee for inbound marketing in the healthcare industry: Doxee Pweb® and Doxee Pvideo®
We should have guessed by now: the factor that enables healthcare players to achieve their business goals is trust. Trust is a fundamental principle, and without it, you can’t connect with the public, to get to know them, to direct their choices. Without trust, there is no growth.
Even when faced with a very diverse range of organizations, inbound marketing in the healthcare sector offers one of the most effective and efficient approaches to both making connections and cementing relationships and growing the business of the enterprise. What are the most powerful and flexible inbound tools available to companies? Let’s look at them together.
Doxee Pweb®: a new way to interact with your business
In industries related to the provision of ongoing services, such as healthcare, customer contact points are often restricted to consultation of referrals, estimates for services to be provided, and calendars for possible reservations.
If poorly managed, these contact opportunities turn into administrative delays, service communications destined to go astray, and uncontrolled calls to the call center. Traditional solutions such as PDFs–perhaps sent as email attachments–fail to capture the customer’s attention or interest, do not adequately take advantage of mobile devices, and do not facilitate website linkage and online payment mechanisms.
Doxee Pweb® is the product dedicated to the production and distribution of personalized microsites that presents the individual patient with interactive and highly personalized web content that can support his or her multichannel journey. Doxee Pweb® combines the flexibility and interactivity of a web page with the engagement capabilities of personalized content, maximizing conversion rates and providing customers with rich, selected information based on their tastes and needs.
Publishing test and exam results or suggesting product or treatment prospectuses become web experiences that facilitate content exploration and understanding through interactive charts, expandable tables, filters, and sorting.
Doxee Pweb® is most useful in an ongoing branding and patient relationship-building phase. Its interactive features such as calls to action, forms, and chatbot integration transform a channel historically relegated to simple passive consultation into a two-way communication tool that serves to increase user awareness, empowers the user to exercise control over their data, and remotely proceed to booking and payment for services.
Doxee Pweb® is both a repository of content of interest (because it was chosen based on user needs) and a transparent and easy-to-use transactional channel. From a strictly commercial point of view, it offers the possibility of implementing purchasing processes by increasing conversion opportunities and transforms periodic communications into a valuable tool to support upselling and cross-selling strategies.
Native integration with Doxee Pvideo® enables the inclusion of explanatory videos to inform users on how to access or use a service, which is useful in onboarding, for example, to provide a complete cross-channel experience.
Doxee Pvideo®: creating engagement through personalized storytelling
While patients’ expectations are increasingly high, presenting oneself not only as the best alternative but also as a reliable intermediary is becoming increasingly difficult: the difficulties for healthcare companies start from the very first moments of the encounter. Personalized videos provide important help at this stage because they manage to attract the attention of the target audience much more than other types of content.
Doxee Pvideo®, in particular, has an even greater ability to create engagement. In fact, they incorporate a comprehensive set of personalization features that make it possible to create individual videos based on each recipient’s data, always with the utmost respect for current security and privacy regulations. An update on a treatment that has already been prescribed, reminders to take a certain medication, brief tutorials on how to carry out a treatment in the right way: these are all care services that can be communicated far more effectively through a video and are much more engaging because they can rely on timely knowledge of the patient’s medical situation.
Each component of the videos is built around the patient’s data: scenes are dynamically edited to compose a unique narrative, rich with personalizable text and audio elements. Doxee Pvideo® is the product created to create and distribute personalized, interactive videos, transforming data into unique picture narratives rich in interactive features: in-depth pop-ups, links to data collection landing pages, calls to action that allow you to finalize a purchase or make a payment.
Inbound marketing in the healthcare sector finds Doxee’s interactive experience line of products exceptional tools through which to enhance the patient experience. Doxee Pvideo® and Doxee Pweb® find use all along the way, offering any content strategy the opportunity to take full advantage of the benefits of digitization: content personalization and interactivity, which are essential to building an open space for patient conversation.