The Crucial Role of Marketing in Hospital Virtual Care Success

The Crucial Role of Marketing in Hospital Virtual Care Success

Last year, nearly a quarter of U.S. patients used telehealth services – a dramatic increase from pre-pandemic utilization of 5%.1 It’s a trend that the healthcare industry predicts will continue, and for good reason: Patients like it.

While patient demand for hybrid care grows, many hospitals struggle to fully capitalize on the opportunity. The right marketing strategy helps hospitals scale existing telehealth services and lays the foundation for future program expansion by meeting patients exactly where they want to be: Online. Dive into the case for increasing emphasis on virtual care and marketing’s role in that process:

Understanding the evolution of virtual care in the U.S.

In a 2022 survey from JD Power, 94% of respondents who had utilized telehealth services in the past year indicated that they intended to do so again.2 In the same survey, patients cited three key benefits behind their preference for telehealth: Convenience, speed of care and access to health information.

An infographic showing the reasons patients prefer telehealth services: convenience, speed of care, and access to health information.
While much of telehealth adoption has centered around primary care in recent years, the shift to virtual care is one hospitals can’t afford to ignore either, especially in the face of continuing provider shortages (which the American Hospital Association predicts will reach a deficit of 124,000 physicians by 2033) and increasing cost of care. Beyond primary care, more providers are turning to telehealth for other medical services – from mental health to physical therapy and management of chronic conditions.3
An infographic showing services patients prefer telehealth for: common illnesses, follow-up visits, talk therapy, chronic disease management, and physical therapy.

How digital marketing can help hospitals capitalize on virtual care as a growing revenue stream

A July 2022 survey found that Gen Zers – those between ages 12 and 26 – are currently the fast-growing users of telehealth care4 with lower cost of care cited as a top reason.5 But other generations also see high rates of utilization – including older adults. In 2021, the CDC reported that 43% of adults age 65 and over had used telemedicine in the last year.

That widespread usage further highlights the opportunity virtual care presents as a driver of new patient visits for hospitals that adopt and market telehealth programs correctly. Digital marketing plays an integral role in doing so, allowing healthcare organizations to more effectively target patients, streamline intake processes and measure overall impact of those efforts on revenue goals (bonus: it’s often more cost-effective than traditional marketing too!)

Given patients already turn to digital platforms for health information (Google fields nearly a billion health-related questions daily6), hospitals that implement an omnichannel marketing strategy have a significant advantage – especially when it comes to virtual care. The patient experience, from first touch point to point-of-care to post-visit followup can be digitally seamless, providing unprecedented insights into patient behaviors that drive revenue growth and positioning hospital marketing departments to pinpoint ROI like never before.

Doing so effectively means laying a strong foundation for your organization’s digital presence with search engine optimization and a content strategy, layered with engagement-driven outreach on the organic and digital ad channels already used by your patient population.

Interested in learning how digital healthcare marketing can help your hospital better reach patients, drive service line growth and meet revenue goals? Let us know.

Why Content Marketing Is Crucial for Hospitals

Why Content Marketing Is Crucial for Hospitals

The backbone of any successful marketing strategy is not outreach, but content. You may be able to pinpoint exactly where your target audience lives online, but without compelling content, those efforts will likely go to waste. Why? Because patients are less likely to engage with something that doesn’t directly address their needs. If you’re not placing well-informed and tactful content in front of the right patients, the odds are high that they’ll keep scrolling.

Differentiate Your Brand With Trust-Building Content

Think of your content as your online voice. Sure, your existing patients are familiar with your hospital and your providers, but everyone else is not. The only exposure prospective patients get to your brand is through the content you distribute online. When it comes to healthcare, patients are, understandably, highly selective. They want to know that your hospital is the best place to get treated for a specific condition or undergo a certain procedure. Your goal should be to build as much trust as possible before they even reach out to your team.

How do you achieve this? A steady flow of high-quality content. Examples include blogs, videos, emails, white papers, social media posts, and other pieces that establish your hospital as an expert in your field. Moreover, a highly accessible and informative website is key to making a lasting — and revenue-generating — impression. Picture new parents trying to decide where to deliver their baby: will they choose the hospital with a minimal online presence, or the hospital with page after page of web content detailing what to expect in their labor and delivery unit — along with dozens of other content pieces on multiple channels relaying their long-standing expertise and trustworthiness?

For many patients, choosing a hospital or provider boils down to familiarity and trust. Even if your team has world-renowned experts in every specialty, patients searching online will inevitably choose the hospital with more visible marketing and content strategies. It’s up to you to give your hospital a leg up against the competition with content that continually builds trust and clearly showcases how you deliver a superior patient experience.

Gain Unmatched Visibility Into Your Campaigns

Once you’ve set up your campaigns to optimize content delivery, make sure you have a way to track engagement. In the hospital marketing context, this means following which content pieces on which channels are driving the most patients to take the next step: filling out a form, scheduling an appointment, or calling your team. Watching campaigns in real-time empowers informed decision-making and helps your team divert more resources to the tactics that maximize impact.

Over time, the needs and behaviors of your prospective patient population will change. While this requires a pivot in your strategy, it can be a new opportunity to get ahead by acting more quickly than your competitors. Conduct audience research on a regular basis to gain new insights into what patients are looking for in their ideal hospital, and redirect that information in your favor by showing how your hospital does it best.

To make the most of your content strategy, partner with a hospital advertising agency that knows the ins and outs of what drives patient conversions. Jairus specializes in content marketing for hospitals striving to boost their online brand awareness and foster engagement with prospective patients. Our team can refine your marketing strategy to broadcast the most effective content on the right digital channels, leveraging advanced analytics to pinpoint where your campaigns are gaining the most traction.

Looking for a hospital marketing agency to strengthen your content strategy? Learn more about how Jairus helps hospitals drive unprecedented revenue growth.

Moneyball For Your Dental Practice

Moneyball For Your Dental Practice

Day 2 / ROF Schedule Rates:
How many of your consults book to come back to hear the treatment plan? This is the best stat available to determine the effectiveness of the consult process for the office. Patients are never more motivated to come in for a Report of Findings than at the end of their initial consult. The office should be targeting an ROF Schedule Rate between 75% and 90% within 3 business days of the consult, exam, and X-rays.

Day 2 / ROF Show Rates:
How many of the patients that come in for an initial consult/diagnostics work-up return to hear about the care plan? This is a clear indicator of the emotional connection and urgency built in the initial consult. North of 75% is good. Less than 50% suggests there are opportunities in the initial consult to build more emotional buy-in to the treatment being discussed and the fact that the office is the right provider. We also have stats that prove that when a spouse is booked to come to the Day 2 Report of Findings, more people actually close on care.

Close Rate:
How many of your Report of Findings (ROF) / Treatment Plans end up with a patient moving forward with care? The key here is to count every opportunity, not just the “qualified” ones – there is a natural tendency to want to pad the stats when it comes to close rates and to exclude ROFs from the stats because there was something “wrong” with the patient (“They didn’t have any money.”, “They were just a tire kicker.” etc.). Fight that urge. There are financial options for nearly every person who is motivated enough to get the care being offered and very few people will go through multiple steps of the care planning process because they have nothing better to do. If you present a care plan, include it in your statistics.

I’ve sold and been around sales for all of my career and when I hear that an office closes 95% of the treatment plans they present, I don’t think, “Great job!”. No, I think that office is either being too conservative in who they are presenting to or isn’t being honest with their stats. If an office is closing on more than 75% of the treatment plans presented, it needs to get more prospective patients through the funnel and take more shots on goal.

On the other side, a close rate under 50% usually points to an opportunity to strengthen the presenter’s sales/closing technique. Our sales coach, Lisa Berthelsen, is available to help with that, we offer monthly group sales technique conference calls, the ResourceHub has dozens of tools to help, and there are countless books that can help with the topic.

Coronavirus Update: A Letter From Our President

Coronavirus Update: A Letter From Our President

We are experiencing an unprecedented time in healthcare. The unfolding drama around the coronavirus has the potential to significantly impact practices who aren’t prepared and proactive around what to expect over the next coming weeks/months. This also provides a great opportunity for you to connect with new patients through a few, easy-to-do activities.

This is absolutely not the time to pull back on advertising. Instead, this is the time to take advantage of this unique situation. Here’s why:

Fear will drive less-experienced practices to stop advertising. Advertising costs should drop as fewer practices are competing to get their message out. Also, they’ll have a harder time starting back up once everything has returned to normal.

Internet usage will increase over the coming weeks as people spend less time in public. The number of viewers on Facebook and Google will increase, providing a great opportunity to get in touch with more prospective patients in your community.

Health is front and center in people’s minds right now. There is no better time to gain people’s attention and get them engaged in being as healthy as they can be.

Now is the perfect time to build the practice’s brand through digital campaigns.

As you are running ads, here are a couple of things to be mindful of:

If seminars / workshops are a big part of your new patient activities and you want to continue running them for the next several weeks, expect show rates to be lower, as more people stay home and avoid public settings.

If your practice utilizes seminars / workshops frequently, consider switching to direct to office consultations for a period of time.

Show rates are traditionally higher for direct consultations and it also avoids the concerns about public gatherings that many prospective patients may have currently.

Video content is king, especially now. Consider putting together a video about the practice that we can run and/or videos educating the community on coronavirus, achieving better overall health, or other health-related topics. Here is an excellent video as an example of someone doing it well:

New patients will be particularly attentive to cleanliness of the practice. Here’s a checklist you can use to make sure that your office is providing the right vibe to new patients:

We are yet to see how the current health concern plays out, but there is absolutely a great opportunity to build the practice’s presence in the community and give new patients peace of mind that your office is being proactive about their health through the steps above.

If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss any of the topics above, please reach out to your account manager or directly to me.

Yours In Health,
Scott Alexander
President, iVelocity Marketing

Coronavirus Update: How Will It Affect Your Elective Procedures?

Coronavirus Update: How Will It Affect Your Elective Procedures?

The potential risk of a coronavirus pandemic is gripping the country (and the world). Grocery stores are rationing or running out of supplies like face masks and cleaning agents. The media is providing constant updates to the public about the latest number of infections and deaths from the novel strain of the virus and those numbers are climbing.

While the actual severity of the COVID-19 virus is still to be determined, there is no doubt that the fear of this unknown pathogen is impacting prospective patient motivation and willingness to explore elective procedures. You need to be prepared for how this fear may affect your practice and what you can do about it.

Here are a few tips for the coming weeks and months as we better understand how coronavirus will play out:

1. Understand the mindset. People are afraid of the threat of a pandemic. As of the time of this article, the media is painting a worst-case scenario for the public, stirring up anxiety and fear. This is affecting the mindset of your potential patients. Anticipate lower show rates at public gatherings, like seminars, and a greater sense of concern in general.

2. Consider a shift from seminars/workshops to a direct-to-office campaign. We have already witnessed prospective patients cancel attendance at a seminar for fear of the coronavirus. I expect this will continue until we better understand and contain the coronavirus outbreak. If possible, transition to a direct-to-office campaign, either individual appointments or small groups. This can either be in addition to, or instead of, seminars/workshops.

3. Produce digital content. Prospective patients are still seeking solutions to their health concerns, regardless of whether coronavirus is out there or not. Now is a perfect time to educate them through digital content. There are many formats you can use – short 60 second videos on a particular aspect of a condition or treatment up to full-length webinars. While digital content online can’t replace the relationship built up through face-to-face discussions, they can be quite effective at educating prior to an office visit and building trust in the practice. Also, from an advertising perspective, video ads are 2 or 3 times more effective at driving patient engagement, click-through-rates, and conversions.

4. Practice the team’s sales skills. Since there may be fewer patients coming into the office for elective procedures over the coming months, it’ll be critical to make every opportunity count. Practice your skills, especially scheduling/confirmation over the phone and building emotional buy-in during the consultation. Those are the two areas where we see most practices have room for improvement.

Will the coronavirus end up as impactful as it may initially seem? No one knows for sure yet. But by taking some proactive steps towards ensuring the steady stream of motivated patients into the practice, it’s possible to thrive even in the face of this uncertainty

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your practice connect with motivated patients (coronavirus or not), let’s connect. We’d be glad to walk you through our cutting-edge marketing strategies and how they deliver results for our clients. Our newest approaches has been yielded the best results we’ve had in years!

Effective Dental Marketing: Its About Patients Not Leads

Effective Dental Marketing: Its About Patients Not Leads

As I talk with dental practices daily, the conversation inevitably turns to securing more dental patient leads. How many are there, how qualified are they, where are the coming from, etc.

I thoroughly enjoy these conversations, but I want to change the discussion a bit. Instead of focusing on dental patient leads, I’m focusing on new patient starts with our clients and prospective clients. Leads are important for sure, but if no one starts care, then what’s been accomplished? That is why I’m directing the team at iVelocity Dental Marketing to focus on our clients’ new dental patients starts and I wanted to make sure I’m sharing our perspective with you, as someone who might be interested in working with us.

To that end, here’s what we are doing to better support the dental practices we work with as they look to start more new patients. If we worked together, you would have access to these, as well:

1. Expanding Advertising Platforms / Advertising Campaign Types. Marketing is dynamic and so are the platforms and campaigns we use to advertise. Our recent work combining search engine marketing, social media, and email campaigns for high-dollar cash procedures has been nothing short of jaw-dropping. It’s the new way to market and if you don’t have a multi-channel approach, other practices will pass you by.

2. A Dedicated Sales Coach. We have been blessed to have one of the most talented practice managers / sales coaches in the industry on the iVelocity team. Starting in 2020, Lisa Berthelsen will be 100% dedicated to helping our clients close patients on care through dedicated one-one-one support of offices and monthly trainings on phone techniques and in-office sales procedures. I am extremely excited about this new, complementary service and believe it will be transformative in how we serve our clients. Just in the few weeks since she started in this role, she’s made major impacts on a number of practices. To learn more about how exactly she helps practices close like never before, schedule some time with our head of business development, Jason Hellem.

3. A Greater Focus on Stats / Closes. At iVelocity Dental Marketing, we measure our success on our client’s ability to provide services to patients. To accomplish that, we are working with our clients to know how our efforts online are converting into patients receiving care in their practice. This helps everyone – the practice can chart their performance over weeks, months, and years and it allows us to make rapid adjustments to campaigns to ensure top performance.

4. Expansion of our proprietary Marketing Maximizer Email/Text system. Email and text messages are a great way to build rapport with potential patients. We have been building out the communication that gets sent out from our client’s practice with content created by the iVelocity team. The results have been great.

If you are hoping to make 2020 a great year for your practice, let’s talk about how all these things combine to create dramatic success in your practice in a short dental practice marketing assessment. During that time, we’ll walk through your goals and give you a little more information on how we might help.