The world has gone virtual, and healthcare is no exception. Health systems are providing more and more telehealth options for their patients, like connective apps, asynchronous care, phone care, and virtual appointments. But how can you utilize your marketing to let your patients know how virtual and telehealth care can make their lives easier?
The benefits of telehealth
The biggest benefit, for both the patient and the provider, is that telehealth increases access to healthcare. In rural communities where there are limited physicians and clinics, it allows more patients to be treated. For patients who don’t have access to transportation and for patients recovering from surgery or chronic conditions that limit mobility, it allows for care without the need to leave the house. And it allows patients with busy lives to access simple care they might have pushed off if they had to go into a clinic.
Telehealth also makes care quicker and simpler to navigate. In a physical appointment there are logistical hoops of paperwork, space, and schedules that can bog down the process. In a telehealth model, much of those logistics are minimized, speeding up the process. This opens up more time for more patients.
Finally, telehealth often makes communication between patient and provider more open. Oftentimes when put on the spot, patients either forget or don’t mention important information they should be sharing with their provider. With telehealth, communication becomes more free-flowing.
From functional to emotional
But now, how do you communicate these benefits to your patients? It starts by taking the functional and making it emotional: Telehealth delivers peace of mind. You don’t have to find someone to watch your kid. You don’t have to take off work. You don’t even need to drive to the office just for a follow-up appointment.
Telehealth creates convenience, and that convenience gives patients the peace of mind that they can easily fit health into their lives without sacrifice. When you’re unwell it’s a huge relief to have a tool that allows you to access care without the additional headache of going into a doctor’s office.
In order to further push this peace of mind for your patients, it’s important that your telehealth services are transparently priced. That peace of mind you’re promising will disappear in a puff of smoke if your patients suddenly have surprise costs that they did not expect.
By translating these functional benefits into a higher, emotional benefit, your marketing becomes that much more effective.
The right audience
Now that you have created your message, you need to figure out who needs to hear it. It would be easy to assume that telehealth users skew much younger, but you’d be surprised. As tech literacy increases across all ages, we’ve seen older populations relying on telehealth as much as younger populations. This is partly due to older generations generally having stronger relationships with their primary caregivers and wanting to use telehealth as another means of connecting with those providers.
Younger audiences often use telehealth for urgent care and follow-up care like prescription refills. They enjoy the convenience of sending a quick message and getting a quick answer. Younger users also use telehealth during off hours, either early in the morning or late at night. This allows them to access care without interrupting their day.
So where can you find these people? Well it’s important to match the service to the channel. Virtual health care marketing should appear virtually. Having a firm focus on digital marketing will not only allow you to pinpoint your audience with the message they need to hear, but it also ensures that the audience is comfortable enough with technology to even be served the ad. That being said, don’t forego traditional marketing channels as well. Traditional media, like radio, is a great way to reach a broad audience and remind them of your telehealth care services.
If you are looking for a marketing partner to help reach the right audience with the right message about your healthcare services, we’d be happy to talk.