Like any other business, expanding the patient base is increasingly critical for healthcare organizations — especially with the advent of virtual healthcare services that can dramatically expand your practice’s geographical reach. So what are the most reliable and effective methods of attracting new leads for healthcare organizations?
At first, word of mouth and referrals from existing patients will be crucial to establish your credibility. With the growth of your business, however, dedicated lead generation and other marketing tactics can mean all the difference between success and stagnation.
Online lead generation techniques are essential to draw in new prospects, many of whom are already accustomed to using the Internet to find providers, services, and products related to health and wellness. According to a recent study, 73 percent of U.S. adults use the Internet to search for health-related topics. The most popular areas of research include illness symptoms and treatments, medication, and managing ongoing health issues.
So how can healthcare organizations best tap into this population eager for accurate, high-quality information? In this article, we’ll investigate how digital transformation initiatives can help supercharge the lead generation efforts of healthcare organizations.
1. Redesigning your website
A simple website redesign or refresh can do wonders for your lead generation metrics and objectives. Now that patients have more options at their fingertips than ever, healthcare organizations can no longer stick with the same outdated, clunky, and visually unappealing sites that they’ve been relying on.
Below are some of the factors that you need to consider when building a modern, attractive website:
- Fast loading times: Websites should be free of clutter and bloat in order to load as fast as possible, which is crucial to winning new leads. According to Google research, mobile users are 32 percent more likely to leave a website that takes 3 seconds to load, compared with a website that takes just 1 second.
- Mobile optimization: A majority of web traffic — 55 percent at last count — now comes from mobile devices. This means that mobile-friendly websites are a must, especially since search engines such as Google reward mobile-friendly designs.
- CTAs and funnels: Your website should have a sales funnel that directs visitor traffic through a clearly defined pipeline. In most cases, the end of this pipeline should be a contact or signup form that prompts the visitor to enter their information. Calls to action (CTAs) are the gears that set this pipeline in motion — calling on users to take an action such as downloading a white paper or reaching out to your business.
2. Using CRM platforms
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps businesses keep track of their entire interaction history with existing and potential customers, from their first website visit to their most recent check-up. Deploying CRM software is a popular digital transformation project, and for good reason: savvy, data-driven healthcare organizations know how to use CRM platforms to collect data on their leads, and then massage and nurture these leads into patients.
In particular, many CRM platforms come equipped with marketing automation functionality that helps streamline and automate your marketing pipeline. For example, you can automatically send a reminder email to prospective patients who haven’t interacted with your business recently.
Beyond converting individual leads, CRM software also helps uncover hidden trends and insights by analyzing data from your patients and prospects in aggregate. Examining this data for demographic, geographic, and psychographic commonalities helps organizations construct “buyer personas”: fictitious representatives of individuals that you would like to target in your marketing and lead generation campaigns.
3. Creating better content
From blog posts and e-books to videos and case studies, content marketing is a crucial part of lead generation. By creating the content that prospective patients want to read or watch, healthcare organizations can organically bring in new prospects who are more likely to be interested in their services (a practice known as inbound marketing).
For example, the Mayo Clinic has built a “Hometown Health” portal that offers articles and other resources demonstrating expertise and thought leadership in the healthcare industry. These posts are targeted to address common questions, with titles such as “9 tools for helping your child manage anxiety” and “Is it time to get your hearing checked?”.
Clever healthcare organizations have created compelling and even viral content that attracts a wide audience — among them, potential patients. For example, plastic surgeons and dermatologists (such as “Dr. Pimple Popper”) have effectively used platforms like YouTube and Instagram to answer patient concerns and give insight into their own practice.
So how can you use digital transformation in healthcare for your own content marketing efforts? SEO (search engine optimization) tools can help select the right keywords and topics for articles or white papers. Meanwhile, cross-channel analytics tools help you judge the success of your content marketing (i.e. the number of clicks or the conversion rate), so that you can iteratively improve your campaigns.
Thanks to digital transformation initiatives, healthcare organizations can attract higher-quality leads and convert them into happy long-term customers. Looking for more tips and guidance for your next innovative healthcare digital transformation project? We’re here to help. Sign up today for the latest news, information, and updates on our upcoming events.