5 Telehealth Marketing Strategies to Boost Virtual Care Volume

by | May 6, 2021 | Service Line Growth | 0 comments

These telehealth marketing strategies will ensure you’re engaging with the right audiences when they need help the most.

Among oth­er par­a­digm shifts accel­er­at­ed by the pan­dem­ic: Con­sumers adopt­ed tele­health ser­vices at a lev­el entire­ly unex­pect­ed by health­care providers. Use of vir­tu­al care options will con­tin­ue for the fore­see­able future, espe­cial­ly as tele­health reim­burse­ment is like­ly to expand. The chal­lenge is cre­ate a tele­health mar­ket­ing plan that deliv­ers the right mes­sage to the right con­sumers to grow your business—without can­ni­bal­iz­ing per­for­mance of your pri­ma­ry care, urgent care and ER ser­vice lines.

As you work to define your tele­health mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy, answer a few key ques­tions first:

  • What con­di­tions do you want con­sumers to use tele­health options for?
  • Specif­i­cal­ly, what are you offer­ing? This varies depend­ing on the orga­ni­za­tion and tends to include sched­uled pri­ma­ry and spe­cial­ty care vis­its, on demand vis­its for urgent sit­u­a­tions and more.
  • Who is pro­vid­ing care? Is it your own med­ical group providers? The same pri­ma­ry care provider a patient is used to? Alter­na­tive­ly, are you part­ner­ing with a third par­ty to deliv­er ser­vices with providers who may or may not be famil­iar to your community?
  • How do patients access the ser­vices? This also has vari­ety and can include down­load­ing and reg­is­ter­ing for an app based ser­vice, sched­ul­ing through MyChart or sim­i­lar tools, and oth­er cus­tom solu­tions your health sys­tem or tele­health part­ner may have developed.

These are all key ques­tions that will shape the mes­sage strat­e­gy of your tele­health mar­ket­ing plan.

How to market telehealth

At a high lev­el, mar­ket­ing tele­health is not fun­da­men­tal­ly dif­fer­ent from your oth­er ser­vice lines. The core goal is to con­nect with the right con­sumers, through the right chan­nels, and with the right mes­sage to dri­ve an appro­pri­ate next best action. Your foun­da­tion­al chan­nels like paid search, social media, dis­play and email mar­ket­ing will be effec­tive, but con­sid­er these tips as you build your media plan and cam­paign assets:

Leverage email marketing and text messaging capability.

Email and text mes­sag­ing are two cost effec­tive chan­nels that mar­keters should be work­ing to opti­mize to their fullest poten­tial. For tele­health specif­i­cal­ly, we rec­om­mend lever­ag­ing data on exist­ing patients to set up email cam­paigns and text mes­sage reminders about sea­son­al­ly rel­e­vant ser­vices for which they should con­sid­er telehealth.

An exam­ple could include an email cam­paign at the begin­ning of flu sea­son both pro­mot­ing the impor­tance of get­ting a flu shot, and edu­cat­ing con­sumers on when and how to seek care for flu like symp­toms. Sim­i­lar­ly, aller­gy out­reach in the spring, cam­paigns cen­tered on bites, rash­es, health safe­ty, swim­ming safe­ty and more ahead of sum­mer months can be a great way to keep in touch with patients with rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion. Bonus: These are great ways to sup­port patient reten­tion goals.

Fine tune paid search strategies

Once you know what ser­vices your providers want con­sumers to uti­lize tele­health for, struc­ture your paid search bid strate­gies around those spe­cif­ic and high intent terms and phras­es. Mar­ket­ing tele­health can some­times come at the expense of ser­vice lines that gen­er­ate more rev­enue, so hon­ing in on spe­cif­ic con­di­tion- and symp­tom-relat­ed terms will help align mar­ket­ing goals with busi­ness goals. We also rec­om­mend using ad exten­sion links to pro­mote near­by urgent care facil­i­ties and pri­ma­ry care, in case some­one is look­ing for a high­er acu­ity resource.

Get more paid search insights in our guide: Drive More Service Line Leads with Paid Search.

Promote the service through social media and display

As with any ser­vice line, paid social and dis­play will build brand aware­ness and edu­cate con­sumers on when to lever­age your tele­health options. Make sure this cam­paign doesn’t can­ni­bal­ize pri­ma­ry care and urgent care cam­paigns by build­ing a thought­ful media plan, but do lever­age Face­book, Insta­gram and dis­play as a way to grow your audi­ence and dri­ve new patient volume.

Optimize SEO performance

Opti­miz­ing SEO to sup­port tele­health involves two key com­po­nents. First, ensure your web­site con­tent is opti­mized for search and designed to help con­sumers through the dig­i­tal jour­ney. Sec­ond, incor­po­rate top­ics on con­di­tions and symp­toms that some­one should use tele­health for into your blog strategy.

Devel­op­ing con­tent on aller­gies, the flu and more that pro­mote tele­health as the appro­pri­ate access point can dri­ve organ­ic per­for­mance and build brand rela­tion­ships. This con­tent can also be used in your email and social media plans through­out the year.

Align your content with audience needs

As you build your tele­health mar­ket­ing strate­gies, ensure each asset you lever­age is unique­ly designed to engage with your tar­get audi­ence. Often, moms are going to be the core focus of strate­gies to pro­mote tele­health ser­vices, but be mind­ful of the ads, blog posts, emails and texts that might reach audi­ences like seniors or week­end war­riors, too, and align your mes­sage with their unique needs.

A strat­e­gy for mar­ket­ing tele­health ser­vices is a must-have in the post-pan­dem­ic envi­ron­ment, so we hope these tips help as you inte­grate the ser­vice line into your mar­ket­ing plans.

Let’s Build Your Telehealth Marketing Plan

We can help you define dig­i­tal and con­tent mar­ket­ing strate­gies that dri­ve tele­health uti­liza­tion, along with oth­er “access” ser­vices line pri­ma­ry care, pedi­atrics and urgent care. 

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