Internet search habits, the ever-changing social nature of the web, and review sharing websites are increasing complexity for healthcare providers as they seek to manage their brands online.
A recent 2015 Healthcare Trends Survey indicates that three out of four patients start their healthcare searches online and nearly half of them read reviews before scheduling their appointment.
Statistics attributed to Yelp indicate that health makes up 6 percent of its reviews, more than its categories in hotel, nightlife, or auto.
These numbers indicate that healthcare faces new challenges when it comes to managing the big picture communication strategies that support brand awareness. Healthcare organizations need to focus attention on the relationship building process with prospective patients in the digital world as patients are making the most fundamental relationship decisions before they ever see a doctor or make the first phone call.
As people often rely on search engines with basic search terms as they begin their discovery processes for goods and services, it is increasingly important for healthcare organizations to have communication plans in place that help facilitate that discovery process while building some form of digital relationship with prospective patients.
Part of a solution is an ongoing communication calendar that populates search engines with terms and content in a regular manner that is up-to-date with the goals of the healthcare organization and also meets the contextual needs of the people searching for information.
It is, however, more important than simply tossing out keyword terms and hoping for the best. Content needs to be authentic and maintain a consistent voice that aligns with the organizational mission. The implementation also needs to be measurable, guided by analytics that help the organization to make decisions.
Having a solid content generation strategy can help people searching online to find the most appropriate information and gives the healthcare organization the opportunity to set the tone for the information that supports their brand.
Having a consistent flow of information that is on-target with their core brand message on a regular schedule also helps healthcare organizations balance positives and negatives that exist in the socially connected internet world we exist in today. Measuring this communication is key to future success.
Providing digital pathways for prospective clients and patients to learn about valuable expertise and services can also be part of pay-per-click and social media advertising campaigns to streamline access to the most relevant information. These campaigns have to maintain connections to the contents in the communication calendar and strategy.
While the complexities may be numerous, solutions do exist. With healthcare industry experience, Kosovich Media Group is able to help you craft and implement a strategy to optimize your healthcare organization brand online, expand opportunities, and help you to serve your customers and patients with the best care possible.