The age of technology is upon us, and has been for quite some time. While automation and AI can certainly be of a lot of benefit in the healthcare space, there are still obvious areas in which patients (and potential patients) will look for that “human” feel.
If you’ve already started focusing on your online marketing, you’re on the right path. But don’t let the term “online” fool you. There are many ways that you can use your presence on the web to help humanize your brand, and ultimately drive higher rates of patient acquisition in the process. It’s all about understanding the who, the why, and the when of the marketing funnel, then putting your ideas to work!
Who Is Searching for You Online?
Regardless of what style of marketing you’re embracing, you should understand exactly who you’re going to target before starting. While you can invest a lot of time and resources into finding this information, the simplest way to begin is to look at your current book of patients, or understand what demographics your core procedure and service lines will appeal to at the end of the day. Once you’ve done this, the human element begins to unfold because…
You Can Personalize Your Website
You’re telling me a website is human? Well, not exactly, but close!
When you’re visiting a website of, say, your favorite clothing brand, you ultimately end up buying something because it appeals to you, right? While healthcare is often touted as not the most glamorous thing in the world, there’s still reason to make your practice seem more appealing. Think about who you’re going to want to target and then imagine what they want to see when they are looking for a practice. Smiling faces, happy doctors, clean facilities: these are all things that people forget tend to attract new patients, and your website is a perfect way to show that you care about what they like!
You Can Tailor Your Copy
There will be more about this in the why and when categories, too, but your copy is just as important as your website, as it will show that you’re really involved in highlighting your ability to talk and relate to patients. Things that people don’t often think about like dialect, regional sayings, and reading levels are all unbelievably important as they can truly humanize your entire brand. Most patients aren’t looking for the doctor that can spew out information like an encyclopedia, but they are looking for a doctor that can explain something to them in a way that they easy understand.
Could a robot do that? Well, maybe, but we think humans have the upper hand!
You’ll Know Your Patients
Knowing your patients before they even get to you is crucial! We don’t mean you have to know their favorite color or birthday, but it is helpful to understand why they may be calling. With that, you can train your front office staff to really understand how to empathize. After all, with a great website and humanized copy, you’re going to attract the right people. Now it’s up to you to seal the deal on why you’re the one they should choose!
Why Are Patients Using the Web?
Because they have a computer, right? Not always! People use the web because they want to do research. Your overall presence can truly give a potential patient an inside, humanized look into your practice in a number of ways like…
They Can See Your Reviews
Yes, they can see that one star average, and yes it will probably impact their decision. Fortunately, you have the ability to impact that! Think of reviews as upgraded word-of-mouth advertising. If Susan sees what Karen said about your practice and it was great, chances are Susan is going to give you a call. One word of advice is that negative reviews aren’t always bad. Again, we’re looking at humanizing here, and most people understand that a business isn’t going to have all five star reviews. By responding to these reviews in a personalized manner, and working to get more of your patients talking online, you’ve fought the biggest part of the battle, and are on track to attracting more patients.
They Know Your Docs
Posting your doctors skills, background, and smiling photos can make all the difference. Medical procedures are often a big undertaking, and can place a lot of stress on an individual, so knowing who they will be working with throughout that journey can relieve a lot of built up stress. Adding more about your doctors’ personal lives can also be a huge asset. As a patient, knowing that your new physician has two border collies and loves alpine skiing can help create a bond even before they meet you so that the first conversation isn’t just an information overload!
When Are They Making a Decision?
It could be right now, it could be months away, or they could be just browsing. The point is, you really don’t have an exact answer as to when a potential patient is going to firmly make a decision, so the best idea is to act as if it’s right now. By making sure your site is well equipped to answer their questions and help them make informed decisions, you’re effectively humanizing your brand because…
You’re Giving Them What They Want
You’ve probably been on a call with a company where they’re literally just feeding you lines and not listening to a single word you’re saying. In short, it’s very frustrating. Because a website isn’t designed to talk back to a potential patient just yet, it’s up to you to be proactive and provide them with what they really want. Like we said above, you knowing your patients can really make or break this whole funnel. In providing them with answers in the form of FAQs, or giving them content with a bit of empathy, you’re basically telling them that you’re there to support their decision, which can result in a quick acquisition!
You’re Making It Easy
Forms can be your best friend here! If they’re on your site, you should basically have it designed to where they can book an appointment or contact you at nearly any point in their journey to become your patient. Let’s say they’re looking at your acid reflux page and you have answered all of their questions, enticed them with your content, showed them your docs, and highlighted your reviews. Chance are, they want to visit you ASAP! If your site is designed for UX ease, they’ll be able to get in touch with you in no time, and that’s because you anticipated their decision to select you as their new doctor.
If you’re ready to conquer the who, why, and when of humanizing healthcare, contact us today! We’ll help explain how the ever-growing digital world can work together with the human elements to provide you with an iron clad online marketing plan.