If you work in the healthcare industry you know two things: 1) Never eat the cafeteria Jello and 2) patients’ needs and expectations have accelerated at a rapid pace over the last decade. Not only has the healthcare industry shifted from a volume to value-based model, but technology has put more power into consumers’ hands. This technology allows today’s consumers to immediately turn to the Internet and find answers to their medical questions and concerns.
Think about some of the most common searches online these days. They look something like this:
- Home remedies for heat rash
- Signs of a broken nose?
- Eye doctor near me
- Symptoms of strep throat
- Do podiatrists take insurance?
This change in how consumers search for answers has made it increasingly important for healthcare providers, many of whom have been depending on word-of-mouth referrals for years, to give their marketing efforts some much-needed CPR. The bottom line is, if your practice cannot be easily found by consumers who are looking for help, you’re going be left behind.
And this is where micro-moments come in.
How to Leverage Micro-Moments
Do you know what a micro-moment is? If not, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity to get yourself in front of an audience that is actively searching for something you most likely offer.
A micro-moment is that time when consumers instinctively turn to a digital device, usually their smartphone, to learn something, watch something or do something instantly, right then and there in that moment.
“Micro-moments have been accelerating consumer expectations for “right here, right now” experiences. People take for granted that information is at their fingertips and tailored to their specific needs. But the thing about human beings is they never stop wanting that little bit extra. It’s becoming evident that they’ll keep raising the bar, wanting more useful information, more personalization, more immediacy” – Think With Google, 2017
If you can get in front of prospective patients during these tiny micro-moments, you have a much better chance of influencing their behavior and choices.
When it comes to the healthcare industry, there are four distinct micro-moments:
- Why am I feeling like this moments – Whether it’s a sudden earache or unexplainable pains in their abdomen, consumers are now turning to the Internet to diagnose what’s wrong with them. To gain patients’ attention in these moments, you’ve got to be there, waiting, with answers to their questions in the form of optimized web pages, blog posts and videos.
- Where can I get treated moments – Since 2015, “near me” searches for health-related services have doubled. Your practice or facility must be found when someone performs a local search for services you offer.
- Who do I feel comfortable with moments – Once a consumer has narrowed down their choices to those few providers that offer the right services in their area, they will typically start to dig a little deeper to find out which provider they feel is credible and trustworthy. Providers need to create and distribute trust-building content like testimonials, academic papers, introduction videos and awards or affiliations.
- I’m ready to make an appointment moments – While consumers may spend quite a bit of time selecting the right clinic or provider, when it comes time to actually book an appointment, they don’t have much patience. Healthcare providers should offer online appointment scheduling and make the process as seamless as possible.
Getting Attention and Gaining New Clients
So what are some strategies you can use to leverage these patient micro-moments?
When consumers first start their search for information and answers, they generally bounce around from website to website. As they begin to uncover answers to their questions, they also take mental notes, sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously, of the clinics and physician names they’ve seen along their information journey.
Your first job is to BE SEEN by these consumers. To make sure you get in front of them, consider implementing keyword/search on-page optimization to your content, Google PPC, and targeting/retargeting campaigns on Facebook. These marketing strategies will allow you to pinpoint consumers by their age, gender, location, interests and even their preferred social platforms so you can develop content that is relevant to them so they will TAKE NOTICE of you.
Offer Useful Information
What happens after you’ve gained the fleeting attention of the consumer? You’ve got to actually engage them with quality content that answers their questions. Quick hit ads and brand recognition will only do so much for your practice. What you really want to do with your marketing efforts is to begin a conversation with your potential new patient and gain their trust. Your content should include things like resource guides, symptom checkers, how-to blog posts, emergency protocol tips and white papers.
Tap into Emotions
Solely focusing your marketing message on the consumer’s actual problem fails to take into account the emotions they may be currently dealing with. What does speaking to their emotions do for you, the healthcare provider? It shows that you don’t just see the potential patient as a number, but as an individual human being that is in need of help. That, more than anything, will go a long way in convincing consumers you’re the service provider they’re looking for.
Are you a healthcare marketer that could use some help getting your message in front of your audience? Mediaspace Solutions helps our clients with customer acquisition, increasing script lift, building hospital service awareness, new product launches, and new pharmaceutical indication announcements. Our programs provide opportunities in Direct to Consumer (DTC) and Direct to Physician (DTP) categories. We not only get our clients results with digital channels, but thanks to our ever-growing network of national and local newspaper and magazine advertisers, we can also help you reach an aging baby boomer population.
Get in touch with us today.