If your telemedicine program relies on the hope that if you build it, they will come, then we have some news for you: Even the best telemedicine program can’t succeed if patients don’t know it exists. Whether you operate a local community clinic, a small rural hospital, or a multi-regional healthcare system with several locations, developing a marketing strategy to promote your telemedicine program is critical for driving patient adoption and ensuring long-term success.
Marketing a telemedicine program isn’t as simple as displaying a bright neon sign or updating your website’s homepage banner. To get started, you need to first understand what the most valuable piece of telemedicine marketing is.
The most valuable piece of telemedicine marketing
Marketing will generate buzz, but it’s not the most important piece to promoting your telemedicine program. Providing exceptional care is the single best piece of telemedicine marketing you can do. Once you’ve provided patients with quality health care, the rest of your marketing efforts will serve to amplify that patient experience to the masses.
How do you capture and market a positive patient experience, you ask?
Start with collecting patient testimonials, success stories, measuring feedback from patient surveys, and gathering impactful quotes. Each of these items will serve to create a personal connection with your audience. Once that’s done, use the below marketing strategies to carry those stories to a broader audience.
1. Video testimonials
Video testimonials are impactful for their personal connection. We’ve all come across a video online that made such an emotional connection we had to share it. Whether the format is a simple interview or an elaborate production taking place in multiple locations, the point is to share stories that will connect with patients, share the benefits of telemedicine, and the individuals and families it helped.
If you need examples, the California Telehealth Resource Center has a great library of personal stories centered around telemedicine.
2. Direct mailers
Sending physical mail is an excellent way to reach patients at home. Direct mailing, like brochures or flyers, provide a personal touch and create a direct, physical connection with patients. There’s a reason wedding invitations are still delivered the old-fashioned way. It makes the recipient feel important and the information even more so, something that an email lacks.
After all, when was the last time you printed an email to hang on the fridge?
3. Social media
There is no shortage of creative ways to reach patients on social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram have billions of daily users and is an effective way to reach a wide audience, regardless of budget. Use the platform in conjunction with one another to amply your message and reach the largest audience possible.
Need some social media marketing ideas? Check out the 2020 Modern Healthcare Marketing winners for social media campaigns.
4. Flyers in high traffic areas
Even if the patient is at the hospital you can continue to generate awareness around your telemedicine services. Placing flyers in waiting rooms, hallways, and other high traffic areas will alert patients of another option to receive care instead of waiting for an in-person consultation. This has the added benefit of reducing wait times, increasing patient satisfaction, and driving adoption.
5. Radio advertisements
Despite popular belief, video did not kill the radio star. In fact, 92% of Americans listen to radio advertisements daily. Radio advertisements can reach a large audience regardless of geographical barriers. Especially in rural areas, where access to broadband internet and specialists have historically been a challenge.
6. Create an internal marketing campaign
The biggest advocates for any telemedicine program should be the ones who work with it daily – the onsite staff. That’s why it’s important to create an internal marketing campaign that aims to accomplish two objectives:
Create alignment regarding processes and workflows – This ensures each patient receives the highest quality care. Patients are more likely to share a negative experience over a positive, so ensuring each consultation is smooth and seamless is critical.
- Turn associates into advocates - Promoting the telemedicine program to associates and creating internal buy-in will ensure onsite staff understand its value and want to make the program as successful as possible. In fact, recent studies have shown that if staff are opposed or ill-informed about the telemedicine program and the technology, it can hinder its effectiveness and ultimately lead to failure. Additionally, associates can identify patient testimonial opportunities and refer patients to the telemedicine services.
An exceptional patient experience starts with an effective telemedicine program
All these marketing strategies are an effective way to promote your telemedicine program, but the best piece of marketing is to provide an exceptional patient experience. That starts with building an effective telemedicine program – something an experienced telemedicine partner like VirtualMed Staff can deliver.
To learn how VirtualMed Staff can help custom build your telemedicine program and deliver an exceptional patient experience, schedule a conversation with a virtual care specialist and let’s get started.