CONNECTIVE Agency founder, Manuel F. Valencia, recently gave a talk to a group of specialized medical practices at a national conference in St. Louis. These medical groups focus on a condition that affects one in seven American adults. The audience was in large part made up of marketers, practice managers, owners, founder, CEOs and presidents, and others participating via a live stream from across the country. The focus of the talk was branding, marketing and storytelling for their practices.
The main premise of the talk was similar to what we tell our clients and prospects:
One hundred percent of your future patients have no idea who you are or what you do (product or service), until they need what you offer.
In the case of their patients, the ‘diagnosis’ is the moment they need what these medical practices offer. That moment is the catalyst, either for themselves or for a family member or friend, that leads them to start their research and begin the discovery on their condition -- causes, effects, provider and care options, treatments, outcomes.
We emphasized three main areas in the talk: 1) your brand is your promise 2) be where people spend their time and do their searches 3) concentrate on content.
1. Your Brand is Your Promise
Our most successful clients in the healthcare industry live out their brand promise in everything they do. They focus on the patient experience, they give patients direct access to their providers (in one case, patients get the mobile phone numbers of their doctors) and they form old-fashioned relationships with at-home care options and regular visits from a medical director. The emphasis for brands needs to be on third-party validation -- anyone can say anything they want about themselves on their own website, but what do your patients say about you? what do your partners and suppliers say about you? what do referring doctors say about you? what do impacted family members say about you? Brands need to plan and execute campaigns on a scheduled frequency in order to survey and capture insights from stakeholders in a meaningfully way.
One of the best ways patients (customers) can experience your brand promise is through video storytelling. Audiences get to actually see and feel what healthcare providers do through the medium of video. It makes them trust you. It lets them know they can rely on you. It makes them curious about you. It makes them ask questions. It makes them want to spend time with you.
2. Be Where People Spend their Time and Do Their Searches
In 2018, more than fifty-two percent of web pages are now served to mobile phones. Companies risk losing more than half of potential visitors unless they ensure their website are: mobile-friendly (can the site be displayed and read on a mobile device), mobile-responsive (can the site detect what type of mobile device is being used and adapt the display accordingly), and mobile-first in design (Google announced it will now index sites based on their mobile version, not their desktop version).
Additionally, 43% of baby boomers are using social media to get healthcare information. Users seek out recommendations and referrals across social platforms like Facebook (avg FB user time = 45 minutes/day) and Nextdoor. These platforms are the current-day forums for folks to vent about the healthcare struggles of friends and relatives; users want to hear from multiple voices who can relate to a similar situation. Brands need to have an advanced online presence to participate and moderate the conversation and connect with family caregivers and patients.
3. Concentrate on Content
Catalyst moments are unique for every industry. Car insurance, health insurance, urgent care, chiropractic, and health clubs all must be able to capture the attention of a new client when they need what their business offers. We emphasize to clients that they need to be leaders in: what they do, where they are, why they do it and in a unique way that matters to their customers.
It used to be that when medical practices created content to tell a story, they had limited mediums through which to distribute:
If they created a print ad, they told that story in a magazine/newspaper
If they created a flyer, they sent it via direct mail or stuck it in a windshield
If they produced a video (which took forever and looked like crap), they could play it in their waiting room
We now push brand leaders to create content that highlights their leadership: case studies, list articles, fact sheets, white papers, news releases, keynote talks, journal entries, photography, video. Once these forms of content are produced, they can be adapted and published across different platforms -- web, blogs, social pages, LinkedIn and Medium articles, trade association journals – and they will be indexed by Google, where eighty-seven percent of all web searches are done.
Visit this link to learn more about our CONTENT LAB service and the ways brand leaders stay ready for their catalyst moment.