Proven tips for marketing telehealth to your patients – Intrepy Healthcare Marketing CEO Justin Knott
Telehealth can be a revenue-generator for your practice…if it’s done right. Understand how COVID-19 has changed the healthcare marketing game. Learn how you can set yourself up for success with these telehealth marketing tips and strategies. Find out
A big thanks to everybody that showed up to our Secrets To Marketing and watched the replay. We had a couple of questions that didn’t get answered and Justin@intrepy.com was kind enough to take some time to answer a few more questions that were left hanging.
First a few terminology clarifications:
What is SEO?
SEO = Search Engine Optimization. It’s basically about how to get your website or webpage including your FaceBook page to show up in search engine results, such as when someone does a Google or Bing search.
What does retargeting mean in this context?
Retargeting means marketing to the set of prospective patients that have already visited your website or interacted with an ad that you have put out. So later on when a prospect checks their Facebook or does a different Google search, they will see an ad reminding them of your service or brand.
What is EMR?
EMR = Electronic Medical Record. It’s sometimes also called an Electronic Health Record (EHR). It’s an electronic version of your patient records and documentation. EMR is also used to refer to the software system used to document and house healthcare visits and patient health information. Practices using EMRs usually have questions about whether their telehealth system can integrate with their EMR so they can ideally track and do telehealth visits from a single system.
Keep in mind that telemedicine is more than likely not going to go anywhere.
So I would really just reiterate that to them, especially if it’s internal providers in your practice. It’s something we all need to get on board with. It’s how we’re going to be doing post-operative follow ups, or managing chronic care, or seeing initial patient evals. A lot of that stuff is now going to potentially move for the foreseeable future onto telemedicine. So I think that’s something that you could have a conversation with them and tell them to understand.
Second, connectivity has come a long way. There are a lot more solutions that are out there than there were before. And a lot of solutions were very limited with their bandwidth because they’d never seen such a large surge that early on in people onboarding to telehealth. So it has gotten better over that time period.
Absolutely. YouTube is video-focused, but that is the preferred method of consuming information for both patients and consumers alike. So YouTube can be a powerhouse if you’re willing to commit to developing video with just a camera, and then stay committed to it. And if you do that, it is a super, super successful way to create a lot of engagement directly with patients, especially going back to what we talked about on the webinar. If you get your providers involved, it would be huge. And don’t forget, YouTube is the second largest search engine and it’s owned by Google. So it’s a whole other thoroughfare for you to enter into when it comes to search engine optimization.
That is a multilayered answer, for sure. The big thing is, is some EMRs are providing appointment booking, so try to leverage that tool if they offer it. Some telehealth, as well, are offering integration, so you could talk to your telehealth provider if they do have an appointment booking. We personally, we use Acuity, Acuity Scheduling, which is actually owned by Squarespace, the website development company.
We use it because it’s HIPAA compliant and it’s very, very functional, and it’s got a very open API. The problem is, with EMRs, still today, is it’s a very fragmented ecosystem. So while there’s five or 10 that take up the lion’s share of 50 or 60% of practice use, like Epic and Athena and all those, there’s hundreds and hundreds of other EMRs that you listeners out there could be leveraging. So you really have to go to them and figure out, does my EMR have an open API? Can I integrate in it?
There’s potentially a lot of different questions that have to be answered that could be difficult for you to get it integrated. So while it’s hard to say exactly how to do it, it would probably start with contacting your EMR support, finding out if they have open API access, or going out on the hunt and finding a booking software that already pre-integrates with your EMR. But again, we use Acuity because it’s extremely flexible. It integrates with EMRs. It’s got an open API too, so you can set up a simple integration.
That is all dependent on how you go about structuring your website, because obviously, you want your main core website pages, like I’ve talked about in the past, if you want to rank for it, you need a page for it. So say you’re a mental health facility and you want to rank for ADHD treatment. You want to really get focused from a geo ranking standpoint on ADHD in your geographical area.
But if you want to rank regionally or nationally, you have to do one of two things. You have to either move that page up the rung so you’re going toe to toe with potentially the Cleveland clinics and all of those different websites that may rank really highly for that particular search query. Or if say you have another city in particular you’re trying to rank for, you could go after that using geolocation-based content. So create another area of your site, say, focused on Orlando, Florida, and start creating a lot of content just as you would for a multi-location practice. You could do a multi-geographical or regional approach to your website and create a silo focused on that city and all of the treatments that you’re offering specific to that city from a ranking standpoint.
Email is a super, super powerful mode and method of communication still. We talked about it on the webinar. One of the things is, you want to make sure you’re using merge tags. You always want to use first names and you want to make sure you’re collecting that data when you are building your email list so you can make it very personalized. I think one of the big things you want to realize is long term, the more segmentation and personalization you can use, the better open rates, the better conversion rates and the better effect that your email is going to get.
So you want to make sure that you have an email provider that allows for segmentation of your email lists. So say you’re an aesthetics practice and you’ve got these subset of different services that you offer. If somebody comes to your site from a lead generation source, they fill out information for a particular service line that you offer. The more information you can deliver specific to that service line versus just the practice in general and all the services you offer, the more in line it is an on point with what that patient was seeking and the more trust that you’re going to gain. So you really want to make a workflow path for how patients are coming in, what they’re interested in, and how we can create automation and email sequencing that really targets those things in particular.
So Google ad grants can be a great way, if you’re a 501c3, to get money, essentially given to you. I think it’s up to $10,000 a month by Google for advertising. The big thing is, is just to keep in mind, when you go that route, you’ve got to submit a request for Google to get approved for all of that. It’s only text-based ads and your ads are always going to show up below the paying provider ads.
So not to say that it will detract. You’re still going to get great visibility so it’s a really good thing to look into for sure. You just can’t use some of their visual-based features. It’s all going to be text-based ads, so you’re going to need to rely on your landing pages to make sure they’re doing the job of communicating what you are trying to communicate to the end user based on what they’re searching for. So you use the visuals on your landing pages, because Google is not going to allow them in the ads.
So I’m assuming that they’re talking about chatbots on the website. Chatbots can be good and bad. They can be overly used. I think you really just need to decide what the goal is of these chatbots, whether you’re collecting for follow up. So you’re just trying to get some information from the patient with a clear, we’ll follow up with you. I think when people over leverage chatbots and autoresponders, it can be to the detriment of what the patient feels should be a more human touch.
But I do think they can be very effective, whether you’re triaging for COVID or you’re just trying to send them one direction or another. Like, is this about billing or is this about the services that we provide? And then, ending it there. I would try to keep the autoresponders simple. And you can leverage an autoresponder that directly integrates with Facebook messenger, because that has a high open rate and you can actually leverage it to re-target people through Facebook messenger to push out newsletters or specials or offers as they opt in through a Facebook messenger integrated autoresponder.
So that’s a good question. That’s really going to be either, whether it’s the source of your traffic. So if you’re running campaigns specific to generating new telehealth clients, it’s really a tagging identifier. So say you’re running Google ads and they’re coming in specifically to book for that. You want to make sure that you have tracking in place to tag them for the campaign that they came from, so you can identify them as a telehealth patient.
So that’s really going to be based on the types of source traffic that you’re trying to generate, the type of advertising platforms that you’re using. You just want to make sure that you’re doing it from a tracking perspective in the right way, so you can tag and segment out people that are trying to book for telehealth or particular services that you offer that can perform well on telehealth, that you navigate them in that direction.
Great question, Steve. 100%, we absolutely do. It is one of the core foundational components of the search engine optimization side of what we do, as well as helping our practices better adopt storytelling. So we do a lot of that. It probably makes up 20 or 30% of what we do for our clients, is we create a lot of content for their new websites, for their monthly content creation. And that’s not necessarily always blog posts. It could be the form of other treatments or services that we identify, whether it’s based on search intent, new things that they’re offering, areas of opportunity based on data that we’ve received. But yeah, that’s a big core thing of what we do.
What I would always recommend in this space is leveraging … If you’re brand, brand new to a space that has become very hot very fast, it’s going to be hard to rank in a geographical regional or especially national area for SEO that quickly. So I always recommend is leveraging advertising and be very strategic about your advertising funnels that you develop. And then, as you begin to generate revenue, you begin to grow. You begin to get to a point where you can bootstrap and start spending on other marketing initiatives. I would make sure that you’re focused longterm on growing your organic SEO, but I would start probably by focusing on advertising in a regional or city level.
Great question. That space performs really well, both for advertising, as well as search engine optimization. So without knowing more the backstory about where you are and the types of things that you see, I would recommend going into your website and looking for, what are the core things that I do, types of people that I see, issues that I address that I would love to rank for. And then go in and start building out content appropriately around those things. And you can always have somebody help you run that data and do analysis so you know what you’re writing on and where you should be heading.
But as a solo practitioner, I would really focus on building reviews, because that’s one of the first things patients are going to check and it’s one of the big influencers for local search rankings. Build reviews, manage your listings as the provider, and get your house in order as far as your website and the content therein, as it relates to what you do and what you want to rank for.
It’s going to be in a very similar vein to telehealth. A little bit different of an ecosystem, because you can potentially go the B2B route. So marketing to, say, medical practices to refer patients to you, to fill scripts, or you can go direct to consumer, which may be this case. So you’re trying to market directly to consumers who are looking for an online pharmacy solution.
The big thing there is, again, going to be, depending on which track you’re going after, is figuring out who is my end user, where are they at, what are my competitors doing that is working, and then going and designing ad and marketing tactics to scale. Again, I think it goes back to probably leveraging advertising to great effect early on while you’re building out a long term SEO strategy, because if you can rank for high level medication search terms, plus online pharmacy or those types of iterations, then you’ll be able to generate a ton of free traffic over that period that you’re willing to invest into it.
So that’s what I would recommend focusing on is advertising, potentially short term, to get traffic into your new site and your new tele pharma, and then long term, pivoting and making sure that you don’t take your eye off the prize from generating regional or national SEO traffic for those types of drugs that elicit high search volumes plus, say, online pharmacy.
You can learn more about Intrepy’s telehealth marketing and onboarding services for our users at intrepy.com/vsee
About Our Speaker
Justin Knott is a growth marketing expert and President & CEO of Intrepy Healthcare Marketing. Intrepy works with medical practices and healthcare organizations to tell their stories, promote their procedures and specialties and develop patient-centric marketing programs. Their core focuses are in localized SEO, lead generation, marketing automation, analytics and website design. Justin’s specific expertise lies in marketing strategy development and SEO and he regularly speaks and contributes to national publications on various digital marketing topics. Intrepy was recently named a top digital marketing agency in the US by DesignRush, Clutch and UpCity.
When he’s not helping his clients grow their practices, he’s hanging with his wife, staying active, and playing with his two dogs—also a proud Florida native and beach bum at heart.