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by OppGenetix

Telemedicine has become a crucial component to medical clinics around the world. A study involving insurance claims found that the segment has increased 53% in recent years. Every few months, it seems that a new platform or technology emerges that enhances the telehealth experience even more. With the recent surge in demand for telemedicine services, a lot of clinics are left figuring out how to market a solution quickly.

In this telemedicine marketing manual, we’ll guide you through the process, platforms, and strategies that are essential to marketing telemedicine services. By the end, you should have a better understanding of what goes into building a strong marketing program, and all the tools you’ll need for its success.

If you haven’t already defined what your clinic’s marketing goals are, you might want to define those first before diving into strategy. Once that has been agreed on, you can move forward in identifying the strategies that make the most sense for your clinic.

 

Table of Contents

1. The Importance of Telemedicine Service

2. Current Statistics & Projected Growth

3. Legal Considerations for Telemedicine Practice

4. HIPAA-Compliant Telemedicine Platforms

5. Website Design Considerations

6. Organic Marketing Strategies

7. Paid Marketing Strategies

8. Lead Follow-Up Process

9. Client Testimonials & Reviews

10. Go Beyond the Manual

 

 

The Importance of Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine, sometimes referred to as telehealth, is the practice of physicians caring for patients in a remote location. Telemedicine may involve discussing symptoms and issues with a patient, giving them a diagnosis, sharing treatment options, and prescribing medication, all from a remote location.

Telemedicine is not as new as people think it is; it’s technically been around since the 1950s, starting with the use of landline telephones. But thanks to modern technology, telemedicine is no longer performed only over landline phones. Nowadays, it’s common for telemedicine to be done live over video, text, and/or audio chats. Telemedicine can also be used to monitor patients remotely while using specialized medical equipment. This might include tracking blood pressure, blood sugar levels, or other types of medical data.

Telemedicine is by no means the end of patients entering your office; at the very least, it can reduce time in the waiting room and allow you to focus more energy and effort on more serious cases. And that’s just the start of the benefits telemedicine has to offer:

 

Telemedicine Improves Access to Healthcare

Not everyone has access to a healthcare provider, but 90% of Americans do have access to the internet in some way or another, whether it be through broadband internet or through a smartphone. Using telemedicine to bridge the gaps in healthcare provider access can ensure that people are able to receive proper medical care, regardless of their location.

Location isn’t always the issue, though. For people with chronic conditions or disabilities, it can be a difficult and sometimes painful experience to see a doctor in-person. Even for certain aging populations, traveling by car is not always a safe option. Public transportation isn’t established everywhere in the U.S., and this lack of infrastructure can also present a problem for people who can’t afford a car but still need medical treatment.

Being able to receive care or treatment from their home makes the entire experience an easier one for all parties involved.

 

Telemedicine Saves Time & Money

For some people, taking time off work for their annual check-up isn’t a viable option, especially for employees who live from paycheck to paycheck. Even when they’re not at work, their home lives may make it very difficult to visit their doctor.

Depending on a patient’s location, they may have a long drive to see a doctor — and that’s not even counting how long they have to wait to see a doctor. According to Merritt Hawkins, the average wait time to see a new doctor is 24 days; compare that with a 20-minute wait for a telemedicine conference. As for the appointment time itself, an in-person visit takes about 2 hours on average while a telemedicine visit takes 13 to 15 minutes.

Telemedicine can be performed on demand and be done based on the patient’s schedule. This flexibility, along with how quickly telemedicine sessions are performed, lets patients continue to work without worrying about losing an hour or two of pay that they need. Telemedicine is also becoming increasingly affordable, as more states continue to write and enact laws that mandate private insurers to cover telemedicine as part of their insurance plans.

It doesn’t just save time and money for patients — telemedicine also saves time and money for clinicians. Doctors don’t have to worry about whether or not a patient doesn’t show up and if they can bring someone else in to fill the opening last-minute. In some cases, hiring extra staff may not be necessary due to telemedicine services, which can certainly save some money. 

Nearly 62% of U.S. health organizations report cost savings or return on investment (ROI) from telemedicine, and of that 61%, nearly 30% have seen more than 20% in their ROI.

 

Telemedicine Saves Lives

According to a 2017 survey, 67% of Americans have delayed seeking care for a health problem, citing cost (23%), the length of time it takes to see a healthcare provider (23%), business (13%) and thinking the problem would go away on its own (36%) as the main reasons. And worse yet, nearly a third of those delaying care are dealing with a serious health issue.

Delaying routine care or care for what a patient perceives as a minor health issue often results in more expensive treatments in the long run, and holding off on a serious health issue is dangerous and often life-threatening.

Due to its accessibility, lower cost, and shorter appointment times and wait times, telemedicine makes it much easier for consumers to undergo routine check-ups at costs they can afford. This means that “red flag” symptoms are far more likely to be spotted by doctors or other healthcare professionals. Not only that, but telemedicine can also help patients to develop healthier lifestyles and take preventative measures to avoid future health problems.

In most cases, telemedicine can help doctors and clinicians stay healthy, too, especially when working with populations suffering from highly infectious diseases. Telemedicine can slow the spread of these kinds of diseases to other medical professionals and to other patients.

By breaking down some of the biggest barriers to healthcare, telemedicine can save lives and keep people, including doctors, nurses, clinicians, staff, and their patients, in better shape and better health.

 

Current Statistics & Projected Growth

Telemedicine is a rapidly growing area of medicine. Within the first half of 2019 alone, telemedicine was the second-highest funded digital health category in the entire world, with $896 million in funds. When combined with the third-highest funded category, mobile telemedicine applications ($627 million), telemedicine as a whole ($1.523 billion) topples the #1-ranked category of analytics ($1.1 billion) in funding.

And it’s not slowing down in terms of predicted growth anytime soon. A Global Markets Insights report states that by 2025, the telemedicine industry is projected to exceed $64.1 billion in the United States alone and $130.5 billion globally.

Still, these are just predictions. What exactly can clinics expect with telemedicine right now? Is it really that big of a deal? Would people actually use it?

The growth in telemedicine patients is very real; Statista found that the total number of telemedicine patients around the globe grew from 0.35 million in 2013 to a projected 7 million in 2018.

Roughly 9 out of 10 Americans over the age of 40 have said they would be comfortable using telemedicine for themselves or a loved one, making them just as likely to use telemedicine as Americans between the ages of 18 and 39. Given that the U.S. population of adults over the age of 65 is expected to dramatically increase throughout the coming decade and the country is likely to experience a shortage of care services, this statistic shows that telemedicine might be part of the long-care service solution.

If you’ve only just started offering telemedicine options due to the COVID–19 outbreak, you might want to consider sticking with these services. Telemedicine isn’t a one-and-done deal. A Statista survey found that a third of U.S. healthcare executives and providers saw more than half of their patients via telemedicine services following a patient’s initial visit, making it ideal for follow-up appointments.

The current and projected growth of telemedicine services show great promise, and there’s no better time to start utilizing it than now.

 

Legal Considerations for Telemedicine Practice

Before you establish telemedicine services for your clinic, it’s important to understand the legal aspects of offering this to patients. Depending on where your clinic is located, there may be some legal restrictions on how you can practice telemedicine. Below, we have highlighted a few considerations that you should note before moving forward.

 

Understand Your State Laws

Whether or not your clinic is legally able to provide telemedicine services will vary from state to state. In order to understand the legality of telemedicine in your state, you will need to find out if your state has a parity law that covers telemedicine operations. You can reference the American Telemedicine Association to find this information.

If you would like to offer telemedicine in more than one state, you will most likely have to hold several different licenses. However, in some situations, you may be able to operate across state lines.

 

Hub-and-Spoke vs. Direct-to-Consumer

When it comes to actually offering telemedicine to patients, there are two different models: hub-and-spoke and direct-to-consumer.

The hub-and-spoke model requires a patient to be at a specific location with a medical professional present, which is usually a medical office, hospital, or other healthcare facility. The patient then connects to the provider at their own hub through a telehealth platform. Where a patient can actually receive telemedicine services depends on the state, so you will have to consult with a professional who understands the legality of telehealth operations in your own state.

The direct-to-consumer model is the easiest and most convenient telemedicine model for both the patient and the provider. In this model, a patient can be located at home and connect with their provider through a telehealth platform. Patients can submit their vitals and other medical information without a medical professional present.

 

Insurance Billing

A lot of medical clinics that offer telemedicine services still have a physical address, but this isn’t always the case. Due to advances in telehealth technology, some clinics have gone 100% remote.

If your telemedicine clinic needs to bill insurance, you will need to have some sort of physical address since insurers list doctors by their address. This can easily be accomplished by renting a virtual office space.

 

HIPAA-Compliant Telemedicine Platforms

The following HIPAA-compliant platforms are made for general use; however, there are a handful of platforms tailored to specific areas of medical practice, such as TheraPlatform, TheraNest, and thera-LINK for mental health services, and TeleDent, a telemedicine platform designed for dentists.

 

Zoom for Healthcare

Despite the recent concerns about Zoom’s security, Zoom has been involved with telemedicine for quite some time. While Zoom’s typical video conferencing platform is not HIPAA-compliant, it does offer a HIPAA-compliant option called Zoom for Healthcare, which has been used to power certain telemedicine platforms, like inSync Healthcare Solutions.

Cost:

  • $200/month

Tech specs:

  • Desktop client available for Mac and PC
  • App available
  • Accessible on desktop, tablets, and smartphones

Features:

  • High definition video and audio, even in places with lower bandwidth
  • Shared screen collaboration and annotation options
  • Records sessions for review (local desktop for patients or in the cloud for meetings with staff)
  • Ability to integrate medical devices and remote camera control
  • Easy integration with other healthcare applications 

Support availability:

  • 24/7 live and email support
  • Videos
  • FAQs
  • Help center documents

 

Mend

Mend is one of the biggest contenders in the telemedicine platform industry — and not just for their platform. They also create some of the richest and most robust content about telemedicine out there, proving themselves to be one of the most knowledgeable telemedicine resources. Their platform boasts a 98% engagement rate and 99% video connection rate, as well as single-digit no-show rate. It’s no wonder that they have some of, if not, the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry.

Cost:

  • Mend Now Telehealth’s annual subscription starts at $49/provider/month; monthly subscription starts at $59/provider/month + $199 setup fee
  • Contact Mend for a custom quote for its Mend Pro Telehealth program

Tech specs:

  • No download required
  • Accessible on desktop, tablets, and smartphones

Features:

  • Unlimited video conferencing and texting
  • Screen sharing and annotations available
  • Appointment scheduling and reminders
  • Online forms
  • Integrates with most patient management systems
  • 1-click link for patients
  • Multi-camera support
  • AI predicts no-shows and appointment cancellations

Support availability:

  • 24/7 live support online
  • Robust content

 

Doxy.me

Doxy.me is a free HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform that’s used around the world. Doxy.me is able to afford free services with its paid upgrade options, which offer a few extra benefits its free option does not have, such as audio-only calls, standard and high definition video chats (the free option has low definition available, which actually helps ensure your video call is stable), and on-demand support chats.

All three tiers, including the free service, have breach insurance coverage, adding an extra layer of protection should something go wrong.

Cost:

  • Basic account is free with 2 paid upgrade tiers available (Professional and Clinic)
  • Professional accounts start at $29/month with an annual subscription
  • Clinic accounts start at $42/user/month with an annual subscription
  • Discounts for students, researchers, and nonprofits available

Tech specs:

  • Browser-based
  • No download required
  • Accessible on desktop, tablets, and smartphones

Features:

  • Unlimited minutes and sessions for low definition video conferences and text chats (audio-only calls for Professional and Clinic accounts only)
  • Personalized room URL
  • Breach insurance coverage

Support availability:

  • Online help pages
  • Email support
  • On-demand chat (Professional and Clinic accounts only)

 

OhMD

Like Doxy.me, the cleverly named OhMD offers a solid free telemedicine platform with the option to upgrade. This telemedicine platform focuses on HIPAA-compliant texting between patients, colleagues, and referring providers. Unlike Doxy.me, OhMD’s basic and Plus accounts require patients to download an app, and only Reach accounts can use video conferencing.

Cost:

  • Basic account is free with 2 optional upgrade tiers available (Plus and Reach) and includes up to 15 staff members
  • Plus account price starts at $7/user/month
  • Contact OhMD for Reach account pricing information

Tech specs:

  • App required for Basic and Plus account patients; not required for Reach account patients
  • Desktop and mobile access for staff

Features:

  • Unlimited 2-way SMS texting for patients and colleagues
  • Appointment reminders
  • Online forms available

Support availability:

  • Live online
  • Webinars
  • Documents
  • Premium support options for Plus and Reach accounts

 

VSee Clinic

For clinics located in areas that lack strong internet connections or have most of its patients living in rural areas, VSee is one of the best telemedicine options. After all, NASA uses VSee, so it has to be good, right?

Cost:

  • Starts at $49/month
  • Offers several pricing tiers

Tech specs:

Features:

  • Unlimited 1-on-1 video calls and text chats
  • Appointment reminders and scheduling
  • E-prescribing available
  • Browser-based waiting room and private patient queue
  • Practice management services
  • Offers multiple medical specialty options

Support availability:

  • Live online support
  • Webinars and videos
  • Documents

 

Luma Health

Luma Health is practically a full-service telemedicine platform, as the only feature it doesn’t cover is medical billing. Not every telemedicine platform can allow e-prescription services or include remote treatment plans, but Luma Health allows healthcare providers to pre-screen and treat patients from afar.

Cost:

  • Contact Luma Health for pricing information

Tech specs:

  • Web-based
  • No download required
  • Accessible on desktop, tablets, and smartphones

Features:

  • 1-on-1 messaging and video conferencing
  • Appointment reminders and scheduling
  • Automated workflow
  • Instant patient feedback
  • 1-click link for patients
  • E-prescribing available
  • Pre-screen patients
  • Remote treatment plans available
  • Offers online forms
  • Practice management service

Support availability:

  • Live online
  • Webinars and videos
  • Documents

 

Website Design Considerations

We like to think we don’t judge a book by its cover, but the truth is that we do make snap judgments based on appearances. Your website is going to be one of the first touchpoints for prospective patients, and it needs to make a positive first impression. Your website is representative of you, your clinic, and its overall brand. Remember: a brand is much more than a logo or the colors used to represent your clinic. A brand gets down to the core of who you are, what you do, and how you do it.

 

Utilize Responsive Design for Multiple Devices

Nearly all successful telemedicine platforms can be used on multiple kinds of devices: iPhones, Androids, iPads, and desktop or laptop computers. This makes telemedicine easy for people to access, especially for the 17% of Americans who own a smartphone but do not subscribe to a broadband internet service. It’s becoming more common for people to access the internet with their smartphones before using a laptop.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing potential patients you could be able to reach through your telemedicine service. When designing a website, it’s critical to implement responsive design, which uses HTML and CSS to resize websites based on the device the site is being viewed on. If you’re not familiar with coding, that’s OK — thankfully, responsive design features are built in on many web hosting and content management system (CMS) platforms, making it easier than ever to ensure your website can run effectively on multiple devices.

 

A Streamlined Layout is OK

As much as you may want your clinic’s website to be the next big contender for the Awwwards, designing a website with all of the cool new features that other websites have is not necessarily the way to go. Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple, and when it comes to websites, simple is definitely the best route.

Simply designed websites can be just as effective as some of the more feature-heavy sites out there. They look clean and professional, and they present information in an effective, meaningful way. Having a cluttered layout or design can detract and distract from the message you’re trying to present to prospective patients.

 

Organize the Navigation Menu

The navigation menu or navigation bar is typically placed at the top of a web page and appears on each individual page of a website. As the name implies, these menus help users easily navigate websites. A navigation menu typically contains links to the following pages:

  • Home: The home button can simply be your clinic’s logo or the word “Home” — or possibly both. The home button links to your website’s home page, which should be a visually appealing page that draws visitors in to explore what services you offer.
  • Services: The services page is pretty straightforward; it’s a listing of the services your clinic offers. The services link on the navigation menu may include a dropdown list to pages for each specific service or go to a page with links and brief descriptions for each individual service page.
  • Resources: A resources page doesn’t just have to be a dropdown list of potential options (though it certainly can be). While other businesses can include client success stories, it’s a little more difficult to include these stories due to HIPAA and other patient privacy laws. You can, however, write a blog explaining what it is you do for patients, how your treatments work, and so on. Another popular and powerful resource for website visitors is a FAQ page, which is great for answering visitors’ most common questions and concerns.
  • Testimonials: Depending on how you structure your website and therefore your navigation menu, testimonials can be listed under a resources drop-down menu or be its own section on the navigation menu. Positive testimonials are often one of the final deciding factors for someone to decide whether or not to contact your clinic.
  • About: Take the time to help prospects get to know you and your staff members. Include a brief bio, your qualifications (i.e., educational background, how long you’ve been in this field, etc.), and any other information prospects may find helpful when determining whether or not they should use your services.
  • Contact: This page is one of, if not, the most important pages on your website. Your contact page should have more than your contact information — it should also contain a contact form that’s linked to your lead generation sheets. 

In general, navigation menus and bars should not contain more than 5 or 6 elements. If yours currently has more than 6 elements, it’s time to consolidate and rearrange the navigation menu. 

Remember that not every page needs to be on the navigation menu — you can include internal links in other locations on your website. Take the time to decide which pages absolutely need to stay on the navigation menu and link to those you remove from the menu in relevant places.

 

Organic Marketing Strategies

Organic marketing refers to any strategy that doesn’t require advertising dollars. If your clinic does not have a large marketing budget, then organic marketing is a great strategy to start out with. There are a lot of different tactics you can use to generate organic traffic to your clinic’s website, but the three listed below are all tried and true methods for achieving results.

 

SEO

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways you can acquire new patients without having to advertise. If you’re not familiar with SEO, it’s simply a strategy that helps your website show up more on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Search engines work by receiving a series of keywords a user types in, and then displaying several pages of search results that are relevant to the search query. For example, if you were to type in “online weight loss consultations,” you would expect to receive search results that point you to relevant resources, such as weight loss clinic websites that offer telemedicine services, directories for online weight loss clinics, or patient reviews for weight loss clinics that are 100% remote.

If your clinic’s website isn’t optimized for search engine discoverability, then you may have difficulty acquiring new patients. Millions of people use search engines every day to find the answers they need, so making sure your website ranks well for the keywords relevant to your clinic is essential.

 

Local SEO

Search engines are highly complex and capable of providing extremely accurate information. If you’re on a desktop or mobile device, most search engines will know where you are physically located. Since search engines provide you with locally relevant search results, it’s important that your clinic’s website is optimized for all of its locations.

There are several factors that go into local SEO, but for the most part, this means creating separate location pages on the website, making sure the name, address, and phone number are listed correctly on the website for each clinic, and creating separate Google My Business listings for each clinic location.

 

Technical SEO

Websites are easier to create than ever before but this has come at a cost to overall performance. If your website doesn’t format well on a mobile device, or if it takes a long time to load, then these are issues you’ll need to fix.

Technical SEO helps to improve the actual performance of your website. This can include making it secure, improving speed, fixing indexing issues, and implementing a site architecture that search engines can crawl better.

 

On-Page SEO

A website is made up of content — words, images, videos, and downloadable files. If the content of your website is not managed in a strategic way, then it may not be providing value for your clinic at all.

On-page SEO ensures that every piece and type of content on a website provides value. Since there are a lot of different content management systems in existence today, it’s easy to just pump out new content without thinking about whether it’s optimized for search engines. By having an on-page strategy in place, your website can provide more accurate information to search engines which will increase your chances of ranking higher for priority keywords.

 

Off-Page SEO

Anything that you can’t directly control about your website is considered off-page SEO. Some refer to this as “earned” media, which can include social media mentions, backlinks, and reviews. 

Off-page SEO is important because search engines like Google use indicators such as backlinks to analyze how authoritative your website is. If you write several blog articles a month that go in-depth and provide true value to your target audience, then people will start to link back to your website or share your articles via social media.

An off-page SEO strategy helps your website build backlinks, reviews, and social media mentions so that these indicators can send better signals to search engines for ranking purposes.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is an offshoot of on-page SEO, but it’s really a standalone marketing strategy. Content marketing gives you the opportunity to share your expertise with the world, typically through written content like a blog. But you can certainly create videos and podcasts if you have the equipment to do so effectively. 

Quality matters here, so if you’re not confident in your ability to create high-quality content, consider outsourcing that work to a marketing agency that has the ability and means to create that content.

 

Content Silos

One very important component to content marketing is the idea of content silos. As you begin to write and publish content on your website, it’s important to have a clear idea of what topics you’ll be writing about. Ideally, there will be a list of topics that are the most relevant to your clinic, so most of your content will always center around those topics.

The topics you write about should be organized in their own silos. Websites that structure their content in these silos are able to provide more value to their prospects, all while building authority in the eyes of search engines. Most websites allow you to tag and categorize topics, so you should communicate with your web development team that these tag and category pages can be accessible to users.

By establishing clear and relevant content silos, you can begin to focus on building out your content base and generating more upper-funnel awareness for your clinic.

 

Evergreen Content

Content that you know will always be relevant to your target audience is considered evergreen content. These are typically educational pages, how-to guides, or FAQ articles that will always be useful. Evergreen content is a crucial pillar in content marketing since it can provide a lot of value over time.

Since evergreen content creates the cornerstone of most websites, you should devote a fair amount of time toward researching topics that are the most important to your clinic. Once this phase has been done, make sure that the finished content piece is thorough. Data has shown that articles with 1,500 words or more tend to outperform articles with lower word counts, so make note to elaborate on any concepts where necessary.

 

Content Calendars

Planning out when you’ll be publishing content on your website is essential for content marketing to really work. If your clinic is small, it probably makes sense to start publishing content just a few times a month. If your clinic is fairly large, you should plan to publish content once or twice a week.

There are a lot of tools you can find online to help you create a content calendar. Once you find one that works best for your team, the planning process should be easy.

 

Social Media Management

The third organic marketing strategy you should have for your business is social media management. It should be no news to you that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are used by millions of people, across all different age groups, every single day. While it’s important to optimize your website and publish unique content, it’s equally important to stay engaged on social media.

If you’re trying to get the word out that your clinic offers telemedicine services, there’s really no better place to do that than social media. Every time you publish a new piece of content on your clinic’s website, you should be sharing that on your social media channel as well.

Social media is essential to distributing content you publish on your clinic’s website. By distributing links to your articles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – you can give people more opportunities to share your content.

The more people share your content, the more backlinks your website will earn. Over time, this will increase the authority of your website which is crucial for SEO.

 

Paid Marketing Strategies

Marketing your telemedicine services through paid channels is a great way to stay ahead of competitors and grow your overall lead volume. Unlike organic marketing, paid advertising allows you to specifically target your ideal audience on various advertising platforms. By utilizing a paid marketing strategy, your clinic can build more awareness and leads through a strategic combination of search, display, and social media advertising.

 

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is the gold standard for generating leads on search engines, like Google and Bing, through the use of text pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC works through ad platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Both of these platforms let you target specific keywords, topics, and audiences through a complex bidding system. The bidding system works at the keyword level where you compete against other advertisers for the same or similar keyword phrases.

For example, if your Google Ads campaign was targeting the keyword phrase “online hair loss treatments,” then you would compete with all other competitors who are bidding on that same keyword within the geographic area that you’re targeting.

Both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have different types of bidding strategies, ranging from completely automated to fully manual. Each bidding strategy has its pros and cons, so unless you are already experienced in search advertising, it would be beneficial to partner with a digital marketing agency that can create the best strategy for your clinic.

 

Display & PPC Advertising

Display advertising is the visual counterpart to search advertising, except instead of text ads, it uses banner ads. Display advertising has been around for quite a while and it can be a great way to boost awareness of your clinic or to retarget previous website visitors.

The most popular display advertising platform is Google Ads, and that’s mainly because it boasts an enormous network of publisher websites advertisers can advertise on known as the Google Display Network (GDN). Using the GDN, advertisers can create different types of display campaigns: retargeting and contextual.

 

Retargeting

When a user visits a website but doesn’t take an action such as scheduling an appointment or calling your clinic, a great way to bring them back is through retargeting ads. Clinics can easily set up retargeting in Google Ads through the use of audiences created in the platform or pulled in from Google Analytics.

 

Contextual

Contextual advertising is similar to retargeting, except you’re only showing display ads to users who have never visited your website before. Contextual advertising also allows you to target both topics and keywords, giving you more precision over your ad campaigns. It’s great for building brand awareness and getting the word out about your telemedicine services.

 

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is simply using paid advertisements on social media websites. 

Facebook is the powerhouse of social media advertising platforms; the company owns Instagram and has made creating advertisements a simple process for either platform via its Ads Manager and Power Editor.

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular mobile social media platforms, which means your ads are going to be seen. However, that doesn’t mean consumers will automatically take action. You need to target a specific audience that will take action, especially because most Facebook ads are charged by cost per thousand impressions (CPM), though cost per click (CPC) is an available option, depending on the kind of ad you’re running.

Luckily, getting your social ad campaign in front of the right audience is easy thanks to Facebook’s robust targeting and retargeting options. You can have Facebook display ads to prospects based on the following categories:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Behavior
  • Lookalike audiences

The lookalike audience feature is one of our favorites. Facebook targets new people who are similar to your current clients based on certain interests and traits.

Social ads also give a lot of creative freedom; you can use a wide variety of different ad types (i.e., carousel, image, video, text) that will most effectively get prospects to convert. It’s also one of the most cost-effective digital advertising options.

 

YouTube Advertising

YouTube reaches more American consumers between the ages of 18 and 49 than all cable TV networks combined, making it one of the best options for reaching your target audience.

As part of the Google Ads family, YouTube’s advertisements are set up similarly to Google’s PPC ads. You can bid on keywords, set a daily budget, and select where the ad will be shown. However, YouTube ads aren’t as limited as PPC ads are. While PPC ads are text-only, YouTube ads are video-based, giving you a chance to really let your creative side shine and focus on a specific message.

Having a high-quality commercial is important (so be open to possibly hiring a small agency to film and edit footage for you if you don’t have the skills or capabilities), but the key focus with YouTube ads is authenticity. Your ad could include (or even be) a patient’s filmed testimonial about their experience at your clinic. Real testimonials (not testimonials recited by actors) can be powerful and should not be overlooked.

YouTube ads can be targeted more specifically than PPC ads, too, as they can take into account a user’s search history, interests, and location — not just the phrase entered into YouTube’s search bar.

 

Lead Follow-Up Process

Your lead follow-up process can make or break your marketing campaign’s success. In order to have a successful campaign, you need to make sure that your lead follow-up process is the best it can be.

You can start this off by assigning the lead follow-up process to one person in your clinic. This might be someone who is already employed there or a salesperson you’ve hired. Depending on the size of your clinic and your available resources, it may be beneficial to hire a team to handle the lead follow-up process. Having a designated salesperson ensures accountability and expertise.

Your designated salesperson be able to check off the following points whenever they receive a new lead notification:

Lead Follow-Up Checklist

  • Respond to new lead within 5 minutes of receiving the notification
  • Discuss prospects’ needs, explain clinic’s special areas of expertise, credibility, treatment process, and special offers
  • Provide lead feedback to marketing team or agency
  • Schedule a consultation between the prospect and doctor
  • Send confirmation emails and texts
  • Follow up with the prospect after the consultation
  • If the lead fails to show up for the consultation, reach out to them to discuss, reschedule, or offer different incentives to come in
  • Put cold or non-responsive leads into a lead nurturing program
  • Track digital lead activity and feedback

This checklist is a good starting point for the basics of a solid lead sales follow-up process. For more in-depth information, download our digital lead sales follow-up guide for clinic owners.

 

Client Testimonials & Reviews

Before ordering a product online, you probably read the reviews, both good and bad. If the cons outweigh the pros in these reviews, chances are, you’ll probably select a similar product with better reviews.

When it comes to reading reviews and testimonials before deciding to purchase a product or service, you’re not alone. BrightLocal’s 2019 local consumer review survey found that 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The same survey also found that the medical industry is the third-highest industry that consumers read reviews for.

Testimonials and reviews are critical for your clinic’s success, and the more (positive) reviews, the better. Reviews and testimonials give prospects a clearer picture of what they can expect from your clinic and the services it offers.

It’s not the end of the world if you receive a negative review. Having a perfect 5-star rating leads to consumer skepticism and can actually undermine your clinic’s credibility. In the case of any negative review, you should always reply to the dissatisfied patient who wrote it and ask them to contact you for how you can improve. It doesn’t hurt to give a special offer in return for feedback. It’s a good idea to respond to positive reviews, too. Never use a cut-and-paste reply for any kinds of reviews; consumers typically view these responses as insincere.

The best time to request a client testimonial is toward the end of a consultation, when a patient’s overall experience is still fresh in their mind. Be straightforward and ask the patient if they would be willing to do a testimonial or write a review. It doesn’t hurt to add incentives, like a discount on their next appointment or entry to a drawing for a gift card, if they follow through.

 

Go Beyond the Manual

This telemedicine marketing manual only scratches the surface of how you can implement and begin to market your telemedicine service. Partnering with a medical marketing agency can help you dig deeper into telemedicine and improve your marketing strategy.

At OppGenetix, we’ve worked with hundreds of specialty medical clinics and practices across the nation and developed close-knit relationships with each and every one. Our unique network of medical clients has allowed us to create an impactful patient generation program that’s been proven to attract high-quality prospects that convert to patients.

We’ll help you go beyond the contents of this marketing manual and transform your clinic’s telemedicine service into something greater than it already is. Get started today by contacting us for more information.

OppGenetix Team
About OppGenetix Team

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The Telemedicine Marketing Manual for 2020 & Beyond