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By OppGen

Medical Device Marketing Guide: Effective Strategies for Growth

In today’s healthcare world, there are a wide range of medical devices that have been designed, manufactured, and tested to treat a variety of health issues. No matter how long of a process a specific medical device goes through, it eventually winds up in the same place that all other medical devices do: a highly competitive market.

When it comes to building a solid medical device marketing strategy, one place you absolutely don’t want to overlook is digital. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C medical device company, the digital landscape is where you will have to compete.

In this medical device marketing guide, we’ll outline some insights and strategies you can use to build brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales for your medical devices.

 

Current State of The Medical Device Market

Worth $156 billion (40% of the global medical device market), the United States is the largest medical market in the world, and it’s expected to get even bigger. By 2023, it’s expected to expand to $208 billion. Over 80% of the companies in this industry are small, with fewer than 50 employees, and the majority of these smaller medical device companies have little to no sales revenue.

Given those statistics, it’s likely your company is a smaller company that may be struggling to either make or increase its sales revenue. But that doesn’t have to be the norm for your company; in fact, it shouldn’t be. Consider investing more in marketing your medical devices. The right medical device marketing strategy can increase revenue, expand your business, and even improve your product line.

But don’t start marketing your medical devices online without first having a thorough understanding of the different types of digital marketing strategies.

 

Special Considerations for Medical Device Marketing

B2B or B2C

Keep your business model in mind when reading the following information. B2B and B2C medical device companies have different audiences, and some marketing channels are more effective for one over the other. For example, a B2B company may have more success running ads on LinkedIn than on Facebook.

 

Case Studies & Clinical Reports

Case studies are a must, regardless of your business model. Though many industries have case studies, they are not nearly as important as they are in the field of medical device marketing.

Clinical reports and studies also play a pivotal role, especially when marketing to healthcare professionals. They want to ensure their patients are getting the best possible devices on the market, so being able to give them proof is incredibly important.

 

Webinars & Seminars

Offering regularly scheduled webinars and seminars can be particularly useful — not just in terms of business, but also for your audience. You can give product demos and answer questions that aren’t available on your website or anywhere else. Instructional demos and tutorials can bring more people to your business and make you the expert on the medical devices you manufacture and sell.

 

Distributors

Start viewing your distributors as an audience if you haven’t already. Distributors often have connections to more people who will buy your products. Create an audience persona for your distributors, one that focuses on their wants and needs (i.e., what makes their jobs or lives easier, what can your product help them with, etc.), and then start creating content that will be useful for them. Doing this for your distributors is almost (if not) equally important as marketing to your consumer audience.

 

Customer Service

Having excellent customer service goes a long way in this industry. Ensuring that all customer service representatives are trained exceptionally well on how to talk to leads and answer as many questions as possible can be what gets a lead to finally convert.

 

Compliance

As with any kind of medical marketing (and the medical field in general), ensuring that you are compliant with the law is a must. This means you need to understand how HIPAA works and how to avoid potentially violating HIPAA through certain marketing channels. Social media advertising in particular can be a trickier area to navigate, which is why it’s a good idea to work with a digital marketing agency that undergoes HIPAA training.

 

Paid Medical Device Marketing Strategies

Paid Search Advertising

Paid search ads are one of the most common and effective paid advertising strategies. They can be found on search engines like Google, Bin, or Yahoo. Search ads are a type of pay-per-click (PPC) ad. You only pay when someone clicks.

PPC ads show up on search engine results pages, typically at the bottom or top, tend to look like search results, and are only shown when a prospect searches for certain keywords and phrases. This means your medical devices will be found by people who are already seeking out devices like yours or treatment processes that your medical device may be part of or used in. 

The position of a PPC advertisement is determined by keyword bidding, a process in which you decide how much you are willing to pay per click (hence the name). Usually, the better the bid, the higher the position of the ad. Ideally, you’ll want your ad to make it to the first or second page of search results; relatively few people go beyond the second page.

 

Display Advertising

Display advertising is another form of paid search advertising. Instead of showing up on search engine results pages, display advertisements can be found just about anywhere on the web, though their placement is determined by keyword searches, a user’s search history, and the content on the webpage these ads are displayed on.

These ads come in many different sizes and are most effective for remarketing (aka retargeting). Remarketing is the strategy of bringing a prospect who visited your website without taking an action and left back to the website and getting them to take an action. An action can be many things: signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form for more information, or checking out the items they left in their shopping cart. What that action is for your medical device company depends on your business’s goals.

 

Paid Social Advertising

Paid social ads involve creating ads and pushing them to certain audiences on social media sites, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

For B2B companies, LinkedIn advertising may be one of the better options, as you can target very specific audiences based on location, certain companies, and certain positions. Though LinkedIn ads tend to be one of the more expensive ad options, it’s one of the most effective for B2B sales models.

For B2C medical device companies, Facebook is an excellent option. It allows many different kinds of ads types (image, video, carousel, and more), sizes, and placements, so you can easily figure out what kind of advertisement works best for your budget and design capabilities. Its targeting tools are some of the best ones out there, as you can target audiences by age, sex, location, behavior, interests, and more — not to mention its lookalike audience tool can help you find more prospects you might not have found otherwise.

 

YouTube Advertising

YouTube advertising is a great option for medical device marketing companies with access to local production studios or an in-house video expert. YouTube offers several ad formats (skippable and non-skippable, ads that only show up on mobile devices, discovery ads, to name a few).

For those lacking access to a production crew, YouTube ads are still an option. You can film a testimonial from someone whose life was positively changed thanks to your product and make small edits as needed in a very basic video editing program.

Depending on the goal of your marketing campaign, some ad formats are better than others. Remember: you only have a few seconds (in the case of skippable ads, at least) to really get viewers’ attention, so be sure your ad is capable of doing that. Think of the story or message you want to get across in 30 seconds or less.

 

Organic Medical Device Marketing Strategies

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the organic strategy of getting a website to rank higher on the search results page for certain keywords. SEO generally involves improving a website’s content, speed, user experience, and mobile accessibility.

SEO is often an overlooked strategy for medical device companies because a lot of companies are still focused on traditional marketing. Unlike other types of digital marketing strategies, SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time, strategic planning, and great content to produce consistent results. 

The good news is that since a lot of medical device companies are lacking cohesive SEO strategies, there’s ample opportunity to compete on search engines. A digital marketing agency that specializes in the medical segment, such as OppGen, will be able to pave a roadmap and build a robust plan for getting a medical device company onto the first search results page for their most valuable keywords.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating, scheduling, and distributing useful content for your audience with the end goal of getting leads to take the desired action. Content usually refers to blogging, but it can be more than that. Content can be creating a podcast or YouTube channel with the goal of educating listeners or viewers about subjects that are relevant to what you’re marketing.

For example, if you’re working to market a B2C medical device company that manufactures glucose monitors, you may want to create content about subjects diabetics should be aware of. This could be anything from covering new discoveries about diabetes, interviewing medical experts on the disease, diabetes management tips, and tricks, and depending on your brand’s tone, maybe sharing some delicious diabetic-friendly recipes. 

These are starting-off points that can be expanded on further down the line, and many of these could overlap with others in terms of format. Uploading a podcast interview with an expert could also be revised as a blog post summarizing the interview or sharing highlights. If there were any subjects discussed in the podcast that could be discussed in more depth, those could be other blog posts.

You can make sure more people are able to see your content by posting it to your company’s social media accounts.

 

Social Media Management

If you don’t have any yet, you should create social media accounts for your medical device company. Managing professional social media accounts allows you to share updates (such as when your next webinar or trade show appearance is), interact with prospects and leads by either replying to their comments or direct messages, and link to blog posts and other content you’ve recently published. 

Some updates can be more personal, such as giving a staff member kudos for something they did well or introducing new staff members. Doing so humanizes the account, making it more approachable and relatable to followers. Posting teasers for new medical devices in the form of pictures and videos is another kind of update that may be worth sharing to your audience.

Interacting doesn’t just have to stay in the comments section. Many social media platforms have live video streaming options (i.e., Facebook Live and IGTV) that give you another level of social interaction, but in real-time. Consider hosting webinars, FAQ sessions, and/or product demos and answer viewers’ questions over live video. 

 

Testimonials & Reviews

While case studies and clinical reports tend to satisfy medical device companies marketing to doctors or companies with a B2B sales model, B2C medical device companies’ audiences tend to find fellow consumers’ reviews and testimonials to be compelling. When researching products, most people will read reviews, both good and bad, to get a better picture of what it is they’re considering buying. Encouraging consumers to leave reviews and or give testimonials, then, can help prospects decide if your medical device is right for them.

Plus, positive reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook can improve your website’s SEO. Positive feedback and reviews “tell” search engines that your company is one that is doing good work and is useful, which can bump you up a few positions on search engine results pages.

Of course, not all reviews will be positive. Rather than ignore the negative reviews, reach out to the person who posted it and apologize. Don’t make a copy-and-paste apology script and fill in the blanks; read what they have to say and apologize for that, and offer some kind of special incentive, if/when possible.

 

Traditional Medical Device Marketing Strategies

Trade Shows & Relevant Conferences

Attending trade shows and other relevant conferences and gatherings is a great way to market your medical device. It helps other experts or others in your industry put a face to the product, and it also allows you to show your professional peers how your device works. You can also learn from other medical device manufacturers and industry leaders and consider new ways to market your product, or even come up with new medical device ideas. Trade shows and conferences are also excellent networking events, and it never hurts to have more people in your network. 

 

KOL

Key Opinion Leaders, or KOL, in this industry, are typically doctors who are highly regarded in their respective medical fields. When a KOL talks about your medical devices and how they have helped their practice and more importantly, their patients, to others in their field, they are marketing your product. Word of mouth marketing is perhaps the most important form of marketing, and even more so when a respected KOL recommends your products. Not all industries have KOL, but the medical field certainly does, so use KOL marketing to your advantage.

 

Grow Your Medical Device Company with a Digital Marketing Strategy That Works

This medical device marketing guide is simply that: a guide. It is meant to start sparking ideas for how to better market your medical devices. For more ideas, inspiration, and digital marketing guidance, contact our HIPPA-trained digital marketing agency today. We offer a free digital audit to see where your medical device company’s marketing strategy is doing well, and also to identify improvements and new opportunities for growth.

By OppGen

14 Medical Marketing Solutions for Getting New Patients

Patients are the lifeblood of medical clinics and practices. Without a regular flow of patients, clinics can’t survive. In order for clinics and practices to exist (and ideally, to thrive and to grow), you need to find new patients. To find new patients, you need to come up with some medical marketing solutions. And luckily, we’re here to share 14 medical marketing solutions that can get new patients into your clinic or practice.

 

1. Pay-per-click

Rather than seeking out new patients, why not try having new patients seek out your clinic? Paid search advertisements are an excellent way to have local prospects looking for your services find your clinic. These ads are tied to specific keywords and phrases prospects may use when using search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, when looking for treatments or medical procedures.

There are 2 main kinds of paid search ads: search ads and display ads.

 

Search ads

Search ads are text-only ads that look similar to organic (unpaid) search results. As the name suggests, they incur a cost whenever someone clicks on them. Search ads shown when someone within a certain radius searches for certain keywords and phrases that are relevant to your clinic’s services, so you can be fairly certain the right people are the ones clicking on the ad.

You determine the cost per click (CPC) using a search engine’s keyword bidding system. The better the bid, the better the ad placement.

 

Display ads

Display ads are image ads that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Unlike search ads, display ads are not placed on search engine results pages (SERPs); they are placed on websites that host relevant content. For example, a blog post about someone’s weight loss journey may have display ads featuring a local medical weight loss clinic.

They tend to be more affordable than search ads, which charge on a per-click basis. Display ads typically incur a cost for every 1,000 impressions (CPM).

Display ads are perhaps most effective in remarketing (or retargeting) strategies, which involve getting someone who visited a website or page but didn’t take any action (i.e., clicking anywhere on the page, going to a different page on the website, buying something, filling out a form, etc.) to come back and take action.

 

2. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that boosts a website’s organic search engine rankings for certain keywords, with the end goal of achieving a steady increase and a constant flow of organic traffic to get more leads.

Unlike pay-per-click advertising, SEO is not a quick one-and-done solution. It takes time to see the results and it is not something you can stop doing once you start it. It is a continuous process of improving your clinic’s website and creating more in-depth content. The end result of SEO (a more consistent flow of organic traffic to your website that will result in more qualified leads) is well worth the time and effort.

 

3. Paid social

Social media is a fantastic tool for sharing life events with friends and family, but it’s also excellent for marketing your medical services and solutions. Paid social ads have more flexibility and options than paid search ads do, as social media sites like Facebook have a lot more user data to work with than Google or Bing does, which allows for even more accurate targeting options. You can seek out prospects based on their location, sex, age, interests, and behavior.

Paid social ads also have more options when it comes to ad types, sizes, and page location: image ads, video ads, carousel ads, collection ads, and more. 

 

4. Organic social

If you’re running a paid social ad campaign on Facebook, then you already have a Facebook page set up for your clinic. Don’t just use the Facebook page only so you can use paid social ads; use it as a way to interact with prospective patients and current patients. Share your latest blog posts and clinic updates on a regular basis and reply to your patients’ and prospects’ comments.

 

5. Referral network

Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing: a 2013 Nielsen survey found that 84% of people trust recommendations from people they know, making it the most influential kind of marketing.

Patient referrals and recommendations can go a long way in drawing more patients to your medical practice. The best way to build up a referral network is to provide the best possible service and treatment to your current patients, who will hopefully tell their friends and family about their experience.

 

6. Price comparison tools

Creating a web page with price comparison tools can be a very persuasive medical marketing solution. Even posting the general prices of your services and breaking down the expenses can persuade people to go to your practice. Considering that the majority of practices and clinics are not usually 100% transparent about the costs of services and procedures on their websites, you’ll likely find more patients scheduling appointments at your clinic as a result.

 

7. Attractive special offers

Consider implementing a special offer that’s hard for patients and prospects to turn down. This may be a free initial consultation, a discount for patients who refer friends and/or family, running a raffle or drawing for a gift card for patients who write reviews for your clinic, and so on. Don’t forget to share any of these offers on your social media pages!

 

8. Groupon presence

Make a Groupon Merchant account to find new patients while also sharing special deals or discount options. Groupon customers tend to be loyal and do a good job of referring places to friends and family, making them ideal prospects for your services.

 

9. Webinars

Educating prospects through web-based seminars, or webinars, can help persuade prospects who are on the fence about your services, how they work, and their overall effectiveness. (Many of our medical clients, such as Northwest Pain Relief Centers, have generated leads through seminars and webinars we helped promote.)

When you’ve finished your webinar, you can open up a Q&A session as well as a sliver of time to schedule an initial consultation to prospects who seem very interested in your clinic’s services and procedures.

 

10. Event sponsorships

Get your clinic’s name out into the world by sponsoring local events. If you treat peripheral neuropathy, sponsor a group participating in a JDRF One Walk event and create T-shirts with your clinic’s name and logo on it. You could also rent a booth and discuss your services and how they can be of help to someone with Type 1 diabetes. Print out pamphlets that discuss the statistics and signs and symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and include your clinic’s contact info.

The event doesn’t necessarily need to be 100% related to your clinic, either. With a little creativity, you can easily rent a booth at a local convention, conference, or other gathering and think of a creative twist on the services your clinic offers and work those services into your booth’s activities. A podiatrist could rent a booth at the state or county fair and print out coloring pages of shoes and have kids color them in. The best shoe design could win a free gift card or a discount to your clinic.

 

11. Outdoor signage

Investing in outdoor signage can make your clinic easier to find while also making your clinic more visible. Consult with a local business that makes custom sizes and designs and keep in mind the weather in your area. If your clinic is in a location that experiences regular rainfall or heavy snowfall in the winter, you’ll need something waterproof and more durable than a place where the weather is consistently hot and humid all year round.

 

12. Direct mail

Direct mail marketing has improved over the years — USPS has gone so far to include a free mail route mapping tool that allows you to target addresses in specific areas as well as marketing insights, and even a B2B or B2C option that can shift into word-of-mouth marketing and sharing. And that’s just scratching the surface of the USPS’s direct mail offerings. They’ll let you design and format postcards, brochures, letters, flyers, and more, all of which can be done or picked up at your local US post office, so you can make a truly one-of-a-kind direct mailer advertisement.

 

13. Radio and video advertising

Getting a local radio or video ad spot can be an effective option for medical marketing. While local TV commercials aren’t exactly Super Bowl quality (they’re not), they still need to have some level of professional quality to them. The visual quality of a TV commercial will certainly impact prospects’ perception of a clinic, and having a lower quality commercial will undoubtedly deter prospects from making an appointment. That said, it’s a good idea to partner with a local production team to ensure your TV commercial is the best it can possibly be.

Radio ads can give you more flexibility; you can write and produce a radio ad with minimal effort, and with the technology available, poor quality is less of a concern than it would be for a TV commercial.

 

14. Newspaper ads

Newspapers, believe it or not, are still around and are accepting print advertisements and press releases that can be reformatted and used as an article, both digitally and in print.

Keep in mind with submitting a press release, you will want to give the paper some time in advance, as they may have a list of stories they are required to include that day. Submitting a press release ahead of time gives the paper plenty of time to prepare and make space and figure out what articles they should include and which ones can be cut. Generally speaking, press releases are more effective than print ads. They’ll be included in both print and digital editions of the paper, which allows you to share the press release to your social media channels.

That said, don’t discount print ads yet; they don’t require as much advance notice as press releases and the advertising department will work with you to ensure your ad is the right size, design, and colors, and located in the right place.

 

Drop us a line for more medical marketing solutions

These 14 medical marketing solutions are only a drop in the bucket of options available to you. For even more medical marketing solutions and ideas, contact us today.

By OppGen

5 Ways to Get Clinic Reviews

Reviews are important when ordering a product online, but they are also incredibly important for clinics. 77% of patients rely on online reviews as their first step to find a new doctor. Seeing high ratings and reading reviews and the responses from clinics can give prospective patients a general idea of what they can expect from a healthcare provider.

The importance of reviews are one thing, and getting your clinic reviews is another thing entirely. At first, it may feel uncomfortable to focus on getting reviews for your clinic, but it will only help more patients find you, and then you can help these patients in return.

 

1. Create multiple places for patients to leave clinic reviews

Patients cannot leave reviews if there are no places for them to do so. Claiming your clinic or creating a page at the following websites can make it easy for patients to review your clinic. Not only does it increase the likelihood of getting a review but it is also an easy way to do some link-building for your clinic’s website.

Many of the following third-party review sites have badges you can add to your website that will redirect patients to a page that lets them easily read and leave reviews. This is also useful for prospective patients who may be in the research process and is seriously considering going to your clinic for their healthcare needs.

Keep in mind that with these third-party sites that you may not be able to reproduce them, as both the third-party site and patient own these reviews. Not to mention that reproducing these reviews without your patient’s permission is a violation of HIPAA laws.

If you want to be able to quote or share parts of a patient’s review to your clinic’s social media page, create a survey using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms and link to it when requesting reviews from patients who have consented to you sharing their review. You can also create a landing page for your website requesting this information as well.

 

Google My Business

When you search for a specific service on Google, one of the first results you’ll see is a rich snippet with Google Maps and a list of nearby services, most of which have reviews.

If you want your clinic to appear on a search, you should make a Google My Business account. It’s free and ensures that your clinic pops up on relevant Google searches. Google My Business allows your patients to leave reviews and lets you respond to their reviews. On top of those features, you can include your address, phone number, and hours of operation, and post updates about your business.

 

Facebook

If you’ve been creating Facebook ads for your clinic, then you have a Facebook business page for your clinic. If you don’t have a Facebook business page, don’t wait around — make one ASAP! Like Google My Business accounts, Facebook business pages are free. You can post updates and include your address, contact information, and hours of operation. You can even utilize Facebook Messenger to chat with current and prospective patients.

And of course, it allows patients to leave reviews.

 

Yelp

Yelp allows reviews regardless of whether or not you have an account with them, so you should certainly take the time to claim your business. This allows you to respond to reviews via direct messages or reply to the review itself, track views and leads coming from Yelp, and update information (i.e., hours of operation, address, contact information, etc.).

 

Healthgrades

Healthgrades is perfect for any and all healthcare providers, and many prospects find it useful, too, especially because it allows providers to list accepted insurances. Plus, it has the largest audience of healthcare consumers online. Healthgrades could be an option that could be considered to be further down the marketing funnel, maybe even more than Google, for prospective patients. The consumers there know what they’re looking for and are narrowing down options based on things like accepted insurance agencies, patient reviews, and so on. Like the other options, Healthgrades doesn’t cost a dime and is highly specific by field.

With all of these websites, make sure your clinic’s information is accurate and up to date. Incorrect information will only hurt your clinic.

 

2. Ask patients for a review of your clinic

Asking for a review is a bit of a no-brainer, but it still takes thought and consideration: When is the best time to ask? Where should I ask? How should I ask?

In all honesty, the answer to these questions is “it depends.” Context matters. Asking for a review at the wrong time or place, or simply asking in the wrong way might result in a negative review that might detract prospects from your clinic.

A good rule of thumb is to ask your patients to leave a review using the same medium of communication: in-person, over calls or text messages, your website, social media, email, and so on. Be sure to read the room — if your patient does not seem pleased with your clinic’s treatment or procedure, it may be wise to refrain from requesting a review. On the flip side, it’s a great idea to ask a patient who thanks you and compliments your services is prime to write a review.

Don’t forget about privacy and remaining HIPAA-compliant in how you gather reviews. If a patient has not consented to be contacted via email or text message, do not request a review through those channels. It is a good idea to tell patients they can submit reviews anonymously (when and where possible) and that they do not have to go into depth about the details of their visit. Give them some examples of what they can include in a review (“they took a lot of time to answer my questions”).

Last but not least, keep track of which patients have already left reviews so you don’t request another review from them again.

 

In-person

You don’t have to ask a patient for a review while they’re sitting on the exam table — there are other times, places, and ways you can ask in-person. The end of a visit or during waits between appointments (patients often wait for a doctor after seeing a nurse) are excellent times to request a review.

Consider printing appointment reminder cards with an active link to a review website and having your office employees say they can leave a review with the link on the card. Patients often keep reminder cards in places where they’ll see them so they remember when they have the appointment, like on their refrigerators, calendars, or desk.

Another print option to look into is take-home care instructions. Obviously you don’t want the review request to be the main focus of these instructions. The health and safety of your patients always comes first. Specifically with take-home instructions, keep a neutral and professional tone in the call to action.

Promotional items, like pens or magnets, can keep your clinic at the forefront of patients’ minds and can encourage them to leave reviews. Use a short call to action: “Tell us about your visit!”

With any printed review reminders, use a link shortener like bit.ly. It’s much easier than typing out the entire address.

 

Phone calls

It’s common for clinics to call patients for appointment reminders a day or two ahead of the appointment. Some clinics may also call to follow-up with a patient after a procedure. That follow-up call should be utilized more often for patients who did not undergo a medical procedure. Calling to check in with someone is always a thoughtful thing to do, but you should also use that follow-up call to request a review and direct patients to a landing page or third-party website.

 

Text messages

Fewer and fewer people own landlines and have cell phones instead. As a result, some clinics have started to move away from phone call reminders and follow-ups, and are using text reminders and follow-ups more often. Some of these reminders and follow-up text messages are automated, which can make this an easier process for your clinic.

Since smartphones are commonplace, patients can be sent a review request that includes a link to your landing page, where they can fill out and submit a review form right from their phone!

 

Your clinic’s website

If your patients tend to schedule appointments through your website, add a call to action button  in a visible place on your most popular pages that links to a landing page, survey form, or third-party review website page.

Be sure to include third-party website badges on your website, too — you can easily link to your clinic’s Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, Healthgrades pages, and more.

 

Social media

Create a post that links to your landing page or favorite third-party review website. You should make this post more than once, but try to change up the language and when you post it to see when you’ll get the most reviews. Use best practices depending on the social media platform you’re using, and don’t use the exact same content on each platform. Every platform has different “rules” for what’s considered appropriate in a post.

 

Email

Sending a personalized thank-you email after an appointment is one way to ask for a review without really asking. Along with the thank you message, there should be a link for third-party review websites and/or your clinic website’s landing page form.

Automated emails may be a better option for bigger practices, but be sure the email software you’re using is HIPAA-compliant. Only email patients who have consented to be contacted via email.

Automated emails can be done well and don’t take as much time as a personalized email. However, a personal touch is always a nice touch and can make a big difference in how your patients perceive you and your clinic.

Emails are great in that they are not limited in terms of text, so you can easily share an example review for patients who don’t know what to write about in their review, along with reminders that they do not need to go too in-depth about their exam, and that they can submit an anonymous review or that you’ll remove their name upon request. Be honest about where their review will be shown and how it will be used, and that reviews are not required but greatly appreciated.

 

3. Offer incentives

Sometimes simply requesting a review isn’t enough to get your clinic a review. People get busy and forget, and after a certain period of time passes, they’re not going to be able to give the best review possible. The best reviews tend to be written on the day of the appointment, when your service and treatment is still fresh in patients’ minds.

Make a review worth your patients’ time with an incentive. An incentive can be a lot of things: it could be a discount on their next exam or entering reviewers into a drawing or raffle for cash, prizes, or a gift card. You could run a contest for the best review, and the winner receives a prize or discount.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for how you can incentivize patients to write a review for your clinic.

 

4. Respond to all clinic reviews

Responding to each and every single review is a must, even if the review does not do your clinic any favors. In fact, a good response to a negative review can be insightful to prospects and may lead them to choose your clinic for their medical needs.

 

Responding to negative reviews

When you respond to negative reviews, you must acknowledge the issue, even if you don’t think it exists. Acknowledge it anyways.

Apologize. Do not say “we are sorry if this happened.” The “if” goes against the acknowledgment of the issue. Stick to “we are sorry this happened.” It affirms the reviewer’s experience and acknowledges they did not receive the experience they expected from your clinic. If there is any reason why they had an issue, explain what that reason may have been (i.e., “Our nurse had a family emergency and had to leave on short notice, so we were short-staffed when you came in”).

Compensate the reviewer in some way; maybe this means giving them a discount on their next appointment or a free exam. Decide what works best for your clinic and the situation. Depending on the situation, you may wish to have the reviewer discuss matters offline.

While you should take some negative reviews with a grain of salt, it is worth seeing if there are any consistencies or similarities with the content of more middle-of-the-road reviews or smaller complaints in positive reviews. If so, this means you have found an area where your clinic can improve, and you should make changes accordingly. Patients, particularly those who mentioned issues in their reviews, are likely to notice those improvements and feel better knowing they go to a clinic where their issues are not only heard but are listened to as well.

 

Responding to all types of reviews

When responding to any review, do not use a copied and pasted template. To patients and prospects, those cookie-cutter responses do not read as sincere. It takes less than a minute to copy and paste and fill in the blanks and suggests that you do not truly care about your patients’ concerns — that’s definitely not something any medical professional would want prospects or current patients to believe about their clinic!

If you’re able to recall some minor detail about the patient that would not give their personal information or share any potentially identifying information, include that. Never reveal any personal details or information about the patient when you’re responding to publicly posted reviews, regardless of whether or not the reviewer is anonymous. A review response should never, ever be the same.

 

5. Highlight the best reviews for your clinic

Sharing an incredibly positive review on your website’s testimonial page or social media accounts makes more people want to review your clinic’s services and draws the attention of more prospective patients.

To ensure HIPAA compliance, always get permission from patients if you can share a quote from their review on social media. If there is any information in a review that may reveal the identity of a patient, either do not use the review at all or redact that information using ellipses (these 3 little dots: …).

The best way to ensure that your clinic’s patient review policy and strategy are HIPAA-compliant is to work with a HIPAA-trained digital marketing agency. OppGen’s HIPAA-trained team of analysts has worked with a wide variety of medical clinics to great success. Contact us today for more information about our medical marketing strategies and fill out our free digital audit.

By OppGen

Facebook Ads for Doctors: Use Paid Social for Clinic Growth

There are a lot of different ways for doctors to grow their medical clinics online through digital marketing. Social media advertising platforms, such as Facebook Ads, are a great way for doctors to generate awareness about the services they offer and even acquire new patients.

According to Facebook’s first 2020 quarter report, the social media site had an average of 1.73 billion daily active users using its services — an increase of 11% year over year. Considering that 73% of its users visit the site on a daily basis, Facebook is a great place to reach prospective patients, and Facebook ads make it easy for doctors to do just that. Facebook’s powerful ad targeting tools are some of, if not the, best ones available.

Facebook advertising for doctors is incredibly cost-effective, too: the cost per click (CPC) of healthcare ads on Facebook averages to roughly $1.32 per click with an average conversion rate of 11% — a better average CPC and average conversion rate compared to Google Ads’ healthcare industry averages of $2.62 per click and conversion rate of 3.36%.

Plus, Facebook is easy to use, from creating a professional Facebook page for yourself or your clinic or practice to publishing ads to prospective patients.

In sum: Facebook ads for doctors are well worth the investment, increase online exposure, and help acquire new patients.

 

Build your clinic’s Facebook page

Before you can start advertising on Facebook, you’ll have to create a Facebook page for your clinic. Facebook pages are free to create and to use. You can share useful information, business updates, and even make it easier for prospects to contact your clinic via Facebook Messenger. Plus, patients can leave reviews on Facebook pages, so as long as you’re providing the best services possible, positive reviews will be sure to follow.

 

Select your business type

When setting up the page, you’ll have to select what kind of business you have. We recommend selecting the “local business or place” option.

 

Choose a simple name and URL

You’ll also have to settle on a name and URL. It can be the name of your clinic, your name with credentials, a reference to your specialty, or a combination of all of these. The key here is to keep it simple. Same with the URL — it should be easy for people (and search engines) to find.

 

Fill out the About sections

There are two About sections on Facebook pages. One of them is a brief text summary about what your clinic does, the services it offers, where it’s located, and so on.

The other one includes your clinic’s contact information — email address, physical address, website, phone number, and Messenger link — and its hours of operation. Provide as much of this information as you can; it’s always a good idea to give prospects multiple ways to reach your clinic.

 

Think about your brand when posting

Your clinic’s Facebook page is an extension of your brand, and everything about it should reflect that. It should be consistent with your overall brand and tone. Any inconsistencies will have prospects fleeing from your page and your clinic as a result, and that’s the last thing you want for lead generation.

Don’t share irrelevant jokes or posts that made you laugh to your Facebook page — save that for your personal profile. Use common sense. Put yourself in prospects’ shoes: If the clinic you go to shared riddles, jokes, or other unrelated content, would you feel comfortable going there?

Put some thought behind your posts. You can share a link to a blog post you’ve written, discuss industry trends or new services you’re starting to offer, and so on. Use good high-quality stock photos from a site like shutterstock or pexels to grab prospects’ attention and write good copy with a call to action (or as we marketing professionals call it, a CTA).

Having a Facebook page where you share information and updates can help your clinic gain traction, but it will only go so far without utilizing paid social ads.

 

Set up a Facebook Ads account for your clinic’s page

Once you’ve got your clinic’s Facebook page set up, you’ll want to add an Ad account to the page. You’ll do this using Business Manager, which is the “back end” tool of your Facebook page. It’s a secure way to manage your Facebook pages and Ad accounts and lets you keep your business profile separate from your personal Facebook profile.

To add an Ad account in Business Manager, go to your page’s Business Settings. There, you’ll click “Accounts” and then “Ad Accounts.” Click “+Add.” Three options will appear: “Add Ad account,” “Request access to an Ad Account,” and “Create a new Ad account.” Click the “Create a new Ad account option and follow Business Manager’s prompts.

Now you can start creating Facebook ads for your clinic.

 

Create a wide variety of appealing Facebook ads

Two of the best perks about Facebook ads for doctors are the cost and variety of advertisements. Compared to paid search ads on Google, Facebook is a fairly inexpensive option with, well, a lot of ad options for doctors:

 

Image ads

It’s often said a picture is worth a thousand words — and that’s a lot of words and a lot of power! Visuals are a big part of pretty much every type of Facebook advertisement. But if you’re using an image ad, you’ll only have one image, so make sure it’s worth those 1,000 words. It needs to grab viewers’ attention.

However, that doesn’t mean you should go textless entirely. You’ll have to write some text to accompany the image in a couple of places:

  • Post text: This is the ad copy that is placed above the image on desktop devices and below the image on mobile devices. If this image ad is placed in the Facebook newsfeed, it should have no more than 125 characters. Anything longer than that is allowed but will be cut off. You can (and should) include relevant hashtags here.
  • Headline: Sometimes referred to as a title, the headline is the largest-sized text. It should grab prospects’ attention while also summarizing what exactly you’re trying to advertise. Ideally, headlines should have no more than 25 characters if the ad is placed in the newsfeed. Again, a headline that’s longer than 25 characters is allowed but will be cut off.
  • Description: The description is the text below the image and headline. If placed in the newsfeed, it should be no longer than 30 characters. Note that descriptions will not be shown on mobile devices unless Facebook thinks the ad will resonate with a prospect.
  • Call to action button: You can customize what you want the CTA button to say, but make sure it lines up with your goals. If you want a prospect to learn more about what you have to offer, “Learn More” is a good choice. If you want prospects to receive a newsletter about your services, “Sign Up” is probably the better option.

You can include some text on the image itself, but if there’s too much text on the image, Facebook’s algorithms may display your ad to fewer people in your audience. Facebook specifies this as images that consist of more than 20% text.

 

Video ads

The components of a Facebook video ad are the same as those in an image ad. The key difference is that instead of a single static image, you can upload a video from anywhere to 1 second to 240 minutes in length to be placed on the newsfeed.

The best length for a Facebook video in the newsfeed is far from the maximum length — shorter than 15 seconds is considered best practice.

Similar to the image ads, Facebook will push video ads with more than 20% text to fewer people. For the newsfeed ads, the post text, headline, and description character limits are the same.

 

Slideshow ads

Slideshow ads are essentially a lighter version of Facebook’s video ads. Rather than putting in the time and money to create, edit, and upload high-quality footage for a video ad, slideshow ads allow you to upload 3 to 7 static images and have Facebook create a slideshow.

The best practices for video ads (15 seconds or less) and character limits for post text, headline, and descriptions apply to slideshow ads, too.

 

Carousel ads

Carousel ads allow you to display 2 to 10 images or videos in a single ad. Prospects can swipe through each individual image or video card. Each of these cards can have separate links that highlight different products or services. Carousel ads are great for sharing reviews (one review on each card), different treatment options, or telling a story.

The requirements for video length and character limits for carousel ads in the newsfeed are the same as single image and video ads.

The variety of ads and the affordability Facebook advertisements offer are hard to beat — and that isn’t even taking how specific Facebook’s ad targeting can be.

Regardless of the type of ad you choose, you’ll have to make sure your ad follows Facebook’s advertising policies.

 

Find your ideal patients

Though Facebook ads are a powerful tool for anyone who uses it, they are one of the best marketing options for specialty clinics. Facebook advertisements allow more targeting options than paid search ads, so you can find members of your target audience in a much more granular fashion.

However, it’s worth noting that as a healthcare professional, there are some things you cannot do even though most other businesses can with Facebook’s custom audience tools due to HIPAA. While a local business can upload a list of clients or customers to push ads to these people, medical and healthcare professionals cannot. Facebook often uses these lists to push relevant ads to the people on said lists and can potentially infer that these people are being treated by you, potentially for a certain condition.

Let’s say you run a men’s clinic that specializes in treating erectile dysfunction (ED), a condition that many men are embarrassed about. If you were to upload a list of your current patients in order to find similar patients or target more ads to these patients, your current patients may start seeing ads for ED medications pop up more often. Their private medical information is now being used in a way that’s accessible for just about any business who wants to advertise products based on that medical information.

To avoid any potential HIPAA violations, work with a HIPAA-trained digital marketing agency like OppGen. These agencies specialize in working with medical clients and ensure that the advertisements and information do not violate patient privacy or HIPAA.

While you can’t create an audience using a list of your current patients or target an audience by specific ailments or medical conditions on Facebook, you can certainly target prospective audiences by other demographics:

 

Age

Some health conditions affect people of different ages. You use Facebook’s targeting tools to push ads to people in specific age groups.

Keep in mind that Facebook does have certain limits for what can be advertised depending on what exactly you’re advertising. If you’re in the medical weight loss field or are a plastic surgeon, your ads for a clinic or cosmetic procedure cannot be targeted to anyone below the age of 18 on Facebook.

 

Sex

Just as some conditions may affect certain ages groups more, there are conditions that can affect one sex more than the other or simply affect only one sex. Facebook can allow you to push ads to men or women rather than both at the same time. This can be incredibly useful if you operate a men’s clinic or run weight loss programs specifically for women.

 

Location

Facebook’s ad targeting tools make it easy to find prospects near a particular location. If you have multiple clinic locations with each offering slightly different services, you can run different ads targeting people nearby. 

 

Interests

That Facebook “like” button has more power than you may think — not only does “liking” a page allow users to receive updates and news from that page, but it also tells marketers what their interests are. This may be a bit tricky for finding potential patients, but it’s not impossible. One prospect may follow natural or holistic health pages. That information can be useful for targeting them with natural weight loss or medical spa ads.

 

Behavior

Behavior-based targeting takes users’ search history and online purchases into account. If a Facebook user has recently searched for diets or weight loss programs, Facebook can take that information into account and then push relevant weight loss ads to that user.

 

Schedule more appointments

Most digital advertisements, including those on Facebook, require a landing page to send prospects to after they click on the ad. In the case of marketing your clinic, you’ll want to have a contact form that can be used to schedule a consultation.

The more traffic you have going to the landing page form, the better. Why? It means more people are going to fill out the form to schedule an appointment, and ideally, become your patients.

 

Expand your clinic’s services

As the number of patients coming in from your clinic’s Facebook Ads marketing strategy rises, so will your revenue. So, what should you do with that extra cash flow? Well, you could expand what your clinic offers. Maybe you could open a new clinic location. 

Regardless of whichever option you may choose, both of them can make for a new marketing opportunity that can help your clinic grow exponentially.

 

Case studies

Lifelong Metabolic Center

OppGen partnered with Lifelong Metabolic Center, a weight loss clinic in Naperville, Illinois, to increase the clinic’s initial patient lift in a highly competitive market. Using a combination of our paid search and paid social advertising (which included Facebook ads) programs resulted in an 80% lift in revenue, over 40 leads per month, and a 35% increase in total new patients per month for Lifelong Metabolic Center.

 

American Physical Medicine

OppGen has been working with American Physical Medicine for several years and on many different paid social ad campaigns for stem cells, stem cell seminars, and most recently, knee pain. With our expertise, American Physical Medicine has seen a lead to consult rate of roughly 50% and over 1,500 leads for stem cell seminars.

 

Spinal Aid

We’ve been running paid social campaigns for Spinal Aid, a peripheral neuropathy clinic, since 2018. In that time, OppGen generated over 400 total leads for Spinal Aid — with roughly 50% of them coming from our Facebook ad campaign. We expect to see even more leads as we continue to implement strategies to enhance the campaign’s performance.

 

For more information

At OppGen, we’re experts at running Facebook ads for doctors and helping increase clinic revenue and growth. We’ve worked with a wide variety of clinics that have seen more patients, an increase in revenue, and have gone on to add more services or open up new clinic locations as a result of our medical digital marketing program.

If you’re interested in learning more about our medical digital marketing program, contact us today for more information, or fill out our free digital audit.

By OppGen

The Telemedicine Marketing Manual for 2020 & Beyond

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 OppGen, 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.

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