Demand Generation: How to Automate Your Patient Pipeline With This Powerful Tool

September 10, 2020  |  Paula Serios, Josh Derouin

Healthcare

As healthcare organizations look to recover from the volume and margin deconstruction precipitated by COVID-19, healthcare marketers find ourselves in a position of fulfilling a prime directive: refill the patient pipeline, now. Our role in recovery could not be more vital, judicious, and timely.

A July 2020 Blueprint for Recovery published by Kantar frames the marketplace perfectly: Winning companies, in every sector, will put first priority on reactivating demand as a pathway to success.

While there are many roads to creating demand there are always two levers that we must employ:

  1. A powerful call to action (CTA)
  2. A compelling campaign that is delivered to the right target at the right time in the right place

An important aspect of every compelling campaign is the digital front door, your landing page.

Healthcare Consumers Start with Search

Did you know 5% of all Google searches—sixty billion searches a year—are related to health and wellness? It’s a fact. So, there’s little doubt where the majority of people turn when beginning to look for answers for their health questions. They search for information about their symptoms, look for reviews of providers and practices, and find contact information to make an appointment.

The results Google generates are based on a variety of factors. To show up among the most relevant results, it’s essential that your content aligns with those terms and questions people are searching. The most important element to making sure potential patients find you is your use of landing pages.

Clean-Up Your Storefront

Your strategy for building landing pages is critical to your business because they provide a virtual road map to help consumers find you. They also explain your capabilities and provide an opportunity for convincing individuals your practice is the right place to go for care. When it comes to digital marketing there is a long list of best practices, and I believe landing page strategy belongs at the top. This is as fundamental to your business as choosing a location and it’s a proven way to convert web traffic into prospective patients. Regardless of your current website design or whether or not you have a complex CRM, landing pages are a cost-effective method for improving the perception of you practice. In other words, they’re a simple way to boost curb appeal.

Improve the Customer Experience

If you are currently sending people to a homepage or general appointment registration page, don’t worry just yet. Small adjustments can have a big impact. And we have some quick fixes that will enhance your layout, your content and how to gauge performance.

There are three questions you should ask about your website right now:

  1. Does my message match my ads and organic search listing? It is important that prospective patients feel confident they’ve arrived at a provider that understands them. They have communicated their needs through search and this is your opportunity to speak to them with a clear, connected message. The same holds true for your ads, if you’re using them. Make sure your website and landing pages have messaging that aligns with your advertising. Studies have shown consistent messaging can lead to a 100% or greater increase in conversion.
  2. Are my calls to action above the fold? Think about your landing page as if it were a newspaper (remember those?). Organize your content so that the main idea you want visitors to grasp and the first step you want them to take are both easy to find. Motivate prospective patients to call or submit a form before they scroll any further.
  3. Does my site use directional cues? Use accepted data about user behavior to your advantage. People all tend to scan pages the same way, instinctively using an “F” shape that anchors their gaze on the right and extends back and forth horizontally. Use this to guide page layout. Remove needless distractions. And make sure you’re using clear colors to capture attention and indicate what you want visitors to do.

Align Your Landing Page Content with Your Ads

Launch a unique page for each of your practice’s individual service lines or product offerings. Our research shows that increasing your practice’s landing pages can increase leads by 55%. Why? Because it focuses your messaging so that it is more relevant to each patient’s needs. Relevant content feels more personal and shows that not only do you have the requisite expertise, but you’re also serious about fulfilling their needs as a patient.

Get Your Operations Team Ready

The final item in our list of best practices concerns driving campaign performance. Whether your efforts are paid or organic, you need to make sure your operation is prepared to manage an increase in patient volume. You’re going to have a form and phone number prominently displayed on these landing pages. Once a user responds, you need to make sure your team follows through as quickly—and as effectively as possible.

We recommend creating a dedicated “Prospective Lead” email inbox so you can allocate time and resources to patient outreach. Develop a template for an email response that is sent once patients submit their form. It’s important to communicate to individuals that you have received their request and you’ll respond in a timely fashion. To handle incoming calls, we recommend having a dedicated phone number for each landing page so you can track campaign performance. There are many dependable services who can facilitate this and simplify the process.

Campaigns that Deliver

With the right landing page in place, the larger campaign becomes the driving factor. BVK believes that driving volume quickly at a reasonable cost should be a baseline for any healthcare marketing organization. The campaigns themselves must build volume in vital clinical lines that contribute to a valuable payer mix and overall case mix index. The challenge is that the current volatility of COVID-19 makes recovery strategies a guessing game for health system marketers faced with absorbing the financial burden of the pandemic. We see the key strategy as flexible, cost-effective campaigns that can be turned on and off to drive volume as needed. BVK’s OnDemand healthcare campaigns offer customizable, turnkey solutions that can be in market in as little as a few weeks.

Rooted in consumer perceptions and behavior with propensity modeling that provides razor-sharp targeting of the right patient at the right time in the right place, BVK OnDemand campaigns were developed and vetted with hands-on experts that possess decades of healthcare experience.

Each campaign includes strategic insight, media strategy, and creative, plus reporting and optimization across a full range of healthcare consumer touchpoints. These include digital banners, social media, e-mail, landing pages, digital OOH, video, and radio. The OnDemand campaign suite focuses on conditions and procedures with a high degree of consumer decision impact that can work individually or in tandem.

Designed to run 12-weeks, each BVK OnDemand campaign also includes a real-time dashboard to monitor campaign results, as well as monthly optimization of both media and creative elements. Here is a sampling of several of the available campaigns.

The Time is Now

It has never been more critical to answer the call of demand generation in healthcare. Our very healthcare system depends upon recovering through refilling the provider pipeline with profitable patient care, now. Whether you choose to develop your own campaign or explore a BVK OnDemand campaign, the time is now.

For more information about BVK OnDemand, please contact, Paula Serios at paula.serios@bvk.com.

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Paula Serios
is a Senior Vice President, BVK Health

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Josh Derouin
Josh Derouin is a Senior Vice President, Performance Marketing & Analytics

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