Article | February 10, 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) – long an impactful technology in other industries – is in the midst of rapid adoption across the healthcare industry. What was once seen as having great potential is now making its way to real-world implementation, driving improvements in care through enhanced clinical decision support, empowering payers, providers and healthcare organizations across the ecosystem with actionable insight. Patient-generated behavioral data is becoming increasingly common for care management. Smart gadgets such as Fitbits, smartphones and other wearable sensors collect patients’ data, helping patients and physicians better understand habits and set realistic healthcare goals.
Article | February 12, 2021
Social media has become a powerful tool to connect people with friends, relatives, family, and other loved ones. Worldwide, around 4.2 billion people are actively using the internet. Among them, 3 billion are regularly active on social media channels. Social media is not just about interpersonal conversations; at least 80 percent of users follow one business on Instagram. With all the ads on your Facebook news feed, you connect with various brands or become aware about many brands. But does social media in healthcare make any impact?
Almost all industries have started to realize the power of social media and how it can impact connecting with consumers. Various social media platforms help companies share information, increase brand awareness, and partner with industry influencers. Social media has overpowered traditional marketing strategies. Social media has become the wave of the future.
Regarding the uptake of social media, the healthcare industry has been a bit slower. However, the industry now has accepted the undeniable importance of social media in healthcare. The reluctance might have been due to the risks associated for the providers as well as patients. Privacy and confidentiality of patient information has to be maintained always. Those were the challenges of social media in healthcare. However, consumers can get information from social media faster than any other tool.
The Healthcare industry includes both the healthcare technology providers as well as the healthcare service providers. Whether you are a service provider or a technology provider, social media can impact your customers equally. This article discusses the positive effects and benefits of social media in healthcare, especially healthcare service providers.
Embraced by the Medical Community
The healthcare industry took notice of social media when government agencies and other business industries started to reap the benefits of social media. A recent survey revealed an interesting fact about the use of social media in healthcare. More than 1500 healthcare providers around the US have social media presence online. Hospitals miss key opportunities if they don’t use social media. These hospital systems have started effectively using social media to reach out to their past, current, and future patients. Social media in healthcare is an easy medium to share vital information with consumers and patients in the industry.
The survey also revealed that more than 30% of medical professionals use various social media platforms to network with their peers. Many physicians also use these social media platforms for multiple activities in open forums. Having an active online presence evokes transparency among clients and peers. Healthcare providers can join various platforms such as Twitter to become healthcare influencers. Through social media in healthcare, providers can make connections, engage the community, and explore the industry.
The Case of Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US is the best example of how social media can be used to reach out to patients, engage them online, and stay ahead of competitors. They have more than 2 million followers on Facebook, 1.9 million followers on Twitter, and around 5 lack followers on LinkedIn. They have very different and unique social media strategies. They do post about whatever happens on the campus, including doctors practicing in their respective departments and interactive sessions with doctors and HODs, etc. Also, they do provide health tips and information, general health advice, and updates on the latest medical technologies and treatments. Apart from these, the hospital also reaches out to patients for queries and feedback through social media and responds to them promptly. These effective social media strategies help them in building up a brand, reputation management, create a patient relationship and build patient loyalty.
Loved by Healthcare Consumers
To find advice and new treatments, healthcare consumers widely use social media. This creates an opportunity for providers to connect with consumers through various forms of healthcare educational content. More than 40 percent of consumers believe that social media in healthcare affects their wellness decisions and health. Among 18 to 24 years old, 90 percent of people trust the medical information they get on social media. This shows the importance of healthcare providers on social media channels.
Mobile healthcare is expanding as consumers depend more on the internet for information. Countless fitness and health apps are available online. However, many of them are not effective and do not cure diseases but can change behaviors. Having an app will help you increase your accountability, as a provider, among consumers.
Positive Impact of Social Media on Healthcare
The healthcare community is widely embracing the scope of social media in healthcare. Healthcare technology providers, hospitals, and other service providers are opening new accounts to create a consistent image among consumers. There are many ways to improve care by reaching out to patients through social media in healthcare. Some of the positive impacts of best practices for social media in healthcare are as follows:
Increasing Access Across Generations
Healthcare companies have almost stopped employing the traditional ways of advertising. Patients always need quick access to information to reduce the risk of getting flu or to find new providers, including baby boomers, every generation is online. According to Forbes, as of 2017, 9 percent of Facebook users were above 55 years of age. This present generation is very tech-savvy, they search online for local healthcare services and healthcare information. They use Facebook and YouTube. So, you need to create a marketing strategy that targets baby boomers.
Generation X also searches health-related topics online, which accounts for 1.5 billion views on YouTube each day. As they care for children and aging parents, they may search for the best long-term care facilities, how to soothe a colicky baby, and so much more. As millennials are focused on healthy living and being cost-conscious, they depend more on social media platforms for healthcare information. Ninety-three percent of millennials say that they do not rely on healthcare providers for preventive health information.
Thus, as everyone goes online for healthcare information, healthcare service providers should consider the role of social media in healthcare seriously. By providing reliable and accurate information, healthcare providers can engage with consumers and increase the patient experience through social media.
The days that the patients trust doctors blindly have gone. Healthcare consumers have become smarter and want to have relationships with providers who care for them. Allowing your tech-savvy employees to share videos and pictures of events or office helps have a human touch. It also improves patient engagement and overall patient satisfaction.
If patients know the people in your reception or nurses of respective departments, it helps them relax, engage, and makes them share their health history more openly. This is possible as they connect with those in the office through your social media in healthcare. It increases your authenticity.
Keeping an Eye on Competitors
Administrators and marketers keep an eye on their competitors through their social media platforms. They evaluate pain points, community involvements, service lines, and marketing strategies sitting in their offices. Hospitals and other providers can quickly get feedback on technologies and marketing strategies the competitors are using. This would help them if they want to incorporate these things in their care process before investing.
You can take note of the social media platforms where your competitors are performing well. This approach to social media in healthcare would remove the possibility of failure with your social media strategy, especially when you begin with it.
During emergencies and other situations, social media in healthcare allows you to communicate quickly. Social media updates can provide life-saving information, from crisis alerts to census notifications. World Health Organization (WHO) is an excellent example; they provide real-time information to the masses regarding any health crisis, warnings, and other critical safety information during disasters, using social media, especially Twitter.
Similarly, by providing real-time information to your consumers through your social media channels, you can increase your authenticity, authority, and dependency. Real-time access to information saves lives.
Patients often want to communicate with their doctors quickly. They may need to share something about a recent appointment or about a reaction they had to medication. Making patients provide feedback on social media helps you learn how they feel about their medicine and care.
You can get essential feedback that might help you improve your care. It also helps you recognize and reward the staff that the consumers recognize. As a provider, you can also get back to them for additional information after the feedback you get from them on social media. This possibility of social media in healthcare will work more to provide better care next time.
Social Media for the Future
Social media in healthcare is going to stay here and have advancements from time to time. Most of the modern consumers are tech-savvy and want to have everything at their fingertips. Modern patients have no patience. Therefore, social media works to engage patients and enhance the patient experience and satisfaction.
Whether you are a large service provider, a solo practitioner, or run a hospital, you need a social media presence. For engaging with your community, social media in healthcare helps a lot. It can make an impact beyond your imagination. Use these strategies to improve the quality of the healthcare you provide.
It may be a tiresome job to do it all alone. We, at Media7, provide social media services to engage your consumers. Whether you are a service provider or a technology provider, we are here to help you with our compelling social media strategies. We help healthcare companies generate leads, brand themselves, increase sales, and make them your happy customers. For more details about us, visit https://media7.com/.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using social media in health care?
When used cautiously, social media can provide clear benefits, such as clinical education, professional networking, and patient’s health promotion. However, there can be disadvantages too, including privacy and confidentiality of patients, resulting in formidable consequences.
How has social media influenced the marketing of health care?
For establishing public awareness and managing reputation, social media is practical means. As part of an effective marketing plan, social media has become an essential medium for healthcare professionals to interact with consumers and engage them.
What is the Importance of Social Media in the hospital?
By providing important and general information on healthcare, hospitals can make their presence more valuable to consumers. Encouraging patients to share their feedback and thoughts makes hospitals connect with them and improve the care process.
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Article | February 18, 2021
Your sales cycle encompasses every action you take to close a new customer as a salesperson. But there is a possibility for the sales cycle to be confused with sales methodology. Sales methodology is a framework in which one practices a sales cycle. Whereas the sales cycle is the step-by-step process of you, as a salesperson, to close a deal with a client.
Piper Drive, a sales CRM and pipeline management platform defines a sales cycle as the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service, and that sales cycles can vary greatly among organizations, products, and services, and no one sale will be the same.
Especially with the healthcare industry, a thorough understanding of your health tech sales cycle will make your sales operations more efficient. Shortening the sales cycle without an up-front investment for sales is one of the critical healthcare sales and marketing goals. If you shorten your health tech sales cycle, you get more time to make additional leads. This will ultimately result in having an improved bottom line.
A faster and shorter sales cycle can bring you more advantages in the competitive sales world of your industry. It will indeed allow your company to grow its business by improving market share. Have you ever thought, as a salesperson, about the effective ways to shorten the health tech sales cycle? This article mainly focuses on proactive ways to shorten your sales cycle and improve profitability.
Challenges of Long B2B Health Tech Sales Cycle
According to Marketing Sherpa, a market research institute, the length of the sales cycle can vary from industry to industry. Comparatively, the health tech industry has a longer sales cycle. Still, there are many effective ways to shorten it and bring a positive impact on your sales process.
In general, B2B sales take a lot of time to maintain. Thus, the B2B health tech sales cycle takes even months to close a sale with a prospect and faces many challenges in the process. Some of the challenges you may face, as a health tech salesperson, can be the following on the process:
Turning the Lead to a Sales-Ready Prospect
No health tech salesperson will find a lead ready to make the sale without any persuasion from you. In the health tech sales cycle, lead nurturing should be your best bet to convert a prospect.
With longer sales cycles, it won't be easy to nurture a lead all through the process and make a sales-ready prospect. It would be easier to convert leads when they are ready if you keep in touch with the prospects. People often find it difficult to do so in the long health tech sales cycle and end up not converting potential clients into happy customers.
Maintaining Engagement Over Time
The sales team keeps converting leads on their radar. As days and months pass, it is challenging to memorize each prospect you have interacted with. Neglecting them brings nothing to your business.
It can be a juggle to balance new prospects with existing SQLs. Older ones may get lost in the weeds as new leads come in. No one can tell which one is a higher priority. Whom will you pay more attention to and for how long? It can be a severe obstacle in the long B2B health tech sales cycle.
Keeping Your Sales Team Energized
If your sales team is not engaged with the process itself and enjoys it, they will have a more challenging time dealing with leads. It is a fact that, unfortunately, salespeople can become frustrated or bored due to working with difficult and hesitant leads.
As the health tech sales cycle drags on, it is tough to remain emotionally calm. If you have no strategies to energize them promptly, apathy or discouragement may come into play.
Ensuring Marketing and Sales Alignment
Lack of communication between the sales and healthcare marketing teams can pose the most detrimental challenges. It can impact the health tech sales cycle seriously. This loss of alignment between marketing and sales can hurt lead nurturing and lead to further difficulties like the ones listed above.
When the two teams move out of sync, it often requires a lot of effort to get them on the same page again. These teams can work separately with decisions and different goals, but it would not benefit the entire company.
Five Stages of the Typical Sales Cycle
It is better to understand the five stages of the health tech sales cycle to comprehend how the sales cycle comes into play completely.
This is the stage where the sales team attracts leads and listens to them, and learns to offer what they need.
This is the stage for you to get leads to move forward with your offers. You can utilize all the data you have amassed during prospecting.
As a salesperson, this is when you learn about leads and determine whether the prospect intends to buy.
In this stage of the health tech sales cycle, you offer your product or services as an effective solution for your lead's pain points.
It’s a fit! By now, you know if your lead wants your product or service and move forward.
Benefits of Shortening your Sales Cycle
A shorter health tech sales cycle allows you to meet more prospects within the same time frame. For example, if you take one week for each prospect to complete the cycle, you can meet more people than with a two-week average life cycle for a single prospect. As you meet more people, it allows you to make more money. Moreover, most of the prospects prefer to have shorter sales cycles provided that you fulfill their need and solve their problem.
However, even with a short health tech sales cycle, you should have an effective method to track sales information. Along with a short sales cycle, an effective method will increase your team’s efficiency and sales numbers. You will make more profits and improve your sales cycle.
Ways to Shorten your Long Health Tech Sales Cycle
One of the significant challenges faced by healthcare technology salespeople is shortening their health tech sales cycle. Unlike B2C, the B2B process of sales has to deal with many decision-makers and educate them about the value of your products. Typically, it takes a lot of time and effort to convince your prospects that your solution is customized to meet their unique needs.
However, your health tech sales cycle can become agonizingly long as each prospect can have a different perspective about your solution. It can also occur due to the number of people involved in the decision-making in B2B companies. According to the latest Demand Gen Report, the buyer’s journey is getting more complicated and longer. This makes the sales process worse, which is already tedious.
However, the good news is that you can follow these marketing strategies to shorten your health tech sales cycle tactically.
Understand Your Buyer Personas
Keep yourself away from trying to engage the wrong people. This will not bring you any results in the end. Before commencing the sales process, you should have a clear idea of who your targeted audience is. The decision-makers or influencers in the organizations you are targeting are your buyer personas.
After identifying your personas, by answering the following questions, you can outline their qualities:
• What are their goals?
• What are their responsibilities?
• What trigger drives them to buy?
• What problems are they dealing with?
• How do they like to research?
• What inhibits a purchase?
As you answer these questions, you will get a clear idea of the best way to approach them.
Send an Introductory Video
The prospects get to know the salesperson only in the in-person meeting. So before the in-person meeting, you can consider sending them an introduction video. This would add value and explain why you are interested in them with a ‘call-to-action. It creates familiarity by the time you connect with them. This is a very creative step to shorten your health tech sales cycle.
Provide Pre-Sales Appointment Content
Having a sales appointment with a prospect, who does not know anything about your solution, is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your health tech sales cycle. This means you may have to have several meetings to convince the client. This problem can be eliminated with a lead nurturing email with informative content. This email can have a link to an informative blog about your product, which was written previously. It will make them peruse your website before the actual sales meeting with you. It saves your time by eliminating many meetings to educate the prospect about your product.
Provide Post-Sales Appointment Content
The prospect is expected to come out with some concerns and objections after the first sales appointment. As a healthcare tech company salesperson, it is your responsibility to eliminate all those obstacles by addressing them strategically. Sending follow-up emails, videos, and case studies helps address those concerns. The content can be used to guide other prospects too. Overcoming these obstacles with effective content can shorten your health tech sales cycle effectively.
Come Clean with Pricing
Pricing of your products can be one of the main concerns for your prospects. Many salespeople address it only at the last stage of the health tech sales cycle. Not revealing the price at the beginning will only lengthen your process. Moreover, it may result in losing trust in you. Be transparent and reveal the price, to save yourself from such issues.
Leverage Social Proof
One of the smartest ways to win the trust of your prospect is to provide social proof. It will also make the deal close sooner. The best social proofs are case studies with the impact of your products or ROI. Remember to make that the company featured in the case study is similar to the particular prospect's company.
In the health tech sales cycle, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the prospect. Your sales cycle should connect with the process of lead nurturing, where you act as an advisor. This will also help you build trust with the prospects and increase your chances of closing the deal before the expected time.
Executing all of these alone would be challenging. At Media7, we help companies market their healthcare technology product with innovative strategies and support by implementing these strategies effectively. Our strategies help attract prospects, convert them and turn them into your happy customers forever. To know more about us, visit https://media7.com/
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the stages in the health tech sales cycle?
B2B health tech sales cycles include seven main stages. They are sales prospecting, making contact, qualifying the lead, nurturing the lead, making an offer, handling objections, and closing the sale. Following these steps help a salesperson to close the sale effectively.
How does the health tech sales cycle help?
The health tech sales cycle helps you identify potential clients and nurture them through the process of sales. It makes you effectively and efficiently guide your clients and gives them the confidence to go forward with more effort.
What are the best practices for the health tech sales cycle?
The best practices for the health tech sales cycle can be attracting more prospects through content marketing, building trust by understanding clients better, focusing on your customers' clients, and knowing the prospect’s organizational chart.
Why is the sales cycle important in health tech?
The sales cycle in the health tech industry helps the sales managers to forecast the accurate picture of your sales. This because they know where your salespersons are in the sales cycle. It also gives a clear picture of how many deals your salespeople close out of a given number of leads.
Article | March 10, 2021
2020 was very challenging for those working in the healthcare sector. As Covid-19 is looking unlikely to go away anytime soon, healthcare marketing strategy is crucial in 2021. Do you know that one in every 20 Google searches is health-related? Also, almost 90% of 18-24-year-olds trust the health information they get on social media channels.
Consultations and appointments are being carried out online. Information on all medical things is available digitally and things in the medical industry are changing rapidly. Updating yourself and adapting healthcare marketing trends is more than a necessity. This blog provides some of the useful healthcare marketing tips for you in 2021 in light of Covid-19. These tips will help you stay ahead of the competition in these chaotic times.
Be Aware of the Covid-19 Impact on Healthcare Marketing
Due to the unexpected effect Covid-19 had in the healthcare sector, healthcare marketers have to integrate the latest healthcare marketing trends in 2021 in their campaigns. Here are some tips:
Demand for Healthcare Information
There is a huge demand for healthcare information, especially related to the pandemic. Engaging people with relevant informational and educational content is crucial. This content can be made on handwashing, mental health, being safe, staying healthy at home, etc.
Reputation is Key
The key to healthcare marketing is reputation building. Encourage and make patients leave positive feedback online. Learn and improve if you get any negative feedback. Almost 90% of patients use online reviews before consultation or booking an appointment. So, it is vital to have a safe and robust reputation in 2021.
Being transparent, you can become a trusted source of information. You can achieve it by keeping your patients updated on any scaling back of operations and policy changes. Answering the queries of patients online will also increase your reputation.
Invest in SEO
The demand for relevant user-generated content and organic searches has not gone away during the pandemic, it has just shifted. Many businesses reacted to the pandemic by pausing marketing campaigns. In 2021, you will have to keep adapting to the new normal in your healthcare marketing. Since the pandemic outbreak, most consumers are using search engines to look up symptoms, checking reviews of various healthcare providers, and making appointments. Here are some tips for ranking highly on search engines in 2021:
Linking the business website with other quality websites of the same category will increase your reputation and rankings on search engines.
Mobile optimization of your healthcare business website is essential in healthcare marketing. It is more important than ever in 2021 to stay connected with your patients on the go. So, if your website is not mobile-friendly, you will miss out on a massive number of patients, especially during this pandemic time.
Another essential thing in healthcare marketing is to create engaging and relevant content for your potential clients. Engaging, informational, and educational blogs will increase your online visibility in the healthcare industry and rankings in the search engines.
People searching for something, including healthcare providers, ‘near me’ is a trend. Optimizing your healthcare marketing content and being visible on Google My Business platforms will help you get ranked in search engine result pages.
Create a Seamless Patient Experience
The global pandemic has drastically changed the way the world works during 2020. These practices expect to be with us in 2021, too, perhaps even beyond. Therefore, the patient experience also has changed hugely. The pandemic has brought out new customs like online appointments due to recent social distance and other safety measures. As an effective healthcare marketing practice, it is essential to communicate with your patients in time to make any changes to your healthcare procedures.
Update your website
Ensure you update all the essential information about scheduling, appointments, new procedures, and phone consultations clearly on your business website. You can even add a Covid-19 section with FAQs on your website. FAQs can be about what patients can expect and how you are operating safely.
Personalize email and text notifications
Sending out new safety protocols, appointment reminders, and any changes to your policy via email or text is the best way to communicate with your patients. It can be an effective way of healthcare marketing during the pandemic. It will also ensure that you do not leave out any patients.
Mobile app experience
Creating an app for your healthcare business will provide your patients with an excellent customer experience. It allows patients to see test results, schedule appointments, chat with consultants, and upload images. Moreover, it will be a great healthcare marketing initiative as it will be valuable in the future of healthcare marketing too.
Update your social media
Updating your social media channels regularly with how you are operating during the pandemic will create a clear communication channel with your patients.
Healthcare content is key
Creating reliable, educational, and informative content for meeting user demand is critical for healthcare marketing in 2021. The best way to engage and inform patients is through video content. Video content is also easily accessible for potential customers to consume. It can be in the form of explaining a healthcare issue, what to expect at your appointment, or a Q&A with an expert. Educational, informative, and engaging video creation and distributing it in various channels can be an effective healthcare marketing tactic in 2021.
You can also publish statistics, studies, blogs, and news articles to project yourself as an expert in the healthcare industry. Healthcare marketing is all about building a strong reputation and driving up potential customer engagement.
The priority in 2021 is to stay on top of your healthcare marketing. We at Media 7 offer bespoke services for the healthcare industry. We generate leads, convert them, and make them your happy customers forever. To know more, visit Media 7 website.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does social media help in healthcare marketing?
Social media is a practical means to establish and manage public awareness and reputation. As part of an overall healthcare marketing plan, social media helps healthcare marketers interact with the public to attract new patients.
How do you create a successful healthcare marketing strategy?
The first step in creating a successful healthcare marketing strategy is to understand your target audience. After understanding the audience, you can have a step-by-step online marketing process, such as building a website, making your presence on social media, etc.
What are the benefits of healthcare marketing?
Some of the benefits and advantages of healthcare marketing are improved competitive advantage, networking, visibility, absence of misinformation, creating, communicating, and providing value. It also helps in building up a sustainable relationship with patients.