How Brands Can Stake Their Claim Early in Virtual Worlds
We do just about everything online now: grocery shopping, fitness classes, higher education — why not healthcare? Over the last several years, the healthcare industry has seen a rise in telemedicine, the practice of caring for patients remotely. This can be done through video calls, mobile apps, or even text messaging.
This technology affords patients more convenience than ever, and it’s shaping patient expectations and even recent legislation. Even if your healthcare provider doesn’t offer remote services, healthcare marketers can learn some valuable lessons from telemedicine startups.
Though telemedicine has been around for several years now, brands like Nurx or the Pill Club are starting to act like true challenger brands in the healthcare industry. Just like Casper mattresses and Harry’s razors have disrupted other industries, these brands are disrupting the way women access a part of their healthcare.
Challenger brands aren’t only changing the way we buy and receive these products. They breathe new life into previously stale industries. High-tech startup brands have a certain cool factor that makes a splash in industries that are not inherently glamorous.
Just take a look at Nurx’s Instagram profile. It’s a pastel moodboard-meets-fashion-blogger with colorful illustrations and quotes about female empowerment — quite bold compared to traditional healthcare companies.
While not all healthcare brands have the room to be quite as edgy, all marketers can take notes on how to engage a younger audience. Consider creating blog content geared towards new Millennial parents or Gen-Zers dealing with their own insurance for the first time. Think about what matters to your younger patients and communicate at their level. Infusing your brand with an appropriate degree of personality and style can also help engage the younger segment of your audience.
Don’t worry — telemedicine isn’t replacing traditional healthcare. It is supplementing the industry by providing more opportunities for care. Even though telemedicine can seem to lack the human connection of meeting with your care provider in person, brands are finding other ways to customize patient experiences and add that personal touch that we all love.
Many telemedicine startups have developed distinct personalities. Gone are the formal, stuffy days of overly clinical and one-size-fits-all healthcare communication. These mobile and app-based brands speak directly to patients, treating them individually and providing recommendations based on data.
They also act as a friendly face offering personalized touches. The Pill Club, for example, delivers chocolate with prescription shipments every month along with female-focused product samples based on your interests. It’s like a FabFitFun box for your female health needs.
Today’s digital-savvy patients expect to have a custom experience, whether it’s in the real world or in online interactions with their healthcare provider. We’re all accustomed to Amazon-like personalization where our needs are anticipated and met.
TrendyMinds capitalized on this expectation when we developed IU Health’s new website, incorporating a myriad of personalization features with an emphasis on locations and services. The site incorporates a user’s location and browsing history to populate pages with providers near them, offering the services they’ve searched for.
Delivering this information to the healthcare consumer brings traditional healthcare communication up to speed with the hyper-personalized customization that telemedicine companies are providing.
If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it’s time to join the 21st century. According to Entrepreneur, 52% of smartphone users gather health-related information on their cell phone. Mobile-first digital communication strategy is a no-brainer when it comes to communicating with your patients.
Telemedicine startups offer convenience and ease, so patients can receive care at their convenience and on the go. Many telemedicine providers are based around an app or mobile messaging. Even if your practice doesn’t offer telemedicine, you can offer patients the same accessible, mobile-friendly experience before and after they arrive in your office.
Mobile-first communication is also a commonly overlooked method of empowering rural or low-income patients. Many of these families use a smartphone as their primary internet access device, sometimes depending exclusively on cellular data in places where in-home Wi-Fi isn’t available.
By making your website mobile-friendly and responsive, you ensure that every patient can find the info they’re looking for — no matter the scale of their digital resources.
Many telemedicine startups have a focus on holistic wellness and preventative medicine. Instead of just showing up at the doctor’s office after they’re sick, people are wanting to live happier, healthier lives day in and day out — and many of them seek out information online for how to do so.
Wellness means many different things for many different people. Some consider physical activity and physical fitness to be a core pillar of wellness, while others focus more on the mental state and psychological health. Apps like BetterHelp or Talkspace offer affordable online counseling and access to licensed psychiatrists.
But in addition to counseling and psychological services, Talkspace also has a huge library of blog content focused on mental health and wellness for everyday life in the modern world. They also have gated content like stress management guides which they use to not only establish thought leadership but also gather information. They’ve built the brand into a destination for all things wellness, from blog content to medical care.
Take advantage of this moment to position your company as a go-to resource for health and wellness content. Take a cue from Talkspace and create gated content that’s valuable to your audience. You’ll position yourself as a thought leader in your specialty along with gathering information from current or potential clients to continue customizing their digital brand experience.
Welcome to the age of branded healthcare. Always-online Millennials expect their healthcare provider to communicate with them online just like all the new consumer goods brands that are killing it on social media. Taking advantage of emerging trends will help you build relationships with new generations and create great experiences for your patients.