Looking for a way to squeeze more out of your healthcare marketing budget? Increasing your patient engagement can supercharge your healthcare marketing strategy.
How? Increased engagement keeps your brand top-of-mind and is shown to raise overall patient satisfaction. And let’s face it, satisfied patients become loyal patients who are more likely to recommend your practice to their friends and family. So, you get more repeat business and more referrals, making it easier to reach your financial goals.
And the best news?
It doesn’t have to be hard.
What IS Engagement
Before we dive into the ways you can have the most impact on patient engagement, it’s important to understand what engagement is. Engagement sounds important but it’s a bit abstract if you don’t have a clear understanding of it.
In his Medium article, Head of User Research & Metrics at Goldman Sachs, Tomer Sharon defines engagement in the following way:
“In the context of products and services, engagement is the level of user involvement with a product. The term normally refers to the frequency, intensity, or depth of interaction between user and product, feature, or service over a given period of time.”
Simply stated, engagement is how much and often a person uses a service or product.
So, when we make aims to increase patient engagement, the goal is to create authentic ways to get patients involved with your practice.
Technology Supported Patient Engagement Tools
Having access to the right tools and tech will make all the difference in how effective you are at keeping your patients engaged with your office. The simplest and most obvious way for healthcare facilities to increase patient engagement is helping your patients stay on top of appointments, routine check-ups, and labs.
With the use of an automated communication system, you can easily reach current patients with valuable reminders that help them prioritize their health. Depending on the regulations in your specialty, you can also use email and text to run incentive-based campaigns for patients who haven’t been in for a visit lately.
Many large organizations have also invested in apps that can keep patients engaged with their brand. These are fabulous tools that can offer patients real value. Patients can use your branded app to set reminders to take their medication, track and make notes on symptoms, or log questions to ask their doctor in their next visit. If your organization can make the investment, an app can keep your brand top-of-mind for patients—your logo will be right there on their home screen!
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the power of a scent marketing system as a patient engagement tool. With a well-chosen fragrance, patients become more at ease in your practice. Medical visits can be stressful for patients. A calming fragrance improves the healthcare experience by making patients more receptive to engagement with your staff—and puts your staff in a clearer frame of mind to help them make the experience outstanding for your patients.
In fact, our healthcare clients report fewer cancellations as a direct result of their scent marketing system.
The Importance of Valuable Content
When you’re at a party, what’s the easiest way to mingle and engage with other guests?
Approaching people, sharing ideas, telling stories. Humans are social creatures. Spreading ideas is woven into the fabric of the human experience.
What does this have to do with patient engagement?
If you want to engage with patients in an authentic way, the best thing you can do is talk to them. How? With valuable content that informs, educates, and/or entertains.
As a medical professional, you have deep knowledge of your specialty. Create valuable content that answers your patients’ most burning questions. Sharing your knowledge with patients and potential patients is an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery.
Keep in mind, you’re not giving away your services for free. Providing high-level answers to questions will never take the place of care from a professional. When patients are ready to make an appointment, they remember who was there for them when they sought answers. And will prioritize making an appointment with the physician they already have an online relationship with through content.
Plus, the side benefit to creating content is the SEO boost your site can eventually earn. It takes time, but a higher search engine results page (SERP) ranking is always a win for any medical practice.
Exclusive Events and the Power of the Community
It’s never a good idea to isolate yourself. But it’s especially important for healthcare practices (or any business) to shirk isolation. Creating opportunities to engage on a large scale can be the difference between being a nameless practice and being a trusted authority in your community.
Consider including events in your patient engagement strategy.
Depending on your specialty, you can host a variety of interesting events that provide real value for your community. Consider hosting a cooking class or nutrition seminar. A practice with a focus on wellness might benefit from offering a free community yoga class. A pediatrician’s office might offer a craft event for kids to make cards and other special treats to benefit hospitalized children. Or for more glamorous events, an OB/GYN might host a pop-up maternity shop. The sky’s the limit!
No matter the type of event you choose to host, be sure to always stay committed to legitimately contributing to the betterment of the community. The investment you make in your community will pay you back in awareness—and patient retention.
If you’re not prepared to host your own events, consider participating in community sponsored events. Set up a booth and share some original valuable content. Use the opportunity to introduce yourself and form personal connections with individuals in the community.
Remember: nothing beats genuine human connection.
Embrace social media
If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on the social media bandwagon. Social media isn’t going away. Some business owners and executives fear giving their audience an open line of communication. But they’re missing out on an incredible engagement opportunity.
Social media gives you immediate access to your patients. You can quickly and authentically engage with them. It’s the ideal platform to share ideas and distribute any helpful content you might create. Plus, when you sponsor or host events, you can promote them through social media. Platforms with event sharing capabilities allow you to reach both current and potential new patients who will get value from the events.
How Can You Measure or Benchmark Patient Engagement?
Of course, it’s important to measure and track your patient engagement. By tracking your patient engagement, you’re analyzing how much your engagement efforts are addressing real patient needs—and to what extent they are inclined to engage with you.
Patient reviews are a powerful bench-marking tool. By monitoring reviews, you can learn a lot about your patients’ thoughts and attitudes toward you and your practice. Several review tracking tools are available to help you monitor this type of patient engagement. Comments serve as a guide and show where you can improve. Learn from negative feedback and always respond with empathy and care.
Plus, monitoring patient reviews means you can easily gather great reviews—and display them with pride. Responding to positive reviews also provides a great opportunity to deepen positive relationships with patients. Remember: the better your relationship with patients, the more likely they are to stay loyal to your practice and recommend it to others.
Social media can also help with measuring patient engagement. As the modern-day equivalent to the town square market, social media provides a platform for patients to chat with you and others about their experience in your practice. By using social listening, you can leverage those conversations into valuable patient engagement information.
And the best part? Social media platforms make it easy for you to track key metrics such as likes, comments, shares, impressions, and engagement rates.
With simple technology available to everyone, it’s easier than ever to understand your audience. And find exciting ways to engage them in a way that resonates. Using these patient engagement strategies, you can make each touchpoint an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with patients.
But what if you’ve already fine-tuned your patient engagement strategy?
It might be time to take your patient engagement strategy to the next level. A scent marketing system can transform your patient experience. Uncomfortable, nerve-wracked patients become relaxed in your care. Plus, a calming fragrance can help sharpen staff critical thinking skills, so they perform better under pressure.
With more relaxed patients and a more attuned staff, your office can easily build trust and authority with patients. Establishing a reputation as a trusted healthcare provider is that easy. And a great reputation leads to more patient retention, referrals, and positive reviews.
To explore what a scent marketing system can do for your practice, click here to request a consultation.
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