Online search is a critical component in the physician selection process and nurturing a human connection with those physicians, matters more than ever in the digital space. A recent Pew Internet study shows that about 80% of patients who are diagnosed with an illness go on the web to find information about their condition. Another 44% of patients are researching their doctor online prior to committing to them as a physician.
Those numbers paint a vivid picture and are a big reason for the shift in healthcare marketing dollars from the wide-net approach of traditional channels like print, radio, and TV to a more targeted, digital approach combining online search (paid & organic), mobile, and social. Sure, the measurability of digital is attractive to marketers because it is easy for them to prove ROI and defend their already challenged budgets. Even more so, healthcare marketers are realizing that digital is one of the most effective ways to engage with the healthcare consumer, specifically, right at the moment of need. With a wealth of information at their fingertips and a barrage of messaging coming from every direction, consumers are looking for a way thorough all the noise. They are looking for a true resource and an honest connection.
If you have been following this series, you already know just how important it is to make an online connection between your physicians, your facility, and the consumer as early as possible in the information gathering process. So, what can you do to facilitate making that connection when those consumers do find you? Let’s take a look at a very real way to help drive engagement and spark that connection.
It’s time to revisit the old, static physician finder on your website and move beyond the headshots and the mono-dimensional information that is the physician CV. It is time to use this space to engage with the healthcare consumer and nurture that all-important connection. It is very much the time to evaluate and consider the potential impact of physician videos.
Video is an innovative tool to differentiate your physicians. By presenting them as actual people, who are more than just the sum of their credentials, you allow your physicians to make a real human connection with potential patients. This virtual “face to face” meeting gives the healthcare consumer a way to connect with a physician on a much deeper level. Academic credentials, skill sets, and reputation will always be important factors when selecting a physician. Video goes a step further to allow for a complete and very human preview of your physicians and who they are. With the importance that online information plays in the selection of a physician, it is critical to make that initial contact as engaging as possible. Video is a perfect way to elevate that experience for your consumer.
The consumer-to-patient journey has truly become a digital journey and online search is more important than ever. By integrating physician videos into your digital strategy, you are adding tools that have both a direct and measurable impact with the search engines as well as providing the basis to form meaningful connections. These connections will differentiate your physicians, and ultimately, drive healthcare consumers to your door.