While referrals and word of mouth are often the workhorse of the healthcare field, times are changing rapidly. Your prospects, their adult children, and healthcare providers are consuming marketing materials and content differently than in the past. A static website that is visually appealing on a desktop computer is not enough anymore; your website and digital presence needs to be responsive and translate across computers, tablets, and phones to maximize your reach, generate leads and increase conversions.
But what does it mean to have a responsive digital presence?
A good place to begin is building a responsive website, meaning a site that is coded and built on a fluid grid system to allow it to flex, shift, and adapt depending on the device your site visitor is viewing it on. However, it goes beyond just your community website.
Websites like Facebook and Twitter, and your digital advertisements all adapt to the different ways prospects are viewing them. Your audiences are using multiple devices, multiple times a day, and often only allot a short window of their attention to websites and emails. Each type of prospect – the adult child, the senior, and the medical professional engage differently, so you need to optimize different aspects of your digital strategy needs to effectively target each audience.
Adult Children and Caregivers
Adult children or caregivers of your prospective residents are often the primary decision makers, and the ones conducting research. When adult children and caregivers need more information about care for their parent or loved one, the first place they look is through an online search on their closest digital device.
With content marketing, Google is constantly adjusting its algorithms to present relevant data to users based on their IP addresses. While a Life Plan Community may draw from a 20-mile radius target audience, healthcare providers are more likely to see success in the 5-10 mile radius. This means when an adult child is looking for a place for their parent, they’re searching with terms like “near me,” their phone’s IP—or even location if it’s turned on in certain searches—is turning up nearby results. So, how do you capture this?
Utilizing meta tags, header tags and footers, which include your location, is key. Claim your Google Business listings and ensure your location address, phone number and services are listed correctly. This will also impact Google Maps, and ensure that your search is returned as a geo-targeted result.
Remember that an adult child is searching for extensive information before picking up the phone. Providing them with downloadable information kits or white papers reduces the hurdles toward a face-to-face conversation.
In some cases, the adult child or caregiver will be ready to call after visiting your website. Ensure your phone number is large and visible on your website, ideally in the header. Utilizing telephone tags also makes sure that if someone is visiting your site on a mobile device, all they need to do is touch the phone number to immediately bring up a dial screen and be put in touch with someone at your community.
Have different numbers to reach different departments? List them clearly on your contact page, and ensure they are optimized for mobile.
Having strong relationships with medical professionals in your area is one of the best ways to ensure referrals. To build more relationships with medical professionals, it’s important that your content is reaching them, too.
Tablets in particular are becoming a steadfast part of a medical professional’s arsenal, allowing them to manage scheduling, update charts, communicate internally, and access the internet wherever they are. Your primary market audience in this case remains small, so be sure to geo-target your digital ads and accurately describe your services to show up high in search engine results pages, to be noticed within this community.
Yes, seniors are online! They’re a part of the Facebook community, watching videos on YouTube, reading reviews and news articles, and communicating via email, both personally and professionally.
Installing and monitoring something like Google Analytics on your website to see what search terms people are finding you through can be immensely beneficial. It can influence the rest of your marketing plan, from how you budget and bid on terms in AdWords (if you choose to do paid advertising), to potentially revising meta tags and page topics, if you find the terms that are landing on your site aren’t correct or accurate.
For more information on the importance of a responsive digital presence in your marketing mix, give Tim Bracken a call at 410-207-0013 or Rick Hunsicker at 214-906-3801.