The aim of healthcare marketing is to drive awareness about your business or brand. Reaching a Patient audience for brand awareness requires a medium that is conducive to this, to deliver results. One such medium is app-based marketing. Mobile apps with your business’ branding to promote your services is a great way to get your patient users’ attention and increase adoption of your services.
It’s time to move on from providing brochures, pamphlets or any other easily disposable (and forgettable) marketing collateral to promote your practice with patients. Smart healthcare marketing involves being visible in channels that your audience frequent. Today’s businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to their advantage and healthcare isn’t any different.
Hospital apps have not been as popular as commercial healthcare apps, often due to poor marketing and customer understanding. An Accenture report showed that while 66 of the top 100 US hospitals have apps, only a mere 2% of patients use them. The failure of these apps most often is due to them not addressing the needs of patient users. It is estimated that only a paltry 11% of proprietary hospital apps offer some of the features that patient users want in a hospital app. This is despite the fact that patients are more than willing to use apps, and even welcome the idea of using them for quicker access to their providers.
Creating a high-quality app experience for your hospital or health practice doesn’t need to cost you your entire marketing budget or take ages to develop. Here are some healthcare app marketing best practices your organization can benefit from-
- Collaborate to build your app
Rather than attempting to build an app from scratch and investing large sums of money, partner with a player in the health app space to build an app for your healthcare practice. Planning, executive and delivery of health apps from people in the same space is faster and more productive.
Learn about how to create a branded mobile app for your health practice with us.
- Let patients know about your app
The first step in promoting your services is to get patients to download your app. Once you have created a branded patient app (Here’s how we can help you get it done), tell your patients about it. Have your staff let them know about the benefits of the app so that your patients understand the value it delivers.
- Get patients to use your app
The success of your branded app hinges on how effectively it is used. It is estimated that 20% of installed apps only used once. To ensure your app doesn’t suffer the same fate, your practice needs to start using the app to get patients to engage with you on it.
- Communicate value with your messaging
What will patients get from installing and using your app? How has it evolved over the years? These are important value propositions to convey to patients to keep them coming back. Some businesses resort to incentivize users with discounts and benefits to get them to engage with the app.
- Take advantage of mobile notifications
Rather than emailing or texting, you can use your own app to promote your practice and services, including upcoming events and offers. Mobile notifications reach your app users faster and have greater odds of being read and responded to.
- Segment communication
Rather than sending out bulk newsletters and announcements to your patients, you can send messages relevant to your patients. Segment your patient database and group them to send out targeted communication that is likely to resonate with them specifically.
- Share health reports
Having your EHR system accessible on your branded mobile app allows your staff to share health reports through the app. Given that 2 out of 3 people would switch to a health provider who offers access to their health records electronically, your practice is likely to win favour with patients if health records are accessible on your mobile app.
- Give patients what they want
A survey indicated that, in addition to access to EHR, patients would use their provider’s mobile app if it allowed them to book appointments and receive prescriptions and medication refills. In short, health apps are effective if they shorten the length of time that patients have to wait to receive a response from your practice.
- Make it referral-friendly
Your branded patient app is not just a great way to get patients engaging with your business but also an innovative tool for patient recommendations and referrals. Get patients to leave testimonials and encourage them to let their friends know about the app, helping you gain more registrations virtually.
- Create brand identity
Use your practice logo, images, themes and colour to brand your mobile app, similar to your health practice. This makes it easily identifiable to patient users and improves brand recognition.
- Incentivize app users
In order to get your patients to actively use your app, provide them with incentives. Offer discounts on mobile appointments or mobile-based consultations to encourage patient users to use the app.
- Being proactive
Whether it is responding to appointments, answering questions or sending notifications, being proactive and ensuring staff and other providers in your organization actively respond to patients encourages them to continue using your mobile app.
- Focus on design and usability
Your mobile app can set your practice up for the future if done right. Creating a consumer-centered and user-friendly design with easy access to all of your services and functionalities will see better user retention among patients.
- Collect feedback
Get your app users to provide feedback about their experience with the app, how it helped them, what they’d like to see in the future, any suggestions they may have etc. Taking patient surveys allows you to stay relevant with your users.
- Always make improvements
The success of commercial healthcare apps over hospital apps is their ability to continue to innovate and update their app’s capabilities. Improve features and usability of the app and make changes to the look and feel of it to keep users engaged.
- Tell users about updates
It is important to communicate updates you make to your app, whether they are cosmetic changes or functional ones. This will drive users to come back to the app and possibly get them to be active.
- Get your staff to promote your app
Research shows that when providers recommend an app or health application, about 76% of patients take their advice. Therefore, the best (and cheapest) means of marketing your branded mobile app is through your providers.
- Promote remote care programs
Your branded patient app is a great way to promote additional services that are offered to your patients virtually. One such program could be remote monitoring and chronic care programs to help patients manage their health at home. With a mobile app, your patients are better placed to adhere to these care plans and track their health more diligently. Not to mention, you can generate additional revenue from this too.
- Additional revenue through telemedicine
Offering telemedicine services on your branded mobile app for patients is a great way to promote your app while generating additional revenue. The convenience of consulting via video calls is guaranteed to be popular among patients, one that they will be happy to pay for.
Healthcare organizations without a mobile app could lose up to $100 million in annual revenues. A poor mobile app experience can also lead to patients switching providers.Given the expectations that patients have of their health providers, your practice should adapt to the shifting marketplace to provide your patients with a great mobile experience.
Also read: Why health organizations should have their own mobile app.
Custom branded patient mobile apps that aallowyour patients to schedule appointments, consult with text or video or share health readings and reports for remote monitoring, available with your Virtual Practice. Get more information.
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