Big opportunities for healthcare marketers: COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of virtual care, and the trend is growing.

Prior to COVID-19 the healthcare industry was known for being slow to adopt new technologies. When the pandemic hit however, the CEO of Humana Bruce Broussard predicted it would change the framework of our healthcare system, and that it’d be “more distributed in the ability to deliver care.” Little did we know just how fast that transformation would occur.

In less than three months, telehealth went from novel to necessary, with virtual visits surging 184% YoY in Q1 2020. Providers went from being cloud novices to cloud veterans, onboarding paperless solutions like e-forms, e-fax and secure texting. Tech giants from Amazon to Microsoft introduced new pharmacy and digital health solutions, creating buzz among patients and driving innovation across the industry.

These trends show no sign of slowing. Data shows that both providers and patients have grown accustomed to the convenience and efficiency of virtual care and want to continue using it after the pandemic subsides. In fact, recent data by ARPR client Updox reveals that 75% of providers say a virtual care strategy is essential moving forward. These dynamics present big opportunities for healthcare marketing.  

As providers evaluate new virtual care solutions to integrate into their practices this year, healthIT brands should provide educational content on the evolving patient perspective, reimbursement challenges, and how to integrate solutions and improve workflows. Here are a few tips for ensuring a successful healthcare content marketing strategy:

  1. Get Organized: Start by creating a content calendar that supports brand awareness, educational and promotional communications.
  2. Less is More: Providers are tight on time. Create short, visual pieces that quickly inform and engage. Playbooks, eBooks and tip sheets work well. 
  3. Gather Proprietary Data: Data-driven content stands out from the crowd and says you have something unique. Survey your customers and create content that addresses their specific challenges, or poll patients and give an inside look at consumer trends providers should expect.  
  4. Build Demand: In a recent HITMC event, providers admitted they often now hesitate to give their contact info in exchange for virtual care content since they believe they can get it somewhere else without a form fill. First build demand for your content by promoting snippets of it – e.g., blogs, infographics, videos – and then direct your audience to a landing page to download the full piece.

As you educate and engage providers through healthcare content marketing while increasing the number of virtual care solutions customers use, you’ll build customer loyalty and retention while positioning your brand as a thought leader.
For more ideas on how healthcare marketing teams can seize upon a more digitally connected consumer base, download ARPR’s new whitepaper, entitled Coming Out of COVID: How to market for newfound marketplace opportunities. We specifically explore the HealthIT sector, as well as Cloud, Cybersecurity and FinTech industries. Read it today.

Melissa heads up ARPR's healthIT practice. With a passion for using storytelling to build connections and inspire action, she develops creative campaigns that drive results.

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