Social Engagement Strategies for Healthcare Marketing
The customer-buying journey has changed, especially with the rise of the empowered health consumer. Empowered health consumers want more information and often turn to friends and their social networks to form opinions and make choices about their health and coverage options.
In this new world of the empowered health consumer, you can no longer depend on just your arsenal of ads and direct marketing activity to bring in the sales and get results in the B2B and B2C marketing environment. In between your mass and targeted outreach strategies, social media has completely altered the buying funnel for prospective and even current customers. Health insurance consumers now have access to more information than ever before, and the Internet is helping to raise the bar in terms of brand and product expectations.
Be transparent—No more hiding behind your advertising. You must be social and invite open and honest interaction and communication with customers as well as non-customers. Create the environment for social exchange. Listen to what they have to say and use what you hear to drive value and product innovation. Proactively share information and be a thought leader, especially relative to the pending changes from reform.
Be real and consistent—Help your organization become identified with a real person and less like a faceless company. Engage often and do not stop. It may require some rethinking of resources, but in the end, you will likely find someone on your team—or even at Kern Health— who can keep the dialogue going. Your prospects and your customers are likely to fall in and out of the sales funnel and back into the social cloud. Every moment counts in your interactions with them, so do not miss a beat.
Be relevant—Whatever content you post, and wherever you post, it must provide value or interest to your customers and prospects. For us health insurance marketers, finding valuable content shouldn’t be an issue. From healthcare reform to employer-offering strategies, product development and a myriad of health and wellness topics, there are many topics to engage with your customers about.
Be patient—In some respects, the funnel has inverted itself. It’s not about reaching 1,000 people to sell ten. It’s about reaching one person who will reach 10 people who will reach 100 people. This doesn’t mean you should abandon mass marketing or targeted direct response. It’s about blending your two approaches.
Get your sales funnel into the social cloud and see the short- and long-term impact of being a part of the conversation the empowered health consumers are having around you. Leverage your social engagement strategies to build your brand, enhance your value proposition, create trust and influence mind share so that when the empowered health consumers are ready to buy, you are there to win the sale.