The Digital Patient Journey – Are You Missing Opportunities to Connect?

Often before deciding to make an appointment to see a health professional, people are googling questions about their injury or condition online.
If you can create content to match these questions, these potential patients will find you. They may want to read more about you and what you do, and then ultimately will decide to book an appointment. If they don’t book an appointment, you want to capture their email so that you have follow up opportunities to show them you have value and skills to offer.

There are three types of content that a health ‘niche’ needs, to be crafted into a product funnel to lead your patient to the help that they need.
1 – Free content
2 – Content to exchange for an email address
3 – Content that can be exchanged for money

Free content is blog posts, videos, social media content etc. These pieces of content tend to work best when addressing a single point or answering a single question.

Email exchange content is better quality content that a person is happy to exchange their email address for. It should be presented more professionally, and can be a PDF poster, an infographic or an ebook. This product is usually an aggregate of single posts, and seems to work well if bundled as ‘5 Tips To …’ or ‘7 Mistakes to Avoid When…’.

Content to exchange for money is often a more detailed and fleshed out version of email exchange content. Popular at the moment are online courses, app based exercise programs, 30 day challenges etc. The aim is to take the person on a journey and help them to solve a problem they are having.

In terms of exactly where to start, simply ask yourself ‘what is a question my target audience is likely to google?’. If we use the case of a Women’s Health practitioner, an example of this could be ‘How do I stop peeing when I cough?’.

From this question, you build your content flow. Continuing the Women’s Health example, this could be:

Free content:
2-3 minute video on You Tube titled ‘How do I stop peeing when I cough?’. The video is a womens health professional stating that is a common problem, why it happens, and then a brief description of what the viewer can do about it. At the end, there should be a call to action to download this next product:

Email exchange content:
A PDF guide titled ‘5 steps to Dry Knickers’.
At the end, include a call to action to make an appointment, or purchase this next product:

Money exchange content:
A mini eCourse titled ‘Fix your stress incontinence in 30 days’.

If the person is not ready to purchase your priced content, you should have a back up plan – an automated email stream.

A series of 3 to 5 emails designed to trigger when the person downloads the email exchange product, will offer the person more value. It also lets them get to know you better. After reading or seeing more about you, they are much more likely to want to buy your online product, or book an appointment to see you for a consultation.

Your patient’s health journey starts online, well before they walk through your door. Are you doing everything that you can to reach these people before they fall into someone else’s digital content funnel?

Never forget that your ultimate goal in creating content, promoting your service and participating in marketing activates is to help more people.

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