'Voice Search Is An Emerging Trend That Is Going To Change The Way Patients Access Healthcare'

We spoke with Lindsay Neese Burton, Healthcare Marketing Director at reputation.com, to discuss digital marketing in healthcare


For almost 5 years, Lindsay Neese Burton served Duke University Health System as their Senior Director of Consumer Marketing, where she lead direct and content marketing teams. Lindsay has since being appointed as Healthcare Marketing Director at reputation.com, where she is the healthcare expert in creating marketing strategies within an organization that leads and pioneers in online reputation management.

Ahead of her presentation at the  Digital Marketing in Healthcare Summit this May 22-23 in Philadelphia, we sat down with Lindsay to discuss how reputation.com approach digital marketing, along with the industry more widely. 

In healthcare or otherwise, what do you see as the key tenets of any digital marketing strategy?

The key tenet of a digital marketing strategy is a healthcare organization’s online presence. This extends far beyond simply an organization’s website to encompass every doctor and every clinical location as it appears in on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

In my experience working in healthcare marketing at a large medical center, and what I see from the clients I work with now, most healthcare organizations spend the bulk of their digital budget on their own website. And while this is critically important, it is no longer the “virtual front door” that many healthcare marketers think it is. However, Google is typically the first place a patient and potential patient visits when looking for information about healthcare services. What the patient finds there will either steer them to dig deeper on your website or call you, or it could send them to a competitor.

Managing online ratings and reviews is another key tenet of a successful digital marketing strategy. This online patient feedback is in your face no matter where you look — on physician and location search results and third-party listing sites. What I’ve found is that for many organizations the low number or reviews does not accurately represent the true quality of care that that organization, physician or location provides. Once organizations start actively engaging patients in the conversation and getting a representative sample of reviews, they see review sentiment drastically improve as well as search rankings.

What are the problems with using customer data in what is a regulation-intensive industry?

I spent twelve years working for healthcare providers, so I know first hand the challenges of using consumer data. However, I found a lot of success when I partnered closely with our legal and compliance teams. When I could develop a business case for why I wanted to use consumer data and what the business benefits were, the legal team would help me figure out a compliant process and strategy.

Online reviews can be a challenge that some healthcare marketers. However given the right tools, partnerships and conversations we’ve seen many organizations develop incredible online reputation management programs. You can listen and respond to patients online and ensure that patient privacy is maintained.

What new technologies (wearables, for example) do you see making an impact on marketing in healthcare in the near future?

I think voice search is a new and emerging trend that is going to change the way patients find and access healthcare. Finding an urgent care is now just a Siri or Alexa question away. In this case, patients are only given one option, not a search results page that they can scroll through. Healthcare organizations must make sure their Google My Business pages are claimed, complete, correct and optimized to make sure they are winning in search results.

What social platforms, if any, do brands tend to use for healthcare marketing? What is the alternative, if the answer is none?

There was a recent study showing that 87% of healthcare organizations use Facebook to distribute content and half of healthcare organizations post on social media daily. More than 50% of healthcare organizations are using Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. So social platforms are very embedded in healthcare marketing strategies already.

What will you be discussing in your presentation at the summit?

The focus of my presentation will be helping healthcare organizations develop a sound digital presence for all of their online touchpoints. Digital marketing teams are lean and few have the resources to manually maintain every doctor and location listing across the growing number of social platforms, search engines and review sites — from Google to Facebook to Healthgrades.

I will help digital marketing leaders develop strategies to:

- Ensure consumers find and choose your doctors

- Improve your search rankings and drive website traffic

- Manage online reviews to gain insights and work with operations to improve patient care

You can hear more from Lindsay, along with many other industry-leading digital marketing executives, at the Digital Marketing in Healthcare Summit this May 22-23 in Philadelphia. To see the full schedule, click here.


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