Establishing an Effective Online Presence: Health and Wellness
The pandemic has caused more services, and more importantly, more clients to shift towards online interactions. In the coming years, 4/5 Canadians will be daily internet users. So what does this mean for wellness practitioners?
More and more potential clients are heading to the internet to find treatment. In the past are the days of infomercials, radio ads, and word-of-mouth client acquisition. While this switch may be troublesome for some, change can be good. Clients now have access to an exponentially larger quantity of alternatives. Clients can pick and choose the best service provider for them. And it’s a two-way street. Practitioners reaping the benefits of our endlessly connected society make themselves available to far more potential clients. By using the right tools, communicating what makes them and their business unique has never been easier.
The benefits to having an online presence include: helping fight against wellness misinformation by providing the facts, having your business be easily accessible, and showing yourself to be relatable and being able to connect with your clients more, which goes a long way in terms of your brand image.
In an era where anyone can post almost anything online with just a few clicks, verified information arounmatters. This is especially true when it comes to health and wellness, as following advice from just anyone can be detrimental to finding solutions that work. If you are an accredited health and wellness practitioner, creating online spaces where people can rely on you to provide accurate information is important and helps create a community of potential clients.
Access to your services is also more important than ever. Generations including millennials and generation Z turn online to find information relating to their health concerns. Being online isn't just for fun anymore, it's the future of business marketing! In general, the way people think about health is changing. Though the credibility of their provider is the number one priority, clients want someone they can relate to and feel comfortable around. An online presence means that your clients get a glimpse of who you are before receiving care - t's just like how most employers will check out a candidate's social media before the hiring decision.
But what about the practitioners that aren’t online? Getting established online can be intimidating. It can be difficult to get started. Money can be an issue. Time can be an issue. Truthfully, practitioners have access to marketing tools now that extend beyond the reach of traditional channels of media; getting started, money, and time don’t have to be barriers. In fact, once the ball gets rolling, marketing online can save practitioners loads of stress, money, and time. Marketing online, if done correctly, is one of the most time and cost efficient marketing tools, regardless of profession.
At PromptHealth, we’ve used three keys (shared below) to establish our own framework for digital marketing that led to millions of views and thousands of followers in just a few weeks:
#1 Have a clear message.
How accessible are you to potential clients? Maintaining a personal brand online is the most important way to connect with your current and potential clients to foster meaningful and long term relationships. This way, people will be able to connect to you through shared values and understand exactly what solutions you offer. Make sure that your potential followers know what you’re all about. Doing so will allow you to leverage your influence into revenue and other benefits.
#2 Stick to quality content.
Back up your strong messaging with quality content. It’s important to not just post for the sake of posting. Every piece of content you post should offer value to your potential clients. Every interaction, post, and message should be creative, entertaining, inspirational, or educational. Offer educational information about your practice or about the benefits of the services you offer. The average person might not know all the different types of treatments that are offered by you, so use your online presence as an opportunity to educate and fight against misinformation. Remember, your brand is your voice.
#3 Establish and follow a content distribution strategy
Developing a content distribution strategy includes maximizing the use of different channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. It’s important to find a balance of posting often to keep followers engaged and to grow your follower base, but to avoid posting too much to avoid spamming them or getting flagged and lowered in priority by the platform host. Have a plan that includes key words and hashtags to redistribute across these different channels. Get to learn what keywords and hashtags you need to use for maximum visibility and repurpose the content you create on different channels. You can repurpose content across channels, but it’s important to maximize your reach and obtain as many potential clients as possible. The target audience for health and wellness practitioners is everywhere. Maximize your exposure by taking advantage of all the online channels available.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation of how you can reap the benefits of maintaining an effective online presence, join Jack from PromptHealth’s free masterclass. Check it out here.
SEO for Health and Wellness: The Good, The Bad, & The Solution
The health and wellness industry has consistently been growing. Though this is good news for professionals who provide wellness services or companies who sell health products, it also means that the market has become saturated with hundreds - if not thousands - of care options for health seekers.
When searching for treatment options, people often do not know where to turn and end up blindly searching for care on Google, which seems okay at first. However, a deeper look into this process reveals that people often settle for care that either does not address their exact needs, or does not fit in with their lifestyle. When you search for treatments for a concern on the internet, you are automatically redirected to the information that has either been promoted, or has been optimized to match the keywords you input. This means that although there are many solutions to a problem, only a fraction of those solutions are accessible to people looking for information online.
Take this case, for example. Jasmine, product manager at PromptHealth and mental health advocate, struggled with depression for years before taking the steps to get help. She spent some time searching for potential care online and only found information regarding counselling, therapy, and psychiatry. After speaking to her doctor, Jasmine began seeing a counsellor. After months of treatment, she found herself in the same place as she was when she began and went back to her doctor, who then suggested a therapist and also prescribed medication for her mood disorder. Once again, Jasmine found that she was not seeing improvement in her mood but continued to follow the treatment plan her therapist and doctor provided. After two full years of sticking to the plan, Jasmine happened to speak to a friend who had recently started school for holistic nutrition.
After learning about the field, she decided to find a nutritionist who helped her create a diet plan based on her preferences. Jasmine did not know that specialized nutrition could help her mood disorder, but finally began seeing improvement in her mental health after almost three years of receiving what she thought was the best treatment for her disorder. After researching the link between diet and depression, Jasmine found that what you eat in fact does play a huge role in how your mood fluctuates, and that nutritionists and dieticians are indeed an accredited resource for treating certain mental health concerns.
Although popular treatment methods for health concerns such as depression are helpful and work for many, Jasmine’s experience shows that there is a lack of knowledge around all potential treatment options. Therapy and medication did work to an extent, but people deserve to access all their treatment options before deciding which one, or which combination of options, they want to opt for. Waiting months, or even years like in Jasmine’s case, to be effectively treated is not ideal for any health concern.
This poses two questions: how do people know which option of care is best for them, and how do health professionals make people aware of all their services?
The answer to both of these questions lies in effective online presence. Health and wellness professionals need to be putting their services and their purpose at the forefront of their brand, and need to be accessible to people searching for this information. The easiest way to do this is search engine optimization - or SEO. SEO ensures that when people are searching for treatment options for a specific health concern, the site or service that matches the search will show up first. However, this poses another issue for health and wellness professionals: how do you compete with the bigger, often virtual companies offering health services who pay thousands of dollars for their SEO?
Google will only show people a fraction of their options, which is not an effective way to find care that works. People need to be able to find their different options quickly and easily, without having to scroll through dozens of pages. One solution is to be part of an exclusive community that people turn to for trusted professionals and care options. We often hear from professionals that they already have a website, or are part of an online directory. Though these things are great, making yourself available across all platforms is the only way to truly be accessible. A simple way to increase your SEO without spending thousands of dollars is to take advantage of the different platforms that promote health and wellness solutions. For example, if you have a website, the more times your website link shows up on a different site such as a directory or network like PromptHealth, the higher your site will rank when people search for services.
Providing health and wellness to Canadians is a joint effort. Though different professionals and companies work independently, it is safe to say that the ultimate goal of the industry is to aid people in their journey to health. Forming a collective community of professionals from whom people can easily access care is PromptHealth’s goal. If you want to be part of the community and help us reach more Canadians with care options, sign up as a registered professional on our site today.
The Wellness Wheel
There are many different factors of wellness that contribute to complete wellbeing. When one is out of whack, it can throw off the rest. Picture this, if you get a flat tire, what series of consequences and outcomes would follow? Your steering would become compromised, the ride might get bumpier, your speed would lower, and if we don’t gain control of these factors in time, we might cause a crash.
This is the reason why it is important to look at health and wellbeing as a whole. It is not just the physical aspects such as fitness, nutrition and sleep. It is also psychosocial and mental well-being.
When there are imbalances, you have to make conscious decisions to take steps towards change.
We believe that supporting people in their health and wellness journey should be in a wholesome manner and have a holistic approach.
At Prompt Health, we connect people to all aspects of their wellbeing that might need some TLC, including physical, mental and social factors. We provide knowledge to aid people in finding the right solutions, as there is not always a single solution to one problem.
Prompt health is not just a directory
Most people don’t just have the common knowledge to know what different healthcare practitioners offer or how those services are offered.
For example, someone with back pain does not know whether they would benefit from seeing a physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage therapist, acupuncturist, osteopath… the list goes on. Most people might not even know what an Osteopath is.
So how is one supposed to pick a service when they are not fully aware of who can help them?
There could be several different people who can help in one geographical area, and these people can be found on existing directories where people have to search by “Provider Type,” but this is hardly helpful when an individual doesn’t even know who they have to see.
Maybe this individual has a preference for a certain treatment that has worked for them in the past such as laser therapy. Maybe they are looking for a certain product that can help them such as orthotics. Maybe they don’t even know that there are different solutions or providers who can help with something like gut health.
We believe in providing helpful resources to educate patients and strengthen their knowledge. We can make navigation easier and faster to find better-suited options. After all, we live in an age of personalization. At Prompt Health, we are personalizing the health and wellness experience, with our unique algorithms.
How can Prompt Health help during COVID
Prompt Health is an online concierge service that operates as a personal assistant to help people get what they need in healthcare. It allows individuals to have several customizable search options to cater to the different preferences in delivery and access of healthcare.
We're living through a pandemic right now and navigating care is more challenging than ever. We want to limit our travelling and exposure which rules out the process of safely sitting in different clinics to see who we like and what works for us best.
The first thing Prompt Health can do for you is narrow down your options to only providers offering virtual appointments. This gives you a ton of variety to choose from because the providers don’t even have to be in your geographical area. The second thing we can do is help you learn about the different practitioners by viewing a complete profile of what each one offers and comparing them against each other. This will help you make a better and quicker decision and it will get rid of the need to put yourself in harm's way to try out different healthcare providers. You can compare their credentials, years of experience, prices and more. You also have the option of seeing a video introduction about that professional or center to decide if it feels like the right fit for you.
All of these options will enable you as the client to find the closest match, based on what you need, from the comfort of your own home.
When it comes to finding health and wellness services, we are mostly left on our own to research, find what we need, and who we need to talk to.
Our usual go-to place is a random google search, we might talk to family and friends, ask our family doctor, or lookup directories which allow us to only search by “Provider type.” These aren’t ideal because we often don’t really know who we need to see, and there might be multiple solutions to one problem. The result is that we end up with a bunch of blind referrals.
At Prompt health, we start with the individual’s needs and provide options in their location based on their preferences. We also provide features that allow individuals to make informed decisions by allowing them to compare their options against each other or by giving them access to video introductions on health providers or centers. That’s what we call smart referrals.