After a whirlwind of telehealth uptake and activity during the pandemic, the industry has entered a new era: telehealth 3.0. Characterized by intense competition, a market shift from fragmentation to consolidation, and continued innovation, telehealth 3.0 means changing buyer needs and priorities — and therefore a revised approach from healthcare content marketers.
In recent years, skyrocketing telehealth demand has been driven by providers’ hasty implementation of telehealth as a Band-Aid to a crisis. Now, however, a more stable and discreet approach to telehealth purchases — with more discerning buying criteria — is emerging. It’s imperative for content marketers to understand why and how telehealth stakeholder needs are different from those of the past. Your company’s growth depends on understanding and adapting to these shifting customer needs — or you risk being the Band-Aid that falls off.
Each customer persona in the telehealth ecosystem has distinct pain points and concerns, even though they share several common goals. The best content marketing strategy tailors content to each persona, while also addressing the needs of the greater telehealth stakeholder group.
Who are telehealth stakeholders and what issues and concerns do they face in the new telehealth era?
Telehealth 3.0 Stakeholder Needs and Priorities
Overall, users and providers of telehealth want telehealth integrated seamlessly into healthcare delivery and the patient journey in a sustainable, affordable, and efficient manner.
Each stakeholder group, however, has specific needs and pain points and it’s important that the content potential customers interact with demonstrates an understanding of the issues they face and their priorities.
Priorities: consolidation, standardization, and integration
Consolidation, standardization, and integration are top objectives for the healthcare C-suite. Many health systems and hospitals have multiple telehealth solutions after rushing to implement systems to enable virtual care during the pandemic. These solutions don’t match workflows or specific use cases, are difficult to integrate with EHS and IT systems, and may not offer adequate cybersecurity. The CEOs and CIOs of healthcare organizations are looking to address these challenges — in fact, seventy-seven percent of health system leaders believe that moving toward a single, integrated virtual care platform is important for their organization.
Clinicians and healthcare staff
Priorities: streamlining of workflows, single platform training and new skillsets
It’s no secret that clinicians and healthcare workers were burned out during the pandemic, and many still feel under resourced and overworked. As frontline workers, they were thrown into the world of telehealth with a mishmash of solutions knitted together out of necessity. Twenty-five percent of clinicians report that virtual care systems and workflows are not at all or barely integrated with their organization’s existing systems. Today, these stakeholders are looking for a more systemized infrastructure and workflow efficiencies.
Priorities: easy, affordable access, inclusive technologies, and integration into their healthcare journey
Over the course of the pandemic, patients experienced both the benefits and challenges of telehealth. But telehealth usage has reverted from its pandemic-induced highs to a new post-pandemic mean, indicating that some percentage of patients and practitioners still aren’t willing to fully embrace it and/or are adopting a hybrid model of seeking and providing care. Future consumers will look to integrate telehealth services into their healthcare journey in a way that offers affordability and easy access to healthcare without sacrificing quality or privacy.
Telehealth also shed light on healthcare inequity during the pandemic, revealing that many vulnerable populations face barriers to telehealth and healthcare as a whole. Inclusive telehealth solutions and hospital-at-home telehealth services will be even more relevant as the population of patients with chronic healthcare conditions increases in the coming years.
Evolve Your B2B Content for Telehealth 3.0
This shift in customer and end-user needs signals a need to adjust marketing strategies for telehealth content marketers, as well. With more than 1,100 telehealth companies in the U.S. chasing a consolidating number of buyers, how can you convince overwhelmed buyers that your product can help them overcome new challenges and achieve long-term telehealth goals?
As telehealth buyers have adjusted priorities and become more strategic in their decisions, the sales cycle has gotten considerably longer. B2B buyers increasingly are looking to inform themselves and get answers regarding their pain points online before they will even contemplate talking to a salesperson. (This is especially true for today’s millennial decision-makers.) Content marketers have the opportunity to demonstrate that you recognize the emerging needs of these buyers and stakeholders by creating content that speaks to the new value proposition for telehealth 3.0 and educates buyers about how your product offers solutions to their evolving concerns.
Shift Your Content Marketing Strategy for Telehealth 3.0
Stay current in today’s competitive telehealth market. Rethink your healthcare marketing strategy with the priorities of your stakeholders in mind. To get started, look at your personas and your current messaging. Both will need a reset to account for new pain points and industry concerns. Then start addressing those pain points and concerns with high-quality, targeted content. Want some help with today’s key content themes for telehealth 3.0? Download our Telehealth Content Marketing Report: How Marketer’s Should Reset for Telehealth 3.0.