We've said it before, and we'll say it again - marketing is important in healthcare too! Want to get on board, but don't know where to start? Here's our list of 10 current healthcare marketing trends that should be on your practice or clinic's radar:
1. Improving Patient Experience
In this day and age, convenience is key - especially when it comes to doctors’ offices. Providing the most convenient care possible (in and out of the office) is what will keep your patients coming back.
When patients feel as though they can count on a provider to assess their questions and concerns and provide proper resources or care, they will be significantly more likely to return to your practice the next time they have an issue. Building trust with patients is one of the most important aspects of running a medical practice, because when you’re responsible for someone’s healthcare - you’re responsible for their life.
2. Keeping up with the Times
A brand’s digital experience means something to consumers, especially when it comes to their health. People’s need for healthcare doesn’t stop when a practice closes for the night, so they need to be able to access information to assess their needs until they can see a medical professional.
The emergence of healthcare apps in recent years has been a testament to this. Whether it’s getting answers to questions about the flu, seeing the results of labs or tests, or finally having a way to schedule appointments when they don’t have time to call, having access to their information and their preferred practice outside of office hours is majorly important to today’s patients.
If your practice can’t go so far as to have an app - start with your website! The majority of website visits are from mobile sources, so making sure that your website is optimized and responsive for all common screen sizes will make for a much better user experience.
3. The Future of Voice
Current research has shown that the future of marketing is in voice search capabilities. From Siri to Alexa, voice search is becoming much more popular - very quickly. Making sure that you create content that aligns with common health questions people would be likely to search (like “How do I know if I have the flu? or “How much pain reliever should I take?”) will significantly increase traffic to your site, which could easily result in your practice gaining new patients.
4. The Emergence of Telemedicine
As we’ve already covered more than once, convenience is a big deal to consumers, so the recent emergence of telemedicine services shows consideration for patients’ time and ability to physically go to the doctor. There may be times where you have a nasty sore throat, but you can’t afford to miss work for a doctor’s appointment, and telemedicine eliminates that issue, allowing patients to video call with doctors who assess their needs and can even write scripts based on the call. Providing solutions to major pain points is a key concept of marketing, and telemedicine is becoming a major marketing strategy.
5. Content/Video Marketing
The primary goal of content marketing is to answer patients questions in an easily consumable form. If you consider some of the most common questions you get in-office, from phone calls, from your website, or social media accounts, you will then have topics for your blogs that you can advertise on various platforms.
A step further into content marketing is video marketing. In recent years, video marketing has become significantly more popular, as it incurs 66% more qualified leads annually.
Testimonials are a great start for video topics, as they are engaging and will promote your business from a customer’s perspective.
Utilizing email marketing is another quick way to provide fast content, and also provide a direct bridge to your other content, downloads, or conversion opportunities.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a completely behind-the-scenes aspect of marketing that can be hard to notice, but the changes can make monumental differences. Optimizing your website pages will make for a better user experience overall, as it will enhance the quality of the pages, and also format them in a way that is easier to digest - for the consumer and for Google.
Getting in Google’s good graces is the best thing you could do for your website. Making sure that you’re ranking highly for keywords, your pages are readable and organized well, and that your linking structure between pages is strong will help your website go from okay to great in no time.
7. Online Reputation Management
Online reviews of your practice can either be a dream-come-true, or your worst nightmare. Doing everything in your power to provide the best possible experience for patients will increase your chances of having positive reviews. On the other hand, making sure that you respond to negative reviews in a way that offers assistance and does not attack the patient is a great way to be sure that your practice has a good reputation, even if you have a few bad reviews.
Setting up a Google My Business profile for your practice and your practitioners will provide patients with answers to the most basic information about you, all in one place: who (your practitioners), what (your services), where (contact information), when (hours of operation)
8. Taking Advantage of Paid Advertising
The benefits of paid advertising can be overwhelmingly positive if executed properly. Dedicating a set amount of money towards advertising on Google or various social media platforms can generate impressive return on investment.
Google Ads allows you to create campaigns based on your goals and generate ads to show on google based on keyword usage. If you do the research to find the best keywords to match the page that the ad leads to, you can tailor your audience to your content and your content to your audience all at once.
This is especially beneficial for medical practices because there is always a need for healthcare. By nature of being human, people will always have health concerns, and they will always want answers to their health-related questions. Luckily, we live in an age where those answers can be right at our fingertips in seconds. However, harmful information is also very easily accessible online, so getting ahead of the curve and making sure that your practice shares safe and accurate content can help stop some of the harm that false information can cause.
9. Social Media Marketing
Social media campaigns are a great way to increase traffic to your account by setting a particular goal (say, using a hashtag) and asking users to engage with your brand by completing the goal. Not only did you garner new traffic, but you also increased brand awareness, because the magic of social media is all in the network. You share something, and all your followers see it. Then if one of your followers does the same, all their followers see it, and the web expands and grows - and so does your practice’s exposure!
Another major benefit of using social media for marketing is that it allows your practice to develop a style or voice online. Deciding the tone you want to use to portray your business is a change to generate a reputation based on the “personality” you want your practice to convey.
10. Let’s Talk About Millennials
All of these things are majorly impacting millennials. As a group who grew up in the digital age after witnessing the tail end of the analog age, they want to have easy access to information from anywhere in the world, but they also value personal connections and require practices to earn their trust and their business.
As the years go on, millennials continue to be one of the largest markets in healthcare because of their age group, and staying up to date with their needs - or the needs of whichever demographic requires attention at the time - will not only land you new patients, but returning patients.
For more information on healthcare marketing check out our blogs on The Top 3 Benefits of Using Social Media in Healthcare Marketing and the Top 10 Social Media Tips for Healthcare Professionals!