Healthcare marketing professionals have a lot to contend with in terms of digital transformation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector could afford to be slower on adopting healthcare digital marketing trends, but with the sudden shift to rely on digital in 2020, that is no longer the case. Knowing where to invest your marketing budget, what you want to achieve and importantly which tools or resource is needed is the starting point.
Updating your marketing strategy now can help your organisation stay competitive, attract and retain patients / customers and improve their overall experience. We’ve uncovered five top healthcare marketing trends to help you achieve your goals.
1. Digital experience and visibility
Google reports over 63,000 searches are performed globally every second. That’s around 5.4 billion every day. Health-related searches make up 5% of those queries, highlighting search engine optimisation (SEO) and other digital marketing practises as incredibly valuable to healthcare organisations. Your target market is likely to be looking for information about your service or products, they want to engage and what’s more – they expect to be able to easily.
Healthcare consumers are hungry for information and to be able to find it at a time that is convenient to them, across any device. Putting digital experience at the forefront of your strategy comes with a range of benefits and is straight forward to put into practice.
Create high-quality content
Consider what information your potential patients or customers might find useful and start creating content that’ll build trust and engage your website’s visitors. A great way to gain insight to what is already being searched for is to use tools like Google Trends or keyword research software, such as SEMrush. Some content to add to your marketing plan could include:
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Long, in-depth articles about illnesses
- Articles to promote well-being and preventative care
- News about your organisation, services etc
- Patient stories and testimonials
This gives you the opportunity to set the tone for your organisation, demonstrating knowledge and care for your patients or customers. Another benefit to writing content that offers useful information to what is being searched for is visibility. If your website ranks on the first page of Google when a potential customer/ patient is searching for information it demonstrates authority in your field and accessibility in the customer journey.
2. Is your website in good shape?
83% of patients are reported to visit a hospital website before making an appointment. With this in mind, ensuring that your website is optimised for mobile and works effectively is paramount. Nearly half of patients looking to book an appointment online state waiting too long or clunky websites as a pain point. Attracting website visitors is redundant, if they can’t access it across any device, or it doesn’t load quickly. A poorly performing website can also risk damaging your organisation’s reputation, after all you’re looking to give the same high-quality experience to your patients online that they’d receive offline.
Patients are well versed in digital doctor appointments after living through lockdown. Telemedicine and virtual appointments isn’t a temporary solution for the pandemic. Healthcare users are now primed and ready to welcome a digital revolution for many of their healthcare needs. Ensuring you have the suitable digital infrastructure to deliver services online effectively is essential, whether it’s through an app, customer portal or a website chat facility.
3. Engage with video content
If your healthcare organisation hasn’t invested in video yet, now is time to leverage this content stream. Hubspot reports that 81% of businesses in 2020 have used video as a marketing tool, whilst 78% of people watch online videos every week. That’s a significant volume of online traffic that could be consuming your video content.
Video has so many benefits and it’s easy to see why marketers continue to invest in it and audiences love to engage with it. Here’s a few reasons why video is a healthcare digital marketing trend:
- Video content drives conversions – Including a video on your landing page can boost conversion rate by up to 80%
- Google loves video: including video can help your organisation’s online visibility. A website is 53 time more likely to reach the front page of Google when it includes video.
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch a video!
- Video is shareable – 92% of users that watch video on mobile will share with other people.
- It’s great for social media – social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined!
Healthcare marketers might want to consider using video for educational content on medical conditions, testimonials, staff intros or maybe as a virtual Q&A event that might then be re-posted on a FAQs section.
4. Get social
Social media has been a growing and important channel for some time, but the pandemic has amplified this further. Lockdowns and remote working has dramatically increased the time we all spend online, including how we interact with brands and services. At a time where anxiety levels about health have soared, healthcare marketers can harness social media to reassure their audience and raise awareness about health issues. It’s also an opportunity to dispel ‘fake news’ that circulates on these channels. Social media moves rapidly, making it a great channel for healthcare organisations to communicate and share information quickly on important subjects such as guidelines or sudden issues.
As reliance on digital increases, social media is also a good place to be able to build reputation and meaningful relationships with patients and potential new customers by responding to questions or sharing useful, factually correct content. Forums, or chat groups can also help support communities. In 2016 researchers published in the journal Surgery about a Facebook group for 350 patients than had received liver transplants, carers and healthcare providers. The report found that 95% of survey respondents found the group to have had a positive impact on their care.
5. Healthcare apps
It’s estimated that there will be 3.8 billion smartphone users in 2021, so it’s no surprise that the number of mobile app downloads is likely to exceed 250 billion in 2022. That’s a huge opportunity for the healthcare sector to capitalise on mobile health (mHealth). Five million people download a health app every day and 90% of health professionals think that apps could help their patients.
Adding an app to your digital marketing strategy can be a great tool to learn more about your customers / patients, which in turn can help retain them. It’s also a perfect tool to help empower your audience. Whether its for easily booking appointments, checking their online documents or tracking their own health. Good healthcare apps should enhance their user experience and work alongside other traditional and digital services or products.
Going beyond healthcare digital marketing trends
Whilst healthcare digital marketing trends can give us a broad view of how the sector is evolving, each organisation has its own unique goals and requirements. Creating a bespoke digital marketing strategy that’s tailored to helping your organisation reach its goals is where TrunkBBI can help. We’re digital content and performance specialists with expertise and experience in healthcare. Our team of creators, makers, analysts and strategists help healthcare organisations achieve their digital goals. Take a closer look at our some of our work or contact us today to discuss how we can work together to elevate your digital marketing strategy.
Get your strategy ready for the year ahead with our digital marketing guide for healthcare.