With the rise of the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in recent years, the demand for healthcare services is decreasing. It’s no wonder then that only 76% of providers have a stable profit margin and 19% are in the red.
Healthcare marketing is a way to use multiple channels online and off to find new customers and retain the ones you already have. Successful marketing strategies can help your business grow and increase revenue.
Sound like a miracle cure to all your business problems? Healthcare marketing can be, as long as you do it right.
Let’s dive into the top trends in 2019 and how you can use them to improve your margins – long-term.
Surprise! Google’s Core Algorithm Update in June 2019 Had a Big Effect on The Healthcare Industry
Surprisingly, Google warned us before the update rolled out that one was coming. Nobody was sure what exactly that would entail, or what industries would be hit the hardest. Usually, there’s a specific niche that always does.
Now that we’re far enough into June, results have been coming out – showing that there wasn’t just one industry affected, but multiple. (Hence why it took so long for the update to fully roll out – about 3 weeks!)
The healthcare industry was definitely affected, both positively and negatively – see the charts below :
A drop in rankings could mean a loss in tens of thousands, and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars or more depending on the size of your business.
How do you ensure that going forward, your medical office only ranks higher after updates like this?
Get ready to learn how to improve your bottom line with healthcare marketing. Here are the top 5 trends of the year and how you can use them for success.
5 Healthcare Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019
Healthcare is a tricky industry and the marketing side of the business is no exception.
Marketing experts have to juggle the strategies of providers, payers, suppliers, and advocators. For the medical industry, target audiences are a bit more difficult to target, making it difficult to find new patients and improve brand awareness. By difficult, I mean that it’s easier to target an audience and persuade them to buy the next, newest and coolest phone on the market. Not as easy when you’re trying to remind people that it’s time for a health check-up.
Despite these difficulties, though, intelligent marketers are incorporating the latest trends in healthcare.
How are they doing it?
With defined and refined strategies that are custom made to deliver results.
In today’s digital market, there are countless ways to advertise medical products or services. But the last thing you want to do is throw money at every possible, countless marketing method. Some methods are superior to others, all depending on what you’re providing.
Here are the 5 trends you need to know in order to craft the best healthcare marketing strategy possible in 2019.
1. Millennials are the Market
Millennials now have the majority of the purchasing powering the US market. While this may seem obvious, what isn’t so clear is how to market to this unique demographic – unless the digital marketing agency you work with is that audience. Simply put, Millennials are changing the way you do business.
One way millennials are changing healthcare is by demanding convenience.
Convenience means automating as many tasks and services as possible on your end in order to provide the simplest experience on theirs. It means offering new ways to communicate with patients, and ways to save their time, which can include:
- Online appointment scheduling
- Text appointment reminders
- Access to a doctor via an app, chat or text
Millennials want things to be more efficient than ever. They want to make one simple Google search and click on the first result.
Make sure your marketing strategy is keeping up by ensuring first that you can easily be found, and from there, using convenient ways to schedule and communicate with patients. This also includes putting a stronger focus on advertising your health products or services.
Wellness is the focus on living a healthier life, which includes spending more on healthcare for preventative treatments and procedures. You heard that correctly, people are spending more money on healthcare than ever before – especially online.
One way you might incorporate the wellness trend into your strategy is to create digital content that speaks to the topic. Blog posts, infographics, video, the list goes on.
2. Content is Still King – Especially in the Medical World
The age-old adage still holds true: content is one of the best ways to advertise in the days of ad blockers. 20% of internet browsers have advertisement pop-up blockers activated. This can make it difficult to communicate with your target audience.
That’s where content marketing comes in and saves the day.
Content should follow the E-A-T model.
It should show your expertise and authority on the subject you’re writing about in order to build trust.
The majority of online users will search your business before even making an appointment. And Majority meaning an average of 45% to 90% (depending on whether it’s a product or service) of people will search a business or product and research what others are saying before they make a decision. When they discover expert material that shows you as an authority on the subject they’re searching for, they’re more likely to trust your business and book that appointment.
That’s why it’s so valuable that content is educational in nature (and easy to find online).
More and more patients are interested in how procedures and surgeries are carried out. They want to hear about these things translated into natural, jargon-free language. When you educate your audience with valuable information, you become an authoritative source for patients’ healthcare news.
Finally, 93% of marketers think that using interactive content is better for educational purposes than static content.
So, consider using an interactive format such as quizzes like the one below to further increase your content marketing strategy’s success.
3. Google-friendly Websites 🙂
With the latest update to the infamous Google algorithm which we reviewed above, a non-mobile-friendly website may as well be no website at all. Google’s algorithm over recent years is heavily mobile-first, but that should come as no surprise since 52% of traffic comes from mobile searches as it is.
If you want to see your website on the first page of the Google results, you must make sure your site has a mobile version.
Another emerging trend with healthcare websites are the individual landing pages.
Ideally, you should create a page for each individual service you offer. That way, people can find you through a search of a specific procedure. Landing pages also keep users from getting frustrated when they click on a search result only to find a homepage.
The last and arguably most important aspect of a website with excellent marketing potential is one that publishes business reviews. 88% of people say they trust online reviews when making decisions about a purchase.
Healthcare reviews can be frustrating since people often rate you poorly for reasons outside your control. A good reputation management strategy to help you control the narrative around your business is beneficial.
Because even if you have the best doctors and most responsive customer service in the world, you won’t gain an audience and you won’t see conversions if you have a poor online reputation. After all, 47% of people search you or your practice before engaging.
4. Innovations in Search Methods
Search engine optimization (SEO) is here to stay, but the methods by which you use them are changing and will continue to.
Location-based SEO, or local SEO, is becoming absolutely vital for businesses with a local branch. From using long-tail keywords that include your location to registering for Google My Business, you can improve your local search ranking and circulate more brand awareness in your area.
Here are some other location-specific things you can do:
- Geotag your location in posts on social media
- Run area-specific Facebook ad campaigns
- Post your new content or anything new going on in your company on your Google My Business page
There’s one big change to the way people are searching which we haven’t mentioned yet, and that’s the rise of voice search.
It’s estimated that 71% of people prefer voice search to a typed one. And this includes millennials, who we already know make up the majority of the current market.
As Facebook ad rates have been steadily increasing throughout 2019, we may see a trend away from ad campaigns and toward a complete focus on organic SEO. That means your healthcare website content and copywriting strategies need to be excellent. And you can’t wait to implement an organic search strategy. Every day that you do is giving your competition another day to get ahead.
5. Advancements in Strategy
The final trend in healthcare marketing that we’ll address is a focus on multichannel marketing strategies. Instead of relying on only one touchpoint, you use multiple platforms to market your services and your brand.
These may include, but are not limited to:
- TV Ads
- Radio Ads
- Native Ads
- Google Ads
- Youtube Ads
- Printed ads such as mailers
- Spotify Ads (a newer, cheaper and better alternative to radio)
The more channels you use, the larger a portion of your audience you can reach. Millennials are majoritively using social media platforms and Google to find out about businesses. But there is still a small portion of consumers who look to TV and radio to discover new brands.
Youtube videos are also becoming more important than ever since visual content converts better than other mediums.
Last but certainly not least, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to show more prominence in healthcare marketing.
Already, you can use programmatic advertisers to automate the marketing process. This intelligent software is capable of:
- Finding potential customers
- Discovering the websites they visit the most
- Bid for ad space on those websites
And if you win the bid, you get the prime digital real estate you need to convert the right browsers at the right time.
Programmatic advertising doesn’t just automate the patient profiling process, though. It also collects data for you to use in your marketing analytics. Big data is becoming one of the most important decision-making factors for not just healthcare marketers but marketing professionals of all industries.
Healthcare Marketing Services
While these trends can help you increase your profit margins and improve marketing return on investment (MROI), there’s something you can do to see an even larger boost: Work with a dedicated partner for your healthcare marketing services. Leave it to the experts and focus on what you’re best at.
Outsourcing your healthcare marketing efforts is shown to cut costs and help leaders re-focus on the core business needs. According to a study by Deloitte, over 50% of people surveyed found that third-party solutions create significant value for their businesses.
Are you looking for a digital marketing agency who specializes in healthcare marketing services for your medical equipment or medical practice? Direction.com helps doctors like you get your brand out there.
With powerfully run SEO strategies, web design, and digital marketing services, we’re the team you need to help you find new clients and keep them. To transform your website into an inbound sales machine.
Contact us today to find out what we can do for your healthcare marketing needs.
President, Direction Inc.