As another decade comes to a close, healthcare marketers must look forward to developments that will shape the industry in the years to come. The online sphere has been an integral part of healthcare marketing since the turn of the century. However, with recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence algorithms and the increasing integration of smart devices with our everyday lives, healthcare marketing is approaching a new era. Are you prepared to leverage these changes?
Here are some major healthcare marketing trends to look for in 2020 and beyond.
Reviews Will Matter More and More
Healthcare providers have always relied in large part on patient sentiment to acquire new patients and establish a great reputation. Of course, now, the vast majority of that sentiment comes from online reviews, which are not only widespread across multiple platforms, but easily accessible by anyone looking for them.
According to a 2019 study by Binary Fountain, 60% of participants claimed to use online reviews to assess healthcare providers even after a referral and that 75% are influenced by online feedback. The study also noted that positive online reviews played a role in a consumer deciding to go out of network for a provider with better reviews.
In 2020, healthcare providers should focus on acquiring more reviews and responding to every review received, both good and bad. Replying to a negative review is crucial for your online reputation management, as 70% of patients find it important for facilities to publicly and directly address patient concerns.
Increase Content Marketing Efforts
Producing a steady stream of informative, entertaining and high-quality content is key for increasing patient engagement and boosting your online brand visibility. This has been true ever since Google gained dominance over the search engine market and established its ever-evolving algorithm. But in 2020, content marketing will only grow in importance.
Healthcare marketers should approach content creation holistically, publishing various forms of content on multiple platforms. All content should be authoritative and well-produced. Text-based content like blogs must be well written and include high-quality links. Adding images to all of your content also increases engagement.
Video has quickly become the most effective form of content available, providing visual, auditory and text-based content in an engaging package. You might run video ads on YouTube, post your videos on your website and landing pages, and share them on your social media profiles.
Fast, Responsive Sites Win More Patients
Prospective patients only have so much patience. Healthcare sites that are riddled with pop-ups and ads, difficult to navigate, and load slowly will turn online users away in no time. This will be truer in 2020 than ever, as patients now expect their pages to load instantly on all their devices, including their smartphones.
So, if you are looking to increase patient acquisition, you need to streamline your website and optimize it for both desktop and mobile viewing. You can start by switching to a faster web host, decreasing the size of images on your pages and cleaning up unnecessary code.
Social Media’s Growing Influence
Your online presence is not and should not be limited to your web domain. To maximize your brand’s reach and impact in 2020, make full use of social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (to name a few) are becoming more influential by the day in terms of marketing, engagement and reputation management. According to Statistia, 2.82 billion users (or 42% of the population) actively use some form of social media.
Healthcare marketers can create and promote targeted ads on these platforms as well as maximize organic reach by publishing content regularly and interacting with users via comments, likes and shares. Neglecting the power of social media in 2020 is a massive mistake for any marketer.
Data-Driven Healthcare Marketing
In 2020, healthcare marketers will have the tools and data to personalize their outreach campaigns. In accordance with HIPAA regulations, you can create marketing material aimed toward key demographics (age range, key health concerns, income levels, etc.) for a more granular approach to reaching new patients or keeping current patients engaged and loyal to your brand. A reliable healthcare specific customer relationship management (CRM) tool can store relevant patient data and reveal insights from these healthcare data analytics to optimize your online marketing strategy.
Turning to Telemedicine and Self-Serving Technology
Each year we become less restricted by spatial barriers and demanding physical processes. Telemedicine, artificial intelligence and automated systems are all contributing to a more accessible and efficient medical landscape.
Telemedicine provides healthcare remotely, without the need for an in-house visit. This breakthrough in the health industry began around the turn of the century, but in 2020, telemedicine will be the most viable, accessible, reliable and utilized it has ever been. If you do not currently offer remote health services, consider introducing telemedicine as a part of your practice, as this opens to door to acquiring patients with mobility or transportation issues.
Additionally, more providers are incorporating chatbots, patient profiles and appointment-scheduling modules into their websites. These additions give patients more control and awareness of their health. Updating your website in 2020 to include this self-serving technology is just one of many ways to improve patient experience online.
They say that hindsight is 20/20. But rather than look backward, your 2020 healthcare marketing plan should look forward, embracing all of these changes in technology and patient behavior and staying alert to the most recent developments.
Are you ready to start planning for 2020? Schedule a meeting with one of our directors to see how Binary Fountain can help with your 2020 efforts.
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