2023 Healthcare Marketing Trends & Healthcare Advertising Trends
Healthcare marketing trends are constantly changing month over month and year over year.
Therefore, it is critical to stay up to date on what is working for local practices and national direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to continue to grow and marketing becomes more and more digitally integrated.
It can be tough to know which healthcare digital marketing trends are most effective and even compliant as things move and shift in the healthcare marketplace.
That is why we have compiled a comprehensive list of the top trends in healthcare marketing that you need to focus on that we believe are here to stay for the next several years.
Check out a recent podcast episode on the top healthcare marketing trends in 2023 by our CEO.
Healthcare Marketing Trends Table of Contents:
- Local SEO Balances off and on-page optimization
- National SEO has become a content battleground
- Video is the Preferred Way to Consume Content
- Google ads are still a healthcare advertising trend, but…
- Reputation is a critical driver of Google Business Profile growth
- Programmatic Display is a top healthcare advertising trend
- Remarketing ads are critical but must be done with care
- Patients want self-appointment options on your website
- Tracking is changing rapidly due to privacy concerns
1. Local SEO Balances on-page and off-site optimization
Local SEO is a marketing trend in healthcare that has shifted substantially over the last 3 years.
This one is big for brick-and-mortar practices as it is what really drives the value of your website and pumps up the volume for the conditions and treatments you focus on.
There are a few primary drives of local SEO for healthcare practices in 2023.
The top local medical SEO trend for multi-location practices is location pages and Google Business Profiles.
The marriage of these two pieces is what delivers top rankings on those “near me” searches.
I describe it to potential clients as implementing a Franchise SEO model on your website.
What I mean, is if you search locally for “chick fil a near me” you are going to get the closest Google Business Profiles and individual location page on their website near your location.
This is the same way practices with 3 or more locations should like their website set up for local SEO.
You cannot go into each treatment and condition page and rank that for 7 different geographical areas by adding those cities in the title tag.
But you can drive near me search results for that treatment via your location page and Google Business Profile.
The other missed local SEO healthcare marketing trend is physician profile pages.
Most practices default optimize a physician’s page on the website for their name and practice name.
Both those are easy to win.
What you want is to take it a step further and optimize the page for the specialist that they are.
For instance, in orthopedics which we focus heavily on there are tons of subspecialties under that umbrella that the surgeons with focus on.
So if we have a hand surgeon in the practice we want to focus everything on their profile page around “Top Hand Surgeon in Austin Text | Hand Specialist”.
A much stronger structure that creates more opportunities to take up search space at the top of Google.
2. National SEO has become a content battleground
If you are a national healthcare company then one of the biggest trends in healthcare marketing for you is going to be content.
Take a look at a lot of the disruptors of the recent years that came out during COVID and you will find that they have adopted an incredibly effective blog education content strategy.
When you are going after national search rankings, educational material is your friend and ally to drive major search traffic volume to your website.
There are two sides to this:
- Consistency and high-quality long-form content
- Growing domain authority to keep pace with the big dogs
Without both of these working together, best of luck outranking well established and well funded digital health companies in your space.
Check out Roman the men’s health company.
Almost all of the major traffic generators to the website are information-based articles and blogs.
Get them to the site, educate them, and remarketing them.
Same with TalkSpace, they are driving brand awareness and value via high-ranking long-form blog content on its website.
Blogging has another major benefit in that you become a trusted resource for potential patients if they are researching the care or service you provide.
3. Video Marketing is the Preferred Way to Consume Content
As trends in healthcare video marketing go, video marketing for doctors is a slam dunk.
Getting the buy-in from your providers and surgeons is a whole other ballgame.
A video is a powerful way of bringing potential patients “into the practice” and allowing them a peek behind the curtain to develop a know, like and trust relationship with the physicians and practioners.
Video is also a fantastic way to easily get the provider involved in the healthcare content marketing strategy with minimal time commitment, which is critical.
Think about it.
Which is easier for a busy surgeon to pull off consistently?
A. Writing a 1,500+ word long-form blog post. Estimated time: 2-4+ hours
B. Film a 2-3 minute video on a smartphone. Estimated time: 10 minutes
If the process is streamlined video can be a much easier way to create content.
And the bonus?? It gets way better engagement and reaches than graphics and photos over time.
Get a doctor in front of the camera and let them give advice on how-to’s, educational pieces, FAQs, etc. then utilize social media platforms to broadcast it to your followers.
The best way to start coming up with topics is to have providers sit down and write down common FAQs that patients ask them weekly or monthly related to specific procedures or treatments you offer.
I can guarantee that if you do that, you can come up with 6 months or more worth of video marketing topics.
If you do this you are beating out 90% of your competition in implementing this digital healthcare marketing trend.
We believe in this healthcare marketing trend so much at the agency that we created our own Saas healthcare video marketing tool, CaptureMD.
Designed to help physicians create social content in under 2 minutes and collect patient video testimonials.
4. Google ads are still a healthcare advertising trend, but…
Google ads are the top healthcare advertising trend that continues in 2023 for booking more patients for practices and national DTC brands.
99% of people reading this article know and probably are leveraging Google ads at some level.
However, I want to address some of the changes (i.e. trends) we are seeing as things shift and new items roll out on Google Ads.
#1 Healthcare Advertising trend on Google Ads = PMax Campaigns
Performance Max Campaigns have been around for a while now but still new compared to the traditional set up of Google Ads.
Google is agressively pursuing more and more AI based optimization functions inside of Google ads, stripping a lot of previous structures for campaign set up of yesterday.
This is a big healthcare marketing trend as marketers need to be fully invested in keeping up with these changes and adjusting for campaign success for their healthcare clients.
A few considerations for getting the most out of PMax campaigns…
You need to have the budget, at least $50-$100 per day likely to get enough data to scale the campaigns properly.
You will also need video assets. A few at least to really feel the effects of these campaigns.
Also, practices need to heavily invest in the negatives just as much as the positives.
What I mean, is Google Ads is now “finding” keywords for you versus an ads specialist building out specific lists.
So you need to watch and weed out the keywords that don’t work or lead to low-quality conversions.
Properly setting up conversion tracking is critical now for success on Google Ads, because things are optimized primarily via data and AI.
The better the setup in the full conversion funnel, the better the results.
You would be surprised that 90% of new clients (even those large practices) have incorrect setups on conversion tracking.
5. Reputation is a critical driver of Google Business Profile growth
One of the top healthcare marketing trends related to Google Business Profile growth is reputation management.
As Google has focused more and more on local search experience, they have put the ownness on user-generated content (UGC) to provide accuracy and relevancy to GBPs.
This means they want patients to give feedback on how the care at your facilities is and heavily weigh this into your placement in local search queries.
It used to seem like a foreign concept even 10 years ago for a patient to go online and research and find a practitioner based solely on reviews and schedule an appointment, especially for a specialty physician.
Consumerization in healthcare arrived several years ago, only to be rapidly accelerated by COVID.
This means patients are more than ever in charge of their healthcare journey and as costs continue to rise they are more incentivized than ever to focus on convenience and quality of care over “in-network”.
They turn to online resources to read reviews and research the overall reputation of the practice and providers.
This is one of the healthcare marketing trends that is here to stay.
You need to start implementing a dedicated program to gather new reviews on location and provider Google Business Profiles. Automation is highly preferred.
Not to mention that Google’s algorithm can read the keyword content of these reviews and pull related keywords out of the reviews for searches you want to rank for.
Take the screenshot below for an example.
You will notice the review mentions “knee replacement” which is a major boost for this provider when people are looking for knee replacement specialists in his geographical area.
6. Programmatic Display is a top healthcare advertising trend
Another one of the major healthcare advertising trends is programmatic advertising and geofencing to reach patients in an omnichannel approach.
What is programmatic display advertising in healthcare?
Programmatic advertising is the act of using automated technology for media buying and ad placements versus traditional manual methods.
This allows healthcare organizations to buy ad placements across multiple different channels and asset mediums in real-time.
It tends to be lower cost and provides much better real-time tracking data versus traditional ad placements like television commercials or billboards.
One of the top trends in healthcare marketing under the programmatic umbrella is OTT & C-TV channels to deliver video-based ads to potential patients.
Addressable CTV allows for a completely omnichannel advertising approach where you can reach patients and stay in front of them across multiple devices and mediums.
An example of how we leverage this is by utilizing geofencing to develop audiences based on where potential patients spend their time.
When their cell phone enters these areas we can add them to an audience and start to deliver video and still graphic ads across their smartphone, computers, and C-TV devices (Apple TV, Roku, etc).
Then all of this can be traced back to actual visits when that same cell phone breaks the “geofencing” around your practice location and counts as a visit.
7. Remarketing ads are critical but must be done with care
Remarketing has always been one of the best lead generators across business and medical niches.
However, time and again when evaluating healthcare practices this strategy is being missed or underutilized to take advantage of the organic or paid traffic they are already receiving.
It is critical that once you get a potential lead to your website you have mechanisms in place to stay in front of them and top of mind until the moment of conversion.
Programmatic display, covered above, is one of the most effective remarketing tools on the market and we see it consistently as a leader in cost per appointment and visits for our clients ad campaigns.
It takes time, generally, to ramp these up but once they are firing they will be a low-cost driver of appointments and leads for your practice.
A side note, keep reading #9 below to be aware of some considerations when remarketing in healthcare to make sure you are following necessary national or state regulations.
8. Patients want self-appointment options on your website
Self-appointment booking capabilities have been around for a while in the medical space but as far as healthcare marketing trends have really lagged behind in adoption.
Despite COVID and the fact patients are actively asking for and leveraging these tools when available, many of the potential clients we talk to still are not using self-appointment technology.
I would say 75% or more of our potential clients are not utilizing self-patient appointments still.
Check out this astounding stat from Physicians Practice:
If providers offer self-scheduling, their patients will use it. 95% of survey respondents have either booked a medical appointment online or would if it was available.
Those numbers simply cannot be ignored…it is time to get on board with self-scheduling.
Not only does it eliminate friction but it provides better data and analytics on your marketing funnel is tracked in a secure manner.
9. Tracking is changing rapidly due to privacy concerns
Recently the Department of Health & Human Services (HSS) released guidance on what is and is not allowed in terms of tracking and data as it relates to specific commonly leveraged third-party marketing tools.
This update included Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Meta (Facebook) Pixel and is probably the most emergent of the healthcare marketing trends covered in this article.
Why? Because it could completely change the game in terms of what regulated entities and healthcare marketers can do and the tools they leverage to track marketing and optimize performance.
Check out the article here if you have not already.
Their biggest concern is the fact that these analytics and marketing platforms are third parties and therefore, the organization cannot control what they do with PHI data they could get exposed to.
On top of that, these platforms in particular do not have an option to put a BAA in place for regulated entities making this more difficult.
Most traditional practice websites that contain informational-based content like locations, providers, and treatments fall into the “unauthenticated webpages” category and therefore aren’t regulated and continue on as usual.
However, this means you need to take a hard look at what you can and cannot leverage in terms of third-party tracking tools and remarketing based on how your website is set up.
This article does not replace your compliance departments or healthcare legal advice.
Need help with tracking? Reach out and we can tell you more.
Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends 2023 Wrap Up
Digital healthcare marketing is an ever-evolving and changing industry and staying up on the latest healthcare marketing trends is critical to developing effective strategies to grow your organization.
I hope you found these 2023 healthcare marketing trends insightful. Often times if you wait and react to new healthcare advertising trends it can be too little too late or you are left playing catch up to competitors.
Intrepy Healthcare Marketing offers a range of medical marketing services focused on growing medical practices and generating new, high-revenue patients.
Book a free video practice marketing assessment call with one of our team members by clicking here.