5 Shifts that Change How You Market a Practice in 2018 & Beyond
Guest post by Laura Driver – Tillison Consulting
We are seeing a brand new era in healthcare marketing. Technological and medical advancements, as well as constant changes in policies, means that the healthcare industry is evolving rapidly. This can mean that health marketing professionals can find it tricky to stay ahead of the curve with healthcare strategies. Have a look at these healthcare marketing trends you really should focus on for 2018 and beyond.
They will change how you market your practice:
Patient Portal Improvement and Investment:
Patient portals are not new technology and it’s predicted that we will see a revamp of portals, due to healthcare firms looking for new ways to deliver care to patients, in the midst of rapid consumer-oriented technological advancements.
Portals are currently secure online websites where patients can access private health information, such as recent doctor visits, test results, vaccinations, and their medical history. Recently, patients have been requesting that portals become more user-friendly, with improved design and features.
Voice search SEO is slowly making its way into the healthcare world. It’s predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be via voice, with over 200 billion voice searches monthly. Through virtual assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant and Alexa on our smart devices, voice search is on the rise and the healthcare industry will need to adapt their marketing strategies to accommodate this.
Through improved technology, voice search is becoming increasingly reliable and accurate, especially as the technology gets used to our natural speech patterns. Most people don’t type the way the way they speak, and so it’s key for healthcare organizations to tailor their SEO strategies to how people speak and what they say when searching for something.
Healthcare Social Engagement:
There’s no doubt that social media has transformed the globe over the last decade, even making its way into the healthcare sector. From using Instagram for snapping healthy meals, and apps to track training data, to using FitBits for health tracking, the world is more concerned with health and fitness than ever, transforming health advertisements.
Within the medical sector, patients are using social media for health information and even to find doctors for their care. The healthcare industry will soon see more engagement and two-way communication, with social media helping organizations get in touch with patients and monitor conversations about their brand.
Healthcare marketers will also be communicating with patients in real-time too, with telemedicine taking off recently, bridging the gap between doctors and patients.
Every single day, consumers and patients are asking Google health-related questions, such as: ‘Does eating berries reduce my risk of cancer?’ and ‘Which foods to eat for clear skin?’. They aren’t waiting for their next GP appointment to find out – they are looking for the answers online now.
This is a valuable opportunity for healthcare marketers to take advantage of and market their practices. Wellness content can be created and shared on websites, blogs, videos and social media, providing value for patients on topics they are already thinking about, whilst positioning healthcare practices as trusted sources.
User Experience Optimization:
Adding to the recent healthcare marketing techniques is the optimizing of the user experience. Healthcare websites need to attract and inform users – they need to be useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, accessible and valuable to patients.
Some highly converting healthcare websites include responsiveness, easy navigation, simple layout, media galleries, social media links, contact forms and patient reviews. Through thinking about what patients are wanting and searching for, healthcare organizations will meet their business objectives and invoke loyalty from their users.
Modern healthcare marketing is acknowledging that everything is online and focusing on healthcare marketing trends such as patient portals, the user experience online, social media, voice searches, and wellness content. You can be certain that going forward, we will see a huge rise in these marketing trends.
Looking for healthcare organizations that stay ahead of the curve? IDS-UK deliver healthcare communication campaigns to GP surgeries across the UK. Whether it’s a product promotion, healthcare branding, symptoms awareness or a public health announcement, IDS UK can help you get your message out there.