2018 was a great year for the healthcare sector, and every stakeholder in the industry will be putting in more effort to make 2019 even better. Remaining relevant, staying on top of the competition and reaching a wider audience while attracting new patients will be the necessary major strides to make in 2019 for healthcare entrepreneurs who leverage digital marketing growth hacking techniques.
In 2018, the bar heightened in such a way that it contributed immensely to the growth of healthcare. We saw trends such as improvement and investment in patient portals, voice-driven SEO with its language identification features, content (content will always be relevant), social engagement, optimization of user experience, and many more marketing trends that kept the ball rolling in healthcare’s court.
However impressive the year 2018 was, the coming year promises to be even more so. This article unfolds the 5 most significant healthcare marketing tips to implement in 2019. By essentially studying the trends that thrived and drove success in 2018 and using them to overhaul marketing initiatives in the new year, healthcare vendors will be able to convert massive leads into prospective customers.
5 HEALTHCARE MARKETING TIPS
- Content: Spice up your brand with knowledge
As stated earlier, one important element of marketing that will always remain relevant is content.
Content reaches core online users, answers their questions, provides a challenge to their quests and interacts with them. Information is king, and patients continually have more access to more information than was previously possible.
Healthcare-related information made available online is shaping the way people connect, associate and manage advertisements. However, the success various healthcare organizations have attracting new business through digital channels is indicative of the fact that most online users are putting their trust in reliable online content and not just typical ads. A recent story from NBC News shows how 93 million Americans went online to look for answers to various health-related questions. It clearly shows how extremely powerful great content has become in 2018.
Another study by Nielsen shows that patients are more likely to engage with healthcare businesses based on referrals from relatives or people who are close acquaintances, editorial sites, branded sites, and reviews than via traditional ads (TV or online). Ads, as a factor of keen interest in marketing, continues to decrease in popularity year over year; that will not change in 2019. Ads will continue to become less and less relevant: 30% of American internet users have installed an ad blocker on their browsers, a 10% increase from 2017.
So where does that leave healthcare marketers who have specific KPIs that involve getting new users and increasing the brand awareness of their companies? It’s simple. In 2019, healthcare marketers should focus their efforts and budgets on alternative marketing tactics, such as custom content, social media posts, thought leadership and video content. These are all effective marketing strategies that will continue to work well in 2019 to showcase your company’s services in front of the right audience.
If you choose the content route, one quick word of caution. It’s not enough to just create great content and hope people will come and find it online – you also need to invest in a clear SEO strategy if you to have your awesome content consistently surface in the top ten search results. You can always do this on your own (make sure to check Brian Dean’s amazing 2019 SEO guide) or find the right healthcare marketing agency that can help you set your content strategy for success in 2019.
- Video will again make giant waves in 2019, affecting strategies in healthcare and medical marketing
Video conferencing and telemedicine services have found their way into the healthcare industry. In 2018, doctors began to contact patients across the world to advise them on issues affecting their health. Virtual hospitals now have online doctors and online nurses available 24/7, ready to deliver top-notch services to anyone needing help, by using the latest health technologies to improve the quality of care and readmission rates. People can stay in the comfort of their homes and receive medical treatments. Isn’t that amazing?
Video, aside from being of great help connecting patients and doctors online, provides other additional use cases to the healthcare industry. Healthcare businesses who publish videos on their websites have a greater chance of making it to the first page on Google search results. To this effect, brand exposure and consumer confidence are ensured. Videos are also very effective in educating prospective customers and can be a fun way of visually passing your product information to users needing specific healthcare attention. 85% of all internet users watch videos online, across form factors, on a regular basis.
- Look at relevant PPC and voice search optimizations for 2019
Many healthcare professionals are focused on providing exceptional service to their customers but ignore delivering value through blogging and posting about their profession on social media. Although generating better ranking through organic SEO by creating blog articles and improving the content volume of your website is a great way to stay relevant in 2019, it is only one side of the coin in 2019.
Next year, you will also need to focus efforts on reaching your targeted audience through the right channels at the right time. Paying for advertising through Facebook, Google Adwords and LinkedIn are just a few ways contributing to both your brand visibility and your ability to reach new patients—giving you a cost-effective way to get referrals and patients while also sharpening the edges for your brand.
With increases in the number of people using Amazon Echo and Google Home devices to buy products, voice command searches are going to be a bigger deal in the coming year. According to Comscore, 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voice searches.
In 2019, the best healthcare digital marketers will be paying close attention to cookie and audience data, ensuring that they provide a more personalized and customized experience for their web users. They will also start optimizing the SEO of their digital platforms for voice searches.
- Keep your online reputation at bay
With the cost of healthcare services constantly on the rise, patients are actively looking online for the best medical practices. About 80% of users look at online reviews before engaging with a new physician or medical business.
This is to say that people are looking at organic recommendations from people who have received quality services in the past. So in 2019, do a full inventory of online mentions for your brand, reviews and recommendations and devise a clear strategy for your online reputation.
The bottomline is simple: your marketing efforts won’t be successful if online users look up your business and find only negative reviews. Or worse still-no reviews at all. As such, healthcare marketers should do a complete inventory of their online persona and consistently work towards optimizing it.
- Prioritize Data Analysis
No list of marketing best practices would be complete without a reference to robust marketing analytics. For the longest time, marketers stayed away from hard data when it came to marketing efforts. However, without a clear, data-driven approach to marketing, how do you know what you are already doing well versus what should be improved?
Implementing analytics tools that help manage your marketing strategies and monitor your expected leads, conversion rates, revenue goals, and patient acquisition rates are all critical to the overall success of your campaigns. In 2019, every healthcare marketer should make it his/her mission to measure the success and failure of their marketing strategies. In so doing, marketers are truly poised to propel their companies into the future.
This post comes from Digital Authority Partners, one of Chicago’s premier healthcare consulting firms