Whether you have a solo practice, a small clinic with less than 100 staff members, or an established hospital, you will benefit from proper healthcare marketing. Word of mouth can only take you so far. You’ll eventually reach a plateau and your growth will stagnate. That’s where medical marketing services and healthcare advertising trends come in. To keep cash and new patients flowing into your business, you need a well-rounded medical marketing strategy.
What Is Healthcare Marketing?
Healthcare providers and systems have no reason not to invest in exploring digital trends in healthcare and pharma marketing. But what is the definition of healthcare marketing?
Broadly, it is an approach to public health promotion to facilitate relationships between medical centers and patients. Let’s examine the main channels of utilizing digital trends in healthcare and pharma marketing: mobile-friendly website, healthcare SEO services (local pack SEO), patients’ reviews, healthcare content marketing, PPC meaning in healthcare, social media marketing and loyalty programs for patients.
Mobile Friendly Website
For most experts in the digital design space, not having a mobile-friendly website is preposterous. Digital trends in healthcare are clear - more than 50% of all web browsing in the world occurs on mobile devices - and pharma marketing should be progressing in this direction.
The value of a healthcare website design that is mobile-responsive cannot be understated. This is why:
- It is no secret that Google de-prioritizes websites that are not mobile responsive. Even if you are a trendy hospital with a healthcare marketing agency somewhere in New York but your website is not device friendly, it might as well not exist. Your only luck is if a user specifically searches the company name.
- Providing a great digital experience is one of the hot hospital marketing trends. With that much traffic coming from mobile users, you want to leave a good impression. If out of all the possible options, they found your website while seeking information, it should be convenient and easy to read.
- Lastly, you need to outsmart your competition. Once again, even if some healthcare marketing agency in New York boasts its successful results without having a mobile-responsive website, you should focus on your own strategy. It will be even better because you can beat your competitors by doing simple tweaks to the website. It is both affordable and expected.
Organic searches account for more than half of the traffic volume. Even though it doesn’t seem like the most exciting branch of digital marketing, healthcare SEO services are hitting the hot spot on the Internet. Below are a few easy-to-implement tips that healthcare SEO companies came up with:
- Pick the right keywords. Think of keywords you imagine people would type in when trying to find a medical institution. Ask for a second opinion, for example, our healthcare marketing agency team so that you can be sure your list fits all the needed categories. Slowly start including said words into your content. Make sure they are not mindlessly stuffed into the article because it has to be readable and relevant for the page.
- Work on a local search. The benefit of carrying out a local medical SEO campaign is that it is generally perceived as more personal and tailored than a national one. Other than getting on top of the ranking and receiving more online traction, this method actually brings more in-person patients which happened to search for a nearby clinic. List the correct contacts to not confuse the potential clients with outdated information.
- Provide consistent and easy to understand updates. In general, you want search engines to be able to recognize and process your content. Healthcare SEO companies, such as Lasting Trend, will make sure your business is up and running. Our professional team will take these steps to position your company as a knowledgeable resource, which in turn, positively affects ranking and traffic.
Healthcare Content Marketing
Many studies have shown that healthcare content is the 2nd most searched for service online. These are scenarios that you’ll want to use for a profit with your healthcare content marketing strategy:
- “What’s wrong with me?” You should have all the answers to their concerns on a web page in easy to consume formats such as a video or different visuals.
- “Where can I get help?” Apply healthcare content marketing to make sure people find your clinic and the search engine knows your location.
- “Who is the best doctor?” To build trust with clients you’ll want to present them with content such as testimonials, awards, academic papers, etc. on your doctor’s qualifications and achievements.
Here are some basic rules for a strong healthcare content marketing strategy:
- Start only what you can maintain. The value comes in part from being a reliable, timely and consistent resource. Assess whether your resources will allow you to maintain your marketing strategy, starting with minimal effort that will not drain you (and perhaps will grow your business in the future).
- Keep the human element. Whatever information you put up, it should be presented in an authoritative, but easily understood manner. Apply a case study approach for healthcare marketing to learn what people are interested in and use conversational tones so that it doesn’t seem like a lecture. You are trying to catch people's attention so it should be entertaining for them, not you.
- Results take time and effort. Tangible results, from content marketing, start showing over a period of time which is necessary for a committed following to grow. Depending on the healthcare marketing agency and goals, this can be used in addition to traditional (and more immediate) advertising methods, which is how for example, the New York Times increased its digital news subscribers.
What is PPC in healthcare? Even if your website ranks number one for a search term like “best hospital in Boston”, there are still a couple of paid advertisements above that number one search that people will see first. These are laser-targeted to appear first. Here's a quick overview of the three steps for healthcare ads:
- Include the right healthcare keywords. Look for terms that resonate within the desired community, but be specific. Terms that are too broad can give you many clicks but few actual clients.
- Write strategically. You'll need articles and posts for your ads, and that content should represent what is written on the landing page your ad links to. But just because you bought the ad doesn't mean readers will click on it.
- Monitor and adjust. When your campaign is up and running, you should still be looking at digital trends in healthcare and pharma marketing. You might need new keywords, new targets, new ads or new pages.
So the meaning of PPC in healthcare is all about modifying your campaigns to what consumers are searching for. Bear in mind that Google has very specific rules pertaining to health content and personalized advertising. Some PPC campaigns involve data collection - which could be subject to HIPPA rules. We at Lasting Trend make sure that you get a full understanding of what PPC in healthcare is and that HIPAA compliance is adhered to.
According to reports, 9 in 10 US millennials do research on the Internet to get medical information either as their first or even only source. Additionally, almost 50% of adults use social media in healthcare decision-making.
If you want to stay on top and appeal to these requests, healthcare marketing agencies should jump on this trend, even a small New York-based clinic can earn nation-wide recognition.
- Gather information through social listening. The gist of any healthcare business is to serve customers. Social listening gathers information about these customers via social media to learn what they think. Other than assessing the quality in healthcare, you can use this channel to predict the next wave of attention to a certain disease or whether people are worried about the upcoming flu season. The timing of your content will become much better.
- Collaborate with influencers. By influencers, we don't only mean bloggers with a large online following, but also activists, experts, and physicians. The truth is that many medical professionals have a relevant online presence and have built a community that trusts them. Working with the wrong people, however, can hurt your brand so you should pay attention to the credibility of your collaboration. Make authentic connections with influencers, so as to be sure not to betray your customers’ trust.
- Educate and inform your customers. Social media and healthcare should come together to create educational content. A mere 26% of clinics post informational articles to promote themselves. So, there is an underused niche for providing fresh, useful content using frequently used mediums. Explore video formats, personal experiences, graphics, and guides.
- Share the company message. What is the definition of healthcare marketing? It is making yourself “seen” by your target audience. There is no doubt that being active on social media is a useful tool for brand awareness, but you also want to convey what you believe in. Posting strictly educational articles may seem impersonal, so make sure your customers have a general idea of your company’s personality and values.
- Take part in conversations. Try to keep up with the local, national and international discourse in your field. This will not only affect your approach to marketing but all sorts of executive decisions. Engage in conversations in the online community with both professionals and the general public. They are already interested in your sphere and looking for solutions and support.
Hospital Patient Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are common in most of the business world and healthcare marketing firms are catching up. A case study approach has shown that the cost of healthcare marketing for attracting new customers is higher than maintaining customers’ involvement.
You can build patient loyalty by focusing on developing and implementing these core strategies:
- VIP hospital patient loyalty programs. The main idea is to reward a customer for choosing your institution. The execution is mainly up to you; it depends on your goals, budget and available resources. For example, you can offer free parking, discount for purchasing items in the hospital or the local pharmacy. Numerous firms are also introducing multi-tier loyalty programs.
- Free educational material and medical procedures. As either an alternative or in addition to discounts, you can provide access to relevant healthcare information. This goes beyond posting website articles. For example, it can be an online panel or seminar to educate your customers about a health problem they are going through. Once they finish the needed procedures, you can offer free health screenings.
- In-person events. No matter how genuine and personal your content is, your audience can’t grab a drink with your article. In the end, it comes down to the simple fact that people want to connect with other people. It can be something serious and educational or fun and relaxed. When your customers are included in exclusive events, they feel more connected.
- Local perks. You can bring the business community together by partnering with a local Starbucks or cafe. Patients can receive discounts or free snacks and you will establish a personal bond with them once again. Businesses are very friendly towards partnerships with healthcare institutions.
As a result of positive patient engagement in healthcare, you get:
- Improved patient response. When you work on increasing patients’ involvement with the clinic, they are more likely to leave with a positive impression.
- Repeat business. Patients appreciate being rewarded for their continuous partnership. This creates a higher chance of patients coming back later when they need another medical service.
- Boosted ‘word of mouth’. Loyalty programs prompt people to speak highly of your institution and recommend your services to other people.
- Good ROI. You can count on a good return on investment because running programs to gain clients’ trust has little to no risk.
Bonus: Google Medic Update
Google implemented one of the most impactful algorithm updates – and it lest website rankings plummeting. The reason it has been referred to as “Google Medic Update” is that it largely affected organic rankings for health, fitness, and medical websites.
Because of this update, it more important than ever to be picky about who you can trust when it comes to marketing. Any page offering medical or health information that could impact physical well-being should be closely examined. The Lasting Trend makes sure you exceed your rankings without compromising the quality of the website. For the best results, choose us and our skilled specialists!
To mitigate the drop on your blog and content pages, you should:
- Pay attention to domain authority. Add proof of expertise if you can, including verified health content policy and enhancing your author’s bio information.
- Make sure that your content aligns with user intent. It means separating “do” intent (to find a physician) with the “know” intent (to learn about a condition).
- Continue to work on improving other algorithm factors like mobile responsiveness and technical aspect.
If you don’t want to fall into a disproportionately large number of health sites negatively affected, trust us to use the promotional tactics for your advantage.
Our team will make your healthcare marketing strategy work to its full potential and no new healthcare marketing trends will be able to fly under the radar. Lasting Trend will help you effectively implement these strategies, in compliance with HIPAA and other relevant laws. If you’re ready to take your healthcare marketing to the next level, then contact us to get started!
July 23, 2019