The healthcare marketing industry is rapidly evolving and changing due to new technology and consumer behavior. Healthcare marketing is taking a more digital approach than ever before. Here are the top 5 trends that we expect to see more of in 2023:
1. The Continuing Consumerization of Healthcare
Healthcare organizations’ target audience members are not just patients — they’re also consumers. As the healthcare business model becomes more consumerized, patients are increasingly taking control of their own health journeys.
Patients want access to high-quality yet affordable healthcare resources and are becoming more involved in care choices. Patients now approach healthcare with a consumer mindset. As a result, healthcare organizations must market to their target audience like they would traditional consumers.
This means demonstrating how an organization’s services add value to patients’ lives and explaining why patients should choose one care network over another.
This healthcare marketing trend is being fueled by increased access to care. Modern patients can access more care options and information than ever before. Successful organizations will capitalize on this shift by proactively appealing to customers through marketing and working to build trust.
When creating marketing materials, healthcare organizations should prioritize cost transparency and make information easy to find. Price transparency is one of the top concerns for patients who are witnessing increasing care costs.
In response to rising costs, patients are actively comparing prices and obtaining multiple quotes before seeking care. If your organization presents this information transparently, you can make your services more appealing to patients.
2. SEO is Evolving
In the early days of search engine optimization (SEO), its primary purpose was funneling prospective patients to your website and ultimately into your practice. However, SEO has now evolved into an integral component of the broader customer experience.
Patients often search for medical information so that they can self-diagnose before deciding to visit a healthcare provider. Many patients or prospective patients frequently look for informative content to answer general medical questions they may have for various reasons.
Your organization can capitalize on this healthcare marketing trend by making informative content part of the overall care process. Creating pages for frequently asked questions and blog posts that provide patients with information of value will build trust and help people develop a sense of loyalty toward your brand.
When creating this content, meeting the needs of patients based on their search intent is critical. Additionally, you must incorporate local keywords to increase your visibility among area patients. Ensure that your organization’s address and contact information are up to date so that prospective patients can get in touch with you easily.
Voice search has also become a major part of SEO. Plenty of patients conduct searches for care providers via Google Home, Siri, or similar platforms. You should focus on incorporating natural language into your webpage content. Conversational language and long-tail keywords can be especially useful for increasing visibility in voice searches.
3. Prioritize User Experience
As patients begin to embrace their roles as consumers of healthcare products and services, their expectations regarding providers have shifted. Specifically, they expect to receive fast, frictionless healthcare experiences.
There are several steps that you can take to recognize and meet these preferences. Your organization should strive to allow patients to correspond with you via their preferred channel — whether it’s phone, SMS messaging, online chat, or email.
Additionally, your website needs to load quickly and be easy to use. Steps you can take include optimizing the layout of your home page, making your content visually appealing, and adding simple navigation menus to each page.
If you want to leverage this trend, work on digitizing the patient’s entire experience as efficiently as possible. Allow patients to book appointments online, access test results or other records, and chat with your staff.
You should also consider launching your own healthcare app or leveraging a third-party system. With a mobile app, you can unobtrusively send push notifications, health updates, and other timely content.
4. Improved Personalization
Today’s patients want to feel like they’re visiting a small family practice when they go to an appointment. However, they also want the entire experience to be efficient, productive, and value-driven.
Patients expect the entire care experience to be tailored to meet their needs. This expectation extends to the marketing materials they encounter. When creating digital marketing content, make sure to use unique landing pages for each type of patient. Additionally, adjust your messaging based on the type of care or service being provided. This curation will make every patient feel important, regardless of the type of care the patient seeks.
You can also use personalized ads or target specific groups of people that are relevant to your practice. Before you attempt to use ad targeting, clearly define your target audience and the various segments within it. From there, you can provide personalized health recommendations and appointment suggestions.
While data is your greatest ally when creating personalized ad content, you need to adhere to all relevant privacy requirements. You must work proactively to protect your patients’ data so that you don’t run afoul of HIPAA regulations and other statutory requirements.
5. Social Matters
Patients — and consumers in general — frequently look for social proof prior to purchasing a product or scheduling a service. Reviews from past patients can have a strong influence over an individual’s decision-making process when they’re seeking a provider.
If your organization has numerous positive reviews, you’ll be able to build trust with patients and attract new clients. Conversely, if you have a few glaringly bad reviews, some patients may avoid your organization and turn to one of your competitors.
Social proof like online reviews has largely replaced word-of-mouth referrals. However, this is not the only form of social proof that potential patients seek out. They will also look at testimonial content, which you can create and showcase on your website.
Compiling testimonials and reviews on your website is an excellent way to convince hesitant patients to book an appointment with your providers.