As patients use the internet as a source to search for the best healthcare professionals, it is important to stay up-to-date on healthcare marketing trends that have delivered results and continue to deliver results to healthcare professionals and their businesses. You can rely on your healthcare marketing to boost your website traffic and the number of patients you have. To do so, you need to use the correct marketing strategies, however, healthcare marketing is no easy job to tackle, especially in a world full of advanced technology.
There are many ways to market your healthcare facility, but you do not want to invest time and money into a marketing strategy that either will not work or will only work for a short period of time. So, which marketing strategies are efficient for my healthcare facility, and how long will they be effective? Fortunately, we have created a list of the top digital healthcare marketing trends that are expected to be long-lived.
Review Management – Patient Reviews Contribute to Your Ranking on Google
Google reviews have a massive effect on potential patients’ decision-making process. You can expect almost every patient to make their way to the review section of your website before contacting your healthcare facility. In fact, SearchEngineLand has stated that over 80 percent of consumers are more likely to trust online reviews over personal recommendations. This will continue to increase, as it is being seen more with each day that passes.
Patients resort to online review sources to form their own opinion on your healthcare facility. Patient reviews either negatively, or positively impact your online reputation. Furthermore, they may very well be a direct representation of how you treat your clients. For these reasons, along with many other reasons, it is very important to take control of managing your online reputation. Your healthcare facilities’ online reviews will most likely be a determining factor when patients are trying to decide if they would like you to provide them with the medical services they need.
Ranking on Google is another reason why it is very important to manage your online reputation. Patient reviews are a key factor in Google’s ranking system. In other words, your patients’ reviews play a huge role in if your website will make it to the top pages of search engines, and generate a result for online searchers within the area of your healthcare facility. Patient reviews are the third most considered local ranking SEO factor. This includes all review websites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any other healthcare review websites. Additionally, if you have created a positive online presence for your healthcare facility, and receive a review that includes keywords, this review submission may generate local searches, further exposing your healthcare facility. For example, you are a dentist and a former patient submits a review explaining the positive experience they had with you. The services included a root canal and they mention “root canal” in their review. Another local searcher is looking for a dentist that will provide them with root canal services. They search “root canal near me” and the review from your former patient generates. The dentists’ website and office are now introduced to other potential patients and many others who search for similar services. Reviews and rankings go hand-in-hand when considering the rank of your healthcare website on Google.
Connect with Micro-influencers – Broaden Your Social Media Reach
Influencer marketing is something that is utilized now more than ever. With the impact that social media influencers have and the cosmetic investments they make, you can expect them to play a vital role in your marketing strategies.
Influencer marketing is when businesses utilize social media influencers to promote their products or services to their audiences. The key to this idea is to ensure the influencer has an audience that aligns with your targeted audience and demographic.
For example, if you are a plastic surgeon in LA and you provide your services to a social media influencer who has traveled across the globe for your services where the majority of her audience is in another country, though possible, it is unlikely you will receive referred patients. Alternatively, if you provide services to a Kardashian as a plastic surgeon in LA, and they promote your business, expect your healthcare facility to explode.
Finding local influencers who have followers that align with your services can bring you new followers, website visitors, inquiries, and patients. If the influencer is content with the services you provided them with, chances are they will be more than willing to make a deal. Offer their next service for free or discounted in exchange for a promoted post on their socials, and see how well the post does, and how much more attention your social media, website, and the office gets.
Optimize & Prioritize Local SE – Earn a Spot Where Your Audience is Most Present
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing. Additionally, Google focuses intently on local SEO. Essentially, this means organically increasing the visibility of your healthcare website. This is important for the success of your healthcare business, and can largely affect its growth.
It is extremely easy to find local businesses while searching the web. We no longer think about this feature, however, it wasn’t always this easy. This is because of the advanced software that we now have, such as Google and Healthgrades. This also means it impacts healthcare businesses that have listings on the internet. Of course, it is crucial to have excellent local SEO strategies to beat your competitors, attract new patients, and generate traffic. Google focuses on many aspects of your website when analyzing it. Here are the key components of local SEO:
- On-page search engine optimization (SEO)
- Google My Business
- Business listings
This list is a great way to get started with a beneficial marketing trend that is here to stay. If you optimize the above-mentioned SEO components, you will see an increase in website traffic, website visibility, and potential patients.
Video Incorporation – Patients Prefer Videos
Though it is not utilized enough, video marketing is an effective strategy for healthcare marketing. Videos are a powerful tool to reach potential patients and introduce them to who you are as a healthcare professional. This develops a sense of trust for potential patients who stumble across your video on the internet. Patients feel more comfortable walking into a healthcare facility when they have visually seen their healthcare professional.
Many healthcare professionals may find they do not have enough time to record content, however, you don’t need to record an hour-long video to increase visibility. It can be a short 2–5-minute video that receives the most attention. After all, a short blog post may take up to 4 hours, while a 2–3-minute video can take up to 10-15 minutes to record and upload. Begin recording content and offering free information. Include educational information, how-to videos, frequently asked questions, an explanation of your job title, products, services, treatments you offer, etc. Consider all of the questions you get asked each day and begin recording. If you are active on social media platforms, post the video on your socials as well. Remain consistent with video content and you will quickly notice how fast the visibility of your healthcare facility increases.
Create Consistent Content – Encourage Organic Website Traffic
After building an effective website for your healthcare facility the next marketing strategy you should focus on is content. As with every marketing strategy, content plays a vital role in your website’s SEO and traffic generation. Blog posts and website pages are included in the content within your healthcare website. Though videos are another form of content and take very little time, blog posts are just as effective when it comes to trying to increase website traffic and visibility.
When it comes to blog posts, there are many different ways to approach them and many different forms to write them in. Though long-form blogs generate the most traffic, they are not required and you may find a short blog to be the most engaging every once in a while. What really matters is, creating a blog content plan for your healthcare website. Do so by planning when you will post blogs, and what they will be about. In this regard, you hold yourself accountable and generate more traffic.
You may be wondering why you would take hours on blogs when you can just invest in paid advertising. Unfortunately, marketing is not that easy and takes consistent time and effort. While paid ads may work, content marketing seems to be the most effective organic strategy when it comes to healthcare marketing.
Though blog posts typically take a significant amount of time, there are plenty of writing professionals you can hire to write them for you. Invest in a writer that can bring you organic results instead of paying for expensive paid advertisements. Many writers specialize in specific areas in the medical field, and you may just find one that can take over blog posts— giving you more time throughout each day and an improved website. Active blogs written by professional writers can generate over 50% of organic traffic to your website.
Create a Social Media Account – Where Patients are Browsing
Throughout this article, we have mentioned social media, but have yet to discuss its role in healthcare marketing. While some healthcare professionals understand the significance of social media marketing, many healthcare professionals do not. Social media marketing is a strategy that needs to be better applied and focused on by healthcare professionals and businesses. Now more than ever, patients are using social media platforms to find healthcare professionals and contact them. Social media will continue to grow and be a source for this reason.
It is rare to find a business without some type of social media account. However, oftentimes this healthcare marketing strategy is neglected. Healthcare businesses will create social media platforms and then forget about them. Creating social media accounts for your healthcare business and neglecting it can be more hurtful than not creating the accounts. To make the most out of social media platforms, healthcare businesses need to create and post proper content consistently. This will allow you to engage with your targeted audience and potential patients.
To get started with social media for your healthcare business, decide which platform would best fit your practice and targeted demographic. This will be different for everyone and ultimately depends on you and your business. Your business will do well on social media if you use the right platform and post consistent, effective content. Additionally, you can research which social media would be best for your practice, which times would be best to post, and what hashtags would be most effective to use.
The following tips should be considered when building your social media accounts:
- Stay consistent and patient
- Be authentic
- Show viewers and potential patients what you do
- Utilize video on social media
- Have fun and show who you are as a person
- Focus on quality, effective content
Once you get the hang of social media, content production will become easy, and your engagement and followers will increase.
Claim your Healthcare Business – Establish your Profession
Did you know that there are directories and listings on the internet that can increase your visibility? Directories and listings are websites where healthcare professionals are listed with a short description, contact information, and patient review postings. Not only are they used by patients to find the best local healthcare professionals, but they are also scanned by Google, and can increase your website visibility. Now, you may be asking: how does all of this relate to claiming my healthcare business? Your website and healthcare business may already be listed on directories without you even knowing. It is important you “claim” your business on these websites to receive the credit you deserve, establish trust, and ensure the information about your healthcare business is correct.
For example, if you are a fertility doctor and a web searcher searches “Fertility clinic near me” a list of local directories will generate, not a list of every single fertility doctor in the area. Directories and listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Healthgrades, and RateMDs.com will be the first to present fertility clinic results.
Healthcare professionals can be present on any listings and directories and are able to claim all of them, given they prove their identity. With that being said, it is important to claim your healthcare listings for your practice locations and all providers within your facility. This is important because it confirms your healthcare business, and profession, and allows searchers to feel confident in the listing and patient reviews. Additionally, the more present you are on the internet, the more likely it is for your website to reach Google, increasing your localized search results.
Consider Voice Search – Increase Visibility
Apple’s Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Home are all devices that are capable of delivering results through voice search. As with any technological device, you can assume these advancements will only get better. It will soon be the new way to use search engines. It is also a healthcare marketing trend that is here to stay.
Voice search is a feature that was introduced many years ago and has significantly improved since, expanding from mobile devices to home devices. This has led to an increase in the number of voice searches. Many prefer to use a voice assistant for searches instead of manually typing in their search. Of course, this feature will continue to grow and affect your website’s SEO. Why is this? When someone searches the internet via voice search, it is likely they will use complete sentences instead of keywords. This can be confusing because now your healthcare website needs to consider many more key phrases. However, if done the right way, voice search SEO can positively impact your business.
How do I Optimize my Voice Search SEO?
- Research long-tail keywords and incorporate them into your website
- Distinguish your targeted audience and their most frequently asked questions — answer these on your websites
- Create effective, compelling content
- Consider schema-markup
While the voice search feature has a long way to go, you can only expect it to improve. With that in mind, its significance will continue to increase for healthcare professionals who are interested in ways to improve their healthcare marketing. If you are going to attempt voice search SEO, ensure you are also focusing on important marketing strategies while doing so. You don’t want to give it your all while the rest of your marketing declines.
Run a PPC Campaign – Be the First on the List
Marketing pay-per-click (PPC) such as Google Ads has made it much easier for healthcare marketers to become more focused on to whom the ads are presented. You can now hone in on demographics and geofencing when creating a PPC campaign, which means your business ad can be right in front of the eyes of your targeted audience. This is not an organic way of marketing however; it is extremely effective and is a healthcare marketing trend that will stick around for many years to come. Essentially, PPC generates your healthcare business as one of the first results on search engines.
Digital Healthcare Marketing Trends Recap
Digital healthcare marketing is crucial for the success of your business. Healthcare is an industry that has transitioned to fully online when it comes to marketing. Patients use search engines to answer their healthcare questions, search for the right healthcare professionals, and locate the best healthcare business. Staying up-to-date on the latest healthcare marketing trends is critical for developing effective strategies and growing the business of your healthcare facility. For reference, the following trends are ways you can best market your healthcare facility:
- Review management
- Video incorporation
- Optimize search engine optimization (SEO)
- Connect with micro-influencers
- Create consistent content
- Create a social media account(s)
- Claim your healthcare business
- Consider voice search
- Run a PPC Campaign
After reading about healthcare marketing trends, we hope you are formulating ideas on how you can incorporate these strategies into our healthcare marketing. There is no better time than now to get started!
If you have found yourself overwhelmed and feel you are in a race with your competitors and can’t beat or even catch up to them, don’t worry. There are healthcare marketing teams that specialize in healthcare marketing strategies that can significantly improve your healthcare business, and reach the goals you have had in mind. Consider chatting with a healthcare marketing team to see what they can offer your healthcare facility, and how they can grow your business.