Until recently, healthcare brands relied heavily on word of mouth and tangible marketing strategies to attract new consumers and clients. Due to the surge in digital promotion, brands are being met with increased competition, and therefore need to find new ways to differentiate themselves. Consumers need to be reached through multiple touch points, most of which involve the social media sphere. In order to stay on top of the health marketing game, brands must follow the trends that are currently being utilized to engage with consumers. The question now becomes – how many of these platforms are you taking advantage of?
Here are 4 trends in healthcare marketing to enhance your business:
1.Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
With more than 50% of all Internet activity currently taking place on phones and tablets, and the average consumer checking his or her mobile device approximately 150 times a day, having a website that is optimized for mobile has never been more important. So, what exactly is mobile optimization? Mobile optimization has to do with the way your website appears on different screens, resolutions and browsers. The same website that displays beautifully on a 13-inch laptop screen doesn’t have the same functionality on a 3-inch phone. Due to this fact, one of the current trends in marketing is to adapt to the mobile generation and adjust particular aspects of your website in order to maximize usability on smaller devices. If your website isn’t mobile friendly and is displaying exactly how it was built for computer screens, images and text will appear broken, stretched or shrunk on phones and tablets.
Similarly, navigation built for traditional web is difficult to use on a mobile or touch screen, so adjustments must be implemented in order to facilitate the transition. In the end, mobile optimization ensures that consumers make it past your home screen while browsing on their mobile devices and free-standing apps, such as iPads and tablets.
2. Connect with Consumers through Social Media
Regardless of which industry segment your healthcare organization is in, social media offers a two-way communication platform to reach your audience. Choosing a few complementary social media outlets (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) can elevate your web presence and reach potential sales with almost no added investment. Social media is giving users and businesses the opportunity to engage with one another and facilitate meaningful discussions on the issues important to consumers. With 82% of adults aged 27–50 using social media, your brand needs to be an influential participant in the discussion. In terms of healthcare marketing, 2015 has already seen social media users interacting with healthcare professionals and booking appointments through digital platforms. In order to connect with consumers using social media, brands are becoming aware of the components to a successful social media strategy. These components include:
- Researching the various platforms and knowing how each one can bring significance to your brand.
- Being present and knowing the competition by understanding how they are presenting themselves on social media. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of other brands in healthcare marketing will allow for the ability to prepare the strategies that your brand will adopt online.
- Garnering feedback from social media provides valuable insight into your target audience. Forty-one percent of people said that social media would affect their choice of a specific healthcare facility. As consumers are increasingly using social media for open discussion, specifically about healthcare, it is important that you actively listen and respond.
- Using branding so that consumers can identify your company’s vision – your unique selling point. Users will appreciate reliability and knowledge in the content that is being presented across your social media platforms. When it comes to using social media, engagement, cohesion and reliability of content will leave you better connected with consumers.
3. Better Understand Consumers through Data Collection
The healthcare industry is heavily reliant on data, and it’s an enormous tool to leverage for marketing healthcare organizations. Consumers, too, are looking for data – more specifically, the information that can help them live happier, healthier lives. Regardless of the type of healthcare organization, data is fast becoming the fuel that powers the overarching marketing strategy. In a sense, data analysis encompasses many of the previously mentioned marketing trends, in order to truly understand specific markets and the consumers that live within them. Through optimization, social media, predictive analytics and business intelligence, organizations are gaining insights to strengthen financial and budgetary performance, deepen consumer-centric relationships and improve the way healthcare is conceived and delivered for better outcomes across the entire network of health-related industries. Advanced analytics are delivering crucial insights needed to propel a business toward growth. Beyond collecting data from consumer trends, data analysis is also evolving with the technology-focused times. In addition to marketing data derived from smartphones, the industry is seeing a steady stream of dedicated wearable fitness devices emerge. This emergence is allowing users to track their progress and upload data to be compiled alongside other users’ content. The very near future could see this data being shared with healthcare practitioners who will use it as part of their diagnostic toolbox when consumers visit them with an ailment.
4. Build and Maintain SEO Practices
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of building a website that ranks well with search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! when a user searches for a related term. There are two main reasons that make SEO so on trend and viable to your brand. On the one hand, you have sites such as Yellow Pages and Yelp whose out-of-date links and directory sites can bump you down the rankings of Google. You are no longer in control of your message. On the other hand, you have customers who don’t yet know who you are, but are seeking out your product or service. In both scenarios, you need potential customers to be able to find your company in a search, and SEO is the fastest and most effective way to do that. Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors in determining its search ranking: the loading speed of the page, number and quality of keywords, quantity and quality of inbound links and frequency of updates are all taken into consideration. A solid SEO strategy will take all of these factors into account when building the framework and content of a website that will give you the exposure you want and need. In terms of healthcare marketing, Google’s research found that 44 percent of web users who research healthcare organizations on a mobile device go on to schedule an appointment. The first and most important step is to research keywords, healthcare providers, and other related professionals that consumers are using to search for your services and create quality content that is helpful to your target audience. This process will help to move your website up the Google rankings for those keywords.
Please find the second part of this article, here.
For more information about healthcare marketing that clicks visit, Whitehead Agency Group.