Just as the healthcare industry continues to innovate and evolve, so does healthcare brand marketing by hospitals, healthcare practices, and doctors in targeting potential patients. In 2017, we expect the following healthcare marketing trends to significantly impact the industry:
1. Smart Content in Layman’s Terms Attracts Potential Patients
In 2017, offering healthcare content, that is authoritative, interesting and easy-to-understand so patients can make informed decisions, will attract them to your brand. The internet is knocking at the front door and this is one of several important healthcare marketing trends to be aware of. With patients becoming increasingly responsible for more and more of their medical costs, they are spending more time searching online for valuable and relevant information. Today’s content must be fresh, social-sharable and reliable to earn respect and build trust of potential patients.
2. New Universal Standard For Healthcare Websites Is Mobile First
If your hospital or healthcare practice has a mobile-optimized website, it is a step in the right direction. However, the best healthcare websites will be designed for mobile consumers primarily, since potential patients will likely connect first using a smartphone. Today, four out of five Americans own a smartphone and primarily search with it instead of their laptops, desktops and tablets. You need to think “mobile screen” to begin with for your website and marketing, but also budget and adapt content for other options.
3. One of the Healthcare Marketing Trends Not To Overlook: Live Video
Today’s healthcare marketing needs to leverage live video to share stories by way of recorded content via live streaming on websites, blogs and social media platforms. Internet technology now supports online video delivery, and video has a stronger audience appeal than text only. We are advising clients in healthcare and other industries to drive traffic through use of video content on websites, in blogs and social media. “A picture is worth a thousand words” and video is worth exceedingly more and has great advantages such as timeliness, impact, and the ability to demonstrate results. (Incidentally, we are constantly striving towards “inspired design – brilliant results” for our clients.)
4. Online Physician Ratings Important As Patients Research More
Today’s patient is much more informed than in the past and is willing to review and post physician ratings online. Long before a patient makes a phone call for an appointment, many are researching medical and health information, treatment options, provider reviews and credentials, etc. Patients are much more savvy than in the past, and check out online comments before making a selection. It is critical to make sure that your ratings accurately reflect your level of service and patient satisfaction.
5. Patients Online Experience With Your Website More Important Than Ever
As online digital competition grows with potential patients, healthcare providers must review their website presence to ensure it offers a pleasant and beneficial online experience. Going forward, successful hospitals and healthcare organizations will be the ones that make sure that everything from website design to content in blogs, e-newsletters, social media, etc. is created with healthcare consumers in mind. This is a good time for your website to undergo an internal and external audit to make sure the patient experience is first rate.
6. Speed Becoming Top Priority For Content Loading on Website
You can lose potential patients reviewing your website if the content is not loading fast enough. Speed has been one of the defining goals of Google’s business for years and it is one of the healthcare marketing trends which will impact your website and digital marketing. This is the year where speed becomes more important, especially on mobile devices. Google’s accelerated mobile pages and Facebook’s Instant Articles are two examples of this significant trend.
7. Social Messaging Apps Transforming Into Marketing Platforms
New social messaging apps such as Snapchat, Messenger, and WhatsApp, are springing up everyday as real-time customer conversations go mainstream. These convenient apps are fast evolving into multi-purpose platforms since we are getting “more chatty” with online messaging. Such apps present new marketing and advertising opportunities as the number of chat apps continue to grow.
8. Digital Marketing Creates New Opportunities For Personalized Content
As digital marketing and social media platforms become more sophisticated, new opportunities are cropping up to present relevant and personalized messages. We are becoming resistant to old-style, broad brush advertising methods of yesterday. Today, we expect content based on our interests and for it to be delivered timely, personalized and relevant on a one-to-one basis. Through use of patient and visitor profiles, you can begin delivering such content which will be of more interest and better your chances at getting responses and results.
9. Smartphones Allow For Location-based Marketing
Smartphone’s GPS capabilities offer the ability to target and reach potential patients by their location. For instance, you can create alerts when a potential patient is near a healthcare facility and/or offer directions to a nearby location. Location-based marketing can detect, alert and target potential patients based on their social and personal preferences.
10. Consider A Card-based Website Design For Healthcare Sites
Card-based website layout allows potential patients to easily pick and choose content of interest to them. Its design is a creative way to display short bursts of content in a visual menu and lets patients easily pick and choose the content that interests them. While this concept is not new (Pinterest currently uses), we expect card-based website design to become more common on healthcare websites going forward.
Todd Sayles, CEO & Founder of Creative Mind Consulting Group, has built a successful organization that services real estate, retail, hospital and wellness clients among others. His expertise includes problem solving/market strategy, design and marketing consulting, creative design, online website development, content and design creation for digital media and print collateral, public relations, search engine optimization and collaboration with outside designers and writers.
Creative Mind Design Group teams up with clients to strategize on marketing challenges and design goals. We come alongside companies to ultimately create inspired design alongside brilliant results.