Now more than ever, people have a renewed focus on health and wellness, and as a result, many options for care have appeared. Patients have more access to information and are demanding better services to improve the quality of their lives.
Tools including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and improved wireless network capabilities are allowing people all across the globe to connect and share information like never. Technologies such as wearables, predictive analytics, mobile technologies, and voice search are providing your consumer more and more ways to engage you.
We expect healthcare marketers to take full control of the customer experience in the coming years—patient outcomes are the priority. Here are the major healthcare marketing trends that will impact your organization the most in the next 12 months:
1. Artificial Intelligence
AI, which represents a set of several technologies that enable machines to comprehend, sense, learn, and act like humans to an extent that are prepared to perform several clinical and administrative healthcare functions, is changing our outlook on modern day healthcare delivery. The potential that the technology has in changing the industry has placed it on the list as one of the prominent healthcare app trends 2019-2020.
With the amount of healthcare based AI deals having increased from 20 in 2012 to 100 in mid 2018, the growth of adoption can already be seen as speeding up—a mark of profitable technology and healthcare combo.
The AI inclusion in medical mobile apps will grow the AI healthcare market to over $6.6 billion by 2021. That AI will be so big in healthcare is a direct sign of how businesses in the health IT domain should get prepared for intelligence inclusion.
2. AR / VR
Technology and healthcare have come far and one of the biggest contributing roles in healthcare mobile app has been played by Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. They poise healthcare based AR and VR industry to become a $5.1 billion market by the time we reach 2025. While the time is still too far off, the impact of AR/VR in the healthcare domain is already seen in multiple arenas.
The impact that AR/VR has shown in healthcare and the potential that it carries together makes the healthcare the biggest use case of the AR/VR industry.
On one hand, the technology helps doctors make more precise surgeries; The patients enjoy the virtual reality scenes that help them overcome trauma with greater ease while being in a safe environment. Both the reasons together make AR/VR one of the most important trends in healthcare app development.
AR/VR help hit all four main healthcare domains—Diagnostic, Training, Treatment, and Rehabilitation.
3. Growth of Video in Medical Marketing
Video marketing is taking over as the next major opportunity to engage consumers – especially in healthcare. According to a study by Eyeview Digital, using video on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 80%. Since healthcare is an innately personal, narrative-rich industry, video can have incredibly powerful applications. Patient stories are brought to life with dynamic storytelling and visuals, allowing new site visitors to develop a sense of trust in the organization even before making an appointment.
Video is an ideal medium for providing information about complex health issues or diseases in a simple, easy-to-understand visual format. It can be used to spread important information about community health initiatives, explain post-surgical recovery procedures, and educate the public about general wellness.
While video tends to be a time- and labor-intensive medium in terms of production (and, therefore, relatively expensive), it is well worth the investment — especially due to the degree of saturation in written medical content. It’s tough to create a unique, top-ranking blog post about asthma symptoms, for example, when there are already so many articles and blog posts containing the same exact information on the web. A video, however, can be much more dynamic. Even if the overall message is the same, a well-produced video will likely outrank a blog post in traffic and produce more conversions.
4. Rise in Voice Search and Healthcare SEO Trends
As healthcare providers continue to battle it out for top spot google rankings, healthcare providers and professionals will start to really hone in on the value of organically-generated content to improve search engine optimization. The prevalence of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Voice etc to find instructions, communicate tasks, find directions and more is something to think about for your own healthcare brand. Especially if you represent a consumer-facing healthcare portfolio. ComScore suggests by the year 2020, all internet searches will be voice-driven.
While generating content for voice activation devices:
- write in a conversational tone
- implement long-tail keywords, integrate keywords in the backend of your site, and
- account for misspelled/misinterpreted words.
Posting regular updates to social media can help healthcare businesses climb the ranks in SEO, but the ones who will continue to stand out in 2020 are those that come up with creative social media campaigns that really drive engagement. Historically, two of the most prevalent sources for medical information are WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, and have had a resounding degree of success through their blogs and social posts.
5. Continued Growth in Paid and Organic Search
For patients, the journey starts at Google. 87% of all Google searches are related to health and medicine. The opportunity for healthcare providers to increase awareness of their brand, products or services through search marketing is huge.
Paying for advertising through LinkedIn, Google AdWords, and Facebook are a few cost effective ways to get referrals, patients, and build your brand.
SEO and PPC aim for the same goal of conversions using different approaches. Effectively integrating PPC with SEO, creates a synergy that will improve each campaign’s strategy in driving targeted traffic that converts.
Generating better rankings through organic SEO by blogging and improving your website is great, it’s only one piece of the pie and going into 2020, you are going to need more than a robust keyword strategy — you need to integrate SEO and PPC.
6. Google’s E-A-T Algorithm Will Grow Stronger
Google is still the number one search engine for those looking for health information or local providers—so you want to be at the top of the search results. In August 2018, Google confirmed that its algorithms now puts a much higher emphasis on EAT:
Millions of websites saw their search engine rankings drop when this update launched—particularly healthcare websites. In fact, the update was nicknamed the “Medic” update because so many healthcare websites seemed to fall in the search engine rankings at once. And this algorithm is only likely to get stronger.
Healthcare websites will need to step up their content and provide a better overall user experience.
7. Self Refers Will Increase
In recent years, we’ve seen more patients than ever self-refer through search engines like Google. In 2020, healthcare-specific websites will make it even easier to feel confident about finding a local doctor, and patients are soon to catch on.
Patients can now self-refer through healthcare content giant WebMD, which has been focused on expanding its provider directories in the last several months. Its recent acquisition of Vitals.com reemphasizes this focus, as does its newest push towards digital advertising for doctors. Doctors can now create enhanced WebMD profiles to advertise higher up in the WebMD and Vitals.com results to target self-refferers in their area.
8. Online Reviews Become More Important
Whether you like it or not, patients are going to leave reviews of your office online. And whether you like it or not, it’s in your best interest to encourage patients to leave these reviews.
Online reviews are already heavily prioritized by the search engines. It’s often the first thing people look for when searching for a new doctor, and if they can’t find any reviews, they may simply look somewhere else. Even worse — they may only be able to find a negative review of your brand.
People trust online reviews nearly as much as a recommendation from a friend. And while you cannot eliminate every negative review that’s already out there, you can offset them with several positive reviews. With an increased emphasis on online reviews in 2020, your best form of protection is to implement a reputation management program and to encourage happy patients to speak out for your brand.
9. Patient Information Evolution
Patients want convenience and information immediately. Unlike in the past where people could only visit a local hospital, they now have choices on the care they can receive. And patients are more concerned about getting great service at a reasonable price.
Google, other search engines, and social media networks are now an integral part of how people find healthcare solutions. In many cases before deciding on the hospital or clinic to visit, people get referrals from friends and social media. They also check the customer reviews online.
Organizations avoid negative reviews at all costs because they know how detrimental it is to a business. This has led to an increase in employee training on the importance of customer satisfaction.
Chatbots will continue to be an important part of digital marketing in 2020. This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.
Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means you can focus on more important work.
Many brands already use chatbot technology, including Uber, whose chatbot communicates with customers, making it easy for them to hire cars via their mobile app, Facebook Messenger, Slack or Google Maps.
11. Growth in Telemedicine
Many healthcare facilities are also using telemedicine, which is great because it helps patients get access to medical assistance from the comfort of their home. This is especially important to those that have mobility issues.
Telemedicine allows patients to get quality care and increase the level of engagement between the doctor and the patient. If needed, patients are able to easily access different specialists. Doctors can identify early signs of sickness and treat it earlier. They’re also able to easily follow up with the patient to ensure that they’re on the right track towards a healthier lifestyle.
When deciding on whether you will implement telemedicine or not, remember that it involves technical training and purchasing the right equipment. It can be costly to implement and should be considered carefully.
If you want to stand out in 2019, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails, and more.
With the availability of data like purchase history, consumer behavior and links clicked, as well as sophisticated software to implement campaigns, custom content has never been easier.
Consider these personalization stats:
- 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
- 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
- 90% claim they find personalization appealing
Times are transforming, and patients now have easier access to information. It’s now easier than ever to review different health facilities and have the tools necessary to decide on the right doctor. Websites like WebMD have also made the continuum of care more accessible, realizing that the main concern of a modern patient is to get quality service at a reasonable price.
Hospitals are doing all they can to ensure that their customers are satisfied and as time goes by, competition in the healthcare sector will continue to increase. Hopefully, that will lead to more sophisticated marketing techniques.
Do you want to attract new patients to your healthcare facility? Our medical marketing team can help. Contact us today!