In the past few years, there have been large shifts in the ways that people find and book medical services. Practices that haven’t updated their marketing campaigns are at serious risk of being left behind by savvier competitors.
You can keep up by embracing the following healthcare marketing trends:
- Focus your SEO efforts on local search
- Take advantage of social media
- Make reputation management part of your marketing
- Optimize for mobile users first
- Develop video assets
Focus your SEO efforts on local search
Local search refers to the results that come up on Google when users search for services in their nearby area. Every day, people look for medical practices and treatment centers that are close enough to be convenient.
You need to make sure that your practice comes up in these searches by focusing your marketing efforts there. Your goal should be to claim a position in the snack pack—the set of results that show up on the map:
Why does it matter?
A focus on local search matters because it’s the last place most patients land before they choose their practice of choice. 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device end in either a call or visit the business within 24 hours.
Take advantage of social media
Taking advantage of social media means having the staff and strategy in place to use social media channels to their full potential. These channels have tremendous power to help you develop the character of your brand and connect to the public.
Many medical practices choose to use social media to provide reassurance to their potential clients. Fun stories and photos of cheery interiors and smiling staff can help people overcome obstacles that are preventing them from booking appointments.
It can also be an important place to interact with people who could turn into loyal clients. The questions that you are asked on social media can be a clue into how well you’re communicating your services and values.
Why does it matter?
Making the most of social media matters because you need to be where your customers are. 52% of online brand discovery happens in public social feeds. If you can develop these channels until they have a base of followers, you have a powerful marketing asset.
Make reputation management part of your marketing
A reputation management strategy is a process for finding, recording, and responding to how your practice is being talked about online.
You can control your reputation to a certain extent by highlighting community involvement or awards on your social media channels. However, most prospective patients are going to place more trust in testimonials written by complete strangers.
Reviews (such as those featured on GMB or healthcare directories) are how most searchers get a sense of your reputation. You need to be aware of when new reviews are posted by your clients. Your staff needs a framework for responding to alerts correctly.
Why does it matter for the future?
A reputation management strategy matters because people who find healthcare providers online take reviews seriously. 94% of respondents in a Google-based study reported that “Reputation of Facility” was their highest concern.
Reviews can be major marketing assets all by themselves. A great review can lead to hundreds of referrals of the years. A bad one can easily undermine all of your marketing efforts.
Optimize for mobile users first
Mobile-first optimization refers to shifting the focus of your web development and marketing efforts to focus on your online customers.
Your mobile site should be considered the main version of your site over the desktop site. It should get the most attention when you have problems to solve or a budget for upgrades.
Mobile-first isn’t just a strategy choice. It’s now a part of basic search engine optimization. Google announced several years back that they “…predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.”
Why does it matter?
Mobile-first optimization matters because mobile traffic will account for most of your traffic soon (if it doesn’t already). Your website development budget should reflect that priority.
Furthermore, nothing undermines your advertising efforts like a bad experience on your landing page. Recent research found that nearly half of mobile users switch to your competitor instead, after a bad experience with your mobile site.
Develop video assets
Video assets include any videos you’ve created to showcase your services, equipment, or promotions. For modern practices, they are an important part of both website development and marketing campaigns.
For many younger searchers, video is simply a preference. They prefer to engage with video over most types of content, and this has the biggest impact on social media. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.
Videos really shine when they can be used to introduce complex treatments and new-to-market medical devices. In cases where a customer needs to do research to understand something, having a video makes it easier for them to undertake it.
Why does it matter?
Video matters because 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. If your practice involves any treatments that are hard to explain, video content may offer you a faster path to trust from your visitors.
Stay Ahead of the Competition with Modern Marketing
Attracting leads for a modern medical practice requires you to keep up with the latest trends. By embracing the 5 practices covered here, you can keep your marketing from becoming obsolete.
Focus on local results so that you can target the closest customers, and take advantage of social media to connect with them in new ways. Creating a strategy for your reputation management will help you to protect it from dangers.
Prioritize the optimization of your mobile site so that you’ll see the results you expect, and develop video assets so that you can share advanced messages in an approachable form.