Sep 8 2022
Healthcare is a varied, complex, and continually changing field. It is also highly competitive. Therefore, healthcare organizations need to stay on top of industry shifts and trends if they want to stay ahead of the curve in their marketing.
Today, we will take an in-depth look at the status of healthcare marketing in 2022 and some of the key issues you will need to be aware of.
What’s the Difference Between Healthcare Marketing and Marketing for Other Industries?
Marketing is marketing, right?
Well, not exactly. While there are many similarities in what makes good marketing practice across industries, healthcare marketing is unique.
Consumer marketing is all about appealing to customers’ desire to have something. Healthcare marketing, however, is related to filling a vital need. Medical procedures, physical therapy, and other similar services are essentials, not desirables.
In addition, a prospective healthcare service user is likely to be looking for services at a time when they are already struggling with a health issue. This means they may be highly stressed and suffering physically, mentally, or both. Considering this stress factor, healthcare marketing must convey caring, compassion, understanding, and stability.
Many healthcare services are also more difficult to explain to the end user than the types of traditional products and services that other businesses may be marketing. People may be familiar with general terms (e.g., “physical therapy,” “women’s health,” or “senior care”) but may be unclear as to exactly what is contained within specific fields. Explaining the benefits of a healthcare service to users who are not medically trained is an ongoing challenge for healthcare marketers.
Finally, defining and measuring the desired outcome is not always as easy in healthcare marketing as in traditional marketing. In a traditional business, the goal of marketing is most likely to increase sales and, therefore, the company’s bottom line.
In healthcare marketing, the desired outcomes can vary: You might be seeking to sign up new patients, increase the number of your patients who use a particular service, raise money to fund research, attract subjects for a clinical trial, or something else entirely.
Healthcare Marketing Trends 2022
So, with all those factors in mind, what are some key healthcare marketing trends you’ll need to be aware of in 2022 and beyond?
In any business, reputation is everything, and nowhere is this more true than in the world of healthcare. Reviews are critical for both your audience and your position in Google search results.
Therefore, focus on gathering and soliciting reviews from patients, particularly through Google. The more reviews, the better—you can’t have too many. An array of great reviews not only convinces your audience that your healthcare services are of a high quality, but also boosts your presence in Google search results.
Bad reviews are just as important as good ones and must be monitored closely. If a patient gives a bad review, follow up on the platform to address their concerns. Most prospective patients will not expect you to have only five-star reviews, but they will expect you to show that you care. Professionally and compassionately addressing the concerns in a negative review shows that you will go the extra mile for your patients.
While blogging and social media content both remain important, video is fast becoming the go-to medium for people looking for information. Therefore, it makes sense to focus on video marketing this year, if you are not doing so already.
Use video platforms such as YouTube to answer common questions or address common health concerns. The ideal informational marketing video is five to 15 minutes long. Posting video content regularly can boost your presence online, connect you with a broader audience, and lend credibility to your business.
Healthcare services, much like any brick-and-mortar business, are highly geographically focused. If they can help it, patients will not want to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles for treatment. Most of your target audience is likely to be people within your local area—say, within 25 miles of your premises.
Therefore, ensure your website is set up to allow local customers to find you easily. This includes listing your full address (or providing an easy way for users to find the nearest location if your business has multiple sites).
Setting up and monitoring your Google My Business account is also vital. This ensures that your correct business information will appear prominently in search when people look for healthcare providers in your area. Ensure the information on your page is up to date and add as many relevant details as possible.
PatientPop offers a useful in-depth guide to Google My Business for healthcare organizations.
Mobile Friendly Website & Accessibility—Compliant
Mobile devices account for 58.99% of all traffic worldwide as of this year. Therefore, your healthcare website needs to be responsive across various devices. You never know where your audience might be or what devices they may be using to view your content.
On top of this, many members of your target audience may have impairments or disabilities. For example, people who have suffered a head injury may have impaired vision or cognitive function, someone with a broken arm is likely to have limited mobility, and a blind or visually impaired user may be accessing your site using a screen reader.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WGAC, serve as a global standard for website accessibility. By following the guidelines, you can ensure that all users can navigate your site and find the information they need, no matter their abilities or access needs.
Patient Engagement Platforms
More and more healthcare providers are now realizing the power of specialist software tools to help them connect, engage, and keep in touch with patients. Patient engagement platforms can streamline your patient interactions by allowing for instant appointment scheduling, sending reminders, and checking in periodically.
They can also allow patients to communicate directly with practitioners, saving time and reducing the need for in-office visits. And if you really want to wow your patients, why not send them personalized communications, such as birthday or holiday messages?
The use of patient engagement software has been shown to boost patient retention rates and increase satisfaction among users of healthcare services.
Soliciting and increasing donations is an important facet of healthcare marketing for many organizations, especially for the many not-for-profit institutions in the healthcare space.
While many of the traditional forms of media used to solicit donations (direct mail, TV advertising, and so on) overlap with other areas of marketing, the approach should be slightly different when this is your goal. The most crucial aspect is to show your donors and prospective donors where their money is going.
St. Judes, a children’s research hospital based in Memphis, TN, does a fantastic job in this regard. When you visit the hospital’s website, you are greeted with images of smiling children, family members, and medical practitioners. These images, coupled with the tagline “Finding cures, saving children,” cannot fail to tug at the heartstrings.
While this is not a new strategy, taking it with you across new marketing channels is important. Look for ways to employ your message through events, social media, or viral content to reach out to younger and more connected donors. The message should always be “look at the amazing things that can happen when you support us.”
As you have seen, healthcare marketing is complex and multifaceted. There are numerous factors to consider and many ays to reach your intended audience. It is vital to approach healthcare marketing in a sensitive, patient-focused manner that demystifies your services and provides accessible information to all users.
Here at Hygrade, we have many years of combined experience in assisting healthcare organizations with their marketing efforts across many different channels. If you would like to learn more or discuss working together, please contact us and we will be pleased to discuss your business’s needs and how we might be able to help.