A new age of healthcare has taken over. The fast-paced digital landscape has patients wanting their questions answered instantly, easy access to clinics and doctors, and the best care their money can buy. If your healthcare organization can’t meet the needs of the many, then they’ll find someone who can.
In the past few years, healthcare organizations have noticed a growing competitor in their field. The rise of telehealth applications and retail-based disruptors has changed how healthcare professionals view their brand and the overall patient journey regarding marketing.
For healthcare organizations to stay on top of the competition, serious changes will need to be made in their communication tools and retention strategies. Here are five healthcare marketing trends that will make an impact this year.
1. User-friendly and high-quality content while acquiring patients
It’s important to note that your target audience is not just patients; it’s consumers. They’re searching for your organization like they would any product. And like any other product, there are going to be multiple competitors. So what helps you stand out and reach the top?
When researching online, the consumer may search more generic terms, but their searches will become more specific as they dive further. They’ll be using keywords you’ll want to be known for. Monitoring your keywords and having SEO-optimized pages that bring you to the top of search engine results are vital to attracting new customers.
And once the consumer finds your site, it’s all about what they see. Your website is more than likely the first time the consumer is exposed to your organization. First impressions mean everything. Easy-to-read language that tells them exactly what your organization can offer will keep them on your site. Navigating from page to page must be simple and straightforward, especially on mobile devices.
Today, consumers also want their questions answered quickly. Having 24/7 support tools like live chat or email support on your site helps take the load off your telephones during the day and can give customers answers late into the evening.
Related: Understanding the patient journey
2. Seamless brand experiences
Your website tells the customer who you are. It needs to be easy to navigate with a clear call to action. Having straightforward messaging that entices the customer to read on will help you stay on top of the competition.
Your messaging and navigation also need a similar style across all platforms you utilize. If you use social media platforms, they should look and feel similar to your website. Same with advertisements or physical collateral. Creating a cohesive set of branded content creates brand awareness.
Brand awareness is key to creating a seamless experience. A marketing principle developed in the 1930s found that a potential moviegoer had to see a movie poster seven times before they went to the theatre to see the movie. The same goes for your organization. Most consumers need to see your name multiple times before they start to become interested in your service. Having advertising that resembles one another helps the consumer recognize who you are.
3. Remembering the importance of patient engagement and retention
Acquiring new patients is only half the battle. Keeping them is a whole new game. Consumers are constantly surrounded by your competitor’s messaging and branding. If they see something that you don’t have in another organization, they’ll leave.
Consumers value in-office amenities, education and resources, and open communication with their providers. They insist on modern forms of engagement. A study done in 2019 found that a majority of consumers were still being notified about a healthcare bill by outdated paper methods.
- 74% by traditional mail
- 55% by an online patient portal
- 34% by email
- 15% by text
Instead, offer tools that cut down on paper and can be easily accessed by a mobile device. Mobile apps where patients can pay bills, schedule appointments and receive reminders are a sure way to keep the patients you worked so hard to acquire.
Related: Are patient portals the best way to communicate with your patients?
4. Social media helps continue the patient’s journey
We all know that social media is necessary when developing your brand. But it doesn’t mean you need to have an account with every platform ever invented. Choose the ones that make sense for your organization.
For example, Facebook is appropriate for your organization if you want to interact with patients or highlight customer success stories, and Instagram is perfect for testimonials. You can also ask patients to submit reviews on social platforms. These come in handy when new customers are searching for recommendations.
And don’t forget to utilize video platforms. Research conducted by Wyzowl showed that “people watch an average of 16 hours of online videos per week. And 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.”
Related: Social media for healthcare professionals – what to watch for
5. Upgraded staff recruitment plans
The customer journey should be seamless, as should your hiring processes. Professionals have so many options when it comes to their careers and who they work for. Making a plan and setting aside a budget for recruitment will allow you to hire the best.
Just like your website messaging, job postings need to have easy-to-read language that tells them exactly what you’re looking for and what you can offer them. Answering their questions right out the gate will save you from contacting people who aren’t a fit for your company.
Once you start interviewing, have an interview timeline that outlines what will be expected moving forward. The more transparent you are, the more time you can spend interviewing the right candidates.
Expand your healthcare marketing strategy with Paubox
Regardless of the marketing strategies and tactics you prioritize, one key historical blocker for healthcare marketers has been email marketing. Specifically, being able to utilize email marketing best practices like segmentation of lists and personalization of emails due to strict interpretations of HIPAA compliance.
Paubox Marketing helps healthcare organizations get past that blocker by allowing personalization with PHI with HIPAA compliant email marketing.
Leveraging Paubox Email Suite’s patented approach to seamless HIPAA compliant email, Paubox Marketing delivers secure marketing emails straight to recipients.