Marketing for the healthcare industry, just like every other industry, is being transformed as the way people look for information and make decisions continues to evolve through the use of the internet and mobile devices. Strategies need to be updated and implemented as patient and consumer behaviors change. In order to gain and maintain a competitive edge in today’s healthcare industry, you’ll need to keep up with current trends as well as look ahead to the future. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent trends affecting healthcare marketing strategies today.
Looking for Answers Online
Unlike in the past, ailing patients now generally start their quest for answers on a search engine rather than calling a doctor. A recent Deloitte survey shows that 52% of consumers say they have searched online for health and healthcare related information. 25% say they have evaluated some type of score or report card to help make decisions on where they will go for healthcare. This is up from 19% just a year earlier. Among the millennial demographic, this statistic goes up considerably to 49%, which is an 18% increase from 2 years prior.
It is clear that healthcare providers need to incorporate a strong, search optimized, online presence into their marketing efforts. If consumers can’t find your organization through common Google searches, you will simply be invisible.
Mobile Friendly Access
It is no big secret that people conduct their business on cell phones regularly. In fact, when it comes to searching for local solutions, approximately 80% of searches are conducted on a mobile device. It’s also estimated that 91% of Americans have a mobile with them or within their reach 24 hours a day.
If that’s not enough, in April of 2015 Google announced changes to their search algorithm citing mobile responsiveness as a new factor in determining result rankings. Websites that are responsive to mobile devices will get preferential treatment.
Consumers are searching for knowledge, information and education. They are not going to Google asking who is the best doctor or the biggest healthcare provider in the area. They are looking for something that will teach them about symptoms, procedures and cures.
Marketing strategies need to give some kind of value to consumers. Telling people that ABC healthcare has the newest technology and the brightest doctors is not enough. They want you to teach them something and prove yourself as an authority.
Online Reputation Matters
Review sites are popular with consumers of every industry and healthcare is no exception. Studies have shown that more than 50% of patients will consult a review site before selecting a physician. In fact, reviews from other patients are so trusted that 50% also said they would be willing to pay more and go out-of-network to see a physician based on better reviews.