With the advent of digital marketing, it has become increasingly important for healthcare companies to embrace the online world and market themselves effectively in order to stand out from the competition.
Many healthcare providers and companies often struggle with differentiating themselves from the rest of the marketplace when using digital marketing but this can often be traced back to one reason: not capitalizing on the right trend.
Digital marketing does not have a one-size-fits-all approach but instead requires a strategy that allows for tweaks and changes for continuous optimization once you have identified the right trend for your needs.
With that in mind, here are some of the key trends that are sure to dominate 2018, and should be featured in your digital marketing strategy for the year:
1) Content and social media continue to reign supreme
This rings true across industries, but healthcare marketing, in particular, needs to capitalize on this trend. Healthcare marketing is cultivated on a sense of trust and reliability, patients need to feel like they can trust and rely on their providers.
The best way to establish that, both short-term and long-term, create valuable content and use social media to ensure it gains maximum reach. Whether it is general information for new patients, specific content geared towards existing patients or a happy medium, create a content and social media strategy around your approach.
Search engines will continue to maintain their stronghold on how people find and consume information, so having content optimized for that and promoting it across social media will help maintain maximum reach for patients to find your practice.
2) Build a relationship, not a brand
The digital marketing strategy for the year needs to focus on building a relationship with new and existing patients, rather than creating a brand around your practice. Trust and credibility are the mainstays of any digital marketing strategy, so use your content and social media marketing to build a relationship with existing and new patients.
Think of your marketing strategy as an extension of your practice in some ways and what kind of experience you are providing for your patients. Let them have that experience as soon as they interact with your content online, and work on ways to make them feel like they are experiencing what it would be like to actually come to your practice.
Do you want them to feel safe? Do you want to gain their trust and convey your reliability? Think about what kind of relationship you would like to create with your patients and how your content and social media can help with that effort.
3) Innovation drives success
Ultimately, innovation drives success and it is really the differentiating factor. Alongside your content and social media, also think about ways you can innovate the patient experience online. What features can you add to your website to really drive engagement and bring new patients in?
For some, this might mean making information about services more accessible. Others might use features such as providing new patients forms and appointment booking services online. The important aspect that drives this innovation? Think about what would constitute the perfect combination of features that provide ease and convenience for patients while increasing your web traffic.
There is no easy answer to this really, and your innovation will depend on the following factors
- who your target audience is
- what your overall digital marketing goals are
- what your budget is
Consider these factors individually and as a whole in order to develop a full picture of what you want to accomplish this year and what tools you have at your disposal to make your desired innovation a reality.