The landscape of digital marketing is not a topographical map. Where there once were mountains, now there are valleys of over-saturated SEO tactics; the opportunity to swim upstream by thinking out of the box has been reduced to hopping from one rock to the next in hopes of getting ahead. With changing algorithms, the desire for organic search results, and increased desire for bang for the buck, 2023 is shaping up to be a year of rethinking and refocusing.
It can be difficult to consider if you aren’t an insider. Most small businesses in 2023 will begin looking for independent contractors or agencies to help them navigate the complex world of healthcare digital marketing. To assist with that goal, Caledon Virtual would like to introduce the top six focus areas in digital marketing looking forward:
- Social Media Management for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
- Social Media Advertising for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
- Google Advertising for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
- Future of Digital Marketing for Healthcare Businesses
Social Media Management for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
Much like the environment of 2023, social media marketing for healthcare in the coming year focuses not on paid services, but utilizes relationship building. One of the number one trends for social media marketing for healthcare is utilizing social media for patient education.
The thing to keep in mind when implementing a good social media campaign, especially in the healthcare arena, is that it is not about making money; it is about building trust. Medical practices and organizations must use social media to dispel misinformation and help guide potential patients to the right service for them.
A current excellent example of what NOT to do is the Covid-19 pill. There are commercials everywhere with snappy animation, vague information, and the name of the company that manufactures it. But the call to action is to “talk to your doctor.” Is it a preventative? Is it an antibiotic? Is it safe for children or just adults? Sure, it’s a 30-second commercial, but there is nothing attached to the commercial to provide any information that is valuable to the customer. Google it, and you will find two or three antiviral medications in pill form.
How to avoid that kind of confusion with your practice’s social media? It would help if you separated yourself from the pack by presenting as the trusted authority you are. If there is a way to get verified on your social media platforms of choice, then do it, create a credible bio for each platform and stay active.
Other things to consider are virtual conferences and events where you provide information on procedures or introduce new products. Never underestimate the power of social audio – relatively new, but picking up steam on the radar. Social audio is like a teleconference, anyone can join and find out information directly from your practice.
Social Media Advertising for Healthcare Businesses
There’s a difference between advertising and marketing; that difference is dollars.The number one thing you want to start doing, if you are not already doing it, is to track the performance of your paid social media advertising with analytics. Using analytics will soon build a directed social media advertising strategy; you will figure out where and what people are going and the content that resonates. This is something we would suggest hiring a private contractor to do for your practice or hiring an agency simply because analytics are confusing. You will need someone who understands all of the platforms you are using and can give you an overall view of the blend of the performance of your advertising.
Another trend in social media that is catching fire is testimonials. You know that the work you do is spot-on, but it is invaluable when that message comes from someone who has been a patient. Reviews and testimonials are a vital part of the success of your social media campaigns. Happy customers who know that you would value an honest review of your work on your social media site will boost views of your site as well as provide SEO value. You can also pull these reviews onto your website through links on the social media reviews and create assets that work for you when you aren’t doing anything in that area.
Google Advertising for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
What do you do if you want to know something that you don’t know? You Google it, right? If it is a product, you look at the specs and then you look at the reviews. Those two items tell you more about a service or a product than anything the manufacturer or provider will. That is why we are going to reiterate that even Google is looking to reviews as a top-ranking factor.
Reviews that contain keywords are now a heavy duty commodity because even Google is going organic. Organic search results cannot be bought. One of the best ways to get those organic search results is in reviews. Google values them over paid SEO. It’s really all about the SERPs.
A SERP is a search engine result page; it is everything that Google finds that contains the keywords you searched for. There are hundreds of thousands of algorithms that deem a page reliable and important to the review. But nothing is as important or impactful on a SERP as an organic search word that is not paid for through the Google Ads system. People trust other people, and if other people trust you, you can leverage that into your digital marketing strategy.
Reviews are so important, in fact, that it only takes one to six reviews for a potential patient to form an opinion of your practice before ever booking an appointment. Reviews are the third most important ranking factor in local SEO.
Search Engine Optimization for Healthcare Businesses in 2023
You know the saying about a picture being worth a thousand words? Well, in the current market, a word can be worth a thousand clicks and that is why you will need to pay close attention to your SEO strategy. And it all comes back to Google and their algorithms.
Most practices focus on keywords or phrases when beginning a digital marketing strategy, and that is a primary factor in the success of a campaign. But if those keywords lead to landing pages that have irrelevant content or content that does not relate to the keyword search, Google automatically kicks that site out of the results page.
How to fix it? Meaningful content. In other words, you need to find someone who can write rich, unique content that is tightly related to your SEO phrases and builds upon them. Yes, Google can figure that out. That is why landng pages are just as or more important than keywords and phrases. If you can’t bac it up with rich content, informative content, and unique content, then Google is going to spit you out.
Another way to utilize SEO is to publish keyword-optimized content; use the words you have selected for SEO over and over in the text on the landing page. Use them in headlines. Use them in bulleted lists. Use the keywords in the correct way and add something new that no one else would connect to that keyword. That makes your SEO worth twice as much.
Future of Digital Marketing for Healthcare Businesses
Time goes by and drags us along with it, whether we like it or not. Social media will remain one of the top advertising markets for healthcare, but the social media platforms themselves might look different. For example, TikTok is becoming huge for small businesses and it will only be a matter of time before it becomes more than a blip on the map for healthcare businesses. Facebook will remain at the top of the market, but it has been a year since Facebook tried to change itself into the Metaverse, and interest in making the switch has been less than encouraging.
Healthcare will need to remain steadfast on social media for sure. SEO, digital marketing strategies, websites that are responsive, and text messaging services will emerge and vie for their piece of the pie as well. Even a bit of old-school print-media might still be worth a look. We suggest infographics and information/educational items that can be given to patients if you are going to put money into print advertising. It might be worth taking a look at QR code technology if using print marketing. That way, you get the best of both worlds, more bang for your buck, and that’s really the whole point of digital marketing for healthcare.