The healthcare industry has undergone rapid changes in recent years.
Largely spurred by the 2020 pandemic, healthcare experienced digital acceleration. A few months into the pandemic, providers saw 50 to 175 times the number of patients via telehealth compared to before.
Along with the digital patient experience innovation came an improvement in the digital marketing experience.
Digital marketing is the very first impression that creates expectations for potential patients. It also helps you attract more patients and increase appointments.
Here are five healthcare digital marketing trends for 2023.
Technological Innovation for Younger Generations
As younger generations enter the workforce and gain independence, they are now making their own healthcare decisions. In 2019, one study found that 60% of younger patients would switch healthcare providers because of a poor digital experience.
Upgrading your website to serve digital natives should be a top priority.
The oldest member of Gen Z will turn 26 this coming year, meaning they will no longer be eligible for insurance coverage as a dependent on their parent’s health plan. They will need an individual insurance policy and will begin making healthcare provider choices.
What could an upgrade of your website mean for you?
- Easy scheduling
- Telehealth options
- Clean, professional design
- Quick loading
- Rich content to engage patients
- Ease of navigation and use
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Importance Is Growing
As more digital natives search for healthcare providers online, optimizing your website grows in importance. Your website must outrank your competitors to be more attractive for clicks.
Being at the top of the search results page will help build credibility and trust. It will also establish you as the go-to healthcare provider.
However, this is easier said than done. SEO takes time, energy, and experts. We offer ongoing and comprehensive SEO services to improve your page ranking and online visibility.
SEO involves consistently publishing relevant blogs based on top keywords, ensuring the use of backend metadata, and assessing your links, navigation, and website speed.
The More Social Proof, the Better
With many potential patients making healthcare decisions online, you must ensure a continuous flow of positive social proof in the form of reviews.
Potential patients will automatically trust a healthcare provider with positive reviews over negative or non-existent ones. Google reviews will also benefit SEO and help you rank higher in search results.
One of healthcare’s challenges is to have positive ratings on the variety of relevant online spaces. Perhaps your practice is listed on specific insurance applications or WebMD’s doctor directory. Find out where your practice is listed online, and try to strategize how to gain more reviews in these places.
You can always ask patients to leave a review when they seem pleased with their care and experience. However, offering incentives for reviews is against Google’s policies and could present legal risks. Ensure all reviews are organic and authentic.
Physicians Becoming Authorities on Social Media
Self-diagnosis is often a temptation for anyone with symptoms and a smartphone. Even though the diagnosis is not always accurate, as long as patients have access to the internet, patients will continue to search.
While older generations would simply Google symptoms for results, younger generations are making their favorite apps their favorite search engines.
This trend has had a troubling result in recent years. Young people began to self-diagnose themselves with serious mental health issues based on TikTok content. This is concerning and highlights the need for medically accurate information on social media.
One way to help patients and the general public while engaging in digital marketing is to have a social media presence on multiple platforms. Healthcare professionals can answer questions, share facts, and build relationships with their audiences on social networks.
While this is an increasingly effective way to market, healthcare professionals must be sure to cite sources accurately and refrain from disclosing any confidential information or patient stories that would violate HIPAA.
New Competitors Will Lead to Greater Marketing Needs
The shift to technology and telehealth has paved the way for technology giants like Amazon to announce they’re entering the market. Amazon recently acquired One Medical and opened Amazon Pharmacy. Amazon Clinic will operate in 32 states offering virtual care for more than 20 common conditions.
Healthcare providers must innovate to compete, ramp up offerings, and increase marketing. Amazon has already become top-of-mind for patients across the country for everything from groceries to entertainment.
In healthcare’s favor, Amazon does not yet accept insurance but will charge prices close to co-pays. We will see if this deters patients from using services, as they may want their co-pays to contribute to their insurance policy’s out-of-pocket maximum.
Either way, healthcare will need more digital marketing in their local areas to remind patients of their advantages, even for treating common conditions that could be addressed with telehealth.
Strategically Prepare for the New Year
2023 will be an intense year for healthcare. Between the heated competition, technological advancement, and the rise of a younger generation, healthcare providers must prepare their digital marketing strategies.
In anticipation of this year, review your marketing budget and assess how it will be spent to attract new patients in the most effective ways possible.
Our full-service marketing agency, Caledon Virtual, can ensure you feel prepared and ready to compete while surpassing your digital marketing goals. Contact us today if you need a new website, better SEO, or paid Google search ads. We’ll help you experience your potential™.