These five trends are defining healthcare marketing in 2019.
Increased competition and changes in technology are making it more difficult than ever to attract new patients to your hospital’s service lines in 2019, but staying on top of emerging hospital marketing trends is a great way to get a leg up on the competition this year.
From video marketing to an ever-growing demand for patient convenience, read on to discover how healthcare marketing is evolving and what hospital marketers can do to keep up.
1. Patients expect greater convenience.
Today’s consumers increasingly demand convenience, even from their healthcare providers. Hours spent in waiting rooms, the inability to book an appointment online, or restricted digital access to patient records are wholly unacceptable to patients in 2019, and many hospitals and medical practices are recognizing the need to provide these valuable services.
Allowing patients to schedule appointments online, offering updates and appointment reminders via text, or even updating your website with a more intuitive UX are all relatively minor upgrades that can significantly increase patient satisfaction — and can even make healthcare providers’ jobs easier and more streamlined, too.
2. Online reviews can make or break a hospital.
Though reviews may seem undesirable or unwelcome, it’s actually in most hospitals’ best interest that patients leave reviews online. Online reviews are heavily prioritized by search engines, and hospitals with a greater number of reviews have better odds of ending up on the first page of the search results. Hospitals wishing to give their online presence a boost can encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews on sites like Yelp and Google My Business.
3. Telemedicine is rapidly advancing.
Millennial patients appreciate the convenience that telemedicine offers, but its benefits are tangible for patients of all ages. Older patients with limited mobility may find that it’s far easier to quickly speak with their doctor via text message or video call, and busy parents may appreciate that they can speak to a pediatrician from the comfort of their own home.
Providing a telecommunications option can put your hospital leagues ahead of the competition in 2019, and it communicates to your patients that you value their time and are willing to be flexible for them. This service can boost patient convenience and thus overall satisfaction this year.
4. SEO is changing.
Google’s EAT algorithm, which stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, will only grow in importance in the coming months. As the search engine giant continues to refine and improve this algorithm, high-quality content — and lots of it — will be the most sure-fire way to appear on the first results page time and time again.
In addition, we’re likely to see a continued increase in voice search in 2019. To reach consumers using voice assistants, hospitals should vary phrasing within their content in a natural way that mirrors speech. Location is also vital to voice searches — many voice searches end with “near me” or “in my area,” so hospitals that have their location up-to-date across the web will be favored.
5. Video is on the rise.
Video’s growth as a marketing medium isn’t slowing down any time soon, and that’s true in healthcare as well. Some studies show that having video on a landing page can increase conversions by up to 80%, and Hubspot reports that 45% of consumers watch more than an hour of video every day.
If your hospital hasn’t invested in video yet, now is a good time to do so. Hospitals are rich with opportunities for compelling, interesting video content; consider making videos introducing your doctors, sharing patient testimonials, providing health tips, or even performing live Q&As on Facebook Live or YouTube.