Having an effective marketing strategy is not optional if you want your healthcare organization to prosper. Increasingly, patients have a consumer mindset around healthcare—they research options and expect a good customer service experience from their interactions with providers. It’s not hard to see why. With healthcare costs rising and people paying more out of pocket for their care, patients are more hands-on and choosier with their care decisions. Knowing how to attract patients and optimize their experience can help your practice rise above a competitive market.
The pandemic forced healthcare organizations to innovate in how they treat and how they reach their patients. In 2022, we expect to see ongoing change in the market, driven by consumer demands and expectations. Here are some of the trends to be aware of to keep your marketing efforts on point in the coming year.
Personalization: Like any other kind of consumer, prospective patients expect your messaging to be tailored to their circumstances and concerns. Consider carefully what kind of patient you’re trying to reach and how you’re trying to reach them. This will help aim your marketing efforts at those most likely to benefit from your services. Just as importantly, your messaging should convey what sets you apart from the alternatives.
Telehealth: The pandemic didn’t invent telehealth, but it did rapidly expand its usage for obvious reasons. Although the initial spike in telehealth visits has subsided, according to McKinsey utilization was still 38 times higher than pre-pandemic utilization as of July 2021. While there’s no question that the format isn’t suitable for every type of appointment, it offers patients a convenient option when it is. Providers should be prepared to keep telehealth visits as part of the mix to provide their patients choice in how they receive care.
Improved digital user experience: Your website is the online face of your organization. Is yours outdated, limited, or hard to navigate? A well-designed site takes patient needs as the cue for navigation, messaging, accessibility, and ease of use across devices so that current and prospective patients are clearly guided to what they need. Patients are also increasingly wanting self-service online tools such as patient portals that allow them to access information on demand.
Online presence: The ways people engage online is continuing to evolve as both social media and the way consumers gather information change. Beyond simply running ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, providers should consider the ways in which they can use popular channels to share content that increases engagement and builds authority. For example, short informational videos or patient testimonials on YouTube can help boost awareness of and trust in your practice.
Holistic sales strategy: For better or worse, a consumer-driven model changes healthcare advertising. Your marketing efforts should have something for everyone, whether it’s a patient who knows they have an issue but isn’t quite sure of what solution they need to the client who is looking for your exact specialty. This means rather than throwing random efforts into the mix, you need a comprehensive plan where content, healthcare SEO, website design, optimization, and more fit together. Further, you need to understand which elements are performing and which need adjustment to realize their potential.
Increased data restrictions: Private health information has long been protected by HIPAA, creating a unique challenge for healthcare marketing efforts. On top of these regulations are now major changes to user privacy and the use of data gathered online, which place added limits on the ability to reach prospective patients. It will be more important than ever to ensure that your marketing efforts are legally compliant while remaining effective to reach your target audience.
Healthcare Marketing Specialists
When you want to get the maximum impact from your marketing campaign, you need an expert who understands the needs and challenges of the healthcare industry. My Healthcare Marketing will craft a comprehensive strategy that fits the individual needs of your organization while navigating the complexities of healthcare marketing. To find out how we can help guide your marketing strategy in 2022 and beyond, contact us here to book your complimentary consultation.
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