As we know, what’s trending in digital marketing can constantly change. That’s why it’s important to stay proactive with your online presence. Because healthcare changes just as often (if not more), the feat of staying in-the-know about digital marketing trends can seem daunting and nearly impossible. Although all trends are important to follow, narrowing it down to a few that will make the largest impact on your practice is the best place to start. Here are three of the most recent digital marketing trends that can help take your healthcare entity to the next level!
Trend #1: Voice-driven searches will continue to grow rapidly in healthcare.
Over the past few years, devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa have helped bring voice search into searchers’ homes after products like Siri and Cortana had done so for mobile devices a few years before. As the voice search market continues to grow and expand, so does the pool of information for which people search. Initially, people focused on voice search for quick answers like directions to a restaurant or learning who was the fourth president of the Unites States (it was James Madison, by the way). Now it’s projected that nearly half of all searches online will be made via voice queries by 2020. Sit back and think about what you search on your desktop or phone, and then assume that 50% of that will be done using a voice search app of some sort. That’s a ton of searches!
What healthcare entities tend to forget is that people are doing medical specific searches on a number of different levels. They may be looking for a specific doctor or location, searching for a specialist in their area, or trying to figure out what their symptoms mean. If your site contains healthy content about any of these things, you’ll have a stronger opportunity to be ranking for these voice queries.
“Google, find me a healthcare focused marketing agency” should be your next search. Or, if you’ve landed here, we have one in mind!
Trend #2: The human element of customer care will continue to set hospitals and practices apart from one another.
You’re probably scratching your head right about now and wondering how human elements and digital elements jive with one another, and that’s a fair thing to do. The idea of digital marketing has slowly become synonymous with a “set it and forget it” style of work, and practices often forget that potential and current patients crave human interaction.
We’ve discussed it before, but your business’ reputation is truly one of the most important parts of your online marketing campaigns. However, it can be affected heavily by the style of customer care you provide. Around 40% of the negative reviews we see are due to an inefficient phone system, problematic online appointment requesting, and general customer service issues. When a practice receives a negative review, it’s immediately out there for the public to see. At that point, the figurative game of telephone begins. One person sees it and tells another person, and then that continues on a vicious cycle. Because of this, you start to lose people based on searches online strictly because of the negative reviews received due to lack of a human element.
Internally, take a step back and look at what people are saying. If you see that people are craving better customer service then it’s wise to invest in that. For digital marketing, make sure you are focusing on your searchers’ intents and ensuring that you have made their time on your site (or social media) a great and personable one. Which leads us to…
Trend #3: Content will continue to rule, with a focus on conversational dialogue.
If you combined trend #1 and trend #2, you’d ultimately come up with this trend as the most important element. It should be known by now that content is a driver for your website from both a ranking and patient acquisition perspective. With Google becoming smarter and smarter, and the amount of practices online becoming larger and larger it’s important to prove to both users and systems that you are a human and have the intent of making your site better for other humans.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and choppy content. Now, systems like voice search are focused on sites that show strong content development that actually seem like answers to your searches. For example, if I search “where can I get an ultrasound in my area” Google is smart enough to know what you want. You’ll then be led to the list of sites that has proven its ability to answer that question with ease. After all, if you got led to a site for a pizza restaurant, you’d probably be a little unhappy–unless you had a craving. Focus on creating content that tells a story and answers questions for your users and you’ll create a happy audience and a strongly indexable site.
Although these three trends are wildly important, this is just the tip of the figurative iceberg that is digital marketing. These are great starting points, but it’s more important now than ever before to stay proactive. Contact us to learn more about the trends we find most important, and get a quick checkup of how you’re doing with your healthcare website.