The digital marketing landscape is ever-evolving, and healthcare businesses that want to bring in new clients and advertise new office locations can benefit from staying on top of the emerging trends that have staying power.
What healthcare marketing trends should you be watching in 2023? How can you incorporate these trends and ideas into your strategy to help your practice thrive and grow?
As has been the case for the last few years, uncertainty seems to be the new norm in the healthcare industry and beyond. Forever changed by the pandemic, the medical industry has undergone (and is still undergoing) rapid change.
Let’s take a look at what the top marketing trends and shifting landscape mean for your 2023 strategy.
One of the most important marketing tactics you can employ for 2023 is location-based SEO. This includes strategies such as creating exclusive pages for each location and targeting location-based keywords.
When you engage in location-based SEO, you are helping search engines identify your pages as relevant content and helping your patients find the content that will be most useful to them.
You’ll want to make sure that your NAP is consistent everywhere it shows up on the web and optimize your Google Business Profile (formally Google My Business.)
There are countless medical websites online, so the odds of ranking highly for national searches are very low. However, when you focus on optimizing local search, you can increase relevant organic traffic and maximize local visibility.
The recently released Google helpful content update had a major impact on several industries, including the healthcare and medical industries. This update focuses on the quality, authenticity, and usefulness of content with the goal of ensuring that high-ranking content is helpful to searchers.
This means that your content strategy should focus on directly answering your audience’s most pressing questions at every step of the patient journey. On top of that, your focus should be on prioritizing the mobile experience and building a seamless UI.
When you’re building your content calendar, you’ll want to put yourself in the patient’s shoes and come up with topics and clusters that will suit the needs of your patients. While there’s nothing wrong with creating timely content, your strategy should largely focus on evergreen content that utilizes the fundamentals of SEO.
If you’ve been reluctant to enter the social media marketing space, it’s time to reconsider. We’re not just talking about having social media pages for your offices but also proactively engaging with your followers and consistently posting original content.
All that being said, you’ll want to stay informed about the new sets of privacy laws regulating social media that are expected to appear in 2023. The rules anticipated to be introduced by legislators in the U.S., Canada, and Europe can make it more difficult to connect with larger audiences and require a thorough understanding of the new tactics employed for privacy protection.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 marks the beginning of a meteoric rise in telehealth use. Even though the world has largely returned to normal in many regards, this service continues to be highly in demand.
People find telehealth services to be convenient, affordable, and accessible. They can also be a complete game changer for individuals that face barriers to physically visiting an office.
Even if patients are heading to your practice for their appointment, people increasingly expect that some aspect of their care experience will occur through telehealth services.
As an example, patients might want to be able to engage in live chats with medical staff to discuss the results of health tests or receive appointment reminders through telehealth tech.
Healthcare professionals need a strong web presence in this day and age. When someone has a question about a medical service or they are looking for a healthcare professional in their area, they will commonly head to their computer or phone to perform a search online. Without an online presence, you aren’t making yourself available in the space where your patients are searching for services and answers.
While having a website is better than nothing, you don’t just want to stop there. Instead, you’ll need to focus on creating an intuitive user experience.
Some elements you’ll want to prioritize when designing your site UX include:
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to ensure that your site’s information architecture mirrors the patient journey. By creating simple categories and organizing them in a logical order, you are making it much easier for a potential or existing patient to navigate your site.
Another marketing tactic that’s trending for 2023 is the use of social proof as a digital currency. While there’s a good chance you’re already tapping into this strategy to some extent, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with its full potential.
What is social proof, exactly?
Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where individuals look to other people’s actions and assume this behavior to make what they perceive to be the right choice in a specific situation.
Regarding the web presence of your healthcare business, social proof includes testimonials, patient reviews, and success stories. This type of information can help you build trust with prospective patients, as people searching for medical care will often use other people’s positive reviews and testimonials to inform their decision.
The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly digitized. Electronic health records (EHR) allow providers to have access to patient data instantaneously at any time, including treatment plans, medications, and medical history.
This doesn’t just make the job of healthcare providers easier– it also has tremendous benefits for patients. Managing chronic diseases, for example, can be incredibly complex, and EHRs can help simplify the process and increase the accessibility of information for these patients.
Beyond benefits for patients and providers, EHRs can have positive outcomes at the societal level. Overall, it can help to boost population health, improve research capabilities, and reduce healthcare costs.
That being said, there are a number of issues with EHRs that need to be addressed. These include privacy concerns, the disruption of workflows, and high upfront acquisition costs. In order to try and deal with some of these issues, the HITECH Act aimed to incentivize the adoption and use of health information technology while also strengthening the security and privacy provisions of HIPAA.
According to a recent report from Salesforce, 92% of marketers state that their prospects and existing customers have begun to expect personalized experiences. This means that the bar of expectation is quite high, and the competition is fierce, particularly in the healthcare industry.
It’s important to keep healthcare privacy laws at the forefront when considering leveraging personalization. That being said, there are a few approaches you can take to create more personalized experiences for your prospective and existing patients.
The first of these is using geo-personalization. This is when you personalize landing pages so that users are presented with the most relevant information based on their location.
When looking for a new doctor, they frequently prioritize convenience. When you use geo-personalization, you are making it easy for your patients to find the practice location that is closest to them geographically.
It’s always important to include as much information as possible about each of your locations. This means giving specific details about the services offered at each location, which providers at these locations are accepting new patients, insurance information, and more.
Another thing you can do is display treatment or condition-specific content to your patients once they are already logged into a mobile app or web portal. Additionally, you can recommend certain appointments or services based on their specific circumstances.
On top of that, you can allow your patients easy and direct access to information about their physicians and their own medical information.
You can also create personalized experiences online without patients signing in by adapting content journeys to the different personas. When you analyze your highest-ranking content, for example, you can think about what type of additional information and services an individual would be looking for when they arrive at the page through an organic search. You can then make changes and adaptations to personalize the experience for different potential journeys.
Another trending marketing tactic for 2023 is a focus on building inclusive patient experiences. When practices build their operations around unique cultural and generational needs, it can produce a more individualized patient experience and care that re-directs its attention to the human level.
If you want to incorporate this trend into your marketing strategy, you might consider looking at geo-social statistics in your service area. This will help you identify issues unique to your region and how they can impact your patient population’s health.
This exercise can help you have a deeper understanding of the needs of your patients. From there, you can start building programs, internal operations, content, and campaigns that support your patients and the most pressing issues.
Another trend you will definitely want to watch in 2023 is membership and subscription models for healthcare companies. When a patient signs up for a subscription service, it means that they will pay a specific amount of money ahead of time for procedures and visits.
Of course, this style isn’t ideal for all types of healthcare procedures and appointments. This works best for repetitive medical and healthcare services, such as teeth whitening, lip filler procedures, or other repetitive services.
This can be a win-win model for healthcare practices and patients when it is appropriate. For the practices, it helps bring patients in regularly for services and provides an opportunity to create a lasting relationship with loyal customers. For patients, it can decrease costs and increase convenience.
When watching trends in the coming year, one thing to keep an eye on is the reality of economic uncertainty across several industries, including healthcare. No one can predict the future, but some healthcare providers already felt the impact of the chaotic economic climate at the end of 2023.
The reality is that patient decision-making is impacted by their financial situation, and if a recession does occur, it can impact healthcare services. If there is a decrease in employment, this can also lead to fewer individuals being insured, which can result in increased cost sensitivity or even deferred care.
When creating your marketing plan for 2023, it is worth being thoughtful about the ways that a possible economic downturn could impact your practice. This doesn’t mean that you should stop investing in growth, but it can be useful to build in different potential plans of attack based on the way you imagine your business could be impacted by economic instability.
When your goal is to acquire and retain patients, patient experience is absolutely crucial. There are a number of ways that improving patient experience can have a positive impact on your healthcare business, including improving online reviews, boosting patient engagement, and helping you gain a competitive edge.
Even if you’re already providing your patients with an excellent experience, there is always room to grow and improve. Some ideas to consider include:
Blue Pig Media offers a full suite of digital marketing services to make growing your healthcare business a simple and easy process. We take the time to thoroughly understand your practice and local market to create the most cost-effective marketing strategies for success.
Investing in marketing can be a big decision, but you can rest assured that Blue Pig Media is highly focused on producing the most bang for your buck when it comes to online marketing tactics. Throughout the entire process, we focus on open communication and providing dependable and honest service for our clients.
If you’re looking for a reputable digital marketing agency to help your healthcare practice be as successful as it can be, contact us today to get started.