Digital marketing is constantly evolving and marketers in the healthcare industry need to be in touch with the trends in order to stay competitive. Along with technology, buyer behavior changes, so healthcare marketers must be in sync with their audience in order to stay connected to patients and still be able to reach out to potential new customers.
Here are the current trends shaping the healthcare marketing industry that is a must know for healthcare marketers:
Social Media is a Big Deal
Social media is no longer just an underground tool where teenagers exchange viral videos and memes. These days, social media is practically a way of life where everyone, from pre-teens to grandparents, search for information about celebrity gossip to medical advice.
In order to remain competitive and relevant, healthcare companies must establish their social media presence across a variety of social networks, not just Twitter and Facebook. YouTube, LinkedIn and Foursquare cater to a diverse audience that fit right into healthcare companies’ demographic. There are also social networking sites that specifically target the healthcare industry such as Sermo.
Establishing Your Brand Name is Key
The competition is tough and patients have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to their healthcare needs. In order to stand out from the pack, an established name is key. Younger consumers prefer established brand names, and this is a fact healthcare marketers shouldn’t take in stride.
Healthcare marketing expert Mark Shipley explains it succinctly. “Patients today are often referred to as healthcare consumers because they are as informed and self-directed in their care decisions as any retail shopper. To become relevant to this new breed of consumers, organizations will need to translate their brand messaging for smaller audiences at different stages of the decision process.”
In addition to earning patient trust, an established brand name also makes healthcare companies be more attractive to top physicians, top nurses and top medical experts as they would like to be associated to established brands.
Brand journalism, also known as story branding, is one way to establish your brand name. The focus of brand journalism is on real-life examples and human interest pieces that give faceless corporations a heart and a personality.
Shifting to Visual Content
While interesting and educational content like white papers, articles and blog posts are still important, image and video are becoming just as critical to get the attention of your audience and keeping it.
With the leaps and bounds made in mobile technology, more and more people are accessing the internet through mobiles and tablets. These channels are more conducive to short, visual and easily shareable content. A short blurb that comes with an interesting video, infographic or video is faster and easier to consume than a white paper. In fact, Pew research recently reported that 47 percent of internet users share videos and photos they found online.
Make sure you capture this segment of your audience by producing compelling visual content. In order for visual content to be catchy, Smith & Jones Healthcare Marketing’s Top Trends for 2014 states that most shareable videos and images are either humourous, appeals to emotions, dramatic, or thought provoking and videos should last no longer than two minutes.