In this day and age, healthcare marketing techniques are evolving quickly and with that patients are demanding better services to improve the quality of their lives.

And with this new focus on health and wellness, many options for care are at their disposal. Therefore, if you continue using traditional marketing techniques, the chances of growth are minimal.

Access to information is much more convenient to a vast majority — thanks to search engines and social media.

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Apart from Google, websites like WebMD are helping customers get reliable healthcare information. Concrete research based on years of clinical trials by topnotch doctors and medical experts about various ailments, their causes, symptoms, and treatments are now available online for free and easy-to-find. People are now doing their own research before heading to the doctor, all because of how information is disseminated over the internet.

In turn, more doctors are on call and consultation websites makes sharing of healthcare information more widespread.

Video calls and live Skype chats have also made it easier to diagnose and prescribe medications to people in other parts of the world. And this is just the beginning.

Want more patients or need help getting your healthcare marketing strategy up to speed? Cardinal Medical Marketing Company can help!

Here are 12 marketing trends to watch out for in 2020:

1. Increase in Programmatic Display Buying

To be in line with the current times, many businesses and medical practices are buying advertising that uniquely targets the needs of specific patients at any given time. In programmatic buying, marketers use the right message at the right time to reach the right people.

They accomplish this by using a combination of different tactics such as retargeting ads, PPC ads, and social media advertising. However, programmatic advertising is the main umbrella that will drive healthcare buying in 2020.

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Many healthcare facilities will adopt this method, but it’s important to do it right as medical practices are at risk of getting poor results if they fail to define their patient personas properly. The best doctors and medical practitioners will be able to succinctly identify their ideal patients and work their programmatic advertising around that target market.

2. More People Will Be Watching Online Videos

If you’re a healthcare marketer and you’re not using video to promote your practice, you are missing out. Because unlike in previous years where people would post short articles, videos are driving serious engagement today.

Nowadays, many people enjoy watching videos over reading articles.

A report released by HubSpot shows that about 45% of people spend more than one hour a day watching videos.

On top of that, 39% of potential clients/patients call to make an appointment after watching a video on a healthcare topic or on YouTube.

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When creating a video, make sure that it engages the targeted audience and use the right equipment to make it look professional and stand out.

In addition to using the right equipment to make your videos unique, here are some other tips to help you create better videos for your healthcare practice:

a). Tell Your Story: People are busy and therefore they might not have time to read long stories. But when patients and doctors give testimonies in videos, people get the motivation to listen. Make videos that are engaging and informative to help your audience make better decisions.

b). Showing Empathy: Especially when you’re able to help people feel better, it’s important to be empathetic and authentic. Create some positive emotions that will help bridge the relationship between your potential patients and your medical practice. Create content that triggers positive memories to increase their level of trust.

c). Educate: You cannot just make a video for the sake of entertainment, especially in the healthcare industry. Your video should have a goal to be informative, yet also have colorful graphics. Explain how you will solve people’s health problems and inform people of different care services offered in your facility.

d). Build Trust: Patients feel more comfortable visiting a trustworthy healthcare institution; one that has great reviews, is professional, and has built up a solid reputation. They don’t want to visit an unknown hospital to then go home and experience worse health conditions.

Use your video to assure patients of their safety by showing what measures you have put in place; this will increase their trust when visiting your institution.

e). Create a Destination: You want your video to reach as many people as possible so you must give viewers the motivation to want to share the content widely.

One way to go about it is to make videos sharing healthy recipes. Since everyone wants to live a healthy life, viewers will want to watch and share it.

When you share great content, many people will look forward to what you publish next. And then if it’s engaging enough then they may will share it with their families and friends thus increasing your brand’s visibility online.

3 . Increase in Competition and Market Sophistication

Consolidation among hospitals and the use of different practices is leading to a rise in competition. In recent years, there have been various mergers and acquisitions. A good example is Aetna & CVS Pharmacy, as reported by Adweek:

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Different healthcare facilities are adopting new measures to keep up with the competition, which means that the healthcare facilities that are not acting now will get left behind.

As these healthcare facilities continue to be implementing new and exciting digital marketing strategies, we are likely going to see more sophisticated marketing techniques in 2020 at least through 2035.

4. Self-Refer Beyond Google

Recently Google has been a reliable platform for many patients. They have been using it to self-refer as more healthcare–specific websites are emerging making it much easier to find doctors within their vicinity.

Healthcare content giant WebMD allows patients to self-refer and recently it was able to acquire Vitals.com which was a good move to increase patients’ confidence and trust in the medical conglomerate.

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Doctors can also create enhanced WebMD profile and advertise themselves in order to get noticed by WebMD’s users. With this, they’re able to advertise themselves and get a higher rating. And once the customers use WebMD and vitals.com to self-refer, they can get the most trusted doctors that will answer their questions and help them get better.

However, doctors and healthcare professionals should also pay attention to Healthgrades.com and RateMDs as those are also two trusted sites that patients go to for reviews.

5. Use of blogs to provide quality healthcare content

In the past, it was difficult for healthcare providers to run successful blogs. One of the reasons is because many healthcare providers don’t understand the technical process involved in setting up a blog, creating content, and promoting it.

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But much of this is changed now as technology continues to make learning (about anything) more accessible. When people get sick, they now go online to figure out what might be the problem.

Web users search for the signs and symptoms of different sicknesses on the web and then try to figure out how to fix it or prevent it from happening again.

Smart and innovative healthcare providers are aware of this trend and are starting to build up their blogs with credible information about their services.

Physicians are also starting to use the internet to share information on specific diagnoses, how to treat and prevent different medical conditions.

Building up trust online with potential patients attracts them to the medical facility. Implementing pop-ups in these blogs also gently nudge people towards the healthcare center, acting as good bait for building relationships with potential patients. We’ll start to see many centers marketing their services using blogs in 2020 and beyond.

6. Patient Centric Approach

Currently, healthcare facilities are filling up with patients demanding top-notch care.

In response, healthcare administrators are putting different measures in place to ensure that their patients get the help they need to live their best life possible.

By 2020, another trend that will pick up is how patients will be using social media to communicate with their healthcare providers. And the internet will be the first place that they will continue to go to learn more about the organizations that provide the specific type of health care they need.

Need to get your medical practice on social media but don’t know where to start? Let Cardinal Healthcare Marketing Agency help!

Social media has become a powerful tool, building a worldwide community of millions of people. About 90.4% of millennials and 48.2% of baby boomers use social media, not including the 77.5% of Gen Xers who spend so much time on various social media platforms as well.

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7. Patient Evolution

Just like millennials, patients want convenience and the information they need to get better right now. Unlike in the past where people could only visit a local hospital, they now have choices in their quality of care. And patients are more concerned about getting great service at a reasonable price.

Google, other search engines, and social media networks are now an integral part in how people find their healthcare. And in many cases before deciding on the hospital or clinic to visit, people get referrals from friends and social media. They also check the customer reviews online.

 

All sorts of organizations are avoiding negative reviews at all costs because they know how detrimental it is to a business. It’s why staff is continuously being trained on the importance of customer satisfaction and being transparent.

8. Increase in Facebook Ad Rates

Facebook is a powerful marketing tool for many healthcare providers as it has over two billion active users.

Many companies are aware of this and have been increasing their ad spend in order to reach more consumers on Facebook. In this pie chart below, Marketing Prof’s data show that companies are investing up to 75% of their budget on Facebook ads:

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As more organizations continue using Facebook to advertise their hospitals and clinics, the ad rates are likely to increase.

So if you have a healthcare facility and have not been using Facebook ads yet, you might want to get started now before the ad rates skyrocket.

9. Reviews and the Reputation of the Management

Negative reviews can really damage your health organization as it reflects poorly on the business’s management and will affect the trust levels of those reading the reviews.

They are powerful for healthcare institutions, so it’s best to monitor, address, and try to do all you can to avoid negative ones. [source]

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Some of the issues that bring negative reviews surround the billing process because some people don’t understand how co-insurance, premiums, and co-pays work.

Once they receive a huge bill, they might taint the image of the company regardless of the services they received. Therefore in 2020, there’s a major push for healthcare professionals to work harder in enlightening their customers.

10. Improved Website SEO

Healthcare institutions are putting a lot of effort into ensuring that their website ranks high in organic search results. Many have increased their focus and investment to improve visibility in local listings, through tactics such as SEO. If you need help with this, it’s a good idea to hire a healthcare SEO company to assist you.

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This year and going forward, it’s important to stay ahead of the marketing curve by optimizing your healthcare website for various keywords that your target audience is entering in the search bar.

It’s also important to acquire inbound links from trusted health blogs in your industry so that your healthcare website can rank on Google’s first page (and probably at number #1) within a few months.

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11. Use of Better Electronic Tools

Traditionally, healthcare facilities usually display information on their website such as visiting hours, doctor bios and the type of specialties they offer.

In 2020, we may notice healthcare websites having e-visit, e-chat, and the ability to pay bills all online. There may also be patient-driven online scheduling and an EMRS (Electronic Medical Recorder Systems) options. For instance, here’s an example from Lowe and Evander, P.A.

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An EMRS is essential since it can provide the patient with useful information in real-time.

It contains graphs that help patients keep track of their progress by comparing their blood tests in the last few months. The system also allows patients to be able to renew their prescriptions online.

Even if you’re not ready to implement these innovative online systems, it’s a good idea to monitor these changes. And once they’ve been tested and show proven success, ensure that your facility adopts them.

12. Growth in Telemedicine

Many healthcare facilities are also using telemedicine, which is great because it helps patients and clients lower their healthcare costs.

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Telemedicine allows patients to get quality care and increase the level of engagement between the doctor and the patient. Patients also get access to different specialists.

Doctors can identify early signs of sickness and treat it earlier and are also able to follow up to ensure that the patients are on the right track towards a healthier lifestyle.

When deciding on whether you will implement telemedicine or not, remember that it involves technical training and purchasing the right equipment may be costly and take time.

Plus, fewer-in-person consultation may complicate the issue more, so it’s best to sit back and see how this plays out in coming years.

Conclusion

Times are changing rapidly and patients now have easier access to information. And it’s now easier than ever to review different health facilities and have the tools necessary to decide on the right doctor.

Websites like WebMD have also made the continuum of care more accessible, realizing that the main concern of a modern patient is to get quality service at a reasonable price.

Hospitals are doing all they can to ensure that their customers are satisfied and as time goes by, competition in the healthcare sector will continue to increase. Hopefully, that will lead to more sophisticated marketing techniques.

Do you want to attract new patients to your healthcare facility? If so, our medical marketing team at Cardinal Digital Marketing can help. Contact us today!

Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO

Alex Membrillo

Founder and CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

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