The healthcare sector is undergoing rapid changes. Shifts in customer behaviors stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, low healthcare professional morale, and big-box stores steadily moving into the healthcare space have created a complex landscape to navigate for the average hospital or healthcare provider. In order to remain effective in this environment, healthcare marketers have had to adapt. It is now more important than ever to diligently implement new technologies and modernize your outreach and customer retention strategies to keep up with the competition.
The Statistics for Healthcare Heading Into 2023
The dominating trend in all of healthcare for 2023 and beyond will be the inevitable advance of digitization. As millennials and Gen X age and increase their spending in the medical sector, the importance of online medical marketing for doctors and healthcare providers will only increase.
Online Advertising and Search Engine Optimization
In 2021, online healthcare advertising spend overtook TV ad spend for the first time, accounting for 46% of total ad spend. In 2022, it has increased by 11%. In 2023, it’s projected to grow by another 10%. To compete, businesses in the healthcare sector have to focus more time and resources on their digital marketing strategy.
Online searches have become the number one way patients choose healthcare providers: 5% of all Google searches are now health-related, 71% of customers run searches before deciding to book an appointment with a physician or surgeon, and 69% run searches before booking an appointment at a hospital. It’s more important than ever for your website to be the top Google result your desired audience sees. Make sure you have a robust search engine optimization strategy in place to improve and maintain your search rankings.
Local businesses should be present in all local directories, including chambers of commerce, industry listings, and local business associations. Local citations in these directories increase perceived legitimacy and boost local search engine results.
The Importance of Reviews
Ninety-four percent of patients evaluate healthcare providers by looking at online reviews. One to six reviews may be enough for a patient to make up their mind about a provider. Make sure you pay attention to what people say about you online and have a thorough reputation management plan.
The Importance of Social Media
Eighty percent of customers will recommend brands they follow on social media, and the same percentage of customers will also seek referrals from their networks before making a purchasing decision. A good social media strategy can increase customer loyalty. Make sure to encourage your customers to leave reviews and to post about your company on their accounts. Maintain a responsive social media team that can quickly resolve patients’ questions and problems.
A Desire for Better Healthcare Providers
One of the most important statistics for providers to keep in mind is that 81% of patients are unhappy with their healthcare experience. When asked, 43% of millennials stated that they are likely to switch practices in the next few years.
These statistics present both a risk and an opportunity for healthcare providers. To take advantage of these shifts in the healthcare industry, providers should utilize a two-pronged strategy: First, provide a top-notch customer experience, and second, implement a modern, data-driven marketing strategy to convince prospective patients to switch providers.
Marketing to Potential Recruits
Burnout has been a real problem for healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staffing shortages caused by healthcare workers leaving for new opportunities, or even changing careers, have hit many businesses hard. Low morale can also adversely affect patient care and satisfaction scores, resulting in decreased revenue for healthcare providers.
Healthcare workers increasingly want jobs with lower stress, a better work culture, limited forced overtime hours, and quality leadership. If you believe your healthcare business can provide them with those things, then now is a golden opportunity for a targeted recruitment marketing campaign.
The best time to target recruits is when they are thinking about their work and, potentially, about how much they would like to switch employers. You can target them at work and during their commute.
One great way to attract the interest of potential recruits is to place physical ads on public transportation and in the vicinity of their workplace. An online strategy is also essential. You can geofence their location at work and serve recruitment ads to their computer or mobile device during break times. A retargeting strategy can then be used to serve reminder ads to your potential recruits during the next couple of days, reinforcing the idea of switching jobs.
The Importance of the Funnel in Marketing
Whether you’re marketing to potential recruits or customers, it’s important to understand and implement marketing funnels in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. A funnel is a collection of all the steps through which you convert people who see your ad or website. In medical practice marketing, a funnel will often look like this:
- A potential client becomes aware of you by seeing and clicking on one of your ads, by seeing your website as the top Google link when searching for providers in their area, or through social media.
- The potential client views your website. By reading your website copy and looking at your reviews, they may become inclined to learn more about your healthcare business and possibly book an appointment or buy your product. Make sure your website is designed with conversions in mind.
- From here, 91% of customers say that they want to call the healthcare provider in question and talk to a customer service representative. Phone calls have a conversion rate that’s 10 to 15 times higher than that of web leads, so make sure your sales and customer service representatives are top-notch — 65% of consumers have cut ties with a brand in the past because of poor customer service, so make sure the customer experience is as frictionless as possible.
- If all goes well, your potential customer will book an appointment or buy a product. If not, ask them whether they would like to opt into future calls, emails, or text messages.
- Depending on your customer retention strategy, you can serve ads to current customers to inform them of new classes, events, or other services you offer. You can also continue to serve ads to potential customers who have shown interest but have not yet converted into sales. A texting strategy can also be a great way to keep your business fresh in customers’ minds. Text messages have a 98% open rate, and people are more likely to opt into texts than marketing calls.
Funnels Are All About Data
For your marketing funnel to yield maximum results, every step has to be data-driven. Nowadays, marketing strategists use customer data in every marketing decision. Ad campaigns are tailored to audiences based on their demographics and behaviors. Information such as how long potential customers stay on your website or which type of content they read can give you insight into the best way to convert them: 77% of healthcare marketers say that insights gleaned during calls with prospects can reveal costly blind spots in their organizations.
Make sure that your marketing strategy is focused on utilizing customer data to increase conversions and improve retention.
How Healthy Is Your Marketing Strategy?
At Growth Squad we specialize in building customer marketing strategies from the ground up, from brand identity to ad placement. We analyze every aspect of your business and make sure your brand presents one cohesive, healthy, and effective message. We do this through a wide range of healthcare marketing services, including website design and development, SEO, review and social media management, and local business citations. Find out how healthy your marketing strategy is today by requesting a free Marketing Health Assessment.