There’s no other way to describe it: healthcare marketing teams will have their hands full in 2021 and 2022! Even while a healthcare marketer’s job requires them to stay on top of trends and ever-changing algorithms, it has never felt quite like this. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the economy and thrown the world into disarray. With so many people focused on their health and wellbeing, healthcare is at the top of people’s minds on a local, national and global scale. This means that healthcare businesses have an opportunity to make a positive impact, increasing brand recognition in the process.
If there’s one thing business owners have learned during the global pandemic, it’s that we must adapt and change to survive. Here are the trends that healthcare businesses should be watching in the next year. We break down where to invest, where to cut back, and some ideas on the future of healthcare marketing as we know it.
1. The COVID-19 Pandemic Will Have Long-Term Consequences
Both people and businesses have been trapped in the middle for the past year, unsure of what is safe, what is not, and when it will all be over. In April 2020, unemployment reached an all-time high of 14.7 percent, with LinkedIn, the latest large brand to announce a significant layoff of over 1,000 employees, doing so in July 2020.
The negative impacts have been felt in all industries, especially the healthcare industry. Hospitals and medical institutions have suffered a setback in terms of public perception. According to Forbes, just 24% of Americans believe businesses priorities their health and wellbeing when making business choices. People are hesitant to enter inside a medical facility, despite improved rules and safeguards for delivering care.
It’s understandable: horror stories, as well as incorrect or outdated information circulated by non-medical sources has spread like wildfire on social media. As a consequence, many healthcare businesses have decided to take a break from their typical marketing tactics.
2. Effective Communication Is Essential
Patients notice drastic changes between their regular appointments—from how they’re arranged to how they’re carried out. The introduction of telehealth consultations, social distancing, partitions, the way we’ve operated has continually morphed to align with health regulations. While successful healthcare brands have long been known for their authoritative, proactive communication, there are now more practical and safety concerns than ever before.
This is a fantastic opportunity to grow your brand, believe it or not. It’s also a chance for you to make communication tactics more personable. At present, 52 percent of adults online in the U.S prefer to buy from firms that demonstrate how they are safeguarding clients against COVID-19. Any message from a healthcare brand, in our opinion, should be:
3. Prioritise the Patient Experience
Have you recently had any interactions as a patient? Everything has changed, including pre-appointment correspondence and check-in processes. It is not the patients’ responsibility to “figure it all out,”. Instead, healthcare businesses must evaluate each touchpoint throughout the patient journey. They must also update and improve the contact so that patients feel cared for, understood, and confident in the safety of their treatment.
Communication is crucial in defining the patient experience, as discussed in the preceding section. In light of COVID-19, healthcare marketers should concentrate on a few high-level issues that must be conveyed to patients:
● Appointment availability and scheduling
● New safety procedures and requirements
● Procedures for in-person and telehealth appointments
4. SEO and Advertising Investments Will Change
Healthcare marketers are continually thinking about how to best target their marketing dollars. It’s a topic we discuss on a daily basis. The knee-jerk reaction in the aftermath of the global pandemic was to put marketing and SEO budgets on hold—at least for the time being. But we now know that this is not the best course of action.
SEO For Medical Practices in Perth and other cities around Australia are peaking. Search Engine Optimisation is crucial, with some of the top keywords and phrases being the best Health And Wellness Marketing Company or Best Digital Marketing for Chiropractors in Perth. Interested in learning more about SEO? Click here!
Consider budgets that will help you to weather the storm while establishing brand reputation and catching future search traffic. This will allow you plan for your 2021/22 SEO and content marketing efforts. Even at the consumer level, many healthcare “purchase” choices are still heavily weighed. And people are still using Google to locate your business over alternative business finder services.
5. Telehealth Will Grow
The great motivator is necessity, and COVID-19 has resurrected telehealth (sometimes known as “telemedicine”) possibilities. While certain appointments still need in-person visits, telehealth appointments are appropriate for consults that do not require a face-to-face assessment. This serves to keep both patients and healthcare providers safer by limiting exposure and transmission. Telehealth allows allied health professionals to view and evaluate individuals with COVID-19 symptoms without exposing them to the virus directly. While this will not completely replace traditional healthcare, we believe that these services will become more common as time passes. It is our responsibility as healthcare marketers to increase awareness and demand for telehealth services.
Remember why you do this
The common theme among the above 5 points is the patient. Innovating, communicating, promoting, branding, and marketing with the patient in mind will be the focus for 2021 and beyond. The patient experience should always be the starting point, ensuring they are receiving the best possible care and service.
In order to link patients with the treatment they require, communication is crucial. Marketers are able to adjust to shifting conditions, market instability, and engage with patients in a way that adds value to their journey will benefit their brand tremendously. This is why we look after the marketing efforts for countless healthcare businesses both in Australia, and worldwide! For more details, contact us here at Marketing Movement today. Our team can assess your patient experience and identify areas for improvement to keep your patients happy and coming back whenever they need you.