Gaining The Upper Hand In The New Healthcare Marketing Landscape – Forbes

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Patient behaviors and expectations are changing rapidly — and as a result, so is the world of healthcare marketing.

With the rise of urgent care centers, retail clinics and telemedicine in recent years, consumers now have access to a more diverse array of healthcare options. They are also more involved with their care decisions due to higher health insurance premiums and co-pays. Furthermore, they have grown accustomed to finding answers to their healthcare-related questions in a matter of moments thanks to the internet.

Unfortunately, there are still many healthcare organizations that have failed to adapt. Is yours one of them? If so, this has placed you at a significant disadvantage in your industry, which is only becoming increasingly competitive. Today, healthcare providers need to stay 10 steps ahead with healthcare marketing strategies or risk becoming irrelevant — or at least less visible — to prospective patients.

Let’s explore three key strategies your organization can implement to gain the upper hand in the new healthcare marketing landscape.

1. Be present where the attention is: online.

There’s no doubt about it — attention has shifted to the internet. Consider the fact that 88% of U.S. adults use the internet today, compared to just 52% in 2000, according to data from Pew Research Center. And this trend isn’t limited to younger generations: Americans age 65 and older have been identified as the demographic with the fastest internet usage adoption rate since 2000.

Prospective patients are now more inclined to use the internet to look up information related to their healthcare. Google reported that one in every 20 Google searches are for health-related information, and a Pew Research Center survey found that 62% of smartphone owners have looked up health information on their phones within the past year.

With the upswing in popularity of mobile devices, accessing the internet has become easier than ever — making it inevitable that patients will continue to rely more heavily on digital media.

The best way for healthcare organizations to reach their ideal audiences and increase brand awareness is to go where patients are already dedicating their attention. They need to invest in more online marketing efforts and claim a presence across various digital channels, from their websites to search engines to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

2. Think about the patient’s online experience.

Remember, online user experience matters — just like patient satisfaction matters in the treatment room. In many cases, prospective patients will research your healthcare services and facilities online before scheduling an appointment. If their first experience interacting with your organization is a negative one (even if it’s online), they may be left with a poor impression and choose another provider.

Here are a few questions to consider:

Does my website have a modern and mobile-friendly design?

Is it easy and intuitive to navigate?

Does it immediately answer the visitor’s most important questions?

Are my social media posts and ads relevant to my target audience?

Are my posts and ads actually driving engagement?

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