Healthcare Marketing Trends and Tips for 2020

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November 7, 2019

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So, you are considering which are the best healthcare marketing ideas and top trends for 2020?

You want a progressive medical marketing plan that will set your practice apart, highlight its uniqueness, and attract ideal clients at scale.

This guide will show you 14 ways to market your medical practice, a clinic, a hospital in 2020 that are sure to convert.

One thing to note right from start: offline and online marketing methods are converging. What’s more, you’ll want to combine both strategies to win at medical practice marketing in 2020.

For example, local SEO techniques will continue to be a lucrative marketing technique for local practices that want to attract foot traffic through the door for both general consultations and treatment procedures.

Without further ado, here are effective techniques to add to your medical practice marketing plan starting immediately.

 

Use Live Video and Podcasts +

Wyzol made an interesting finding sure to concern any healthcare marketing plan for 2020.

96% of respondents said they’d watched an explainer video to learn about a brand’s service or product.

Perhaps you have a new medical procedure you are offering that the competition isn’t. Maybe it’s a new medical device that makes procedures safer, making a diagnosis more accurate, or your healthcare services quicker.

Show it in the video. But even more effective in 2020 will be hosting scheduled live videos, video podcasts, and streaming live events.

More people want to interact with your medical practice more directly.

They want to ask relevant questions they can get instant answers to during a live video.

See your practice establishing itself as an authority in your region because you offer practical advice on live videos—and at a convenient time.

And it’s never been easier to host a live video event. YouTube, Facebook. LinkedIn. Instagram. Twitter. Even Amazon. All these platforms now support live video.

Live video and podcasts are bringing an even more interactive edge to social healthcare marketing. Consider using this channel in 2020 to endear your medical practice to your target audience.

 

Use These Video Marketing Tips for Healthcare in 2020  +

About 68% of people said they’d prefer watching a short video to learn about a service or product.

Compare that to text-based articles (15%), infographics (4%), pitches and presentations (4%), and ebooks and manuals (3%).

Medical Marketing Plan - Video Content Preferences Statistics

Source: 2019 video marketing statistics – Wyzol

So, video marketing will continue to soar in 2020.

For your healthcare video marketing, you can use interactive, animated, and screen recorded demo videos.

That way, you can help leads to ask you questions about your practice, understand how you conduct a procedure, and how to use your medical practice app to make an appointment, payments, etc., respectively.

Another thing:

In recent times, the trend has been to share short-form videos.

In 2020 and beyond, using long-form video will become even more attractive.

Longer videos mean you have more people sticking around to get all the juicy health advice you have to offer—and often for free.

Search engines equate readers sticking around on a particular piece of healthcare content to valuable content it should rank high up in search results.

And the higher your ranking the more organic traffic you will attract to your website, blog, or brick-and-mortar clinic or hospital.

Video Marketing Tip 1: While it’s a good idea to only share videos on your YouTube and Vimeo channels, the above trick will work best when you embed videos on your website or within your blog’s text posts.

Video Marketing Tip 2: Before making a video go to Ubersuggest website and type in the topic your video is going to be about. Find the right keyword with the most search volume that is closely related to your topic. Use this exact keyword in the video title, in the video description and pronounce this exact keyword during your video multiple times.

Video Marketing Tip 3: Did you know that you can get your video or audio transcribed for less than $1 per minute? Do it with Trint or Scibblr and your videos will get a lot more views and engagements. Use captions in your videos too.

 

Simulcast +

Speaking of all those platforms…

You’ll want to present your case in front of a large audience to increase the number of leads at the top of your funnel.

But not only can it be expensive to create custom healthcare content marketing for all online marketing channels, but it can also take too much time and cripple your progress.

So Eric Siu and Neil Patel, two big names in digital marketing, recommend simulcasting.

Simulcasting is all about breaking up one piece of content, say a quality, useful video, into chunks suitable for sharing on different channels—online and off.

Tip 1: Multichannel online marketing will help you become visible to more potential clients by presenting your medical practice’s value proposition wherever they are. Simulcasting will make your marketing cheaper, more effective, and consistent across various channels.

 

Healthcare Ads: Online Paid Search and Media Buying +

Ten years ago, Facebook and Google weren’t big on paid advertising.

They are now, from selling any kind of advertising one could even imagine.

What you want is to get in front of a highly-targeted audience that is more ready to accept your medical calls to action at the right time.

So if somebody is typing “Rhinoplasty Denver Cost” into Google Search Bar you need to be in a position to be seen by that person.

Google generates almost $30 billion from the Ads every 3 months.

That’s because Google Ads can still be an inexpensive customer acquisition channel, for Medical Practices included. More Medical Practices now want you to advertise with Google than ever before.

Facebook Ads is becoming a really expensive marketing channel if you don’t get things right. Most of the Marketing “Gurus” will promise that Facebook and Instagram Ads for Medical Practices are the best for advertising.

But it’s not true.

The Leads from Facebook Ads don’t show up to the Clinics in 70% of cases. Is this is taken into account, Facebook and Insta become expensive if you track the conversions up to the number of sales.

Facebook and Instagram Ads are great for remarketing though. Choosing the Doctor for surgery is a tough decision.

That’s why potential patients visit the website and leave without talking to Clinics. To make sure your clinic is on the top of their mind for some time, you must show up in your potential patients’ Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Do it with Remarketing solutions widely available. The only prerequisite to this option is decent online traffic to your website already, from Ads, Organic Search or Direct online visits.

Top medical online directories (webmd.com or yelp are good examples) where you could consider advertising. However, for most medical clinics the SEO and Google Ads provide a better return on marketing investment.

The good thing about these ad campaigns is they are scalable, measurable, and according to multiple marketing surveys, effective.

You can spend as much or little as you want. Just pay per click. You can direct the clicks, calls, questions, and traffic back to a custom landing page.

You can measure the return on investment based off of incoming traffic from a specific ad, keyword, campaign, and medium of advertising used.

The only big disadvantage of the Paid Search Ads is the lack of long-term effect. You stop running Ads, you disappear from your audience’s radar. Completely gone.

While with SEO you build up the won asset that brings you targeted online traffic for a long time at no extra cost.

Healthcare Ads Tip 1: Use SimilarWeb’s free analytics tool to find out what your competition is doing to get more warm leads, make more sales, and get ahead of you. Then use those tactics yourself to achieve similar or better results.

Healthcare Ads Tip 2: Use iSpionage to see what Google Ads your competition is running, how much they spend and how well they are doing. That information is pure GOLD.

Healthcare Ads Tip 3: 72% of businesses run online Ads inefficiently by the latest statistics. By paying a specialized Agency with Google Partner badge you typically add to your cost but also bring a lot better return for your Clinic. So it’s worth it.

 

Improve Your Healthcare Referral Marketing +

Picture these:

  • The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) found referral marketing generates up to 5X more conversion rates than any other marketing channel
  • A referred customer has a higher 37% retention rate than any other customer acquisition method, according to the Wharton School of Business
  • And a referred customer offers 25% more lifetime value than any other customer
  • Still, a referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired through other means

But some doctors feel business referrals have been on a decline. While there are no clear studies to back this up, it could be for several reasons.

  • 81% of people surveyed by Prophet feel unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. So they are unlikely to refer a disappointing experience to others in their networks
  • West also found that nearly 3 in 4 people wished healthcare providers communicated more often between appointments.
  • 88% of patients wished doctors provided automated communications to help them take the next important step.
  • One in three patients is referred to a specialist each year in the U.S. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey found up to 26% of 1,200 respondents said they didn’t have a “go-to” primary care physician (PCP). Yet many patient referral programs ride on the back of PCPs.
  • Moreover, the KFF survey also revealed visits to a PCP dropped 18% between 2012 and 2016.
  • Other patients and fellow physicians just don’t want to take up the risk of referring to friends, family, and patients for various reasons.

Some lament it is out of concern surrounding insurance scams, greedy liaison programs in healthcare, and concern that the referee may not get proper service.

So, what can you do to improve your medical referral marketing results in 2020?

  • Ask for a referral

And do so right after you perform a successful procedure. That’s when your customer is most excited about your product or service.

Follow up with the customer to see if they made the referral.

Ask if you can make it easier for them to make that referral by writing a referral draft.

If they agree, send it to them through email or text message. You’d be making it easier for them to spread your positive medical practice message around, so do it.

For physician-to-physician referrals, only ask for referrals from PCPs or specialists aligned to what you do to ensure you only get the kind of patients you can help.

  • Then reciprocate

By referring back patients that are highly relevant to your partner’s medical practice. You don’t want either of you sued for malpractice.

  • Follow up with both the patient you referred and the partnering physician you referred to.

An incredible 25-50% of physicians do not know if a patient got treatment to a healthcare facility they referred them to. Don’t be like that in 2020 and you’ll build genuine, long-term relationships when patients and partners realize you care.

  • Provide and also ask for highly accurate patient referral information.

Every. Singe. Time. 70% of specialists complain that most referrals are not accompanied by accurate health information to aid in making sound decisions.

Keep in mind, 80% of serious healthcare blunders occur due to poor communication during care transitions.

To cultivate a professional yet emotional connection with other doctors in your referral marketing network, physically meet and get to know each other and each other’s medical practice strongpoints and causes for concern so you can seek solutions together

  • Meet the referring physician in person.

Send a thank-you note for a referral, too. And if it’s the first time they are referring a client to your practice, meet up for lunch (on you) or a handshake to demonstrate your appreciation

  • Understand healthcare staff makes the most referrals.

So do invite primary caregivers into your network

Applying these patient and doctor referral marketing tips will help your medical practice gain more warm leads ready to become your clients with just a bit more lead nurturing. Trust is EVERYTHING in medical practice patient acquisition. So build it up.

 

Use Retargeting in Healthcare Marketing Campaigns  +

Here’s the thing:

About 92% of your medical practice website visitors will not convert to customers on the first visit.

Unfortunately, when they leave your website, statistics have shown visitors rarely come back to the same website. So how do you regain the attention and potential business of bounced visitors in 2020?

That’s where retargeting comes in.

Also known as remarketing, retargeting is a newer digital marketing method. Here’s how retargeting works:

Remarketing is a cookie-based technology. You or your developer places a pixel (simple code) on your healthcare website. The code doesn’t jumble down your site’s performance. It isn’t meant to be obtrusive to your website visitors, either, although they don’t know it’s there.

When a customer visits your site for the first time, the pixel generates an anonymous browser cookie.

Even if your visitor leaves your website without taking the desired action, the pixel will follow them across the web, displaying your relevant ads to them even if they are browsing a different site.

While the average click-through rate for a Google Search Ad is 0.07%, that of a retargeted ad is 0.7%. That’s a clear indicator retargeting can help you attract more warm leads and convert more of those to customers.

And did you know Facebook retargeted ads are 76% more likely to get clicks than regular ads?

So, retargeting acts a bit like referral marketing—and offers some similar benefits, too.

When a prospect makes contact with you by visiting your online platforms, they demonstrate interest.

So they are likely to click on an ad back to your site because it all feels more familiar to them than conducting a new search.

Remarketing increases the number of visits hence trust-building and lead-nurturing opportunities you can have with them. That, in turn, increases their likelihood of converting to customers on subsequent visits.

Here are some retargeting tips for healthcare you can start using immediately:

  • Use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pixels

You’ll provide multiple touchpoints where your target customer can interact with your ads, messaging, videos, and other forms of information to help you nurture them to become a trustful customer.

  • Retarget for up to 4 weeks

Show relevant ads or content to the bounced visitor for between 2 and 4 weeks. If they still won’t visit your website, maybe it’s time to focus on other leads.

But if they do, redirect the lead to the most relevant landing page(s). The best retargeting software helps webmasters to recognize the visitor’s initial intent based on their behavior on your online platforms.

So it can serve the visitor relevant information when he or she decides to continue their search on your landing page or website.

  • Use retargeting with other advertising methods

You probably already know using multiple channels to marketing your practice yields higher conversions.

Adding remarketing to your marketing arsenal can help you sell up to 50% more medical products or services, according to a Google retargeting report.

  • Be sure to not abuse privacy policies while at it

You’ll want to keep a keen interest in privacy policy updates such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act for a guidebook on prudent retargeting techniques that don’t turn invasive for your target market.

If you are wondering if you can use Google retargeting ads, the answer is a fat “No”. Google recently revised its privacy policy and banned healthcare retargeting to protect searchers from privacy data abuse.

Try retargeting on other platforms such as Facebook instead.

 

Healthcare SEO: Organic Traffic

Organic Traffic 🔝🔝🔝 is still one of the top inbound healthcare marketing channels. Period.

Now that we’ve mentioned organic traffic. Search engine optimization will continue to influence how your customers do the research and find a medical practice.

What we see often is one major mistake the Clinics make. They go after general search terms, e.g. “Is LASIK dangerous”, “Rhinoplasty Before and After”, without localizing the search terms. This way they get organic traffic nationwide. What the Clinic needs to do instead is double down on Local Search Terms, e.g. LASIK San Antonio, Rhinoplasty Orlando, etc.

The money is in Local SEO! Both Google Maps listings and Organic Search Results (SERPs).

Local SEO marketing will continue to expand and offer more walk-in traffic-based business in 2020.

For example, if you aren’t already using Google My Business, you need to in 2020. Website traffic from GMB grew a chunky 29% and direct searches by 38% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018, according to BrightLocal.

And maybe you already use GMB. But is your GMB profile optimized for your medical practice SEO marketing plan?

Over the years, organic traffic has been the highest business driver for online businesses. Recently, optimizing your online marketing for successful local SEO continues to bear fruit—and will continue to in 2020 for healthcare services.

Prudent keyword research and application, useful content that seeks to provide value before asking for value back (inbound marketing), and consistent, quality content production and placement where your ideal clients frequent will help you draw more leads to your funnel.

Tip 1: Of note is the growing number of “near me” search queries. People want to know which is the nearest quality medical center, especially when faced with an emergency scenario. For example, people who’ve dealt with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and elderly people would be interested in your services. Optimize for “Near me” terms.

Tip 2: Try this. Search for “Procedure/Service (LASIK, Drugs Rehab, Urgent Care, etc.)” + “City Name”. Open the top 5 results and compare the Content. If your web page has slim content and doesn’t mention the Procedure and City in Headings and Paragraphs enough, you won’t be able to compete. So if your competitor has 2 keywords in the Headings and 5 in the Paragraph copy, you need to have at least the same number, or just a little more.

Tip 3: Your Google My Business (Google Maps) listing position depends on many factors. The distance from Searcher to your Clinic you can’t control. All the rest you can. Tackle the major ones. (a) ask your happy patients to leave a review on GMB with the name of the procedure, with location and with your clinic name inside the copy of the review, (b) check if the Clinic Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is the same across all business directories you are listed on and it matches the NAP listed on your GMB Listing and your Website – BrightLocal’s Audit will do just that.

Tip 4: Reach out to your Specific Medical Association and ask if you can publish articles on their website. Write an interesting article with a link to your website. Publish it. The more of those links you have from multiple websites, the more Trusted your website gets. Google rewards Trusted and Authoritative Medical Websites with lots of visitors and high rankings.

Tip 5: Do not write short articles on your Blog. Do not write several articles on similar topics. Combine the topically related articles into one big article and update such articles regularly by adding more content. Sign this article with Author Bio if the Author is a medical doctor. If the Author is not a Medical Doctor, please a Medical Doctor to read the content, verify it and then write “Verified by Name Surename, MD” on each Article. When Google reviews the websites, it needs to know if the content is written by an expert or not.

 

Voice Search in Medical Marketing +

Voice assistants and tools such as Alexa and Siri have gained popularity over the years.

While they are aren’t as useful as we’d have hoped by now, more people are using voice search to find answers to queries and local services. Especially those up to 35 years of age.

How do you use voice search in your healthcare marketing strategy?

Learn from brands successfully getting Google snippet features.

Use scannable content. Quit medical jargon and find out which terms, phrases, medical lingo, and references your target clients are using to describe medical services, procedures, and related conversations.

Does this search image look familiar?

Voice Search in Healthcare Marketing  - Tips

It is a clue you can use.

Utilize a healthcare marketing agency or virtual assistant to find questions patients use in social media groups, online forums, offline seminars, groups and so on.

Then create questions & conversational answers or content relating to those questions.

It’s just a small change in your Content Marketing daily task. And it will get you a big reward over time.

Heathcare Marketing Voice Search Tip 1: Review your Blog Content. Rewrite some of your Headings and Paragraphs so you have simple questions and short answers in the first sentence of the paragraph. This will help you earn the chance of being featured in Voice Answers as well as “Position 0” in search results.

Heathcare Marketing Voice Search Tip 2: Use Tables in your Blog Posts. As of September 2019, Google tends to give higher priority to the content with tables when it comes to Featured Snippets selection.

 

Live Events +

In-person marketing will continue to be a big marketing technique for the healthcare industry in 2020.

People still want a personal touch, especially when it is about intimate, delicate, care-driven matters such as medical diagnosis and procedures, personal health records, as well as medical insurance covers.

Hosting or participating in live events provides a solid networking platform.

You can interact with current and future customers.

You can get instant feedback on your procedures or services from people so you know what their objections to buying are—and how you can change that narrative.

Tip 1: Find the common patterns in your patients’ daily routine, learn where they hang out and what they do online and offline. Once you found the place where they are receptive to information, you’ve found a sweet spot. To raise your profile even higher than your competition, consider presenting a useful talk on a trending medical topic or problem in your niche. DO NOT SELL. Just offer value.

Tip 2: Offline events lead to an increase in the Branded search on Google. When many people search for your Clinic Name, Google registers a positive ranking signal. This will help you gain more website authority and improve your rankings, provided that your on-page SEO is well done already. Therefore, make sure your brand name is communicated multiple times during the event. Some clinics that do many events do not provide their website URL in the presentation anymore. This forces the people to find the website by the Brand Name = helping your online visibility long term.

Tip 3: If the goal is to increase the number of Leads for your Medical Practice, do less healthcare industry events and focus more on the lifestyle events of your target audience. If you run a Plastic Surgery clinic, do events related to Arts, Golf, Polo, etc.

 

Are Sponsorships Worth It in 2020 for Medical Practice/Hospital? +

It could be you are interested in a specific cause, community drive, or healthcare policy. Or the trend is towards a medical device or product by a particular brand.

Do you stand for affordable, sustainable, and high-value health programs? Who you can partner up with?

Can you sponsor an event, non-profit, health associations, researchers, caregivers, and families providing a united voice for people with disabilities and chronic diseases?

Are you going to be sponsoring sports teams, medical students, healthcare technology programs, and more?

Make contact and request to sponsor their live event, seminar, offer first aid services at their event, be on their banners, and so on.

Tip 1: Sponsorships empower you to align with a solid brand or lifestyle, helping your practice gain more brand awareness, positive brand perception, and even general support in your field. However, if you want to a quick return on your sponsorship investment, choose your sponsorship target with Precision. For example, if your ideal client is above average income level individual, why not sponsoring a Local Golf School?

 

2020 Influencer Healthcare Marketing Solutions +

Influencer marketing has seen a meteoric rise in the last few years.

For example, Instagram, the backbone platform for the marketing strategy, saw a sizzling rise in brand-sponsored influencer posts—from 2016’s 9.2 million to 21.7 million in 2018.

Statista forecasts the trend to blast past 32.2 million paid posts in 2019.

But influencer trust may be dwindling.

Media agency, UM, surveyed 56,000 active internet users across 81 countries, including in the U.S. and U.K. The study showed a 7% drop in the number of people that now trust influencers’ opinions (specifically bloggers and vloggers) in 2019.

The drop could be associated with influencer scams, fake and inflated follower counts, and undisclosed sponsorships.

More strongly, though once-loyal followers now feel their influencer has since “sold out” to paid-posts to make money and lost their authenticity.

However, 47% of global consumer respondents said the opinions shared online influenced their decisions.

To make the most of influencer marketing in 2020:

  • Sponsor micro-influencers. These are influencers with “medium” follower counts but higher engagement rates (genuine comments, likes, and shares per post), niche focus, and willing to only work with one sponsor (your practice)
  • Partner with influencers that are especially keen to retain their audience’s trust by posting less paid posts, and more authentic, quality, and useful posts
  • Agree to use performance-based influencer marketing to avoid influencer fraud
  • Choose an influencer that best resonates with your medical practice ethics, services, cause, products, and research interests

Bonus Tip: So influencer healthcare marketing is not dead. Neither will it die in 2020. Know your ideal buyer’s habits and you’ll know which influencer is worth collaborating with. Never guess. Use the tools to check if the Influencer is legit. There are way too many scammers out there.

 

Radio and Television Medical Marketing +

For purely digital brands, including radio and TV in a marketing strategy may not be a smart move in 2020—it hasn’t been for the last few years, either.

What about medical practices?

Traditional marketing channels are still influential in healthcare marketing strategies and can still help. But it can be really expensive and inefficient. People dislike TV or Radio advertising. That’s why they move away to their Streaming Apps.

The problem with both radio and TV advertising has been they’ve both been tough to measure…

…until now.

You can now check Google Analytics to grasp the number of searches people are making based in a particular region based on your radio or TV campaign.

But even more effective:

Radio & TV Healthcare Marketing Tip 1: Set up a custom website or landing page with a unique URL per large campaign. Be sure to set up tools such as Google Analytics to show you how many people are “landing” on the page or website. In your TV or radio ads let people know the URL they need to visit to learn more about your medical service, product, or device. You can then see your campaign’s impact by the numbers.

Radio & TV Healthcare Marketing Tip 2: Subscribe to call tracking service like CallRail and use one separate phone number per each large campaign. This way you can measure the Return on your Marketing Investment and draw the right conclusion based on the real data.

 

Should You do Billboard Marketing in 2020 for Your Healthcare Business? +

Putting up an ad on strategic billboards is an important move to consider for your healthcare service’s local marketing strategy.

If you can afford it, do it. And in multiple, strategic places.

The important question to ask:

Which area(s) do you want to get in front of your current and future customers?

Billboard marketing can help grow your brand recognition in a particular area.

Tip 1: Set up a custom website or landing page with unique URL per area where the billboards are. Be sure to set up tools such as Google Analytics to show you how many people are “landing” on the page or website. In your billboard lets, people know the URL they need to visit to learn more about your medical service, procedure. You can then see your campaign’s impact by the numbers.

Tip 2: Subscribe to call tracking service like CallRail and use one separate phone number per each area where the billboards are. This way you can measure the Return on your Marketing Investment and draw the right conclusion based on the real data.

 

Celebrity Endorsements +

In 2020, you’ll still attract a ton of credibility by aligning your healthcare brand with a reputable, ideal celebrity.

So how can you utilize brand ambassadors in your hospital marketing in 2020?

You know how Angelina Jolie adopted several children from orphanages around the world and demonstrated compassion for refugees. The U.N. appointed her as its Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees.

Other brands have reached out to celebrities struggling with various medical conditions or have a close family member or friend doing so.

Can you spot an opportunity to demonstrate your quality, cutting-edge, and/or specialist healthcare services by working with a relevant celeb?

You can provide free medical consultations for mentions. Or invite them to raise their humanitarian profile by teaming up with your practice on a community health cause dear to both of you. Or offer cash to get in front of their loyal audience.

Implementing these medical marketing strategies can help your practice attract more warm leads you can convert to paying customers soonest.

Remember to measure your impact using online tools. Have a custom landing page for each marketing campaign.

That way, you can tell which methods are offering desired results so you can double down on them and avoid losing marketing dollars on ineffective campaigns.

And if all these feels like a lot of ground to cover, feel free to work with a reputable medical marketing agency that understands your specialty, what your target customers are looking for, and which healthcare marketing techniques resonate best with them.

 

Author: Dennis Dubner, Founder, and CEO of SONDORA MARKETING, an agency helping healthcare marketers and CEOs with reaching an explosive growth.

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