Healthcare is a booming business. And like any other industry in the 21st century, it is as heavily impacted by digital trends as any other industry. Consequently, healthcare industry marketing trends have evolved into the digital sphere, and below are some of the top healthcare industry marketing trends in India that digital marketers (in this industry) should watch for:
Online Searches for Medical Information:
Consumers today are very self-sufficient, and they prefer to do online searches for basic queries themselves rather than consult medical professionals. (Now, obviously there is no substituting getting certified information from a healthcare professional, but for initial questions and basic explanations, users generally prefer to do their own research first.)
The user or patient might search online via search engines, medical websites (like WebMD), Wikipedia, or even social media sites for medical information and clarifications. Hence, what a healthcare body needs to do is ensure that their own website has a valid amount of information that will benefit the user, and that the website is SEO optimized so that the user will find the website in their online searches (on search engines) in the first place. It is important that healthcare websites cater to the users’ need for online medical information.
Mobile Devices are Used More than Ever:
Mobile devices are now being used more than ever to browse and function on the Internet. And, for the user to do everything online on a mobile device that they would normally do on a PC or laptop computer is quite a common trend now – and only rising. Hence, it’s imperative that healthcare websites are optimized to be mobile friendly as well. For, users tend to search online for medical information via their mobile devices now.
So not having a mobile-optimized website means that you’ll miss out on a good quantity of potential visitors. However, trends show that having a mobile-optimized blog and website increases the healthcare facilities’ number of visitors and their (consequent) brand’s exposure.
Focus on Information not Propaganda:
If a healthcare facility’s website or social media page is full of propaganda and promotional messages, chances are that that facility is faring badly in the marketing realm. For, potential patients don’t want to hear about how great a facility is or how well-qualified the doctors of the hospital are. They’re much more interested in medical-based information.
Hence, rather than propaganda, a medical blog that gives explanations and answers common to not-so-common medical queries have been seen to perform much better than websites that are purely promotional. True, certain promotional messages are necessary and even encouraged, but keeping that to a minimum and valuable information-based content to the maximum is the more successful measure today.
The Video Content Trend is in Full Swing:
Most industries are encouraged to use videos in their digital marketing strategy – whether that means demos or informative educational videos. However, in an industry like healthcare, video content is even more appreciated and essential for the online platform. For, medical information can often be hard to read and understand, and sometimes too tedious or descriptive in text form. But if this text content is supported by an explanatory video of some kind, then the information becomes much easier to comprehend. This has also proven to get visitors coming back to a website for more information in the future. Moreover, it also aids in making the visitor become more loyal to the healthcare brand.
Online Reviews Matter:
Reputation is of great importance in the healthcare industry. And it still is today. However, while patients will consider a healthcare facility based on its word-of-mouth reputation from friends and family, online reviews of such institutes matters a lot too.
In fact, currently, the main trend is that users (potential patients) check the online reviews of hospital facilities and healthcare clinics before deciding whether or not to avail their services. And hence, having no online reputation to speak of, can hurt a facility’s patient numbers significantly – especially new patients. So whether it’s on social media or Google reviews or even based on website testimonials, healthcare websites need to make their online reputation management a priority for an effective digital marketing strategy.
Be Active on Social Media:
Social media is where a majority of online users (and thereby, a facility’s potential customers) spend their time during any day. Hence, it is no wonder that they are more likely to recognize and engage with a brand that they have been exposed to via social media.
This, however, does not only mean that a healthcare facility should have social media accounts, but that they should also engage with potential customers via these accounts regularly and engagingly. Having links and medical-based question and answer sessions on these accounts is an especially worthwhile marketing practice – for this not only gives users information they might be looking for, but they are also more likely to value the facility’s services this way.
Localized Online Marketing Strategies:
Focusing on reaching and engaging the local market in a geographical area is as important today as handling global and generalized reach online. In fact, such strategies are paramount in ensuring that locals residing within your healthcare facility’s branches know that you exist and where to find you. In fact, those who did not focus on localized marketing strategies in healthcare even lose their existing patients sometimes to those facilities that do. Hence, ensure that you use targeting strategies in your marketing plan in order to target the local market with your medical content as well.
More Website Interactivity:
While this is still an emerging trend in India and not as obvious as the other above trends yet, the fact is that healthcare websites with more interactive functions will pull in potential patients better than the non-interactive platforms. In other words, such interactivity refers to being able to book appointments online, chat directly with certified healthcare professionals over certain queries, and the like.