The healthcare industry is evolving in 2018 and marketers who can easily adapt to trends have the best chances of setting their companies up for success. In this post, we have outlined some marketing trends to watch this year, so you can stay on track to achieving your marketing goals.

Voice Driven SEO

Digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are invading our lives through mobile and home devices. In fact, 200 billion searches per month will be done with voice within the next year. Because of this rise in voice search, healthcare marketers need to modify their SEO strategy in order to reach these voice searches.

Keyword phrases that are typed into a computer are very different than those spoken through voice search. For example, when searching for an urgent care unit open near you, you might type “urgent care late night” into Google. But, if you were to voice search the same thing you might say “Siri, can you find an urgent care center that’s open near me?” Voice search is a lot more conversational, while Google searches are more terse. Therefore, it is important to adjust your SEO strategy in order to match the new way in which search is being used.

Social Engagement

Studies show that more patients are turning towards social media to read patient reviews, seek out advice from healthcare practitioners and research healthcare issues. In fact 66% of new patients trust online reviews posted by other patients. With this in mind, healthcare marketers can leverage user-generated content on social media to engage their followers.

Other forms of social engagement can include chatbots or video reviews. According to HootSuite, online visitors are spending more time looking at video content than reading plain text, with 80% of its users saying they would rather watch video content. By providing interactive ways for prospects to get to know your company, you’ll increase social engagement and elevate your healthcare brand.

Optimize User Experience

Design in healthcare is about usability, accessibility and creating better experience for the patient. According to continuing research by Klein & Partners, patients are continuing to compare healthcare websites to their favorite retail websites and want the experience to be the same on both. Patients want improved usability and personalization; they want to feel like your website is adjusting its design and user experience for their needs.

Another key aspect to optimizing the user experience is providing an accessible digital ecosystem to users. One out of every five people in the U.S. has a disability, and those individuals need access to healthcare. Disabilities can include motor, visual, auditory and cognitive disabilities. Your website needs to contain content that can be accessed by all of these individuals.

For example, your website should have high contrast in fonts and colors to cater to those with visual impairments. Additionally, many healthcare providers are switching to digital paperwork and electronic health records, which are not always as accessible to blind or low-vision patients. Healthcare marketers can instead use braille or digital audio files for those who can’t access the other formats.

Conclusion  

The healthcare industry is evolving more rapidly than ever before due to policy changes, advances in technology, and the way audiences receive information. In order to experience success in such a transformative market, marketers must constantly reassess strategies, anticipate and accept change and act quickly on the latest marketing trends.

What healthcare trends are you using this year to reach your marketing goals? Let us know on LinkedIn!