In recent years health marketing has gained growing importance in medical sectors. Trends in health marketing continue to evolve at such a fast pace that has become truly difficult for medical practitioners to decipher its codes and follow its changes. Keeping up-to-date with the latest evolutions requires frequent and regular monitoring of the latest marketing trends, strategies and good practices. It makes then perfect sense here to share with you 5 of the major trends that aesthetic medical professionals should be aware of in order to transform their health marketing into an effective tool to widen their patient base.
E-reputation is king
First and foremost, practitioners should pay particular attention to their e-reputation: an unknown or neglected factor a decade ago, e-reputation and its management are essential elements to a solid marketing strategy, since patient online reviews are widely read, and widely influence many patient’s choice of medical practitioner. According to SearchEngineLand “85% of consumers trust online reviews from peers as much as recommendations from another doctor”. Market research shows that it takes no more than 1 to 6 reviews for a potential patient to form an opinion and therefore decide -or not – to take the crucial step of making an appointment.
In this context, it becomes essential for doctors to be aware of any new online post or opinion, so that (s)he can react to the opinions provided by former patients, or to the questions potential patients might have. A set of 3 different tools can be used to manage patient communication, and all this free of charge: Google alerts, Alerti, and Mention. The last 2 ones will also provide data on the social networks used by patients. These new tools, along with this marketing dynamics are clearly a new phenomenon of the past decade.
New this year: video contents as added asset
This year, video contents are gaining more importance than textual information: patients wish to go to the point; they do not necessarily take the time to read and want to have that backstage feedback from the professionals’ practices. Videos are time-saving and impactful, since it takes about 15 minutes to shoot and edit film sequences filmed using a smartphone, while the design, writing and posting of a blog article will require at least 4 to 5 hours, when done properly. The facts speak for themselves: practitioners and health professionals should grab their smartphones and regularly deliver their information and updates with video contents.
Social Influence Marketing (SIM) is the latest growing trend
Still not used as much as it should, SIM consists in using a person of influence (known as an influencer) who has followers on the Internet, to promote and develop one’s practice and professional image on social networks. The influencer then works as a product/service ambassador to the professional and impacts as many followers as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to look for forefront bloggers or Instagrammers who could be outrageously difficult to reach and convince: the secret to success lies in approaching and selecting the influencer who has the best possible target audience considering the practitioner’s type of activity and health segment: the blogger’s community will determine to a large extent how impactful his/her promotion of your activity can translate into ROI, be it in reputation, or in patient base development. For instance, a blogger, usually female – considering that it is health marketing – and local to your practice, with 20,00 followers, will be more than enough to prospect and convince local female patients to come visit your site and decide to make an appointment.
Content marketing is an absolute must-have
As most of blog readers perfectly know, blog articles remain the ultimate tool to connect with followers and increase traffic. Obviously, the condition is that the articles posted on a regular basis need to be well-designed, documented and balanced in their contents. Indeed, today’s readers – and rightly so – have become discriminate in their online selections and viewings. A survey from CAPS has shown that content marketing generates 3 times as much as its original investment on an average. However, it is quite regrettable thay only 32% of B2B marketing professionals take the time and make the effort to dedicate enough energy to create well-designed and effective content marketing for their clients.
Social networks are the backbone of any marketing communication
Using social networks has become inevitable these days; they are the essential tool to get in touch and convince potential patients. Although blog articles remain the perfect communication tool in terms of conversion, social networks are the ideal and indispensable vectors to spread their contents. And this is particularly true for the health sector: social networks such as Facebook and Instagram will enable all health professionals to better target their audience and spread the good word about their activities, practices, and specificities.
The list of trends mentioned above is not complete without mentioning a final piece of advice: health practitioners should keep tight computer monitoring of the comments and posts on their websites in order to be as reactive as possible, and also entrust their marketing communication to marketing professionals: obviously, such professionals are highly proficient in the latest marketing trends and evolutions, because it is their job and their passion. They will therefore be of invaluable help to advise you as health practitioners, both in terms of marketing strategy and also regarding the most appropriate tools to use in relationship to your practice dynamics.