- Where do your patients start their journey for healthcare information? 77% of online health seekers say they began at a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Another 13% say they began at a site that specializes in health information, like WebMD. Just 2% say they started their research at a more general site like Wikipedia and an additional 1% say they started at a social network site such as Facebook.
- Mobile Friendly: 80% of local searches are conducted from mobile phones. In addition, 91 percent of Americans have a mobile device within reach 24 hours a day. Through responsive web design, your health care system, hospital or physician group website can also be within their reach. In 2015 Google released an algorithm update that affects ranking for non-mobile responsive friendly websites. Simply stated, you not only need a website that creates a positive visitor experience, it needs to be mobile responsive. Patients or their caregivers have no patience for hard-to-use websites on their phone. The website is no longer a separate tool in your toolbox, it’s the live and dynamic center that all marketing strategy should be designed around.
- Content Focus: Patients and caregivers really are not interested in propaganda about how great your organization is, at least not initially in their online search. They are seeking helpful educational information that will help them make informed decisions about what their next step should be in consulting with a healthcare professional. 72% of internet users say they looked online for health information of one kind or another within the past year. In fact the third most popular activity that people do online—right behind checking email and using a search engine—is looking for answers to health questions. You should be curious as to where your potential patients are seeking information.
- Reputation Matters: word-of-mouth marketing is still important to healthcare audiences. The informal conversations among family, friends and co-workers will continue to be an important driver of referrals. However online reviews of healthcare providers are even more important (+68% YoY) 60% of patients use online patient reviews before selecting a physician.
- Make it Social: People like to be social, thus the reason social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. have experienced such a rapid growth. Patients want to be in control of their decision making around their healthcare and seek advice from their social network.
- Data analysis trumps data gathering. Healthcare marketers have a wealth of data available to them that can help prove ROI. But gathering that data from different sources and compiling it takes time.
In 2016, we expect to see marketers focus on tools and solutions that let them spend their time analyzing data rather than gathering it.
Marketing Essentials 2016