With a new year on the horizon, it is time for healthcare practices to review their marketing strategies and set goals for 2021. As is custom, the healthcare industry’s performance in 2020 creates the backdrop for 2021 expectations.
The events in 2020 have given us a lot to think about health and healthcare delivery in a crisis.
Whatever happens next year, the goal is to grow your practice.
Are you positioning your company for growth in 2021?
This article can guide you towards creating a solid marketing growth plan for next year with predictions for marketing in 2021 backed by research, a decade of experience, and expert guidance.
11 healthcare marketing trends for 2021
1. Telehealth / Phygital
If there was ever a doubt about telehealth’s future, the use of remote healthcare during the pandemic put it to rest. At the peak of COVID-19, telehealth was the primary channel for care provider-patient communication. It allowed care providers to monitor the well-being of their patients without physical contact.
In 2021, there will be wider adoption of telehealth. This adoption won’t be driven by fear of the coronavirus or another pandemic instead by a shift of consumer preference.
When it comes to providing service, convenience remains king. Consumers and healthcare providers have come to appreciate the convenience that telehealth offers.
With telehealth, patients can receive early, non-physical diagnosis without going to the hospital. Also, doctors and healthcare providers can monitor a patient remotely and identify patterns before any major relapse occurs.
The result is effective service delivery, increased patient satisfaction, and efficient resource management.
2. Social Media
Since the boom of Facebook, social media has become a new way for marketers to reach customers in a personal manner. This trend will not change in 2021.
Next year, we expect healthcare marketers to push beyond the big 4 social media platforms into platforms like Snapchat and Tiktok to reach more customers.
Based on statistics by Bloomberg, Snapchat had over 10 billion daily views in 2016. And that number almost doubled in 2020, thanks to the lockdown (Wallaroomedia). Tiktok also boasts an impressive user statistic and daily video views of 1 billion on average.
Clearly, rolling into video-based social media platforms like Snapchat and Tiktok will be profitable when done correctly. The problem is looking for creative ways to engage, educate, and inspire the audience to take action.
Before launching into any social media platforms, research the age demographic to ensure that it suits your customer’s avatar.
Some social media platforms are more popular in certain age groups than others. Snapchat is famous among Generation Z and Y, while Facebook has more Gen Xers and a handful of other generations.
3. Video Marketing
The demand for video is skyrocketing every year. YouTube is the biggest search engine after Google. Clearly, consumers love video content, and that includes health content in video format.
In 2021, healthcare marketing will lean into video content more than before. There are several uses of video, which can improve the user experience significantly and increase conversion.
Having a video on your homepage can improve conversions by almost 80% – Unbounce.
Depending on your field, you can create videos to respond to frequently asked questions about health conditions, symptoms, and treatment procedures.
Whatever video you create, make sure it is patient-centered – it educates and engages the patient before guiding them to take action.
4. Multicultural Marketing
As the competition for customers increases, savvy marketers will look to multicultural marketing to differentiate their company from the competition and gain market share.
Multicultural marketing is about creating messages and services that appeal to the senses of multiple generations.
For example, the recent Black Lives Matter movement brought to fore cultural sentiments towards the color of bandages. In response, Band-Aids (manufacturer of bandages) committed to creating colored bandages.
A savvy marketer would create a message based on this cultural issue to differentiate his/her brand and grow market share.
Considering the current business landscape, multicultural marketing will grow stronger. In 2021, marketers would try to use this form of marketing to grow market share.
Do you have a holistic and tailored multicultural marketing blueprint for your medical practice?
Multicultural marketing requires a careful selection of images and content. If you want to take advantage of multicultural marketing as a brand, you can’t afford to be insensitive or careless with your choice of words, content, and images.
Book a free consultation to identify your multicultural marketing strategy.
5. Reputation Management
Successive changes in consumer trends and marketing have brought the business close to the consumer. Today, marketing is no long B2C (business to customer) but B2P (business to person).
Most consumers, especially millennials, patronize brands because of their ethos, community work, and social proof. So any healthcare company that wants to maintain and attract new customers must invest in reputation management.
Reputation management covers digital reviews, social media engagement, service quality, and more. At Med Rank Interactive, we emphasize that the first and vital step to building a good reputation is providing excellent service.
When you offer excellent service, your patients will recommend your service to their circle. However, there are steps to getting quality referrals after providing excellent service.
Learn more about reputation management strategies for medical practices here.
Advertising is a timeless and proven marketing strategy, and it will continue to remain relevant in 2021. The draw of advertising is its gasoline effect. When you create quality content, advertising boosts the reach, thereby increasing engagement and conversion.
If you want things to happen faster, then advertising should be a major part of your marketing plan for 2021.
When done properly, advertising can more than double your profit. The average conversion rate for Google Adwords is 2.45%, while highly-rated Google advertisers get up to 11.5 % ROI on Ad spend. On the other hand, Facebook ads generate an average conversion rate of 9.21% across all industries – wordstream.
Several factors determine the profitability of your investment in advertising. Top on the list of factors are product quality, research, Ad relevance, audience, and budget.
7. Website SEO
In 2020, website SEO remained a huge part of digital marketing. Next year, healthcare marketers will follow this tradition while looking for smart ways to frequently put brand messages in front of consumers.
Factors that influence website SEO include website security & accessibility, page speed, mobile-friendliness, optimized content, links, user experience, and technical SEO.
To increase traffic and usage time, healthcare providers must redesign their websites to guide the customer’s journey while maintaining SEO relevance.
A good website is an extension of the company. Features and actions such as user account, appointment booking, and virtual consultations should be available via the website.
Our latest website design project, Carolina Pharmacy, is an excellent example of what a website should be.
8. Integrated Systems (Internet of Things)
In 2021, healthcare marketing will embrace integrated systems (Internet of Things) more. Savvy marketers will create content for every type of screen (smartphone, tablet, computer, smartwatch, smart speakers) to engage with users.
For the uninitiated, IoT refers to non-standard computing devices that can connect to a network and transmit data. Amazon Echo and Fitbit are excellent examples of IoT devices.
In marketing, IoT represents a new way of reaching healthcare consumers holistically and consistently. If this field is explored properly, healthcare marketers can increase their brand recognition, engagement, and conversion.
9. User Experience (UX)
Consumers have always been the star of the show in the service industry, and that won’t change in 2021.
For guaranteed success in 2021 as a health provider, your brand must design a user experience that suits your target market.
Healthcare consumers prefer companies that consider their interests and design a tailored user experience. For example, if customers prefer using their mobile to access information, your medical website should be mobile friendly.
A successful user experience design ensures that the customers’ interaction with your products/services online and offline is satisfactory.
So customer satisfaction is the standard unit for measuring user experience success.
Do visitors have the best possible experience on your website?
Can your customers get the service they need through your website?
As a medical practice, the answer to these questions should be ‘Yes.’ Otherwise, you are at risk of losing customers to the competition because of poor user experience.
Med Rank Interactive uses a heat map to analyze how users are interacting with your website. We also analyze user behaviors through Google Analytics.
This helps us have actionable qualitative and quantitative data to test and improve user experience for our physicians.
We are gradually entering the age of Artificial intelligence. Already, simple Ai applications like chatBots are in use, and young healthcare consumers have embraced it.
Depending on which program, a chatbot can respond to questions, collect information, and interact with customers to a specific extent.
In 2021, progressive healthcare companies would look to gain customers by pushing Ai powered services to them. SkinVision and WebMd are Ai powered apps that provide medical services remotely. You can check the health of your skin with SkinVision, while WebMd allows you to check the symptoms of an illness.
11. Increased focus on Millennials
Over the last decade, millennials (1981 – 1996) have entered the US workforce and subsequently become significant contributors to the economy.
Simultaneously, Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 – 1964) are heading into retirement in droves. This is a natural shift of buying power, and growth-focused businesses always follow the trend.
Besides changing economic power, millennials would become primary consumers of medical services such as fertility care, maternal care, pediatrician, and more. That is because Millennials make up a significant percentage of young families with infants and children.
With that in mind, the healthcare marketing trend for 2021 will increase focus on Millennials as much as any other generation.
At Med Rank Interactive, we believe growth-focused medical practices must focus on millennials now to secure loyal customers long term. Unlike a decade ago, millennials are no longer tomorrow’s patient; they are actively in need of medical care and have the finance to pay for it.
Three things to remember when marketing to Millennials;
- Millennials use the internet to get medical advice.
- Millennials love technology – chatbots and Ai powered services are fine with them.
- Millennials recognize value and authenticity.
Healthcare marketing in 2021 will be competitive. With the changing consumer preference and increasing competition, the stakes will be higher than ever. The best way to navigate healthcare marketing in 2021 is to consolidate your strengths while cautiously exploring new opportunities. A digital marketing consultant can help you stay on top of online marketing strategies using various digital technologies and help you gain more leads through the right channels.
Most medical professionals struggle with keeping up with trends and lose customers to the competition. If you fit the description and want to increase your customer base in 2021, partner with Med Rank Interactive. We utilize the most effective healthcare digital marketing strategies to deliver efficient and guaranteed results.