The capability to use marketing tools and technology without having to pay for traditional advertising is unprecedented. It’s a time where you can now build your own online follower base to market and to get new patients from.
The social media networks are at your disposal and with the right tactics and software you can create awareness and access to your target audience. This freedom to take control of your own marketing comes at a different kind of cost. The cost is complexity and time. To be effective it requires using multiple networks, constant content creation and monitoring and managing. It’s not just multiple networks and multimedia to think of, it is also about adapting to new hardware platforms where patients may receive their messaging. This is no longer restricted to just print, TV and radio but has extended to laptops, smart phones and tablets. They all have their own limitations and parameters to be optimal.
Within this technology and media explosion there are many marketing trends that have been emerging that we should be paying attention to.
The importance and role of content marketing and how it works across social media, search engines, multimedia and mobile is becoming a key focus. Many healthcare practices don’t understand the importance of this trend and how it underlies almost all digital marketing. Maybe you too have been blinded by the shiny new toy of social media and think that Facebook marketing is all you should be doing beyond the day to day habitual marketing. But you should not be forgetting about Blogs, YouTube, LinkedIn, just to mention a few, to market your message. Content is the foundation of all digital marketing and is the reason people read, view or share.
Increasingly patients are viewing content and receiving emails from “small screens”, and delivering marketing messages and content that is optimised for mobile platforms such as smart phones or tablets is a must. Healthcare practices need to urgently redesign websites and blogs that are responsive to ensure they are optimising for mobile devices. Some websites are recording 30-40% of all traffic from mobile devices. That should not be ignored.
Healthcare practices need to realise that a strong trend is emerging called continuous marketing. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run other “campaigns”. The reality is that being found online requires constant SEO activity and content creation, publishing and marketing. Google hates silence. Creating and marketing content that is fed into social media needs to be constant or you will be left behind. To do this well requires implementing marketing automation that leverages your time and resources.
The “one size fits all” approach to marketing with mass messages on television and traditional media is becoming less effective due to media saturation. We are seeing the rise of personalised marketing on e-commerce sites, websites and emails that tailor the advertising and user interface to the relevant interest of your patients. The web is capturing their habits as it reads the data, applies intelligence and serves up information that is relevant to them.
We first saw the tendency to visual marketing when YouTube entered mainstream consciousness a few years ago. Since then this has been followed by a influx of visual marketing with the emergence of other social media channels such as Pinterest and Instagram. Your marketing will benefit and increase engagement if you find ways to ride this trend to increase engagement.
These are the most important trends that all practice owners need to consider in their marketing to remain effective and current.