Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends in 2016
In the digital age, patients are much less dependent on medical professionals’ advice and increasingly taking control of their health and accessing health information online . The reality is that eyeballs are increasingly shifting online and health information seeking behaviour has changed forever. Along with this shift is the ever-changing digital marketing landscape and in this article, we examine some of the top five trends.
Healthcare Content Marketing
With the plethora of content today, creating quality online content is even more important. Digital content marketing budgets have had to rise to the occasion as consumers are bombarded with more and more content and the attention for eyeballs increases.
Marketers have now gotten ‘smarter’ with content creation and look at the repurposement of existing content for different online platforms. Content curation is also a key element of a robust content marketing strategy and understanding which content resonates with your audience and what content your organisation should be aligned with is key. The ‘Storytelling’ juggernaut continues from strength to strength and is an invaluable way to connect with your customers.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO has always been pivotal to a strong digital marketing strategy. Years ago it was all about getting the user click now Google is seeing how users are interacting with your website and whether they are getting the information they need.
Google makes over 500 algorithm changes each year! So it is important to stay up to date with those changes.
Some of the recent change of note in the algorithm is the preference that Google shows to longer more comprehensive content. The average word count for top ranking content is in the range of 1,140-1,285 words. This is up from 902 words in 2014.
The key however to SEO success is originality i.e. producing original content. This means original articles or blog posts and staying away from tempting stock photos. Measurement continues to be key. Always view how content is performing and how users are interacting with your website to refine and improve relevancy for them and SEO. Putting your customers and their information needs first should ensure greater SEO success.
Today there is considerable pressure for marketers to meet and exceed objectives and deliver results in rapid time and with real-time metrics. One of the challenges of digital marketing is managing so many disparate platforms for content creation, distribution, monitoring and sales. Today’s marketing automation platforms make it a lot quicker and easier and customers can be tracked and segmented.
Mobile Mobile Mobile
In 2015 Google announced that mobile traffic overtook desktop for the first time. In tandem Google released a new mobile friendly algorithm that bloggers fondly termed “Mobilegeddon”. Essentially if your website wasn’t mobile friendly your site was penalised. In 2016 if you have not addressed these issues you need to prioritise web responsiveness to ensure you stay in the game.
Once thought of as the poor cousin to Facebook and only used by teenagers at parties Snapchat is now maturing. In Australia there are just over 2 million active users and even The Whitehouse embraced the platform! More recently Snapchat announced that Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings will start measuring using GRPs (gross ratings points). Whether Snapchat will be the right platform for healthcare organisations is yet to be tested but some commentators see potential for the platform to host closed patient groups.
Digital marketing moves fast. For healthcare organisations wanting to connect with customers it is important to embrace the change but also examine each area individually as to the cost/benefit.
Even within this small array of digital trends some are less risky avenues such as SEO and marketing automation whereas experimenting with Snapchat is naturally a less proven path and riskier activity. All organisations will need to look at their own risk profiles and brand to decide which areas will be embraced and which areas will stay on the shelf just a little longer.
Healthcare Digital Marketing Trends was published in Pharma in Focus – March 2016
Interested in healthcare digital marketing information? view our other healthcare blogs
Jenni Beattie is the Director of Sydney based digital marketing agency Digital Democracy