The healthcare business has been behind the times when it comes to digital adoption for years. However, the year 2020 altered everything. The world, in general, and the healthcare business, in particular, was forced to go digital virtually overnight. To make up for lost time, the industry has undergone significant changes in terms of patient care, physician-patient relationships, and, most notably, healthcare marketing, whether B2B or B2C.
The primary themes that will guide the healthcare business into the future are mostly those that have been influenced by the epidemic and the issues it posed. Without a doubt, technology is at the forefront of successful marketing in the face of travel bans and border closures. While data-driven digital marketing is not a new concept, it has become unavoidable in 2022.
As a healthcare marketer, you should be aware of the following four critical trends.
More data-driven than ever before,
With in-person interactions becoming more limited, healthcare brands must work harder than ever to better understand and serve their customers, both potential and existing. And at the heart of it all is data. As a result, a new marketing concept known as “intent-based marketing” is on the rise. Healthcare marketers are narrowing their search to only in-market buyers who are looking for similar solutions and have demonstrated strong buying signals through their purchase history or online behavior.
Marketers use this information to determine where a specific lead is in the sales funnel. For example, if they are just beginning their research, such leads could be targeted to short-form content such as infographics that pique their interest in learning the solution to the problem. If the lead is in the consideration stage, brands can use long-form content like blog posts, case studies, or industry reports provide detailed insights into the solution and position the brand as a thought leader.
Furthermore, if the lead is in the final or decision-making stage, healthcare marketers may use product demos, customer testimonials, or reviews to support their reliability and persuade leads to either make the purchase or schedule a tele-appointment to discuss costs. The element of guesswork has decreased over time and is on its way out in the future.
Social media are outperforming other marketing channels.
When it first launched in 2007, Facebook dominated the social ad space, but in recent years, other platforms, particularly LinkedIn, have held more promise for healthcare marketers. In fact, the platform claims to provide 80% of B2B leads, and as many as 94% of B2B marketers are actively using it to distribute content and reach out to their most valuable accounts.
While emails and phone calls are effective lead nurturing strategies, social media platforms like LinkedIn can assist you with lead generation and customer engagement, especially healthcare is a people-oriented industry. There are numerous opportunities on LinkedIn to contact healthcare marketing professionals, including those with purchasing power and decision-making authority, ranging from news feeds to LinkedIn InMails and native ads.
However, make sure the entire content you share on these platforms is based on research. You can share preventative health news, case studies, and industry reports, as well as raise awareness of events, highlight your company’s accomplishments, or discuss the strengths of your products, and more.
Making Use of Video as a Marketing Tool
Because videos allow you to connect with your audience on a one-on-one level, they have the potential to generate the highest returns on your investment. Used primarily for brand awareness, you can identify your customers’ key pain points and offer solutions to those problems, establishing a visual relationship with them. Heartwarming stories also helps to bring out the human element. According to Unbounce, videos can generate 34% more conversions, and nearly 60% of marketers use this medium to achieve marketing success.
If you want your audience to get to know your company on a deeper level, you can use videos on your landing pages, create short explainer videos, host webinar-like videos, or go for live streaming. While explainer videos are an effective way to provide product information, hosting webinars can be a powerful lead generation strategy. You can decide which type of video is best for your audience based on where individual leads are in the sales funnel.
Event Marketing Evolution
Because of the opportunities for hands-on demonstrations, events have always been a big part of healthcare marketing because they promise a high return on investment. Nonetheless, live physical events took the biggest hit in 2020. The good news is that, rather than being shut down, event marketing in healthcare marketing has successfully adapted to the new normal.
Virtual events have proliferated, with some healthcare marketers opting for a hybrid model that combines the traditional event model with the digital community. However, this is only possible if multiple marketing touchpoints are established, allowing users to explore various research avenues. This will make them move much more smoothly through the sales funnel. Attendance at virtual events is a good indicator genuinely interested leads and aids in narrowing your target audience. By taking advantage of this one-of-a-kind, nurturing opportunity, you can ensure that by the time a prospect meets you in person, they are nearing the final or the decision-making stage.
The healthcare industry appeared to take a massive hit at the start of 2020, but since then, rapid advancements in the digital marketing space have been made, and the healthcare industry has embraced these changes well, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. You can be certain that these changes are not going away anytime soon.
Content marketing will also play a significant role in the coming years, as people’s appetite for trustworthy information grows. The future of healthcare marketing will entail riding the trends of 2022– developing a deep understanding of the customer journey and maximizing returns on investments by addressing their pain points right where they are in the purchasing funnel.