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The healthcare industry is progressive in many ways, but marketing strategy tends to lag behind other consumer-centric industries. Why?

Healthcare marketers are expected to take full control of the customer experience in the coming years – patient outcomes being the priority. Not to mention regulatory, compliance and off-label use scares starving innovation. History has a tendency to repeat itself, and with digital marketing in particular, there is a pattern of disruption.

Tools including Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, and improved wireless network capabilities are allowing people all across the globe to connect and share information like never before. Additionally, technologies such as wearables, predictive analytics, mobile technologies, voice search etc are providing your consumer more and more ways to engage you. Are you aware of the major digital marketing trends that will impact your organization the most in the next 12 months?

1. The rise in voice-activated search and healthcare SEO trends

As healthcare providers continue to battle it out for top spot google rankings, healthcare providers and professionals will start to really hone in on the value of organically-generated content to improve search engine optimization. The prevalence of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Voice etc to find instructions, communicate tasks, find directions and more is something to think about for your own healthcare brand. Especially if you represent a consumer-facing healthcare portfolio. ComScore suggests by the year 2020, all internet searches will be voice-driven.

Tips to consider while generating content for voice activation devices include: write in a conversational tone, implement long-tail keywords, integrate keywords in the backend of your site and account for misspelled/misinterpreted words.

Regularly posting updates to Facebook and LinkedIn can help healthcare businesses climb the ranks in SEO, but the ones who will continue to stand out in 2019 are those that come up with creative social media campaigns that really drive engagement. Historically, two of the most prevalent sources for medical information are WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, and have had a resounding degree of success through their blogs and social posts

2. The growth of video in medical marketing

Video provides easy, cheap and convenient communication to bridge groups and organizations. It’s highly trackable and relevant to the healthcare industry as video provides a way to visually educate internet users on medical conditions. Video has become a powerful marketing tool for the healthcare and medical industry, especially in communicating patient success stories.

It has grown significantly as doctors and surgeons around the world can now remotely consult with other doctors and treat patients that don’t have immediate access to hospitals or healthcare facilities.

A particularly impactful campaign is from the Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Institute, which also takes a personal approach to digital marketing through video, instilling confidence in its patients through heartfelt videos and Insights Blog. Using a variety of digital marketing mediums, the Cancer Institute is continuously sharing tips and other information from people who are now cancer-free.

VR is on the increase also, especially as doctors and surgeons try to visually teach other healthcare professionals. For instance, Medical Realities is a training service that uses VR to deliver high-quality specialized surgery education with a focus on realism and immersion. Two years ago Google Think released statistics showing that on a daily basis, 44 percent of patients who found hospitals on their smartphones booked their appointments through that same device.

3. Continued growth in PPC and organic search

The importance of paid search –– Google created the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) ad industry and made billions and billions with paid search. PPC ads appear as the short, three-line ads you see at the top and on the right side of most web search pages with a green “Ad” logo. The upper echelon of savvy, successful doctors deploy annual digital healthcare marketing campaigns with budgets for paid search ranging from several thousand to $10,000 or more per month. Paid search is flexible, highly effective and can target men and women of certain age groups. It can be turned on and off at a moment’s notice. As with organic search, PPC is best left to the experts who have proven track records and understand the nuances of PPC ads.

Organic search –– The first and most dominant way for a potential customer to find your healthcare organization’s particular services online through healthcare marketing is through organic search. This places specific keywords and keyword phrases on your website with a formulaic density.

If you’ve hired an expert in SEO keywords and Google Analytics reporting, most savvy physicians can be found online with organic search. Don’t try writing a website yourself. Your website can be ignored by major search engines if you have the wrong keyword density using certain phrases too often.


These are just a handful but always keep in mind that you want to position your brand(s) online to be a safe, credible, and trusted source. Other things to considering including embracing the new AdWords interface, learn to become a successful data analyst, put some advertising dollars towards LinkedIn and Facebook.

Want to learn more patient and physician engagement strategies from experts in healthcare digital marketing?

Consider joining us at the popular and unique ‘TED-style’ 2020 BioPharma eMarketing & 2020 MedDev eMarketing Summits (May 5-7, 2020). Be a part of the digital health movement and join a rapidly expanding network of leading digital marketing pioneers, willing to share their own digital strategies that have transformed their campaigns and organization’s overall success in a unique, interactive, engaging 3-day summit!

2020 Summits are currently being developed and we are accepting requests for speakers and sponsors to be involved in 2020. For more information, check out the event pages below:


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