Healthcare Marketing Needs to Catch Up: Here’s Why

So many companies nowadays are getting bold in their marketing campaigns.  We see companies like Progressive and State Farm pushing the boundaries by adding humor to their ads.  They make lasting impressions though, don’t they?  Healthcare companies really need to catch up in this department, especially with the competition in the healthcare realm rising. Most healthcare ads are very generic and ‘polite’ or ‘respectful’.

Healthcare Marketing

Healthcare Marketing

While this is the safe route to go, it may not be the most effective.  After all, there isn’t a single person in this country who doesn’t know who Flo or Jake from State Farm are!

Where Healthcare Marketing is Going Wrong

Most healthcare campaigns highlight a hospital’s expertise or their new cutting edge technology.  While this information might be true, the end result is typically a boring campaign that showed zero creativity. Patients want to feel like they are more than a number and receive personalized care.  Because of this, healthcare marketing needs to come less from a supplier’s standpoint and more from the perspective of a potential patient.  Patients want to see the doctors and nurses behind the hospital so they can build an emotional connection and form trust.  This is the message that healthcare marketing companies are failing to portray.

New Ways of Marketing

Healthcare marketers are realizing they must adapt and utilize new methods in order to reach today’s population. Millennials are excellent at filtering information and deciphering what is authentic and what is not, so using traditional methods of marketing is a pointless effort.  If new ways of marketing are not implemented, finding and securing patients will be an impossible task.  Previously, doctors could sit around and wait for patients to find them.  Today, however, people realize they have options and typically shop around.  It is important that practices make themselves look as attractive as possible and do so in an effective manner.

How Marketers Can Catch Up

These important actions must take place in order to make a change:

  1. Bring the Dollars Rather Than Chase Them. Rather than constantly seeking money to support their internal structures, healthcare marketers need to start with internal assets. Analyze the value the practice is providing: physician performance, patient satisfaction, patient volume, as well as other relevant data.  Create a direction from this information from the get go.
  2. Monitor Online Presence. A healthcare company’s online image cannot be overlooked, as more than 40% of people utilize social media prior to making healthcare decisions. Having this network of support for patients to consult is key.
  3. Listen & Learn. In order to reach patients with a message that works, healthcare marketers must pay attention to the details by talking to actual physicians and patents. They need to connect with potential patients in ways that will earn their trust and loyalty.

Understanding the Changes of Google’s Local Search

2016 has been a big year for Google’s local search, as they have made many changes to perfect their product.  With any change comes implications, especially to healthcare business marketers such as local chiropractic companies, dental offices, and surgeons.

local-seo

There are four major changes that have occurred over the past several months to Google’s local search:

  1. No more description edits. Google is no longer allowing description edits to Google My Business.  Google+ still allows this, but probably not for long.
  2. No more additional categories. Along with description edits, google removed the ability to add additional categories such as email, fax, city, landing page URL, icon URL, categories, and payment types.
  3. No more Google+ metrics. Instead of Google+ metrics provided on the dashboard, Google is providing more information on the source of users to your Google My Business page. You can find out if your users came from search or Google maps as well as the actions being taken.
  4. Better critic review support. Now Google My Business allows for greater local critic reviews, enabling them to be published right in the results. There is additional Schema Markup required to apply for critic reviews. Your healthcare organization can respond directly to these reviews through the most recent version of API.

These changes show that Google is serious about perfecting their local search.  50% of Google’s traffic is from mobile devices, and 30% of that is local. These changes also reveal that Google is extremely sure about their crawl data, verifying it several times over.

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What do these changes imply to healthcare companies marketing their local businesses? Well, first it shows that Google is confident about acquiring the data by themselves.  It also shows that Google is successfully yielding information about local businesses, more so than ever before. This is good news for Google users, but it is important to realize that Google is putting themselves at a huge risk. Each piece of information they yield in a search result is a chance for a potential mistake, making them very vulnerable.  The last take away point is that Google has made a huge effort to get critic reviews into its platform.

The actions taken by healthcare marketers are as follows: get your information in places Google will look, make sure the information is easy to understand, implement schema markup, make sure all business information is accurate, implement a review strategy, and earn good links.