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18 March 16:09

Predictions and Trends for Healthcare Content Marketing

These are the trends and predictions you need to know to stay ahead of the competition this year.

By Mediaplanet Creative Team

It’s already clear that 2019 is shaping up to be a transformative year in content marketing, especially in the healthcare industry. To keep up with the changes that are happening right now, many marketers are engaging in new and emerging tactics. But before you mix up your game plan, it’s important to understand the changing landscape. With that in mind, here are the top 10 predictions and trends in healthcare content marketing for this year.

1: Marketing Automation Will Become More Prominent

Over the past several years, marketing automation has become a crucial tool for content marketers. It’s allowed the industry to automate the release of digital ads, social media posts and follow-up emails in advance, freeing up valuable time and resources for more important endeavors.

Until now, the healthcare industry has lagged behind. But in 2019, the industry is making major strides to catch up. Places where healthcare providers can leverage marketing automation include the basics, such as sending automated email reminders to patients, as well as more advanced processes like nurturing leads, reminding patients of additional services and providing potential clients with targeted content that keeps your brand on the front burner of their minds.

2: Patients Will Expect More Options for Communication

Look for chatbots to become more ubiquitous, as most people would rather interact with them than pick up the phone to make a doctor’s appointment. Chatbots will also be used for conversations about services and products and to ask questions that might be found on forms passed out before a visit to the doctor. Other communication channels, such as voice search, will grow, too. Companies that optimize their content for Google Home, Amazon Echo, Siri and Google Assistant will see their search rankings rise and gain new patients.

3: Landing Pages Will Be a Primary Driver of Patient Conversions

Instead of just creating a simple website with all the usual pages, hospitals, health providers and clinics are creating landing pages for almost every ailment, service or specialty that are relevant to them. Then when people search for their symptoms, their illness or the service they’re considering, they’ll get a specific landing page that answers all their questions and encourages them to take the next step. Understandably, conversions on targeted landing pages is much higher than on homepages.

4: Google’s E-A-T Algorithm Will Get Stronger

In August 2018, Google announced that its algorithms now stress three things: expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Websites that scored low on these three factors saw their rankings drop. If you’re wondering why your company’s website still ranks poorly, it’s time you take steps to improve your rankings. One way (among others) to get closer to the front page is to step up the quality of your content, which should get people to link to your content and which in turn will build your authority and trustworthiness.

5: People Will Reach Beyond Google to Find Providers

Since the rise of Google, people have been using the search engine to find doctors in their local area. What’s changing now is that instead of relying on millions of sites to decide their next healthcare provider, most people are relying on a few sites to gauge the trustworthiness of their next doctor. Chief among these sites, WebMD has been expanding its provider details to help people make more informed decisions. In addition, it also allows doctors to purchase ads on the site. If your company hasn’t already created enhanced profiles on WebMD, now is the time, as they’ll improve your rank on WebMD and its sister site Vitals.com.

6: Facebook's Ad Rates Will Increase

Facebook Ads are a great way to reach new patients, especially considering the limits that Google puts on its display advertising in healthcare. But Facebook’s ad prices are expected to rise this year as more major brands jump onboard. Knowing this, it makes sense to advertise sooner rather than later to keep the cost of acquiring new customers down. Just make sure that you run a well-thought-out campaign that targets the potential customers that are the best fit for your business

7: Geofencing Will Become More Common

Another trend in the healthcare industry is geofencing. This allows marketers to draw a boundary around a designated area and send ads to people within that area. Given a small enough area, geofencing lets marketers infer a lot about a person’s demographics and interests. If you target a healthcare conference or gym, for example, you can make some pretty solid assumptions about the people who are currently there and you can also tailor effective ads for them.

8: Patients Will Demand More Transparency

As consumers get savvier online, they have more information available to them. They can take a dive deep and research healthcare providers they’re interested in and they can also compare other options before making their ultimate decision. Healthcare providers are responding by cleaning up their organizations. The way marketers can help is to create content that’s transparent around services and pricing and make sure that potential customers can get the information they need to make informed decisions.

9: Online Reviews Will Become More Important

A major part of the research that potential patients do before they choose a healthcare provider is reading online reviews. Search engines also value reviews and prioritize them in their rankings. Knowing that bad reviews can drive potential patients away, 2019 is the year to implement a reputation management program and encourage your happy patients and clients to leave positive reviews. An abundance of good reviews will counter any bad ones you might have received, and they’ll also boost the trustworthiness of your brand.

10: More Healthcare Providers Will Embrace Programmatic Buying

If you’re not familiar with programmatic buying, you will be soon. It’s basically the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the old-school process of talking to a human in sales or filling out a form to place an individual order. Automated ad buying makes it much more likely that you can get your ads to the right person at the right time. To make your ads as effective as possible, create personas for each of your customer segments and use that knowledge in your programmatic buying, whether it’s for social media advertising, search ads, retargeting, geofencing or other highly-targeted campaigns.

As always, these trends are all based on having quality content on your site and on social media. If you’re wondering what topics you should be writing about to increase your content offerings this year, make sure to also check out our article on 26 topics that have been trending in the healthcare industry recently.

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