We’re currently at the brink of a new era in the healthcare sector. It’s unclear exactly what the future holds, but we expect to see AI (artificial intelligence) diagnosis and treatment, mainstreamed telehealth, and an age of internet pharmaceuticals (to name a few).

As the medical industry modernizes, so does its promotional approach. Read on for an up-to-date breakdown of today’s healthcare digital marketing trends, along with tips on how they can be adapted.

The Future of Healthcare Digital Marketing

The healthcare sector is among the most innovative industries, and you can expect nothing less from its promotional tactics. The biggest healthcare marketing trends of 2021 include direct-to-consumer services, telehealth communications, conversational engagement, demographic targeting, social media marketing, and content marketing. Here’s what you should know.

DTC Services

The direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model is undeniably disruptive and effective, and it’s taking the healthcare industry by storm. Sometimes called D2C, it involves delivering products and services directly to consumers, either digitally or via shipment.

As it turns out, it’s not merely a business model but also a solid marketing approach. The idea is to reach prospective patients who may prefer direct healthcare services over in-person offerings. This can be achieved through good SEO (search engine optimization), hyper-focused digital ads, email automation, and user-friendly apps.

Telehealth Communications

Big Pharma has historically engaged more with providers and pharmacies than patients—but recently, there’s been a shift. Many pharmaceutical brands are making an effort to connect with patients directly through mobile apps, online prescribing services, digital coupons, and transparent pricing structures. People are happy to purchase directly from the manufacturer when the message and the means are simple, clear and direct. 

Conversational Engagement

In the medical sector, conversational engagement essentially means connecting with patients through digital messaging channels. Healthcare businesses can utilize various avenues to interact with their audience. This includes real-time chat, voice assistance, fast lead responses, prompt follow-ups, and customer satisfaction surveys. Many large healthcare organizations are embracing AI to help them provide better overall patient experiences. 

Demographic Targeting

Demographic targeting certainly isn’t new as of 2021, and yet it remains one of the most effective marketing approaches for all businesses. Medicine, in particular, is driven by statistics.

Data shows that age, sex, location, and lifestyle make a person more likely to suffer from an ailment or seek a specific procedure. With this in mind, demographic target marketing can be immensely fruitful for hospitals and private practices.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has become a gold standard across virtually all industries. According to a report in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, roughly half of healthcare facilities have a Twitter account, nearly 95% have a Facebook page, and almost 100% are on Yelp.

Graphic featuring popular social platforms for healthcare facilities.

While Facebook and Twitter may not be the first place potential patients look for medical care, the importance of a social presence can’t be understated. A majority of adults have liked, commented on, or shared health-related information on social media, and a growing number look to these platforms for medical guidance. Healthcare marketers are wise to weave themselves into the conversation by regularly engaging across social channels.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has arguably been the most effective marketing tool for the medical sector, and the approach is here to stay. Of the 83% of medical organizations with a content marketing strategy in place, nearly 95% have seen a return on investment (ROI).

People tend to view hospitals, doctors, and medical schools as trusted sources of information, turning to medical websites for everything from medical advice to article citations. Whether it’s social media posts, blogs, email campaigns, videos, or infographics, you can count on a robust content strategy to benefit your bottom line.

Why You Should Partner with a Healthcare Marketing Agency

When it comes to effective marketing, a comprehensive strategy is key. But with so many trends and techniques, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why the most successful medical practices partner with a healthcare marketing agency.

Mad Fish Digital specializes in creating and executing custom digital marketing strategies for healthcare businesses. Our expert team can assist with everything from SEO and paid media to design, social media, and conversational intelligence. Get in touch with us today!