marketing strategies in healthcare industry

Healthcare marketing trends in 2024

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As a healthcare marketer, you put your heart and soul into achieving success. In order to do so, you need to innovate your content in thought-provoking ways. The reason is the healthcare sector is as fast-moving as they come, and there have been many changes since COVID-19. As such, getting the desired results calls for a particular approach. 

The pandemic necessitated the rapid expansion and adoption of telehealth services despite being underutilised before the pandemic. This represents just one example of this patient-focused field's unpredictable flux and evolution.

As we move through 2024, the trend for healthcare marketing strategies used by your competitors is increasingly likely to be shaped by technology and personalisation. This allows the focus to be placed on engaging with patients and providers on the platforms they're using to deliver an altogether more connected experience. 

By staying with us, you'll learn about exciting developments in the industry, such as how marketing experts will continue to leverage AI and data analytics to provide personalised content that educates and builds communities on social media. 

Why is adapting to new healthcare marketing trends necessary?

Before we get into trend specifics, it's important to understand why adapting to these emerging changes in the healthcare marketing sector is so important. As a healthcare provider, you want to be seen as being at the forefront of your field, meaning that it's a matter of perception in the eyes of those you provide services to.

By adapting to trends as they emerge, a number of benefits are on offer:

  • Enhanced brand reputation - You gain a reputation as a leader in your industry, enhancing your brand and establishing credibility and trust with patients, partners and other healthcare professionals. 
  • Attracting the best talent - As a cutting-edge company, you're better able to attract and retain the best talent available who are eager to work with innovative technologies that deliver state-of-the-art solutions. 
  • Increased investment opportunities - Another bi-product of on-trend healthcare marketing that positions you at the forefront of the industry is more interest from investors who are keen to support businesses driving the future of healthcare. 
  • A real competitive advantage - Needless to say, when you're viewed as a leading healthcare provider, you gain a competitive advantage, giving you the opportunity to set market trends yourself and secure a dominant position. 

Increasing patient expectations 

Another key reason to follow healthcare marketing trends is the quickly evolving landscape of 

patient engagement. As is the case in broader society, today's patients are more informed than ever before, and the result is increased expectations of their experiences.

They expect personalisation, convenience and digital access to healthcare services, meaning that embracing trends like online patient portals is key to satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, the industry's competitive nature requires companies to differentiate and highlight themselves as being unique. 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, adapting to marketing trends has a huge bearing on patient outcomes. AI & data-driven healthcare marketing often leads to improved messaging, targeted preventative care and lives being saved.

Contact us to plan your healthcare marketing campaign!

Trends in healthcare marketing for 2024

So, what does the healthcare marketing landscape look like for the rest of 2024? Let’s take a look at what’s predicted in the coming months. 

Voice-search tailored content 

A growing number of people are using voice search functionality to find what they’re looking for online, particularly within the Gen Z age group who grew up with the technology. It’s being evermore embedded in our daily lives, so any healthcare content marketing strategy you use should take this modern paradigm into account. 

Digital connections with a human touch

Connecting with patients in a digital space can be a real challenge, but it's going to be a focus this year. Trust is essential in attracting people in medical marketing, and by adding a personal touch via user-friendly interfaces and content which resonates with a human audience, you'll show yourself to be a provider who cares.

Social media marketing

¾ of the world's population uses social media of one kind or another, meaning having a presence on the most popular platforms is essential. In fact, according to a recent study, 57% of people said that a medical facility's social media presence would strongly influence their choice of where to go for their needs. 

Consequently, the use of social media in healthcare marketing will continue to grow, as it represents a fantastic tool with which to convey information to new patients and provide a place for patient-provider dialogue. 

Here are a few healthcare marketing plan examples to use:

  • Share patient testimonials for social proof of positive outcomes
  • Post user-generated content that contains answers to commonly asked questions 
  • Influencer collaboration to generate discussions about services provided
  • Host live Q&A sessions with healthcare professionals to answer patient questions in real-time, building trust through direct engagement
  • Provide content covering health tips and reminders, such as flu shots, screenings, and other preventive measures to demonstrate your proactive approach to patient health

Healthcare providers not yet leveraging social media to its full extent should seriously consider it in 2024, as every post can offer an opportunity to convert a follower into a real-world patient.

Useful content

While we're on the subject of content, Google released its helpful content update in September of 2023, and it’s going to play a big part in the online success of healthcare companies in '24. Healthcare providers that offer the most helpful information in their posts online will be prioritised in search rankings. Here are just a few of the ways in which marketers can engage with their patients.

  • E-books or guides – discussing the treatments provided in detail
  • Health challenges – sugar-free challenges or fitness challenges, for example, to encourage healthy habits
  • Infographics - Visual representations of complex health information, like treatment processes or health stats
  • Interactive Health Quizzes - You might also choose to engage users with quizzes to test their health knowledge

The continued rise of telehealth marketing

Accelerated greatly by the pandemic, the popularity of telehealth - delivered via phone, video calls and mobile apps - looks set to increase yet further this year. The market is predicted to almost triple in value by 2030, with more and more patients preferring at-home consultations.

This isn't a new trend by any means, but it's one that's growing strongly and shouldn't be ignored when putting together marketing strategies in the healthcare industry. Telehealth marketing and widespread app use are here to stay, so if you're not providing them, it would be wise to consider doing so. 

…while we're talking about healthcare apps

Smartphones are ubiquitous these days, so most potential patients are more than accustomed to using apps. They represent another major opportunity to connect with people, and they’re not solely for booking appointments and ordering medication, as you might expect. 

You see, a proprietary app can be used to communicate with patients in a range of different ways. Obviously, direct enquiries can be managed this way, but prospective patients can also be targeted using helpful online resources to support their journey and limit the number of times they need to physically visit a medical practice.

An attractive & engaging website experience 

Another perennially important factor when it comes to healthcare marketing is an attractive and engaging website, and that isn't changing in 2024. The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems is greatly influenced by the layout and content of any company's site.

Often, the first interaction a potential patient has with a medical provider is on their website. With trust playing a big part in the ultimate decision, the experience needs to be very much on-point, with clear, easy-to-read content that reassures and simple navigation. 

Omnichannel marketing

People in 2024 communicate in many different ways, so any healthcare marketing approach must cater to this fact and offer a unified, customer-centric approach. As such, whether someone is attending a clinic in person, visiting a website or communicating with a provider through social media, a seamless brand experience needs to be provided.

A consistent strategy like this ensures that all visuals and messaging align, regardless of which channel a patient might be using. Omnichannel marketing has a proven track record of success and will continue to be used widely this year.

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Integrating technology in healthcare marketing

Closely tied to developing trends in the healthcare field are the increasingly sophisticated types of technology that are being used to support marketers and how they interact with their customers. The following technologies are fundamentally shaping the landscape. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML)

ML and AI have been around for a while now, but it's only in recent years that their impact has been felt so acutely in healthcare marketing. Making light of previously labour-intensive tasks like data analysis, AI algorithms can interrogate vast data sets to predict patient behaviour and tailor marketing messages to individual patient profiles. 

Also, AI is the power behind the chatbots that are widely used on medical provider websites to deal with everyday patient enquiries. Having this functionality available for patients naturally results in better engagement and higher satisfaction rates - both desirable outcomes from any marketing campaign.

Data analytics for effective decision making

Going back to data analytics for a moment, its role is one that shouldn't be understated when it comes to marketing strategies in the healthcare industry. The reason why it's being used so widely by marketers in 2024 is the detailed insight that it provides, allowing your healthcare marketing to be laser-targeted. 

By analysing vast swathes of patient data, providers are able to spot trends, pain points and preferences. These metrics can be game-changing, offering the information needed to predict future demand for certain services so that messaging can be adjusted. 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)

At the very forefront of healthcare marketing and patient engagement this year is virtual reality (VR) and its close relative augmented reality (AR). Successful marketers are using this tech to provide immersive experiences that simplify otherwise complex medical information. 

A few healthcare marketing plan examples of this technology in practice include:

  • Virtual Tours of Facilities - VR can be employed to offer virtual tours of healthcare facilities, allowing potential patients to explore wards and treatment areas from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Educational AR Apps - AR apps can show the effects of specific health problems on the human body, helping patients understand their condition and engage better with you as a healthcare provider. 
  • Surgery Walkthroughs - VR simulations can also be extremely helpful in educating potential patients on surgical processes before going into theatre. This can reduce anxiety while demonstrating medical skills and experience. 
  • AR for Prosthetics - Using AR allows patients to visualise prosthetics on their bodies before fitting, assisting in emotional and physical adaptation
  • Virtual Reality Therapy - VR provides great therapy session environments for mental health conditions, offering immersive experiences that promote relaxation and engagement.
  • AR/VR training - these tools can also be used when marketing to healthcare professionals, giving a way to showcase medical products and other educational matters. The context they provide can breathe life into any marketing campaign. 

The use of these technologies now and in the future is set to fundamentally enhance the patient experience offered and allow a deeper connection between patients and the providers that serve them. As the sector continues to evolve, those who embrace it will be better able to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive sector.

Looking for healthcare marketing expertise that can set you apart? 

If you're looking for your healthcare marketing efforts to connect with patients and foster a reputation as a leading light in the industry, it’s essential to adapt to current trends. Remaining relevant in this rapidly evolving industry requires exceptionally transparent and smooth patient experiences. As we've seen, there are plenty of tools that you, or any marketing agency you work with, can use to provide them.

At MCI, we offer industry-leading healthcare marketing expertise that's backed by years of experience. As such, our team has the skill and know-how to create healthcare marketing campaigns that resonate with patients and healthcare professionals alike. We strive to formulate strategies that highlight your unique strengths and achieve your objectives. 

We're with you every step of the way, from concept to implementation, empowering you to refine your strategy and get ahead of your competition. So, why not take a look around our website or get in touch? We'll ensure you're glad you did from minute one.

MCI Content Team