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It’s 2024, and it’s clear that the healthcare industry is constantly changing and adapting to new technologies, consumer behaviors, and market trends. As a healthcare marketer, it’s important to stay ahead of the game and be prepared for what’s to come. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top healthcare marketing trends to watch for in 2024. From personalized experiences to the rise of telehealth, these trends are sure to shape the way we market and advertise healthcare services in the upcoming year. 

So, let’s dive in and explore how you can stay ahead of the curve and make the most of these exciting developments in the world of healthcare marketing.

 1. Local SEO Harmonizes On-Page and Off-Page Optimization

Local SEO has been gaining momentum in the healthcare marketing landscape over the past few years, proving its importance for brick-and-mortar practices. Not only does it amplify the value of a healthcare provider’s website, but it also draws in the local clientele. For multi-location practices, the current trend is to have individual location pages and Google Business Profiles. This is akin to the Franchise SEO model, widely embraced by popular fast-food chains. 

Take McDonald’s for example. If you search for a McDonald’s in Toronto, you will find a dedicated page with the specific address, opening hours, and even the services offered at that location. Similarly, healthcare practices with three or more locations should configure their website for local SEO, featuring individual pages for each location with unique content and geo-specific keywords. But the local SEO strategy doesn’t stop there. 

A commonly overlooked aspect is the optimization of physician profile pages based on their specialty. Just as you’d want to find a specific McDonald’s branch, patients would want to find the right specialist for their needs. This could mean creating dedicated pages for each physician and their unique services. 

For instance, a pediatric clinic might have separate pages for its general pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, and pediatric allergist, each rich with specialty-specific keywords. Tapping into these nuanced opportunities in local SEO allows healthcare providers to drive traffic and engage patients more effectively.

2. Video Takes the Crown as the Preferred Content Consumption Method

As far as trends in healthcare video marketing go, video marketing for doctors is a slam dunk. There’s power in providing a visual platform that brings potential patients into the practice, developing a know, like, and trust relationship with physicians and practitioners. Indeed, the key to success in this arena is to get buy-in from providers and surgeons, who can breathe life into this form of content marketing with minimal time commitment. 

To put it into perspective, writing a long-form blog post could take 2-4 hours or more while filming a 2-3 minute video on a smartphone can be completed in 10 minutes or less. “Get a doctor in front of the camera and let them give advice on how-to’s, educational pieces, FAQs, etc.,” suggests one healthcare marketing expert. 

Video is not only a more streamlined way to create content, but it can also effectively reach a wide audience when broadcast on social media platforms. To get started, encourage providers to write down common FAQs. In doing so, they’ll be creating a content bank that could provide six months or more worth of video marketing topics. Implementing this strategy can put a healthcare organization ahead of 90% of its competition. 

3. Programmatic Display Rises as a Premier Healthcare Advertising Trend

As the healthcare industry looks to the future, one advertising trend stands out: Programmatic Display Advertising. With its ability to automate the buying and selling of online ad space, programmatic advertising offers unparalleled efficiency and precision. This real-time bidding process allows advertisers to reach patients across multiple channels, from mobile apps to websites, and the advantages of programmatic advertising extend beyond its reach. 

It’s cost-effective and provides valuable tracking data, enhancing ROI and marketing decisions. Programmatic advertising is also embracing video-based ads, with the availability of Over-The-Top (OTT) and Connected TV (C-TV) channels. Addressable CTV offers an omnichannel approach, enabling personalized ads to be delivered to specific households and enhancing patient engagement. 

Additionally, programmatic advertising offers innovative uses such as geofencing, which enables healthcare providers to target potential patients within a specific geographic radius. This technology allows local clinics to serve mobile ads to people within a five-mile radius, attracting potential patients and tracking visits to their physical location. Overall, programmatic display is a key trend that healthcare providers must consider in their advertising strategies.

4. Patient Demand: Incorporating Self-Appointment Options on Your Website

While self-appointment booking capabilities have been a staple in the medical field for some time, healthcare marketing trends have been slow to embrace this technology fully. Even amid the surge of digital transformation propelled by COVID-19, a significant percentage of potential patients still do not utilize self-appointment technology. This can be attributed to either a lack of awareness or the non-availability of such options. However, the appetite for online appointment booking is undoubtedly present. 

According to a survey by Physicians Practice, a staggering 95% of respondents have either booked a medical appointment online or would have done so if it was available. These numbers present a compelling argument for healthcare providers to prioritize the inclusion of self-appointment capabilities on their websites. The benefits extend beyond just offering convenience to patients. From a marketing standpoint, self-scheduling eliminates friction, fosters patient engagement, and enhances the overall user experience. 

It offers the added advantage of providing valuable data and analytics about patient behaviour while ensuring the privacy and security of patient information. The crux is that the demand for self-appointment scheduling is not a mere fad but an expectation. Ignoring this healthcare marketing trend could mean missed opportunities to connect with potential patients and enhance their healthcare journey. In 2024, self-scheduling is poised to become a must-have feature for healthcare providers who wish to stay relevant and competitive.

5. Evolving Tracking Practices Amid Privacy Concerns

As we navigate the digital landscape of healthcare marketing, an emerging trend gaining traction is the changing dynamics of tracking due to privacy concerns. Recently, the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HSS) released new guidance concerning tracking and data usage with third-party marketing tools. This update specifically pertains to widely used tools such as Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Meta (Facebook) Pixel. 

This rapidly evolving scenario holds significant implications for regulated entities and healthcare marketers alike. The primary concern is the potential lack of control over Protected Health Information (PHI) data collected by these third-party platforms. Unfortunately, these platforms do not currently offer a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) option for regulated entities. This absence of a crucial legal safeguard poses a significant challenge in an industry where patient confidentiality is paramount. 

However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily impact all healthcare entities. Traditional practice websites that only offer informational content may not be directly affected by this shift. But for those who do use these tools for tracking and remarketing, a thorough review of your current practices is advisable. 

Given these changes, it’s important to remember that every healthcare provider’s situation is unique. This article isn’t meant to replace guidance from compliance departments or healthcare legal professionals. As the landscape evolves, staying informed and seeking professional advice can help navigate these complexities and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

6. National SEO: The Battlefield of Content Creation

National SEO has become a content battleground, particularly for national healthcare companies. This is largely a consequence of the disruption caused by COVID-19, which saw numerous entities leverage the power of blog education content strategy. This strategy has been remarkably effective, primarily because educational material can significantly drive search traffic to a website when aiming for national search rankings. 

The strategy, however, has two critical elements: consistent and high-quality long-form content and growing domain authority. Both are absolutely crucial for a healthcare organization seeking to surpass established and well-funded digital health companies in search rankings. This is not a feat for the faint-hearted; it calls for a significant investment of time and resources. Driving traffic to a healthcare website is a multi-pronged strategy. 

One of the most effective methods is the creation and promotion of information-based articles and blogs, as these can be major traffic generators. Once visitors arrive at the site, the aim should be to educate them about various healthcare topics and then remarket your services to them. The power of education should never be underestimated, and neither should the ability to stay top of mind for potential patients through remarketing tactics. 

Blogging also plays a crucial role in establishing trust with potential patients who are researching a specific care or service. It allows healthcare providers to position themselves as trusted authorities in their field and, in turn, influence patients’ decision-making processes. This demonstrates that content truly is king when it comes to national SEO in healthcare marketing.

7. Google Ads Maintain Their Healthcare Advertising Stature, but…

Google ads have maintained their status as a top healthcare advertising trend, particularly for booking patients and national Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands. It’s a safe bet that 99% of you reading this article are leveraging Google Ads in your marketing strategy. However, there’s a shift happening within this familiar platform that marketers should pay attention to: the rise of Performance Max Campaigns (PMax). PMax Campaigns are currently the #1 healthcare advertising trend on Google Ads. 

Google is making a robust push toward AI-based optimization functions in their ads, and PMax is a prime example of this. These campaigns simplify ad creation and automate ad distribution across all Google platforms, but they require constant updating to stay effective. To run a successful PMax campaign, we recommend a budget of at least $70-$120 per day. Another essential aspect is the inclusion of video assets, as they add a layer of engagement to your ads that static images can’t compete with. 

Equally crucial is investing in both positive and negative keywords to accurately target your audience and exclude irrelevant searchers. Remember, you’re not just trying to get eyes on your ads; you’re trying to get the right eyes. Another critical factor for success on Google Ads is proper conversion tracking. Surprisingly, we’ve noticed many clients have incorrect setups for conversion tracking, which can lead to inaccurate data and poor decision-making. 

Hence, it’s essential to get this aspect right to make the most out of your Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads continue to dominate the healthcare advertising landscape, but it’s essential to stay updated with these shifts and adjust your campaigns accordingly to stay ahead in this highly competitive field.

8. Reputation: The Engine Behind Google Business Profile Growth

One of the top healthcare marketing trends related to Google Business Profile growth is reputation management. Google is placing a significant emphasis on user-generated content (UGC) to bring accuracy and relevancy to Google Business Profiles (GBPs). Patient feedback now carries substantial weight in determining a healthcare provider’s placement in local search queries. There was a time when it seemed outlandish for patients to research practitioners based on reviews, but with the advent of consumerization in healthcare and the effects of the COVID pandemic, that landscape has radically changed. 

Today’s patients are in charge of their healthcare journey, prioritizing convenience and quality of care over “in-network” options. The modern patient turns to online resources to read reviews and scrutinize the overall reputation of the practice and the providers. They seek assurance of a positive experience and high-quality care. This increased reliance on online reputation and reviews is a healthcare marketing trend that isn’t going anywhere. 

Given this trend, healthcare providers should consider implementing a dedicated program to gather new reviews on both location and provider Google Business Profiles. Automation is preferred in this case as it can ensure consistent outreach for reviews. Why is this important? Google’s algorithm is capable of reading the keyword content of reviews and pulling related keywords for searches. 

This not only affects visibility but also impacts trust and credibility. To summarize, the reputation of a healthcare provider has evolved into a critical driver of their Google Business Profile growth. It’s a clear indicator that in the realm of healthcare marketing, a positive and well-managed online reputation can significantly boost a provider’s visibility and credibility.

9. Handle Remarketing Ads with Care for Maximum Impact

Remarketing is often underutilized in healthcare marketing, yet it stands as a vital lead generator across various industries. In essence, remarketing is a strategic effort to stay in front of potential leads, nurturing their interest until they’re ready to take the next step. This is especially beneficial for healthcare practices, where decisions on care are rarely impulsive but rather thought-out and informed. 

Many healthcare practices may not be leveraging this strategy effectively. The key to successful remarketing is to focus on prospective patients who have shown interest in your services – those who have visited your website, read your blog posts, or interact with your social media content. To convert these potential leads into actual patients, it is critical to maintain a strategic and continuous presence in their online space. 

Programmatic Display, previously discussed in this article, is a highly effective tool for remarketing. With its precision and efficiency, Programmatic Display allows advertisers to serve highly relevant ads to potential patients at different stages of their decision-making journey. The investment is generally low in terms of cost per appointment or visit, making it a valuable asset in your remarketing toolbox. 

While it’s important to note that remarketing efforts may take time to bear fruit, once the strategy is successfully implemented, the results can be well worth the investment. The ultimate goal is to drive appointments and leads at a lower cost, offering a substantial return on investment for your practice. However, remarketing must be done with care, respecting patient privacy and adhering to all relevant regulations. In the world of healthcare marketing, a careful and considerate approach to remarketing can yield significant dividends for your practice.

Get Ahead of the Game with Edkent Media Digital Marketing Agency

As you navigate the fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape of healthcare marketing, you need a trusted partner to help you stay ahead of the game. At Edkent Media Digital Marketing Agency, we specialize in delivering cutting-edge marketing strategies tailored to the healthcare industry. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities in healthcare marketing, from local and national SEO to programmatic advertising and reputation management. 

With our team of skilled experts, we can help you leverage the latest trends, such as video marketing and self-appointment options, to engage patients more effectively and grow your practice. Whether you’re looking to enhance your online presence, drive more traffic to your website, or improve patient engagement, we have the tools and expertise to make it happen. Don’t let the future of healthcare marketing catch you off guard. Get ahead of the game with Edkent Media Digital Marketing Agency.