Healthcare Marketing Trends in 2024: How to StayAhead
We hope your holiday season was filled with good cheer and plenty of new business opportunities.
Now that the holidays have drawn to a close, it’s time to return to your 2024 marketing plan and make adjustments that ensure your business is taking advantage of the latest trends in healthcare marketing to reach patients and HCPs more effectively and make a lasting impression. Here is what we will cover:
- Artificial Intelligence Moves Into the Spotlight
- Google’s Helpful Content Updates Continue to Emphasize User Intent
- Podcasts Emerge as a Larger Player in Healthcare Advertising
- Telehealth Continues to Gain Market Share
- Balancing Marketing Analytics with HIPAA Compliance Remains Crucial
Whether researching doctors and treatments online or visiting your office, today’s empowered healthcare consumers expect more from their healthcare experience. They demand secure, seamless, personalized experiences and expect healthcare providers to engage with them in real-time.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is when computers and other machines are used to mimic human cognition, making them capable of learning, thinking, and making decisions or taking actions.
Today’s leading healthcare organizations use AI tools to improve patient experiences by handling most first-touch requests and increasing employee productivity by managing time-consuming and repetitive tasks (allowing healthcare providers to spend more time on patient care).
To stay ahead, medical practices must harness the power of AI in several areas.
Predictive analytics analyzes historical patient datasets to identify trends and help predict future events (e.g., health conditions, clinical decisions, spread of disease).
For example, it can help target specific patient demographics for marketing campaigns or tailoring content based on an individual’s health care needs. It can also help providers provide personalized treatment based on an individual’s medical history or genetic profile.
Healthcare providers can leverage predictive analytics to
- Inform patient communications and outreach
- Create comprehensive patient profiles
- Discover impactful care strategies for individual patients
- Send highly personalized marketing messages
These personalized communications support
- Better patient outcomes
- Higher quality of care
- Lower healthcare costs
- Greater efficiency of healthcare delivery
AI plays a significant role in optimizing and enhancing the effectiveness of your paid search campaigns. Here are just a few ways it supports human paid search experts and makes your campaigns work harder for your business and budget
- Bid optimization
It can quickly analyze large datasets, predict leading keywords, and make real-time bidding adjustments to optimize bids and ensure the best return on investment (ROI).
- Ad copy testing and optimization
It can automate A/B testing and analyze ad performance to identify the most effective messaging, headlines, and calls to action. This helps improve click-through and conversion rates.
- Audience targeting
It can analyze user behavior and historical data to identify patterns of high-converting audiences. This information leads to better ad targeting and increased ad relevance.
- Dynamic ad personalization
It can dynamically generate personalized ad content based on audience targeting, ensuring each user gets a highly relevant ad (increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion).
- Budget allocation and planning
It can analyze and recommend optimal budget allocations across campaigns, channels, and historical data to optimize spend and maximize results.
- Data reporting and insights
It can automatically create performance reports, saving marketers and paid search experts time and allowing them to focus on strategic decision-making.
Conversational marketing through AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants has redefined consumer interactions and expectations. If your business isn’t engaging with patients in real-time online—by answering questions and guiding healthcare decisions—you’re probably already losing business.
Virtual assistance in healthcare is highly beneficial because it puts everything in one place and delivers a smoother patient experience.
Prioritize medical AI-powered virtual assistance in 2024 to help your business save valuable time, improve patient satisfaction, increase access to care, and boost patient-doctor engagement.
Thanks to technological advancements, like natural language processing (which gives computers the ability to understand and manipulate human language), virtual assistance in healthcare has become increasingly realistic, allowing healthcare consumers to complete several tasks autonomously, including.
- Locating healthcare services and providers
- Scheduling appointments
- Receiving symptom assessments and next steps
- Ordering prescription medications and OTC products
- Sharing crucial healthcare information with providers
- Getting answers to frequently asked questions
- Paying outstanding balances
- Finding information about insurance coverage and claims
While chatbots and virtual assistants offer convenience, human empathy and understanding are crucial in healthcare communication. AI should complement, not replace, human interaction.
AI is already making an impact in copywriting and graphic design. Tools like Grammarly, Chat GPT, and Designs.ai have enhanced efficiency, speed, and consistency in healthcare copywriting and graphic design. They correct errors and boost productivity, especially for novice writers.
However, their limitations (e.g., lack of human emotion, creativity, and understanding of nuance) make them unsuitable as sole resources for healthcare content.
In healthcare marketing, a synergy of AI tools and human expertise is essential. While, AI enhances efficiency, a human touch that adds much-needed depth, empathy, and the ability to craft compelling narratives, ensuring impactful, respectful, and resonant campaigns.
Empathy is crucial in healthcare marketing. Human experts have essential and irreplaceable qualities.
Experienced healthcare writers and artists have empathy for sensitive topics, such as mental health or addiction, and can communicate more effectively with clients. This human touch ensures complex medical information is translated properly into high-quality, relatable content that resonates with your target audience.
In September 2023, Google announced Helpful Content Update #3.
This update aims to elevate the user experience in search results by emphasizing understanding and aligning with user intent.
In other words, websites that cater to their target audience's specific needs and questions will likely perform better in search rankings.
Perhaps the most significant change is that Google no longer includes vocabulary related to content “written by people.”
Google does not care how one generates content—only that it serves users. So, what does this update mean for marketers, website owners, and content creators?
Now—more than ever—marketers must think like searchers when planning client content. Sharing first-hand expertise and knowledge with unique content is crucial. As always, write for your patients, not the search engines. Here are a few tips for content creators
- Focus on creating high-quality content—avoid thin, shallow, or duplicate content.
- Perform keyword research and optimization—understand what your patients are searching for and optimize your content with relevant keywords and phrases while maintaining a natural flow.
- Address user pain points, questions, and needs—create content that genuinely helps users.
- Deliver a positive user experience—improve technical SEO aspects, like page load speed and mobile responsiveness.
- Keep your content accurate, relevant, and fresh—add new content regularly and make it a habit to update older posts when necessary.
To improve search engine rankings in 2024, create a content calendar and fill it with topics that address user pain points, questions, and needs.
Note to our Clients
While the Google helpful content update is new, Google’s guidelines for content quality are not. If you are an existing client, please know our content creation process has always adhered to Google’s quality guidelines, and we only implement white-hat, ethical SEO practices.
More than 82 million people in the U.S. listened to podcasts in 2021. This number is expected to increase to over 100 million people in 2024.
What’s more, the healthcare industry made up 7% of all podcast ad revenue in 2022, a growth of 40% year-over-year, and is expected to grow even more in 2024.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to incorporate podcasting into your 2024 brand strategy.
Sharing a regular cadence of relevant podcasts offers various benefits, including.
- Providing a convenient, accessible, and engaging platform to share advice, industry insights, tips, and first-hand experiences
- Demonstrating your business’s commitment to transparency and ethical healthcare practices
- Establishing and building credibility, authority, and trust
- Reaching a larger and more diverse audience that may not engage with traditional marketing channels
- Building an active and engaged community around specific health topics or conditions
- Providing businesses with a cost-effective alternative to some traditional marketing methods
An added bonus? Listeners feel like they have a personal connection with your hosts—therefore, your humanizing brand—making them a terrific option for healthcare-related ads.
After a slight post-pandemic plateau, telehealth is projected to have an annual growth rate of 24% from 2023 to 2030. This means that more and more healthcare consumers are choosing telehealth over in-person appointments for routine healthcare.
Marketers will need to continue adapting their strategy to meet the demands of healthcare marketing trends, like convenience through technology.
While this surge does present numerous opportunities, healthcare businesses must navigate the transition thoughtfully and consider potential barriers like
- Staff training and patient outreach/education
- Regulatory compliance and patient privacy
- Quality of care concerns
- Integration with existing systems
Healthcare businesses should adopt a phased implementation approach to navigate these challenges successfully. By addressing these barriers proactively, healthcare businesses can ensure a seamless transition to telehealth while delivering consistent, high-quality, accessible, and patient-centric care.
Here are just a few examples of businesses that are disrupting the healthcare industry with convenient and accessible telehealth services.
Amazon recently rolled out its virtual clinic “One Medical” nationwide.
- Amazon Prime members can add this primary care benefit for $9 per month or $99 annually.
- Members can add family members for $6 per month each.
- CVS recently acquired Oak Street Health and Signify Health
- CVS Health customers can get online treatment, diagnosis, and consultation 24/7 with MinuteClinic virtual care services.
- Customers can access affordable care from home. They accept some insurance plans and offer transparent out-of-pocket pricing.
- CVS recently acquired Oak Street Health and Signify Health
- Walmart has recently expanded its virtual primary health care services, offering nationwide services to remove time, travel, and cost barriers to rural neighborhoods.
By embracing telehealth services, healthcare businesses can meet the ever-changing expectations of healthcare consumers and enhance their overall efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and quality of care.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) officially replaced Universal Analytics in July 2023. Unfortunately, Google uses tracking technologies that are not HIPAA-compliant, which can spell legal and financial trouble for healthcare organizations.
Healthcare marketers must be cautious about the kind of data they collect and how they store it. If you are currently using Google Analytics 4 or another non-HIPAA-compliant analytics tool, here are a few precautionary measures you can take before sending through any data
- Masking URLs
- Excluding specific events or pages
- Masking IP addresses
- Switching to a HIPAA-compliant analytics tool or replacing all unsafe tracking technology
If you need help ensuring your data is safe, secure, and HIPAA-compliant, we can help.
We also invite you to watch our recent webinar with FreshPaint, “Privacy First: Unlocking High Performance, HIPAA-Compliant Marketing.” In it, we share helpful strategies for operating effectively while staying HIPAA-compliant.
It is crucial to stay up-to-date on trends in healthcare marketing and continuously adapt your strategy to stay ahead.
We encourage you to incorporate corrective strategies into your 2024 marketing plan to address these B2B healthcare marketing trends and compete with digitally savvy competitors and retailers who continue to disrupt the healthcare industry.