Top healthcare marketing trends

2018's 5 top trends for healthcare digital marketing

Our digital experts explain the top five trends in healthcare marketing. 

Trend #1: Marketing automation is IN

Marketing automation helps corporations and organizations effectively market to different audiences in a variety of channels by brilliantly automating tasks. Tailored email content based on recently-visited webpages, personalized content recommendations and automated social media feeds are all ways you can use marketing automation to nurture leads and feed the marketing funnel.

Marketing Automation Systems (MAS) and CRMs like Hubspot, Marketo and SharpSpring allow marketers to create audience profiles based off of actions taken on a website. Those audience profiles are attached to insights, which trigger content as users move through the lead generation funnel. KW2 is an approved SharpSpring partner, and our marketing automation team can help you create audience profiles, capture leads on your site and develop content to fill your automated marketing pipeline in the MAS of your choice. 

Trend #2: Live chat is IN

The ability to communicate in real-time is a true feat of customer service and patient care in 2018. Your staff may be able to support live chat during operating hours. If not, there are US-based companies that can support growing and changing chat needs for organizations of all types. Live Chat might be useful for you and your patients if you have a lot of visitor traffic and want more conversions to appointments. Chat might not be necessary for smaller clinics or for those with low website visitor volume.

Consider adding this feature to your site to help current and prospective patients when they need it most, and to prove your dedication to patient care.

Trend #3: Responsive web design is IN (and it’s not going away) 

The number of smartphone users in the US is estimated to grow to over 230 million in 2018 , and healthcare organizations are taking note. Clinic staff recognize that mobile strategies are an important part of their patient communications. 

When is the last time you pulled up your healthcare organization’s website on your smartphone? With any change to your site, ensure you’re walking in your patients’ shoes by visiting the site on your phone; try to find some important information, and you may discover issues with the mobile experience of your brand. 

Responsive web designs (websites that automatically adapt to the screen size) are now standard. Google actually deprioritizes sites that are not responsive when they determine search rankings. Responsive websites typically have:

  • Navigation that adapts based on the device
  • Simple technology for quick loading, on WiFi or with cell data
  • Limited animations
  • Content that is quick to digest without scrolling and scrolling

Trend #4: Homepage slideshows are OUT 

It happens. The marketing or leadership teams aren’t sure what single message should go front and center on your homepage, so you introduce a slideshow. Hey, why have one message when you can promote five?

But research shows most users don’t like to sit through slides on a site. You get 7 seconds to make an impression and show someone what you offer—so do it with a powerful sentence or design or image instead. 

Other website elements you should avoid for a good user experience: 

  • overuse of video content, which requires a large time investment from your users
  • animated GIFs or elements that take a long time to load
  • anything with music

You want your users to understand your content immediately, so anything that makes them wait compromises a great experience.

Trend #5: Pop-ups are OUT

Pop-ups can disrupt the user experience, and usually are typically placed on a site for purely promotional reasons as opposed to helpful information to your users. In 2017, Google announced it’s taking a stand against websites that over-use popups by penalizing them in search rankings. When planning your website design and content, it’s tempting to focus on what you want to tell people. However, we find the most successful websites are those that focus on what your users want. 

Resist the urge to over-promote, and focus on what your users actually need. You’ll see great results in the long run. 

Focus on your patients, who are using their smartphones to get information from your site. Avoid things that get in their way like pop-ups, tactics that bloat, or a fixed-size website. And finally, lean on the power of marketing automation to make your job easier. The trends may be simple, and they can take time and dedication to pull off but can lead to greater online marketing success.