As your healthcare organization determines the best online marketing strategy for 2013, it’s important to consider certain statistics that have emerged in the past year. Similar to this list for B2B tech marketers last month, we are continuing the trend and listing the most important healthcare marketing stats and how they can be applied to your own organization:
1. 94% of prospective patients said reputation of facility is important in hospital selection (Source: Google)
- What This Means: Simply put, pay attention to what people are saying about your healthcare organization online. While it is impossible to completely stop negative comments, you can respond appropriately and publish positive content. By responding you make it personal and have the opportunity to develop the appropriate plan to solve their problem.
2. 58% of healthcare marketers use blogs vs. 74% of all marketers (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
- What This Means: A blog is a great place to showcase your knowledge and experience while driving more traffic to your site. Developing an active blog could be a key differentiator from competition when other healthcare organizations may not be fully utilizing content marketing.
3. 26% of internet users who look online for health information say they have been asked to pay access to something they wanted to see online and 83% of those who hit a pay wall say they tried to find the same info somewhere else (Source: Pew Research Center)
- What This Means: Allow majority of content and research information to be free to access. If not, prospective patients may go elsewhere for information and ultimately choose your competitor.
4. Email is a valued channel across nearly all message types, from patient care (49%) and health tips (68%) to seasonal reminders and payment reminders (56%) (Source: TeleVox)
- What This Means: Nurturing patients with email marketing can help keep your healthcare organization stay top-of-mind. Email offers the opportunity to develop patient relationships with a variety of information and advice that can help them maintain their overall health.
5. Roughly 1/3 of patients used tablets or mobile devices on a daily basis for research and/or to book appointments (Source: Google)
- What This Means: Because patients or prospective patients are looking for you on their mobile devices, you should create a mobile marketing plan that includes payment and appointment reminders via text. Also, make sure your hospital organization has an optimized, dedicated mobile website.
6. 51% say they’d feel more valued as a patient via digital health communications (Source: TeleVox)
- What This Means: Your strategy should integrate multiple channels – email, mobile, blog – to reach and develop strong, personal relationships.
7. 52% of patients use health information sites for research. (Source: Google)
- What This Means: Not only should you be focused on developing relationships with patients and prospective patients, you should also look to build relationships with the health sites your prospects frequently visit.
8. 81% of people click on a sponsored link when looking for health information (Source: Geocentric)
- What This Means: Implement strategic coordination of paid advertisements on different channels such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and mobile.
9. 77% of patients used search prior to booking an appointment. (Source: Google)
- What This Means: Search is how many patients begin their path to determining a healthcare provider and it can be the last action before selection. Ensure your healthcare organization shows in organic search results with SEO.
10. 90% of adults 18-24 years of age said they would trust medical information shared by others in their social media networks. (Source: PwC Health Research Institute)
- What This Means: Young adults value social media content and the influence of their social network. Allowing your content to be shareable on social media sites can help increase the likelihood these young adults will build trust with your healthcare organization.
11. 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of healthcare provider. (Source: DC Interactive Group)
- What This Means: Similar to #10, social media is now incredibly influential on healthcare choices. Your to-do list should contain developing and optimizing your social media profiles. Also, utilize social media monitoring and measurement tools.
12. 26% of all hospitals in the US participate in social media. (Source: DC Interactive Group)
- What This Means: Considering the value patients place on social media, it is hard to believe that not very many hospitals participate in social media. There is some apprehension when it comes to healthcare and social media, so make sure your internal marketing team or agency you work with is engaging with healthcare consumers within the boundaries of HIPAA.
13. YouTube traffic to hospital sites has increased 119% year-over-year. (Source: Google)
- What This Means: In order to express your healthcare organization’s brand personality, you should have a strong presence on YouTube. Integrate these videos into your content and social media strategy.
Pay attention to these industry trends so that you can create new and better strategies to develop brand identity, increase awareness among consumers, and outdo the competition.
For more illustrations on how patients use social media and search, check out our webinar on The 2014 Digital Patient Journey on Tuesday, March 25th at 2 pm.