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10 quick digital trends to keep healthcare marketers on the forefront in 2024

There’s no question that COVID-19 compelled marketers to rethink how to best communicate and stay in front of consumers. This challenged healthcare brands to up their game to deliver content in fresh, convenient and uplifting ways. Thanks to various technology platforms, marketers were able to pivot and take advantage of our digital ethos to reach audiences during an unknown and constant state of change. Many of these practices have naturally carried over into 2024 given the power of targeting specific audiences in their moment of need. And when focused on personalization, these 10 digital trends give healthcare marketers a leg up on increasing the overall patient experience.

1. Convenience of Telehealth
With telehealth services giving consumers newfound accessibility and convenience through virtual appointments with healthcare professionals, it serves to reduce costs while improving the patient’s healthcare journey. A top trend of recent years, it continues to be a valued service that is quickly becoming an expected offering for patients who need or prefer care from the comfort of their own surroundings.

2. “Always Open” with Mobile Apps
Much like telehealth, healthcare apps allow consumers to create their experience on their terms. From finding the closest clinic locations and booking appointments to tracking their medical history or speaking
with a chatbot, apps can increase overall engagement and be a trusted resource for prospective patients. Marketers are wise to use apps as a primary way to stay connected to patients and track activity to inform
future marketing strategies and communications.

3. The “Realness” of Virtual and Augmented Reality
Immersive experiences are here to stay. And if marketers have the resources to integrate these technologies into their marketing practices, we say go for it! Think educational and interactive content, virtual tours of healthcare programs and facilities and medical illustrations in motion. Not only can VR and AR heighten understanding, but they do so in captivating ways that keep audiences dialed in.

4. Social Media Creates Communities
Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are well-used platforms for marketers because they are designed for awareness, sharing information, educating audiences and harboring a sense of community. We asked family and friends how they’ve used social media for healthcare and many relayed they’ve listened to forums with physicians, asked questions, watched videos and “chatted” with people experiencing the same medical symptoms or conditions. Social media is and remains a strong conduit to build credibility and trust with audiences while generating user content to help enrich the consumer experience.

5. Content Marketing for Credibility and Likeability
Dial in on and dial up your content marketing to keep audiences informed, educated and part of their regular routine when they’re looking for authoritative content. Round out your content channels through blogs, white papers, podcasts or videos to address subjects like health concerns, innovations in healthcare technology or research studies. Content marketing is a smart way to build trust with audiences and let them see your human side.

6. Influencer partnerships reinforce your expertise
Securing alliances and collaborations with healthcare experts, tech influencers, celebrities and advocate groups to cross-share information and promote the benefits of healthy living can broaden your audience reach and how your audiences perceive you. It’s also a way to build up your credibility and know-how in the industry. And let’s not forget about adding to your brand’s cool factor.

7. Shared Experiences: Online Reviews and Testimonials
There is probably nothing more powerful than seeing positive feedback from satisfied patients, partners, and
employees – especially in healthcare. Their shared experiences through online reviews and testimonials makes
what you do feel real. In return, they are beneficial to building your reputation.

8. Data Protection for Consumer Assurance
With all the trends we’ve discussed so far, establishing trust is a common and important one in healthcare. Given the many ways patients can connect, learn and share through our digital surroundings, the confidentiality and protection of their health data with any digital marketing campaign should be conveyed. Therefore, featuring your compliance with data protection regulations for security assurance is a must.

9. Always a Place for Omnichannel Marketing
An omnichannel plan should always be considered if you’re looking for a 360-degree customer-centric marketing approach. By utilizing integrated channels, you have more carriers to deliver your messaging and brand in a consistent and collective way. It reminds consumers of who you are, what you stand for and how you add value to their healthcare wants and needs.

10. Personalization for optimal engagement
Many find healthcare to be a confusing and complex world to navigate. While you’re in the business to help improve the health outcomes of the population, people often have negative connotations with healthcare like being sick or inconvenienced in finding the right care. Look for ways to be more human versus clinical in how you speak with them. Make sure your digital interfaces are user-friendly, welcoming and warm. In addition, remember your audiences are all different. Customize messages based on demographics, health concerns and conditions and by person. Personalization lets them know you’re human too.

In Summary
Technology and digital advancements will continue to benefit healthcare marketers in 2024 as they look for new and significant ways to connect with audiences. To truly engage with audiences, all of your marketing campaigns must be centered around the patient and their experience.

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