17-trendsMarketing can be complicated as it is. But when it comes to healthcare, there’s even more to consider these days.

High-deductible health plans are forcing patients to take a closer look at their healthcare choices. No longer content to accept referrals from their family physicians, today’s patients are doing their own research to find the physicians and dentists who meet their criteria. That’s why it’s more important than ever for medical and dental practices to set themselves apart from their competitors.

Position your medical practice or dental practice as a leader with these five healthcare marketing trends for 2017.

  1. One-to-one: Marketing in the healthcare world has become a one-to-one conversation between the health care provider and the prospective patient. The days of mass blanket communication and messaging are shrinking, and this is all fueled by technology.Because patients are on the hook for more of their healthcare costs, the need to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person is more important than ever. Consumers (patients) build relationships with brands just like they do with people, so marketing to them should be about building that relationship and engaging in conversation.It’s also about shifting the focus to prevention and wellness. With the shift to value-based reimbursements, show them you care about their health — not just the illness at hand. Provide content that helps patients be more proactive in their overall health and wellness, fostering that one-to-one relationship.
  1. Content is still king: Patients are searching online for credible information. So your content needs to be authoritative, showing you’re the expert in your field.With this approach comes the power of sharing. We’re inundated with millions of content forms daily. So build trust with content that stands out from the crowd.Take video, for example. Video is a great way to tell a great story, especially in healthcare. You can take a complex procedure or illness and break it down into an easy-to-understand and relatable story. And with so many options beyond YouTube (think Facebook Live), your stories can be timely and educational.
  1. Email is alive: Email is not dead. In fact, it’s an area for growth in 2017. According to a Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs study, email was rated as the No. 1 success metric for measuring content marketing. More and more big-name brands are growing their email database and harnessing the power of direct-to-consumer messaging.While social is still a great tool (keep doing that, too), it’s become a pay-to-play platform. Email, however, is still a very cost-effective way to build your audience, make those one-to-one connections and demonstrate your expertise.If you haven’t yet, consider launching a targeted e-newsletter to engage your current and potential patients. Or if you already have one, take a good look and make sure it’s relevant and engaging for your audience.
  1. Telemedicine: As technology becomes more accessible and convenience continues to be a prominent determining factor, telemedicine offers a solution to meet the changing preferences of patients. And it’s a win-win.Telemedicine, such as an online consultation, provides opportunity to improve efficiency, increase profits and create differentiation. It’s also a more cost-effective and efficient way for patients to visit a doctor.
  1. Tailored digital advertising: Done well, digital display ads can be very effective. But they can also be perceived as annoying — and can be easily ignored. To make your digital efforts even more effective, consider more tailored (less invasive) tactics like paid search, retargeting and native ads.Native advertising matches the format of the website they’re on, so they’re much more likely be viewed. You see this all the time in your social feeds (promoted posts).And because healthcare isn’t usually something patients search for until they (or a loved one) need it, retargeting and paid search are effective ways to reach your audience at exactly the right time.

Bloom Marketing can help

Eager to try some new marketing tactics for your medical or dental practice? Bloom Marketing can help. Contact us today to get started.