It is no secret that Hospitals faced significant challenges in 2021. Those who persevered made abrupt changes to how they engage with patients and providers by implementing and utilizing digital tools.
These trends will likely continue in 2022, and hospitals will need to approach marketing in a way that focuses on patient-centered care first.
Five Healthcare Marketing Trends for Hospitals
Here are five hospital marketing trends you need to know as we approach the new year.
Trend #1: Focus on reaching a more diverse audience
Hospital marketing in 2022 will focus on reaching a multicultural and multigenerational audience, reflecting the changing patient population. To do this, marketers will need to define who their target audience is, their needs, and where they interact with marketing efforts (e.g., in email, on billboards, on commercials, etc.)
In addition, marketers will need to consider how they can communicate with their target patient population and referring providers. This may include digital channels like email and social media or analog channels, such as phone calls or direct mail.
Trend #2: Telehealth is here to stay
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, rural patients used telehealth at a rate of 11 per 1000 patients. During the pandemic, that number jumped to 147 per 1000 patients. Going into 2022, hospitals need to assume that telehealth is an expected service rather than an option, as 40 percent of patients have expressed interest in continuing to use telehealthcare after the pandemic is over.
Hospitals, then, will need to highlight their telehealth programs and services in their marketing campaigns to both patients and providers. In addition, they should emphasize how their telehealth services provide accessible, secure healthcare to patients in both rural and urban areas.
Trend #3: Social media marketing will become a necessity
Social media will be essential for hospitals in 2022 for a few reasons. First, social media is updated more frequently than websites. So, many consumers are used to going to an organization’s Facebook page for information rather than their website. Another reason is that social media marketing is more affordable than other types of marketing.
Finally, you can track social media metrics such as engagement to determine your marketing campaign’s effectiveness. This is especially crucial now that email platforms, like Apple, are placing increased privacy protections that limit the data marketers can track.
Trend #4: Hospital rankings matter
Many hospitals shut down during the pandemic, leaving patients to look for new ones. One place they’ll look is the U.S. News and World Report list of hospital rankings, which is published every year.
Preparing doctors for the latest hospital rankings from U.S. News and World Report can help hospitals rank higher than before.
Trend #5: Consumerization of healthcare
The phrase “consumerization of healthcare” refers to the idea that today’s patients act more like consumers than patients. Their out-of-pocket costs are increasing along with their deductibles. As a result, they recognize their power to use that money on the places that provide them the best level of care for their needs.
For many consumers, convenience trumps everything else. They don’t want to waste time waiting in a doctor’s office when they could simply call in for a telehealth visit. They’d rather get their prescriptions delivered to their door than wait in line at the pharmacy. So, hospitals should focus on creating care plans that are easy to access from a smartphone and put consumers in the driver’s seat when making decisions about their health.
At HealthLink Dimensions, we help hospitals reduce their bottom line while increasing their reach with an accurate database of 1.7 million physicians. Our services include marketing, recruiting, compliance, specialty pharmacy, and more.
Contact us today to learn more about our HealthLink Connect for Hospitals Solutions.