With 2024 upon us, you've already outlined your organization's revenue goals for the coming year. But have you figured out how you're going to achieve them? The healthcare market gets more crowded and competitive each year. However, there are key strategies you can implement to ensure that your message reaches the right consumers at the most opportune time(s) to drive more patients to your practice. Below are several top healthcare marketing trends to help you and your team meet and exceed your goals for patient acquisition, revenue, and growth for 2024 and beyond.

1. Omnichannel Implementation of an Integrated Communications Strategy: In today's fiercely competitive healthcare market, an effective healthcare marketing strategy requires the seamless implementation of an omnichannel approach and an integrated communications strategy. The omnipresence of new media, from streaming services to diverse social platforms, necessitates reaching target consumers across a broad spectrum of channels. Engaging with audiences at every stage of their journey is crucial for success. You must reach potential health consumers who:

  • Have never heard of you
  • Have heard of you but don't need your services right now
  • Those who DO need your services and are currently considering their options
  • Those who are in the decision-making phase and are ready to schedule an appointment.
  • Those who've engaged with you in the past but who have become unengaged.

By approaching communications and marketing in an integrated, comprehensive way across all the most popular channels in your target market, you'll increase your reach as well as your rate of return on your marketing dollars spent via:

  • Traditional media (TV & Radio)
  • Digital media (websites, social media, digital marketing)
  • Streaming ads
  • Email marketing

Simultaneously, aligning marketing efforts with a broader communications strategy is essential. Integrating marketing within this framework enhances brand awareness, ensuring consistency across various communication channels. The integrated communications strategy encompasses media relations, both earned and paid, for amplifying messages beyond the existing audience. It extends to internal and external communications, covering announcements, speeches, employee communications, and newsletters. Advertising plays a role in general awareness, while marketing targets specific audiences, engaging and converting prospective consumers into patients. This integrated approach optimizes reach and return on investment, reinforcing brand strength across the evolving media landscape.

2. Hyper-personalization of content and experiences. Publishing great content that provides value and engages consumers is no longer enough to succeed. To stand out in 2024 and beyond, your content ideally should be personalized and tailored to each segment of your target audience. This requires knowledge and understanding of your target audience. Once you've determined your ideal consumer, you can target your messaging specifically to them via the medium where they spend the most time. If you haven't already done a market analysis of your target market for your specific services (to determine your target demographics and how/when/where they most commonly consume media and gather information), that's something that a healthcare marketing firm may be able to assist with, (we know a good one!) if you're not sure how to conduct a thorough, accurate market analysis in-house.

  1. HIPAA compliance is more critical than ever, and the impact of HIPAA on healthcare marketing in 2024 cannot be overstated. Due to increased, ever-changing regulations throughout 2023 and ongoing, HIPAA dramatically changes healthcare marketing, especially digital marketing. New and different privacy regulations and laws governing the use of personal health information (PHI) continue to unfold as more regulations are enforced, and new laws are passed federally or statewide. Some of the patient privacy regulations announced in 2023 will become enforceable in 2024. Many marketing tactics you've relied on in the past for tracking and retargeting consumers online are now considered a HIPAA violation. Therefore, to protect your organization from breaches, lawsuits, and penalties, you should consult experts who can navigate HIPAA regulations, including legal and healthcare digital marketing experts who are familiar with HIPAA.

4. Patient Empowerment / Self-advocacy / Consumerism - Today's patients take a MUCH more active role in their health care. Many patients in your target audience are much savvier than patients of the past. Patients research symptoms, potential diagnoses, treatments, and more before deciding where to get medical care.

Therefore, including searchable, credible medical information in your content strategy is critical to driving these informed patients to your practice. By providing medical information and search-engine-optimized health articles in your content strategy, patients can find your content when they're researching, which helps increase brand awareness, establish credibility, and drive consumers to your organization.

Reputation management initiatives. Because patients are savvy consumers who spend a lot of time online, managing your online reputation and user-generated content (patient reviews, etc.) is also essential for 2024.

5. Social media as a search engine - The social media landscape is ever-evolving. TikTok has become all the rage - it is a goldmine of opportunity and a landmine of potential pitfalls that can take down your organization with one misguided 15-second video. Therefore, many healthcare organizations have been reluctant to engage on TikTok actively, but it's becoming necessary as it takes over for Google search. What does this mean to you? Many consumers (prospective patients of all ages - not just the younger demographic) now search for information on TikTok instead of searching on Google. That means if you're not on TikTok, you're missing out on all those potential patients looking up symptoms and health information by searching within their TikTok app instead of going to Google or other search engines.

If this sounds like a lot to plan, create, and manage, it is. With so many facets and components required to achieve desired results in healthcare marketing, it's becoming increasingly difficult for one healthcare marketer or a small healthcare marketing team to have the expertise and capacity to execute all the above aspects of a healthcare marketing strategy effectively. Most marketers have strengths in certain areas of marketing but not others. Even generalists may struggle to manage everything due to the sheer volume of work involved in creating, monitoring, and measuring ROI and maintaining all the content required to be as effective as possible.

The healthcare marketing team of consultants at CMG Health Marketing can help you manage all or part of your healthcare marketing strategy as needed so that your team can focus on what they do best, and we can do the rest. From analyzing your target market and mapping out a strategy to implementing best practices and measuring ROI, our team of healthcare marketing experts can assist with any and all of your marketing efforts to ensure you achieve your goals for the most productive and profitable 2024.