Healthcare PR has seen a lot of trends over the last 10 years. Did anyone really think that we could use a device every day that could tell us pretty much everything we need to know about our health for less than $200? This advancement in technology has enabled healthcare businesses to utilize press opportunities and grow their businesses. Fast-forward to the present day and there are tons of innovative products being made every day. But with this innovation comes the need for getting customer eyes on it. If no one can find your brand, how can you expect them to buy your product or service?
From voice search to content marketing, this article will cover some of the best healthcare PR trends. Using these tactics will help raise brand awareness for your healthcare organization, bringing in more leads and boosting the bottom line.
The rapid rise of voice search has not gone unnoticed. In fact, Amazon’s Alexa app was the most downloaded of all apps on the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store over Christmas 2018. This has seen a huge increase of voice searches.
According to Healthcare Weekly, more than 50% of all internet searches are made on mobile phones. This number includes voice searches. It’s predicted that more than 200 billion voice searches will be made on smartphone and smart speaker devices by 2020.
While the majority of searches are used to play music, healthcare businesses are jumping on the trend. For example, Alexa can now tell you estimated waiting times in hospitals and care centres. If you wanted to learn more about any symptoms you are feeling, voice search can pull up the first result from Google and read it back to you.
This means that anything written must be concise and make sense to the average person when the answer to a search query is read back aloud.
For healthcare and pharma, this can be a difficult hurdle to overcome since a lot of the language used is very technical and must be accurate for legal and compliance reasons.
Nevertheless, it’s a challenge worth overcoming and when combined with social media, can prove to be a valuable PR opportunity.
Content marketing is one of those terms that gets thrown around no matter the industry. However, it’s still one of the best PR trends for healthcare in 2019.
High-quality content that provides value to the reader is incredible for building a brand. With the help of social media, content can be put in front of people exactly when they respond to it the most.
According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, we engage best with content that is published in the morning as this is when we are at our most alert. The same report found that posting in the afternoon was the worst time as it’s when we tend to start slumping. Therefore, timing the posting of content is critical for maximum engagement.
Content marketing also builds a relationship between your brand and customers. A study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that 68% of B2B marketers said their customers trust their company for their information.
For the healthcare and pharma industries, trust in products and services is the number one priority. If content marketing can help build these bridges, it should be implemented into the overall marketing strategy right now.
According to Digital Authority Partners, 92% of millennials trust influencers over traditional advertising methods. But the term influencer is not restricted to those will an audience of millions.
Micro influencers (ie people with an audience in the thousands) can provide just as much leverage. Tap Influence conducted a study where they analyzed more than 4,000 influencers and more than 70,000 posts across various social media channels.
They found that micro influencers got 4x more engagement from their posts compared to influencers with large followings.
Looking at the difference in cost between partnering with a micro influencer and a major influencer and it suddenly becomes a no-brainer.
It’s also easier to trust a micro influencer as they aren’t generally looking to make a living off promotions. Sure, they won’t mind making a bit of money from you but at least you can be sure you’re getting one heck of a deal.
Chatbots And AI
This final 2019 healthcare PR trend focuses on the use of chatbots on websites and mobile apps. According to the 2018 Chatbot Reports, more than a third of respondents believed that chatbots should be used to get quick and useful answers.
Chatbots are an application of artificial intelligence (AI). They are easy to use and improve customer service and user experience. But better still, they can have a great impact on the healthcare industry.
For example, Babylon Health is an app that uses chatbots to help patients based on their medical records. They combine this data with common medical knowledge to help provide patients with the care they need. In the event that a patient requires a diagnosis, the app switches from a chatbot to an on-hand physician that can provide the diagnosis over a real-time video chat.
Of course, this is just one possible application of AI but there are far more. The healthcare industry can benefit from AI from new drug creation to improve the efficiency of existing operations and systems.
For example, AI can be used for disease awareness campaigns. This has already been used by GYANT, a chatbot that enables patients to interact with physicians via Facebook Messenger in real-time. A member of the GYANT team has stated that their technology was used to consult more than 1 million people in Brazil that had been affected during the Zika virus epidemic.
However, a lot of healthcare organizations are running on legacy systems so it will be difficult to integrate this technology. It’s up to executives and decision makers to get the ball moving on this trend.
These healthcare PR trends can increase brand awareness for your organization in 2019. While they will continue to be effective for years to come, start using them now to gain an edge over competitors.