Health care marketing is continuously changing but the industry was the fifth largest buyer of promotional products in 2018. For distributors working with health care clients, the future of health care marketing is the digital experience. These five marketing trends posted by Formstack were identified through data, research and expert experience to help outpace competitors, convert more leads and continue to increase patient satisfaction and retention.

First, patients expect health care providers to put their digital experience first. Seventy-seven percent of patients perform online research before booking an appointment, so much of their experience begins with the organization’s website. It needs to be easy to navigate, utilize a strong SEO strategy, load quickly and provide an array of patient-focused content. Smart health care provider sites will include online appointment booking, a customer service chat bot, electronic patient registration, text reminders and video appointments.

Second is reputation management; it’s key to converting new patients. This includes online reviews and user-generated content. Only eight percent of health care marketers saw online reviews as their most important marketing channel in 2019, so many are missing out on these important features.

Third is location-based SEOs—they can make or break marketing tactics. Research shows that about 93 million Americans search for a health-related topic online.

Fourth is the future of online research: voice. More than 43 million Americans own a smart speaker. Adding voice to search options starts with adding natural language to your SEO strategy and consider the questions your potential patients might be asking and how they might ask them. Create content that answers common questions to increase organize search results.

Fifth is video—not the most preferred type of content. Forty-five percent of people watch more than one hour of video per day and 81 percent have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Types of video to consider are doctor intros, patient stories and testimonials, event or location promotion, health education, quick health-focused tips and tricks and live video appointments.