If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that we never really know what’s around the corner. But, we’re a brave crew at Splice Marketing so we’re going to make some 2022 predictions anyway. 

That’s because we’re not stabbing in the dark. We’ve been listening, watching, observing and testing many different marketing strategies. We know what worked last year and we know what’s likely to gain prominence in 2022. 

So here are 6 marketing predictions for 2022 brought to you by the Splice team. If you’re a healthcare professional or medical device company hoping to expand your business in 2022, then we’d strongly encourage you to adopt these particular marketing strategies to propel your business growth. 

Here’s to a great year!

1. Digital Ecosystem – being more strategic

Building the foundations for a strong digital ecosystem will be a major focus for many healthcare organisations, medical device companies, health practices and pharmaceutical companies this year.

That’s because our world is ever-changing. Healthcare businesses, digital health providers and medical device companies need to adapt to stay current and connected. 

So start the year as you mean to go on: making wise, strategic decisions to increase your online market share based on solid research and real-life data. 

That means you need to audit your online channels and, based on what you find, create a digital marketing plan to guide your activities in 2022. This involves some upfront work but it will save you time throughout the year and significantly boost your online presence. 

We started seeing this trend towards the end of 2021. The Splice Marketing team received an influx of requests to complete digital audits and create digital marketing strategies for a range of healthcare companies. Each company wanted to know where their online presence needed improving, which channels and content would produce results and where they could find opportunities online to connect with their clients. 

Creating a strong digital ecosystem starts with an audit of your online presence. And not just yours. You should audit at least 3 of your main competitors to see what you’re up against and where you could find an edge. 

You need to answer:

  • Which digital channels are being used and which have the highest engagement. Are there channels where your competitors are active and benefiting from lots of engagement that you’re not leveraging? 
    • Example: Competitor X has 1,500 followers on Instagram and an average of 50 engagements per post. Meanwhile Competitor Y has 12,900 followers on YouTube. How does that compare to your business?  
  • How well are you (and your competitors) ranking for:
    • Branded keywords like your business name
    • Non-branded keywords such as conditions, treatments and products – if a competitor is ranking higher for non-branded keywords, they’re probably outstripping you on Google and attracting the majority of search enquiries to their website, meaning you’re missing out on these visitors.  
  • How recognisable your brand is online. 
    • Is it easy for someone to recognise your brand from your logo, imagery, statements and values?
    • Is your brand and messaging consistent across all your online channels? 

Once you’ve completed your audit, you’ve got a clearer picture about your online performance. You can see what’s driving or limiting your business growth. That will allow you to think more strategically as you plan your marketing activities for 2022. 

Case study

A medical device company sought out Splice Marketing’s help because they weren’t ranking for any product terms which meant that their competitors were receiving all the relevant search traffic.  

Once we had completed their audit, we provided them with a content plan that included a list of blog and webinar topics to help them improve their rankings for non-branded terms and so attract more customers to their website. 

That strategy has the added benefit of creating more exposure and brand awareness online which supports other marketing and sales activities that the organisation engages in. 

Want to leave the digital audit and digital strategy to the experts? Book a free 30-minute consultation with our CEO, Ellie, to discuss your business and find the (AHPRA compliant) opportunities for your online growth.

2. Video-first content

Video-first is what’s trending in 2022. It’s not unique to healthcare but it’s a strategy that all healthcare businesses should adopt. That’s true whether you’re a global device company, a multi-practice megaclinic or a solo practitioner. 

Here is why we know 2022 will be favourable to video content:

  • Social media platforms that focus on video content are proving more and more popular – think Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube.
  • Facebook (which also owns Instagram) is focusing on placements, rather than audiences. They’re now keen on ad targeting by placement such as instream videos, stories and video feeds. That means agencies like ours will push more video content because it will get you greater exposure and better results from your online social media advertising. 
  • Statistics show the strength of video:
    • 59% of content marketers use video
    • 76% of marketers who invest in video testify to its effectiveness
    • 1 in 3 content marketers say video provides the strongest ROI. 

Here’s how to get ahead of the pack in 2022: 

  • Organise at least two photoshoots and videoshoots for your business throughout the year. The Splice Marketing team can help ensure these are AHPRA compliant and will generate results for you from online channels. Check out our photography and videography packages.
  • Rather than writing a blog, record a video. It could be a quick 30-second video to engage someone’s attention or communicate short bits of information. Or it could be a longer form video (up to 20 mins) to provide general information or educate a patient about a condition or procedure.

3. The rise of hybrid healthcare

Telehealth MBS item numbers are now permanent. That means telehealth is no longer simply a pandemic response. It’s now embedded into Medicare as a permanent feature of Australia’s healthcare system, opening up new models of care that benefit both patients and professionals. 

When Capterra surveyed over 1,000 Australian patients about their experience of telehealth, 79% of respondents said they would use telemedicine again. The most common reason was that they found telehealth had reduced waiting times.  

These trends are proof that telehealth will be a major influence, replacing traditional consultation methods with video conferencing, email, and audio calls to connect a patient with their doctor or healthcare professional. 

And that patient may not be anywhere near your premises. Telehealth changes your marketing because, depending on your business model, you may want to attract patients from well beyond your local patch. National marketing can mean higher advertising costs. Splice Marketing can help you with telehealth marketing services. Check out our blog on the topic. 

How can you leverage the most from telehealth to benefit your patients and your practice? Start with your own education. 

Most doctors set up telehealth in a rush when the pandemic hit. You’ve probably run many telehealth consultations by now but you may have neglected some important aspects such as:

  • Workflows and integration
  • Legal requirements
  • Technology
  • Privacy and consent
  • Patient experience
  • Marketing. 

Telehealth Mastery is an accredited course that you complete online at your own convenience. In just 7 hours, you’ll know everything necessary to run a successful and sustainable telehealth business.

Register for Telehealth Mastery

4. Google rankings and page experience

For many years, Google has held YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites to the highest digital standards. That’s because finance and healthcare websites exert a big impact on search volumes and lives. 

Last year, Google rolled out a new algorithm update that affects all websites but comes down particularly hard on health and medical websites. Your website absolutely must meet these new standards to rank well on Google. Here are the 5 things you need to pay attention to:

  1. Relevancy: Choose the right keywords and make sure that each page you write targets a particular one and is the best possible/most relevant page you could write for that keyword.
  2. Core web vitals: This refers to 3 technical factors (largest contentful paint, cumulative layout shift and first input delay) that really come down to your website speed. How fast does your website load? Patients are horrendously impatient. They hit the back button within seconds if a site loads slowly. And Google wants, most of all, to deliver a positive experience to its users so it doesn’t want to recommend irritating sites that load too slowly. That’s why site speed is now a big ranking factor.
  3. Mobile-friendly site: Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your site for its indexing and ranking. That’s because the majority of searches are now done on mobiles. So, it’s vitally important that your site is mobile friendly. Design it mobile-first and check that the layout looks good on a mobile.    
  4. Site security: You must have a secure site with https enabled. If you don’t, your visitor will receive a warning that your site isn’t secure and they’ll immediately go elsewhere.
  5. No intrusive interstitials: Remove annoying pop-ups wherever possible. Users hate them – and so Google does too.  

5. Interactive content

You want to give your site visitors a good experience so they’re left with a positive impression of your brand and want to come back for more. Interactive content helps you do that. 

Interactive content is a great way to engage your patients or your professional audiences. They offer something different, something that people will hand over their name and email address for, which helps you generate a database of leads for future marketing activities. 

Create interactive content ideas for each stage of your ideal client’s journey. Ideas include:

  • Polls (these teach you a lot about your customers)
  • Quizzes like ‘Test your fertility knowledge’
  • Interactive infographics
  • Online hearing tests
  • Interactive human body diagram explaining how the cardiovascular system works
  • Calculators like ‘Check your heart age’
  • Guides that include animations or expandable sections
  • A choose-your-own-adventure journey through your product range
  • A list of health checks you’d recommend based on your patient’s age and gender. 

6. For better rankings, focus on local SEO

When doing SEO, it’s often tempting to cast your net as wide as possible. After all, that’ll help you catch more clients won’t it? 

Not necessarily. 

Start thinking of yourself as local first. Market yourself well to patients within your local area. You’ll rank better in organic Google searches and show up in the local maps pack. 

It means that if someone searches for sciatica, your physiotherapy practice’s page on sciatica treatment should appear high in their search results and your practice’s name, contact details and map location should show up on their screen too. All they have to do next is click on your site and book. 

So how do you think local? 

  • Hone your on-page SEO to a small drawing area initially. Google has a relevancy filter built into its algorithm that tends to award first place in its rankings to the closest relevant business to the searcher’s location. This is low-hanging fruit for your business. Organise your on-page SEO so that you’re the most relevant local practice. Do that before you try to target areas further afield.
  • Be part of your local community: Host a local event or involve your business in someone else’s – think school fetes, park runs, community festivals. This improves your brand recognition and reputation but it also has online benefits. It creates local citations and backlinks which are huge ranking factors that will boost your rankings both in organic searches and the local maps pack.
  • Create content for locals: When you’re preparing your blogs, think about what locals might be interested in reading. Are there any local issues that would be a hook for your content?
  • Leverage Google Business Profile: Upload relevant local content and photos that show you’re part of your community. This helps draw in more highly relevant clicks to the local maps pack, giving your business an edge over your competitors. 

Over to you now. 

Set aside some time in your calendar (soon!) to complete your digital audit and competitor analysis. Get your head around the latest Google update and ensure your site performs well. Improve your local rankings. And deepen your understanding of how to run a successful telehealth business that minimises risks and maximises benefits. 

If you’d like specific advice tailored to your business’s particular needs, then we’re here for you. Please book a free 30-minute consultation with our CEO, Ellie, to discuss your business and find the (AHPRA compliant) opportunities for your online growth in 2022.