With modern processes being increasingly automated, but consumers demanding personal communication, brands and companies have a lot to achieve.
Building on the digital trends followed in recent years, we look at some of the trends we’re likely to see in 2018.
In an arc away from previous trends, people are now reacting to authentic, unfiltered moments, especially on visual social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. These authentic photos and videos attract more traffic, likes and shares than their heavily-edited counterparts. It’s likely that in the drive to see more personalised brands, these (seemingly) unedited images give consumers a more personal view of and connection to the marketing material.
Every person has a story to tell, and brands are no different. More and more brands are enlisting storytellers to engage their audience and build their brand personality. Consumers want to know the story behind the brand and why they should trust them. In healthcare, we may also see focus shift to patient perspectives. Real people who have been diagnosed and treated, telling their story. These stories give consumers the chance to identify and engage on an emotional level.
‘Automation’ and ‘AI’ have been huge buzzwords over the last few years, and they look set to stay for 2018. Chatbots have already been used to provide basic health knowledge and education, and to encourage those unlikely to visit a doctor to make an appointment. As more online business content is generated by machines, the use of Chatbots has also increased. With more companies, across a variety of industries, using Chatbots, AI and automation, this leaves the traditional workforce to drive creative ideas and other ‘human’ aspects of business.
Real influencers will be the real kickstart or energy injection to digital marketing this year. Building relationships with real, key industry influences will be key to communicating brand messages and influencing audience perception. While patients can tell their story, professional support in the form of influencers provides credibility. Your influencers should be reputable, trustworthy and relevant to your brand.
Video, video, video. With estimates suggesting 80% of all internet traffic will represent video content by 2019; 2018 will see this trend pick up speed. In healthcare, video can help explain complex concepts, but your video must be engaging as competition for views increase. Ensure you attract and keep the viewer, but make sure your message is clear: what is it you really want the viewer to know?
Building stories and creating an authentic relationship with consumers; using automation to deliver context across different platforms, but retaining human foundations through creativity and personalisation. For now, 2018 looks to be steadily building on the trends of previous years, but digital marketers in healthcare have some work to do. With the digital industry growing and developing quicker than any other sector, it will be interesting to see how these trends play out across the year and the impact they have on the healthcare industry.
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