Media Mix 2020, Part 3: The Latest in Digital Advertising

Should television ads, direct mail, and digital display ads be in your healthcare marketing budget? Marketing Your Hospital explored where hospital marketers should spend their marketing dollars in 2020. We’re sharing what we found in this three-part series. In this third installment, we take a closer look at the latest trends in digital advertising. And be sure to check out Part 1: Is TV advertising dead? and Part 2: Should You Invest in Direct Mail?

“Digital advertising” used to be a single line item in your healthcare marketing budget. Today, between banner ads, PPC, sponsored social posts and more, digital advertising requires a strategic plan—and budget—of its own. But how do you know where to allocate your Internet advertising dollars? Here’s our advice for 2020.

Stop spending so much on banner ads.

The original and once predominant form of online advertising, banner ads are becoming less and less effective. In fact, consumers are starting to view them as white noise. More than half (53%) of users say they’re more likely to look at other types of ads, such as native ads, over banner ads.

“Banner ads aren’t something that we really see much of anymore, and when we do, they’re more for basic branding,” says Sinan Kanatsiz, chairman and founder of the Internet Marketing Association.

Optimize all ads for mobile.

When advertising for brand awareness, both desktop and mobile ads perform about equally. But if your goal is consumer action, focus your energy on mobile advertising, which outperforms desktop advertising. While more than two-thirds of consumers say they don’t like mobile ads, about 60% of them reportedly click mobile ads at least once a week.

always optimize digital ads for mobile user experience

Email is where it’s at.

Email campaigns remain successful, even among younger audiences. Nearly three-quarters of millennials report preferring to hear from brands via email, and 59% of respondents of all ages report being influenced by email marketing. Almost all consumers check their personal email every day, with about half checking more than 10 times a day.

Social is still a star.

If you’re trying to attract new patients, don’t skip your social buys.

“If you’re going for lead-generation, I strongly recommend social advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram,” Kanatsiz says. “The beauty of LinkedIn and Facebook, which are my two favorite platforms to buy ads on, is you can really narrow down who you’re trying to talk to with that specific ad.”

… But don’t expect much traction from your posts.

Unless you’re willing to invest, not many people will see your content on social.

“It’s maddening to know that you have 15,000 people following your brand on Facebook, but no one can see your content unless you’re paying Facebook a lot, a lot of money,” Kanatsiz says.

Instead, he recommends relying on influencers to tell your brand story and then displaying that user-generated content on your website.

 “Where a lot of companies put a lot of attention into social media, companies are now putting it back into their website and using those customer testimonials in carousels on their websites as a way to really proliferate their brand via internet marketing,” Kanatsiz says. “That’s really the nexus of where I see the future going—back to user-generated content and the actual brand website itself. You’re going to see that more and more from some of the biggest brands like Wynn Hotel and Jet Suite. Bebe, the clothing company, is doing it now.” Automate as much as you can. Even though the economy has recovered, marketing departments are still being asked to do more and more without additional resources. That’s probably why marketers are increasingly relying on automation. While only about 15% of enterprises were using artificial intelligence in 2018, nearly a third expected to add it in the coming year.