Times are quickly changing. I mean remember back just one month when we were going about our regular lives? Just half a month ago, on March 16, Trump urged Americans to avoid gatherings with more than 10 people. Life looks very different now and, as a result, so does marketing.
As a medical professional, your focus is probably on bracing your staff and practice for an influx of patients due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a marketing professional, you need to think about the implications Coronavirus has on your medical practice client’s communication. It is more important than ever to establish healthcare professionals as leaders in their community through healthcare digital marketing by offering resources that are meant to inform the public – including social media, messaging on your website, online advertising, and SEO.
Every hospital and medical practice is unique and has a different role during this time. Your marketing team should be communicating openly and proactively to medical practice communities throughout this time. Let’s discuss healthcare digital marketing strategies.
We know that the impact of COVID-19 will likely get worse before it gets better. But this too shall pass.
With that said, things will never be the same for healthcare professionals. Now is the time to provide much-needed leadership by educating the public and helping them make the best decisions for their and their community’s health.
People will remember you by the actions you take and the service you provide the public during times where people are unsure what the future will look like.
This is a chance for medical professionals to strengthen their brand and help the community you serve. Demonstrate how your mission aligns efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Do what is in the public’s best interest now to strengthen your brand in the future.
Position yourself for the future by incorporating telemedicine into your business if you haven’t already. There are numerous options that range from fully integrated to nothing beyond a video call. The solution protects you and your patients.
Additionally, as providers and patients alike become accustomed to being treated this way, it will become the norm rather than the exception.
Medical practices should post a COVID-19 notice on their website, advising the public about how they are responding to the situation. If you are offering telemedicine, announce that. If you are looking into telemedicine reach out to Array Digital to learn more about these services and how they can benefit your medical practice.
If you remain open, practices that run well-optimized paid search campaigns should continue these efforts. Current demand may be lower for in-person visits, however, Google search only reaches users that have a need and you only pay for clicks from users looking for your services. If you are offering telemedicine services add that to your ad copy.
Since SEO is a long term strategy that takes months to years to fully develop, do not pause this. It may be good practice to reallocate budgets reserved for traditional brand advertising to invest more heavily in SEO at this time.
Providing the public with relevant content that helps everyone keep safe and healthy will also improve your search rankings and SEO. Topics related to COVID-19 are surging fiercely in Google search as the public consumes information at a rapid pace.
The impact of COVID-19 has many more people at home with spare time. Social media usage has been growing rapidly as a result. This is yet another place that users are searching for information about COVID-19. You should create educational and informative content that will both satisfy readers’ needs and immerse these users in your brand and establish you as experts. It is more essential now than ever to establish a presence on social media as a healthcare professional with the all of the false information that is being spread on these platforms. You can offer users the real facts and figures that people not in your industry don’t have accurate access to.
Hopefully, you already have a reputation management and review solicitation system in place. It is critically important now to improve your online reputation going forward.
Unfortunately, Google is not displaying new reviews or allowing businesses reply to reviews that were posted before these changes were made. However, this should not discourage you from still having the patients you treat leave a Google review because when businesses are allowed to return to regular operation, these restrictions should be lifted.
Continuing to utilize this will depend on your revised goals and dictate what you should continue with. If you are searching for immediate ROI you may not find that direct response advertising is as effective currently. Your marketing dollars are likely better spent building your brand, instilling trust in potential clientele, and informing the public using digital advertising mediums like YouTube and other streaming services that are seeing a significant spike in popularity. Marketing shifts to direct response advertising might be viewed as an investment down the road.
Be sure your message is relevant to what’s going on now. Work on building trust, understanding, and empathy about the situation and how it is impacting individuals, your community, and society as a whole.
Take the time to contact your marketing agency. Regardless of the types of marketing that you do, tactics and strategies need to be evaluated and redefined. Be sure that your agency is optimizing all efforts based on the changes in the current landscape.
With the far-reaching effects of COVID-19, you and your medical practice are likely gearing up to play a part in the unprecedented healthcare crisis. You don’t have the time, energy, or bandwidth to consider where your marketing efforts would be most beneficial.
That’s where Array Digital comes in. Our expertise in healthcare digital marketing has given us the proven ability to create and execute an effective digital marketing strategy that increases patient growth.
Check out what we’ve done for other healthcare practices and how we can help yours to grow.
Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital—a marketing agency that enables its clients to achieve their dreams, fulfill their missions, and impact more lives with their services.