Simply put, the healthcare industry has a heavy year ahead of them; the COVID-19 virus has (for lack of a better term) really shaken up the industry, as well as the entire marketing and economic landscape as we know it.
Here are some digital marketing trends and strategies in healthcare that are worth knowing about.
3 Ways Healthcare Marketing Has Changed
Coronavirus is forcing a massive pivot in the healthcare marketing industry; like it or not, adaptation in strategy will be most important, just like it has been in the past during disruptive times.
Marketing everywhere will slowly start to adapt to the era we are living in… an era of surgical masks, quarantine, no school, no office work, high unemployment, etc. This is what marketers have had to do forever – it is a game of tapping into consumer’s lives, fears, and desires, and how can you do that if you ignore the single most prevalent topic in all of our lives?
No industry will see this shift in marketing strategy as much as healthcare, especially in the United States; whether the vaccine will arrive in 2020 or not, only time will tell, but it doesn’t change the fact that life as we know it will not revert ‘back to normal’ for time to come.
Here are three ways healthcare marketing is changing and how you can use them to your advantage:
1. Communication Is Key
This is a big one – you cannot advertise without in some way, however subtly or not, acknowledging the virus and its effect on us or how you or your business are fighting the virus.
Including the ‘elephant in the room’ in your brand’s messaging and advertising is statistically proven to be important; a recent article claims that over half of adults online prefer to buy from companies that share exactly how they are doing their part to combat COVID-19.
Even more, the same article cites that only about a quarter of US adults believe that businesses are prioritizing health over money. People are skeptical, and rightfully so; companies must show they care in all marketing and messages.
If you are marketing a healthcare office or service that involves in-person meetings, you must be doing all you can to make these standard procedures (such as coming in for an appointment) as safe as possible.
Remember, you never know who specifically is vulnerable to the virus – communication is key.
So, as it relates to marketing, you must make your new operating procedures known to the public! This includes updating your website, your emails, and all other types of marketing; they must include how you and your business is responding to the virus and how it directly relates to them when interacting with you.
This goes further than the first point of ‘addressing the elephant’; this doesn’t mean acknowledging that there is a virus, it means being as clear as possible to the people you serve in all your messaging, so that they know they are safe with you.
2. Content Marketing Never Fails
Although in-person traffic was almost non-existent in certain areas (New York billboard’s struggled to sell space during the pandemic) there was no shortage of Google traffic.
In fact, internet use actually increased due to the virus; so, companies who had already been allotting big portions of their marketing budgets for SEO and content were prepared for what was to come… were you?
If you are in healthcare marketing, online content is only becoming more important – focus on learning up-to-date SEO practices and quality (read: factual) content production/management, so you can compete in the already fiercely-competitive Google Search game.
3. Digital Appointments
Did you know that doctor’s can have their own profile on WebMD?
It’s real, and it’s the future; many practices were prepared for the shift to online appointments by making this an accessible option for patients before the pandemic took place, and many more made the necessary changes after the virus took off.
If you are a business that involves face-to-face communication, this is a major trend in the industry; coronavirus has forced people everywhere to go digital, and while some industries (such as hairdressers) are not technically ‘essential’, medical health certainly is.
This is a trend that is surely here to stay, at least for the time being; so, making the switch to online in as many areas of your business as you can presents a massive opportunity in healthcare marketing.
Can you imagine how your business will stand out if it’s the only one in your area that has all-digital options for service?
How-to Start Digital Marketing In The Health Industry
Creating a digital marketing campaign has never been easier, and it’s not expensive… yet. Although online ad costs are generally rising, it is far cheaper than traditional advertising and the ability to track campaigns and laser-target your marketing allows for minimal overhead cost.
A great place to start is:
- Building a website
- Exploring SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Publishing informative & helpful content
- Testing Facebook & Google Ads for traffic
Whether you are a business-owner in the healthcare industry or simply a marketer in the medical space, there is a low barrier of entry into digital marketing – conduct proper research and create a marketing plan for your products, practice, or services.