How to Overcome a Pandemic and Create a Successful Healthcare Brand
When the year 2020 began, few — if any — of us could imagine what was coming. But by late 2019, a new infectious disease had already begun to spread in the city of Wuhan, in Central China. The new virus received the name of SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes is now known as COVID-19.
To “flatten the curve” — that is, to ensure that the rate of new infections slows down to allow healthcare providers to cope with the influx of patients — millions of people have had to stay home, entire countries have gone on lockdown, and many businesses have had to close, either temporarily or permanently.
The healthcare industry has also been deeply affected by the pandemic. Elective procedures have been postponed, consults are carried out via phone or video call, and even patients with severe pathologies are choosing to avoid going to the emergency rooms for fear of catching the disease.
Of course, all these measures are necessary for us to contain the pandemic. But once the lockdowns begin to ease, and the pandemic slows down to a stop, many different businesses will need to adopt new strategies to remain competitive. Healthcare businesses are no exception — in order to attract new patients, retain old ones, and maintain a profitable business, the healthcare industry could benefit immensely from modern marketing strategies.
Here are different ways in which digital marketing could help your healthcare business to thrive after COVID-19.
Establish a solid digital brand
Until recently, many healthcare businesses relied mainly on traditional marketing and their word-of-mouth reputation to attract new patients. But as people look to online shopping, social media, and websites to acquire services and products while staying home, it’s highly likely that digital marketing will become even more helpful during and after the pandemic.
Creating a solid, cohesive digital brand will make it easier for your patients and followers to quickly identify content that comes from your business. This can help you attract new patients and keep your business going once the pandemic passes.
Ensure that your business has an easy-to-navigate website
Having a website that’s easy to understand and navigate is one of the first steps that any business has to take to create a successful digital presence. How many times have you tried to find your way around a complicated, old-fashioned, and unattractive website, only to become frustrated and close the tab?
When a potential patient is seeking information about a physician, procedure, or facility online, it’s important to make sure that said information is available in a format that is simple, easy-to-read, eye-catching, and clear.
A website with a clean design that features separate sections with relevant information, contact forms, and an attractive homepage can help you catch the attention of anyone who is searching for information related to your business.
Focus on creating attractive digital marketing
When you visit a website, it’s not just the wording that catches your eyes. Even subconsciously, you’re aware of whether a design is attractive or not.
To make your digital marketing materials more appealing to prospective customers, try creating content that features:
● A simple design that’s not overloaded with elements or pictures
● Text written using fonts and colors that are easy-to-read
● A cohesive color palette throughout all your platforms and posts
● Images or photos with high-quality that look crisp rather than pixelated
● Everyday language that the general audience can understand, rather than medical terminology
Keep an updated page with your working hours and provider availability.
In these uncertain days, patients may not know how to confirm whether their doctor is going to be available for a consultation or if they need to take certain safety measures to attend your facilities.
Simply adding a section to your website where you feature an updated schedule can help solve this issue. Keep the information up-to-date and inform patients of any unexpected changes to allow them to reschedule appointments if necessary.
Build a following that trusts you
If you want to convert likes and views into actual consults and attract new patients, it’s important that your followers trust you. To achieve this, you’ll need to communicate with your audience, reach new people, and take feedback into account.
Identify your target audience and advertise accordingly
Investing in digital ads will share your content with thousands, or even millions of people online. There are many different search engines and social media platforms that allow users to advertise their services, including:
Once you have identified your audience and which platforms they prefer to use, creating online ads can help drive traffic to your business.
When you create an ad, make sure to clearly delimitate your target, since this will help the platform show the ad to those who are more likely to engage with your page. Most platforms charge a fee for sharing your ads. These fees are usually low and you can adjust them depending on the duration of your ad and how many people you want to reach with it. This small investment can allow your healthcare business to gain thousands of new followers and prospective patients.
Online ads can be a highly valuable resource to help your healthcare business maintain a busy schedule once you’re able to resume normal activities, such as elective procedures.
Keep comments open and engage with your followers across all platforms
The comment section of your posts and ads can be used to interact with your audience easily, allowing you to answer inquiries and solve any doubts that people may have.
Keeping your comments open will let your patients know that you’re willing to take the time to interact with them, and that it’s easy to communicate with your healthcare business. Make sure that you reply to all comments — even negative or critical ones — with a professional and friendly tone.
Create surveys that allow you to receive feedback
If you want to make sure your business is continuously improving, you’ll need to listen to what your patients have to say. Constructive feedback is a vital tool to ensure that you’re aware of any weak areas that you could improve upon. Additionally, listening to feedback can make patients feel valued and taken into account.
Creating online surveys is a quick and easy process. You can share these surveys through email with your patients and subscribers, or simply post them on your platforms to generate more engagement and receive valuable feedback.
Maintain different lines of communication open and available
Patients are more likely to choose your healthcare business if they know that they’ll be able to contact you easily. In addition to the more traditional phone numbers — which have fallen out of favor over the years —, make sure that your email address is easily visible on your website.
Other effective forms of communication include online chats, contact forms, and even text messages. Keep a “Contact” section visible on your website and include your contact information on all your social media platforms. You also need to verify that each of these lines of communication are checked multiple times each day, and that all inquiries are handled promptly.
Provide online high-value content that dispels fake medical news
Your patients can also benefit from learning what your business is doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Discussing strategies on how to stay safe during the pandemic can increase your followers’ trust in your business.
Verify all information before posting
This may sound obvious, but everyday, millions of posts containing false information are uploaded. To make sure that your audience can trust you, you’ll need to verify any information you provide before posting.
And when you’re uploading content, whether it’s a blog entry, a social media post, or an ad, make sure to include reputable scientific sources in your content whenever possible. This will validate the accuracy of your information and provide your audience with other sources where they can learn more about the topic.
Hold online events hosted by medical experts
Identify the topics that your business handles regularly which can be attractive to a wide audience — whether that’s mental health, nutrition, chronic illnesses, etcetera — and plan free video conferences around them.
You can even create digital ads on your social media platforms to advertise these events a few weeks before to reach a larger audience. A short conference that provides useful, understandable information to your followers can be incredibly helpful both to your audience and to your business.