COVID-19 healthcare marketing has presented significant challenges to decision-makers. Budgets are being cut. Priorities have to be shifted. Offices around the world have had a few months to start making changes and that means studies can now be done that give us some sense of where healthcare marketing is going for the rest of 2020.
An extensive survey of healthcare marketing professionals was conducted by the Binary Foundation and you can access their report (free sign-up required). Some of the most interesting takeaways from the survey are the following.
SEO advantages being lost
The report showed less time being given to search engine optimization (SEO) work. It’s easy to grasp why. Offices that use outside help to manage their SEO campaigns may have had to cut the budget for contractors. If there were layoffs, whoever was running SEO in-house may have been furloughed or redeployed to other work.
But in understanding the reason, we also have to ask how many offices are aware of the long-term costs of these changed priorities. SEO is not work that you can just start and stop. Algorithms like stability and their rewards (or penalties) often take several months to show up in search results.
To state the obvious, organic search traffic is free and it brings people who have expressed a specific interest in your services. If you’re enjoying a high ranking and good traffic volume, are you ready to give that away? It might take a few months to show up in your traffic reports, but you can be assured that it will show up—and reclaiming the position will not be easy.
We know that in times of decreased budgets and personnel, something has to give; perhaps your office had no other choice. Make sure the consequences are at least understood before making your cuts in SEO.
Increased resources to social media and telehealth
It’s very logical that these areas would see increased attention (at least an increase in the percentage of the pie, if not overall volume). More people are on social media as they stay at home. Telehealth has been a necessity for medical offices. Both are areas that any office would have benefited from using prior to COVID-19—the pandemic merely vaulted them to the top of the priority list.
Reductions in content marketing
This refers both to content for the website as well as with direct email marketing to your customer list. If your office has had to make hard choices here in order to keep up with increased social media activity, here’s a question—are you making videos? Trust is a big factor in any circumstances for this industry and perhaps never more so than during a pandemic.
Videos are great for your social media channels and they can also do double-duty—put them on your website and transcribe the content. You’ll get an SEO lift, a content lift and a social media lift in one fell swoop. It’s the kind of repurposing that you need at a time when every marketing resource is strained to the max.