The coronavirus has turned the entire world upside down and perhaps no profession has felt that more keenly than medical. Facilities have had to completely refocus for an onslaught of COVID-19 cases. In places like New York and New Jersey, that’s come to fruition. In other cases, it hasn’t and medical offices are waiting for the next shoe to drop.
It can seem like public relations strategies would be the last thing anyone wants to think about. But now is the time for good digital healthcare marketing, done with prudence and a sense of community responsibility.
Seize the moment – use social media
The 2 extremes to avoid in marketing are running for the hills and base exploitation. The latter extreme plays off people’s fears. The former is so scrupulous about not doing so that they miss chances to share their expertise and help the public.
What’s important to remember is that as a medical professional, you have expertise. The laser-like focus on COVID-19 has produced a lot of self-proclaimed experts, from the pundit on television to the person who updates their Facebook page 25 times a day with commentary. You’re different from both.
You actually have expertise. Even if you’re not an epidemiologist, you still know more than almost everyone else. Use your social media platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to anywhere else. You’ve built them up precisely for this moment. Share your knowledge with a “bedside manner” that can help calm a scared populace.
The social media arena is where you can have the biggest and most immediate impact, but there are 3 other areas of digital marketing that should not be neglected.
The big advantage of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is defined by its name—you’re only paying for people who click—i.e., who are interested in your services. Keep those campaigns running. Even if impressions and clicks are down, your cost will be too.
Then take the time to review your campaigns with an eye toward a return to something resembling normalcy. Are there keywords you can add or that need to be removed? Any adjustments to make on your geo-targeting? Is your landing page a good enough match for the ad? These are things that are a good idea at any point and now your marketing staff may have extra time on their hands.
It takes at least 6 months for organic search initiatives to bear positive fruit. Take a look at your content and see if there are other popular keywords that you can build blog posts or landing pages around. Review your technical SEO and be sure you’re meeting all of Google’s best practices. You won’t see immediate results, but the seed you plant now can be a full blown-tree much sooner.
Use your email list similar to your social media accounts. Share your expertise. Calm people’s fears by helping them focus on day-to-day solutions.
People remember how others responded in a crisis situation. Your office can be remembered in 1 of 3 ways—the ones that helped out, the ones that exploited or the ones that ran for the hills. There’s really only one good choice. Choose that one. Then do some long-term planning with your content.