As COVID-19 spreads, healthcare marketing departments need to use local expertise and digital resources to inform communities, update listings and manage the ongoing crisis. How should your healthcare marketing strategy change in response to new business priorities and shifts in consumer behavior?
We brought together Stewart Gandolf, CEO of integrated marketing firm Healthcare Success, and Binary Fountain’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Aaron Clifford, to lay out the options.
In our latest webinar, they discuss specific ways healthcare organizations can alter their digital marketing efforts and engage customers online throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are some of the topics they covered:
- Understanding shifts in patient/consumer behavior due to COVID-19
- How to adjust brand communications in light of the health crisis
- Changing digital marketing and listings management strategies to respond to the spread of coronavirus
- Key COVID-19-related updates to make for local listings and social media profiles
Here are some key takeaways:
Consumer Behavior Shifts Due to Coronavirus
Global consumer behavior is changing in response to COVID-19, with up to 70% of people delaying major purchases until the outbreak ends. Meanwhile, 67% are watching more news coverage, 48% are watching more broadcast and streaming TV, and 45% are spending more time on social media.
With that in mind, healthcare marketers should not freeze marketing during this crisis. You should, however, be mindful of tone-deaf messaging across all platforms, and consider moving advertising dollars to streaming services and other digital media.
Adjusting Brand Messaging to Fit the Times
With COVID-19 on everyone’s mind, it’s important to acknowledge the current situation wherever possible. Beyond that, be careful with text and images that could be perceived as insensitive or out of touch, like large crowds or handshakes.
With that said, 86% of consumers trust local healthcare experts for coronavirus-related information, so healthcare organizations should use that trust to spread the right message about prevention, explain treatment options, define your own safety precautions and answer frequently asked questions.
Consider building your brand for the long term by educating the public and cementing your position as a trusted information source for your community. If appropriate, you can also consider highlighting your staff and frontline providers who are working tirelessly to combat the pandemic.
Plan Your Content Accordingly
Don’t underestimate the power of social media and its influencers – even Kylie Jenner has made a significant impact on convincing the public to take precautions.
Twitter is by far and wide the most popular platform in terms of coronavirus-related brand mentions, followed by Facebook and Instagram. Make sure you publish timely, accurate content across your profiles on the top platforms, and use a consistent message across all communications. Now might be a good time for your marketing department to experiment with new content and ad types, like webinars, short videos, Facebook Live or Messenger Ads.
Stay Up to Date on Listings
Accurate listings for hours, locations and contact information are more important than ever, so updating that data on each directory and social media site is key. In fact, Binary Fountain is seeing reports of 50-60% increases in call volume through Google My Business.
Though Google temporarily suspended Reviews and Q&A, you can now create COVID-19 Google Posts that will display prominently on your Google My Business profile for 14 days. You can also now add COVID-19-specific alerts to the top of your Yelp business profile, and schema.org has created new coronavirus-specific schema types that will help search engines discover your content. Though it’s important to monitor all your listings for reviews, resources are scarce – prioritize responding to just the reviews that will give other searchers valuable information.
For more insights and advice, click here to watch the on-demand webinar.
For more on reputation management during the coronavirus health crisis, you can visit our COVID-19 Resources Page and read these articles:
- How to Add a COVID-19 Google Post to Your Google My Business Listing
- Coronavirus: What Consumers, Patients, and Caregivers are Saying Online and How Healthcare Organizations Can Respond
- Coronavirus and Your Listings Management Program: A 5 Item Checklist
- Checklist for Managing Your Online Reputation During the COVID-19 Crisis
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist