The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people uncertain about the future but even more so, about the state of the healthcare sector. From wearing masks to lockdowns with no end in sight, the world is having to adapt to this “new normal,” and at the same time, health and clinical practices are encouraged to change their digital marketing strategy to address the new and the changing needs of their communities. You may ask the question, why should digital marketing strategies change in light of COVID-19? The answer is because Coronavirus has brought uncertainty, fear, and confusion among communities and the public at large but also among healthcare staff and their leaders. To understand why healthcare marketing is essential during COVID-19, let’s take a closer look at the impact of the pandemic on individual perceptions including the valuable role of the healthcare sector in addressing misconceptions, fears, and community well-being.
Fear – How to Help Individuals Feel Safe and Secure
It is important to continue to market your services; however, the message you deliver to potential patients and clients will have to change. Many are fearful about what they need to do to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and this, is especially true for clinical visits and emergencies. Your role as a healthcare provider is to offer your patients and communities trusted information to protect themselves against infection and transmission. Healthcare marketing that is easy to access and focused on COVID-19 encourages people to rely on your content and your brand for relevancy in a time with so much confusion. Another aspect of fear that should be addressed in your healthcare marketing campaign is what your clinic, facility, or practice is doing to safeguard its clients and its visitors. Your message should focus on the sanitary methods you are implementing to prevent the spread of infection. A strong marketing strategy driving the message of safety and caring about its patients are more likely to capture the attention of visitors and get more traffic through the door. Visitors and patients alike should be informed of new opening and closing hours across your marketing campaign. While essential or emergency clinical services must remain open, elective and cosmetic procedures must remain operational in accordance with COVID regulation. Incorporate digital strategies to interact with patients such as video consultations. Digital services are becoming a fast and convenient way for people who are fearful about entering a healthcare facility, to speak to a professional and receive the advice or the care needed. This instils a sense of trust and should be front and centre across your marketing strategies.
How the Mental and Physical Impact of Lockdown can Facilitate Healthcare Marketing Strategies
There is no doubt that the lockdown owed to COVID-19 has affected individuals both mentally and physically. The physical isolation and an inability to perform hobbies, exercise, or meet with family and friends can lead to depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and severe stress. Healthcare facilities and practices should focus its marketing strategies on reaching out to potential patients and clients with supportive healthcare and wellness practices. This can include alternative therapies aimed at relieving stress or programs encouraging physical health and emotional balance. Let individuals know that your services offer the support they need. It is aimed at appealing to more people and traffic to increase sales.
Focus On Marketing Healthcare Services that are Open During the Pandemic
Many people do not realise that a wide range of healthcare services are still open during the pandemic. While lockdown meant adherence to tight restrictions for people and for businesses, most inpatient and outpatient clinics, treatment centres, and wellness facilities are still open (UK Healthcare). The NHS is an example of an organisation that remains operational and continues to assist individuals with medical care. This includes the option to renew prescription medication online or by phone (The Health Foundation). It is up to healthcare services to target its client base and to market its service availability during COVID restrictions. Marketing efforts should focus on updating digital and print listings with new operating hours and options for clients. Also, owing to the backlog of non-urgent appointments and elective procedures that hospitals have had to put off because of COVID-19, more people are looking for the relevant therapies, treatments, and surgeries to address their wellness needs. By investing in marketing efforts indicating that your practice or treatment centre is available, operational, and incorporates strict sanitary measures, you can appeal to your market.
An important part of a successful healthcare marketing campaign is relevancy. When you are current, people will rely on your business and services to receive information. COVID-19 along with its healthcare practices are constantly changing. By keeping your site up to date, visitors to a website will feel confident that you are providing what they need to protect themselves while trying to plan for some kind of normal.
The Importance of Healthcare Marketing
Healthcare marketing during COVID-19 should focus on making its visitors and potential clients feel safe. Through modern marketing strategies, relevant messages, and personalising efforts that relieve the anxiety and the confusion that so many are experiencing, your services and practice can reach the masses with rewarding results.