As a healthcare provider, one of your ultimate goals is to provide your patients with the most up-to-date information in any medical situation. As the news and updates of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to spread and grow, we understand that your patients and potential patients will begin asking questions, so the best course of action is to be as proactive as possible. Here are a few helpful tips when using your online properties to communicate these announcements!
Create a Clear Message
First and foremost, it’s important to be sure that you have a solid message to extend out to those seeking information. This message should include your office policies regarding COVID-19, ways to contact your office, and additional resources for these individuals to read through and digest. Because this situation is global, you’re essentially acting as a personal source of information for those in your area. In your messaging, we recommend you stay positive, keep a warm and inviting tone, and make sure that each person reading the message understands that your practice is taking all steps to keep them safe and healthy.
Use Your Website
We cannot stress this point enough. People WILL be looking to your website for information, and it’s up to you to make sure that they are informed when navigating there. There are a number of different options here, but some of the most impactful include:
- Creating an onsite popup with relevant information. If your site has this capability, this is an easy way to make sure that users will see your message. Although popups have the stigma of being intrusive, this is a situation in which they are being used properly and non-aggressively. In fact, there are settings that will allow you to dictate when and where the popup is seen, making it much more relevant and impactful to the user.
- Writing a blog article with a statement from your practice. Blogs and news articles are great resources for blasting out announcements from your practice. Not only do they index quickly, but they’re (usually) front and center on your website. A blog will also allow you to write something a bit more formal and personalized from your practice.
- Add an alert bar to your site. Like popups, an alert bar is a great way to get the word out quickly and prominently on your site. Of course, this is all dependent on the type of site you have and what its capabilities are, but it’s always something to ask your digital marketing team about. These alert bars can also be useful in abnormal weather situations or abrupt closings in addition to other unique situations that may affect your office.
- Create a new page about the virus and link to it in various places on your site. Creating a page about COVID-19 is not a bad idea because there’s really no known end to it at this moment in time. So, by creating a page you are ensuring that people will be able to find information on your site right now as well as into the foreseeable future. You can then take it a step further and add strong calls to action and links all throughout your website for people to quickly find the information you have on COVID-19, thus helping the user experience stay as strong as possible.
Focus on Social Media
Social media is equivalent to word of mouth communications in the digital space. Since the news began to circulate, you may have seen a vast majority of people sharing things on Facebook, adding memes to Instagram, or creating their own infographics. Because your followers will quickly see this information, it’s a great time for you to be proactive and make sure that you’re getting the correct details out there as needed. You can even use links on your website as a secondary source articles on your social media pages. As you post your information, your follower may share it to their friend, who shares it to their friend, and so on. In no time, not only have your followers been given proper information, but individuals all across your local area have gotten it as well!
Don’t Forget About Listings
While your website and social media are usually the first line of defense for things like this, your listings should never be forgotten! Remember, zero click mentality does exist, and people want answers really quickly without having to navigate through multiple sources. Listing platforms like Google My Business allow you to create posts and questions that can help you in times like this. Although others may not allow for these updates, it never hurts to check. Find out if you have the ability to add any creative to your existing listings, or any concise announcements. After all, if even one patient uses a listing out there, you still want that person to be informed!
Contact the Pros
Let’s face it…you’re going to be busy while this circulates. Because of that, there’s a solid understanding that things may be forgotten or missed. Use your resources and ask for help with these announcements! At Practis, we are devoted to coming up with fresh ideas that can help you out. Let us save you time by getting these ideas in place and keeping your patients informed. Contact us today for more information about our programs, or submit a support ticket if you’d like to add any of the above things to your site!