These times are challenging and uncertain for all industries, and even those in the healthcare space may begin to feel struggles. However, with quarantines becoming standard, people are turning to the internet for advice, entertainment, and communication. That means that your online presence is more important now than ever. Here are a few reasons why, and what you should do moving forward.
Focus on Communication (Local is Best!)
Regardless of mandatory closings, people are fearful about visiting many locations in person, so they’re turning to other avenues for communication. Although people can still call you, your office will begin to find that overwhelming if not controlled properly. That’s why your online presence can be a huge piece of your communication strategy moving forward.
Take time to keep announcements (closings, openings, telehealth, etc.) updated on your website through a number of avenues, and get creative with the messaging. Although this is a tough time, people want to see that you’re trying to help the community because, after all, healthcare is essential. Blogs, homepages, banners, popups, and alert widgets are some of the most common right now, but there’s always more! Also, if your hours have changed, or perhaps a location is shutting its doors temporarily, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got all of your listings updated as well. This can include Google, Bing, Yelp, Healthgrades, and more. If one site gets missed, you may see that phone call volume continue to increase, or maybe even lose a potential patient due to lack of correct information.
Build Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a wildly important tool for communication right now, and should absolutely be used for updates about your practice and COVID-19 in general. Additionally, social media can also be a nice light during this time of dreary updates.
Take some time to develop strong campaigns on social media. Sure, a lot of them can be informational and include things like hand washing and at home tips, but you can also treat this as a time to brand yourself as a resource. Take time to develop a Facebook live with your tip of the day about your specialty (i.e, “don’t forget to drink water” for urologists or “do your pregnancy exercises throughout the day” for OB) that people can tune into. Not only are you a source of information, but now you’ve become a source of entertainment. As you do more of these, more people join in, and then you develop a strong following that will benefit you even after COVID-19 has settled. And if videos aren’t your thing, there are many other ways to do this via infographics, creative imagery, and simple posts! Just contact us and we’ll put together a plan.
Create Marketing Collateral
Just because the outside world has slowed down a bit doesn’t mean that your creative juices need to stop flowing. Use this time to have your staff come up with things that would be helpful from a marketing standpoint and get to generating ideas. You’ll probably find that there are tons of things that were sitting on the back burner that can be super helpful to your practice, and now’s a perfect time to fulfill those needs.
Find out what patients were often asking about or looking for, and turn those into solid opportunities to create more collateral. If you have a marketer working with you, send the list over and have them get to work. If not, there are tons of creative things you can do internally like simple videos, graphics, or updates to forms or communication lines. Use this time wisely and you’ll thank yourself soon!
Put Emphasis on the Long Term
This is not only something to do from a marketing perspective, but also something you should be thinking about regardless. Yes, this is right now, but what happens later?
Now is the time to think about where you’d like to be in 6 months and put emphasis on those goals. If you have a new procedure you’re rolling out or a new doctor you’re bringing on this summer, start marketing now! Google has made strides in saying that healthcare is of a core focus right now, which means that your marketing matters. Use this to your advantage and begin developing strong pages to boost your SEO, thinking about resource centers for new lines, and cleaning up your overall site structure. Your future self will then have more time to focus on ramping back up rather than starting from square one.
Watch Competition and Secure Your Spot
Despite the chaos occurring, you STILL have competition out there. As it is always, watching these competitors is one of the most important things you can do right now. Not only will you get great ideas to make your own, but you’ll know where they stand from a rankings perspective and understand how to secure your real estate.
Just like you, your competitors are probably feeling the heat of this crisis, and thus they’ve dropped the ball on optimizing their site for a specific procedure. Instead of sitting back, you decide to place an emphasis on it, perhaps through content, graphics, and ads. Although you may not be seeing a high volume of patients, a few months go by and people start trickling in to book appointments. Because you took the time to market yourself, YOU are receiving that volume, not your competitor. At the end of the day, think of SEO as a great proactive insurance policy. You’re still getting the benefits and protecting yourself, but you’re also playing a long term game to drive revenue. Now if only all insurance did that!
Practis Is Here to Help
We know this is a challenging time, but we also want you to know that you have our dedication to keeping your practice successful in any way we can. Please contact us for more information about any of the above items, or to discuss further ideas and we’ll be here to chat!