America is facing a public health crisis unlike anything in living memory. The coronavirus epidemic is unprecedented. And during this critical time, many Americans are being exposed to misleading or downright false information on a daily basis.
Mindful, accurate, yet effective medical practice marketing has never been more important.
That remains true even if your practice is limited in the number of patients you can see – or has little role in combating coronavirus directly.
Medical brands led by trained professionals can add their voices to the growing chorus of responsible health advice online. But there are also more pitfalls to avoid.
Let’s look at some ways medical practices can rise to the moment:
1. Post About Any Changes And Limitations In Service
In coming months, patients will look back on the speed and clarity of your communication today to measure your reliability. It’s a good idea to post on your blog about any changes or limitations patients may experience if they need to see you. Consider sharing other community resources they can access for help.
2. Clarify What You’re Doing To Keep Your Patients Safe
Social distancing measures are impacting each state differently. Although medical practices can remain open, many dentists and other providers have temporarily closed their doors. If you are still seeing patients, post an overview of all special measures you are taking to reduce disease spread.
3. Promote Useful Coronavirus Content From Vetted Sources
Not every physician has to be an expert on coronavirus. Develop a list of trusted references your patients can use for basic information and ongoing updates. The Centers for Disease Control provide detailed information on coronavirus that can be useful.
4. Have Resources On Hand To Answer Common Patient Questions
Odds are good you’re still getting patient questions through email and social media, even if you have reduced hours. Make sure anyone who interacts with the public has a complete guide to answering all common questions that might come and where to direct unexpected queries.
5. Vet All Medical Content Through A Subject Matter Expert
It’s always a good idea, but especially now: All blog posts and other content touching on health subjects should be edited by an expert. It only takes a few words out of place for misinformation to spread. High editorial standards make a difference for medical practices.
6. Stay In Touch Through Email Marketing
Email marketing should continue as normal during social distancing. Eliminate any planned messages about events and meet-ups. Consider timely, topical information about infection control and staying well in isolation instead of “evergreen” posts about general health.
7. Keep Using Social Media (Responsibly)
Stay on social media, but know what your limits will be. For example: If a user messages you about a medical emergency or asks for symptom advice, how should your team react? Update your social media bios with links to other community resources patients may need.
8. Expand Your Video Marketing Presence (If Possible)
Staying indoors is very hard on some people. Now is the time to foster the human connection.
Members of your practice should consider recording video messages to their patients. This not only boosts your brand’s marketing, but helps worried people feel less alone.
9. Continue Posting On Your Blog (But Make Some Adjustments)
It takes weeks or even months for the average blog post to get traction. You don’t want to halt that process, but make sure your posts are still relevant. Look for any advice you might need to adjust in light of coronavirus. Relate your message to current events for a more timely feel.
10. Hold Online Events To Maintain Patient Attention And Interest
Patients who would never show up to a medical campus for a seminar now have time and attention to spare. Shifting your events to an online teleconference format can generate more engagement from your patients and expand your library of video content.
11. Reach Out To Other Community Organizations Online
Influencer marketing means collaborating with other local organizations that can enhance your marketing results by sharing your content with their audience. Today, partnerships like this don’t just raise traffic to your website, they can also help people stay safe.
12. Don’t Let Marketing Come Before Health And Safety
Marketing matters. But health comes first – for your patients and for yourself. Even the biggest, most ambitious marketing projects can wait if the team members you need are ill or need to self-isolate. The example you offer to others is part of your brand identity, too.
Coronavirus Is Challenging Assumptions For Medical Practices Of All Sizes
It’s true that coronavirus won’t last forever – but it’s already changed everything.
Businesses that never intended to allow telework now have thousands of employees working from home around the world. Colleges, universities, and even neighborhood schools are shifting classes online at record speed.
The pace of change is dramatically faster than anyone expected.
While medical brands grapple with huge changes and operational challenges, most marketing best practices remain the same. But there will be key differences to keep in mind going forward:
We can help. To find out more or get started, contact New York Ave.