The current pandemic has changed the way many businesses are running in a variety of ways. In all industries, a digital transformation has taken hold out of necessity, and the medical industry is no exception. With social distancing policies, travel restrictions, and quarantine mandates restricting day to day operations, the health industry will need to adjust their digital marketing efforts as the effects of pandemic continue to evolve.
Take Advantage of New Software
Many patients from all demographics may be struggling to figure out how they can get the help they need depending on how they have been affected by pandemic imposed restrictions. One essential step in your ability to expand your care and maintain engagement is the virtual services you offer and the precautions you are taking. If you don’t already, utilizing practice management software is a great way to boost efficiency and performance and optimize workflow. Useful for hospital programs and independent clinics alike, practice management software, secure video conferencing, and text message capabilities that drive telehealth services.
Establishing a good workflow will allow you to seamlessly transition to telemedicine and engage patients afraid of exposure that may have otherwise been lost. You can interact with your patients in real-time over a HIPAA-compliant video calling service.
Your Digital Marketing Checklist:
- Self Audit – Whenever the pandemic ends, your goal is to be seen as a trusted advisor and provider in your respective field. First and foremost, take stock of your digital marketing essentials with a brief self-audit. Examine your website layout: check for relevancy and any broken links. Pause office print marketing and aggressive calls-to-action and reduce the use of imagery, including physical interactions. Continue any successful initiatives like workshops, social media engagement, and blog content to keep patients involved past the pandemic.
- Focus On Easy Access – Now more than ever, when patients are more stressed and uncertain, you want to make sure they don’t need to sift through your site to find telehealth options. Make sure to promote your services clearly on both your website and mobile app. Keep your staff and providers all in the loop with new services and changes within the practice so they can be sure to give out accurate information.
- Incorporate Honest Ratings and Reviews – Ratings and reviews have always been an essential aspect of any service. Online is one of the first places customers will be searching for information to help them make a decision. Especially when offering new services during a pandemic, people will want to read real, informative reviews from other patients who experienced your care in this new setting.
- Boost Your Content Marketing – The outbreak has caused mass chaos and uncertainty. From symptoms to statistics, Coronavirus is a massive topic in search interest. Incorporating Content marketing is one of the best ways to proactively answer patient questions and provide industry-specific insight to specific trending topics.
Reach Out and Communicate
Frequent and proactive outreach with your clients can make a significant difference with patients. Consider creating specific messaging for COVID-19 and offering patients the ability to opt-in to updates and information from your practice. When social media and word of mouth can easily misrepresent and misinform, providing your patients with easily accessible resources on your practice’s digital patient engagement platform is important. Even bi-weekly emails that include updates and useful information about the virus can offer a lot of transparency and instill trust in both employees and current patients. After a patient’s visit, be sure to check back with them on their progress. It’s unrealistic for most medical practices to have the time to send personal messages, but a digital patient engagement tool like PatientBond can bridge that gap for you. By using psychographic preferences, it can personalize texts and emails, so no one feels forgotten.
Learning how to navigate digital marketing during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful. Healthcare centers and the healthcare system as a whole are in the very center of these new and extreme circumstances. Depending on the specific field of medicine and other details particular to your practice, some of these digital efforts may apply better than others. One of the most important tips as COVID-19 continues to change the landscape of medicine is adjusting quickly and acting proactively. As a healthcare provider, patient care is paramount, and with the right digital marketing efforts, telehealth will allow you to continue putting patients first, regardless of their location.