The doctor will now see you, preferably from six feet away or more. With online consultations, postponed surgeries and socially-distant doctor offices, COVID-19 has changed the healthcare industry. Now, medical marketers need to be communicating all new changes with patients. Exactly how do organizations market a “new normal” and successfully?
As states relax stay-at-home orders, marketing agencies will begin rolling up the blinds and opening doors again. Medical marketers need to engage with patients to stop the virus’s spread and, potentially, save lives.
Content marketing, in particular, is more important than ever before. Before COVID-19, 83 percent of healthcare organizations engaged in some form of content marketing. Post-COVID, expect this number to be significantly higher. While other types of digital marketing — SEO, paid ads, email, etc. — prove lucrative, nothing engages patients like content marketing.
Here’s how to turbocharge your healthcare content marketing as the pandemic continues:
Advertise telehealth services
What was reserved for rural communities and patients unable to visit practitioners, telehealth services are now viewed differently because of COVID-19. Two-thirds of Americans would now try virtual care, and nearly three-quarters would consider telehealth for viral screening.
The migration of traditional services to digital environments is challenging, especially when experiencing technological limitations. Medical marketers are increasing awareness of telehealth using creative and engaging content. With blog posts or social media updates, marketers showcase virtual care benefits and target patients who never used the technology.
A strategic content marketing strategy helps to inform patients on the following:
- Telemedicine and live streaming video
- Downloading video conferencing software and apps
- Joining a virtual event
- Booking appointments
- Scheduling “walk-ins” through virtual waiting rooms
Recommended reading: Coronavirus Crisis: How to Move Your Business Online
Engage with patients
Content marketing has the power to engage patients like no other medium. Still, not all medical professionals use the strategy to its full potential. Research shows that only 33 percent of healthcare organizations have a documented content strategy. The rest? Others might publish blog posts from time to time or update Facebook once a week. But, the truth is, they lack direction and drive.
Here is where the medical marketer works their magic.
Healthcare organizations that incorporate content marketing into their strategies can achieve the following:
- Increase website conversions.
- Build patient trust.
- Foster doctor-patient relationships.
- Make the healthcare organization more visible.
- Boost social reach.
- Improve patient acquisition.
Recommended reading: Why Content Marketing is Going to Be Hot in a Post-COVID World
Convey important health information
It’s a scary time for patients. Nine out of 10 Americans are scared of catching the coronavirus, according to one study. Content marketers can alleviate the fear surrounding the virus by communicating the right healthcare messages.
These messages include:
- COVID-19 symptoms.
- Social distancing advice.
- Hand-washing tips.
Content marketers are essential communicators during a crisis. The best distribute often-complicated healthcare information to communities.
Here are examples of blog content that healthcare organizations use to keep patients informed during the pandemic:
- 5 COVID-19 Myths — and How You Can Stay Safe
- Why You Should Still Tell Your Doctor If You Feel Unwell
- How to Wash Your Hands Properly
Amid the crisis, patients still need regular healthcare services like check-ups, surgeries, therapies, and the like. Healthcare organizations need to communicate which services are “business as usual” and which are on hold or canceled.
Again, content marketing helps practitioners communicate life-saving information.
With a proper content marketing strategy, healthcare organizations can:
- Keep patients informed.
- Dispel myths and conspiracy theories about the virus.
- Stop the spread of the virus.
Sometimes, it can be hard to describe valuable health information with only words. However, medical marketers use a wide range of contact methods, depending on the subject matter and target audience.
Some of these methods include:
Healthcare organizations also use a combination of non-visual methods, such as:
- Blog posts.
- Social media posts.
- White papers.
Recommended reading: Rethinking B2B Content Marketing in Response to COVID-19
Announce changes to doctors’ offices
Healthcare organizations are taking extraordinary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Including the reconfiguring of doctor office layouts, restricting the number of patients who visit, and changing business hours.
Practitioners want to communicate this information to the largest number of people possible, and content marketing provides a solution.
Medical marketers can report:
- Doctor’s office closures.
- Doctor’s office opening/closing times.
- Social distancing procedures.
- Face mask policies.
- Limits on the number of people who can visit a doctor’s office.
- How/where to pick up prescriptions.
Recommended reading: Tips on How Brands Can Communicate Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Promote ancillary services
During the pandemic, ancillary services provide healthcare organizations with a vital source of revenue. Content marketing helps to increase awareness about these services. The best medical marketers strike the right balance between promotion and communication and won’t “over-hype” these products.
Healthcare marketing helps promote the following ancillary services:
- COVID-19 viral tests and testing kits.
- Personal protective equipment, such as face masks and medical gloves.
- Counseling/therapy services.
Healthcare content is a powerful communication method for practitioners and patients. As the pandemic continues, content marketers need to engage with patients to increase awareness, promote services, and help navigate the changing healthcare landscape.
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