Healthcare Marketing In The Post-COVID Era
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a time of great change in our social lives as well as in our professional. The healthcare industry has been at the forefront of fighting the virus and has had to change the way they operate. Whilst many feel that marketing would not be the top priority for healthcare providers, experts think it is the ideal time to connect with patients virtually and serve as a reliable source of health information.
Marketing in healthcare has never been more important than it is now. In 2020, during the peak of the pandemic, digital marketing played a pivotal role in a patient’s journey. 90% of patients interviewed used online reviews to evaluate their doctors (Practice Builder). Search engines also drove 3x more visitors to hospitals than other non-search methods (Dialogtech).
Balancing health care information
Believe it or not, the worldwide pandemic has brought about a demand for online health content. Popular content ranged from handwashing, wearing masks to maintaining a healthy living lifestyle at home. The public has never been more interested in healthcare issues and as a result, have been turning to governments and healthcare providers as trusted sources of information. This has led to an unforeseen level of importance placed on healthcare marketing teams.
Healthcare marketers have been turning their marketing channels into a handy platform for patients to access health information, whenever needed. However, healthcare marketers must now find the balance in the information they disseminate. NRC Health has reported that 49% of consumers feel the news coverage is creating too much of an unneeded panic around the coronavirus.
While healthcare providers should continue marketing health information to their audiences, a balance must be maintained around Covid-19 related content. Many marketers have already taken this opportunity to increase brand awareness by developing creative, likable, and informative content that did not necessarily include Covid-19.
Marketers must become flexible
All businesses have had to become flexible in the wake of Covid-19, and healthcare marketing has been no exception. Marketers are beginning to slowly shift from providing exclusively safety precautions to reassuring patients that it is safe to return to healthcare centres (Well Source).
The inability of many healthcare centres to provide elective procedures and primary care for new patients has seen a dramatic decrease in their revenue. Marketing teams must begin to balance Covid-19 communications with other content, to see patients once again feel safe to return to healthcare centres.
Using tech to your advantage – healthcare marketing
Marketers must think of new strategies on how to get patients the care they need. Thinking outside the box is crucial in desperate times like these to help audiences feel safe in returning to healthcare centres or if possible, receive care remotely. Using technology as a way of creating new methods of marketing is key to the future of the industry.
It seems like the need for remote working, learning, and socialising is going nowhere soon. So, therefore, it is safe to assume that remote healthcare is in the same boat. If patients for some reason do not feel safe or simply cannot return to healthcare centres, then healthcare centres must facilitate. Adopting remote technology such as telehealth, Telemedicine, artificial intelligence (AI) will help create an environment for patients to receive the care they need.
Not all patients will have the necessary experience to know how to use these new tools, so they must be educated. Marketers must use their marketing channels to provide education on technology usage through interactive techniques such as virtual seminars. Building trust for patients with new technology will help bridge the gap that Covid-19 has created for health care.
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