How to Market for Healthcare Even if Businesses are facing challenges due to COVID 19 ?

As I sit back in my office, all alone due to the lockdown and wonder if we still have it in us to digitally market for us and our healthcare clients. We had been doing well before the lockdown, however, new projects are being put on hold and taking time to decide, whereas ongoing clients have reduced their advertising and marketing budget. 

So I ask myself - if we should still market in these times of uncertainty and do a bit of research to find the answers. 

Yes, we have to continue with digital marketing for healthcare businesses, however, we might choose to stop with the advertising and that is the judicious approach in these times. Digital Advertising can also continue since the costs might go down and there may be scenarios where specific healthcare businesses might look at the same as well. 

So what has changed in the Digital Space in the COVID 19 period?

Data has shown that a lot of people are spending more time on social media. Online streaming companies such as NETFLIX are seeing a boom in customers and their profits as well. Even the Government initiatives such as playing television serials such as Ramayan and Mahabharat from the past have proved to be big successes. 

Are there any positives from the COVID 19 situation?

Yes, approximately more than 50% are said to be spending more time with their family and on a personal front for me as well, I have been able to spend more time with both my kids and it is a blessing in disguise for these reasons. 

What is the change in the perspective of Doctors/ Hospitals/ Pharmaceutical and Healthcare companies response to the COVID 19 situation?

Many Healthcare companies, hospitals and Doctors have embraced Telemedicine which was unheard of earlier and it is a healthy trend, since expert consultation can now be offered to the remotest of places. Zoom became a favorite for online meetings, despite its security challenges, which were highlighted by some big powerful companies :) who made certain tactical changes to their products to make it more competitive for the online meetings. 

What are the changes that we need to suggest for Healthcare clients?

Yes this led me to reflect about the proactive measures we need to take for our clients and their businesses starting with their website. We ensured that all our clients websites were updated with relevant information that would guide the patients with the available numbers, on the BANNER of the website. We ensured that the message needs to have empathy and should avoid selling at this point in time. 

Why should healthcare companies stop advertising and not digital marketing?

Marketing includes a lot of aspects including the product, price, packaging people and more, promotion and advertising is just a part of it. We live in a world where clients are increasingly more conscious about the returns of investment for the

Which Healthcare businesses can still continue to advertise in these times of COVID 19 pandemic?

Healthcare businesses which have the budget, yes that would be an important factor to consider at this point in time and who want to retain market dominance, irrespective of the returns on their advertisement investment. Businesses can expect lower cost for advertising since a lot of competitors are expected to not compete. The responses can be questionable, however, if your business is still operational in the lockdown despite the challenges then you should go ahead and advertise online as well. 

What are the social media initiatives that Healthcare businesses/ Doctors or Hospitals can undertake in these COVID 19 crisis situations?

Doctors and in particular Hospitals as well, should Undertake Healthcare based webinars in order to reach out to the public and spread awareness about CORONAVIRUS and the precautions that the patients need to take. Also an important topic of discussion, in particular for Doctors can be the control of co- morbidites such as Diabetes and Hypertension and Taking special precautions if you have  elderly family members or kids, ,as part of your household. 

Similarly creatives on social media which highlight the need for social distancing should be in line with the times. Creatives can be in the form of VIDEOS as well and there has been a lot of engagement for VIDEOS for Facebook Ads as well. Therefore Doctors should embrace the camera, go ahead and have a conversation with their online audience. 

Go ahead on Google Trends and find the relevant # for your healthcare business and you can use them for your social media creatives as well. 

What kind of CONTENT should we be doing and what is the benefit that we can expect out of it? 

Content is KING, by that I mean the video, audio and written copywriting content (blogs, your website content) are all the means that can engage with your audience. The more an audience engages with your video, the more the chances you have for getting more leads and conversions. 
But how do I Create this content? 

Presently you can get started with recording on your camera phone if you are looking at getting started with video recording. Just ensure that you hold the video in a horizontal fashion (landscape orientation) and you should be good to get started. It is okay if you fumble a little bit and you upload the video without any edits. As long as you get started you can improve along the way. 
For Blogs you need to think of an awesome Title and you would have won the majority of your battle. Ensure that your blog is around 1500 - 2000 words for maximum impact. 

For podcasts, you can get started with tools such as Spotify that can help you with your audio recordings. Keep watching out our space where we will continue to discuss the different aspects of creating content and how you can do it efficiently and in a cost effective manner. 

Can I manage without a website?

In an ideal world, we would recommend all our clients to have their website and you can still get in touch with us or other agencies dealing with Healthcare who can offer you a better price, in particular now with the website development. Most of the new projects would have stalled and you can maybe strike out a good bargain with website design and development process. However remember that you should ask for a dynamic, responsive website to help you in your long term goals.  Your Website should have functionality for videos, podcasts, blogs and gallery as well. 

Is there a Good Digital Agency that has experience in dealing with Healthcare clients?

Yes, Our Agency, Digital Saline works with Doctors, hospitals and healthcare companies’ day in and day out and has experience in digital healthcare marketing. Because of background into medico marketing and our strong digital marketing acumen, we are able to deliver one of the best in industry for healthcare marketing. Our in house content (Digital Saline podcasts) has been featured in the top 15 global healthcare marketing podcasts. Also by the time I was writing this, we got the news of being featured in Silicon India’s - 10 Most Promising Medical Advertising Consultants -2020. Guess that is another feather in our Cap and all of this is thanks to awesome content that we deliver on our website and our social media channels as well. Hope I have given you enough reason to get in touch with you by dropping an email at contact@digitalsaline.com. 

Yes but will my content get the necessary traction?

Ideally you need to keep creating good quality content and keep creating it consistently over a significant period of time and then expect for any results. Alternatively for Business, you have the alternative of running Ads for specific purposes and work on them to get instant results. Good amount of work is involved for them as well. Idea is to prioritize and allocate resources depending on the objectives that the business wants to achieve in the short term and for the long term as well. So clarity of goals and ruthless execution should help you in achieving the results you seek to achieve. Remember nothing lasts forever, hopefully neither will the coronavirus, so let's make the best of time and create valuable content which will help us in the long run 

What can still continue for marketing for healthcare businesses on the DIGITAL FRONT?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should continue robustly. Take a good look at your keyword ranking using the Google ads platform. You can also check out the long tail keywords as well relevant to your business and add them to your website for maximum impact. So for starters, long tail keywords are more than two words - best paediatric doctor in Chicago, best plastic surgeon in New York. Focusing on these can help you better your website, so that when life returns to normal, you can expect the best of results for your business. 

What DIGITAL TOOLS can healthcare companies use in these present times?

Apart from ZOOM, there are the ZOHO App and the CISCO’s webex options which are quite reliable for team meetings and for webinars respectively. Some of these plans do offer a free plan and you can go out and check out what works best for you and your clients. Also some of them have come up with special plans for the COVID 19 period and you need to make the most of the situation.

What is the situation for Advertisement on TV, Radio and the print media?

Right now the distribution of the print media has been severely hampered and therefore we expect the best of the results. A good point is that the cost for these advertisements can be on the lower side and you can try them if need be, but our advice would be to rather use the Digital media if you still feel the need to advertise in these uncertain times of COVID 19. 

Ok, so what are the best social media platforms to Reach out to the targeted audience right now?

Twitter has come out as a favourite for people to reach out to more number of people on social media and also get the help that they need. People are also more responsive on twitter. If you tag their (police/ emergency services) handle and highlight a problem or an emergency, you might get a speedy response and data shows that Twitter was used a lot in these times of COVID 19. 

Any update from Google?

Google had suspended reviews on its Google business platform to protect small and medium businesses. This would be a temporary move and you can expect functionality to return to normal soon. Also Google encouraged businesses to update their timings to help their customers better. 

Conclusion: 

So in these uncertain times of COVID 19 OUTBREAK, Healthcare businesses should continue with digital marketing, advertising can be paused for a while. Digital marketing aspects to be focused on in these times include Search Engine optimization, Social media management, New content creation and updation, in fact now can be the right time for you to create content in the form of AUDIO (podcasts), videos and blogs as well, which will not only help you in these times of crisis, but also beyond the COVID 19. As a wise person has already said - This too Shall pass. Stay Safe and Stay at Home. Take care

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