This article was written by Pia Mangini, Digital Content Manager, Coffey Communications. Coffey works exclusively in the healthcare industry and provides services such as healthcare SEO and website design.
There’s no doubt that the onset of the coronavirus necessitated a pivot in strategy for healthcare marketers. Although we as marketers are used to adaptability and agility, we’ve had to become even more flexible to address the changing needs of healthcare consumers throughout the pandemic. In 2021 we are on unchartered ground, and healthcare organizations must learn to adapt to a new marketing mix to remain competitive.
The following are marketing tactics we can expect to see long after the pandemic is over.
Most essential in a post-pandemic environment, communication from a healthcare organization should be compassionate, valuable, trustworthy and authentic. Your content has the power to inspire action. Patients are looking for high-value content that helps them take care of themselves and their families.
In addition, attempt to strike the right balance between sounding as if nothing has changed and continually talking about COVID-19. Instead, focus on a few high-level areas that must be communicated to your healthcare consumers now:
- General information about COVID-19
- Appointment availability and scheduling
- Procedures for in-person and telehealth appointments
- How to schedule non-elective procedures
- New safety procedures and requirements.
Empathy and patient experience
Patient experience has always been a big priority. Previously, healthcare organizations relied on data to learn what their consumers wanted.
Since the onset of the pandemic, consumers now want comfort and empathy from their providers. Consumers will hold healthcare organizations to a higher standard to earn their loyalty and retain their trust. Marketers will now need to depend on more personalized marketing strategies such as online scheduling, personalized portals and telehealth in 2021 and beyond.
Because the majority of healthcare consumers are social distancing, they are turning to the internet more than ever before.
In addition to well-branded social media pages on social platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, digital tools are critical in reaching your consumers and improving their experience. For healthcare providers, one of the keys to success during the pandemic has been the swift adoption of new digital health tools and technology. Telehealth, digital document signing, online appointments and self-serve payment portals are here to stay.
Over the past year, hundreds of brands took a stand for racial equality, diversity and inclusion. And many have embraced new sustainability practices. Social responsibility is not new, but is quickly becoming a factor in the decisions consumers make. So let your consumers know what you are doing. It can result in better brand recognition, increased reputation, greater ability to attract and retain talent, organizational growth, and increased customer loyalty.
As you craft marketing messages, be sure your language is inclusive and respectful to your diverse audience. Read your own words with an eye for bias or have someone else read them. Making your healthcare content more inclusive will, ultimately, make it more valuable to a larger audience.
Below are some high-level areas of your healthcare marketing strategy to reconsider in 2021:
- Brand awareness
- Personalized content and video strategies
- Strengthen brand and content credibility
- Invest in social media and SEO
- Long-term growth strategies
- Improve remote patient experience
- Options for seeking care, including elective vs. non-elective surgeries
- Improve digital security.