School closures, travel bans, postponed sporting events, and quarantines. You’ve seen the real-time reports, are following all the breaking news from the CDC and, like most people, you’re probably on the hunt for toilet paper – all due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. For your healthcare practice, the pandemic means all elective surgeries are canceled until further notice and likely, you will have to temporarily close your doors until the virus dies down.
While this is certainly a tough time for all of us, you may want to think twice before cutting all of your marketing spend. Right now, the majority of our population is spending the bulk of their time on the internet. Now, more than ever, it’s essential for you and your business to own the conversation and become a thought leader in your space while everyone else is retreating.
This is a massive opportunity to leapfrog your competition – especially when it comes to spreading love and compassion during a time of fear and uncertainty. As a practitioner, educating your patients while showing that you too are a human being just like everyone else can provide comfort and demonstrate the level of care you have when it comes to helping others.
The goal is to make your prospects and patients see the real YOU during these trying times.
Watch my 3-minute IGTV video on why I think it’s a bad idea for business to stop marketing during this time:
Because let’s face it, when you are speaking out and continuing to engage with your community, you will convert patients into advocates and boost patient acquisition once operations are back up and running.
So, how do you crisis-proof your practice?
Offer Virtual Consultations
With the rise of telemedicine, comes the opportunity to connect with your patients remotely. However, keep in mind that leveraging this form of communication requires you to adhere to HIPAA guidelines. Using secure messaging solutions ensures you maintain doctor-patient confidentiality and no private data is breached during this time.
Not only are virtual consults in high demand, but given escalated fears over COVID-19 and social distancing, patients are nervous to even leave their house for a follow-up appointment. Companies like HumazeMD, the leading before and after gallery solution, are leading the way during this time on uncertainty, providing digital consultations for their customers. Their recent partnership with ExamMed, a virtual telehealth app, is helping to improve the patient experience by allowing Physicians to connect directly with their patients via a secure HIPAA compliant platform.
David Rowland, Head of Marketing at Engage EHS, knows the importance of safety in business. He claims that “the role of safety in business is vitally important. It is imperative that we are proactive in developing a positive safety culture in our businesses. What we need is a genuine cultural shift, and this can have a profound impact on consumer confidence and brand reputation.”
Promote Gift Cards
While you may be losing foot traffic, you can still keep revenue flowing by encouraging patients to purchase gift cards (which can be used as a gift or as a way to pamper themselves at a later date).
Transparency is Key
Always keep an open line of communication with your employees. Reinforce that efforts are being taken to support your staff.
Get on Camera
There’s no better time than now to create video content for your brand. Whether you go LIVE on Facebook, post a YouTube clip about recommended safety precautions, or share an educational video on Instagram, this is the time to showcase your value and engage with patients. There are a plethora of outlets, like webinars and podcasts, that can be used to quell anxieties, discuss upcoming products or new technology your practice is excited about, and differentiate your brand from competitors. You can always leverage trends to spark some creativity as well.
Keep in Contact
Email and social media platforms are great outlets to remain in close contact with your audience. Keep patients updated on the status of your practice, educate yourself on what you can do to better support their needs, anticipate changes and updates as they arise, and provide valuable resources for patients and leads alike.
As we move towards spring and summer, amp up the excitement and encourage appointment bookings by offering irresistible discounts or specials on treatments and procedures.
Don’t Forget Your Products
Along the same lines, consider running specials on your products as well. A vast majority of practices offer skincare and beauty products. You know your patients have been eyeing them while hanging out in the waiting room, so why not offer specials? Whether it’s buy one get one free or a discounted price, products can be sold virtually and shipped directly to your patient’s doorstep or held at the office for them to pick up at their next appointment.
Update Your Website
As a general rule of thumb, you should freshen up your website’s homepage and include a personalized letter about the current situation at hand. You can even include how your practice may be volunteering or helping with efforts in the community or discuss best practices for patients to keep themselves safe from contracting the virus.
See the Opportunity
While many healthcare practices are absent on social media and pulling funding from their marketing campaigns, you can choose to stay present, support your patients, and be a beacon of hope for those seeking guidance. This is a time to forge authentic emotional connections with your patients and prospects – and we can’t stress enough how invaluable this is. By doing so, you’ll not only build a strong reputation in your local market, but you’ll also acquire more patients throughout the life of your practice.
Partner with a Healthcare Marketing Company
Maximizing your marketing spend means putting together a strategic plan of action to coincide with what’s going on in the world. At Mod Girl®, we focus on helping your marketing dollars go further, implementing practices that lead to revenue generation, increased brand visibility, and patient acquisition. And we’re not just talking about today, we’re talking about a long-term vision.
Building up your personal brand is essential to the success of your practice – and what better time than right now to speed past the competition. Business doesn’t just stop. By playing your cards right and taking advantage of this window of opportunity, you’ll not only come out on top, but you’ll remain on top for the long haul. This is your chance to strengthen your personal branding and make smart decisions. After all, the decisions you make will ultimately impact the lifespan of your business.
Mod Girl is on a mission to partner with purpose-driven plastic surgeons to make a bigger impact.
Contact Mod Girl today to receive expert guidance for your brand during this time. We’ll offer some ideas for you via email at no charge. If you like our ideas and would like our help implementing them, great. If not, that’s fine too! You can take our advice and run with it. Either way, we’d love to hear from you.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, healthcare marketing, Marketing News, plastic surgery marketing