As healthcare marketers continue to respond to the pandemic, growth strategies and 2021 planning are increasingly becoming the number one priority. Consumers are still, and likely will continue to be, hesitant to pursue often critical in-person care.
This trend, combined with a need to do more with less, are creating new challenges for marketers and an exciting opportunity to add value for the health system and consumer alike through the content and campaign strategies we decide to execute.
In this month’s “topics, tools, and trends” article, we're touching on a few strategies you can implement today to help your organization and marketing team succeed in the coming months. Learn about evolutions in Google My Business, trends for healthcare professionals that are gaining steam and an ad creation tool we’ve all been waiting for.
Our focus topic: Google My Business
Google is now offering certifications for Google My Business. While on one hand, it’s just another way for Google to monetize their offering, it does provide an opportunity for marketers to upgrade their profile for listings by becoming certified. As more organizations pursue certifications, it may soon become another factor that influences consumer trust in an albeit surface level way, but one to consider nonetheless.
You may notice that healthcare providers are not currently in the list of eligible businesses. We fully expect that in the coming weeks, healthcare organizations and even individual providers will be given access to the program, and encourage you to keep an eye on how the program evolves.
Our team took the time to think through a few pros and cons to consider for your organization:
- Increased visibility for certified listings—certified organizations will be listed first, which also decreases the confusion caused by out of date or rogue accounts
- Certifications will likely build trust quickly in consumers searching for services
- Proof of key business metrics like location, size, and more
- It’s only $50 per month—a minimal cost when we consider how much the typical health system spends on buying Google Ads and maintaining listings to begin with
- When Google first toyed with this idea for local service ads, they planned to require background checks for ALL employees—it’s unclear if that will be the case for Google My Business certifications
- The process (and time commitment) to become a certified health system isn’t completely clear yet
- It’s implied—not promised or proven—that the program will lead to priority rankings
Our advice to clients is to hang tight for now to see how the program evolves from here. While the low entry cost and potential benefit seem like a no-brainer, there may be some hurdles to get through, and Google certainly needs to add healthcare organizations and providers to the list of eligible businesses. We want to see proof that the program leads to increased rankings before encouraging clients to pursue the certifications. That said, let us know if you have success with the program!
Our top new tool: AdParlour
Have you ever tried to review your paid search strategies with a non-marketer and struggled to get them to visualize what ad copy will look like? Us too. It’s challenging to read through ad copy in a spreadsheet format and provide thoughtful feedback. Many of us need to visualize the content in context of how it will be used.
AdParlour allows us to provide mock ups of search ads to review with the appropriate specifications for Facebook, Search, LinkedIn and more. It even includes versions of the mock ups for various device types. You probably won’t need it for every ad, but for those presentations to ask for more budget or review your performance, this FREE tool could be a life saver.
Our main trending topic: How to relieve patient fears
One of the biggest content trends for healthcare professionals that we’re seeing this summer is tied to a challenge marketers will have to overcome for the foreseeable future: consumers are hesitant to seek in-person care right now. Heart attacks and strokes aren’t happening less frequently, cancer incidence isn’t going down and certainly consumers still need primary care services. People are simply delaying screenings and shrugging off symptoms that typically wouldn’t—and shouldn’t—be ignored.
Arguably, the only way to drive behavior change is through content marketing. Only through content and storytelling can we make people in every demographic and socioeconomic segment of our population understand WHY they need to pursue care. Then, it’s the job of the provider to provide a frictionless pathway to the clinical resources their communities need.
With the beginning of the school year on the horizon, one topic that you should consider writing and deploying right away is why vaccines are critical for children. We had a hunch that people would delay routine care and annual well visits, but the search volume we’re seeing from worried parents wondering if it’s okay to skip vaccines for their children is surprising and concerning. Trying ranking for keywords like "natural immunity", "vaccine decisions," "concerns about clinics," "are clinics safe" and other related terms.
Here are a few of the questions being asked frequently across the country:
- What happens if I don’t vaccinate my child?
- Is it safer to get a vaccine or stay away from the clinic?
- Isn’t natural immunity better than a vaccine?
There may be other key questions and search terms unique to your market, too. These tips and trends for healthcare professionals are meant to be adapted and tested. We’re happy to discuss how you might use content marketing to connect with consumers and drive behavior change around key local issues.
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