Blog Post

Responding to the Coronavirus – For Healthcare and Pharma Advertisers

April 6, 2020 - Sierra Ducey

As government and public health officials take action to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, nearly every individual and organization now feels the impact. Healthcare professionals are working on the front lines around the clock to treat, help and keep patients safe during this outbreak. The marketers and advertisers who represent healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations are tasked with communicating with patients and consumers in a way that’s timely and smart and takes into consideration the changing behaviors of consumers. There’s no simple trick to effective communication, but luckily there are a handful of strategies that can get you pretty close. Here are four tips to help get you started.

1. Careful Communication

As mentioned above, it’s essential to continue to inform and communicate with patients, and the larger audience you can reach. Consumers are looking to authority figures – such as doctors, surgeons, and other healthcare workers – for the answer to their questions and updates regarding the outbreak.

  • Keep messaging informative, clear and sensitive – many people are worried and uneasy about the current state so your tone will work as a sounding board.
  • Keep messaging consistent – whether that is daily, weekly or on-demand updates, make sure your patient network is informed. If you have new updates to your facility, such as new hours or telehealth options, let your patients know.
  • Spread your message in different ways. Now is the time to utilize email, social media, and website updates. People are digesting media in a variety of way, so make sure you are reaching them on a variety of platforms to ensure they’re seeing your message
  • Before implementing any of the strategies outlined below, make sure all advertisement messaging is thoughtful and in-tun with the current situation.

2. Introduce Paid Search

If your marketing budget allows it, now is a great time to incorporate a paid search campaign. SimliarWeb just announced that there has been a 38% increase in paid search traffic. And the IRI released the chart below regarding a strong uptick in paid search performance. Recognize that people are interacting with paid search campaigns more so during this outbreak, and utilize this tool to push your marketing campaigns further and position your brand among the experts in applicable fields.

3. Lean into Social Media

As people are staying home, they’re spending much more time on social media. So, as advertisers, you should be using this tool to release messages to your community, as mentioned previously, but an even larger audience can be reached via paid social media campaigns. As social media users increase and the channels relevancy tools get better, only about 4-6% of your followers will have the opportunity to see your organic Facebook post. Paid Social Media campaigns, via Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc. remain one of the best tools to reach millions of consumers of varying ages as well.

4. Want to Test a New Channel? Try CTV

Similar to social media – as people are staying home, they’re watching more television, specifically streaming more content via CTV and OTT (think Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon Prime TV). USA Today reported that “over the past four weeks, the number of minutes the average person spent streaming TV and movies has jumped 36%, from 115 minutes to 156 minutes weekly… ” And advertisers have already responded to this, as IAB reported that more than a third (+35%) of advertisers are adjusting their tactics to CTV and OTT device targeting.

There are many directions that you can take your healthcare or pharmaceutical advertisement campaigns during this challenging time. If you’re interested in learning more tactics and tools to incorporate into your media plan, download our Guide – Responding to Coronavirus: For Healthcare and Pharma Advertisers.

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