April 2, 2020

Seven things healthcare marketers need to be doing right now.

Healthcare SEM in the midst of a pandemic.

One thing that we can depend on is change. It’s a constant. But the massive change we’ve experienced over the past two weeks has been unsettling. Marketers are beginning to second-guess all their marketing strategies. Many are fielding nervous questions from executive teams and wondering if they should put a hold on their advertising budgets—or scrap their digital marketing completely.

Stop second-guessing.

Yes, you still need to advertise, especially on your digital channels. With the entire country being asked to “stay home,” we have seen surges in online activity. Internet and cellphone service providers are waiving fees and adding additional data at no extra cost. New public hot spots have been added, providing free access for households with students for the next 60 days.

People confined to their homes are seeking comfort through entertainment and education on the web. In fact, in-home media consumption is up 95% globally.

Invest in your SEM campaigns.

Search volumes for essential needs like healthcare are maintaining previous levels. Now is the time to be the lead educator on health issues so that you are at the top of search queries. People will still need healthcare for chronic issues, and they are seeking resources. Remember, with SEM, you are only paying for those who click on your ads.

Do this checklist now:

  1. Conduct an audit of your SEM (review your keywords, text ads and extensions to ensure you aren’t wasting dollars or promoting content that is inappropriate).
  2. Shift your KPI goals to focus on time with content versus lead generation.
  3. Frequently review your search terms report and be ready to add any negative matches to ensure you’re not reaching irrelevant searchers.
  4. Look for opportunities to shift dollars to appropriate service lines.
  5. Check device bid adjustments. There may be an increase in desktop traffic.
  6. Build a retargeting audience if you aren’t currently doing so. In six months, people searching for symptoms will be ready for appointments.
  7. Lean on your vendor partners.

Now is the time to rely on your marketing partners. We are all in this together, and we’re ready to do what we do best to support the health systems that are managing this situation.