If you feel like you've seen the same ad a few too many times lately, you probably aren't alone. In the early days of the pandemic (Feb 17 to March 9), e-commerce sites nearly doubled their advertising dollars from the month before.

Adding to the abounding creative noise is the lack of originality in messaging. Think about every ad you've seen this week. Many brands are using the exact same phrases, tone or imagery.

Creating a smart marketing plan is essential for your practice's success both now, as the economy opens back up, and in the months to come. But how can you prevent your ads from getting lost in a sea of the "same" messages?

Lean on best practices

Look to organizations that set the standard and lead your strategy with their advice in mind. Google's recent release of the five marketing principles that guide their team is an excellent place to start. Consider things like assessing the context of your message, constantly re-evaluating your plan, and thinking through how your brand can fill a need in the community.

When your audience doesn't respond to a message, don't be afraid to quickly pivot. Use a strong writer with marketing expertise to develop new ideas when necessary.

Focus on your patient

In times of crisis, it's easy to forget how crucial it is to simply communicate accurate information that will help your patients and meet their needs above all else. Yes, even in ads! Your practice can stand out by releasing timely, fact-based content or advertising messages with frequency during this time of uncertainty:

  • Office hours and up-to-date locations - ensure all your listings on Google, Facebook, and other digital sources, including your own website, are accurate.
  • Answer frequently asked questions. If patients feel they need care, should they call your office or visit the ER? Are you open for emergency appointments? When can a canceled procedure be rescheduled? What's the process for a prescription refill?
  • Edit your business description to include any precautions your business is taking for COVID-19. Things like warning patients about increased sanitation efforts, specialty in-office appointments or increased wait times are helpful. You can find instructions on how to easily update your business information at Google.

Evaluate your marketing mix

Even if your practice has sustained business or thrived with little to no digital marketing in the past, be aware that consumers are turning to the internet now more than ever before. It will likely pay off to re-allocate your spend, even if temporarily, to platforms that reach potential patients where they are (especially in search, video and social media).

Know that consumers have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, both emotionally and psychologically, so stay in touch with what matters to them. If you have a survey tool, consider sending a short survey to your patients to learn how comfortable they are with coming to the office or using your telehealth services. A marketing solutions partner can help you concentrate on what messaging will speak the most clearly to your audience.

At CMG Health Marketing, we are committed to connecting patients with providers. Contact us today to start developing a plan that connects your brand with those who need you most.