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How Healthcare Brands Can Increase Engagement During COVID

With a global pandemic right around the corner, the majority of the world’s population is forced to stay at home and engage with the world virtually. Engagement rates are up now more than ever, with internet use spiking up to 70% since the lockdowns have started. 

Healthcare brands and facilities, thrust into the spotlight, have become one of the main beacons not only of information on health and sanitation, but also reassurance and compassion. As health experts, they’ve come to embody stability in a time of uncertainty.

With patients and readers alike turning to healthcare brands for advice and information, there’s a huge opportunity to engage readers and make the most out of your content production.

Why Publish Content During COVID

You might be wondering, “Why do I have to bother talking about it when many others are doing the same thing?”

For starters, publishing content isn’t just about adding to the noise. On top of the general sea of readers, your brand likely has a steady band of followers, prospects, and customers wondering how you’re doing. 

With too many businesses closing down, customers simply don’t know which business is still operational and which ones need replacing. Publishing relevant information is your way of saying, “Yes, you can still rely on us.”

The Key To Publishing Sincerely 

Customers respond well to brands that pay attention to the current situation. But publishing content during a world crisis is more than just regurgitating the same information over and over again -- at least that’s how you do it if you want to rise above the sea of tone-deaf statements and overt marketing tactics. 

The best way to navigate a pandemic and engage your customers without risking insensitivity is by sharing useful, actionable information your customers can actually use. Everyone knows about COVID-19, but there are still bits of information you could share that’s relevant to your healthcare brand.

5 Different Kinds of Content to Share and Publish

1) Articles and Blogs

Publishing articles and blog posts that focus on COVID-related news is one of the easiest ways to create content. Through informative articles, you can provide your audience with detailed information about the latest developments.

An example of a COVID-related article you can create is this one from Medical News Bulletin discussing the possibility of using existing drugs to find a coronavirus vaccine. The author took information from two related researches and combined them into an easy-to-read article. 

For your general audience, more in-depth insights and research regarding the virus may not always be easily accessible. With your blog, you can increase engagements by publishing information people are actually looking for. 

That’s not to say you’re limited to general COVID-19 news. The more specific your blogs are, the better. For instance, if you’re a dental clinic or a dental hygiene brand, you could talk about tips on how to properly store your toothbrush to prevent bacteria growth. If you’re a chiropractic clinic, you can publish content on the importance of holistic health and boosting your immunity. 

Publishing relevant content becomes seamless as soon as you understand what it is your brand can offer in relation to what’s happening with the rest of the world. 

If you’re having a hard time identifying which topics to cover, try using the topic cluster method when planning out your content strategy. 

2) Email Newsletters

Workforce restrictions are forcing companies to rethink how they operate. Part of the challenge is communicating how your business will now engage and serve customers under new protocols. On top of social media updates, email newsletters are still one of the best ways to engage your customers directly. 

Best Buy’s email newsletter is a great example of how to inspire buyer confidence during a pandemic. Their detailed announcement includes a clear explanation of new services and protocols following social distancing measures.

3) FAQ Sheets

Frequently asked questions are a great inclusion to any knowledge hub. With FAQs, you can easily consolidate a lot of information so your customers can dissect everything they need to know quickly. 

By compiling these questions into one graphic illustration, you are saving customers the trouble of skimming through endless articles, when they are only trying to find a short answer to the same question that others have already asked. And while we still believe in the power of long-form articles, having a mix of bite-sized content such as FAQ sheets and infographics, alongside more in-depth articles can really diversify your content marketing strategy. 

As with blogs, staying relevant and on-topic is a great way to boost engagement. National Pesticide Information Center which shows frequently asked questions about wipes and disinfectants in relation to COVID.

FAQs also eliminate redundancy and allow your customers to make purchasing decisions with ease. Some frequently asked questions you can include in your FAQ sheet are::

  • What time do you open? What are your new store hours?
  • Are services/products still available during the pandemic?
  • Do you deliver to all areas or to limited areas only?
  • What are your protocols regarding delivery and pick up?
  • What products/services are unavailable during this time?
  • Are same-day deliveries still possible or do your customers need to order a few days in advance?

4) Infographics

Several studies have shown that visual materials, such as infographics, allow people to retain more information about a topic. 

Like the FAQ sheets, you can also cover different topics about COVID with infographics. This one is introduced by the World Health Organization, presenting the steps everyone must follow to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission:

Some infographics are also helpful in contextualizing the severity of the pandemic, like this one about the history of pandemics:

5) Podcasts

Hosting podcasts on your site is hitting two birds with one stone – you can provide COVID-related content while improving your relationship with your customers.

In recent years, podcasts and other kinds of audio content have become a reliable source of information for anyone who doesn’t have the time to read through a whole article. Even when you’re traveling or attending to your chores, you can listen idly to podcasts.

Producing one may take more time setting up than writing a blog, but it’s a great option if you're not particularly keen on writing articles or developing infographics. Podcasts as a medium also feel more intimate and immediate than their writing-only counterparts, allowing you to deliver messages emphatically. 

Stuck on what topic to cover on your podcast? Take some inspiration from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s recently released COVID-19 Podcast Series:

3 Tips for Creating Healthcare Content that People Will Click

Even after deciding what kind of healthcare content you are publishing, it might not be enough to stand out from the plethora of other information published by other healthcare brands. Instead of publishing in a vacuum, take this as an opportunity to shape up your content strategy and convert new readers and site visitors into happy, loyal consumers.

Here are three tips that can help you reach that top spot:

Including the Right Keywords

Before creating your content, think of words people would type when they are searching for products or services similar to what you offer. This works great for inbound marketing and searchability, but ultimately it’s a practice that will help you understand just exactly what kind of topics you should focus on. 

Keywords aren’t just for algorithms. You get a blueprint of what to publish instead of thinking up random content to publish on the spot. Keyword research makes you understand what your customers are currently curious about, and what other burning questions they have. Sometimes the difference between a successful brand and one desperate for any sort of engagement are just informative blog posts and an active online presence. 

Creating Original Articles and Blog Posts

Coming across an entirely unique idea is as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. Somewhere, someone out there has already written a blog post that is almost identical to what you’re thinking of. So how can you make sure that your original content will have more clicks than your competitors?

The answer lies in how well you can highlight your expertise through the content you are putting out. One of the easiest ways to do this is by identifying your reader persona and writing for that person specifically

Producing Other Visual Content

Incorporating visual elements such as images, videos, and infographics provide more than just breaks to long articles. Supplementing your written articles make them more engaging and easy to remember.

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