Social media platforms play a critical role in keeping us informed, entertained, and, most importantly, connected. With COVID-19’s shelter-in-place orders and social distancing mandates, this has never been more true. With just about everyone embracing social media as their go-to source for both personal communication and updated business information, the time is ideal for your elective medical practice to use paid search (PPC) and social media advertising to strengthen your marketing and SEO efforts.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to invest in advertising given the economic uncertainty we’re all facing, it’s worth it to devote some of your marketing spend to running ads on these platforms right now. Here’s why.
Why Run Facebook & Instagram Advertising?
Including Facebook and Instagram in your ad spend puts your business right where our collective focus is already directed. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s a smart move.
Digital attention is at an all-time high.
Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites has increased by more than 50% week-to-week since the COVID-19 outbreak reached the states.
With in-person social events off the table, we’re turning our time and attention to social media for entertainment and connection. This means the number of available impressions is booming and the capacity for your ads to reach your target audience is on the rise.
Your competitors may be pausing campaigns.
Whenever there is an economic disruption, the first reaction companies often have is to pause their ad campaigns to save money with the intention of restarting them again once the situation stabilizes.
That is exactly why you should keep your Facebook Ads going (if your budget allows) during this particular crisis. Your competitors are clearing the path for you.
Brand awareness is a low-cost objective.
Brand awareness ads improve brand recall by reaching consumers who are most likely to remember your ad.
Because conversions are slowing down due to consumer anxiety during this unprecedented time, it could be a good idea to shift to a lower-cost objective, like brand awareness, with your Facebook ads.
You have the opportunity to serve people now and win business later.
Hard selling isn’t the way to go in these times of social and economic uncertainty. Instead, consider changing your messaging or offers to serve people. Offering helpful, thoughtful service, and/or increased value and utility in a time of need won’t be forgotten when the crisis passes.
Think about the situation your audience is facing, what they need, and where your business can help, and you can build considerate, respectful campaigns and offers that will also go a long way toward helping your business make it through the crisis.
Learn more about effective crisis messaging on our COVID-19 Resources page.
Why Run Google Ads?
Here’s how Google advertising can help your medical practice thrive, even in times of closures.
You’ll continue to put the right message in front of the right customers.
The advantage of using Google search advertising is that ads are placed in front of potential customers who are actively searching for your services. While fewer people may be searching for elective services during this time, it’s important to have a strong presence with people who are still actively searching. Google ads can get you there.
Lower cost conversions and increased market share are up for the taking.
Google trends show a decrease in cost-per-action in the health and medical industry during the COVID-19 crisis. Some small businesses are unable to pursue the same level of advertising with a decrease in revenue, so they may stop their Google advertising. This creates an opportunity to capture leads at a lower cost.
Businesses who adapt to the current climate and effectively communicate through their ads will be the most successful during this time. Communicating any virtual consultation options and continuing to be available for customer interaction is key.
Ads build trust in a time when people crave consistency.
It’s important to be a familiar and trusted face with potential customers as they plan for life after the COVID-19 crisis. Economic uncertainty is likely to linger even as shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted, and consumers are likely to be even more discerning about the companies they trust and support. Having a strong presence on the SERP, at least in part by purchasing highly visible ad placement, is more essential now than ever.
If you have questions about online advertising during this time and beyond, please let us know in the comments below.
Additional contributions by Jenna Wookey, Paid Search Specialist.