Throughout the COVID19 outbreak, I have been writing this weekly blog on crisis management, marketing and communications. It has been a turbulent time for the assisted reproduction industry, with fertility treatment suspended in many parts of the world. Gradually clinics are starting to reopen and with that comes a new set of challenges. Today, in part nine of this blog series I want to look at the importance of video marketing.
- Clinics are reopening but to ensure patient safety there are new operational procedures and less patients in the clinic at any given time.
- Less patients means less procedures and in turn less revenue.
- After two months of no revenue stream at all, this means there has to be budget cuts.
- Most clinics will look to cut back on marketing activity. Herein lies another problem.
- Less marketing leads to less new patient enquiries and in turn even fewer new patients.
- Plus, there is the added problem for clinics who rely on overseas patients. Air travel is still restricted so the patient pool has shrunk significantly.
This brings me on to the subject matter for today. I have chosen to focus on video this week because it’s a very powerful marketing tool in the current pandemic. Video has been around for a long time and you are probably already producing them for your social media channels. Many countries are still in some form of lockdown and many people are either working from home or aren’t working at all. Recent research has shown that 80% of consumers across all markets engage in video content. In this context, video is no longer just another tool in your marketing kit, but actually central to all activity.
I have over 30 years media and marketing experience, the last 16 of which have been spent marketing to IVF patients. This experience has taught me that patients are information hungry. Video content is satisfying that hunger and patients are in an environment where they feel comfortable watching the content.
Before embarking on your video production be clear on what you want the video to achieve. In this current crisis, think like a patient. Your content could focus on some of the following:
- What do the new guidelines mean to IVF patients?
- What do we know so far about COVID19 and pregnancy?
- Focus on disease specialities like Endometriosis, PCOS, Secondary Infertility, Maternal age, Frozen vs Fresh cycles
- Operational changes at your IVF unit
- Patient safety in the unit when patients comes for treatment
Call to action
Are you creating video content to engage with patients? Or is this an educational tool? Always make sure the video clearly outlines what you expect a viewer to do after watching it. Do you want them to share your video? Do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to sign up to a full presentation? Are you looking for patients to engage? Think like a patient. What information do they want right now?
In just a couple of months, the world, clinic operations and patient perspectives have changed beyond recognition. Don’t copy your competition’s messaging. Create original content that personally speaks to your patients. Convey your empathy and show your own brand personality. What are your unique selling points? Focus on them and explain why they are so important not only to you as a clinic but to the patient experience of your clinic.
Video on a budget
As we’ve discussed marketing budgets have been cut and outsourcing to a video production house probably isn’t an option right now. The great thing is camera quality is fantastic on your smart phone, use it to film members of the team. Use Zoom to record high quality content. We are now used to seeing people in their living room talking on the news. Patients are not expecting a high-quality polished production. Video for use on social media only needs to be a couple of minutes to convey your message. Video is a very cost-effective method of communication at the moment.
Video works best on social channels
Once you have a clear objective and have made a plan of what your video content will be, the next step is where to post it. It’s no good uploading it to your web site and putting it up on YouTube if nobody knows it’s there! Videos are most watched on social media channels, so make sure your video is mobile friendly. It is important to upload on to your website and to YouTube as it helps in Google search, but social is where you will get the engagement.
Use video to demonstrate
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here, but never forget that IVF patients are an ever-replenishing market. For each patient infertility is a whole new world. Spending time on explainer video that demonstrate fertility treatments builds confidence and trust in your expertise. Animated videos work very well and stand out on a social media feed.
Use video to build your brand
This is not usual times, so be more personal about the team and highlight the clinic as a brand. This might help a patient decide on your clinic for treatment. As an industry we have to work smarter to get the patient’s attention.
This terrifies a lot of people but is a great way to engage with your audience in real time. You also have the benefit of notifications sent to all your followers as you go live. It also enables you to take questions in the comments. It is usually best to have another team member read the comments, so you aren’t trying to speak and read at the same time.
Overall, video is so flexible, affordable and is what consumers are focussed on during the current crisis. So, strike while the iron is hot – the time is now!
Next week I will look at the use of podcasts.
Sign up for our seminar
If you have enjoyed this blog series, then please register here for The Fertility Hub seminar next week. On the 28 May at 5pm UK time, I will be hosting a seminar on crisis management, marketing and communications. This seminar will condense my first 4 blogs in this series and will be an update as our situation evolves throughout the ongoing crisis. It is free to attend and I hope will help IVF clinics focus their marketing activities to reflect our new reality.
My goal in writing these blogs is to share my many years of marketing experience in this industry, so please feel free to drop me a line. I love hearing from you and understanding your current challenges and am happy to offer any advice I can in these difficult times.
Veronica Montgomery, Clinic and Patient Liaison Consultant
The Fertility Hub
Previous blogs in this series
Part one – COVID19 Crisis Management for IVF Clinics
Part two – Marketing and Communications During COVID19
Part three – Financial Implications of COVID19
Part four – The use of PR during the COVID19 pandemic
Part five – Protecting your brand during COVID19
Part six – Online marketing during COVID19
Part seven – Using online seminars to build trust.
Part eight – The power of newsletters during the COVID19 crisis.