COVID-19 Marketing Playbook
for Behavioral Health Facilities
We are all experiencing the onslaught of the COVID-19 and the effects that it is having on behavioral health facilities. Our clients and those that we speak to in the industry are all seeing downturns in traffic, decreased calls, the hesitancy of prospects to start treatment and challenges of keeping them in treatment. These are just a few of the issues that we are hearing about during this unprecedented crisis.
Many of you have had to cut staff and are worried about the next month or longer while the pandemic plays out. It is during tough periods that you should use the time to look at what made you great, to begin with, and how can you improve once this crisis is in the rearview mirror. Because of the nature of the COVOD-19 pandemic and the drastic restrictions put on society, history has shown us that a surge of new and past clients will be seeking treatment.
We went back and looked at how the Behavioral Health Industry came out of the 2008 financial crisis. Below are a few charts and graphs that illustrate the pent up demand for your Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health Treatment services that were created by that crisis.
The question of where to begin is easily answered if you never had the time to really define what your clinical philosophy and key differentiators truly are. We mean, can you in 10 seconds give an accurate description of your philosophy and differentiators to potential clients and referrers? If you can not, now would be a great time to work out what your philosophy is and how you fulfill it. Once you have decided on your philosophy and differentiators its time to look at your website, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- When was the last time it was updated with new content?
- Does it convey your current message?
- Is it user friendly?
- Are your pictures up to date?
- Are all of your pages optimized for search engines?
- When was the last time you blogged?
If you haven’t done one or more of these things, now would be a good time to consider this project. It may feel like a daunting task but your website is your face to the world and you want it to be the best it can be.
If you decide to go for a new look and use new photographs, it will also be a good time to review your collateral materials. They really need to have the same look and feel of your site. This continuity is imperative to maintaining your brand identity in the marketplace. Having new collateral will also give your Clinical Outreach team a good reason to revisit referrers. Remember to keep the look and feel similar to your website.
As if the above is not enough to do, if you do PPC advertising, now would be a great time to look at your landing pages and make sure that they are up to date or create new ones. Pages that reflect your current look, feel and clinical philosophy. It is also a great time to test different landing pages to see which ones convert better.
The social distancing and remain-in-place orders are increasing isolation. Our community is not one of isolation but of socialization. This means that addiction and relapse are going to be more prevalent than ever. Support systems have given way to online individual and group sessions along with meetings. This is all really good, but you have a list of past clients and if you cannot see them personally, then the next best thing is to begin to call them to offer support on a regular basis. They are your best ambassadors and now is the time to make sure that you are all firmly connected to each other.
What we are currently seeing and hearing is an order of magnitude greater in severity than the financial recession. As shown above, once the recession started to subside, clients seeking and getting treatment increased by over 50%. This current crisis is worse and the demand could even be greater. That is why being prepared for this increase and being in a position to compete for clients now will give you a head start to help those in need.