As the year comes to a close, it’s time to roll out holiday-themed marketing campaigns that show the festive and personal side of your practice.
However, it’s important to consider that the 2020 holiday season has unprecedented conditions and greater stress for many people. With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting everyone worldwide, your patients may be skipping their regular celebrations and forgoing their usual in-person time with family, colleagues, and friends. This can result in a feeling of disconnection, where many only have ‘virtual’ holiday events to attend and must find new ways to bring in the holiday cheer.
Because of these strange times, it’s worth connecting more with your patients through humor and good wishes for 2021. You should also let them know you are available for appointments in the New Year, and to diffuse any anxiety or fears about caring regularly for their health.
This list includes some ideas to help you create fun, attention-getting holiday healthcare marketing campaigns this season.
Holiday marketing for healthcare practices: 7 tips
- Create a holiday video
The holidays are an ideal time to send your patients a warm, heartfelt sentiment, and short videos are a great way to do it. You can showcase your personality and message simply by using your mobile phone. There’s no need to produce a professional video unless that’s your preference.After your video is complete, upload it to YouTube, and share the link in an email message or a blog post on your practice website. You can also add the video to your social media channels to inspire more patient engagement. This personal touch can help you build upon your relationships with patients, and help bring them into your office.
- Send out a 2021 patient calendar
Creating a calendar is an easy holiday healthcare marketing idea that keeps patients aware of your practice all year long. Companies like Shutterfly or Snapfish can print custom calendars with photos or images that you select.You can also fill your calendar with helpful information related to your specialty and the type of care you deliver to patients. You might add monthly health tips for runners if you’re a podiatrist, regular self-care reminders if you’re a general practitioner, or injury prevention tips if you’re an orthopedic surgeon.
Relevant local dates and events for your practice can be added, too. Throughout the year, you can also use your regular email marketing campaigns to reinforce practice reminders, events, and other important dates.
- Hold a holiday social media photo contest
Staying connected to others during a time of social distancing has been an ongoing challenge. As people seek opportunities to participate in fun, community-based activities, a holiday-themed online photo contest is a great option.Social media is one of the easiest places to make that happen and create a connection with your patients. Plus, if you offer prizes, everyone loves a chance to win something.
When you announce your photo contest, ensure the entry rules are clear:
- Let participants know the judging criteria and when entries will close. Also, note that judging decisions will be final.
- Designate a hashtag so you can keep track of entries online.
- Tell participants they must have a public profile and follow your practice social media account to win.
What should you give away as prizes? If your practice offers cash-only services or retail products, those are excellent options. This helps highlight your practice offerings at a time when gift-giving is a priority. If you don’t offer out-of-pocket-cost products, consider partnering with a local company that aligns with your specialty or core values, and offer a prize from their products or services. You can also give away gift cards to local businesses.
- Invite patients to submit New Year’s resolutions
The end of 2020 is certainly a reflective time. Dealing with increased isolation and health challenges, your patients are likely to be thinking about staying healthy and working on their health habits.As a trusted source and invested party in your patients’ health, invite your patients to share their resolutions via your social media channels. Start the conversation by sharing your own resolutions. If possible, use the patient feedback you receive to develop blog posts or videos containing tips aimed at helping patients keep their resolutions. This is a good way to foster a community-based conversation that can even grab the attention of local media.
- Write holiday-related blog posts
Use the 2020 holidays as inspiration. Create timely content that’s relevant to your patients. They’ll appreciate the topics and you’ll increase the likelihood that your blog will be shared.Your subject matter can vary, of course, but think about what’s pertinent to your specialty and practice location, and how it can affect people in your immediate area during the season. Right now, you might blog about the steps your practice takes to ensure patient and staff safety while increasing connection and a sense of community during the holidays.
For specialty-related content, consider how your expertise can help patients with something specific to the season. For example, if you’re a dermatologist, you can offer skincare tips for colder weather or emphasize the importance of wearing sunscreen year-round. If you treat patients with diabetes, your patients might appreciate a guide to healthy eating during the holidays.
- Offer gifts or promotional discounts
The holiday season can be expensive, and many of your patients have likely tightened their budgets this year. If you sell retail products or services, position them as last-minute gift ideas, or encourage your patients to buy for themselves.
- Get involved with community charities
Boost holiday cheer this year by sponsoring a holiday giving campaign. You can offer patients a place to drop off food donations that you’ll deliver to a local food pantry or shelter, or you can host a toy drive for local kids. There are many more people in need this year, and your patients will appreciate your leadership and participation.