Health Care Providers Guide to Flu Season Marketing

by Drue Townsend

The arrival of falling leaves and cold weather signals that a wave of sniffles, chills, aches and pains and stuffy heads are on the way. Flu season is in full force and as experts say, nearly a quarter of the population will come down with this season’s virus strains du jour. For medical practices and pharmacies alike, it’s a busy time spent educating the public on the importance of taking the time to get in and get vaccinated.

Follow these practical tips on how to get the word out about flu prevention, as well as to educate about an array of treatment options.

Health Care Providers Guide to Flu Season Marketing
Balance Messages Between Prevention and Cure

You have a certain segment of the population who will be receptive to preventative care, and others who simply “didn’t get the memo.” Market both the preventative products, which include vaccines, health supplements and nutritional advice along with treatments for cure such as over-the-counter medicines and nasal sprays.

You can get innovative with ways to stretch your marketing dollars further. For example, offer flu shot gift cards and put them at your register. It’s a thoughtful gift for customers to hand out to friends, relatives or neighbors. Signs are another effective reminder and are simple and cost-effective to develop. A short message like “Get Your Flue Shot Here” will be enough to get people driving past your location to stop in or make a mental note to return later.

Other promotional products that are useful and keep your clinic or store top of mind are things like promotional sticky notes , refrigerator magnets, vitamin C packets and tip sheets with nutritional and health information.
 

Take it to the Streets

If you’ve done much research on your typical patient or customer, you might find that many of them are within a 15-mile or 15-minute radius of your location. Take advantage of that proximity with sidewalk signage in the general vicinity or in neighborhoods nearby. Advertise your walk-in hours for shots or consultations. 
 

Be Visible Online

Do advertise both your preventative care services and treatment options, along with any special offers or promotions on your existing website. If you want to go a step further and make it even more convenient for people to make appointments for flu shots, ad a widget. Widgets allow you to add content to your site without writing any code yourself.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a variety of widgets for health-related organizations.  Their Flu I.Q. widget is an interactive quiz that tests a person’s flu knowledge and helps to raise awareness on preventative care.
 

Another great resource is Google Flu Shot Finder, created in response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. It enables people to find flu vaccines all across the country. It has since retired, but HealthMap took over and is a handy resource and the place for your pharmacy, clinic or other vaccine provider to list your services, free of charge.

Make the most of your healthcare marketing this flu season by following a few of these helpful tips and you’re bound to see a bounce in traffic as people look to you to ward off the dreaded flu.