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A healthcare marketer’s guide to leveraging flu season

A healthcare marketer’s guide to leveraging flu season

Over the past few years, the flu has been put on the back burner as the COVID-19 pandemic has become the primary medical concern for the world. The brief attention it received during this time was to encourage everyone to get a flu vaccine to avoid a “twindemic.” But as COVID-19 appears to (hopefully) be moving toward an endemic stage, resuming flu communication will be essential. 

But is there a way for your brand to address only the flu each season, or will you need to add in COVID-19 messaging as well? And how can you do so without drawing political ire? Let’s dive in. 

Consider COVID-19

With Moderna aiming to create a combination COVID-19 and flu vaccine and scientists speculating that we may need a yearly COVID booster, you may want to consider creating a combined flu and COVID-19 messaging strategy. 

You can focus on encouraging people to schedule vaccines. Also, take some time to share preventive measures people can take.

And since COVID-19 is such a sensitive topic, both emotionally and politically, be careful in your language. Focus on compassion and research-backed tips, and consider using videos of doctors to share these messages. Having a trusted provider be the messenger tends to be more widely accepted than having a faceless health system tell people what to do. 

Prioritize flu prevention

Establish yourself as a trusted resource. Develop educational resources about the flu (and potentially COVID-19), which you can post to your website (boosting your SEO rankings) and share as organic or paid content on social media platforms. Consider attention-grabbing infographics about the difference between common viruses, posters showing the proper way to wash your hands, or videos debunking myths. Keep this content light and compelling to keep your audience engaged.

Use timely and relevant messaging

The typical flu season begins in October and lasts through March, and your media buys and messaging should reflect this. Depending on your area, the flu may peak at a certain time, and there might be very little flu activity at other times. Optimize your digital media buys in real-time based on the number of cases in a specific region so that you can meet the need of the community. Using this data can help you reach a more receptive audience and increase your ROI. 

Think outside the tissue box 

Get creative with your ad placements to be sure you’re reaching as many people as you can. Consider working with local businesses to place branded hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas, or develop flu and COVID-19 prevention kits with educational materials to share with schools. Use these opportunities to provide value to the consumer and build a relationship with the community. 

With so many people fighting to be top of mind, becoming a trusted name in flu and COVID-19 prevention and care can take some creativity. But by taking the time to create virus-specific messaging, DECODE can help you find the underutilized space, the White Space. We’re passionate about developing innovative and exciting ideas, and we’re ready to share ours with you. Contact us to learn more.

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