Let’s be honest. For most pregnancy centers we talk to, this pandemic has been a long road. Adapting how you serve people, worrying about finances and canceled events, keeping up with new technology to communicate with both staff and clients, wondering how long you will have to do all of this… it’s a lot.
While we all desire to return to normalcy, part of moving forward will be learning to adapt to a “new normal.” Women’s ultimate need is the same, but how they pursue solutions to that need has shifted. They are now very comfortable being reached, served and communicated to virtually. How will you respond?
In this guide, we talk about some key ways your pregnancy center can adapt to long-lasting changes from COVID-19 to continue reaching and serving abortion-minded women.
Presence on Google
Now more than ever, women are searching for the abortion pill online. This was already a growing trend, but with fear over leaving their houses and entering clinics, many have turned to Google to find help and quick answers to their unexpected pregnancies.
Your competitors (abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood) have mastered this search platform to manipulate women and make a profit by convincing them abortion is their best choice. Unless you also have a strong online presence you will not reach the women you need to because Planned Parenthood and online abortion sellers will reach them first. The pandemic only accelerated what was already a trend to seek abortions online.
Google My Business
This is the easiest place to start. Google My Business is easy to set up and has the following benefits:
- It puts you on the map (Google Maps) so women can find you when they search for resources nearby.
- It allows women to see a snapshot of what you do when they search for help online.
- It helps your search engine optimization (SEO).
- It allows women to make a call very quickly and easily if they’re ready to make an appointment.
We talk about Google My Business (GMB) a lot because it’s so important. If you haven’t set up your profile yet, please take 10 minutes right now and check it off your list today! We encourage you to post regularly on your GMB profile with posts similar to other social media posts that are client focused. Always remember to use text with your post to encourage people to call your center or visit your website.
The world of advertising can be tricky to navigate at first but yields returns too great to ignore. Whether you invest in display advertising, pay-per-click ads, or circle specific geographical locations via geofencing, the money you invest in advertising will help you reach more abortion-minded women with the life-saving resources they desperately need.
Google ads can seem like an expensive addition to your overall budget. If you don’t feel you have the funds to cover the costs of Google ads, it’s a great time to sit down and write a proposal for your board and donors. Explain the impact of digital advertising and why these ads are so vital to your center’s success in reaching women in your community first – before your abortion clinic does. Word-of-mouth advertising is wonderful and it’s what so many pregnancy centers have relied on for years, but it’s not enough to compete in a space online where Planned Parenthood spares no expense in preying on vulnerable women. Now is the time to invest in the right ad strategy for your center to reach women first.
If you aren’t sure which ad strategy is best for you, please reach out to us. We’d love to help!
Google Search Engine Optimization
Yes, we’re talking about SEO again! You can have the best website in the world, with the best user experienced factored in, but if no one ever sees it, it’s pointless. SEO is what drives people to your website. When a woman experiences an unplanned pregnancy, she feels many things. If shame is one of those feelings, she will seek the most anonymous way forward. This means she isn’t going to ask her friends what to do, she’s going to ask Google what to do.
A well-optimized blog will help answer her questions and establish trust for your pregnancy center. It will help your website show up in search results to reach her in her moment of need.
Well-optimized service pages will help her find the information she needs quickly so she knows what you offer.
Keyword-rich content optimized for women in your area will help your website surface organically in the top search results so women have an alternative to Planned Parenthood.
We offer FREE SEO audits, so if you’d like to know how you can improve your website, we can help!
Throughout this pandemic, as people have been stuck at home, unable to leave for an extended period of time, many pregnancy centers adapted by ramping up their digital presence. This happened in two key areas: Better texting options, and video consultation options.
In many ways, the pandemic forced businesses and pregnancy centers alike to adapt in ways they likely needed to anyway. Here’s how you can ramp up your digital presence moving forward to reach more women.
An Option to Text
According to one study, 75% of Millennials and GenZ would rather text than talk with someone on the phone. If you don’t offer texting, you’re likely not reaching as many of the people you exist to support.
We understand it may be difficult to implement and manage, but many centers have implemented it with great success and ease – connecting with clients in a way they haven’t been able to in the past. It is worth it to overcome any hesitancies so that so you can reach women who might otherwise get an abortion. This is definitely the way of the future, accelerated by COVID-19.
Many pregnancy centers started offering video consultations as part of their options counseling efforts. If women weren’t able to come in for the consultation, the centers took it online to her via video.
While you obviously can’t administer services like pregnancy testing and ultrasounds via the internet, you can speak to women’s fears and concerns and offer the same options counseling for her over video that you would in your office.
Digital technology is what Millennials and GenZ are used to and they’re very comfortable utilizing it for communication in place of in-person meetings. As you think about ways to move forward from the pandemic, this is a shift we recommend. It doesn’t mean you need to replace your in-person consultations, it just means you offer video as another option.
We hope these tips for pivoting your marketing online help you think about how you will adapt coming out of the pandemic. Take time to brainstorm with your staff what your center did well, and what changes they’d like to see carried into the future. As always, please reach out to us if you have questions or need help with your marketing!