Reaching Younger Patients in Healthcare Marketing
- April 21, 2017
While most doctor’s offices, clinics, and other medical practices welcome all patients, there’s an understandable desire to also attract and retain younger patients who can establish a long-term relationship with you. If you define “younger” as the millennial generation, that means there’s roughly 90 million 18- to 34-year-olds within the population. Reaching out to potential patients within this age group requires a diverse and personal approach to healthcare marketing.
Go Beyond Social Media
Even though social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are readily associated with younger patients, millennials are wary of social media marketing. Traditional marketing methods such as direct mail can be just as effective for millennials as long as website info is included for access to further information. Younger patients also tend to appreciate:
- Important medical stats presented as infographics (this also increases sharing)
- Videos clearly explaining or illustrating medical procedures
- Informative healthcare websites that go beyond selling points
- Links to credible sources for verification purposes
Embrace Mobile Marketing
More than half of all millennials do most of their online searching from a mobile device. Engagements with younger patients, whether it’s with a website or social media posts, need to be as mobile friendly as possible. With healthcare marketing, this means:
- Using text messages to distribute information (when appropriate and only with permission)
- Having a website that’s easy to navigate and use on smaller screens
- Using geographic location information to deliver messages
Tell Meaningful Stories
Reaching younger patients involves more than just facts, figures, and stats. Millennials, in particular, tend to respond to real stories rather than matter-of-fact content. If patients have questions or aren’t sure they need things like regular preventative checkups, answers can sometimes be provided by sharing real-life experiences from other patients.
For instance, young athletes tend to have more over-use injuries, so having a regular doctor makes sense. But spitting out a bunch of stats to prove this point won’t be as effective as stories from actual athletes who benefited from the early treatment of issues that were discovered during a routine doctor visit.
Reduce Dependency on Phone Calls
It’s safe to assume that patients of any age aren’t fond of having to wait on the phone or press a bunch of buttons just to speak to someone. Typically, younger patients prefer engagements that can be easily accessed from their smartphone. For marketing purposes, this means:
- Personalizing emails with tips and other info specific to a patient’s health needs
- Sending out follow-up texts or emails after a visit to encourage the posting of feedback online
- Providing convenient contact and scheduling options other than the need for a phone call
In order to be effective, healthcare marketing to millennials needs to include a steady diet of fresh, relevant information. There’s likely to be more engagement and interest if such content is conveniently accessible via mobile devices, presented in easily digestible formats, and useful or helpful in some way.
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