The way millennials choose their healthcare providers is dramatically different from the generations that came before them. While baby boomers were content to select clinics based on geographical proximity, the same is not true of the younger generation. It’s digital accessibility instead of physical accessibility that appears to be the primary driver in decision-making.
If you want your healthcare establishment to thrive, you need to appeal to the millennial market. Pew Research concludes that millennials will soon become the largest living generation (and the wealthiest), providing incentives for medical practices to find ways to attract and retain them as patients.
Check out the following tips for marketing to millennials and boosting acquisition.
Initiate A Cause-Led Marketing Campaign
According to Sprout Social, 66 per cent of millennials take into consideration the ethical stance of a company before deciding whether to do business with it or not. Brand values, therefore, are essential.
Yes, having a good mission statement is important, but if you really want millennials to perceive you as a cause-driven organisation, then you’ll need to be explicit in your marketing.
Millennials are the most belief-driven consumer group in history. They’re more likely to buy from a company that they see as “good” and boycott one that they perceive as “bad” than any generation before them. Healthcare providers, therefore, need to champion good causes and ensure that their ethical messages are in tune with the opinions of the millennial public.
Engage With Them On Social Media
For a large chunk of millennials, so media is synonymous with the internet. Healthcare practices, therefore, should use social media primarily to reach out to their millennial audience.
Data from Sprout Social suggests that social media is the most relevant advertising platform for 42 percent of millennials. Fifty-two per cent feel that social media advertising is becoming more relevant to them.
Healthcare practices, therefore, may benefit from engaging in paid social media marketing campaigns, specifically targeting millennials in the local area.
There’s also a case for healthcare practices to advertise the merits of their services through social media, such as the benefits of regular medical and dental checkups. Some millennials, for instance, don’t know that they need a trip to the dentist every six months.
Provide Online Bookings
Millennials love the convenience that modern technology has brought to their lives, so it can be jarring when their healthcare provider still does things the old-fashioned way. Most people between the ages of 24 and 38, for instance, don’t want to call up and book an appointment through a receptionist. They’d much rather hop onto their phone, click and app and be done with it.
Data from WPA Amelia confirm this. Seventy per cent of millennials say that they would prefer to use a doctor-provided app to schedule online appointments than the telephone. What’s more, the number of patients using online booking facilities has exploded in recent years. Thirty-four per cent of people used online booking services in 2016, but by 2019, that number has risen to more than 64 per cent, according to the Amelia statistics. Practically all of the top 100 healthcare providers in the world now offer digital scheduling services to patients.
Providing online scheduling is a far less technically tricky task than many healthcare professionals imagine. You don’t need to redesign your website or invent new technology. Typically, all you need is a plugin that manages all bookings for you. If you use WordPress, Wix or another website builder, you can find scheduling apps on their respective marketplaces. Alternatively, get a web developer to do it.
Create A Modern Website
Millennials know a quality website when they see one. A combination of slick navigation, careful use of white space, and rapid page-loading times are all signals that they’re dealing with a professional organisation.
But your website does much more than communicate about your services: it also tells millennials whether they should trust you or not. Millennials are the most digitally-savvy generation so far and have an unconscious ability to process digital information in ways that generations before them don’t. If your site looks cobbled together or isn’t optimised for mobile, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
When it comes to your website millennials are looking primarily for three things:
- Mobile-friendliness. Check to see whether your website makes sense on mobile devices. The navigation should be intuitive on mobile devices, the font large enough to read, and all services accessible, including mobile booking.
- Excellent design. The layout of your website says a lot to millennials about the quality of your practice. Judicious use of white space and easily-navigable pages are all a must.
- Helpful information. When people have a problem with their health and require treatment, they want to be able to access beneficial information from a source that they can trust. As a qualified, licensed healthcare provider, you’re in an ideal position to do this. Your advice could make a tremendous difference in their quality of life and their willingness to ask for care.
Make Your Online Presence A Priority
The internet is the first place that many millennials go when they have a health problem. Data suggest that more than 74.6 per cent use the web to find local health professionals, doctors, and dentists.
It’s never been more important, therefore, for medical practices to have a strong presence on the internet. Your clinic needs to appear in results whenever a patient searches for services that you can provide in your area.
Your priority should be to list your practice online with a service like Google My Business. Telling Google that you run an organisation that provides healthcare services puts you at an immediate advantage. Google places information about your firm alongside similar suppliers in your area in a special box in search results, along with your website, contact information and opening hours. After that, use SEO services to keep you visible for relevant searches.
Millennials interact with healthcare services in a fundamentally different way to previous generations. If you want your medical practice to keep pace with the times, you need to provide the digital natives you serve with quality and visibility, while appealing to their values.