Audience Research: How to Reach & Engage Millennials with Healthcare Content Marketing

Knowing how to reach your target audience (where they are) and providing content that engages them (what to say) are crucial tasks if you want your content marketing to be successful. If you’re a healthcare organization and your target audience is millennials (anyone born between 1981 and 2000), you should know by now that this group is different from the Baby Boomers, Generation X and other audience segments. So different, in fact, that they require a unique approach with healthcare content marketing.

Make sure when you’re creating and promoting content directed towards millennials, you’re speaking their language and giving them what they find useful. Here’s how:

1. Understand what’s important to them

Millennials have very different values compared to generations before them. They’ve lived through a recession, are faced with huge economic debt in the form of student loans, and are being shaped by the Affordable Care Act. Because of these circumstances, millennials approach healthcare differently.

Actionable insight: Use your millennial audience’s values to develop content topics and ideas that speak to this audience. One study found that millennials are more likely to focus on the present over the future and have a strong emphasis on a work/life balance. Knowing this, give your content an immediate impact approach – give them content that helps them on a day-to-day basis.

2. Be convenient (like, really convenient)

Millennials have grown up with computers, the Internet, smartphones, handheld video games and many other forms of convenient technology. If you want to attract and retain millennial patients, you need to make it easy for them to choose you.

Actionable insight: Take a deeper look at your value propositions – if any of them are related to patient convenience, play them up. For example, do you have online appointment scheduling? Call it out throughout your healthcare content. Do you have short wait times or virtual appointment capabilities? Talk about them, but talk about how they benefit your audience.

3. Go out-of-the-box

Millennials march to the beat of their own drums. The same study mentioned above found that less than half of millennials considered regular medical (44 percent) and dental (46 percent) checkups, vaccinations (39 percent), routine self-exams (32 percent), and routine cancer screenings (23 percent) to be part of their overall health and wellness. Instead, this audience cares more about preventive health, urgent care and overall wellness.

Actionable insight: Don’t create cookie-cutter content about routine checkups, vaccinations, health screenings, and other day-to-day medical information. Instead, develop actionable, step-by-step content that teaches your audience things like how to diagnose a condition, how to be proactive with their health, or how to treat a minor condition at home. Be helpful yet different.

4. Offer plenty of research-heavy information.

Compared to non-millennials, this age group is more likely to self-diagnose or treat a minor condition at home before even considering going to a doctor. In addition, fewer millennials have visited a doctor’s office in the past year compared to non-millennials. That shows that millennials may be harder to get into your healthcare facility’s doors, but they’re more likely to consume your research-heavy content online.

Actionable insight: Have an informative set of content on your website or blog that is based on practical health research. Depending on your area of expertise, focus on educational content that is invaluable for this target audience. Things like detailed infographics, guides, videos and blog posts are great examples to emphasize.

5. Place a high importance on patient satisfaction and sentiment among all audience segments

You know millennials are online. They’re on social media, blogs, forums, review sites – and they’re talking. In fact, a quarter of millennials surveyed said they’ve sought medical advice from friends and family in the past year, so word-of-mouth is crucial to them. Additionally, 53 percent of those millennials consider friends and family to be a trusted source of information.

Actionable insight: Friends and family of millennials can be gatekeepers – so even if your target audience is millennials, opinions of non-millennials can influence their decisions. You can’t control how doctors treat their patients, but you can control the patient experience after the appointment. Improve audience sentiment by engaging with patients on social media, providing useful information through content and using reputation monitoring tactics to maintain a positive reputation.

6. Put your doctors online

Hospitals across the country are implementing telehealth programs that make virtual appointments and digitized health information possible. This is perfect for a millennial target audience – 60 percent of millennials are interested in using options like doctor video chats so they don’t have to come into the office for an appointment. Not only is this convenient and easy, it aligns with the technological savviness of this audience.

Actionable insight: Look into implementing some type of telehealth option at your health facility. Use healthcare content marketing to promote that feature – put its benefits in front of millennials and play up the convenience of it. Develop how-to content as well as success stories and case studies to give a well-rounded picture of the program.

Do you understand your target audience of millennials? If you want to reach and engage them with your healthcare content marketing, you should. Use audience research to allow your healthcare content marketing to grow and engage an audience of millennials.

Haley Hite

About Haley Hite

Haley Hite is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Fathom, where she leads the content marketing initiatives, training and best practices for the company. While at Fathom, she has worked with clients in a variety of industries to create, implement and measure documented content strategies based on sound research and data. Outside of work, Haley loves traveling to tropical locations, reading, cheering on her alma mater Bowling Green State University, going to Cedar Point, and hanging out with her husband. Follow Haley on Twitter: @HaleyHite11.

One Comment

  • Nice, Haley. LOVE #6 – get your doctors online … not only for telehealth access, but make them accessible using digital tools: email, social networks. Studies show that patients who are better-connected with their care teams are healthier. They are more engaged and involved in their health; they are more compliant with their treatment regimens. They are healthier. And that’s a win-win, for patients, docs, hospitals. Get your docs online!

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