Healthcare Marketing: 4 Simple Tips for Reaching Millennials

Missed our webinar? Check it out now and learn how to engage millennials with a modern, comprehensive digital media plan.

The digital age has revolutionized healthcare. It is now easier than ever to make appointments, monitor your own health with apps, and even receive healthcare online. The way healthcare services function isn’t the only thing that’s changing for health systems, though. Healthcare marketing is changing rapidly as well, and this change is driven by millennials.

Although healthcare marketing was already somewhat behind the digital curve, the rise of millennials is pushing things into the next gear faster than ever before. The upside is that now all healthcare marketers have the opportunity to get ahead of trends that are likely to only get more intense as Generation Z comes of age.

On March 29th, 2017, OhioHealth and Fathom healthcare marketing experts got together to discuss the millennial healthcare habits that matter most to you and what to do about them in our webinar ‘Millennials & Healthcare: Using Generational Marketing to Build Social Media Strategy’.

Of course, one of the millennial habits that healthcare marketers are having the hardest time adjusting to is the generation’s propensity for social media.

Healthcare and Social Media – What’s the Connection?

Healthcare and social media might not seem naturally compatible. When it comes to marketing, though, they work better together, especially when you add millennials to the mix. Below are some powerful stats that show the monumental role that social media plays in millennials’ lives:

  • Over 90% of millennials use social media daily (Pew Research Center)
  • More than 48 Million U.S. millennials are active on Instagram (eMarketer)
  • 84% don’t trust traditional advertising (The McCarthy Group)
  • More than 60% of 13 to 34-year-old U.S. millennials are Snapchatters (Snapchat)
  • 61% of millennials report regularly using Facebook (eMarketer)

No matter how uncomfortable your team feels with delving into social, there’s no way around the fact that millennials are on social, and that’s where you’re going to reach them.

4 Expert Tips for Communicating With Millennials via Social Media

  1. The first step to communicating with millennials on social media is to forget that you’re on social. That may sound counterintuitive, but it’s key to remember that communicating is not about the channel, it’s about the content. While there are important rules of engagement for each social channel, the focus should be on leveraging the right message to the right audience at the right place.
  2. When it comes to modern social media, even the best content isn’t going to cut it. And it’s not your fault. Virtually all social channels are requiring paid boosting of content to cut through the clutter. The sacrifice is typically worth it, though, as paid social is less costly than other forms of digital advertising, and it’s typically more effective.
  3. Because content for social tends to be piecemeal in format–a status, a tweet, a 6-second video–it’s easy to think that it should be written piecemeal. Strong social content is bound by a theme, though, and fosters ongoing conversations with your followers. After all, most of your social connections won’t see or consume every single tweet or status update you put out there – but you want they ones they do see to be consistent and effective.
  4. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that you customize your tone to your audience as well as to each channel’s unique presence while still maintaining a strong brand voice. This might sound a bit like walking a tightrope, but some audience research, channel research, and a strong brand guidelines document will do the trick. You can break it down even more by creating examples of appropriate content for each channel.

Millennials Are Diverse, and Your Healthcare Marketing Should Be Too

Like you would do with any other group, perform in-depth audience research. Not all millennials, like not all Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, are the same. Millennials range between 13 and 35 in age and the group is breaking records in terms of both its size and its diversity. Accordingly, tailored, specific content is a must.

When doing audience research, consider some of the millennial-related questions below:

  • Are they male or female?
  • Do they have children?
  • What drives their conversations?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their income?
  • What are their hobbies?
  • What are their main concerns?

Ultimately, research shows that millennials want to be part of a community, they don’t respond well to being talked at, and they don’t like advertising. Entertaining, visual content–particularly videos–tends to resonate most with the constantly-connected individuals this generation.

Before you walk away from this blog thinking that millennials are a little too high maintenance and a little too connected to their devices, though, remember that these trends exist for nearly every other generation, too. Still, millennials are leading the way and–given that they will take over the bulk of buying power in just over a year–it just makes good business sense to focus your marketing on them.


Watch ‘Millennials & Healthcare: Use Generational Marketing to Build Social Media Strategy’ to discover how to create a digital media plan that will engage and retain millennials.


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  • Vinita says:

    We wouldn’t have thought to promote healthcare websites on social media couples of years back . But the idea doesn’t sound weird anymore, maybe because influence of social media. This may sound little off-topic but can you provide me some references about how to handle seo of healthcare eCommerce sites? How is it different from normal eCommerce site?

    • Victoria Grieshammer says:

      Hi Vinita, I’m glad to hear that you also see the value in using social media in healthcare marketing.

      To answer your questions, the major hurdle for healthcare for ecommerce websites will be how you handle your offsite and link earning strategies. Healthcare publications and content producers often have strict editorial guidelines. And earning links can require a little creativity.

      With that said, a lot of the traditional SEO strategies are going to remain the same – just with a slight variation or two. Here are a few good ecommerce resources to check out:
      • A Fairly Robust SEO ecommerce resource center:
      • Tips on Link Earning:

      Let us know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

      • Vinita says:

        Hi Victoria,
        I went through these links, and they seem really helpful. Helped me to develop my SEO strategy for healthcare products site.
        Thanks for pointing out these articles.

  • Malia says:

    Interesting post. Social media can be tricky and it needs to be up to date. Email is also a very good way to engage with the patients. Marketing automation can sort of bridge the gap between the two and it helps out with some repetitive tasks. One of the easier tools to use is GetResponse.

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