Ah, those infamous millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996 (aged 26 to 41) and now makes up most of the world’s population.
They grew up with computers and Internet connectivity, and they are super tech-savvy. They also have a unique set of lifestyle requirements that emphasize the use of today’s leading-edge digital technologies for shared experiences. Chances are your healthcare practice is finding it more difficult to attract greater numbers of millennials these days. Perhaps it’s because you have not yet fully grasped the ever-changing world of digital technology and how millennials use it.
Despite that, it’s not as difficult as you might think to make your practice more attractive to millennials once you understand their generation and motivations a little better.
More than 90% of millennials use the Internet every day. This means you need to utilize a combination of various online strategies such as a practice website, SEO, blogs, reputation management and social media to attract more millennials to your medical practice.
Start with a Functional, Responsive Professional Website
According to a recent survey by Binary Fountain, over 60% of patient prospects look online before choosing a medical practice for their specific needs. That’s why you need a professional and responsive website to make your practice attractive to millennial prospects.
Understand that millennials are notoriously impatient. When they click on your website, they expect it to load quickly – typically within five seconds. Research tells us that the highest impact on conversion rates occurs during the first five seconds of page-loading time. Conversion rates then drop an average of 4.42% for each additional second of loading time.
Your website must be responsive to the various devices that millennials use, including mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Having a well-designed, responsive, professional-looking, mobile-friendly website design will reflect well on your medical practice. In fact, web design is so critical that as many as 57% of users won’t recommend a healthcare practice with a poor or unresponsive design, according to Sweor. To improve your healthcare practice website, we recommend that you do the following:
• Improve your load times – use Google PageSpeed Insights to check how fast your website is loading and correct any issues that are slowing your load times.
• Use responsive design –your site should function and look well on all devices and screen sizes.
• Make sure your site is well-organized with intuitive navigation – your site should have logical, consistent navigation, and reader-friendly, relevant, and informative content.
• Easy online appointment booking – millennials prefer to book healthcare appointments online rather than face-to-face or by phone. In fact, nearly half of all patient prospects prefer to book their appointments online, and that number has been rising steadily every year.
• Flexible self-scheduling – millennial prospects prefer to book appointments online because it saves them time. They want instant gratification and don’t feel the need to discuss their options in person or over the phone.
Your Online Presence is Everything to Millennials
Today, it is more important than ever to have a strong online presence in the healthcare industry. To achieve that, your medical practice must appear and rank near the top of the most popular search engines such as Google and Bing. Remember that 86% of patient prospects now rely on the Internet when they are searching for a local medical practice.
The key to making sure you have a strong online presence is search engine optimization or SEO. With the right keywords or key phrases and other SEO best practices, your website ranking will improve over time, making it more likely that millennial prospects will find you online. Your goal is to have your website appear on the first page of search results because millennials are simply too impatient to search beyond that.
Another important way to improve your online presence is through local SEO strategies. Make sure to list your practice on Google My Business and other local directories. Make sure you list your website, complete contact information and office hours. Doing so will encourage Google’s algorithm to look more favorably on your practice while giving you an advantage over your local competition.
Improve Your Online Reputation
Pay extra attention to your online reviews. Positive online reviews make your medical practice much more attractive to millennials. Keep in mind that 87% of Internet users believe online reviews are critically important in healthcare, according to Bright Local. Another study from Levo Health concluded that 71% of millennials use online reviews to find the best healthcare practice for their specific needs.
Improving your online reputation means encouraging your current patients to provide positive reviews. The most successful practices do this either in person or immediately after appointments using surveys or follow-up emails. Remember that it takes about eight positive reviews to negate the effects of each negative review. Familiarize yourself with all of your online reviews, which may appear on one or more of dozens of review platforms. Keep track of the feedback you get to help maintain a professional image for your medical practice.
Grow Your Social Media Presence
Building trust online is important and having a social media presence is critical. According to Pew Research, 84% of millennials use at least one social media platform. They tend to trust healthcare practices that engage them on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, among many others.
Research shows that 70% of social media users will choose a specific healthcare practice based on recommendations from social media influencers, who are basically users with large followings of other users. To make your practice more attractive to millennials, you need a strong social media presence.
Think about your target audience of millennials. Consider the types of information they want to get from your social media profile and social media posts. Think about the topics you want to communicate about that match millennial interests and preferences. Identify the ideal platform for reaching your target audience. For example, Facebook and Instagram should be your go-to choices if you want to engage with potential new millennial patients. Here you can participate in discussion groups and share valuable health information that demonstrates your expertise.
Just remember that your target audience matters most on social media. Focus on them and what they care most about when you create your social media profiles and posts. That’s how you build trust among millennials by making it about them. Start engaging with their community rather than just posting topics that matter only to you.
Start a Blog and Post Consistently
Blogs have become the secret sauce in healthcare marketing to millennials. Blogs about healthcare topics that interest them will help you attract, educate and convert them into new patients. You should know that:
• 60% of consumers have a positive feeling toward a company after reading its blog
• 61% of consumers have become patients at practice after reading its blog
• Practices that prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to receive positive ROI
• Practices that blog at least 8 times per month generate almost three times more traffic and four times as many leads as those who blog only once per month or less
Blogging is a must if you want to improve your web traffic, SEO and prospect engagement. Your blogs should be at least 1,000 words in length, focused on specific topics of interest to millennial readers. Choose topics that your patients or web visitors request or express interest in. Focus your blogs on them and their interests.
Digital Technology is the Key to Your Practice Future
Millennials are far more influenced by digital technology than are older generations. That’s why you should use all the online tools available to make your practice most attractive to millennials.