Boomers are falling apart (and, for the record, I can say that with the utmost respect, because I am one.
Dammit) — and are shopping for spare parts. And if hospitals and physicians want their share of the Boomer business, they’d best get busy when it comes to social media channels and content marketing strategies.
Because this generation of fitness loving overachievers has no intention of slowing down or letting a little thing like getting older get in the way of being active and doing what they love. Not without a fight, and not without turning to the best that health care has to offer to keep them in fighting shape. Boomers need things like knees, hip replacements, plastic surgery procedures (don’t judge until you’re there) and maybe even weight loss-focused procedures.
Add to that the Boomers’ disposable income — they collectively spend over $3 trillion annually — combined with their use of technology, participation in social media channels, and savvy hospitals, physicians and specialty health care clinics can make significant inroads when it comes to reaching this target audience.
But having a presence on Twitter, Facebook and the like isn’t enough. And that’s where the smart marketers will prevail. Hospitals and health care providers must first understand the value of content marketing and what an integral role content strategy will play in their integrated marketing efforts moving forward.
Consumers today find the service providers they seek in one of two ways: they search the web and they ask their friends. Boomers make up 32.5% of the US adult population and a pretty significant 36% of the total online adult population. Boomers account for about one-third of the Web traffic on a typical day. (Pew Internet & American Life Project).
Using the web to search for information about health is one of the most common things that people of all ages do, including Boomers. This chart from Pew Internet (pictured below) illustrates that quite nicely.
The key to success when it comes to reaching these searchers is to respect the web enough to understand the value of search engine optimization and develop a subsequent content marketing strategy. And the second, equally as important, step is to understand the value of social channels and how building a brand presence in those social networking arenas – places like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — and participating in those channels on a regular basis is an integral part of the process. And one of the ways to establish credibility in those social media channels is to regularly share relevant, informative, educational and sometimes even entertaining content – your own original content, as well as that produced by others.
How to get there? That’s really pretty simple. Great content already exists. Consider this: hospitals produce a large amount of printed material on an annual basis, and they also are home to some of the smartest, most talented and innovative minds around. They don’t have to reinvent the wheel; instead, hospitals and health care providers just need to look at some of the things they’re already doing. They can then establish some specific goals, and begin the process of exploring how to repurpose some of their existing content to suit a wide variety of online channels. That …. well, that’s what you call creating a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing isn’t brain surgery. In fact, it’s really just brand storytelling. And when it comes to hospitals and health care providers, there are so very many stories to tell. Using content marketing as a way of showcasing talented physicians, specialties, clinical trials and patient success stories is one of the ways hospitals can show thought leadership, innovation, compassion, commitment to and excellence in patient care and the like in a really effective manner. And by demonstrating those traits, health care providers will not only continue to build relationships with their current patient base, but also position themselves to reach new patients—especially those in the Boomer generation—as a result of online visibility and a thoughtful approach to an integrated marketing strategy.