Effective Ways of Reaching Older Prospective Patients
There are many advantages to setting up a geriatric medical practice, where you treat and tend to the needs of older patients:
- Older people generally have more health issues and need more regular care.
- Older patients are typically better insured or have more discretionary income to pay for needed medical services.
- Older patients often show a greater appreciation for the ways you can help them live a healthier life.
So once you decide you want to practice geriatric medicine, how do you go about building a patient roster? Of course, today, the first place most medical practices go to market their services is the internet. Can that be an effective approach for an older patient base? The answer is yes.
Some Basic Rules for Your Online Campaign
There are vast numbers of seniors who regularly use email or spend time on social media platforms. They tend not to participate in the more fast-paced and temporal sites, such as Twitter or Snapchat, but prefer Facebook and similar venues where they can stay for longer periods of time. To appeal to seniors, you want to avoid jargon or trendy acronyms (LOL may be okay, but IMHO won’t resonate). The information you provide should be clear, honest, and concise, without a lot of hyperbole. It should also relate directly to issues that matter to seniors. Avoid technical language and pay a bit more attention to grammar. Senior citizens tend, as a whole, to have greater reverence for language than Gen Xers and subsequent generations.
It’s also critical to understand that, while some seniors need assistance when making healthcare decisions, most do not. Assume that the person to whom your marketing is directed is healthy and capable of making their own decisions without the involvement of children or a caregiver.
Focus on what you can do for your prospective patients. Seniors are far less interested in you as a product than you as a service. Tell them what you offer and how your services will improve their lives. Don’t spend time on all your accolades.
A recent study found that nearly a third of all seniors still look for medical care through traditional means, rather than going online. You may need to engage in some physical advertising, such as direct mail pieces, catalogs, or brochures.
With all your marketing, place a priority on making it easy for them to contact you. Prominently place telephone numbers in your marketing, as most seniors still like to talk to a live person.