For any marketing manager to be able to effectively promote their practice’s services, they must first start with the target demographic they are trying to sell to: where do they spend their time? What sorts of advertisements do they respond to? What techniques and strategies can be used to attract them to your practice?
For many marketing managers, the desired service is cataract surgery, and the target market is the older generations. Assessing patient demographics is an essential element of crafting a good marketing plan. But how can ophthalmologists reach an aging cataract population?
Well, the demographics that make up much of the cataract market are increasingly turning to the Internet for new information, and represent largely-untapped potential.
Get on Facebook
Recent studies and trends are showing that many younger generations are moving towards more media-rich applications like Snapchat and Instagram in particular for their social media activities, but the older generations are deeply devoted to Facebook.
Facebook has become the tool of choice for many in the older generations; there are relatively few who actively engage on Twitter, and only a handful on Instagram. What’s more, as social media use is turning into a daily occurrence for many Baby Boomers and their parents, targeting this demographic is becoming much easier.
For your practice to capitalize on the opportunity that the aging cataract population represents, you need to be on Facebook, actively posting and engaging with the older generation.
Trust is Key
For many in older generations, booking an appointment or submitting personal information over the Internet is a foreign concept and one that is (understandably) met with resistance. Because of this implicit distrust of many activities online, it’s important to frame your marketing messages accordingly.
Consider encouraging potential cataract patients to pick up the phone to schedule an appointment (something they will likely be more comfortable with), and save the online appointment scheduling for the younger folks who need LASIK.
Video is a Winner
Not only are older generations engaging more with brands and other people on Facebook, but they’re watching more video, too. As a social network, Facebook is becoming more centered around video: experts estimate that in the near future, Facebook feeds will be comprised of mostly video content.
Combine this with the fact that Facebook is the social network of choice for many in the demographic that is prime for cataract surgery, and the opportunity couldn’t be more clear: the ophthalmic practices that utilize educational videos targeted to the cataract demographic and share them on Facebook will win.
Don’t Forget Accessibility
As we’ve mentioned, the older generations can be somewhat distrustful of content and offers they see online, but even more so if the tools are hard to use. If having your practice’s phone number prominently displayed in a marketing message is key, having a website that is accessible is even more important.
For those patients who do click through to your website to learn more about cataract surgery or to claim an offer, they will be expecting that information is easy to locate and simple to access. Having features on your website like click-to-call functionality, prominent contact information, and readable fonts can go a long way in converting a cataract lead to an actual patient.
A Final Thought
Even the most accessible, educational, and targeted marketing message will fall short if there isn’t an element of human connection present as well. As seniors are growing more technologically-savvy and engaging with new types of content in new ways, human touch is what will seal the deal. Having compassionate staff who can walk older generations through the would-be scary process of cataract surgery can make all the difference for your practice.
At the end of the day, a marketing message will fall on deaf ears if it’s not accompanied by an authentic human touch that can assuage their patients’ fears and help guide them through the process. While these tips and tricks can prove useful to reach an aging cataract population, the “special sauce” is how they are combined with the marketing strategies your practice is already employing.
Need some help with your marketing? Let’s talk.