How to scale your 65 and older patient segment growth

January 27, 2020
Joseph Lucero
Authoritative, actionable strategies for primary care providers and specialists offering geriatric medicine to get more patients that are 65 and older. 


One challenging demographic to convert through content are prospective patients 65 and older. I understand this, very few practices have the privilege of extra time to audit their content strategy on a daily basis. Let alone segment patients into groups and create a marketing strategy from that.


The purpose of content for these patients is to: 

  • Educate them on the values and mission of your practice (brand image) 
  • Encourage them to schedule an appointment with your practice (acquire new patients) 

Joseph Lucero, founder at Belmar Health, on why video is a great focal point for your 65 and older patient growth strategy


Belmar Health wouldn’t exist without this daily content audit across every patient segment for each of our practices. It’s this audit that has led our team to identify video as the most significant medium of content that contributes to patient growth amongst the 65+ cohort. 


“Video content works great across every patient demographics but with the 65+ segment, it works phenomenally.”

Madison Rodriguez, clinical brand strategist at Belmar Health


It would have been helpful to stumble across this insight, but we didn't, my team and I set out to test every high performing format of content against one another. We tested in written, visual and audio mediums. 


Written

  • Articles 
  • Tweets 
  • Facebook posts (only text) 
  • IG, FB and Snap stories with text only 
  • Quote images 
  • Emails 
  • Text messages 


Visual

  • Video on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok 
  • Photos on Facebook, Instagram, GMB Posts 


Audio

  • Audio pulled from video and turned into a captioned video 


Video outperformed every other medium of content for patients who are 65 and older consuming what had been published.


Insights and supporting data for this strategy

Generally, this age group consumes the most video on YouTube and Facebook. 


This makes sense because 70% (1) of baby boomers use YouTube and Facebook is catching up quickly with 68% (1) usage amongst the same age demo. 


Outside the walls and studies of our organization, the data supporting video consumption amongst 65 and older patients is impeccable. 

Source: Google & Ipsos MediaCT 2013 boomers/seniors research study (1)


What’s so fascinating about this statistic is the consistency held when patients had previously consumed our videos and were familiar with our practices brand value to them as an individual of that community. 

Source: Belmar Health geriatric medicine patient acquisition study Q4 2019 (2)



And remember: Brand Value to a patient is two very different things. 

  1. Your mission as a practice 
  2. How educated and comfortable they feel with you as a provider after viewing video content where you share knowledge about specific services or procedures offered at your practice 


Always test a variation of each proposition to see which resonates more with your unique community and the rate at which patients consume your video content before taking an action. 


An excellent testimony to this: I recently consulted Dr. Gregory Still on the type of video content he should produce for a niche group of 65 and older patients requiring custom foot orthotics resulting from injury to the lower extremity. Here is one of the videos that resulted from our conversation:


The result was multiple patients scheduling with Dr. still in the following days. Each patient specifically referenced the video above for the reason behind scheduling an appointment with him. In this instance, each patient found brand value in his practice by how comfortable they felt with him as a provider and in turn influenced a valuable decision. 


How to use these insights for your own video strategy 

Conceptualizing, creating and publishing your video content is the next task. 


The most useful starting point is knowing what type of video content you’re going to publish. An exercise we do is sitting down with the doctors at our practice and asking them this: 


“What is every service you offer here and how do they help patients?”


By the end of your discussion with the doctor you should have the following for each service: 

• How it helps the individual 

• What type of patient requires this service 

• Who doesn't need this service 

• Preventative Measures 

• At-home Care 


At Belmar Health we structure the information from this conversation like so: 

This is a good starting point, edit to your vertical of medicine as needed.


This exercise is particular to conditions your practice treats, don’t overlook asking about the values and mission of the practice.


After we finish this exercise, we place everything onto a Calendar for the week. Each day looks similar to this: 


The screenshot above is a visual layout that exists to remind you when video content needs to be published throughout the week. Even though you have this organized calendar, be ready to make room for local current events that you can use to your benefit when it may give value to your patients. 


The final step of preparation is having a system in place to produce many short-form videos from one single long-form video. Our practices follow this structure;


Primary Content: Create 2-3 videos per week 

Primary content is a long-form video, our definition of long-form is anything longer than three minutes. 


Micro-Content: Create 5-15 videos per week from the original 2-3 

Shorten your primary content videos and publish them. The shorter version should directly jump into a topic and be direct. 


To reach prospective patients that are 65 and older in your community you need to publish your videos on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. 


Here are the best metrics to understand for video on each of those platforms. 


Facebook

Minutes Viewed: 

The total amount of time patients have spent watching your video placed into one metric.


1-Minute Video Views: 

The number of times a patient consumed your video for at least 1-Minute in a single instance. 


3-Second Video Views:

The number of times a patient consumed your video for longer than 3-seconds or approximately the entire length. 


Engagement: 

The number of patients who Reacted, Liked, Commented or shared your video. 


YouTube

Views: 

The total amount of views for any given date range


Watch Time: 

The total estimated amount of time patients have spent watching your videos 


Unique Viewers:

The number of patients that watched your videos within a specific time frame


Instagram 

Views:

The number of patients that watched your video all the way through 


Profile Visits: 

The number of times someone visited your profile as a result of posting a video on Instagram. 


Impressions: 

The total number of times your post has been seen in the newsfeed, not played all the way through. 


Reach: 

The number of unique patient accounts that have seen your post in their newsfeed. 


Follows:

The number of patients that followed you as a result of posting your video on Instagram. 


Remember: The needs of patients 65 and older are unique - each patient is also diverse. Which means your videos must be contextual to their unique lifestyle. Be mindful of how you mention health issues, gender, age, and race. 


Is this all you will ever need to know about earning more appointments from this age group? Absolutely not. Every practice plays a critical role in sustaining knowledge on evolving acquisition efforts that are most suitable for 65 and older patients. My team and I passionately share that pursuit with you. 

(1) Google and Ipsos MediaCT 2013 Boomers/Seniors Research Study

(2) Belmar Health geriatric medicine patient acquisition study Q4 2019

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Written by
Joseph Lucero
Founder and Director at Belmar Health