Healthcare Digital Marketing

What’s Trending: Marketing To Gen Z (Part 2)

the next big thing is marketing to gen z. 3 trends to marketing to gen z.

More Ways to Market to Gen Z

Despite their youth, Generation Z holds an immense $140 billion spending power. This economic strength, coupled with them being the first completely digital generation, is likely to disrupt several industries. That makes marketing to Gen Z—sooner than later—the next big thing.

While most healthcare marketing strategies still skews toward older demographic, don’t overlook Gen Z. However, know there are vast differences between them and other age groups.

Let’s look more closely at the Gen Z persona:

  • Values brands that have active communities—influencers and fandom;
  • Females mostly use TikTok and Instagram; Gen Z males prefer YouTube;
  • Video platforms provide them with outlets for social networking, entertainment, information, and discovering and buying products.

Gen Z is committed to improving their lives. But they’re looking for practitioners—or influencers—who give them tangible steps to improve their lives. This is the “life hack” generation—TikTok is filled with videos offering simple DIY ways, or hacks, for making their own two-for-one burritos at Chipotle; applying makeup; making snacks with five ingredients; and on and on.

Connecting with Gen Z is also necessary for recruiting and retaining the next generation of employees. Older members of Gen Z are close to, or have already graduated college. They’re looking for employers that align with their personal values. How your brand markets to Gen Z will serve as a strong first impression when recruiting the next generation of the work force.

What’s Trending: Tactics for Marketing To Gen Z

Use video on social media like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to market to a gen Z audience

Trend 1: Video

Gen Z lives in a world of video. TikTok is their preferred platform. YouTube is hot, and though organic engagement has decreased on the platform, Gen Z can still be found on Instagram . However, they are largely migrating away from Facebook. Here are some tips for planning effective marketing to Gen Z:

  • Check out other brands and what they’re doing on all platforms; you can download and scroll the TikTok app without ever posting a video; @chipotle, @washingtonpost and @fentybeauty directly target Gen Z with humor, hacks and even light-hearted takes on trending news;
  • Use hashtags to provide context, help viewers to find content that interests them and build community; branded hashtags encourage viewers to engage with your brand and create their own content around it;
  • Consider TikTok for Business, which guides businesses through top-views ads, in-feed ads, branded hashtags, brand takeovers and brand effects.

Experiment and show a different side of the brand. Post videos that are funny, personal, and relatable without being irreverent and flippant. Use tutorials, hacks, and how-to content to market to Gen Z.

Gen Z enjoys creating videos almost as much as they enjoy watching. Some 30% of 18-24 year olds and 40% of 25-34 year olds consider themselves content creators. Tap into this creative gold mine by recruiting interns and recent college graduates to help establish a social presence with videos marketing to Gen Z.

Trend 2: Audio. Use Spotify to connect with Gen Z's music interests. Join in the conversation by using trending audio on TikTok

Trend 2: Audio

Spotify’s Culture Next Report reveals that in the first quarter of this year, 18-to-24-year-olds had played more than 578 billion minutes of music on the streaming platform. As change makers, they consider music as an outlet for exploring their individuality. If marketing to Gen Z is a top priority for your healthcare brand, consider a Spotify Advertising campaign as part of your strategy.

For a lot of Gen Z, the isolation of COVID-19 impacted their crucial years of navigating social connections. Instead, they retreated into digital communities to foster connections. This also led to creating alter egos that let them be the leading characters in their own lives. One of Spotify’s most popular features allows them to create their own “My life is a movie” playlist.

Connecting with Gen Z’s audio preferences can be as simple as:

  • Listening to their playlists, ranging from K-Pop (South Korean boy bands) and Olivia Rodrigo to Lil Nas X, who ran a Nicki Minaj “stan” (super fan) account before earning his own fame;
  • Engaging with their creations; Gen Zs consider themselves creators, often producing their own beats and other audio;
  • Advertising on streaming platforms to reach the target demographic.
  • Use trending sounds on Instagram Reels and TikTok to join in on current conversations and hot topics

Trend 3: Podcasts

As Gen Zs transition from teens to twenty somethings, they are also exploring politics, gender, and their own fluid personalities. They often turn to podcasts as safe spaces to work through these complex issues.

The average podcast listenership among Gen Zs on Spotify increased by 62% between Q1 2022 and the previous year. More than one-third of 18-to-24-year-old Americans listen to podcasts at least weekly. Mental health ranks as the top podcast genre among Gen Zs globally.

The popularity of podcasts presents an excellent channel for marketing through paid and earned media.

  • Use Google to find “Gen Z’s top 10 podcasts;”
  • Place paid ads where they listen; consider host talent ads created and voiced by the show’s host in the style of the show;
  • Pitch to podcasts; use a media monitoring service to find contact information for the producer or host; some podcasts have guest submission forms on the website.

Once you get Gen Z’s attention, don’t lose it. Complete the connection by giving them a strong call to action, preferably with something interactive such as QR codes.

TotalCom is a full-service marketing agency helping brands like yours tell their story to the right audiences. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363 to see how TotalCom may be the right fit for you.

The Next Big Thing: Marketing To Gen Z

The next big thing: Marketing to Gen Z.

Marketing to Gen Z Requires a Whole New Strategy

Remember when everyone was trying to figure out how to successfully market to millennials? That conundrum is yesterday’s news. The next big thing on the marketing horizon focuses on connecting with Gen Z. Many brands see connecting with a new generation as a daunting task. But, figuring out how to market to Gen Z is probably easier than you think and can generate impressive results.

Why should you want to market to Gen Z? Below, we cover 6 facts about Gen Z to help you understand this new audience.

Generation Z—Gen Z or Zoomers—includes anyone born between 1997 and 2012. Why the attention on ages 10–25? Look at Gen Z’s numbers:

  • Represent 40 percent of US consumers;
  • Set to outpace Millennials’ earnings by 2031 with over one quarter of global income;
  • 48 percent non-white; nearly 22 percent with at least one immigrant parent;
  • 1-in-5 identify as LGBTQ+;
  • On track to be the best-educated generation with 57 percent currently enrolled in college and 44 percent living with a college-educated parent.

Brands across all industries clamor for the attention of this influential group that is regarded as the “disruptive generation.” As the first completely digital generation, they rule video and audio. Whether producing TikTok videos and podcasts or curating audio playlists, they prefer creating their own content rather than consuming what others create.

How does your healthcare marketing strategy connect with Gen Z? By identifying their rules and playing in their digital playgrounds.

TikTok: The Clock is Running

Several months ago, we asked if TikTok should be a part of your strategy. If you’re marketing to Gen Z, then the answer is yes. Gen Z now makes up 60% of TikTok’s 80 million monthly active users in the United States. However, slow down to carefully define the strategy and goals before moving forward.

Marketing to Gen Z means being active on TikTok. Gen Z makes up 60% of TikTok's 80 million active users in the U.S. and spend an average of 95 minutes per day on the platform.

Part of TikTok’s rapid growth and success is attributed to the platform’s unique algorithm that quickly adapts to show content users find interesting or entertaining. Users decide what they want to watch, not who they friend or follow. When marketing to Gen Z on TikTok, it’s important that brands prioritize creating content that grabs attention within a few seconds. TikTok users spend an average of 95 minutes per day on the platform, but TikTok says the best performing content is between 21-34 seconds. (Note: This is up from 11-17 seconds in 2020).

Gen Z lives in a video world, with TikTok, Instagram and YouTube the most used social media apps  for networking, entertainment and product purchases. It’s clear video marketing resonates with Gen Z. The 2022 State of U.S. Consumer Trends report shows that over three months 28 percent of Gen Zs and Millennials bought products directly on social apps. That’s compared to 18 percent by Gen X and 4 percent by Boomers.

This opens the door for healthcare marketers to make much-needed connections for successfully marketing to Gen Z. While most TikTok videos tend to be fun and entertaining, be careful that content doesn’t backfire. Healthcare is serious, and patients don’t want #dancingdoctors or #dancingnurses in the hospital hallways when they are pressing the call button. However, a choreographed dance with nurses in pink scrubs calling attention to #BreastCancerAwareness can effectively remind women it’s time for annual mammograms. Gen Z is quick to call out marketing that feels gimmicky or inauthentic. Young consumers expect brands to engage in corporate responsibility, but doing so without a strategic plan could result in a viral disaster.

Gen Z Fandom: Nostalgic and Quirky

Lockdown also left Gen Z looking to the past for emotional connections. Their throwback searches resulted in nearly 19 billion views for #nostalgia on TikTok. A resurgence of nostalgic pop culture has inspired fandom for TV shows such as “Euphoria”and “Stranger Things” and propelled “Maverick: Top Gun” and “Elvis” to being the summer’s biggest box office hits.

Consider using nostalgia to appeal to emotions. But it doesn’t always have to induce tears; it can prompt laughter just as easily. Thoughtfully adding a bit of nostalgia to the content mix can strengthen the connection with the target audience.

To market to Gen Z, try using nostalgia to appeal to positive emotions. There are 19 billion views for #nostalgia on TikToK57% of Gen Z like it when brands participate in memes. 80% of Gen Z like it when brands connect with their different personalities.

Gen Z audiences like memes. More than half responded to a recent YouTube survey that they like when brands post memes. So, get creative and create memes that promote service lines or shares relevant information for this target demographic.

Another part of the Gen Z persona is their uniqueness. They don’t want to fit in; they want to stand out and are perfectly comfortable with being quirky. Some 80 percent of Gen Zs surveyed for Spotify’s Culture Next Global Trends Report say they like when brands connect with their different personalities.

Experiment with fresh marketing tactics to connect with Gen Z. Use contextual targeting to place educational messages on unexpected sites—info about fashion on a pizza website. Whatever the message or the channel, include audio. In the first quarter of this year, 18-to-24 year olds played more than 578 billion minutes of music on Spotify.

Shared Brand Values: Honesty, Authenticity, Transparency

In terms of values, Gen Zs do not stray far from other generations. Honesty ranks as the most important value they look for in a brand, followed closely by transparency and authenticity.

Whether on TikTok, Instagram or YouTube, video proves to be a useful tool for marketing to share values and personality while also promoting services and products. It is the ideal platform for storytelling that engages with the Gen Z audience.

Resonate with Gen Z by communicating honesty, transparency, and authenticity through video content.

In committing to short-form videos that connect with Gen Zs, remember that they see themselves as change makers ready to disrupt culture. Status quo doesn’t make the connection. Keep content meaningful, creative and different—just as if they created it themselves.

TotalCom is a full-service marketing agency helping brands like yours tell their story to the right audiences. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363 to see how TotalCom may be the right fit for you.

Stay Relevant with “Pay to Play” in Digital Marketing

digital marketing requires brands to pay to play

Even if you’re new to marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “pay to play.” This phrase basically means that you’ll need to spend money to get ahead. Think of the cliché “spend money to make money.” The “pay to play” strategy dominates digital marketing. With shifts in online behavior and channel updates, you can expect to reassess your digital marketing budget to stay relevant. The bottom line? If you want to reach as many potential or returning patients as possible, especially with a high frequency, you’ll need to allocate more of your budget toward advertising and marketing.

The Rise of “Pay to Play”

pay to play exists in traditional and digital marketing but it looks a little different

The concept of “pay to play” isn’t new. In traditional marketing, larger budgets typically mean more impressions and a greater impact on your audiences. In digital marketing, CPMs have been on the rise, requiring marketers to dig deeper into their pockets to stay relevant.  Largely gone are the days of an organic social post going viral and driving interest in a brand. Algorithm updates and shifting consumer expectations require strategic evaluations and budget reallocations.

Though “pay to play” has its drawbacks, it’s here to stay because it’s effective. With digital marketing in particular, search engine marketing and social media platforms give businesses more ways to reach potential customers, build brand awareness, and show ads when they’re ready to buy. Plus, with more people cutting the cord and opting into video streaming, there are more opportunities than ever to reach new audiences—if you’re willing to invest.

Digital Dives and Doubts

The growing turbulence within social media isn’t something marketers can ignore. In April, Meta—the company formerly known as Facebook—reported a 21 percent drop in profits for the first quarter of 2022 compared to the prior year. In the same week, Elon Musk purchased tech giant Twitter for $44 billion, causing many users to leave the site within a day of the announcement.

digital marketing trends and turblance within tech companies can make brands weary of using social media

On top of business concerns, ever-changing algorithms have users and marketers alike frustrated. Facebook’s organic reach has been dwindling since 2018 and a recent Instagram update reportedly decreases the reach of reposted content. For healthcare brands using digital marketing, recent health and privacy advertising policy updates can result in erroneously rejected ads that require practices to spend time submitting appeals and making creative changes.

there are 3.96 billion social media users world wide. On average, adults spend 95 minutes per day on social media

Despite all the concerns, social media marketing is still one of the best ways to reach potential customers. As of January 2022, there are reportedly 3.96 billion social media users. Adults are spending more time than ever on social media, averaging 95 minutes of use per day.

The Value Of Influencer Marketing

According to Nielsen, 56% of global audiences trust influencer marketing

A marketer with Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw, Mich., recently shared that he wished influencer marketing would go away. He prefers using knowledgeable healthcare professionals to influence patients and the public about decisions involving their health. According to Nielsen’s 2021 Trust in Advertising Study, 56 percent of global audiences trust influencer marketing. Changing consumer patterns demand changes in patient experience at every touchpoint. That means connecting with them where they go for information. Expectant and new mothers reach out to mommy bloggers. Someone diagnosed with cancer may look for support from someone on social media who shares that experience.

Finding and partnering with influencers aligned with your brand can reach new audiences. But don’t forget that you’re expected to pay for their influence. Influencers are no longer just social media users and bloggers that accept and review gifted products. As with other media agreements, you’ll need to negotiate the cost, execute a contract, set goals, and measure results. Keeping your brand relevant now means paying to play across all channels.

If you need to update your social and/or traditional media strategy, we welcome a conversation. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363.

Maximize Digital Marketing Goals with LinkedIn Strategy

maximize digital marketing goals with linkedin strategy. Use linkedin for healthcare marketing

LinkedIn launched in 2003, the same year as MySpace (remember that one). Since then, it has remained committed to being a platform for engaging professionals in actions relevant to their business goals.

Initially viewed more as an online CV forum for networking, the social media site has evolved. For healthcare marketing, LinkedIn can be a valuable platform for:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Building brand and thought leadership
  3. Communicating information

However, having LinkedIn pages for your hospital, the CEO or other C-suite executives does not mean that it’s part of your marketing strategy.

“‘Build it, and they will come’ only works in the movies. Social media is a ‘Build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.’” — Seth Godin, author, public speaker, entrepreneur.

In order to get the most of out LinkedIn, execute it as part of your digital strategy. Update, publish and review analytics—just as you do for all digital tactics. 

If you haven’t checked out your LinkedIn business or personal page lately, now is a good time to do so. It includes a portfolio of marketing solutions, as well as free courses and certifications, including step-by-step guidelines to running ad campaigns and developing marketing strategy.

One of the newest features is the organic Articles for Pages, which allows for long-form articles. However, it is not intended for promoting brands as much as extending the brand by engaging in conversation on timely and trending news topics.

Recruit With Purpose

After more than a year of sheltering in place and working remotely, employees are ready for something new. Microsoft Work Trend  reveals that 41 percent of workers are considering leaving their positions in what is being called the “Great Resignation.”

As you know, healthcare recruitment involves more than posting “We’re hiring.” Job seekers now prioritize passion and purpose over competitive salaries, flexible hours and 401k benefits. They want to love what they’re doing.

For successful recruitment campaigns, LinkedIn suggests showcasing company culture; community involvement; and celebrating employees and giving them a platform to tell their stories. Consider your brand reputation—customers or prospective employees don’t want to do business with companies that treat employees badly.

Build Brand and Thought Leadership

Having a platform to discuss industry trends, share reports or research and present new perspectives on timely topics present your leaders—CEOs, medical directors, physicians and nurses—as resources for credible healthcare information.

Humanize articles even if subjects are scientific. As with all social media content, keep it conversational. Remember, you’re talking with the audience, not at them.

Monitor analytics to know your connections, what topics they’re talking about and start conversations with them. Remember that other brand leaders are also coming here to make business decisions.

Inform Your Audience

Longer form content allows you to connect with audiences in a more personal and authentic way, while being informational.

Let your audience know what’s going on within your organization by sharing such information as:

  • Company announcements
  • Awards
  • Program updates
  • New service line launches
  • Community education
  • Employee stories

Follow LinkedIn Best Practices

The more active you are and the more frequently you update profiles, the more frequently your information shows up in newsfeeds and notifications of your followers.

Here are a few basic practices for maximizing success on the social network:

  • Be Visible. Set accounts to “Public” in the settings and privacy section. You want as many followers and connections as possible on LinkedIn.
  • Be Professional. This is a forum for business professionals, so use professional headshots with neutral backgrounds for profile images.
  • Upload Background Photos. Since the profile page serves as an online business card, upload a background image that relates to your experience or business. It could even be a graphic with your name and title or your business logo.
  • Include Relevant Experience. For individuals, include work experience and highlight career accomplishments and successes that relate to connections you want to make and the field in which you want to be a thought leader.
  • Summarize Yourself. Create a brief, personal summary that highlights your skills and expertise. This becomes your elevator pitch.
  • Seek Recommendations. Third-party endorsements lend credibility to your profile. Whenever you complete a successful project or receive an award, ask for a recommendation.

As the leading community for professionals to engage with each other and influence business decisions, a solid LinkedIn strategy can maximize digital marketing goals.

5 Digital Connections for Hospitals

Over the past year, we’ve learned that to reach our audiences, we need to connect with them digitally 24/7–365. Making digital connections for hospitals, however, requires constant learning mode, as the digital landscape changes from one day to the next.

Two people reaching out and connecting through digital means

In this new digital norm, consumers get information, products and services when, where and how they want. It requires flexible and agile marketing tactics to reach your audience and generate demand.

For instance, TikTok might not have connected with your audience a year ago. But with video growing exponentially during a year of remote work and quarantines, it’s no longer just a platform for pre-teens. A number of major brands now integrate TikTok into their digital marketing strategy.

To maximize customer reach, digital strategies should include all the PESO media areas—paid, earned, shared and owned. Our past advice has looked at the digital ad spend. But first, consider these 5 digital connections to reach your audience:

1. Digital Connections for Hospitals Should Include Video

Recent reports predict that the average person will spend 100 minutes each day watching online videos in 2021. So, we know where audiences are part of the day.

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or the website, include video in the marketing strategy. Today’s video collection can be less “produced” than previous broadcast video. But to capture quality video that boosts the brand:

  • Invest in a good digital camera for still and video
  • Invest in a tripod, basic lighting equipment and a neutral backdrop
  • Always outline or script content
  • Keep content concise and simple

Digital connections for hospitals utilizing video should be kept short. Humans have an average attention span of eight seconds—one second less than a goldfish! As a rule of thumb, limit social media videos to less than two minutes and about 45 seconds for Twitter and TikTok. To increase audience retention, add a “subscribe” CTA to the end of YouTube videos

2. Make Strong Social Connections

When you think you’ve identified the best social media channel for your audience, it will probably change. There are new algorithms, new features from the big three—Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—and shifts in audience preferences to consider.

Despite changes, the key to solid strategy remains quality content. In 2021, your audience wants engaging, transparent and empathetic content. Nearly 4 million people worldwide are active on social media. Besides keeping up with family and friends, they’re also looking for trusted sources of health and wellness information.

Not all social media channels yield great results for the brand. For example, the trending new Clubhouse invitation-only, audio-only app causes concern for HIPAA compliance. But set up profiles and test new options for digital connections with your hospital’s audience such as:

  • Short inspirational videos on Instagram Reels and Stories
  • Facebook Live educational Q&As with doctors and nurses
  • LinkedIn content positioning CEOs as thought leaders
  • Pinterest boards with recipes, fitness plans and wellness information

3. Optimize to Reach Your Audience

SEO is crucial for connecting with digital users. Increasing organic search rankings—primarily with Google—is ongoing and long term.

Reaching the audience requires knowing the topics they’re searching and how to best serve content that answers their questions. Anyone crafting content has to also be a SEO expert. Otherwise, the content doesn’t reach the intended audience.

Consumers want informative rich content from healthcare providers that helps them stay healthy. Also, remember to optimize your Google My Business listing as local SEO is increasingly important to reach people searching “Near Me.”

Numerous SEO platforms offer useful tips and even free training for content creators. Search “SEO platforms” to find these options.

4. Blogs and Podcasts Can be Effective Digital Connections for Hospitals

Considering you’re reading this blog, it seems to be a good digital channel for reaching our audience. However, blog popularity declined worldwide over the past few years while the popularity of podcasts rose.

It isn’t an either/or option. Both blogs and podcasts can be effective digital connections for hospitals, drive traffic and elevate the brand. However, blog content requires more than just good writing skills and subject knowledge. As mentioned above, it also requires SEO to rise in search results.

Many healthcare marketers choose both channels to reach audiences. Both are particularly effective for humanizing communication and sharing trustworthy healthcare information. Both also offer opportunities to engage providers in content.

5. AI Connects to the Future of Healthcare

With a growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, 90% of hospital executives report in a recent survey to having an AI strategy in place. Consumers drive that demand by turning more frequently to AI for healthcare needs—from wearing digital health monitors to asking Siri about vaccine side effects.

Whether it’s a new chatbot on the website or an automated diagnostic tool, let audiences know what AI innovations are available to enhance their patient experience.

Also, consistently update information across all digital platforms. Accurate information is critical for voice-activated AI assistants when someone asks “Siri” or “Alexa.”

While digital media may add more hours to healthcare marketers’ days, it keeps us better connected to our audiences and able to respond quickly to their needs.

Media Mix 2020, Part 3: The Latest in Digital Advertising

Should television ads, direct mail, and digital display ads be in your healthcare marketing budget? Marketing Your Hospital explored where hospital marketers should spend their marketing dollars in 2020. We’re sharing what we found in this three-part series. In this third installment, we take a closer look at the latest trends in digital advertising. And be sure to check out Part 1: Is TV advertising dead? and Part 2: Should You Invest in Direct Mail?

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The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Image SEO

Keywords, semantic search, meta descriptions. Over the years, you’ve become accustomed to writing for your hospital’s website with SEO in mind. But if you’re not optimizing your images, then you’re leaving rankable assets on the table. The good news is image SEO is fairly simple. Here’s what you need to know.

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How Tech-Savvy Are Seniors?

We’ve all made at least a few jokes about seniors and technology. We ask children to help grandpa find Netflix on the TV. And we laugh when grandma signs her texts “Love, Nana” like we don’t know they’re from her.

These endearing examples give the impression that older adults aren’t technology savvy. And because adults 65 and older make up a large segment of healthcare’s target market, you feel the need to rely heavily on other mediums. But baby boomers and above are using technology—at the highest rates we’ve ever seen. Here, we take a closer look at the statistics of tech use among seniors.

Senior man reading online news on smartphone outdoors.
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Adjusting Your SEO Strategy for Semantic Search

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Hospital marketers have been conditioned to think in keywords since SEO became a buzzword in the late ’90s. But it’s time to go back to thinking—and writing—like a human. That’s because, today, semantic search reigns supreme.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Local SEO

Yes, it would be incredible to rank on the first page of Google for “total knee replacement.” But chances are, that’s not going to happen unless you work for Mayo Clinic. (Or Johns Hopkins, as it turns out.) And that’s OK. Because what you really should be focusing on as a community, local or regional hospital is improving your local SEO.

local search marketing vector illustration design concept
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