Plan Advisors Blog

Why Digital Marketing is the New Reality for Medicare Marketing

Posted by Lance Hoeltke on Fri, Jun 19, 2020 @ 12:36 PM

Medicare-aged adults have always been harder to market to digitally. We’re talking websites, social media, email, etc. Traditionally, anything online just isn’t their thing. There are fewer click-throughs and lower open rates, and even less success. Every year, though, things change just a little bit as technology advances and new waves of people hit 65.

This year is especially different. This year, the generation of people that might be seeking Medicare is stuck inside. COVID-19 has brought with it many changes to our daily lives, including the way we all use technology. With most of our lives being handled virtually, it’s time to take Medicare marketing there, as well. 

Our "New Normal"

Grocery store pick-up, food delivery, curbside shopping. All these things have surged to new heights in the last few months. COVID-19 brought along with it a new threat to our older population, so much so that office meetings, birthday parties, and graduations have all been moved online. Everyone, especially those 65 and older, have had to find new ways of communicating.

This is especially hard for those not accustomed to using technology. New laptops, tablets, and smartphones were bought out of necessity, not a desire to keep up with the times. With more seniors than ever turning to technology to connect with their grandchildren, bunco ladies, and book clubs, more and more seniors are also using technology to read emails, browse social media, and Google things for themselves.

Trends We’re Seeing

Smartphone, social media, and internet search usage is an upward trend that is easy enough for us to predict, but let’s look at some numbers. Here are some statistics from AARP

  • In the past year, 51% of seniors purchased some sort of tech product.
  • Half of people over 50 own a tablet
  • Smartphone usage as jumped to 77% among older adults 
  • Three-quarters of adults over 50 use social media on a regular basis

It’s important to note that this survey was run in July and August of 2019, which would indicate normal growth over time. During the pandemic, however, we can expect an even greater surge in usage of technology across the board.

Here are a few results from a survey conducted in March of this year by The Senior List:

  • 24% of respondents ordered groceries or food delivery online during the survey period
  • 28% downloaded a new app, and 7% tried a new video conferencing tool
  • Two in three older adults shopped online
  • 77% used online banking or paid a bill online

What will be curious to see is what happens as the country returns to normal over the next few months. For now, though, the trends continue upward, making way for digital marketing in the Medicare industry.

The Benefit of Going Digital

With so much of marketing being digital anyway, there’s not really a downside to adding in more digital platforms to your marketing strategy. You have to go where your customers are and where your competitors are.

There are many advantages to using digital marketing for any strategy, but here are some of the top ones and how they can help you market more effectively to seniors.

  • Cost effective. Reaching a wider audience with less time and money is one of the biggest advantages to digital marketing. With Medicare specifically, you’ll save a lot compared to the cost of TV and print ads. 
  • Measurable results. Digital marketing is easily the most measurable of all marketing strategies. With quick access to metrics and analytics through different social media, internet, and email platforms, you can see exactly what is working and what is not. Nearly every statistic you could possibly want is right there. Click-through rate, time of day, demographics, etc.
  • Target audience. With digital marketing, it is much easier to reach exactly the audience you want to. For example, you can pay a little more to target your Facebook ads to people of a certain age in a certain location. With other pay-per-click ads, you can even narrow your target audience down to people who are searching terms related to Medicare.
  • Adaptable. Internet and social media ads are also completely customizable and can be adapted depending on your needs. This also comes back to the measurable results. If you’re seeing that something isn’t working as well, you can change different aspects of your ad or email to improve your success. For example, you can test multiple subject lines on your emails to see which ones get the highest open rate. Same thing with slogans on your ads.

Tips for Marketing to Medicare-aged Adults Digitally

Digitally marketing to seniors is just like marketing to anyone else. You have to know your audience. Adults reaching 65 are not old and slow. These are educated people who want to get the most out of their golden years. Staying consistent and professional and using the right language, the right platforms, and the right message is necessary to be successful.

The language you use for older adults needs to be relatable, but not forced or demeaning. These are people you can have a conversation with and connect to, not mindless drones. Avoid modern slang and technical jargon. More often than not, older adults would rather get to the point. Tell them what they need to know and don’t beat around the bush.

More and more seniors are branching out to different online platforms. Email marketing is a great way to build a virtual relationship. Facebook is a social media platform widely used by older adults, but you don’t necessarily want to discount Twitter and YouTube, which are gaining popularity

Your message, not just in language, is also very important. Video is a great tool for anyone, especially seniors, so take advantage when you can. Otherwise, make sure you’re also using strong images. Use messaging that focuses on their well-being or provides Medicare education. These aren’t the only two ways you can go, but they are a good start.

Plan Advisors Can Help

The Medicare industry is constantly changing and now it’s more important than ever to improve your digital marketing strategy. We want you to be at your best and have the right website, social media platforms, and email marketing in place to appeal to your potential customers. If you're ready to grow your book of business through digital marketing, we have the support to help. Get started today!