Businesses today are doing all they can to attract customers; all avenues of communication are being utilized and every platform and tool at their disposal is being used to connect with audiences and expand their business in a timely and effective manner. The primary problem today to those involved in telehealth is figuring out what method they want to use to appeal to their consumers. While there are many methods available, one of the most effective is influencer marketing.
This handy guide will tell you all you need to know about healthcare influencer marketing: what it is, why you should use it, and how you can make it work for you.
What is healthcare influencer marketing?
Generally, and in the case of telehealth, using healthcare influencer marketing is a method of marketing which uses others promote a product or service. These “influencers” have the ability to shape the perception of your brand and spread your reach to audiences who you would never think to market to in the first place.
They can forward your brand by discussing key benefits and appealing to their authority within the communities who look up to them and follow what they say and do. Michael Jordan and Steph Curry are examples of influencers in the basketball world, as their popularity and trusted skill level make them effective marketers for the selling of shoes and other basketball related products.
In our world, using healthcare influencer marketing is nothing new. It’s been around for decades, though its evolution has been pronounced within the last few years. For example, candidate Bob Dole filled TV spots for Pfizer to promote Viagra when it first hit the market. This moment represented a shifting of thinking within the healthcare community to more influencer-oriented marketing.
Why should you use influencer marketing?
There are many factors which make healthcare an optimal field for healthcare influencer marketing. Firstly, traditional advertising in the field is expensive and consumers have been absolutely inundated with ads throughout their days and lives. The average consumer will see hundreds of ads per day, lessening the effect of each and every one.
Only the most eye-catching ads stand out in the minds of consumers, as most have developed what’s referred to as “banner blindness,” which is the tuning out of ads in the conscious and the subconscious. The increased level of competition in traditional advertisements in the last few years has led many advertisers to reconsider strategies, and while traditional ads still have a place in the healthcare industry, many admen are trying desperately to evolve with the times.
A main reason healthcare influencer marketing works as an alternative to traditional ads is the credibility it adds to your company. Influencers, by their nature, are credible, trusted sources of information within their industry and can help boost even the most polished, professional brands. The final reason to switch over to influencer marketing is the internet.
The internet has transformed the way people manage their health – a fact you’re well aware of in telehealth – meaning your patients can “research” their symptoms and problems on their own. Influencers become an integral part of this research process, helping to provide your patients with correct information and allowing them to make actually informed decisions.
Maximize your strategy
Healthcare influencer marketing may seem like a new phenomenon because of platforms like YouTube and Instagram, but it has a long history of prominence and successes in the advertising world. Many different products, like cosmetics, tennis shoes, perfumes, and clothes have been marketed using influencers and the strategy has a staggering ROI of $6.50 for every one dollar spent, one of the largest ROIs of any technique in the business realm today or at any point in time.
Your telehealth company can tap into this great potential too as many healthcare operations are already making healthcare influencer marketing work for them. WEGO Health, based in Boston, already connects pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and hospital systems to social media influencers.
Figure Out Your Goals Early
No marketing strategy is worth the time unless you know the goals you want to achieve for your company. Healthcare influencer marketing can be utilized throughout the entire marketing process, from awareness of a health condition to diagnosis and follow-up care, but you must know the exact area you want to hit to make it work for you in the best way possible. Influencers can do many thingsyou’re your business:
- Be the face of your brand and help form a cohesive narrative for your marketing team
- Comment on marketing materials and increase effectiveness of strategies
- Create content for your company to share on social media
- Endorse brands with formal testimonials within FTC guidelines
- Offer access to a wider and more diverse and more targeted audience
- Recruit patients for surveys and focus groups
- Speak on panels or at events you company is hosting or joins
These are just some of the many ways in which influencers can be used to forward your brand and help your company grow and connect to a wider and diverse audience. The key to keep in mind is that influencers can serve many functions; they’re not hired to simply sell your product in a straightforward and flat manner, they can help work with your company to raise awareness and formulate a winning campaign.
Find the Right Influencers
Once you’ve determined which goals are right for you company, it’s time to select an influencer who most accurately aligns with the goals you’ve set. There are a wide variety of influencers: celebrities, public figures, popular entertainers, and qualified peers are among the most used and effective. Rather than going straight for a famous face, consider using a qualified expert in your field to guide your marketing strategy.
There are also organizations and other groups that are currently being used in the healthcare community to promote and forward other brands. For example, the American Cancer Society or another equally credible institution could be contacted and utilized to share patient stories and educate your customers and the public on what exactly telehealth is and how it could transform the lives of those in need.
It’s even possible that there are already individuals and organizations paying attention and talking about your brand on social media. One important factor to keep in mind is that your brand’s message should match the influencer you choose. A celebrity with millions of followers may be seen by more of the general public, but high-profile celebrity endorsements have backfired in the past because the celebrity was not the correct fit for the brand they were hawking. Both Kylie and Kim Kardashian are excellent examples of this, with Pepsi and Diclegis respectively.
Track Your Progress and Impact
It can be tough to measure direct results when utilizing an influencer marketing strategy, but there are metrics you can look for. Healthcare brands can check their analytics to view how many visitors are coming from influencers’ content and compare performances across brands and platforms. Many companies are teaming with businesses to provide in-depth analytics for this sole purpose.
In addition, you can provide a unique URL to your influencer to further tighten your watch on their style and message is impacting your brand. With the right strategy, goals, and influencer, you should see results within a month of the start of your campaign.
All businesses, healthcare organizations included, need a way to stand out from the crowd. Healthcare influencer marketing is a great tactic to achieve this goal, expanding the message, scope, and reach of your business in the process. Learn more online or take free courses at telehealthist.com.