How to Integrate Social Influencers in Healthcare Marketing

July 1, 2016

Healthcare marketers no longer have full control over their patient's user journey and as patients are increasingly conducting online research, it is imperative for healthcare brands to have a strong digital presence so patients find them. One way healthcare providers can control online engagement and endorsement is via social media influencers. This blog explores the opportunities that healthcare brands have with influencers online and how, by building relationships with online healthcare influencers, brands can create brand advocates that other patients listen to and trust.

Why Social Media Influencers?

The main purpose a healthcare brand would seek a social media influencer is because patients are increasingly researching their health online and medical communities online are active and engaged. 70-75% of users research treatments and side effects online and 42% use social media to understand their healthcare issues. Whether you are a local GP or a specialist provider, you need to have a presence online to gain control of this extended audience.

Finding a Brand Advocate

The first step in any social media influencer strategy is to conduct a competitive analysis, then research and connect with potential brand advocates online.The initial competitive analysis helps marketers to understand their competition and which influencers are already associated with other healthcare companies. It should include information on impressions, reach, engagement rates and sentiment to help form benchmarks when it comes to setting specific goal metrics for the influencer program.Once you have a good understanding of the influencer landscape within your industry, it is time to start negotiating with your chosen influencers. For the most part, influencer know their worth and will negotiate money for their reach and influence. It is worth mentioning though that your influencers don't have to have a huge network to make an impact. Look for the bloggers and influencers with the most relevant content over the size of their following.

Measure, Listen and Engage

Once you have set up a relationship with an influencer, and you have negotiated a package of engaging posts, blogs and mentions, it is time to start measuring the ROI of the initiative.For example, say you have a product that helps to test for rheumatoid arthritis and you offer this product for free to 5 influencers. You will want to ensure you have the following in place to effectively measure the campaign:

  • Ensure each influencer uses a unique UTM parameters on all the links they use so you can track how many clicks they generate towards your website.
  • Via these UTM parameters, monitor conversions from each influencer as well as the feedback and comments it generates from their community.
  • With influencer strategies, you are looking at capturing the interest of top of funnel customers. For this type of brand awareness campaign, you will want to measure lift in brand interest by monitoring increase in engagement, in-app spend, or conversion frequency.
  • Choose a social media sentiment measurement tool such as Social Mention to measure the positive and negative sentiment surrounding your brand as a result of the influencers posts.

The goals of any marketing initiative is to drive a positive ROI. By measuring your influencer campaign, you can ensure you are getting just that and you can optimize based on performance. Perhaps one influencer out-performs the others and they become the main influencer for your brand. Only by measuring specific KPIs can you make educated decisions to drive results.

Have you tried to use healthcare influencer marketing as apart of your holistic healthcare marketing plan? Tell us your thoughts over on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

*Source IMS Institute

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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