In the digital age, there is no greater tool at a marketer’s disposal than influencer marketing. Done right, influencer marketing can communicate a brand’s culture directly to a target audience in a real way.
Why you need Influencer marketing in 2016?
With rise and changing dimensions of social media marketing in 2016, marketers don’t control the consumer journey anymore. Consumers form opinion about you, long before you know – they exist! And that opinion may or may not be favorable about you.
Why Influencer Marketing in Healthcare?
Patients are increasingly searching for doctors online and booking their appointments. Whether you are an established healthcare brand or a growing clinic chain, it’s imperative to have a strong digital presence to allow patients to discover your specialized services.
Now let’s take look at why Healthcare should be adding influencers to their marketing mix.
- Patients are performing their own research
One of the first lines of defense people use when they are concerned about their health is go online & research, according to IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Here’s a glimpse of what they found regarding the role of social media in healthcare:
- 70-75% of internet users will go online for treatment options and side effects
- 42% use social media to find out about healthcare issues
- 25% discussed a health related issue online
- 20% joined an online community or forum
While taking part in self-diagnosis may not always be the correct path to take in the eyes of any healthcare professional (HCP), but online sources, including social media, have made it easy and convenient for individuals.
The way search engines are used has evolved. We now type full questions into Google such as ‘What are the signs of high blood pressure?’ or ‘What are common side effects of taking iron?’. These searches often bring forums and blog posts to the first page of results.
- Healthcare experts are on social
Doctors and other healthcare professionals are very active on social where they use blogs, Twitter and other platforms to share information within their field of expertise.
In addition to their credibility, HCPs have content that is relevant and of interest to their audience. HCPs will take complex medical information and provide it to consumers in a way that resonates and is easily understood, which makes it an appealing resource for people.
- Medical and healthcare communities are engaged
People want to be educated and engaged, and learn from what medical professionals have to offer. Social media empowers the general public, as well as the medical and healthcare communities to educate one another through engaging and informative conversations.
With both patients and healthcare experts very active on social, it is only natural for these communities to emerge. This is a great opportunity for Healthcare sector when you consider all of the conversation and content being created for, and by, the very people they’d like to reach.
Who can be an influencer in Healthcare?
Wondering who can be right influencer for your product? Influencer can be anyone, from your mom to your friends, your boss, celebrities, actors, physicians, a stranger, etc. Anyone, at any point in time, can have influence over your actions – even when they are not there.
Dr. Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster Medcity, is listed in the first 25 top influencers in Indian Healthcare sector.
How to make influencer marketing work for healthcare sector?
Using social media for influencer marketing needs, to be treated with the same level of social sensitivity and mindset. Implementing an influencer marketing campaign can be broken down into three key stages: finding influencers, listening and engaging, tracking.
- Finding the right Influencers:
One of the most obvious ways to identify influencers is by turning to your own “social backyard.” And also take a look at brand has an established community, take a look at your most active participants and existing super fans.
A word of caution: Keep in mind that network size doesn’t necessarily correlate with extent of influence. Popularity is not influence and influence is not popularity. Popularity is a numbers game; influence is a reflection of expertise.
- Listening + Engagement
Engaging with influencers should follow the natural flow of conversation; it should never feel like a hard sell.
If you treat influencers like a sales tool, you’re not only going to be unsuccessful, but you will also run the risk of damaging important relationships with the people who have influence within your industry and surrounding your brand.
The first few interactions can be as simple as leaving a comment on a blog post or re-tweeting an influencer on Twitter. Marketers should always strive to build a rapport before moving into a proposition. When it comes time to make the pitch, it is imperative that there is an exchange of value.
At the onset of an influencer campaign it is critical to establish what your goals will be. From SEO to sales and mentions, there can be many goals, but you need a clear understanding of what they are, how they will be measured and what success will look like for the brand before you embark and begin engaging with influencers. Nike has used social and their Nike+ program to grow their community. In doing so, they have fostered a passionate network of fans that come to the brand’s defense when they are criticized for manufacturing and labor practices.
Getting the right people excited and talking about your brand has always been one of the best tools in a marketer’s toolbox. While influencer marketing is not a particularly new concept, social media has made word-of-mouth digital, far reaching, immediate and powerful. How are you leveraging influencer relationships for your brand?
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