"Paging Dr. Google" Changing Healthcare Brand Perception with Content
With more than 70% of healthcare consumers regularly using “Dr. Google” to search for health information before deciding to visit a physician, the opportunity for marketers to leverage consumers’ love affair with healthcare content is immense. As a result, CMOs are turning to content marketing to drive consumer brand perception.
According to recent research, however, the results of most content marketers’ efforts are hit or miss when it comes to consumer engagement in healthcare. Content efficacy varies considerably, and brands are often left with an evaporating ROI and an untapped—and sometimes alienated—audience.
How bad can it be? More than 80% of consumers forget most information presented in branded content a mere three days after viewing it, and 25% admit to “actively” ignoring all brand content on social media. Why? Most respondents to a recent survey conducted by a team of neuroscientists for software company Prezi said that the content was either too much like sales copy, was unhelpful, or just poorly presented.
Nonetheless, the benefits of getting it right are undeniable: 43% of consumers in a 2016 study by Forbes and IPG Media Lab stated that quality content enhanced their brand perception. The study also reported that content is three times more efficient than traditional ad formats in promoting brand awareness and influencing purchase considerations.
Branded content works, and because it works, almost everybody wants in: 88% of healthcare marketers are currently implementing content marketing strategies and more than 50% of CMOs report shifting ad spend towards those campaigns.
Of course, there’s a caveat. According to several studies, a deluge of new healthcare content might also mean a rise in “content blindness” as consumers disregard all but the most creative, engaging campaigns.
How to start? Here are a few methods to get the most out of your content strategy and build your consumer engagement in healthcare.
Eau Thermale Avene: Leveraging Social Content
Pierre Fabre Pharmaceutical’s Eau Thermale Avene is a French cosmeceuticals brand with roots going back to the 1800’s. Although its products are sold in more than 100 countries, brand perception on social media didn’t match the company’s offline success. A recent campaign, however, saw a jump of two million impressions over a 12-week period and an 1800% increase in the brand’s share of voice in social conversations among its targeted audience, eczema patients.
“The 21-day XeraCalm Challenge” invited patients to try the product for three weeks as part of a “before and after series,” while offering non-participants access to a free Q&A session with a dermatologist who offered personalized advice on condition management. The Q&A series coincided with regularly published skin-care tips, an easy-to-read eczema FAQ, and an educational video series. The result: a demonstrable positive shift in brand perception among its targeted audience. Post campaign, Eau Thermale Avene’s Facebook fan page continued to dominate conversations as a resource for relevant healthcare education and meaningful direct-to-brand interactions.
The Takeaway: Build Sustainable Virality
Sustainable virality means that content should be an “evergreen” source of healthcare facts—not just entertainment or inspiration—to stay relevant over time. Components offering post-campaign relevance—such as highly shareable educational content or premium interactive experiences like webinars or live chats—are just as important as your CTA.
The Mayo Clinic: Optimizing User-Generated Content
The Mayo Clinic’s multi-platform content marketing campaign has produced impressive results in terms of raising brand awareness over the past five years: among other achievements, the clinic has gone from 72K likes on Facebook to more than 700k. One of the key reasons for the health system’s success in consistently raising its brand profile is its original take on content marketing.
A prime example: in 2012 the clinic created the “Sharing Mayo” blog, a user-generated content hub which promotes engagement and new patient outreach through sharing first-person stories from patients, their loved ones, and staff. Although the brand’s messaging is apparent throughout, it serves as background to compelling copy: readers aren’t presented with a barrage of sales speak touting the brand’s 100-year legacy. Instead, through emotive and authentic storytelling, healthcare consumers learn to see The Mayo Clinic as a personal partner in their wellness journey: responsive, value-focused, “human”.
The Takeaway: Build Immersive Engagement
Content should be representative of a “micro” brand experience. Want to shift brand perception to highlight your healthcare system’s ability to provide modern, value-based care with a personalized touch? Lean in on patient-centered storytelling. Focus on each story’s immediate relevance for the consumer – an insight or interaction which produces value straight away – and connect that value to overall brand identity.
The Big Picture: Brand Perception Equals Brand Experience
The string of interactions which translates within the mind of your consumer into brand perception naturally includes your content. Impactful or superfluous, your branded posts, videos and social conversations may be your new audience’s sole pathway to your brand. Branded content’s big risk is also its biggest growth hack—a single, relevant post can offer your provider’s brand messaging exponential reach.
We can help your team build the kind of content that reflects your health system’s value, connects to your audience and keeps them engaged. Connect with us to book a free consultation .