INFLUENCER MARKETING

Healthcare Influencer Marketing: Benefits, Challenges, and 5-Step Campaign Plan

Alexandra Kazakova

By Alexandra Kazakova
16 min READ | May 1 2024

Table of contents

This article dives deep into healthcare influencer marketing, exploring its benefits and challenges.

You will also get a step-by-step plan to launch your own successful campaign.

Besides, we’ll share insider tips and tools from the experts at inBeat so you can tackle all potential challenges and maximize your ROI.

Let’s start.

TL;DR:

  • Influencer Marketing Overview: Leverages popular social media figures to promote healthcare brands, using their trust and rapport with followers to deliver organic and genuine content.

Benefits of Healthcare Influencer Marketing:

  • Educational Impact: Influencers can simplify complex medical information, making it accessible to the general public.
  • Destigmatization: Sharing personal health experiences helps in destigmatizing mental health and chronic conditions.
  • Advocacy and Awareness: Keynote speakers and influencers can advocate for changes and raise awareness on health issues.
  • Increased Visibility: Effective partnerships enhance visibility and credibility of healthcare products and services.
  • ROI Boost: Targeted content leads to higher engagement, conversions, and brand loyalty.

5-Step Campaign Plan:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define what success looks like with specific KPIs.
  2. Understand the Target Audience: Tailor messages to resonate deeply and address specific needs.
  3. Create a Strategy: Decide on core messages, choose preferred channels, and establish content guidelines.
  4. Pick the Right Influencers: Select influencers who align with the brand's values and campaign goals.
  5. Run and Monitor: Coordinate the campaign meticulously, monitor performance, and adjust as needed.

Challenges:

  • Misinformation Risks: Ensure content accuracy to prevent spreading false information.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhere to healthcare regulations and ethical standards.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: Respect patient confidentiality and avoid exploiting sensitive topics.

Scaling Strategies:

  • Diversify influencer partnerships and content formats.
  • Use data-driven decisions to refine strategies and allocate resources effectively.
  • Foster long-term relationships for deeper engagement and authenticity.
  • InBeat Tools and Support: Provides a platform for discovering influencers, monitoring campaigns, and generating user content effectively, with various tools to enhance campaign management.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing leverages the power of popular figures on social media platforms to promote your brand, products, or services. B

asically, you’ll be tapping into the established trust and rapport influencers have with their followers.

Partnering with the right social media influencer aligns your healthcare company with someone who speaks directly to your target audience.

This approach goes beyond traditional advertising by integrating your message into the influencer’s content so it feels more organic and genuine.

Insider tip: We advise our clients to spend some time to understand how influencer marketing in healthcare really works.

Once you do that, you can vary the strategies to address different relevant audience segments.

For example, influencers with genuine medical knowledge or personal experience in health issues can create content for social media, ads, marketing emails, or your website’s product pages.

Why Use Influencer Marketing in Healthcare?

Healthcare influencer marketing is becoming more prevalent, meaning more healthcare organizations are reaping benefits.

We’ve seen it firsthand because our discovery platform partners influencers with these companies.

So, here’s what you can expect too:

Healthcare Influencers Can Educate Your Target Audience

When healthcare influencers share their personal stories or medical expertise, they provide valuable insights and education to your target audience.

This approach builds trust in your healthcare brand. While reinforcing credibility in your healthcare marketing efforts

Influencers can break down complex medical jargon into simple, understandable language, making it easier for your audience to grasp important health concepts.

Insider tip: We recommend finding relatable influencers with a strong medical knowledge background so their educational content can be both accurate and engaging.

For example, the digital therapy platform Talkspace frequently partners with medical professionals.

Here’s Dr. Dion Metzger, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist and senior clinical advisor, discussing the risk factors behind depression:

Note: This is not just an educational video; its purpose is to also destigmatize health issues. That brings us to the next point.

Influencer Marketing Can Destigmatize Health Issues

Influencers have the unique ability to open up about their own health experiences, which can destigmatize topics related to mental health or chronic conditions.

Influencers can create a supportive community and encourage open conversations around sensitive health issues by sharing their journeys.

Insider tip: If that’s your campaign goal, partner with influencers passionate about patient advocacy.

Ensure they can address and destigmatize health issues within their content authentically.

For example, Talkspace features stories from real people – these are patient influencers sharing their valuable health experiences :

Source

However, the platform also partnered with celebrity influencer Michael Phelps, an Olympic champion who battled depression.

As such, their combined messages are highly credible and persuasive:

Source

Healthcare Keynote Speakers Can Advocate Change

Keynote speakers with influence in the healthcare sector can advocate for meaningful change and influence healthcare decision-making.

Their platforms allow them to reach a broader audience and promote healthcare services, innovations, or policies that can lead to healthier lives.

Insider tip: Don’t just stick to social media.

Connect with keynote speakers across various platforms to amplify your message.

Healthcare Influencers Make Your Healthcare Products And Services Visible

With the right influencer marketing partnership, your healthcare products and services can gain visibility among an engaged audience.

Influencers can creatively integrate your offerings into their lifestyle, showcasing their practical benefits and how they contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

For example, you can pair your healthcare service with lifestyle influencers who embody a healthy lifestyle.

That way, your products will be presented in a relatable and aspirational manner.

La Roche Possay is a skincare brand that promises to treat various dermatological conditions.

The company also presents its products as dermatologist-approved, which explains various partnerships with medical doctors like Dr. Tim Tiutan:

Source

Note: After creating this post, dr. Tim advises it “is purely educational and not to be taken as direct medical advice.”

That’s a great way to overcome the legal challenges of healthcare influencer marketing – but we’ll discuss that topic in a minute.

Now, let’s see the final – and arguably most important – benefit of influencer marketing for healthcare.

Influencer Marketing Boosts Your Return on Investment

Influencer marketing campaigns in the healthcare industry can yield a significant return on investment (ROI).

By targeting the relevant audience with engaging content that resonates, you can achieve higher engagement rates, leading to more conversions and brand loyalty.

Insider tip: At inBeat, we advise our clients to focus on data-driven strategies that match their marketing strategy to skyrocket ROI. Also, be sure to pick influencers already known for high consumer engagement and conversion rates.

Your 5-Step Healthcare Influencer Marketing Campaign

Okay, if the above benefits have convinced you, let’s kickstart your influencer marketing campaign together.

Get ready for an actionable plan, our in-house tools, and more insider tips.

Note: We advise our platform’s clients to apply this plan, but our sister company, the growth agency inBeat, also uses it with many awesome results.

1. Set Your Goals

Setting clear goals is the cornerstone of any successful influencer marketing campaign, especially in the healthcare industry.

Your goals might include:

  • Increasing awareness about a new healthcare service, such as a medical courier service
  • Driving engagement around health issues
  • Building brand trust with patient stories
  • Educating the audience on medical devices
  • Boosting the visibility of your healthcare brand
  • Supporting patient communities

Insider tip: Define what success looks like for your campaign to measure its impact effectively. So, pick the right key performance indicators associated with each goal.

2. Understand Your Target Audience

We always strive to understand our clients’ target audiences before advising them about specific influencers.

This step allows you to tailor your messages so they resonate deeply and drive action.

Basically, when you know who you’re speaking to, you can address their specific needs, concerns, and aspirations.

These tailored messages lead to stronger consumer engagement and, ultimately, a more significant impact on your marketing goals.

Let’s see the different audience segments in healthcare influencer marketing:

  • Patients seeking health solutions: Patients often search for reliable medical expertise and personal experiences that can guide them toward better health decisions. Influencer marketing can connect them with patient influencers, sharing relatable health experiences and patient stories. That way, your campaign provides comfort, actionable insights, and the right products.
  • Family members of patients: These individuals seek support, understanding, and resources to aid their loved ones. Influencer content that shares personal stories and patient advocacy can offer them the community and knowledge they crave. Besides, influencer marketing can make complex health issues more approachable.
  • Healthcare professionals: This group values clinical experience, medical knowledge, and advancements in patient care. Influencer marketing can engage them by partnering with medical professionals and key opinion leaders who share insights on medical devices, healthcare services, and patient care innovations. All this ultimately fosters a professional dialogue.
  • Healthcare marketers and brands: Aimed at promoting healthcare services and products, these professionals seek to expand their audience size and engage a relevant audience. Influencer marketing can highlight their offerings through engaging content, showcasing real-life applications and benefits. Therefore, this approach drives brand visibility and adoption.
  • Wellness enthusiasts: Individuals focused on a healthy lifestyle and preventive care are drawn to lifestyle and wellness influencers who embody these values. Influencer marketing can persuade them by demonstrating how healthcare products and services fit into a wellness-oriented lifestyle, emphasizing a proactive approach to health.

3. Create Your Strategy

Insider tip: At inBeat, we always stress the importance of crafting your strategy before scouting for influencers.

This approach helps you find influencers who seamlessly align with your campaign’s objectives rather than having to adjust your entire strategy to accommodate different influencer profiles.

A well-defined strategy acts as a blueprint, guiding the selection process toward influencers who can genuinely resonate with your message and amplify your brand’s voice within the healthcare sector.

A comprehensive healthcare influencer marketing strategy should outline:

  • Types of messages: Decide on the core messages that will resonate with your target audience, whether it’s patient stories that offer hope, medical expertise that educates, or wellness tips that inspire a healthier lifestyle. Ensure these messages reflect your brand’s values and campaign goals.
  • Preferred channels: Identify which social media platforms and digital channels your target audience uses. For healthcare, platforms that support longer content formats, like blogs or YouTube, can foster analysis and in-depth discussions. Conversely, Instagram or TikTok might be ideal for more visual, engaging content. But you can also use LinkedIn influencers to promote your brands and products to a B2B audience.
  • Dos and don’ts: Establish clear guidelines on the tone and style of the content, ensuring it’s empathetic and informative without overstepping ethical boundaries. Avoid making unfounded health claims or sharing sensitive patient information without consent.
  • Specific timeline: Define a timeframe for your campaign, from the initial influencer outreach to the post-campaign analysis. This will help maintain consistent engagement with your audience and allow for adjustments based on interim feedback.

Now for the tools:

If you already have a campaign brief ready, you can leverage inBeat’s UGC Marketplace, which connects you with the top 2% of creators.

This platform helps you create impactful ads from start to finish, tailored to meet your specific needs.

For example, the pain relief brand Medistik, is still using user-generated content to power its social media content calendar:

Alternatively, if you seek a more hands-on approach, our sister agency can guide you through the process.

But if you prefer to proceed independently, the next step is to “pick the right influencers,” where we discuss how to pick creators who align with the strategic foundation you’ve established.

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4. Pick the Right Influencers

This part is where our discovery platform really shines because we’ve had to find influencers for hundreds of brands.

So, prepare for a deeper dive into different types of healthcare influencers, how to find and vet them, plus the basics of outreach and onboarding.

Let’s go.

4.1. Who Are the Best Influencers in Healthcare?

A diverse array of healthcare influencers can significantly impact different segments of your target audience.

  • Nurse influencers: Offer practical patient care insights and relatable frontline experiences.
  • Medical students: can engage a younger demographic with fresh medical education and health advocacy perspectives.
  • Patient influencers: Share personal health journeys, providing invaluable support and understanding to those with similar experiences.
  • Health experts and medical professionals: Lend authority and credibility, discussing complex health issues with expertise.
  • Wellness influencers focus on preventive care and healthy lifestyle tips, appealing to an audience invested in long-term well-being.

For example, Preparation H retails products for fast hemorrhoid treatment.

As you can imagine, this is not a sexy brand, so it’s not as easy to market as chocolates.

However, the company has partnered with Dustin Harris MD, CAQSM, an Instagram nano-influencer with 78.4K followers at the time of this writing.

This strategy can dispel some of the stigma around having hemorrhoids, so people with this issue are likelier to contact the company:

Source

4.2. Finding and Vetting Healthcare Influencers

You can find healthcare influencers using specific keywords on social media, like “doctor” or “medical professional.” You can also use Google, LinkedIn, or your professional network.

However, all this manual search involves a lot of work.

Using inBeat, you can streamline healthcare influencers’ discovery and vetting process.

Our platform lets you filter influencers by key metrics like engagement rate, follower count, and location, ensuring they align with your campaign’s goals.

Use healthcare-related keywords to refine your search further, and opt to exclude terms that don’t match your brand’s values.

Let’s say we want a medical doctor who talks about fitness but doesn’t mention THC:

Now, let’s set the filters, looking for nano-influencers from the US with an engagement rate above 1%:

And let’s see the results:

Source

Insider tip: When vetting potential collaborators, focus on authenticity indicators such as engagement rates and the quality of interactions with their audience. You can use our free toolkit to find various calculators for this step.

For example, let’s use our free engagement rate calculator to check Dr. Dustin Harris, who partnered with Preparation H.

You can easily see his engagement rate, average likes, average comments as well as impressions per post. This will help you see his highest-performing content and ask him to replicate it for your brand.

These stats are looking good, but what is his profile score?

Let’s use our free fake follower checker.

Again, Dr. Dustin’s score is a clean 10, with no inactive followers and average impressions that go beyond Instagram’s target:

Finally, we can use our free Instagram collaboration cost calculator to see if this influencer would fit our budget.

Insider tip: If an influencer fits your brand but has a high collaboration cost or low engagement rate, the “Find Similar Creators” feature can help you find alternatives that might be a better fit for your campaign.

4.3. Outreach and Onboarding

Once you’ve identified potential influencers, the next step is to reach out and establish a connection.

Personalize your communication, mentioning specific aspects of their content that align with your healthcare campaign’s objectives.

Clearly outline what you hope to achieve together and what the collaboration entails, including timelines, content guidelines, and compensation.

Pro tip: Use our free outreach email template to skyrocket your open rates.

After an influencer agrees to collaborate, onboarding is crucial for aligning expectations.

Provide them with a comprehensive brief that includes key messages, dos and don’ts, and any necessary background information about your healthcare brand or the specific health issues you’re addressing.

Regular communication throughout the campaign will ensure a successful partnership and help achieve your marketing goals.

5. Run and Monitor the Campaign

Running a healthcare influencer marketing campaign requires meticulous coordination and clear communication.

Here’s what we advise our clients to do:

  • Begin by thoroughly briefing your chosen influencers, ensuring they understand the campaign’s goals, key messages, and timelines. The creative assets they develop must resonate with your target audience and adhere to your brand’s guidelines, whether you’re a pharmaceutical company, wellness brand, or healthcare service.
  • Monitor the performance of each content piece to gauge your campaign’s success. To track important metrics, use a centralized system, like an Excel sheet accessible to all key team members. This setup helps maintain an overview of engagement rates, content delivery schedules, and any adjustments needed.

Here’s a quick example of one of our in-house Excel sheets:

We also keep track of the overall results like so:

Free tools you can use for monitoring your campaign: Leverage our free in-house calculators for CTR (Click-Through Rate), CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), and ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) to analyze the campaign’s effectiveness in real-time.

These tools can pinpoint high-performing influencers and content types so you can refine your strategy dynamically.

Insider tip: If you identify a particular message or influencer generating exceptional results, it’s focus your efforts further in this direction.

Use inBeat’s ad mockup generators to experiment with various creative assets. That way, you can scale the most effective elements of your campaign efficiently.

Here’s how easy it is to create a TikTok ad using our TikTok ad mockup generator:

Challenges of Healthcare Influencer Marketing

If you have read so far, you now have a solid 5-step healthcare strategy you can implement today.

But you should also be aware of the challenges ahead so you can strategically plan for them.

  • Misinformation: Content spreads rapidly across social platforms, so the risk of misinformation, especially regarding health issues and medical expertise, is high. To avoid this issue, partner with influencers with a reputable healthcare background or who are well-versed in the medical knowledge pertinent to your campaign.
  • Regulatory compliance: The healthcare sector is heavily regulated, with stringent guidelines governing promotional content and patient privacy. Ensure your influencer marketing campaigns comply with laws and regulations like those set by government agencies. This involves careful content vetting to prevent legal or regulatory missteps, particularly when discussing pharmaceutical companies or medical devices.
  • Ethical dilemmas: Ethical considerations include respecting patient confidentiality and avoiding the exploitation of patient stories. You must also ensure your marketing efforts do not take advantage of consumer vulnerabilities, especially when dealing with sensitive topics like mental health or chronic conditions. Influencer partnerships should be built on transparency, with a clear delineation between genuine advice and promotional content.

Remember: Addressing these challenges head-on involves a proactive approach, where due diligence, transparency, and a commitment to ethical standards are non-negotiable.

Scale Your Healthcare Influencer Marketing Campaign

Scaling your healthcare influencer marketing campaign is about building on the successes and learning from the insights gained during the initial phases.

As you expand, focus on amplifying the reach to a broader audience while maintaining your messages’ authenticity and impact.

Here’s what we recommend our clients to do:

  • Diversify influencer partnerships: Branch out by partnering with various influencers across different segments, from patient influencers sharing personal health journeys to healthcare professionals providing medical expertise. This diversity enriches your campaign, offering multiple perspectives that resonate with a wider audience.
  • Leverage data for decision-making: Use the data collected from initial campaigns to inform your strategy. Look at engagement rates, audience demographics, and the return on investment to identify what worked best. This data-driven approach allows you to allocate resources more effectively, focusing on high-performing content and influencers.
  • Expand content formats and platforms: Experiment with different types of influencer content and social media platforms to engage your audience. From educational videos on YouTube to wellness tips on Instagram, varying your content format ensures your message reaches different audience segments.
  • Foster long-term relationships: Building long-term partnerships with influencers can lead to more authentic and impactful collaborations. When influencers become genuine advocates for your healthcare brand, their endorsements carry more weight, leading to deeper consumer engagement.

Of course, inBeat is here to help you however you’re thinking about starting or scaling your healthcare influencer campaign.

Our influencer discovery platform will help you find creators in bulk.

Our free toolkit helps you evaluate potential influencers and monitor their results.

Alternatively, you can leverage our UGC Marketplace to find content creators who will create UGC ads from start to finish.

Or, you can book a free call with our agency to refine your strategy and maximize its impact.

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