In the 2024 healthcare marketing landscape, influencers have become pivotal players. The power of influencers lies not just in their reach but in their ability to resonate with the audience. 

These days, the average American encounters a staggering 4,000-plus ads daily. Amid this noise, influencer marketing in healthcare needs to stand out. How do they do that? Influencers must deliver messages that genuinely connect with their audience.

Market Research in Healthcare

Diabetes MedTech and pharmaceutical campaigns demand innovative strategies. Adopting new angles in healthcare marketing is essential to keep up. This is where campaign testing comes into play, providing insights that shape effective and impactful approaches.

Treating Influencers Like Marketing Messages

In the healthcare marketing mix, influencers should be treated as integral components. Drawing parallels between influencer content and traditional marketing messages reinforces the idea that pre-launch research and market testing should be standard practices for influencer campaigns. It ensures alignment with brand values and resonance with the audience.

Investing Today for Tomorrow's Success

Investing in pre-launch testing is a proactive step that reaps long-term benefits. The assurance that influencer messages resonate with the target audience is an investment in the success of future campaigns. This strategic move saves resources and protects the brand image long-term.

Agencies' Role and Responsibility

Agencies, as orchestrators of influencer campaigns, play a pivotal role. Knowing the audience, nailing the brief, and understanding the financial implications of missing the mark are principles that agencies should uphold. The correlation between effective pre-launch testing and financial success should be a guiding factor for agencies in the healthcare sector.

Actionable Strategies for Testing

A/B Testing of Messaging Styles
Create variations of the influencer's message, and A/B test these versions with a subset of your audience to analyze which style performs better in terms of engagement and alignment with brand values. This can be done pre-launch, through quantitative surveys, or in a live environment by putting multiple message versions into the market. Pre-launch surveys are a great way to boost campaign performance with a lower initial investment if you have a tight deadline and budget. 

Collaborative Storyboarding
Collaboratively storyboard the content with influencers, ensuring it aligns with your brand's image and resonates with the target audience. This involves joint planning sessions to map out the narrative and key messages and pre-launch testing with a sample representative of your target market.

Beta Testing with a Focus Group
Before the official launch, rather than conducting a quantitative survey, get more in-depth feedback by testing with a focus group of individuals from your target audience to preview the influencer content. Collect feedback on the effectiveness, clarity, and relatability of the message.

Social Listening Tools
Utilize social listening tools to track mentions, sentiment, and overall buzz around the influencer campaign. Adjust strategies quickly based on the feedback and sentiments expressed by the audience.

The Rise of Influencers in Healthcare Marketing

Nano, Micro, and Macro Influencers
Understanding the nuances of influencer types—nano, micro, and macro—is crucial. Effectiveness depends on goals and business size, with engagement taking precedence over sheer follower numbers. Like with anything, it’s important to prioritize quality over quantity. Often, the fewer followers someone has, the higher their engagement rates are and the better bang for your buck you can find. 

Here’s a quick refresher:
Nano has less than 10k followers
Micro has between 10k and 100k followers
Macro has anything north of 100k followers

Healthcare Professionals as Influencers
The pandemic witnessed a significant trend of healthcare providers becoming influencers. Their role in shaping perceptions, reaching diverse audiences, and dispelling myths has become increasingly prominent. Above all, HCPs were able to build trust with their followers when people were having a hard time trusting other sources of healthcare information.

Benefits for Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies
Influencer marketing creates more engaged patients, turning them into equal partners in their healthcare journey. With relationships based on trust, this approach provides better access to information, especially for those in remote areas.

Access and Education
In the larger diabetes management ecosystem, influencer marketing bridges the gap, providing education about preventive care, new treatments, and medications. Social platforms serve as direct channels, fostering trust and engagement.

Two-Way Communication with Influencers
Genuine engagement and two-way communication are the cornerstones of successful influencer marketing. This approach helps companies understand their audience and builds relationships based on trust. It’s essential to have open communication with any representatives of your brand on social media about how to respond in 1:1 communication (comments, DMs, etc.) to set them up for success. Educate your brand’s influencers on the products and treatments they are posting about so they can confidently respond to any questions. Don’t be afraid to use your company’s official social media page to respond to in-depth questions in the comment section. 

Influencer marketing in diabetes MedTech and pharmaceutical campaigns should not be viewed by healthcare companies in isolation but integrated into the broader healthcare marketing strategy. By incorporating pre-launch testing, understanding influencer types, and leveraging the authenticity of healthcare providers, healthcare companies can ensure that influencer impact is measured and optimized for success. The call to action is clear: integrate testing into your healthcare marketing playbook and watch your campaigns go from existing to trending, with real business impact. 

If you’re interested in tapping into our diabetes database containing 50+ data points on each patient and caregiver and pairing those panelists with Thrivable’s expertise in diabetes to test your next campaign confidently, feel free to set up a call with our team.

About the author

Adam Zandman

Adam Zandman

Adam, Thrivable's Marketing Director, is a passionate advocate for improving the patient experience, driving companies to prioritize the patient voice in their decisions