May 01, 2019
Pharma websites ranked lowest as trusted source for health information
Patient influencers trust social media groups more than pharma websites for health information, according to a new survey.
Would it surprise you to know that 65% of global brands are planning to increase their spending on influencer marketing in the coming year? That’s because these influencers—people that have a measurable footprint and a critical mass of followers on social channels—have fewer followers than a brand but a higher degree of trust. And, only 9% of health consumers believe that pharma companies put “patients over profits.”
A new survey from Wego Health found that “patient influencers are most likely to turn to groups on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as their first source for health information, followed by health websites such as WebMD, patient advocacy organization portals, their doctor, patient blogs and YouTube.” Only 3% said they prefer pharma websites.
Trust is the glue that binds influencers to their followers. Additional research found that online health communities play a critical role in health decisions and furthermore, that when health information is shared by a trusted patient influencer, nine out of 10 of their followers are likely to ask their physician about the information.
Medtech marketers have a lot to gain from identifying these patients that also act as brand champions for their brand’s medical product or procedure. After all, when health information is shared by someone influential, 93% will ask their physician about the information and 94% will share the information with people they deem as interested.
- Cultivate relationships with unpaid influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) for your medtech product or procedure and arm them with information and resources to share with their online communities
- Facilitate discussions and further educational communities by creating Facebook Groups centered around the disease or condition your medtech brand serves as Facebook continues to be influencers' preferred platform
- Take the opportunity to learn from these patient leaders (influencers) to gain critical insights about your patient community and their needs, desires, and affiliations
- Consider producing Facebook Live events; these events are a great way for your medtech brand to engage directly with your audience and it's surprisingly easy to use. Facebook Live has increased dramatically since its launch in 2015. Did you know that Facebook Live now comprises 20% of all video content on the platform, and that Facebook users watch live-streamed content three times longer than regular videos? And because Facebook's algorithm now ranks these types of posts higher in the News Feed, those numbers will continue to rise
Grey Matter Marketing is a full-service, award-winning marketing performance agency working exclusively with medtech companies and we can help with patient influencer programs like the ones discussed here. Our overarching goal is to help achieve and sustain an unfair competitive advantage for our clients through our signature core competency: Category Design. We focus on solving your toughest business challenges by uncovering and leveraging your greatest strengths to create—not just capture—value in the new outcomes-based healthcare environment. Our execution strategies for clients are always metric-driven to build demand, increase revenue, and win as a Category King.
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