Influencers in Healthcare: Getting the Most Out of Your Partnerships

In recent years, healthcare marketing has begun to shift away from purely traditional advertising and toward a bigger emphasis on social media. Influencer partnerships are on the rise, which presents an exciting opportunity for local healthcare organizations to build credibility within their communities. 

Navigating the world of influencers in healthcare marketing, however, is not the easiest task. It’s not as though you can offer a treatment or surgery “trial,” and HIPAA laws make it risky to ask influencers about personal health experiences. But we can arm them with knowledge and turn them into advocates, which is exactly what we did for AdventHealth Kansas City in our Emergency Department campaign. In fact, our influencer team delivered 83% more impressions than our campaign goal and received double the organic social engagement compared to the industry benchmark.

At MBB, we’re no stranger to influencer relationships. Having worked with influencers across multiple other industries, we were ready to dive in headfirst with influencer campaigns for our healthcare clients. Here are our tips for getting the most out of your influencer relationships:

1. Find relevant local accounts

Sure, influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers can be an attractive option for a marketing campaign, but when it comes to healthcare marketing at the local level, relevance is key. We recommend focusing on quality over quantity (although, if you have a big-time influencer in your market, that’s a bonus!). After all, partnering with influencers is about building trust for your brand, and finding someone who is health-focused or a relatable member of the community will go a long way toward getting you the quality engagement you desire

2. Be clear about what you want

Because influencers are content creators, it’s tempting to lean on them for the content planning, but in reality, that work is best done by your agency or internal marketing team. Having an outline of deliverables up-front not only ensures you get the strategic content you need, but it also helps the influencer have clarity on what is expected from them, which is always appreciated.

3. But give them creative freedom

The best influencer content happens when the influencers are free to be their authentic selves. So avoid being too prescriptive when it comes to messaging, especially if you’re tapping multiple influencers to work on your campaign. Play to their strengths by giving them an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas to your proposal and make adjustments as needed.

4. Provide ongoing support

People want to work with people they like—this is true in the workplace as well as with influencer relations. Nobody wants to be treated like a commodity, so make an effort to engage with influencers you’d like to work with before and after a campaign by regularly liking and commenting on their posts. It’s much easier and faster to pitch influencers on a partnership when you’ve already established a personal relationship through social media.

5. Communicate and provide value

An influencer partnership is a two-way street—both parties are concerned about image as well as compensation. In our experience, the more excited an influencer is to work on your campaign, the better output you’re going to get. Talk to them about what you’re going to do to promote them on your social channels—chances are, the partnership will result in new followers for them, too. And bring them a stellar creative campaign they’ll love being a part of.

Want to learn more about how we’re using influencer marketing in the healthcare space or get help developing your own influencer campaign? Give us a shout.

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