Turning Influencers into Advocates in Healthcare Marketing

It’s safe to say that influencer marketing is a trend that isn’t going away. Despite ever-changing FTC regulations and further crackdowns on social media platforms, according to Nielsen 92% of consumers say they trust recommendations from peers or trusted authorities and 75% of Instagram users report they take some kind of action after viewing a post from an influencer.

As the influencer-marketing landscape continues to evolve, so does the world of urgent health care. Consumers now have many choices when they have a health episode and can’t get in to see their PCP or don’t have a PCP they visit regularly. First there is urgent care—it seems like there is one of these on every corner now, but the services vary from one location to another. Then there are emergency rooms— we all know that they are equipped to do whatever they need to do to save our lives, but those services often equate to dollar signs. And lastly, there is the newest option — “community” hospitals or free-standing emergency rooms. Like urgent care facilities, their offerings differ vastly by location and so can their costs. For consumers, all of these options for urgent health care can make it difficult to know when to go where…and why. There are times when we may choose to go to the ER because we don’t know how severe an illness is only to find out we could have had a faster, cheaper, less stressful experience going to urgent care. On the flip side, choosing urgent care during a crisis that requires ER care could be a matter of life and death.

AdventHealth KC saw an opportunity here. If people were more educated about emergency departments and their offerings, they would be more confident about making these fast health care decisions. By being the trusted source for this important information, AdventHealth KC could build a relationship with potential patients.

Because the brand is so closely tied to the local KC area, as AdventHealth’s KC digital agency, we were asked to offer our ideas for an emergency department awareness campaign.

As far as we were concerned, influencers were the obvious choice. However, while influencers have long been a solution for products and services looking for brand awareness, it’s rarely an execution used for health care. Health care is hard to “trial,” and HIPAA laws make it risky to ask an influencer to share a personal health care experience they had, but we were up to the challenge.

Overcoming Health Care Obstacles

In order to make influencers our best sources of awareness content, we had to begin by educating them. Unlike a product or more lifestyle-related service, we couldn’t offer influencers a chance to “try” the product — so designing partnerships that were mutually beneficial was key. This is where relationship building was so crucial. While we wanted to highlight AdventHealth KC’s differentiators when it comes to emergency room care, we also wanted to build rapport with influencers and allow them to truly understand our message about when to go to the ER, what to expect and how to handle the stress of a health emergency. Influencers polled their audiences ahead of time to gather their questions to help guide the program content and ensure we were providing them with valuable information.

Turning Influencers into Advocates

By bringing a variety of influencers (young men and women, parents, etc.) to AdventHealth’s state-of-the-art South Overland Park location for an in-person event, we afforded these influencers the chance to talk to ER physicians and nurses, tour the facility and ask any and all questions they had. That way, they were not just an outlet for our brand messaging. They became advocates for our overall campaign message. From there, each partner created social media and blog content (like this) to pass on their knowledge and educate their local followers about AdventHealth KC’s emergency department services. In order to maximize reach and engagement of this content, it was also promoted through organic and paid social executions on AdventHealth KC’s social channels.


Influencers generated more than 30,000 impressions through 15 pieces of unique content with an organic engagement rate of more than 4%. Interactions between influencers and their followers help confirm the message resonated with their audiences.

If you’re interested in influencer marketing in the healthcare industry, let us know.

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