Influencer marketing is a great way to boost your practice’s visibility online — here’s what you need to know.
By now, chances are that your medical practice is already investing in social media marketing of some form or other. Posting helpful tips about conditions and treatments, republishing links to interesting and informative articles, and general patient engagement can all go a long way when it comes to growing your practice’s social media following and ultimately, your customer base.
However, there’s another highly impactful social media strategy that you may not have considered yet: influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is essentially convincing social media users (ideally with large follower counts) to engage with or promote your content in order to boost the visibility and credibility of your medical brand. In other words, rather than trying to sell people on your products and services yourself, you’re soliciting an endorsement from an “objective” third-party (i.e. someone who isn’t employed by your company).
As patients become increasingly empowered to make their own decisions about their health, such testimonials and organic endorsements are now a non-negotiable requirement for any medical practice’s marketing mix.
Why Should I Invest in Influencer Marketing?
The argument for influencer marketing is a relatively simple one: the up-front investment is typically reasonable, especially when you consider the potentially massive return. In a recent article on Search Engine Watch, Marcela De Vivo laid out a number of compelling stats on why it might be a worthwhile endeavor:
- 51% of marketers across all industries say they acquire better customers via influencer marketing
- 92% of people trust recommendations from other people over brands
- 84% say they are planning at least one influencer campaign in 2017
What’s more, your influencers already have built-in credibility among a niche, captive audience — that means the impact of their actions will be swift and highly targeted.
How to Execute a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
First, you’ll need to identify your target influencers. They should be both highly visible and relevant to your organization’s primary patient demographic (i.e., if you’re an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapist, a professional athlete might be a good choice).
If your practice specializes in treating a specific, sensitive condition, it’s best to look for influencers with first-hand experience or who have been outspoken within that community of patients. For example, Chrissy Teigen has been incredibly vocal and transparent about her struggles with fertility and her decision to do IVF — as a trusted and highly visible figure, her endorsement would obviously go a long way.
How to go about securing an endorsement largely depends on the nature of your practice’s specialization — and the target influencer. Some influencers may be interested in compensation, free services, or cross-promotional content. Others may truly believe in your mission and the value of your services, and take it upon themselves to point their audience in your general direction.
Either way, it’s always best to avoid the hard sell — today’s healthcare consumers can smell an inauthentic endorsement from a mile away. Keep it organic, on target, and most importantly, truthful, then sit back and watch as your digital audience — and ROI — shoot through the roof.