Micro-Influencers for Healthcare Marketing:
5 Key Questions for Campaign Success

As marketers, we know that influence is a key factor in decision-making. Peer-to-peer influence—especially in the social media space—drives consumers to open their wallets, and inspires them to make decisions on everything from which clothing brands they should wear to what snack brands they should add to their grocery cart. So it should come as no huge surprise to learn that influencer marketing is a $5 billion-a-year industry, and its effect on consumer spending isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

As more industries and companies move into the influencer marketing space, hospital systems and healthcare organizations have also started reaping the benefits of including influencers—especially micro-influencers with 10K to 50K followers—as a viable aspect of their marketing tactic mix. This forward-thinking has produced great ROI while delivering thoughtful brand, product, and service line messaging to the right audience(s).

Healthcare Micro-influencers

Whether you’re a healthcare marketer who has experience working with micro-influencers, or you’re just now considering the addition of this powerful tactic to your overall marketing strategy, our team has developed the following five questions meant to help you make the most of your next micro-influencer campaign—no matter your experience level.

1. Why micro-influencers?

This one’s easy to answer! There are many advantages of engaging social media influencers with smaller follower counts over those with larger ones, especially in the healthcare marketing space where relationships are valued, and trust is paramount:

    • They’re local and/or subject-matter experts. They aren’t celebrities or trying to be everything to everyone. Their audience follows them for a reason and trusts what they say/share to be authentic.
    • They have a strong relationship with their audience and are more likely to engage with user comments or questions to keep the conversation going. Micro-influencers, on average, also see higher engagement rates on published content.
    • They’re more willing to collaborate and work at reduced rates when compared to more established macro- or mega-influencers.

2. What do I want to accomplish?

Now that you know why engaging micro-influencers can benefit your healthcare organization, let’s create a few measurable objectives for your next influencer marketing campaign! Here are three good ones:

    • Increasing Awareness or Use Consideration – Want users to know about a new facility grand opening or looking to introduce them to a new technology? How about spotlighting a physician’s group or reminding women about the importance of annual mammograms? If any of these sound like something you’d be interested in promoting, awareness should definitely be one of your influencer campaign objectives.
    • Inspire Website Traffic – Looking to drive traffic to a landing page for telehealth sign-ups or sending users to an annual health fair information page? Maybe you want to increase visits to a primary care locations page or track how many users are interested in making appointments online? Tracking web traffic is always a good call.
    • Elevate Positive Brand Sentiment – Engaging micro-influencers is one way for healthcare marketers to increase overall positive word-of-mouth while adding an extra layer of humanity to messaging that can sometimes seem rigid, technical, or even repetitive to the average consumer. This is especially true if the healthcare organization is located in a market where competition is fierce, and consumers have more choices. Micro-influencers can help inspire those consumers to choose YOUR healthcare organization, YOUR facilities, and YOUR services—and be so happy in their decision that they share their experience with others.

3. Who do I want to reach?

Target audience is an important factor for any social media influencer campaign. Consider each influencer’s “core” organic audience. What is an influencer’s main area of expertise? What is the age, gender, or location of each influencer’s audience?

Once you have some of these important factors determined, it’s easier to align each influencer to your specific healthcare marketing messaging need. You might also consider providing each influencer with a boost budget to amplify their campaign content and reach audiences that may differ from their current audience demographics. Below are a few ideas for aligning the right influencer with the right audience for your healthcare marketing message:

    • Female influencers encouraging other women to get their annual well-woman visit
    • Busy mom influencers touting the benefits of telehealth appointments
    • Gen X athletes sharing their age-related orthopedic patient journey
    • New moms recounting their excellent birthing suite experience
    • Weight management program patients who successfully improved their health

4. How will I measure success?

Wondering which KPIs to use for measuring success of your micro-influencer campaign? The answer lies in your campaign objectives! Here are a few trackable KPIs that align with the objectives we discussed above:

    • Awareness or Use Consideration – Impressions, engagements, and engagement rate are three KPIs that will give you an idea of who saw each influencer’s content vs. who took the extra step to engage with it.
    • Website Traffic – Assuming you have Google Analytics 4, set up tracking for your website and provide influencer-specific URLs to track KPIs like users vs. new users, sessions, and pageviews by influencer.
    • Positive Brand Sentiment – KPIs don’t need to be solely quantitative. Think about measuring the positivity vs. neutrality vs. negativity of audience comments on influencer campaign content. You can also track “vanity” engagement metrics such as like/love reactions or shares (the latter being a good indicator of user advocacy of messaging).

5. How can I ensure brand safety?

We know there are stringent rules and regulations governing the healthcare industry. So, how can you make sure your micro-influencer campaign checks all the necessary brand safety boxes? Consider taking these steps:

    • Properly vet each influencer. This one is a brand safety biggie. Look at the past content of any influencer you’re considering across all their social profiles. Search for red flags. Look for how each influencer engages their audience and whether they’ve worked with brands/organizations on sponsored content in the past. Check to confirm any compensated relationships were disclosed properly via FTC guidelines. Anything feel off or iffy? Don’t consider that influencer for a potential collaboration.

It’s worth noting here that there are many third-party influencer identification platforms out there that can make the process of “finding” influencers easier, but we generally don’t recommend these platforms for healthcare marketers for these reasons:

Cost – These platforms can be expensive to use, decreasing overall ROI.

Contact – In an effort to make things easier for marketers in general, many of these platforms remove direct brand-to-influencer communication, making it more difficult for marketers in regulated and compliance-heavy industries—like healthcare—to ensure brand safety.

– The likelihood that a large third-party platform would reveal a micro-influencer in your city/region who has visited one of your healthcare facilities or used your services is VERY slim. We’d recommend instead searching Instagram yourself for localized hashtags or geo-tags of your facilities as a starting point for finding local influencers for your marketing campaigns.

    • Create a robust, but easy-to-follow engagement contract with clear expectations on deliverables. Also include any specific not-to-dos. Being as descriptive as possible at the beginning of a collaboration will leave little room for misinterpretation of expectations. Also be sure to run the contract by your legal or compliance team for approval.
    • Require content pre-approval. This is an easy ask, but allows everyone involved to know exactly what will be published. A quick check once the influencer content is live on social media will also ensure contract alignment and brand safety.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on micro-influencer marketing for your next healthcare campaign!

Whether you go it alone or partner with our experienced influencer marketing team here at Crawford (hello, shameless plug!), planning and prepping ahead of time with these five important questions will ensure you achieve greater success in meeting your overall campaign objectives.