Healthline surveyed 337 health influencers and 701 people with chronic conditions in 2018 and has compiled the information into an informative report for pharma marketers titled, not surprisingly, the 2019 Social Influencer Trend Report.
The report is split between the influencer findings and the patients themselves and paints the clearest picture yet of how patient influencers operate. The 30-page report covers many topics but we selected four for the Wire.
Health Influencers are Different
It may be dangerous to extrapolate general influencer data to the true health market. In the chart below we see that general health influencers are more Instagram focused and true health influencers are more balanced between Facebook and Instagram:
On these platforms, 53% are looking to inspire and encourage others and 40% are looking to raise awareness. Finding and engaging these influencers can help marketers, but there has to be strong alignment, 59% said that they work with brands because their messages align.
Social Media is Not the Full Story
Patient influencers need space to tell their full story and social media posts are not the place to do it. Blogs (which we consider social anyway -Ed.) are the hub of many influencers’ activities. When asked which were more important:
- 61% said their blog
- 39% said social media
Patients are Still Facebook-Centric
The report clearly showed that patients with chronic conditions were looking to Facebook first for their health community needs. No other platform came close, even when broken down by generation. We charted the data in the Healthline report to show the difference:
We wondered about Snapchat in these results. It turns out that the ephemeral platform isn’t a big hit yet with health influencers or patients. When asked which platform the influencer or patient would focus on the most it came in at 0% and 1%, respectively.
Snapchat can still be an effective awareness platform but marketers need to be aware that the audience isn’t actively seeking health information there.
Influencers Make a Difference
Our fourth takeaway from the report is that influencers online make a big difference to patients. Of the (admittedly smallish -Ed.) audiences for health influencers the self-reported results are impressive. When asked about their likelihood to take action, respondents said:
- 85% – visit websites that health influencers partner with
- 85% – share information or posts from health influencers with others
- 82% – speak to a doctor about a new treatment option
- 76% – speak to a doctor about switching medications
- 70% – request a specific brand from a doctor
There are tons of other insights in this report and it gets the coveted Klick Wire “must read” endorsement (sigh, for the 100th time that’s not a thing, but the report is good -Ed.).
NOTE: reminder that the Klick Wire does not take compensation for inclusion. We did put UTM codes on the link to test the effectiveness of a Wire story but it is simply for our own edification.