With the use of healthcare marketing, health professionals have the opportunity to provide educational value to their target audience. By raising public awareness about important health issues, healthcare campaigns can reduce ill-health and premature deaths from diseases that are treatable if they are addressed in time. The importance of health awareness campaigns lies in giving people the opportunity to take accountability for their health.
Why Are Health Awareness Campaigns Effective?
Health awareness marketing educates individuals and communities about risks and symptoms that may lead to serious health conditions. Moreover, health marketing not only prompts people to take their symptoms seriously, but also directs them to relevant health professionals and resources that can address their health concerns. Health awareness campaigns enable patients to better understand their health conditions and the options and treatments they can access. A health awareness campaign differs from health product marketing because rather than influencing people to buy a product, healthcare marketing seeks to influence people to buy into prioritizing their health and wellness.
The Relationship Between Social Media and Health Awareness
Social media platforms can serve to elevate public awareness of health risks. By creating social media marketing campaigns that are both creative and educational, healthcare professionals can establish relationships with their desired patient population and influence public opinion about important health issues. Social media can also be used to gauge the impact of awareness campaigns, enabling health providers to observe how public opinion shifts in response to a specific health campaign.
5 Examples of Successful Health Awareness Campaigns
ALS: Ice Bucket Challenge
In 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on Facebook, creating a massively successful campaign to educate people about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and fund its research. According to ALSA, $115 million in total was raised by the Ice Bucket Challenge in less than 60 days, enabling ALSA to increase their annual funding for research by 187%. As a result of this health awareness movement, researchers were able to make scientific advancements that helped with the care and treatment of people with ALS.
Alcohol Change: Dry January
Alcohol Change, a British charity and campaign group, hosted the first Dry January in 2012. This created a social media movement that encouraged people to examine their relationship with alcohol and the health risks that can come with it. Dry January has now evolved outside of Great Britain, with many Americans also taking a break from consuming alcohol. In 2022, the US participation in Dry January was 35%, which is an increase from 21% in 2019. Dry January has become so well known that some low- or no-alcohol brands have started to cater their marketing towards audiences that are sober-curious during the month of January.
Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic Connect
Based in Rochester, Minn., the Mayo Clinic is one of the highest-regarded medical centers in the world. Through the use of online platforms, but primarily Mayo Clinic Connect, the Mayo Clinic has created a social platform for patients that empowers them to become better advocates for their own health and the health of others — and helps to establish trust between the Mayo Clinic providers and their patients. Studies show that members of Mayo Clinic Connect felt better educated and supported. The Mayo Clinic’s use of social media to build a community and safe space for patients has been so impactful that it simultaneously serves as a form of social media marketing for the medical center.
Charité Berlin: Printed by Parkinson’s
To raise funds and build awareness about Parkinson’s disease, Charité Berlin, a major medical center in Germany, worked with Innocean Worldwide, a global ad agency, to create the Printed by Parkinson’s campaign.The team “infected” a 3-D printing machine with the tremors of six Parkinson’s patients, and 3-D printed their favorite objects according to the degree of their tremors. The distorted objects, along with video stories from the patients, have now traveled the world, been exhibited in museums and helped countless people better understand the symptoms and impact of Parkinson’s.
National MS Society: The Prevalence Campaign
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society launched their Prevalence Campaign to reassure and empower people learning how to navigate life with MS. This campaign, with the strategic guidance of Communications Strategy Group (CSGⓇ), connected its audience to important post-diagnosis resources and inspiring patient stories. In addition to providing MS patients with educational resources, the content developed for the campaign earned more than 15,000 page views and kept readers on the site for an average of two and a half minutes, far exceeding the average website session duration of one minute.
Key Attributes of a Successful Health Awareness Campaign
Provide Authoritative Information
Providing trustworthy information about the targeted health risk is the first step in creating a campaign that can influence people to change their behaviors. For example, the CDC and AMA developed a marketing campaign through public service ads called “Do I have Prediabetes?” to raise awareness about prediabetes, which is a red flag for the onset of type 2 diabetes. The ad campaign provides extensive information, including a quiz, FAQs, and lifestyle tips, all presented in an accessible format.
Offer Preventive Health Measures and Early Interventions
Communicating relevant information and resources that can assist with early intervention can save lives. People may be unaware they have symptoms that are indicative of a more serious underlying health issue. The Know Your Lemons breast cancer awareness movement provides meaningful information about identifying the symptoms of breast cancer. When breast cancer is caught in the earliest stage, the survival rate is almost 100%.
Healthcare awareness campaigns are an opportunity for an institution or organization to establish credibility as a trusted source of information. Providing qualified advice that resonates with your audience positions you as an authority in your field, allowing your organization to amplify its message. For example, Cochlear Americas, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, had CSG revitalize their social media marketing strategy to encourage their target market to achieve better hearing outcomes. By extracting the stories of people who had benefited from Cochlear products and creating meaningful content, Cochlear Americas built credibility with their target audience.
Use Data to Inform Your Campaign
Healthcare providers can use social media data analytics to gauge the public’s opinion on specific health matters and conversations. For example, the FDA released their new anti-smoking campaign, Every Try Counts, in 2018, based on data showing that it takes people more than one try to quit smoking for good. Because the FDA identified this widespread pain point, they were able to construct a campaign that resonated and influenced people to keep trying to change their behavior.
How to Increase Engagement and Promote General Health Awareness
To build a successful campaign, it’s important to know your audience’s top questions and where they go to access information. The objectives of a health campaign must be clear from the beginning, so you can create content accordingly. To boost engagement in your healthcare awareness campaign, the content you create should be appealing and easily shareable. A study that analyzed the content of over 2 million tweets found that tweets with photos had an increase in retweets by 35%, videos had a 28% increase, and hashtags resulted in a 17% increase. Most audiences want information that is useful and has enticing visual content — these traits encourage your audience to engage with your content.
FAQs About Health Awareness Campaigns
What are the benefits of health campaigns?
Public health campaigns spread awareness about diseases and health hazards, which can encourage people to seek medical attention for themselves or others. Health and wellness campaigns save lives and support the work of healthcare providers.
Why are awareness campaigns important?
Healthcare awareness campaigns educate the public about diseases and risks, and provide resources for learning more or getting help.
What is a health awareness campaign?
A health awareness campaign is marketing designed to educate people about diseases and health hazards, with goals of prevention and encouraging people to take control of their health.
How effective are public health campaigns?
Targeted messaging in a health campaign can help to change the behaviors of a population. Successful public health campaigns can educate and influence your target market to change their behavior.
How do you promote health awareness?
Health awareness is promoted by evidence-based marketing that harnesses compelling and educational content and benefits your target clientele.
Are You Struggling to Create an Effective Health Awareness Campaign?
At the end of the day, your content marketing strategy is only as good as your understanding of the audience your content is addressing. Deploying the most effective social media and digital marketing tools can be transformative in getting your health awareness campaign in front of the right audience.
Contact us today to discover how CSG’s experienced PR and marketing specialists can help your organization create a health awareness campaign that enhances your impact across multiple markets.