COVID-19 has expedited digital adoption: Audiences must adapt to stay connected.
Think about the QR code. Pre-pandemic, it wasn’t used much and when it was used, it was rarely used properly. Now, because of the pandemic, QR codes have quickly become the main conduit between what is happening live in front of you and extending that experience into the palm of your hand. It’s the shiny new toy everyone wants to use, as both the consumer and the marketer!
As healthcare marketers and strategists, we’ve witnessed this same digital acceleration with our consumers, specifically in the 50+ audience. Since the pandemic began, use of technology for health and fitness information in this older adult demographic has risen by nearly 20%, with 40% of adults over 50 using technology for personal health purposes—a 12% increase, according to the AARP 2021 Tech Trends Report.
Hard-to-reach audiences are engaging more online
Also since the pandemic began, we have seen the volume of conversations increase significantly across news outlets, blogs, and social media as consumers adapt to different technologies. Healthcare professionals were compelled to increase virtual interactions. While it remains to be seen if that will be the predominant form of engagement, it certainly has altered the landscape for good.
Our MJH insights show healthcare professionals will look to hybrid experiences as the preferred form of conference attendance in the future. Traditionally, attending a remote conference live may have been the only way to reach a targeted group of HCPs. Now, with the hybrid experience emerging for those who can and cannot travel, online engagement is expected to continue to increase.
Digital interaction and consumption are on the rise
Increased access to technology for our consumers also means we have increased access to and insights into their behaviors and needs. Patients, family members, and healthcare providers are spending a lot more time online. The more comfortable and familiar they become with technology, the more likely they are to turn to it for education and support. With this need for information and connection also comes a substantial amount of threads, posts, and comments.
Understanding how your consumers are behaving and what they are saying
Because we now have access to these audiences’ stimulating new conversations, it’s important to listen to what your consumers are saying and address unmet needs. With more data available, now is the perfect time to use tools like social listening to analyze conversations and trends happening around your brand and therapy category, and to use those insights to help drive your marketing decisions.
Social listening helps you understand who your audience is, what they think about your brand, and where these conversations are taking place. Insights can be broad or focused on a specific type of healthcare provider, disease state, or audience group.
Identify and track Key Opinion Leaders and learn how to best engage with them. Track products and marketing efforts from your brand’s competitors. Identify the sentiments, trends, and emotions of your target audience through custom segments and publisher lists.
After gathering data and insights on the market, we can incorporate all these conversations and data points into your content strategy. Once you’re informed on who your target audiences’ most influential users are, what platforms generate the highest engagement per post, and where your audience likes to spend time consuming content, you will have the insights needed to generate the most value from your media and content plans.
With technology consumption projected to continue rising among consumers, it’s crucial to keep a finger on the pulse of the market. A simple social listening report with insights can go a long way – especially at a time like this, when the digital revolution has skyrocketed for many, generating more conversations than ever before from hard-to-reach users online.