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TikTok Could Be ‘The End All’ For Health Influencer Marketing


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Ogilvy has introduced a new health influencer marketing service aimed at bridging the gap between medical expertise and public awareness for pharmaceutical, healthcare, and wellness brands. This new offering reflects the increasing impact of social media on health-related behaviors and decisions.

Rebecca Carter, Head of Social Media at Ogilvy Health UK and Health Influence Lead, highlighted the growing trend of individuals using social media for health information. According to Ogilvy Research & Intelligence, 93% of people engaging with health-related social media accounts take action, such as scheduling appointments. Additionally, 57% of physicians have changed their perception of a drug or treatment based on social media information.

Carter explained that the landscape for health influence has evolved significantly over the past two years. More people, including those living with health conditions and doctors, are seeking medical information online. There has been a notable shift away from platforms like Twitter, with communities moving to other digital channels. Notably, health influencers on TikTok have gained significant traction, offering a blend of expert advice and relatable content. Carter emphasized the need to navigate the vast amount of health misinformation online, citing a study that found 51% of vaccine-related social media posts were misleading.

Ogilvy’s health influence briefs vary depending on the client and their needs. For instance, a pharmaceutical company might partner with expert patients to share disease awareness content, while a self-care client could work with healthcare influencers to promote healthy aging. The goal is to build trust within communities, drive awareness, and stimulate positive behavior change.

Carter shared a favorite campaign involving a global pharma company that used AI to engage with teens in Vietnam about sexually transmitted infections like HPV. The campaign featured a virtual influencer to facilitate conversations about safe sexual practices, empowering teens to make informed health decisions.

In healthcare and pharma, the term “influence” is preferred over “influencer.” This distinction is crucial as the focus is on the impact an individual can have rather than the size of their social media following. For example, research professionals may not have a significant social presence but can influence important discussions within their fields.

Carter noted that platform strategy extends beyond social media. While health influencers on TikTok have a significant reach with health-related content, influence strategy can also involve forming expert panels for round table discussions or working with healthcare professionals to provide feedback on new services. Ogilvy’s team covers corporate, consumer, and health sectors, offering comprehensive solutions to client challenges.

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