To effectively reach a younger demographic, healthcare marketers must go beyond traditional digital marketing strategies and, instead, position their messages on the platforms that younger audiences are using. And, in today’s social media-driven world, the best platform to do so is Instagram. Second only to Facebook (in daily logins on the platform), Instagram has over a billion global logins per day and over 115 million active American users. With the average user age range of 18-24 (Generation Z), this younger demographic craves convenience and they tend to gravitate toward brands that provide a seamless user experience where they can get what they want, when they want.
In addition, with 23% of Instagram users being over the age of 50, the platform represents a significant opportunity to capture patients on both ends of the age spectrum.
According to an in-depth patient survey conducted by Accenture on the future of healthcare, Generation Z is more likely than any other age group to want shorter wait times to receive care. They are not likely to wait weeks or even days for an appointment. Instead, they want immediate access to the care they need, within a few hours.
So, the marketing question becomes: “How do you effectively use Instagram to reach followers and increase your brand awareness?”
The answer: hashtags.
Hashtags make your content easier to find when Instagram followers search for topics that interest them. This is also how Instagram aggregates their content in one place to improve the user’s experience on the platform. The key is, however, to construct thoughtful and engaging discussions about healthy living and leverage hashtags, as appropriate.
Here are three important hashtag considerations to follow.
- Do your hashtag research. To get started, research the top hashtags that your ideal target audience is likely to follow. This will help you understand what content is already being consumed and how you can position your social media posts to be immediately relevant. Be sure to also use your own brand as a hashtag as this will help you to begin building brand awareness. You can also try using industry-specific keywords and keywords that are trending in your industry. However, be sure they are both relevant and authentic to your brand. In healthcare, try using #healthcare, #telehealth, or #healthcareheores to tell the story of your providers. To avoid overwhelming your audience with hashtags, aim to use only 3-5 on any given post. This will require you to be very selective and choose only those hashtags that are immediately relevant to the content.
- Consider the hashtag reach. You want to go after hashtags that get a measurable amount of interest. When you type a hashtag into Instagram’s search feature, you will see the popularity of the hashtag by the number of posts underneath. General hashtags, that have a high number of posts, can be effective as well because of their broad reach. But keep in mind that your content will be competing with hundreds of thousands of other pieces of content under that hashtag. It can also be a good practice to study what other brands in your industry are hash tagging to find the most relevant, useful, and engaging hashtags.
- Make measuring a priority. The more you can track the engagement for each of your hashtags, the better informed you will be in crafting future Instagram campaigns. If you use trending hashtags, be sure that they tie back to your company’s message, mission or core values. You may find that some hashtags perform better than others when posted with certain types of content. The important thing is to take the time to dive deeper into the engagement numbers to know which content is resonating with your audience.
Mastering Instagram as a marketing tool can be challenging, but it is well worth the learning curve. If you would benefit from learning additional Instagram health marketing strategies, let me know. I’d be more than happy to share more proven techniques.