A new report by One15 Healthcare called “Awareness Campaigns That Resonate: Learnings from World Asthma Day” unveils the core tenets of an effective disease awareness campaign.

As the number and variety of disease awareness days and associated awareness campaign increases exponentially, so too has our appreciation of the challenges of organising effective, meaningful and impactful campaigns that are seeking to improve awareness and care for those suffering with a debilitating condition such as Asthma.

Awareness needs to become action. For pharma, that means setting clear-cut goals, crafting a considered campaign plan with those goals in mind and putting measurement analytics in place to maximise value.

From best practice and coal-face experience, digital health expert and One15 CEO, Julie O’Donnell shares her 10 Core Tenets of an Effective Disease Awareness Campaign.

1. Know your audience.

Monitor the social media conversation in advance of your planned campaign date. Identify the conversation themes, the unmet needs and behaviours of your target audience. Don’t be afraid to listen on channels on which you’re not active e.g. Snapchat. You can gain insights across channels and use this to share your campaign strategy.

2. Be human.

People buy into people. Sharing emotionless, stilted, scheduled posts without ever attempting to ask a question, offer help or tap into a conversation reduces the potential reach and impact of your campaign. Don’t just push awareness messages – start and sustain meaningful conversation. Doing so can allow you to create campaigns that surpass any awareness day/week/month.

3. Set KPIs and design your campaign to deliver results that matter.

Too many campaigns neglect to establish clear KPIs during the planning phase. Instead, campaign analysis focuses only on meaningless internal metrics on social media performance such as retweets, shares, likes, mentions etc. and does not demonstrate any meaningful behavioural change or highlight that organisational objectives have been met. They often consist of awareness statistics and quotes without a meaningful call to action – a link to deeper key content, a push to download, a poll question, something that can demonstrate behaviour change.

4. Partner to increase reach

Too often, we have too narrow a view of potential partners. Everyone reverts to traditional partnerships – pharmaceutical companies and advocacy groups – for example. Think broader. Be creative. How can you increase your reach to a relevant demographic? How can you amplify your message? How can you deliver campaign longevity? Consider Diageo’s partnership with Ubereats.

5. Consider your hashtag strategy

A blinkered approach to hashtag use is the norm. Most teams tend to use hashtags in place of words in a post – if they are talking about asthma, they use the #asthma hashtag. Hashtag research should always be conducted. Sometimes, it can be more beneficial to use hashtags with strong conversation but less ‘noise’ to allow you to increase your visibility. Certain hashtags can be used by specific demographics or in a specific context. Free tools like hashtagify.me can help inform your hashtag strategy and complement hashtag directory’s like Symplur. It’s important to look not only  at the ‘popularity’ of a hashtag but at the context of the conversation to ensure it is relevant to your campaign or brand.

6. Cross-promote for discoverability

Ensure you amplify the reach of your content by ensuring you share and reshare content across all your social channels and web presences. Integrate offline touch points into your strategy, shining a light on your online activities, inviting engagement and feedback.

7. Consider a parallel campaign for key stakeholders

Often when launching a campaign aimed at, for example, the public, people living with a condition or carers, you can get tunnel vision. Consider a parallel campaign for key stakeholder groups – ensuring they know about the campaign you’re running, how they can get involved and how this issue/condition impacts them.  

8. Be consistent in branding and tone of voice

When leveraging different awareness days, juggling different organisational objectives or supporting different teams, it can be easy to become fragmented in tone, branding and let inconsistencies creep in. Your community must see a consistent ‘face’ when they interact with you online.

9. Remember visual content drives engagement

84% of online content will be visual by 2018. Research shows that video and image-based content increases engagement. That said, most teams still rely on text-based posts online or ‘just’ fact, statistic and quote imagery. Create an operational standard whereby a significant proportion of your content includes images or video and test new executions over time.

10.  Add Value

Last but not least, adding value might seem obvious but with the pressures of any organisation, it is easy to get lured into a tick-the-box approach to social media. Posting content for the sake of posting content, without any real business objective or meaningful measurable impact. Understanding your audience, the conversations they’re having channel-by-channel – their needs will help ensure you can deliver value in every interaction.

  1. https://webdam.com/blog/brand-marketing-infographic


To download the full report, click here: Awareness Campaigns That Resonate: Learnings from World Asthma Day