The 2014 IFIC Food & Health Survey revealed that healthcare professionals are by far the most trusted source of nutrition guidance.
Consumers’ relationships with their healthcare professional are typically long-standing and personal, so leveraging the authoritative voice of the health influencer to deliver your message can provide an unparalleled level of credibility for your brand.
As you begin planning for 2015, health influencers—and the consumers they serve—should be a target of your efforts. Here are a few tips on how to effectively execute against health influencers in 2015.
1. Provide a sample or free coupon. Health influencers tell us that they are significantly more likely to recommend a brand by name if they have tried it themselves. Sampling and couponing are simple and effective ways to offer the health influencer a personal experience with your brand and facilitate a credible recommendation to patients.
2. Select non-traditional time periods to promote your brand. Health influencers counsel on weight management, heart health, and diabetes every day of the year—not just as New Year’s resolutions or for Heart Health Month. A certified diabetes educator is no busier during Diabetes Month in November than they are any other month of the year. Avoid the clutter and promote your healthy brand when it is valuable to influencers and consumers—every day of the year.
3. Support your appearances at professional conferences with regular communications throughout the year. Less than 12% of dietitians surveyed attend the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo or even their state dietetic association meeting. Engaging professionals in person at conferences can raise your profile, but the reach and impact are limited. Ongoing outreach, through consumer education, samples and coupons, demonstrates your brand’s commitment to supporting these professionals all year long—and provides the consumer interactions conferences cannot deliver.