New Ogilvy survey shows 7 in 10 people either follow or seek out health content or learn about health/medical issues from social media – and a vast majority of those who engage take some form of action

APRIL 30, 2024 — Ogilvy announced a health-first suite of global influencer marketing services designed to bridge the gap between medical expertise and public awareness by providing pharmaceutical, healthcare, and wellness brands access to the burgeoning Influence economy at a specialist level. By embracing influence, brands can establish exceptional relationships with patients and healthcare communities, leading to improved consumer engagement, medical adoption, and brand awareness.

Both patient and healthcare provider communities are increasingly relying on social media platforms for health information, with influencers helping people understand and make health and wellness decisions more than ever before. According to new data from Ogilvy Research & Intelligence, seven in ten people surveyed (70%) either follow/seek out health related social media accounts or learn about health or medical issues from social media accounts (source info below). A vast majority of those who engage (93%) with health-related social media accounts report taking some action as a result of seeing health or medical related social media content. Over half (54%) scheduled an appointment (e.g. check-up, for an issue or preventative screening) after seeing health or medical related social media content. Of those who are engaged with health-related social media accounts, nearly all (92%) cited a positive impact with about half (47%) reporting that health related social media accounts have made it easier to learn about health conditions while four in ten (42%) indicate they feel more confident in making decisions about their health because of health or medical social media accounts. Additionally, eMarketer found that 57% of physicians have altered their perception of a drug or treatment based on information from social platforms.

Health Influence’s offering is a powerful combination of the global agency’s specialisms, bringing together Ogilvy PR’s award-winning global influencer team with experts from Ogilvy Health that bring deep experience working across the health and wellness spectrum. Health Influence helps clients leverage credible health and wellness authorities to build disease awareness, engage hard-to-reach communities, and build trust and engagement with a variety of stakeholders. Services range from strategic guidance on engaging with influencers at brand, therapeutic, and corporate levels through to influencer identification, vetting and campaign activation. Health Influence is powered by Ogilvy PR’s proprietary tech stack designed to evaluate influencers from every angle, prioritizing genuine reach over follower counts and aligning engagement metrics with an organization’s business objectives.

Kim Johnson, Global CEO of Ogilvy Healthsaid: “We are in the social age of health and wellness where shared experience is highly valued. Expert and specialist influencers are a new frontier for health and pharma brand engagement. We know that different forms of social and influencer content play a major role in educating and shaping positive health decisions in society today – from how people cope with symptoms to when they seek a diagnosis. Ogilvy’s extensive experience enables us to work with credible voices to share health information in captivating, accessible ways that resonate with diverse audiences – while complying with all regulations.”

“Like consumer and business audiences, increasing trust and sparking business growth depends on authentic credibility, not just hard sales. Pharma and healthcare brands that get this right will reap the benefits from a rapidly expanding creator economy,” Rahul Titus, Ogilvy’s Global Head of Influence, noted. “The future of Health Influence is around real experts driving real impact. Own your conversation around health, or someone else will. Leveraging Ogilvy’s legacy as the industry’s earliest adopter of social influence, we provide a balanced approach to social media in health, blending innovation with expert translation of health information for wider audiences. Our unique set of tools and proprietary tech stack is designed with our clients, their patients, and their patients’ data in mind. Our experts understand the unique landscape of health and influencer marketing, ensuring regulatory compliance while delivering powerful narratives through credible influencers. We’re not just following the rules, we’re rewriting them.” 

Caroline Howe, CEO of Ogilvy Health EMEA, added: “Society is at a point of peak illness and peak wellness. An aging population means more people are living with chronic illness, while more people than ever are seeking wellness and lifestyle solutions to better their health. Our experts understand the unique landscape of health and influencer marketing, navigating the regulatory compliance while delivering creative effectiveness and powerful narratives, all told through credible influencers.” 

If you are interested in more information about Ogilvy’s Health Influence offering, register here for the upcoming webinar, “Ogilvy On: Unlocking the Power of Health Influence,” on June 6. Health Influence will be driven by a global team including Rahul Titus globally; Shannon Walsh, Michael DiSalvo and Ansley Williams in North America; Rebecca Carter and Imogen Coles in the UK; Carter and John Harding-Easson in EMEA; Stephanie Chua and James Baldwin in Asia.