Finally! Identifying and Setting Social Media Benchmarks for Public Health Campaigns

As health communicators, we often struggle to demonstrate the success of our campaigns and show their impact on health behavior. We are relegated to the basic ‘click’, ‘tweet’, and ‘like’ data that is readily available to us to show results – and yet that is a small measure of success and does not demonstrate health behavior change.

In order to better mine the data to determine what public health communicators can – and should – expect from their digital and social media campaigns, Westat partnered with Lotame™ to assess the performance of digital media campaigns focused on public health issues over the past year.

Lotame’s™ technology platform, Crowd Control, can identify and be used to target Influencers–consumers who share or create content–to encourage spreading the word about an issue. By leveraging this targeting ability with custom research surveys and audience data from more than 120 million unique consumers in the US, Lotame™ can provide unique solutions and insight for health campaigns.

As part of this, custom audiences that have been created for public health campaigns over the past year were assessed. These included audiences comprised of men, women, moms/pregnant women, health care providers, college students, health technology advocates, researchers, policymakers and other consumers, across all age and demographic groups.

In addition, data were analyzed from audience engagement with the campaigns’ custom expandable rich media banner advertisements and surveys, which were fielded together to gauge drivers of behavior change metrics such as increase in awareness, intent, and likelihood to recommend to a friend.

Across recent public health campaigns, specific campaign results included increases in intent of upwards of 24% and increases in likelihood to recommend to a friend/family member of upwards of 16%. These results far exceeded campaign goals and other industry vertical benchmarks.

The data from all these campaigns have been compiled and have informed the following benchmarks for public health social media campaigns:

Brand Metric Lift (Measured via Survey)

  • Awareness: 67.6%
  • Intent to Learn More: 35.0%
  • Intent to Get Vaccine: 21.0%
  • Ad Recall: 30.1%

Ad Interaction (Expandable Rich Media)

  • Click-Through Rate: 0.43%
  • Interaction Rate: 14.2%
  • Time Spent per Exposure: 42.0s
  • Banner Video Complete Rate: 14.3%
  • Pre-Roll Video Complete Rate: 72.5%

This report was first released at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Communication, Marketing and Media Conference in Atlanta on August 9th, 2011.

This blog post was originally posted to Path of the Blue Eye’s WalkingthePath blog.

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