Know your audience!
The first rule across nearly all industries, accomplishing this feat is now easier with emerging tools that tap into today’s growing technological capabilities and capture what your target audience says, wants, and believes. And for health—where knowing what your audience thinks about personal health issues, what information they find most relevant, and how they feel about your brand specifically—this has been no easy accomplishment.
However, new tools span the gamut of information-gathering by tracking behavior, compiling online conversations around certain topics, and tapping into the value of community influencers. These innovative market research tools and others like them will continue to provide insight for health communicators in addressing audience needs.
Curalate. Through the use of image recognition algorithms, Curalate can identify user-generated images that matter to the audience and help organizations better understand what visuals resonate with them.
Why we like it: Users are communicating with visuals more and more. Ignoring images they share means ignoring valuable, volunteered information.
What this means for health communicators: Highlight the most relevant visuals on social networks and other Web properties to improve engagement.
Truvio. The Truvio platform allows instant access to the world’s largest panel of consumer health influencers, via the WEGO Health social network. Organizations have the ability to ask volunteer influencers about various health topics and conditions through the volunteer’s mobile phone. The volunteer’s voice response is recorded and archived for researchers.
Why we like it: Tapping into existing communities of health influencers means your respondents are eager to participate and share. Plus, nothing beats hearing the real voice of a real audience member!
What this means for health communicators: Capture the voice and opinions of real consumers for potential use in health campaigns, as well as use findings to inform future planning.
CrazyEgg. CrazyEgg has an advanced heat map tool that provides a snapshot of user behavior (on a specific Web site) that goes beyond Google Analytics functionality. Their deeper dive provides information on why users leave a site, what are the popular clicks, and where on the site your viewers are experiencing frustration.
Why we like it: No need for complicated user testing. Just add their code to your site and watch the results come flooding in.
What this means for health communicators: Gain a deeper understanding of user Web behavior and how to improve content based on click rates, navigation, and content selection.
Treato. Treato uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract information about medications and health conditions discussed by patients online every day. NLP is able to extract relevant information from blogs and forums, and present it to patients on an ad-free platform without the use of medical jargon the user may not understand.
Why we like it: When patients have a problem with you (or your medication, diagnosis, etc.), they don’t always tell you to your face. Treato does the hard work and tracks down patient opinions where they are sharing them (and where you may have never looked).
What this means for health communicators: Compile patient opinions about specific conditions or medications from across the Web to increase personalization tactics and deliver relevant content based on audience inquiries.
By Katy Capers