Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fors Marsh Group (FMG) has been working hand in hand with the public affairs office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on behavior change marketing for the COVID-19 Public Education Campaign. Traditional marketing channels, while providing breadth of coverage, were not adequately delivering our messages to some minority groups and underserved communities that tend to distrust government. In addition, we needed to target specific age groups when vaccines and boosters became available.
To build confidence in vaccines, amplify the Campaign’s messaging, and share information about vaccine readiness, FMG leveraged a wide range of influencers, from athletes and pop culture personalities to medical experts, health officials, and individuals with trusted voices directly in local communities, even your very own friends on social media platforms. We were able to expand our reach through partnerships with social platforms, agencies, and digital creators.
The Influencer workstream overdelivered on every front, driving billions of impressions, more than 800K link clicks, and almost 10 million video views. The authenticity in the personal stories shared by influencers who made vaccine decisions for their families or contracted COVID led to meaningful engagement that maximized the life of the message across multiple social platforms beyond the target channel. For more information, read the FMG blog, Driving Pandemic Health Outcomes Through Influencer Marketing.
1. Social Networking—Facebook
Generate broad earned media coverage through Facebook friends’ networks by launching new user-selected, booster-focused profile picture frames.
2. Social News—Reddit
Build connections between the public and key health experts and appointed health care officials by hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion session featuring U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, which reached more than 7.5M users on Reddit.
3. Digital Media—BuzzFeed
Partner with Young Adult influencers to target 18–24-year-olds. Activated two Instagram Takeovers and launched organic content on Instagram and across BuzzFeed apps and websites, amassing more than 47M impressions and almost 60K clickthroughs to vaccines.gov.
Reach the Black and African American community by producing videos with three NBA players and distributing them on PlayersTV digital platforms and the athletes’ social channels. Video ads garnered more than 17M impressions and hundreds of thousands of additional views from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
5. Moms—City Mom Collective and Mom 2.0
Target mothers of children ages 5 and older by leveraging content creators in 27 cities, launched a Twitter town hall for parents, produced a video interview with Kelly Rowland shared to her Instagram and Twitter accounts, and shared narrative content across social and digital channels through 20 national parenting influencers and six online communities and networks. The combined reach of both initiatives was more than 2B impressions across Instagram, Facebook, and local websites and blogs and more than 56M people in 47 states, including many Latin American, African American, and Black people.
6. Recreation Enthusiasts—Outdoor America
Reach rural audiences who are often outdoor enthusiasts by producing video spots featuring three rural social media influencers in various outdoor settings. Videos reached 85M unique users and received more than 12K clicks.
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