Since most countries started going into lockdown in the Spring, the way we live our lives has changed significantly. The health and fitness industries have experienced something of a boom as more and more people realise the benefits of taking regular exercise. Similarly, a healthy, balanced diet and adopting practices such as meditation and mindfulness have become more of a priority for people than they were a few years ago. Digital marketing in these industries is challenging and you need to ensure any information you are sharing is factual, accurate and relevant to the world in the 21st century. Here’s Probella’s guide to digital marketing in the Health and Fitness industry.
Never make false claims
When customers buy a product or use a service that claims to offer specific benefits, only to experience no difference to their overall wellbeing, they are likely to complain or simply take their business elsewhere. In emerging industries such as CBD based products, homeopathic medicine, and practices such as chiropractic, it is important to ensure your marketing copy is not promising more than you or your products can really deliver. Paying attention to phrasing is particularly pertinent and you need to ensure that you are not advertising in a way that is disingenuous or misleading. It can be acceptable to explain that many of the people who have used something like a CBD oil or a herbal compound have experienced reduced pain or inflammation but you must always clarify that there are no guarantees this will be the case for everybody. Even in the pharmaceutical industry, this is common practice and most medicines are sold on the basis that some but not all users experience alleviation or cessation of symptoms.
Pay Attention to Existing Stylistic Elements and Conventions
The health industry is unique in that customers are seeking relief from a particular condition or ailment, rather than looking for a product that is going to give them pleasure or enjoyment. Generally speaking, health-based advertising is defined by clarity, clean, simple design work and calls to action that suggest the product will offer an overall improvement in general health. Written text should be easy to read and enriched with specific information that relates to the area you are working within. For example, pain relief or sleep aids usually feature clean lines or simple graphics depicting the area of the body they deal with. Anything too abstract or artistic will confuse the public and most likely discouraging them from engaging with your product at all.
Capitalise on Changing Behaviours
Whether it is an increased focus on obesity, eating better or exercising more, most people are now more aware of how their overall health impacts on their daily life than ever before. One of the few hidden benefits of the recent pandemic is that people are generally far more health conscious and open to changing the way they live for the better. From a marketing perspective, this is good news as it means you can appeal to that sense of drive that already exists, rather than trying to convince people to make radical changes. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, walking and cycling instead of driving and generally taking more notice of things like bmi, resting pulse rates and other common health indicators means that everyday people are more likely to respond to content that is focused on mental and physical wellbeing. “The hard sell” was never especially effective in the health industry and in the last few years, factual information and positive reinforcement was replaced this rather aggressive and outdated tactic.
Fitness and Fun
For many years, the idea of staying fit and healthy was imbued with almost punitive undertones. These days, a session in the gym or a run with a group of friends is considered a great way to spend some of your free time and socialise. Marketing health products and services with an emphasis on fun and enjoyment, rather than extolling the health benefits alone means that you can appeal to people’s sense of adventure and enjoyment. Improving muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness does not have to be boring and tailoring your content to reflect the enjoyable elements of a healthy lifestyle can highly effective. Though many sporting activities are still out of bounds, this won’t be the case forever and after the pandemic has been dealt with, it’s likely we’ll see a significant increase in the number of people taking up a physical hobby, as opposed to spending all their staring at screens indoors.
Family and Loved Ones
Staying healthy is something people do for themselves, but it can be also be helpful to emphasise the benefits of keeping in shape for the sake of your family and loved ones. Parents with young children will be able to manage their hectic lifestyles far more easily if they are in good shape and there are also added bonuses, such as being able to genuinely enjoy throwing a ball around in the park or taking a long walk together. If the 1980s was defined by a sense of greed and selfishness, this era is beginning to reveal our sense of responsibility for others. Marketing in the health industry is reflecting this and campaigns that are driven by messages that reinforce the importance of keeping yourself healthy so that you can care for those around you are likely to do very well.
Though health-based products and services cannot promise to improve people’s lives overnight, the idea of self-development and building resilience against the challenges of modern life are at the core of many of the most successful campaigns. Rather than trying to engage with customers by promising cures or solutions to perceived problems, focusing on providing them with something compliments their lifestyle and increases overall wellbeing can be a good approach. Ultimately, health and wellbeing is more of a priority than it has ever been in the 21st century and capitalising on this from marketing perspective can be positive for both product and service providers as well as the customers themselves.