Healthcare

To TikTok or Not to TikTok? The Healthcare Marketer’s Dilemma

African Woman on tablet device

As healthcare marketers strive to meet prospective patients through their favorite channels, a question I often hear now is: “Should we be on TikTok?” And with over 1 billion active users, it’s no surprise you may be wondering if you should be grabbing your part of the spotlight.

TikTok’s democratization of content means that brands have more ways to make and share content than ever before, plus they have a good shot at finding their audience, no matter how niche. Depending on the popularity of your content, your brand can find a whole new audience too. But creating authentic and entertaining snippets of content on TikTok takes time, creativity, and skill. Plus, like other social platforms, TikTok rewards consistency. TikTok recommends that most brands post one to four times per day to consistently reach target audiences.

Before you create your first video, let’s look at a few important considerations that will help your brand stand out on this growing platform.

Whomever you’re looking for, TikTok can help you find them.   

Certainly, if you are courting millennial or Gen Z audiences, you’ll find them on TikTok. However, if you are courting the Gen X crowd, don’t be so quick to dismiss this platform. Over 10% of users are 50-plus, and we’re already seeing healthcare (and healthcare-adjacent) brands reach out to this small but mighty segment.

Consider Bayer, which, along with Alfonso Ribeiro, is teaching older audiences how to dance to the tune of their One A Day Gummies.

A personal favorite is AARP, whose channel is like a Gen X fever dream in all the best ways. Looking for ASMR with an Etch A Sketch? Or where exactly Josie went on that vacation? Or how exactly Doc and Marty became friends anyway? No, you probably weren’t, but pieces like these will make you smile … and begin to wonder if AARP is perhaps a bit cooler than you gave them credit for when your parents signed up.

I’m in, but how does a brand get started on TikTok?  

If you’re ready to jump into TikTok, here are a few best practices to consider as you plan your approach.

Get familiar with TikTok content and the audiences

Take some time to research creators in your space, what type of content is resonating with audiences, what hashtags are being used, and who the major influencers are. There are many communities related to healthcare (#nursetok and #hospitallife, for example), but don’t jump in before understanding what these communities care about and how you can add to the conversation.

Authenticity reigns supreme on TikTok

Successful TikTok videos strike a delicate balance between authenticity and production value, and you should make sure yours do too. You don’t need to hire a full video crew to create each post — a mobile phone and ring light may do. The most important thing is that you maintain your authenticity and aim for entertainment or education with your content. If you can do both, even better!

It’s also important to note that you do not have to jump on every trend or meme you see. If it fits your brand voice and mission, then jump right on that trend. However, if it runs contrary to what your brand is trying to communicate, feel free to skip this one. With TikTok, another trend is on the horizon.

Plan ahead for your TikTok videos

We know how it goes life gets busy! Despite our best efforts, we aren’t always able to dedicate the time needed to a project, and TikTok is most definitely a project – and a conversation! Before you launch your channel, create a backlog of content to help you get through those busy times. Consistency is key on social, and when you miss a few days (weeks, month) on a platform, you let the conversation lull and break that connection you’ve build with audiences.

Meet your healthcare consumers on TikTok

TikTok is currently the sixth-most popular social channel, but based on past growth, we will likely see that number jump over the next few years. Regardless of your brand, there is an audience waiting for you on TikTok. The key is applying your healthcare brand to the platform in a way that resonates with your audiences. There is always some trial and error in that process, but you’ll know when you’ve hit the right note.

Join us next time as I delve even further into TikTok and discuss how you can bring your organization along for the ride (and give them a starring role!). Plus, I’ll look at some of the security and privacy concerns that pop up around social and what they could mean for your TikTok strategy. See you then!

Our Digital Healthcare Strategy team helps healthcare and life sciences organizations better understand their audiences and create memorable digital experiences. Contact us today for more information.

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Marlana Voerster

Marlana Voerster is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Perficient, where she works with providers and MedTech, pharma, and digital health organizations to build brand loyalty and enhance the patient experience through customer-centric digital experiences.

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