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As a health organization, when it comes to the way people discuss your brand across media, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This is especially true as the COVID-19 pandemic shines a brighter-than-ever spotlight on your industry. With billions of conversations playing out across hundreds, or even thousands, of social media and digital media platforms, it’s not enough to rely on surface-level impact metrics to gauge impact, optimize opportunities, and get ahead of risks.

Here are 3 metrics to help you rethink how you measure the impact of healthcare communications, helping you to better understand and speak to the needs of the patient community and other key audiences – and spend less time doing damage control. 

Get more useful metrics, and more detailed tips and tricks, in our full report: Metrics That Matter for Health Brands.

Link to download report on Metrics That Matter for health companies

Head to our press page to see how Zignal media intelligence has been cited in coverage of some of the most pressing issues in health and pharma, as well as other major issues today. 

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Impact Metric 1: Veracity

It’s always nice when a positive mention of your brand reaches five million, 12 million, 50 million people, or more. The only problem? Not all impressions are equally valuable. And they’re often driven by inflation and data opacity.

It’s crucial to interrogate the veracity – contextual signals that tell you whether an impression is actually significant – of your impressions and mentions. You can do that by using media intelligence to address questions like:

  • Were these people likely to actually notice my brand mention, or was the mention buried too far toward the end of the article? 
  • How valuable is this audience to my brand and business objectives? 
  • What’s the breakdown of authentic vs. automated members of this audience?

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Impact Metric 2: Specific Narratives

It’s not enough to see how many times you’ve been mentioned. To really understand the impact of your healthcare communications and the conversation around your brand, you have to know what narratives and topics of conversation, specifically, people are discussing.

A high mentions count can help you determine how much noise your brand is making. But what share of your mentions are related to narratives about drug pricing? Accessibility? Side effects? Regulation? Something else? 

To really understand the impact of your healthcare communications and the conversation around your brand, you have to know what narratives and topics of conversation, specifically, people are discussing.”

Getting to the bottom of these narratives will help you see not just how much awareness you’re gaining, but what your audience actually cares about. In an industry that fuels as much online discussion as health, any media intelligence analysis will likely need at least this level of granularity if it is to be useful. It can also point to some of the nuances in sentiment around different aspects of your brand – which brings us to our next metric.

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Impact Metric 3: Message Resonance

Sentiment is a valuable metric for understanding the tone of the conversation around your brand. Sentiment by itself, however, is reliant on just three outputs: positive, neutral and negative. This isn’t enough to truly evaluate brand health. While it’s nice to know that your overall brand sentiment is positive, it’s much more valuable to have a contextual understanding of which of your brand’s messages and key narratives are resonating in real time.

Here are some key contextual considerations when it comes to brand sentiment:

  • Put your sentiment rating in context
    How has your rating changed over time? Is it moving in the right direction?
  • Root out negative sentiment – wherever it exists
    Positive sentiment on quality of care may belie negative sentiment on drug pricing. And in a space as politically sensitive as health, negative sentiment – especially if it’s driven by a false or misleading narrative – can quickly overtake the positive, leading to a crisis.
  • Keep track of your competitors
    The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the health industry more competitive than ever. Regardless of what your sentiment rating is, if your competitors are surpassing you, you need to find out why – and act.

In an industry as sensitive to public opinion as health, all it takes is one report of a negative patient experience, one negative response to a communications campaign, or one false or misleading narrative to spark a wildfire that can severely damage your business. If you’re in healthcare communications, the impact metrics we’ve discussed here can help you maintain a more holistic and detailed view of the conversational landscape, reach the right audiences, and stay ahead of these challenges. 

Learn more in the full report, and reach out to Zignal today to learn how to leverage our media intelligence platform to track these metrics.