Health marketers who are proactive in capturing audience trust will succeed in building engagement and gaining more valuable health-interest data insights. Trust is foundational in informing what consumers believe, how they engage and the decisions and purchases they make.
Health marketers in particular see results when they take proactive steps to foster trust. After all, in health and wellness you’re dealing with highly personal journeys as well as widespread health misinformation across channels.
From credible health guidance to privacy-first data policies, consumers know what they trust when they see it. They will offer both their loyalty and data to those who get it right. For marketers, that means putting “should” before “can.” That is, focusing on what we should do to honor our consumers’ trust, not just what we can do to earn revenue.
Here’s how to build a trust-first approach and choose business-to-business (B2B) partners who will help you along the way.
Build (or borrow) credibility
Given widespread health misinformation, credibility in health content needs to be a foundational piece of your equation in order to improve trust, offer value and stand out from the crowd. It comes as no surprise that Healthline Media’s January 2022 survey showed that 95% of our target consumers rate trust as a very or somewhat important quality for a health and wellness resource.¹
In fact, 72% of U.S. adults will check if a health and wellness article is from a trusted source before they give it their attention, according to another Healthline Media survey from September 2022, up from 58% in early 2020.²
What do people look for to determine if health and wellness content is trustworthy? That content has to have the following characteristics:
- Uses clear, straightforward language.
- Offers useful and effective advice, not a “quick fix.”
- Includes scientific citations and clinical review.
- Follows user experience (UX) design and accessibility principles.
- Comes from a trusted source.
It’s important to counter the tide of misinformation with credible resources that are verified by experts, or to partner with brands or publishers that already do this at high standards and have established authority in the space.
Put privacy first for your audiences
In general, while people say they value privacy, they also freely accept device software agreements and continue to engage with social platforms despite known risks. But health is different. It’s personal. People may be more hesitant to provide their data when a brand doesn’t seem trustworthy.
A value exchange founded on trust
With credible information plus a privacy-first ecosystem, you’ll be better able to gather health interest data from your audiences, the kind of insights that ultimately help you reach and serve them better. For example, one of Healthline Media's offerings gives consumers valuable chronic condition content and community. We’ve also launched a consent-first approach to privacy and have since then seen monthly growth in active users.
With this value exchange in place, B2B partners also see results. Members are actively seeking out information, conversations and patient references for each of our sponsors’ treatments. In fact, those treatments from our sponsors are within the top five search terms for each community.
How to put integrity first
It comes back to “can” versus “should.” For instance, consider safeguards around sensitive conditions. With some topics, advertising would be inappropriate and could negatively impact individuals. Despite an impact on revenue, protecting audiences, whether explicitly or behind the scenes, contributes to trust and loyalty.
In addition, your B2B partners should align. Here’s what to ask them, and yourself as well:
- What level of trust do you have with your audience? How do you know?
- Are your content creation policies guided by integrity? Do you take a rigorous approach to vetting all health information, using only reputable sources?
- Do you have valuable offerings with case studies aligned with audience needs, allowing you to reach a high-intent, high-quality audience?
But don’t stop there. You should also trust your B2B partners to be honest with you. Ensure they offer reporting transparency, so you have full insights into your campaign results. Check if they use third-party measurement so that you get an unbiased understanding of reach and impact.
By putting trust first on all fronts, you can do more to help audiences take confident steps forward on their health journeys.