You’ve probably heard about the ALS ice bucket challenge on Facebook which challenges friends to dump ice water on their heads or donate $100 for ALS research (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The grassroots campaign spread quickly across the world, where businesses, celebrities and politicians participated in the challenge and donated money. The donations from the ice bucket challenge totaled $94.3 in less than a month-the ALS foundation raised just $2.7 at the same time last year. The ice bucket challenge demonstrates the power of social media but it also offers several marketing lessons for providers. Here are a few:
- Keep it simple. The objective and the message was clear and easy to understand.
- Add immediacy to your message. The campaign worked because the challenge required participants to act within 24 hours. Giving your audience a deadline, gives it more priority.
- Make it an obligation. The campaign worked because it “trapped the person nominated” and “if you didn’t join in, you faced a penalty.”
- Educate your audience. The campaign also increased awareness about ALS. Healthcare marketers should remember it’s important to educate consumers with information in any campaign.
- Use videos in your marketing strategy. The power of video was exemplified during the challenge. With smartphones, it’s easier than ever to create and share videos. Incorporate videos into your marketing strategy.
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