When the pandemic began, the UNT Health Science Center embraced its position as a leader in our community by providing a singular source of uplifting and empowering content. This culminated in coviddayxday.com serving as the center of the UNT Health Science Center’s covid-19 campaign. We knew that we had to engage a wide audience and convince them to adopt new, healthy behavior practices to meet the campaign’s goals and keep our community safe. Sounds hard, right? It is – but reaching the right audience with the right message can be done through thoughtful strategy and nimble responsiveness.
Reaching audiences during a pandemic is tricky for numerous reasons, the largest of which is that people’s normal day-to-day routines have been overhauled, which makes reaching them difficult with traditional targeting strategies. So, when we began laying out a paid media campaign for DAYxDAY, we had to be creative and think about how to capture the attention of our audience in their new normal. Furthermore, we needed to communicate our message to English – and Spanish – speaking audiences that make up the bulk of North Texas’ demographic composition.
For general targeting, our strategy was adjusted for the lack of commute time where we would normally distribute content and re-tooled to focus on reaching audiences in-home. That meant leveraging Pandora and smart speakers to get media in front of people working from home. We also partnered with reputable news sources in North Texas for paid media, which elevates the trustworthiness of our content. To reach Spanish-speaking audiences, we used the same tactics and leaned into Spanish-speaking news partners as platforms to run paid media.
When we began the DAYxDAY campaign, one of the primary goals was to cut through the noise and provide consistent, reliable information that was rooted in science and verified to be a best practice for community health. While framing the content pillars, we asked ourselves “what kind of information would be most helpful to our target audiences?” After ample deliberation, we chose five pillars under which we’d publish and contextualize our website content: News, Tips, Community, Well-Being, and Health Experts. Each of these pillars represented a different scope of information that could help inform and uplift our community in the face of disinformation and the harsh reality of life-altering quarantine protocols.
To fill up our content buckets, we reached out to community health and news partners to provide a steady stream of topical, up-to-date information. In addition to partner content, we created organic articles that were based on thoroughly researched subjects that were reinforced with trending search traffic.
Navigating the ever-changing world of covid-19 – from evolving health protocols, to shifting rules on social media and search engines, and understanding new clinical study updates – made this campaign particularly challenging. However, there was nothing more difficult than adjusting to the shifting regulations on social media to boost our campaign messaging. Shifting social regulations meant that we had to be nimble and responsive to the latest updates and incorporate the ambiguity of the restrictions into our paid and social media strategies. Throughout campaign implementation, we had to adjust our boosted messages so they adhered to the latest regulations on that specific platform, but still communicated the points we needed to convey.
Providing useful content to a receptive audience will almost always return quantifiable gains. Through careful market research and detailed audience targeting, we were able to exceed the healthcare industry benchmarks for each of our analytical KPIs. Through it all, we not only exceeded expectations, but we also held true to the goal of empowering an informed, optimistic response among the North Texas region. When your mission is to Make Life Better, these results make us all humbled to play a role in changing minds.