Don’t Think Big — Think Meaningful

Just as in a patient-doctor relationship, trust is the most important element of meaningful interactions.

In online marketing, bigger isn't always better when it comes to connecting with patients and others.

One of the first measures of a marketing campaign’s success is the number of impressions. The number of people who have the opportunity to see the message is measured by the volume of impressions. It is one indicator of success, but online advertising offers deeper measures.

Today, we often focus on the number of meaningful interactions. A meaningful interaction is achieved by focusing the message on a smaller number of people who meet much more specific criteria and who we expect to be much more likely to take a desired action.

Targeted Approach

Let’s say you put up a billboard on I-95 about sleep disorder services. Thousands of people might see it every hour, but the percentage of those who see that billboard and actually have sleep problems is probably going to be small. The total reach of your message is very high, but the number of meaningful interactions is low.


Instead of a billboard, let’s look at how Facebook’s sponsored posts would work. We start by understanding the audience, create helpful content that resonates and use smart targeting capabilities — that’s how you can create meaningful interactions.

This turns a general catchall approach into a data-driven digital marketing approach.

Facebook ad with audience detail metrics
How do we create meaningful interactions through online marketing? The first step is to know your audience.

Know Your Audience

We can really get to know the people who engage with us online through insight tools and user preferences on social media sites and email marketing platforms. This information allows us to define those who are most likely to be interested in a specific message.

For example, on Facebook, we know the sex, age and location of our followers. Even better, we know their health interests based on what they've liked, so we can see who’s most interested in heart health versus diabetes.

Understanding what our audience cares about enables us to deliver content that is meaningful to them — the second key in creating meaningful interactions.

Provide Meaningful Content

When we deliver content that people are interested in, we see big increases in engagement — and we've seen that repeatedly in past campaigns.

Recently, we compared engagement on Facebook through a general ad for Johns Hopkins Medicine and a targeted ad for our Healthy Aging content. We showed the Healthy Aging ad to people over 45 and made sure the message spoke to their needs. We saw a 257 percent improvement in engagement over the nontargeted ad. While fewer people saw it, those who did were more likely to act on the ad.

Meaningful content makes for meaningful interactions. People engage, through likes, clicks and shares, and then are even more likely to engage again with us in the future.

Build Trust

In many ways, what we are doing is building trust with the people we connect with — trust that we understand their needs, and trust that when they have a problem or a question, what we supply to them will be helpful. We consistently give them content that is relevant to their interests, and they associate Johns Hopkins Medicine with quality content.

That means they are more likely to engage with us again in the future. Just as in a patient-doctor relationship, trust is the most important element of meaningful interactions.

Graph that shows the "Share of global adspend by medium"

Are you ready to shift those dollars and create meaningful interactions?

With years of data available, our team has a great understanding of a variety of audiences. If you’d like to explore how to create meaningful interactions through online marketing, contact us.

It may well be that the biggest number is not the best when it comes to your efforts. We will work with you to define the right audience for your message and help you accurately measure success.