38510 Reaching Moms in the Digital Era

Jennifer Mullen, MPH1, Mark Avera, BA2 and Maggie Silver, MPH1, 1National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 2Digital, Porter Novelli, Atlanta, GA

Background: According to CDC’s 2015 National Immunization Survey, vaccination coverage remains high among children ages 19-35 months: over 90% of children in this age group received the measles-mumps-rubella, polio, hepatitis B, and varicella vaccines. While vaccination coverage remains high nationally, it varies by state and locality. Many parents have questions and some have concerns about childhood vaccines. The campaign seeks to give moms of children younger than 2 years old access to credible information; to surround them with messages about the value and benefits of childhood immunization; and to share confirmation that the decision to vaccinate according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule gives parents the power to protect their children, a choice shared by a majority of parents. 

Program background: The campaign’s digital efforts are rooted in data showing that moms of children younger than 2 years old are more likely to turn to online sources to get information about vaccine and reinforce decisions. To reach these moms online, the campaign analyzed moms’ digital media usage including interactions with popular digital influencers and existing online spaces where vaccination conversations occur and mapped the social media content format (i.e.; animations, Q&A, video, emotional images, etc.) moms engaged with most. The campaign then used this research to develop social media content in formats that resulted in high engagement. For example, platform research showed that 80% of this audience accessed Facebook in the past 30 days, sharing and consuming video content more than non-parents. The content format research showed that visual data outperformed other content formats in engagement. Based on these findings the team created a series of animated graphics designed for social media demonstrating the value and benefits of childhood immunization.  This content format creates bite-sized visual communications that users consume entirely on the social media platform without requiring a click through to understand the concept, an increasingly important consideration in today’s distributed digital content.

Evaluation Methods and Results: The animated graphics demonstrated strong organic performance compared to other @CDCgov social posts. The first animated graphic garnered the most retweets of any tweet from the @CDCgov account in November 2016 (the month it was released), and the second animated graphic ranked in the top 10. They also performed well on Facebook

  • Animated graphic #1: 44,000+ views; 3rd most engagements out of 87 CDC Facebook page posts in November 2016
  • Animated graphic #2: 15,000+ views; 11th most engagements out of 104 CDC Facebook page posts in December 2016

Conclusions: By developing the content strategy based on target audience digital consumption and contextual content analysis, the campaign has been able to test and use new content formats that best resonate with the target audience. This has resulted in increased engagement with the content, and posts that regularly perform well when compared against other CDC content. 

Implications for research and/or practice: This session will help public health practioners, marketers, and other digial media influencers recognize the importance of rooting content strategy in data and research and how to adapt best practices to meet evolving social and digital media trends.