The explosion of interest in fertility focussed startups is predicted to turn into a $45B global market by 2027 (double its 2020 value) – with rising infertility rates the main driver of this.
But with so many businesses offering help and expertise around trying to conceive, those looking to get their voice heard both on and offline need to work harder than ever before to cut through the noise.
In recent years, the narrative of ‘taking a holistic approach’ to fertility has been prominent across the media – with many now recognising that physical, mental and emotional well-being all play an important role in boosting conception chances. Alongside the well-established medical-assisted reproduction treatment techniques (IVF, IUI, egg freezing, egg/sperm donation), common methods used to support a holistic approach to conception include everything from acupuncture, meditation, yoga, dietary adjustments, and stress management.
What many may be less familiar with however, is the idea of extending this holistic approach to a communications strategy to promote a fertility business! Digital insights and content, social media exposure, and traditional PR are all important cogs in the wheel when it comes to communicating with key audiences – especially on a topic such as conception, where the stakes are often high, and people will go above and beyond with their research to find the right option (s) for them.
This blog post will explore 4 key components of a holistic approach to a Fertility PR can deliver an increase in brand awareness, build credibility and ultimately drive customers/patients.
Case study placement
Using earned media to raise the profile of your fertility business is a tried and tested way of showcasing your product or services to a specific demographic – via national newspapers, consumer magazines and/or broadcast outlets.
Case study placement is one traditional PR tactic that can be employed as a part of your overarching Fertility PR strategy.
The trying to conceive (or ‘TTC’) experience is different for everyone – and for this reason, there is always a media appetite for human stories that paint a realistic picture of what it’s like for those on their fertility journey. When consumers read or view these stories, the first person ‘word of mouth’ aspect is more impactful, convincing and valuable than any advert for your product or service.
Your PR agency can help you to identify a suitable case study – someone that has had a positive experience using your product or service, and is happy to be featured in the media – and work with them to place their story as an article in a key publication. (Note, PR professionals that work in the healthcare sector should have plenty of experience navigating the sensitivities that can arise when speaking to these individuals about fertility).
Many UK media publications regularly feature case studies or ‘first person’ articles – including Metro, Huff Post, BBC News Online, The i, and The Daily Express, meaning the potential audience reach for case study media coverage is huge.
A hard-working proactive press office
Another key component of a good, holistic comms strategy is a hard-working proactive press office which gets your business front and centre of relevant media conversation.
From podcasts to opinion articles, TV appearances and columns – the UK media landscape is rich with opportunities for experts in the fertility space to share advice and information with the TTC community.
One particularly important press office tactic in a crowded market such as the fertility industry is ‘news agenda hijacking’. The fertility news agenda is fast-paced and medically driven, making it tricky to become part of ongoing dialogues around issues such as fertility rates, assisted fertility and fertility legislation. PR professionals closely monitor the news cycle day to day, so that as and when new stories arise that your business is capable of commenting on, you are one of the first in line.
This tactic can result in everything from a quote in a newspaper to an appearance on a national news programme, boosting awareness and the reputation of your fertility business.
Working in conjunction with this element of press office activity would be a number of other complementary PR tactics – including expert commentary, thought leadership, feature placement, HCP trade media engagement and data stories.
A strong social presence
With an overwhelming amount of fertility-related content on social media (there are now over 720m hashtags for #fertilityjourney on TikTok) making sure you have a strong presence online should be another key tactic within any holistic fertility PR strategy.
There are a number of ways in which those working in the fertility space can do this. First and foremost via a robust channel management strategy which could incorporate both organic and paid activity.
The best channels to focus on will vary depending on your business, key audiences, and exact goals however, with TikTok having such an engaged TTC community there is a fantastic opportunity for fertility experts to speak directly to potential customers/patients and present a very human and engaging style of content.
LinkedIn can also be a very effective channel for fertility professionals to consider if trying to build prominence and credibility with peers.
Depending on your business, it may also be appropriate to engage celebrities and influencers on social media to help promote your offering. As with all health focussed services and products a lot of caution is advised here, and it wouldn’t be a recommended tactic in all instances. However, where there is an authentic natural synergy between an individual and a brand, and there is an opportunity for them to honestly communicate their experience as a brand advocate, it can be something to consider.
Creating an information epicentre through a digital content hub
Working in harmony with traditional PR and social media – a digital content hub can be a brilliant way to drive eyeballs to your website, build trust and educate potential customers/patients on the subject of fertility, as well as the key benefits of your offering.
As previously outlined, those trying to conceive will often embark on a lot of research before deciding what products or services might be beneficial for them. Until you are planning to start or expand your family, for many people fertility and conception is not something that they are necessarily educated on so there is a huge opportunity to create a library and hub of practical digestible info, guides, myth-busting etc., built in line with your SEO keyword strategy, to make you a go-to source of knowledge.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how a Fertility PR strategy could benefit your business, get in touch today to see how our team of experts can help you achieve your business goals.