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Dec 09
Health and Wellness Marketing Campaigns & Advertising Best Practices

Health and wellness marketing: best practices

Marketers have plenty of opportunities to scale in the health and wellness industry. Especially now, as health is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Look to this guide, inspired by trends we’ve seen from our own clients, to put together effective health and wellness campaigns—from the top five targeting strategies to choosing data brands and making optimizations.


Effective strategies for health and wellness campagins

Third-party data

While first-party data is the marketer’s most powerful tool, third-party data, which is data provided by outside data partners, is an option if you’re lacking first-party data and want to reach a broader audience. (More on choosing data brands and segments later.)

Third-party data can help you find customers whose online browsing behavior indicates they are interested in specific topics like health or fitness or in-market for at-home fitness equipment. By targeting users based on their interests or purchase intent, you can reach customers at the beginning of the buying process, with ads that showcase your products and services that speak to their readiness to buy.

We recommend focusing on awareness rather than conversions at this stage of the funnel since customers require multiple touchpoints to convert. Offer prospects something of value based on where they are in their buying process, like educational resources or a promotional offer.

First-party data

First-party data, which is data you’ve collected directly from your target audience, is your most valuable asset. You can upload customer relationship management (CRM) data to target people already in your customer base or collect the user profiles of individuals coming to your website in a data segment for retargeting.

Since these users have already shown an interest in or purchased your product or service, it’s okay to give them a harder sell. For the ones who visited your website but didn’t convert, you could use retargeting and offer them a discount or something else of value. For customers who’ve already converted, you can use first-party data to continue to build the customer-brand relationship with cross-selling and upselling and let them know about other offers.

Contextual targeting

While first and third-party data might be your go-to tactics, we recommend layering health and wellness campaigns with contextual targeting. This tactic allows you to place ads on websites with content related to your product or service. Say you’re marketing a nutritional supplement. With contextual targeting, you can target broad categories like “Health” or “Beauty & Fitness” so that ads appear in the context of a user’s interest.

Keep in mind there’s both contextual category targeting and contextual keyword targeting. They’re similar, except that category targeting looks at how the publisher categorizes the website, while keyword targeting looks at the keywords on the site.

Geofencing & geoframing

Geofencing and geoframing are location-based targeting tactics you can use to engage your audience by showing ads to smartphone users entering a predefined area or geographic location. Say, for instance, a consumer who’s entered your gym or the gym of a competitor who you want to target for an upcoming promotion or event.
You can also leverage geoframing to tap into historical data and find customers of products or services related to your brand. If you’re a supplement or a fitness brand, you might notice a high correlation between your customers and people who shop at Whole Foods. In this case, you can use geoframing to target consumers who’ve shopped at a local Whole Foods to reach new prospects.

Cross-device targeting

Nowadays, we bounce between devices. We can throw an item in a virtual shopping cart on a smartphone but check out later on a desktop. Instead of targeting users on just one device, cross-device targeting enables you to serve messaging to your audience across all other devices associated with their user profile.

For instance, say a user is browsing at-home workout equipment on their phone but decides not to purchase just yet. With cross-device enabled, you can stay top of mind and target them with another ad later on their desktop or tablet.

With this strategy, you can increase the amount of inventory available for the same target audience, create a more holistic experience for the end-user, and receive reporting that helps you better understand what’s driving conversions.

Native advertising

Native advertising can position your brand as a trusted expert. It works by blending information-rich ads into the context of a web page, usually in the form of sponsored content, to create a seamless experience without disrupting the user.

Take, for example, a brand looking to generate awareness around a line of nutritional supplements or at-home workout equipment. You could place a native advertisement on a health & wellness website pointing users back to a blog post like, “Maximize exercise performance with these supplements.” From there, you could then nurture the brand-to-consumer relationship with informative content.

Note: With native advertising, you need to have a content library, like a blog, to direct users back to your website.

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Choosing data brands & segments

There’s an overwhelming amount of third-party data out there, and you’re probably wondering how the heck to choose. But don’t worry–we’ve got data partners we like and recommend for these kinds of campaigns. Here are a few examples.

  • BlueKai offers various interest and in-market data segments that allow you to target people interested in exercise gear and equipment or specific workouts.
  • Data Alliance offers contextual audience data segments so that you can target users who actively engage with online health content.
  • While broad, Exelate offers segments that allow you to target users who have shown an interest in health.
  • ShareThis offers data segments that allow you to target consumers with a recent interest in fitness equipment and accessories.
  • Foursquare offers data segments that allow you to target fitness enthusiasts. The data segment is called “The Foursquare Fitness Fanatic.” These are users who regularly–or used to–go to gyms, fitness centers, cycle studios, yoga studios, and so on.

Optimizing health and wellness campaigns

We recommend your digital advertising campaign run for at least a month, but the duration will sometimes be shorter depending on your product or service. That’s why it’s essential to apply learnings from previous campaigns to improve performance for future ones.

A/B testing

Put your campaigns to the test. To maximize your digital advertising, we recommend creating two different versions, hence the name A/B testing, of a creative asset to see which one is more effective at engaging your target audience.
Some elements you can play around with: the call-to-action (CTA), colors, images, ad format, and ad copy.

As the campaign progresses, campaign reporting can help you see which type is receiving the most engagement or number of conversions.

Whitelists and blocklists

A whitelist is a list of your preferred sites. Meaning, if you’ve got a good click-through rate from a website or several websites, you can create a list to target only those sites in the future to help you work towards your campaign’s objectives.

On the other hand, if you look at your reporting and notice websites that you aren’t getting clicks from, you can create a blocklist. That way, your ads won’t show on those websites in future campaigns. Blocklists also help combat ad fraud.

More on whitelists and blocklists here.


Sometimes you have to get creative to meet the objectives for a health and wellness campaign. If you’re wondering how to achieve yours, let us know how we can help!

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About The Author

Megan Sullivan-Jenks is director of marketing & communications at Choozle – Easy Digital Advertising®. A self-proclaimed tinkerer, Megan's a problem solver for marketing and advertising strategies and execution. From nonprofits to consumer goods and software, she's an expert at creating online and offline marketing & communications strategies that are engaging and results-driven. Outside of the office, Megan rolls up her sleeves to enjoy all things DIY like sewing and woodworking.