The statistics are staggering. Black Americans die from heart disease at a rate 2x higher than their white counterparts and their risk of death from stroke is even greater. While cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death for people across racial/ethnic groups, according to the Cleveland Clinic, 47% of Black adults have been diagnosed with CVD, compared to 36% of white adults. The nonprofit CDC Foundation set out to decrease these numbers by increasing awareness of heart health and educating the Black community about preventing CVD.
In 2022, the Live to the Beat campaign launched with the goal of helping Black adults age 35-54 prioritize their heart health by focusing on small steps, physically and mentally, and making it more attainable. While significant awareness was generated, the more challenging task was moving the target audience into real, sustainable action.
And so, in 2023, we focused on audience research that revealed education/access to resources and encouraging small steps such as eating more healthily and finding the right type of exercise would move the needle in engagement and behavioral change.
Our stratgy was to take an audience-first paid content approach to deliver the relevant resources driving engagement. Paired with engaging, platform-specific content speaking to the target audience, a paid media plan utilizing each platform's targeting strengths ensured efficient delivery of relevant resources directly to priority communities. This audience-first approach to media buying resulted in benchmark-exceeding results and valuable attributable actions taken by relevant users.
Based on audience analyses, we defined three story pillars aligned to the audience's priorities: community, culture and commitment. Using these pillars as guides, we selectively deployed paid media creatives to different subsets of our core audiences, ensuring a relatable and conversational user experience. This was key to the campaign's success as it allowed users to see themselves in the creative messaging, leading to higher engagement with the content and wensite resources as a result.
Specifically, we utilized a mix of content from influential voices like Marvin Woods, an Emmy-Winning Chef and Author, to everyday people to humanize the content and amplify reach through sharing. Stories ranged from tips on workng within your shcedule to get more exercise to disease state awareness information, tailored to include/speak to our target audience.
We utilized this content across the paid campaign, strategically placing pieces on Meta and YouTube based on the CDC Foundation's analyuses of the target audience's top platforms where they are highly engaged and searching for CVD-related information. We created a digital ecosystem with Meta, YouTube and the LTTB website allowing the target audiences to be reached at multiple touchpoints and reinforcing the LTTB message across platforms. TouTube drove video views, while Facebook drove link clicks, illustrating the distinct types of audience engagement occurring across platforms
Additionally, we pulled through a dynamic organic presence, offering users the ability to engage with familiar LTTB content beyond the ads/website. This ensured a surround-sound approach for audiences who moved beyond the ads. A layered community engagement/follower strategy based on real-time monitoring was employed to ensure the campaign considered audience conversations in any ongoing optimizations.
While Meta and YouTube provide various ad formats and placements, our rigorous audience research provided insights into how and why our core audiences interact and engage with content online. There was heavy reliance on video, display, and GIF assets, with all traffic drivers leading to the LTTB website for further resources.
Specifically, we leaned heavily into:
This campaign exceeded all industry benchmarks for health awareness cmpaigns, indicating that with expert granular audience targeting and engaging creatives, the CDC Foundation's public health messaging broke through with the target audience and drove meaningful actions.
These paid media campaigns exceeded all industry benchmarks for health awareness and engagement campaigns and generated meaningful action.
Because of our targeting parameters and continuous optimizations based on ad performance, it was observed that all paid media campaigns were more cost effective than expected, leading to the above goal impression numbers.
Given the idnustry benchmarks that were exceeded and the target audience engagement with the campaign, it is clear the many small steps taken by the LTTB community created a big leap toward reducing CVD deaths among Black Americans.