​​How Health Influencers Influence Purchase Decisions


Health and wellness influencers have become a major force shaping everything from consumers’ lifestyle choices to purchasing decisions. Through relatable social media personas, these influencers provide their millions of devoted followers with diet, fitness, integrative health, and well-being advice. Their posts inspire fans to lead healthier, more active lives and use many of the same products they promote. In this blog, you’ll learn about influencer marketing examples these health influencers have been a part of.

According to a survey, a staggering 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities when it comes to recommendations. Additionally, 49% of consumers overall say they depend on influencer opinions before making purchases. It’s clear health and wellness influencers wield tremendous influence over their audiences. This makes them appealing partners for brands looking to boost awareness and sales of supplements, fitness programs, health apps, and other wellness offerings.

In this blog, we’ll explore the power of healthcare influencers, from their impact on followers’ purchase behavior to key takeaways for brands looking to leverage their marketing potential.

Who is a Health Influencer?

The concept of a “health influencer” has only arisen over the past decade. It corresponds with the rise of social media and a broader cultural focus on wellness – especially among millennials and Gen Z. Health influencers run the gamut from fitness gurus and nutrition coaches to mindfulness experts and alternative health advocates. What unites them is a passion for sharing health and well-being advice with mass audiences online.

Many top health influencers began gaining traction in the early 2010s by posting workout videos, healthy recipes, and fitness inspiration on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Over time, they expanded into broader topics like mental health, supplements, sustainable eating, and spiritual practices for self-care. As their audiences grew into the millions, these influencers honed their personal brands and developed merchandise lines, apps, online programs, and products to sell to their followers.

Today, names like Kayla Itsines, Joe Wicks, and Michelle Lewin are celebrities in the health and wellness social media sphere. Fans eagerly tune in daily for their workout challenges, lifestyle inspiration, product reviews, and recommendations. For brands, partnering with these household names has immense potential to boost credibility and reach target consumers.

The Impact of Health Influencers’ Marketing on Consumer Behavior

What makes health influencers so influential among their legions of fans? The answer lies in their perceived authenticity and relatability. Followers feel like they personally know and connect with these social media personalities.

More than impersonal celebrities, health influencers openly share glimpses into their everyday lives and struggles. They post photos without filters showcasing their real bodies, skin, and self-image. Nikki Blackketter and other influencers have shared their emotional journeys recovering from eating disorders and poor body image. This raw honesty and willingness to showcase imperfections and vulnerabilities help fans feel bonded to influencers and trust what they promote is authentic.

In addition to transparency, health influencers build trust by sharing their expertise. Whether formally educated or simply deeply knowledgeable from personal experience, influencers project competence regarding health and wellness topics. When Kayla Itsines talks about her BBG workout program or when registered dietitians give nutrition advice, followers listen attentively and consider them subject matter experts. This elevates their credibility to provide recommendations.

Ultimately, health influencers blend elements of a friend, role model, and expert into relatable personas that feel more real and accessible than traditional celebrities. This fosters tremendous trust in their opinions and advice.

Sway Over Purchase Decisions

Given the high levels of affinity and trust followers feel, it’s no surprise health influencers wield tremendous sway over their purchase decisions and habits. When an influencer endorses a product, praises a fitness routine, or shows off lifestyle choices, eager fans take note.

In fact, according to Digital Marketing Institute research, a staggering 49% of consumers depend specifically on influencer recommendations before deciding to buy something. This statistic demonstrates the tremendous weight followers place on health influencers’ opinions. They view endorsed products as vetted and effective options since influencers stake their reputations on recommendations.

Beyond specific purchase decisions, health influencers also influence broader lifestyle choices. Followers actively aspire to model the diet, exercise, and wellness regimes of their favorite Instagram fitness influencers. If Kayla Itsines emphasizes a real-food diet with her BBG program, fans adjust their nutrition to match. When Dr. Josh Axe promotes the benefits of whole nutrition, his millions of followers integrate those into their daily routines, too. Top influencers essentially act as well-being role models – their overall lifestyles and messaging guide followers’ aspirations.

Clearly, these influencers wield tremendous power to shape both one-time purchase decisions as well as ongoing lifestyle and consumption patterns. Tapping into this influence represents a major opportunity for companies.

Maximizing Influencer Marketing Impacts

To fully capitalize on the immense marketing potential of health influencers, brands must follow best practices around identifying, structuring agreements with, and managing these partnerships:

Identify Target Influencers Strategically

With countless health and wellness influencers now active across platforms like Instagram and TikTok, brands must be highly selective when deciding on partnerships.

Try to avoid getting distracted by an influencer’s raw follower count alone. More important is ensuring their audience and messaging align strategically. If you want to promote a skincare and beauty brand, try to target top beauty influencers. Next, assess the authentic synergy between your brand’s positioning and the influencer’s health messaging. Do they organically emphasize similar values around nutrition, environmental wellness, holistic care, or other domains that your company advocates? The best partnerships don’t feel forced. Forced promotions tend to perform poorly.

Finally, don’t fixate solely on the biggest mega-influencers if they aren’t a strategic fit when considering influencer scale or reach. Often, micro-influencers and category specialists with smaller but highly engaged niche audiences can drive better marketing ROI. For example, partnering with a keto diet-focused influencer may better promote a ketogenic protein powder versus a mass general health influencer.

Structure Win-Win Relationships

The ideal influencer partnership is mutually beneficial for both the brand and the influencer. Too often, brands seek to exploit influencers solely for quick promotions. However, the most successful long-term sponsorships promote reciprocity.

First, ensure that influencers are compensated fairly for their marketing contributions based on reasonable rates tied to follower counts, content production, and campaign performance incentives. Paying a fair rate helps motivate them to invest time into quality partnerships rather than quick one-off posts for the highest bidder.

Next, structure agreements where the influencer receives additional authentic benefits beyond monetary compensation. Finally, consider establishing long-term influencer brand ambassador roles that cement lasting partnerships. Ambassador programs provide sustained value, including affiliate sales codes, priority access to new product launches to promote, and inclusion in all major campaigns. Just be selective in granting ambassador status only to proven influencers with the best audience fit, engagement, and content quality.

Grant Creative Freedom

A common brand mistake around influencer marketing is trying to micro-manage partnerships by dictating rigid contractual promotional requirements. This tends to backfire. Influencers retain their sway because followers see them as authentic taste-makers rather than corporate shills.

The most effective sponsorships grant substantial creative freedom around how influencers showcase branded products and services integrated into posts. Rather than handing them a static promotional copy to share, let influencers message around the brand naturally in their own voice. This breeds more genuine endorsements.

Give influencers early access to try products themselves and organically discover what they most authentically like about them. Also, provide suggested topics to cover rather than forced talking points. Ultimately, you want content that feels fun, relatable, and on-brand for the influencer. Followers spot disingenuous promotional partnerships a mile away, causing them to disengage.

Brands must strike that balance between providing guardrails for effective messaging while also ensuring influencer authenticity shines through. Granting creative freedoms generally wins here.

The Future of Health Influencers

As more consumers turn to social media for health information and inspiration, health influencers will only expand their reach and impact. Strategic brand partnerships present a win-win – helping companies boost visibility through trusted voices while also providing influencers pre-vetted products and services to recommend.

New platforms like TikTok are also diversifying the categories of breakout health and wellness influencers. Expect to see explosive growth of short-form video creators focused on niche topics like biochemistry, fitness nutrition, and home workouts alongside more generalist Instagram influencers.

Ultimately, health influencers show no signs of losing relevancy. They represent accessible well-being role models and trusted advisors to countless consumers. While trends may shift, their sway over lifestyle decisions and buying behavior will remain tremendous assets for brands to tap into.

Key Takeaways on How Health Influencers Influence

Here are the key points to keep in mind about health influencers’ substantial impact:

  • Health influencers build highly engaged audiences by sharing advice, workouts, recipes, and inspiration for wellbeing. Followers see them as role models.
  • Seventy percent of teens trust influencers over traditional celebrities. Additionally, 49% of consumers depend on influencer opinions for purchase decisions.
  • Influencer endorsements excite audiences to buy promoted brands’ supplements, fitness programs, apps, and other offerings. Their word holds a significant influence.
  • Beyond individual purchases, health influencers also shape followers’ broader lifestyle habits around diet, exercise, and mindfulness.
  • To leverage this influence, brands should partner with relevant influencers that align with their health and wellness positioning.
  • Authenticity is key – collaborations work best when influencers can organically integrate branded products and services into their regimes.

As health and wellness influencers continue growing their loyal followings, their power to shape consumer purchasing decisions and lifestyle choices is only set to expand. Strategic brand partnerships present a major opportunity for companies across supplements, fitness, nutrition, and broader wellness categories.

This is where leveraging solutions like Glewee’s Influencer Marketing Platform can structurally enable success. Glewee centralizes an end-to-end system for brands to discover influencers, activate sponsorships, track performance, and optimize partnerships over time.

With industry expertise and technology to seamlessly manage workflows, the platform fields and nurtures the complex array of decisions required to maximize influencer marketing returns. You can create your influencer marketing platform account here.

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