Increasing registrations via social media for an online health event in Africa.

International Association of Patient Organizations

IAPO is a global alliance representing patients of all nations across all disease areas and promoting patient-centred healthcare across the world. Their newest event, the Africa Patients Congress, brings patient organisations, the health sector, regulators and governments together to work collaboratively to champion patient-centered healthcare solutions.

“The Digital Firefly team were warm and brilliant partners to work with. Their support was invaluable and transformative. With limited experience creating global social media campaigns, they made the experience very easy and smooth for us and delivered more than we asked for. Additionally, through working together, the team helped me build the blocks needed to move forwards with our global social media activities. Couldn’t recommend them enough. Thank you!”


Communications Manager

The problem

Although IAPO’s global events have involved African colleagues this was the first time IAPO was holding an event specifically for and involving them, online across two days which included speaker sessions and online networking opportunities.

IAPO approached Digital Firefly with a need to build brand awareness in the region and also increase registered delegates within a short space of time. 

It was essential that these were from very specific sectors, those who have influence and ability to change healthcare within the region.


IAPO needed a way to reach potential new members and interested parties, and encourage them, plus current members, to register for and attend their event. 

To do this it was important to improve reach, engagement and ultimately conversions across multiple regions in Africa.

Services provided

Social media strategy development 

Social media persona creation

Organic and paid social media content creation

Social media advertising set-up and management

Results for APC 2021


over target registrations from social media

 4 million

impressions across social media platforms


engagements on social media ads

Our approach

It was important to understand IAPO’s influence and network in the Africa region, as well as their objectives, audiences and key messages as starting points for the campaign. 

During initial discussions it became apparent that as IAPOs networks, and the networks of partners in the region were substantially smaller than for previous events, it was particularly important to build brand awareness, and therefore trust with newer audiences quickly as well as double-down on marketing to existing contacts in the region.

We did this by working on both organic and paid content in tandem, re-targeting potential delegates using Facebook Pixel, especially those who had engaged with posts on social media and visited the website in recent months.

From previous campaigns such as the GPC and APPC we had learnt that Facebook was the best place to reach the audiences they wanted to reach and at a lower cost than alternative platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn.

We were also aware that images of speakers, emotive images, and content that spoke of the sessions on offer proved most popular for previous campaigns, so we particularly focused on this. However, testing and learning is an important part of the process, so we kept an open mind throughout. 

As registrations came in we worked with IAPOs marketing team to keep a close eye on the quality of registrations – tweaking audiences and messaging accordingly.

Not only did we help them increase registrations substantially, exceeding their target by 71%, we also helped them engage their networks and build bigger followings on their channels. For example their Facebook page saw an increase in followers of 34% in less than a month. 

We love supporting IAPO to deliver their important work to connect healthcare workers during this critical time and are excited to continue working with them for upcoming events.

Return on investment by country

As part of our detailed evaluation we mapped the regions of Africa reached by our ads in terms of impressions, engagements and link clicks (L-T-R).

As you can see, Algeria performed best in terms of impressions and link clicks, and therefore converted the most registrations, while Tanzania accounted for the most engagement, fostering a large amount of brand awareness in the region. 

Analysing this data across the continent helped us to understand which country provided the best return on investment for IAPO and therefore enable us to more efficiently allocate spend for future Africa based campaigns. 

Impressions by country:

Engagements by country:

Link clicks by country:

How we can help you

Do you want to generate sign-ups for your event? We’d love to help, so please do get in touch to explore how social media could fit into your marketing strategies.

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Whether you just want to say hey, need a little bit of advice or want to explore how we could help you succeed on social media please get in touch.

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