The online physician | needs, perceptions & behaviours impacting healthcare marketers

Online physician healthcare marketers Search Engine Marketing

The online physician | needs, perceptions & behaviours impacting…

Date posted: 16 November 2017

 

Physicians use a variety of online sources to access information relevant to clinical practice. But how do they find this information? Which sources do they use? And why?

In this summary post, we explore the research findings of Patrick Mikalef, lead author of Online information search behaviour of physicians and consider what healthcare marketers can do to better reach and engage physicians online.  

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As healthcare marketers, we know doctors are increasingly using online information sources to complement their medical practice. However, little is known regarding the sources themselves and their ability to affect clinical practice. These are important considerations for our digital marketing efforts and are the focus of this article.

What we already know about physician search behaviour

Their online information needs can be grouped into categories:

  • Research
  • Professional development
  • Patient care
    • Diagnosis
    • Drug/therapy
    • Epidemiology
    • Treatment/therapy
  • Identifying patient information
  • Establishing guidelines for patient care
  • Resolving difficult and rare cases

And the top sources of this information?

  • Search engines
  • Scientific journals
  • Medical databases

In addition to the above, there appears to be growing use of social media by medical professionals for knowledge expansion, which we’ll consider in more detail later in the post.

What does this mean for healthcare marketers?

Firstly, knowing what our customers are looking for online, how they search for it and where they find it is crucial to creating and distributing content. Secondly, if we don’t identify and address audiences’ information needs, why should they pay any attention to it?

Broadly, the content categories listed above provide an excellent framework for healthcare marketers as they develop communications programmes. Specifically, content creators and advertisers can use these insights to develop and distribute information that’s valuable to target audiences.

Physician search behaviour

What we want to find out

In their study, Patrick and his colleagues wanted to address the following questions:

  • How do authoritative and non-authoritative online information sources fulfil the diverse information needs of medical doctors?
  • How does the fulfilment of these information requirements impact self-perceived medical practice competence?

Definitions. Authoritative information sources are regulated by the scientific community so that they adhere to specific standards and regulations, and are regularly revised so that they are up to date. In non-authoritative information sources there is no exercising or accepted community responsible for checking the trustworthiness and reliability of the information provided.

What did they find?

No surprise | using authoritative sources has a positive and significant association with the fulfilment of all types of medical information needs, with a perceived positive impact on patient care, knowledge development and research activities.

Conversely, non-authoritative sources are not found to have any significant impact on fulfilment of doctors’ medical information needs, or impact on patient care, knowledge development and research activities.

Surprise | doctors still use non-authoritative sources. A lot!

What does this mean for healthcare marketers?

Physician search behaviour

For healthcare marketers this research, combined with what we already know, raises some interesting questions, which Patrick and I have attempted to address here:

 

Q | How can healthcare marketers increase the credibility of their sites and content?

A | We know that high authority sources are perceived to positively impact patient care, knowledge development and research activities. As such, we recommend industry content creators refer to the earlier definition of ‘authoritative’ when creating and sharing content online.

 

Q | Why are doctors using non-authoritative sources, when they seem to be negatively associated with their impact on patient care, knowledge development and research activities?

A | There is clearly a tendency for health professionals to use community-built content, such as Wikis, YouTube and social media. Why? Because they’re easy places to find, access and consume healthcare information. This would explain why IMS ranks Wikipedia as the preferred source of healthcare information for doctors. Ultimately it’s down to convenience.

For healthcare marketers, this shows that if you create sources that are easy to find, access and consume content from then you’re likely to gain some traction.

 

Q | When is a physician likely to use an authoritative and non-authoritative site?

A | Patrick’s research categorised physician information needs into: patient care, knowledge development and research activities.

Within this context, it’s easy to see how doctors would consider non-authoritative sites, such as social media and Wikis, as good sources of information for high-level knowledge development: they’re usually free, host rich, multimedia content and are easy to find and navigate. However, they’re unlikely to trusted as primary sources for decisions related to patient care. I hope!

Conversely, high-authority sites are typically gated, tough to navigate and present information in long-form editorial. As a result, the user experience can be laborious and time consuming. However, they are trusted for making informed clinical decisions.

What now for healthcare marketers?

You want your sites and content to have a positive impact on clinical practice. Based on Patrick’s and others’ research, we recommend a combined approach, taking the best elements of authoritative and non-authoritative sources for maximum impact.

Combining the best bits

Authoritative sources Non-authoritative sources
  • Regulated by the scientific community
  • Adhere to standards and regulations
  • Regularly revised and updated
  • Easy to find
  • Easy to navigate
  • Contain rich, multimedia content

As Patrick so eloquently puts it in his paper, the credibility of the source regulates the degree of trust between the provider and the information consumer, which in sequence dictates whether, and how, the information is used. As such, in professional settings where information credibility is an important factor of actual information usage, establishing a position of a trustworthy information provider is critical.

 

So, start with credibility, then make it relevant, easy to find, navigate and use.

Easy huh?!

Content Marketing Metrics Content Marketing

Pharma Marketers, These Are The Only Metrics Your Bosses…

Date posted: 10 October 2017

Where Did All The Metrics Go?

As a pharmaceutical marketer you’d be forgiven for thinking, it’s not worth measuring the success of my digital marketing efforts. Digital’s contribution to sales is so disconnected from pharma’s boots-on-the-ground approach that it doesn’t warrant the effort. 

At Method, we strongly challenge this perception. By aligning your business objectives with the right metrics, KPIs and stage of your customer’s journey, you can absolutely measure, optimise and report on the contribution of your digital marketing efforts to sales, and calculate your Return on Investment (ROI) to boot!

In this post, we’ll recommend the key metrics for you to use at each stage of the marketing funnel (top, middle and bottom) and show you how to calculate the ROI of your digital marketing activities.

Helping you look like the marketing rock star you are!

Top of funnel: disease awareness/unmet need

A priority for any launch brand. Educating the market and creating a space for your product is essential. The following metrics disclose how many people are being reached and how engaged they are with your content.

pharma marketers metrics funnel

Objectives

  • Reach your target audience in the channels they’re using
  • Engage them with relevant, valuable content
  • Raise awareness for your campaign

Metrics for the top of the funnel:

  • Social likes, shares and following: track the engagement metrics to see what types of content, formats, times of day etc., work best with your target audience
  • Unique visitors: monitor your website’s overall traffic — the number of individuals who visit during a given period of time
  • Page views: the cumulative number of pages your visitors click on during a given period. Typically, the more page views received the higher the engagement
  • Search engine traffic: reflects how well optimised your content is for search A key channel for busy physicians and inquisitive patients
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors who come to your site and immediately ‘bounce’ back to Google to continue their search. Above 40% means your audience may not be finding the content relevant/useful

If you’re not satisfied with the results, ask yourself:

Middle of funnel: consideration/lead generation

Mid-funnel metrics

Lead generation metrics help track and measure mid-funnel activities in a way that enables you to attribute leads to specific pieces of content.

For example, instead of using your brand site to only sell product (something most physicians will not be ready for), why not create content that moves customers along their buyer journey, from awareness to consideration and one step closer to prescribing your product?

Objectives

  • Drive targeted traffic to your website from search and social channels
  • Get that traffic to perform an action on your site e.g. subscribe, download, request
  • Begin building a relationship and earning their trust

Metrics for the consideration phase:

  • Click-throughs: every piece of content should have a clear and compelling call to action (CTA). In most instances, the CTA will drive your target audiences to your website
  • Conversions: usually involves the visitor performing some action on your site. The action you seek and the content provided will align directly with the target audience’s position in the marketing funnel. Google Analytics can set and track:
    • Goal completions:
      • Newsletter sign-up
      • Content downloads
      • Video views
    • Goal conversion rate: the total number of goal completions divided by the total number of sessions
    • Assisted conversions: the monetary value of the conversions assisted by your content. Variant metrics on this include:
      • Persistence: how many leads a piece generated and whether these leads resulted in further actions
      • Multiple Attribution: lets multiple pieces of content get credit under a multi-touch attribution model
      • Time Stamping: the last piece of content a lead viewed prior to converting to an opportunity

If you’re not satisfied with the results, ask yourself:

  • How clear and compelling are the calls to action for your target audience?
  • How high is the perceived value of the conversion offer to your customers?
  • How easy/difficult are you making it for people to convert on the site?
  • Are you asking for too much in the sign-up forms, or is your conversion tactic [registration button] too hard to find?

Bottom of funnel: sales enablement

Bottom of funnel metrics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using content in the sales process can be a very effective tool, where pharma sales and marketing functions can work together to deliver real value to customers and the brand.

Objectives

  • Supply leads to the sales team
  • Facilitate the sales conversion process

To track how content is affecting sales enablement, monitor sales for leads who receive your content versus those who don’t. Consider:

  • Pipeline opportunities generated: use a first-touch attribution model to tally the amount of sales generated because a prospect found your content
  • Revenue influenced: determine the amount of revenue generated from content prior to prescribing being initiated
  • Sales conversion rate: ideally, you’ll find that sending content to leads builds trust by addressing their objections, pain points, and questions. Consequently, they should prescribe at a higher rate than those who don’t receive your content
  • Sales cycle length: if leads who receive content prescribe earlier than those who don’t, you’ll know your content is effective
  • Sales size: because each piece of content should help overcome barriers, prescribing more of your product should become apparent

If you’re not satisfied with the results, ask yourself:

  • Is my content addressing all identified customer questions, pain points and objections?
  • Is my content perceived as credible and trustworthy?
  • Does it synergistically support offline conversions by the sales team?

Calculating Your ROI

Return on investment

This is the point at which some pharmaceutical marketers and their agencies may stop.

But not us!

It’s time for you to look like a rock star! Show your boss and your boss’s boss the real value and return on investment you’ve delivered to the brand and business. Here’s how:

#1 Calculate the cost of investment

  1. Each month, determine the number of hours required to create/distribute content
  2. Multiply this by the hourly rate of your staff/agency
  3. Add your costs to promote the content

For example, you spend 100 hours per month creating content, at an average hourly rate of £120. Your costs (content promotion) are £5,000.

Total cost of investment is: £17,000 for the month.

#2 Calculate the return on investment

  1. Each month, track the number of leads the website generates
  2. Multiply this by the conversion rate, customers’ average lifetime value and the average profit margin you achieve

For example, your site generates 30 new leads per month at a conversion rate of 20%.

Each customer (6) has an average lifetime value of £20,000 at a 30% profit margin.

Total return on investment is £36,000 for the month.

#3 Calculate your ROI

  1. Subtract your investment from your return on investment
  2. Divide the answer by your investment 

For example, (£36,000 – £17,000)/£17,000 = 111% ROI

 

Time to go and show the boss how awesome you are!

 

What are your experiences of identifying, monitoring and reporting metrics in your digital and content marketing campaigns?

Please share your comments below

Pharma, Why Do We Need SEO Content Search Engine Marketing

Pharma’s SEO Content Guide

Date posted: 26 September 2017

 

Welcome to the another Method Minute.

Today, we’ll look at SEO content and what you can do to help physicians find your content in search engines. And we’ll provide How To advice that pharmaceutical marketers (and their agencies) can use to plan and execute SEO and content marketing strategies. Together.

Physicians Need Quick Answers. Google!

Google search data shows that almost every physician uses a computer, smartphone, or tablet every day for professional purposes. More enlightening, busy healthcare professionals (HCPs), across all specialties, are turning to search engines first to find the clinical information they need. Not their peers, or HCP-only networks.

 

Busy HCPs are turning to search engines first to find the clinical information they need. Not their peers
  Tweet This!

 

Pharma Marketing Impact

As a pharmaceutical marketer, if you’re not creating and optimising content to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs), you’re missing a fantastic opportunity to provide value to your customers in the moments they need it most. This impacts your ability to build relationships and earn their trust. Important if you want to sell to them in the future.

The problem is, we’re just not seeing pharma optimise its content for organic search traffic, despite physicians’ and patients’ reliance on search engines.

Why?

At a strategic level, pharma is still developing its content marketing capabilities. This often results in the production of content in a haphazard manner; lacking the consistency and regularity required for success.

Tactically, content is being created by traditional medical communications agencies who are unfamiliar with the creation of search- and social-channel content.

The result, Pharma content isn’t being found by physicians or patients. Instead, audiences are turning to other sources, where you are unable to control the content or customer relationship.

SEO + Content Marketing = SEO Content

Content SEO
Credit. SEO Nick

Define and align

Search engine optimisation is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that it appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.

Content marketing is a marketing technique for creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

SEO content is the practice of creating and optimising your valuable, relevant content to drive free, organic traffic from search engines.

 

Whilst SEO & content marketing are distinct practices, one without the other cannot work. Not with today’s Google it physicians  Tweet This!

 

Bringing Content Marketing and SEO Together

Content marketing SEO
Credit. Protofuse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we’ll share some actionable advice that you can use internally and with your agency to support your SEO content efforts.

Strategically, take the following steps to improve your SEO and content marketing efforts:

  • Align your SEO content and brand goals
    How will your content help you meet your brand goals? Do you need it to increase disease awareness? Do you want to support compliance with product education? Whatever it is, ensure your content and brand goals are aligned
  • Define and characterise your target audience
    Using search and social insights, interviews and questionnaires, create personas for your target audience. Develop a deep understanding of their needs, motivations and online behaviours
  • Raison d’être — set your mission
    Create your content marketing mission statement. Define who your content is for, what you will offer them and how they will benefit. This will guide all your future content marketing efforts
  • Find your Sweet Spot
    Your content marketing Sweet Spot is the overlap between your knowledge and expertise and the needs of your target audience. Use this to articulate your mission
  • Schedule it out
    Now you know who you’re targeting and why, it’s time to populate your editorial calendar. This will ensure your content creation efforts are consistent and regular; key characteristics of a successful content marketing strategy. Only in this way can you build relationships with your target audience and earn their trust.

 Tactically, ensure your agency is creating great content using the following practices:

  • Address an identified want or need
    This is the big one. Put your audiences’ needs first. Think 80:20 when considering the balance of your content. Education/information/inspiration/entertainment makes up 80% and promotion (for physicians only, obviously) 20%
  • Identify target keywords
    Using keyword research identify the search terms being used by your target audience and determine which ones you can be competitive in. Not sure how? See our previous post
  • Use your target keywords strategically
    Include them in your URLs, page titles, headings, sub-headings and body content. Without getting spammy. Write for your audience first and Google second

SEO Content: Key Takeaways

  1. Create great content. Consistently. Great content is relevant, timely and actionable. It supports your business goals and fuels your SEO efforts.
  2. Optimise it for search. Research, identify, utilise and track your keywords. Religiously
  3. Don’t think of SEO and content marketing as separate disciplines. Your SEO campaign will fail unless you integrate content marketing. Your content marketing campaign will fail unless you integrate SEO

Happy [keyword] hunting!

Have you been engaged in SEO content? Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.

Repurpose pharma content Content Marketing

6 Easy Ways to Repurpose Existing Pharma Content

Date posted: 21 September 2017

 

Hello and welcome to the another Method Minute | Pharma Blog.

Today, we’ll look at how you can take the sting out of content development by repurposing your existing assets. We’ll provide How To advice so that you can get more value from your original content and save time and money in the process. 

PDF: Pharma’s Go To Format

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good PDF. Working in the pharmaceutical industry, you have to.

We PDF a lot of content: clinical papers, posters, abstracts, ebooks, white papers, case studies, sales content, patient materials.

And why not? It’s safe. It works. It conveys the message.

Plus, we all know what a highly-regulated industry this is. Let’s keep it safe.

PDF! PDF! PDF!

Well, let’s take a look at why PDF may not be the best approach for pharmaceutical marketing and medical communications, and consider what you can do instead to deliver more value for your customers and your brand.

Two Important Reasons Why PDF Isn’t Pharma’s Friend:

  1. Doctors are people. People like good design. Well designed content increases information consumption, engagement and retention. Data from the World Bank supports this, showing that if you want someone to read your report and act on your data, PDF is a bad choice
  2. Google is not people. But Google does like good design and user experience. Using a variety of user metrics, Google can tell whether your web pages and content are well designed and received by your customers. This is a significant ranking factor. If you’re not sure how your pages are ranked by Google, check-out our on-page SEO checklist

If you want to engage your customers, your content must be relevant, actionable and of high-quality. It must be worthy of their time. If physicians don’t engage with your content, you cannot build relationships with them or earn their trust. Both of  which are important if you want to sell to them in the future.

Create High Quality Content From Existing Assets

Creating new, original content in the pharmaceutical industry is expensive and time-consuming.

So why spend your valuable time, energy and budget creating new content, when you can repurpose what you have into fresh, user-friendly media that will broaden their appeal and make them easier to find online?

Let’s take a look at our favourite alternative media formats, which can be quickly and easily created from your existing content assets. 

#1 Infographics

Infographics, like ours, allow you to visualize data and communicate complex information clearly and efficiently. They turn your content into easy-to-understand pieces of art that you can share (whole, or in chunks) via all your media channels.

Repurpose pharma content infographic

Credit: Method Medical Media. 

And why do I love them so much? Because people (including doctors):

  • Remember 80% of what they see vs 20% of what they read
  • Process visuals 60,000 times faster than text
  • Read only 28% of the text on a web page

Infographics are also shared more frequently than traditional, text-based content on social media. Like! 

Warning: creating high quality infographics is not easy. It’s not the same as designing a brochure, flyer or poster. If done incorrectly, they can over-complicate things, confuse readers and introduce errors. Use content agencies you trust to convey your data effectively. Take a look at one of our latest infographics on on-page SEO.

Pharma tips for creating quality infographics:

  1. Identify and address your audience’s information needs
  2. Convey your message following a clear, logical storyflow
  3. Keep the content and design simple and clear
  4. Size your content to meet channel best practices

#2 SlideShare

One of my favourites, given how proficient the pharmaceutical industry is at creating PowerPoint presentations. You’ve probably got mountains of slides waiting to be shared with the world already. If so, why not post them to SlideShare: a site that gets 60 million visitors and 3 billion slide views every month.

Plus, once you’ve posted to SlideShare you can syndicate this out across all your channels and use the content to drive traffic back to your website.

#3 Quizzes

According to research by BuzzSumo and BoomBox people really love a quiz. Quizzes have:

  • 82% click conversion rate
  • 78% completion rate
  • 1,900 social shares (on average)

And why are quizzes so popular?

Because most people’s favourite subject is…THEMSELVES. Sad but true.

A good quiz will do one of two things for your audience:

  1. It will help them learn more about themselves, or
  2. Help them show to other people how cool/clever/awesome they are

Quiz formats for pharma to consider:

  • Graded quizzes: let me show everyone how clever I am. Score me!
    • Pharma tip: make it easy. High scores get more social shares. And we ‘like’ social shares
  • Outcome, or personality quizzes: tell me how awesome I am. Define me!
    • Pharma tip: make sure every result is something people are proud to share (i.e.don’t tell them their Lord of the Rings doppelganger is Gollum).

Of your existing content, what can you turn into a quiz? Thankfully, just about anything with data. Just ensure your content is relevant to your target audience and prompts engagement.

And remember, we’re trying to drive engagement by making people look and feel good about themselves. Which, is essentially the aim of everything we do. Right?

#4 Live Video Streaming

Repurpose pharma content twitter

Research by Ashfield, has shown that fewer doctors are likely to attend conferences in the future, with 53% of specialists citing restrictive codes of practice as the primary reason.

This means that many of our key customers may never get to see our beautiful posters, presentations and abstracts. Or attend any of our well-balanced, educational symposia, and workshops.

In the past, you may have created a congress highlights report for them. In PDF.

Not now! Apps such as Periscope and Meerkat make it easier than ever to share live (and archived) video content in a broadcast-like experience.

How can the pharmaceutical industry use these tools?

  1. Summarise: present daily congress highlights for those unable to attend
  2. Expand: offer expert deep-dives on key topics, data and issues from the congress
  3. Stream: put audiences ‘in the room’ and allow them to submit comments and questions

#5 Instructographics

Cat cpr pharma content

Think, ‘IKEA manual. But prettier and with less stress’.

Instructographics provide your target audiences with a step-by-step guide to anything you want: injector training, proper inhaler use, clinical study execution. Anything that requires a How To, or step-by-step guide.

Like an infographic, creating high quality instructographics is challenging. But if done well, can enhance the learning experience for your audience, which is important for engagement, information retention and behavioural change.

Image credit: Carrington College

Pharma tips for creating high quality instructographics:

  1. Consider frequently asked questions at each stage of the How To process
  2. Create original graphical or photographic content
  3. Offer succinct, supporting commentary to address audiences’ information needs

#6 Podcasts

A format many of us know and love. They’re convenient to consume and easy/cheap for the pharmaceutical industry to produce and distribute.

Repurpose your existing written content by putting conversational narrative to it. Or go one step further and discuss it with experts to get their insights and observations. Put it into context and translate its meaning into clinical practice. In short, add value.

Possible pharma podcast topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Clinical trial results
  • Disease awareness
  • Policy issues
  • Industry research
  • Drug mechanisms
  • Company information – financial and corporate
  • General information related to the industry or sector
  • West Ham United Football Club. Not really. Just checking you’re still awake

What Are You Waiting For?

Creating content doesn’t have to be a chore. As you’ve seen, there are many ways you can repurpose and publish what you already have to increase your audience reach and engagement. 

 

What other media have you used when repurposing content?

Which would you recommend or avoid? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Pharma-content-marketing Content Marketing

3 Big Reasons Pharma Needs Content Marketing

Date posted: 8 September 2017

 

Hello and welcome to the first ever Method Minute | Pharma Blog.

Method Minutes are pieces of original content for pharmaceutical marketers, where we discuss industry challenges and how to address them using content, social media and search engine marketing.

Today, we’ll look at the challenges you face engaging customers online and how content marketing can help you. You’ll also receive actionable advice to help you begin your content marketing journey.

Why Pharma Needs Content Marketing

HCP-Only Websites in Control

Marketing using digital channels in the pharmaceutical industry can be tough. It can feel like your content and your customers are not your own.

This is best illustrated by pharma’s heavy investments in third party, HCP-only websites, where you give up control of your content to reach your customers with messaging that may, or may not help your brand.

 

Pharma loses control of its content & customer relationships at HCP-only websites  Tweet This!

 

And why do we do it?

Many reasons, but one is perhaps most disappointing: Deloitte’s research shows that many physicians don’t trust the content pharma produce. They are turning to third party, HCP-only platforms, such as Medscape, Sermo and Doctors.net for the information they need.

Trust data content marketing

HCP-only networks are filling Pharma’s trust gap with their content (Credit: Chris Franck, Deloitte Consulting)

 

This isn’t good for you, or your brand:

  • You lose control of your content and communications
  • You miss the opportunity to build customer relationships and earn their trust

Low Engagement in Pharma Assets

When pharma does invest in its own content and channels, does the situation improve?

I’m afraid not.

According to research by Google, physicians do prefer online resources to traditional ones and use search engines to find and access that content.

However, this information is not being found at pharma websites:

  • The average physician Google’s clinical queries 6 times per day
  • 39% go to HCP-only websites
  • Only 7% go to pharma industry websites

 

Only 7% of physician search traffic goes to pharma websites  Tweet This!

 

Pretty disappointing, given the time, effort and money that goes into building some of these websites.

Google data pharma content marketing

More doctors start with a search engine than any other online resource (Credit: Google/Manhattan Research)

Impact on Pharma Marketing

If these scenarios resonate with you, then you may feel that this is inhibiting your ability to build customer relationships and earn their trust. Important if you want to sell to them in the future.

Why is content marketing important? 

Content marketing is important because your customers do not care about you, or your brand. They only care about themselves and how they can advance their careers, address their professional challenges, and improve patients’ lives.

If you think about it, it’s the same reason you’re reading this article. You hope it will provide some useful insights and advice that will enhance your knowledge and advance your career.

I hope it does.

Content Marketing: What Is It? How Can It Help?

Definitions

The content marketing institute define it as ‘a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – ultimately, to drive profitable customer action’.

For the pharmaceutical industry, Method defines content marketing as ‘the consistent creation and distribution of the content audiences need, in all the places they are searching for it, to attract and retain their attention’.

The key word here is ‘consistent’. A consistent, long-term commitment to helping physicians and patients, by creating and sharing valuable content on a regular basis. In this way, you can address their ongoing needs and keep them engaged.

In time, this creates other opportunities for you to share promotional content with them. Once you have a relationship.

3 Big Reasons Pharma Needs Content Marketing

  1. It puts your owned media channels (e.g. therapy area website) at the heart of your content marketing efforts –  putting you back in control of your content and communications
  2. It leverages owned, earned and paid media to distribute your content and drive traffic back to your site – helping you reach your customers in the channels they’re using
  3. It gives your customers a valuable and compelling reason to opt-in, subscribe and follow you – allowing you to practice permission-based marketing

Content marketing puts Pharma back in control of its content & customer relationships  Tweet This!

If you’re still not convinced of the benefits of content marketing, it will also:

  • Increase organic search traffic to your website – a free source of motivated, verified prospects and leads
  • Build and maintain long-term audience engagement – improving trust and relationships with your customers
  • Reduce your long-term advertising spend and reliance on third-party, HCP-only sites – allowing you to connect directly with your customers. For free

There are many more benefits to content marketing for the pharmaceutical industry, but we’re both busy so I’ll crack on.

OK, What Now?

3-step process to begin your content marketing journey:

  1. Set and align your business and content marketing goals
    Your content must help you meet your business/brand objectives. Otherwise, what’s the point? How will content marketing help your business or brand? Will it help you attract and retain more customers? Build closer relationships and earn trust? Help your customers make better clinical decisions? Whatever it is, ensure alignment between business and audience goals.
  2. Define and characterise your target audience
    Using search and social insights, interviews and questionnaires, create personas for your target audience. Develop a deep understanding of their needs, motivations and online behaviours so that you can create valuable content, in the appropriate format for the channels they’re using. 
  3. Set your mission
    Define your content marketing mission statement. Define who your content is for, what you will offer them and how they will benefit. This will guide all your future content marketing efforts. It’s your raison d’être 

Remember: Give More Than You Seek

As a pharmaceutical marketer, you have lots of valuable content to offer your customers; however, currently, most physicians look elsewhere for the information they need.

Content marketing is the key to engaging customers online. By putting your customers’ needs first, you are repositioning yourself as a trusted and valued industry partner.

The trust you earn will create future opportunities to communicate with physicians – including with your promotional content.

Just remember, to get the balance right between your promotional and non-promotional communications.

Give more than you seek.

 

What are your experiences of implementing a content marketing strategy?

How did it work for you and your brand?

Please share your thoughts and comments below.