Trying to Reach Healthcare Professionals and Consumers? Social Media Is the Answer.

Contributed by:

Brandie Linfante, VP, Digital Engagement Strategy and Martha Maranzani, VP, Content Strategy, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide, a WPP Health & Wellness company

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Social media is a powerful platform for reaching HCPs and consumers alike. There are nearly 200 million active social media users in the United States alone, so it’s almost guaranteed that your target audience is using social channels, consuming content about anything and everything. So why not target them on social for your brand?

Targeting on social media allows brands to specify and target certain demographic properties of their desired audience. Additionally, brands can create lookalike audiences based off of demographic and behavioral data, finding users who “look” like their already engaged audience. But in addition to targeting these users with ads, social media can help you bring your brand to life, personalizing and humanizing it to your audience, and give your brand a voice, while allowing for interaction and engagement with your customers while they create peer-to-peer relationships and form communities.

Still don’t believe social is right for pharma? Read on to see how we leveraged the power of social to drive brand awareness and engage and acquire HCPs for an OTC brand on Facebook and developed a vibrant, active consumer and veterinary social community and Instagram presence for a prescription veterinary brand. From customer insights through creating the strategy, we used a social model that set our pharma brands up for success.

Driving Brand Awareness and Acquisition of HCPs

Doctors don’t stop being doctors when they log on to Facebook. Using that insight, we used Facebook to target specialty HCPs when one Rx-to-OTC switch brand soft relaunched. The brand had taken on a modern creative campaign, and driving awareness around the rebranding was still a key factor.

Our goal was to garner excitement and provide education about the switch, energize the campaign, and rally HCPs to sign up for a CRM program. Facebook proved to be the perfect medium, as the ads were non-intrusive and were served up to the HCPs during their normal use within the social network. Results were positive, yielding registrations for the CRM program that exceeded initial projections.

Building a Social Community

Veterinary products need to engage pet owners and veterinarians alike, and for the relaunch of a medication for dogs we used social media to address the consumer audience. Research showed that our target dog owners were socially active, looking for other pet owners, and desirous of sharing their own experiences. Although the brand didn’t have an official social presence, dog owners were having conversations about the brand in its absence. Demographic data analysis proved that our target audience was on Facebook and Instagram, and we moved forward to cultivate a community of like-minded dog owners, pulsing out a cadence of branded and unbranded content that would answer the audience’s needs. The results of our social strategy produced vibrant, engaged communities and helped define and shape an authoritative voice for our brand.

A Roadmap to Success

Success in social starts with research. Understanding your audience is crucial to any social campaign. What are their needs and pain points? How do they talk to each other? What are their behaviors? Who are their influencers? What are they saying about your brand? This information will help you build a framework for your content strategy and for the assets that you create to be disseminated in social channels.

Research where your target audience spends its time, and pursue only those social channels to start your campaign. Reassess periodically because social engagement, like everything else, can change over time.

Do a competitive audit to understand what, where, and how your competitors are pursuing social channels for their marketing efforts. Do a content audit to see what assets you can repurpose for social so you don’t have to start from scratch. Brush up on best practices. Review corporate social guidelines. Meet with med legal early to get their buy in. Develop a response plan in the event things don’t go exactly as planned.
Create a content calendar that spans across a period of time and keep it updated, understanding that it may need to be flexible. Listen to your audience and use those insights to develop more content.

Social media marketing can be a great way to help build positive customer engagement for brands with both HCPs and consumers. It’s an important channel in the overall marketing mix to boost business growth and gain engaged and loyal customers, which are the most import assets of any brand.(PV)


Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide — a WPP Health & Wellness company — is committed to creativity and effectiveness in healthcare communications, everywhere.
For more information, visit ogilvychww.com.

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