The pharma sector is facing an increasingly informed and demanding audience in terms of quality and transparency. Content marketing is the ideal way to showcase the expertise of your pharma organization, inform, and educate your prospects, but above all, stand out from the competition.
What is content marketing in the Pharma sector?
Content marketing in pharma is a strategy that helps healthcare professionals and end-users get informed through online content. This content is health-focused and can take many forms such as blog posts, videos, quizzes, infographics, podcasts, etc. Content marketing in the pharmaceutical industry has many benefits including improving brand awareness, increasing engagement, and building customer loyalty.
If used effectively, it can be one of the most effective marketing strategies you can leverage as a pharmaceutical organization, regardless of size or specialty.
Why having a content strategy in the Pharma industry is important?
Beyond simply trying to adapt to the way today’s customers buy, creating a digital sales strategy has a multitude of benefits. Most obviously, it allows manufacturers and distributors to engage with customers who were previously out of reach. Digital sales channels offer a unique opportunity to expand, whether into new geographies or new segments. It allows to reinvent, redefine, revolutionize the customer experience, and improve the productivity of pharma salespeople.
Internet users are essentially people who are looking for information and reassurance, especially when it comes to their health. Providing them with highly informative content will help them make appropriate decisions. Patients almost automatically turn to the Internet to seek information and learn about a drug or treatment. Content marketing is about meeting their needs with clear, consistent, and reliable information.
To provide educational content regularly, nothing is more effective than maintaining a blog with interesting information for your targets. As for social networks, they are useful for building strong relationship with patients. They allow you to continue the conversation with them beyond your point of sale, giving answers to their questions and taking their opinions into account.
Content marketing in the pharma sector is a compelling way to help drive the healthcare industry forward in an era where competition is tougher than ever. This is especially true with the ever-increasing access to generic drugs and digitalized purchasing (whether by hospital purchasing managers or others).
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How do you create an effective content strategy for the Pharma industry?
The idea of developing a content strategy for your healthcare business may seem daunting at first. To get started with an effective content strategy, we recommend breaking it down into the following steps:
Evaluate your current situation and determine your goals:
The first step is to determine the goal you want to achieve with your strategy so you know what your intended return on investment is. What are the challenges you are trying to overcome with this strategy? What is the desired outcome? How much of your healthcare company’s marketing budget will be allocated to content? Which stakeholders are involved or need to be informed?
All these questions will help you see the big picture when implementing your editorial strategy.
Identify your audience:
Before you embark on creating your content, we recommend identifying your target audience.
Our experts often talk about buyer personas. These typical profiles are an indispensable starting point when creating your marketing campaigns. They will help you identify your customers’ needs and the best way to meet them.
To create your buyer personas, you can use the following criteria:
- Demographic information: age, gender, the city where your patients live, etc.
- Professional position of your customers: are they CEOs, decision-makers, employees, freelancers, etc.?
- Social characteristics: income, family situation, budget, etc.
- Their consumption behaviors: the communication channels they use (email, social networks, etc.), their interests, and also their consumption habits.
Create a roadmap for your content and messaging:
Once you’ve established marketing goals, success criteria, and personas, you can start planning your content and organizing it according to its role in the sales funnel. What is your message to each persona at each stage of the sales funnel?
Your sales funnel is generally composed of 4 stages: visibility, interest, decision, and purchase. At the beginning of the sales funnel, you need to make your brand visible, for example by being present on search engines for a particular query. Then you need to pique the consumer’s interest by establishing your expertise and gaining their trust. The further down the tunnel you go, the closer you get to a conversion. It’s all about encouraging the decision (e.g., with special offers), and then finalizing the purchase with measures that simplify the process for the consumer (a quick appointment, free follow-up, etc.).
Determine which communication channels and media to use:
Depending on the stage of the sales funnel you want to target, you can use communication media that will help you in your content strategy. Thus, you can divide the different communication formats like this:
- Blog posts: they are particularly useful to optimize your SEO and make you visible at the first stage of the sales funnel. They are also useful in the second stage, as they allow you to demonstrate your expertise and present your healthcare services to your target audience.
- Infographics: they are especially useful for the first two steps of the tunnel. These formats are very popular on social networks and a good way to boost your visibility.
- Newsletters: a lead who subscribes to your newsletter has already shown an interest in your healthcare company. Creating a newsletter is therefore more effective for the second to last step of the tunnel. You can use it to introduce new services, offer discounts, special offers, etc.
- Landing pages: they are also an element used further down the tunnel. You can use them to propose CTAs and highlight offers.
Create your editorial calendar and communication plan:
Once your content strategy is in place, we can move on to planning the editorial calendar and communication plan. These two elements allow you to define your editorial line, organize the types of content, and prepare the distribution and production of content.
An editorial calendar is a tool that will help you identify and plan the production of your content. It will allow you to distribute responsibilities between the different teams and define deadlines for the creation of your blog articles, infographics, newsletters, posts on social networks, etc. The editorial calendar is often presented in an Excel spreadsheet format, but you can also use dedicated project management tools such as Trello for example.
As for the communication plan, it allows you to plan the distribution of your different contents according to the desired channels and dates.
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Some tips for a successful healthcare content strategy
1. Share real-life experiences:
Many companies put too much emphasis on themselves in their publications at the expense of their customers. Companies that adopt this strategy forget the first rule of content marketing: the client should always be the focus of the company. Every post should provide at least one solution to a problem the user is facing. So, if you only focus on your products and services, the users will be less engaged with your content and your sales will suffer.
2. Embrace interactivity:
Interacting with your audience is at the heart of engagement. While sharing articles, blogs, and videos is a great way to inform and engage your audience, you can take it to the next level with interactive media like social media. These tools are ideal for creating a close relationship with your audience by answering their questions and interacting with them at any time.
3. Set and monitor your KPIs:
One of the main reasons why a content strategy is ineffective is often related to the fact that you don’t monitor your KPIs. These indicators will allow you to optimize your content according to its performance and make the necessary improvements.
4. Create consistent and contextually relevant content:
With current events constantly changing, companies operating in the healthcare industry need to craft their content based on the context and news of the moment. Responding to an important event (the discovery of a new treatment for example) in the form of a blog can be part of your content strategy. It is essential to promote these blogs across all channels on the day of the event to maximize engagement when it is still relevant.
Today’s clients often express their need to access more educational and inspiring health content to be accompanied and reassured in every step concerning their health. It is, therefore, necessary for healthcare players to support these needs with innovative practices centered on content marketing.
If you are a company operating in the pharmaceutical sector and you want to implement a content strategy, our specialized content marketing teams can make a real difference. Please contact us to learn more.
Do you want to implement a successful content strategy and achieve your business objectives?