Digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry can transform the way how brands communicate with customers, increase transparency, engage, and grow.
Digital marketing is critical for all businesses who want to thrive in this digital age. Advertising on digital platforms such as Facebook, Google, Bing in pharma, and healthcare is expected to rise to $10 billion by 2020.
This ad spend is 13% more than what businesses are currently spending.
This is an obvious indication that more and more businesses are going online to promote their pharmaceutical products and services.
In this post we cover all the pharmaceutical digital marketing strategies that will enable your marketing team to up skill and beat your competition.
With the advancements in information sharing platforms, consumers have 24/7 access to information, health resources, health records, always in their pockets and wrists.
Healthcare is also one of the last industries to go digital as it accounts for only 2% of total U.S. digital advertising spends.
SEO for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Search engine optimization is a core pillar for any industry. SEO for Pharmaceutical is no different as it will take massive amount of keyword rich content to rank for pharma-specific keywords.
By focusing your energy into SEO, you can stay ahead of your competition.
There will be many other pharmaceutical companies trying to market the same products under a different brand name.
Here are some SEO tips and digital marketing strategies for Pharmaceutical companies:
- Focus on long-tail keywords that are relevant to your products. E.g. “chronic headache medications,” “chronic migraine treatment,”” chronic migraine symptoms.”
- On-Page optimization: Make sure every page is fully optimized in terms of titles, meta descriptions and relevant keywords so that Google understands your pharma brand.
- Backlinks: Aim to get relevant industry-specific backlinks from trusted resources, publications, blogs to increase pharma brand authority.
Here are 10 powerful Search Engine Optimization tips video that is applicable to any pharmaceutical blog and business website:
Customer-Focused Content and Pharmaceutical Digital Marketing
Content drives engagement, builds the relationship, and attracts the attention of your prospects. This same is true when it comes to pharma digital marketing.
Selling a pharma product is challenging because of the complex nature of the information involved in the product specifications.
By simplifying the content such as product descriptions using rich media, infographics, videos, interactive elements, you can create customer-focused content.
Complex content like safety data sheets, consumer guides, product manuals, physician manuals can be converted to a simple format for marketing purpose.
Make sure that the website has all the required content a physician or the patient would need.
The product pages should be optimized to include recommended dosages, risks, trial data, and the information should be displayed in a user-friendly manner.
Some other ways to promote pharmaceutical products are through your website:
• Blogs –
• Customer testimonials
• Research papers and statistics
• Industry Media Coverage – Reports
Data Visualization and Virtual Care for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Pharmaceutical companies can make use of how how the information is communicated and share with their customers and partners.
Making use of data visualization will be critical to explain complicated concepts, enhance patient data analysis, medication implementation and treatment process.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemics there has been an increase in virtual care and it goes to show how pharmaceutical companies need to adapt to this change.
On-demand assistance, 24/7 virtual care and app based treatment will become the new norm and how patients will be treated.
Social Media Marketing for the Pharmaceutical Industry
You can reach new and existing customers using social channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and similar other networks.
Patients are going online, mainly social media to gather information about treatments for their health conditions, learn from other experience, research about potential solutions, and gain confidence by reading stories and testimonials.
These channels are great to educate your potential customers by sharing informational content, short explainer videos, and bridge the gap between your brand and customer knowledge.
Since Facebook and other such platforms are strict in terms of selling pharmaceutical products, you can use social media to build an audience, promote research articles, statistics, general content, and increase social engagement.
Virtual Reality(VR) and Artificial Intelligence for pharmaceutical companies
Virtual reality has become an integral part of businesses and consumers. It makes total sense for pharmaceutical companies to use this highly engaging technology to bridge the gap between businesses, patients and customers.
Major pharma brands use chatbots to improve their marketing communications and reduce their follow up time when they get an enquiry.
AI powered chatbots can improve efficiency, answers patients quickly and enhance the customer experience.
Digital Advertising for the Pharmaceutical Industry:
Pay Per Click Advertising for the Pharmaceutical Industry
PPC has always been one of the most effective types of advertising, but when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, it is an entirely different ball game.
Selecting pharma related keyword is a challenge because brands need to follow advertising regulations, ads, and destinations follow the appropriate laws and industry standards.
There are restrictions on advertising certain healthcare-related content, and some require certification and approval by local country authorities.
Here is a handy resouce to find examples of healthcare content that is allowed, country-specific restricstions and policies
Best practices for the pharmaceuticals brands to run Google Ads:
• Read the guidelines for healthcare and medicine advertising
• Determine if your product or service is allowed on Google’s advertising platform
• Read about the laws, regulations, guidances on prescription drug marketing
• Review the legality of your ad copy
• Determine if you are a pharmaceutical manufacturer and if so, must become certified with Google for digital advertising. Apply for healthcare-related advertising Here
• Do not advertise unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements
Facebook Ads and Social Media Advertising for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Pharma brands needs to be present on Facebook because that’s where their customers are!
Facebook advertising platform provides exceptional targeting options, massive audience, super-easy advertising interface, and many great features.
Facebook has worked hard to make promotions more pharma-friendly. It has allowed drug makers to turn off comments on pages, build community pages for engagement, more interest targeting options.
Things to consider from when running ads on Facebook:
Platforms like Google and Facebook have certain restrictions when it comes to marketing pharmaceutical products.
• Comply with local laws and industry regulations if you plan to run ads for an online pharmacy, over the counter drugs or prescription pharmaceuticals.
• Some cases require pre-approval / authorization from Facebook. So plan on this and get approval from Facebook to run ads on certain restricted content.
• Do not include any BEFORE/AFTER type images. They don’t get approved by Facebook.
Here are some creative ways to use Facebook for Pharma marketing:
• Start by educating about your products and services, build excitement, and engage with your audience.
• Share general health tips on company Facebook Page. This will help you build an audience that you can later use for re-targeting.
• Share press and media coverage. This builds credibility and trust.
• Be more transparent by clarifying safety, warnings, recalls, and critical updates from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
• Provide an opportunity to talk to health experts. You can go LIVE, run webinars, conduct panel discussion, or invite a pharmacy technician.
Facebook Interest Based and Audience Targeting Tips:
• Create a buyer persona to find out who your clients are, demographics, interests, and behaviors.
• Conduct a survey to existing customer to understand their internet usage, buying pattern and likes/dislikes
• Use the data collected from the survey to refine your interest-based targeting ads.
• Create a custom audience based on people interacted with your website
• Run remarketing campaigns to target your website custom audience.
• Scale your campaign by creating a lookalike audience.
Customer personalization will help brands to stand apart from the competition, increase engagement, and close the loop between data and conversion.
Brands need to deliver individualized content to pharma recipients through data collection, analysis, and the use of automation technology.