Nov 21, 2022



Five Ways to Optimize Your Pharma Digital Marketing Approach

Your pharma digital marketing approach should continuously evolve as the industry shifts and consumer needs change. You can keep your strategy current and compelling by practicing these five tips.

Pharma digital marketing has become essential for engaging both patients and physicians. With in-person pharmaceutical rep visits on the decline and traditional sales tactics losing efficacy, marketers must adapt their approach to suit the pharmaceutical industry’s new normal. 

According to a study by the American Medical Association, healthcare professionals (HCPs) spend almost twice as much time perusing online resources like research websites than promotional brochures, physical medical journals, and other print-based media. Prospective patients are also more likely to engage with online healthcare content these days, which is good news for pharma marketers. 

However, your digital marketing approach will only be effective if you engage patients with the right ads in the right context at the right time. Otherwise, you risk connecting with patients too early, when they’re not compelled to take action, or too late, when they’ve already settled on a competitor’s brand.  

What should pharma marketing teams do to drive prescriptions effectively? Try these five tips to ensure your pharma digital marketing strategy stays successful, engages more commercially insured patients and high-value specialists, and drives new brand prescriptions.  

1. Harness the Power of SEO 

A Sistrix report found that the top three organic search engine results yield the highest average click rates, with nearly 30% of users clicking the first link. Your pharma brand must find a way to reach the top of as many search pages as possible to beat the competition in today’s digital age.

The best way to do this is by prioritizing search engine optimization (SEO) to grow brand awareness naturally. However, harnessing the power of SEO is more than just filling your blog posts with relevant keywords. It also involves curating a digital content marketing strategy that leverages educational multimedia resources, thought leadership articles, social media engagement, and optimized meta tags and descriptions to help your brand stand out in search.

2. Deploy Personalized Pharma Messaging at the Right Time

72% of online consumers respond favorably to personalized marketing campaigns tailored to their choices, including healthcare industry consumers. Generic messages aimed to appeal to broad audiences won’t work well long-term, especially since patients have very individual and unique healthcare needs. Dedicate some time to understanding your target audience and how they search for care.

Then, connect with patients at the time they’re most engaged. The patient journey last mile—the small window of opportunity between when a patient makes an appointment and talks to their doctor—is a critical touchpoint that pharma marketers must leverage. A recent Healthgrades study found that 46% of consumers research pharmaceutical treatment before talking to their doctor, so make sure your digital communications reach patients when treatment is top of mind. Display ads alongside condition information or run a pre-roll video ad campaign on a third-party site like Healthgrades before prospective patients search for a doctor. 

3. Leverage Insightful and Educational Content

Today’s patients are curious. Whether deep diving into condition information about their symptoms or investigating new treatments in preparation for their doctor’s appointment, prospects want digestible data in engaging formats to help them make the right healthcare decisions. Position ads for your pharma brand alongside reliable sources of rigorous, data-driven content to boost engagement.

Pharmaceutical companies earn respect from patients by being transparent and providing educational healthcare information—the same applies to physicians and specialists, as well! A 2021 Accenture study showed that 59% of clinicians needed real-time data and case studies to feel confident making pharma-based treatment decisions, so strive to be the healthcare guide they need.

Start by making product benefits, side effects, efficacy statistics, and condition management tips readily available for patients and physicians. Schedule webinars with leaders in the pharma industry, publish thought-provoking articles, and don’t forget to promote these ideas on social networks to generate excitement and traffic for your brand. 

4. Diversify Your Pharma Digital Marketing Approach

Marketing initiatives prioritizing organic traffic direct a steady flow of prospects to your pharma company, and paid media campaigns accelerate outreach efforts by putting your brand front and center. However, data shows that paid advertisements alone aren’t enough to sustain your marketing strategy. Many marketers devote a significant portion of their budget to Google Ads, for instance, but research shows that the average click rate for healthcare ads only hovers around 6%.

Combining the benefits of contextually relevant organic and paid advertising gives you a well-rounded pharma digital marketing approach that engages patients at any stage in their journey. For example, a pharmaceutical company focused on marketing medication for a heart condition may publish a listicle about general heart health wellness tips on their blog and pay to have a more specialized article placed in a niche heart health publication. A dual approach introduces more people to your brand.

5. Add a Doctor Directory to Your Site

After a patient researches a promising medication or treatment option, they’ll want to mention it to a doctor in the hope they will prescribe it. The problem is they may not always know who to go to. Pharma companies can step in here and make finding a doctor easier for patients. According to a 2022 consumer survey from Press Ganey, 89% of respondents said it would be helpful if  pharma brands offered a directory of HCPs so they could find and compare specialists to decide who’s right for them. 

With 47% of consumers visiting pharmaceutical websites to learn more about a specific prescription, it pays to build a website that caters to patient (and physician) convenience. Make it easy for prospects to complete their patient journey, and they’ll gain a newfound respect for your brand.

Revamp Your Pharmaceutical Digital Marketing Strategy with Healthgrades

These five tips are a great start, but a third-party healthcare advertising partner can turn your marketing goals into real results. Healthgrades offers marketing solutions that help you connect with high-value, commercially insured patients right before they meet with their doctor, maximizing the impact of your pharma digital marketing efforts.

Healthgrades is the #1 platform for finding and connecting with a doctor, and we give our users the confidence to take decisive steps to better health and find specialists they trust. Our Guided Physician Search offering, fully integrated into our high-quality medically reviewed content and your, helps patients find specialists while treatment is top of mind. We can also help you target the HCPs who matter most for your brand. Healthgrades reaches over 90% of active HCPs due to our unique data, content, and numerous access points, and partnering with us gives you a guaranteed way to boost engagement and drive incremental scripts.

Ready to transform your digital marketing strategy? Contact us today.