September 2022 - Medical Digitals

The success of a business page on social media in healthcare depends, among other things, on creating a concise, effective strategy. In addition to formulating objectives and choosing the right social media channel, other elements are important in a social media strategy. Read more about these elements in this blog.

Define a clear tone of voice 

If ten people describe the same story, you will most likely get ten different versions. This is also how it works when creating social media posts. To have similar brand recognition in your posts, it is necessary to formulate a tone of voice in advance.

Especially if multiple content creators of the organisation are involved in the business page. The tone of voice is not what you say but how you say it. Defining a clear tone of voice offers several advantages, such as:

  • It gives your brand a personality.
  • It differentiates your brand from the competition.
  • It inspires trust among your target audience.
  • It creates consistency in your messages.

 

A tone-of-voice consists of several aspects, for example:

  • Does the language used need to be formal? We advise you not to be too formal. This fits better with the standards of social media.
  • The use of technical terms. Should the content be understandable for everyone or only for medical specialists? Are the messages serious and businesslike, or is there also room for humour?
  • Emojis can be used to enhance a piece of text in a fun way.

A tone of voice can differ per channel. For example, a company page on LinkedIn often radiates a formal corporate identity. The tone of voice on this channel is usually businesslike and serious. This is in contrast to Instagram, where communication is often more light-hearted.

Create a recognisable visual style

Millions of people post a message on social media every day. This flood of content makes it increasingly difficult for companies to be visible. In order to stand out and create recognition, it is important for a company to develop a visual style. There are numerous ways you can develop your visual style.

Image use

The use of images is very important on social networks. Posts with only text communication score significantly less. They are seen less and receive fewer likes and comments. With the right images, you can create a brand experience that matches your company.

Provide a professional look by taking photos with a good camera. Of course, you can also use (free) stock photos. With stock photos, you risk that other organisations use the same material. Each social media platform has different image size specifications, so pay attention to this when creating social media posts.

Colours

Many companies have a corporate identity with one or a few colours that are reflected in all communications. By adding colour elements, such as accents or filters, to social media posts, you make the visuals match the corporate identity.

Logo

Make sure your logo is visible when you post a message. This is the element that is recognisable for your target audience. Your followers will see at a glance that the content comes from you.

A logo can be visualised in several ways. Many companies set their logo as a profile picture. This way, the logo is always visible when a message is posted. The logo can also be added to visuals. For example, see figure 1.

Text

Often the visual elements of a social media post are the first element followers watch. Some people even skip the text of posts when scrolling through their news feeds. You can therefore choose to also add text in the image.

For example, Novartis has designed a visual style where there is room for text in the visual. This increases the chance that the posts’ message will come across well to the target audience.

 

To ensure consistency, always use the same font. Most companies have a standard font that is used in all communications.

Create content themes and ensure consistency

A content theme is the umbrella name for social media posts that fall within a specific theme. The development of different content themes ensures variety, consistency and recognisability in the content. In addition, it provides a framework for creating social media messages. Examples of content themes are:

  • History of the organisation.
  • Information about products or projects.
  • Stories behind employees.
  • Atmospheric impressions on the work floor.
  • Breaking in with news and current topics.

Social media is no science. It’s not that you will find the formula one day and suddenly see a lot of results. You will only see results if you post content on a consistent and regular basis.

Set goals for how often you post content and how you will connect the target audience to your channel. Creating a content calendar is a very popular way to organise which content you will post in a certain period of time.

Stay in control with a social media protocol

What makes social media unique compared to other channels is its interactivity. As a company, you are not only sending information. Followers have the option to respond to messages or ask questions.

In some cases, this is a reason for Life Sciences & Health companies not to use social media. Because they’re unsure of how to answer difficult questions and possible reports of adverse events? We understand that there is uncertainty about this.

At Medical Digitals, we have experience in drawing up, implementing and optimising social media strategies for pharmaceutical companies that take a step to use social media. An important success factor for such a strategy is a clear, extensive and well-deployed protocol. A social media protocol describes how to act in certain situations. It guarantees that everything in these situations will go according to the agreed rules.

For example, a social media protocol for the pharmaceutical sector describes how to respond to comments on their social media channels and how the report of an adverse event should be approached.

In short: a social media protocol virtually removes all uncertainty when using social media. Everything is drawn up in advance so that a community manager is not faced with any surprises. Do you want to know more about a social media protocol and what it can do for your company? Do not hesitate to contact us.

Instantly generate a large reach with advertising

It takes a long time for an organisation to build an online community with many followers. That is why we advise promoting messages on social media consistently. Advertising is a way to reach a large part of your target group in the short term. In addition to a large reach, advertising ensures faster growth of the business page.

Medical Digitals uses a technique that makes it possible to target even more specifically than the regular options on, for example, Twitter or LinkedIn. We call this technique hyper-segmentation.

Twitter hyper-segmentation

Many healthcare professionals are active on Twitter. They like to use this channel to obtain information within their own field. They often follow Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in their industry to keep up with new developments.

Medical Digitals uses a technique in which we map out which KOLs, companies and news media are followed by an HCP on Twitter. With this method, it is possible to determine the person’s profession with great certainty. The technique is separate from the segmentation possibilities that social media channels offer themselves. An example in oncology:

  • One person follows FDA Oncology, Society of Surgical Oncology and Oncology Advance; three news sites about oncology.
  • This person follows two pharmaceutical companies active in the field of oncology.
  • This person also follows Gordon Freeman and Paolo Ascierto, two prominent oncologists.
  • Finally, this person follows other people with a similar area of ​​interest.

Based on this data, we conclude that this person is not only interested in oncology but is most likely active in this sector. In this way, Medical Digitals creates lists of relevant persons that we manually integrate in the “advertising interface” of Twitter or LinkedIn. This way, we reach very specific HCP target groups on the channels where they are active.

Medical Digitals has extensive experience setting up business pages for Life Sciences & Health organisations. Do you have questions about this blog, or do you need help setting up or optimising a business page on social media? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

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Test yourself with this checklist: Depending on the purpose of a campaign, social media could be the most helpful marketing channel for companies to reach their target audiences. Unfortunately, due to strict laws and regulations, pharmaceutical companies cannot simply decide to use these channels. Issues such as side effects must be reported on time. This article explains why a protocol is indispensable and what things you should pay attention to. We also included a checklist to check whether everything is included in your AE protocol.

Roles and responsibilities

A critical element within AE events monitoring is the proper definition and application of roles and responsibilities. It starts with establishing clear, framed descriptions and processes. For example, how do you deal with unavailable employees for a certain time? And do all employees have the right access? It is best to centralise the activities as much as possible to ensure consistency. This applies to your employees but also to agencies or other parties you collaborate with.

Checklist – Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Are roles defined and delineated?
  2. Are responsibilities defined and delineated?
  3. Does everyone have access to the proper channels (and no unnecessary access)?
  4. Is everyone involved in social media aware of which colleagues are monitoring AEs? Is there a replacement in case of illness or leave?
  5. Is the way of working (in the current situation) still as efficient and centralised as possible?
  6. Is it specified which channels/accounts are monitored? And for how long? Is there a specification per channel on how the monitoring takes place?

Laws and regulations

If you use social media, you should remember that your reach continues beyond national borders. We recommend documenting current laws and regulations and including country- and region-specific regulations. All employees who use or monitor social media on behalf of the organisation should be trained. As a result, they are aware of the applicable laws and regulations of the markets in which they operate. 

Checklist – Laws and regulations

  1. Are all laws and regulations documented and up to date?
  2. Is the potential reach of the channels deployed considered?
  3. Is there a training program? Has this been completed by all the involved employees?

Processes 

All processes need to be mapped out and described correctly. Are there examples of when an adverse event does or does not occur? Who should report an adverse event, where and in what way? Are there templates for responses to patients? Are there processes arranged to manage and track all social media channels, campaigns, pages, and advertisements? Appropriate monitoring is of great importance here.

Tools can help, but they are not foolproof. People responsible for monitoring AEs should not be lacking in their tasks. Even on weekends, AE monitoring should go on.

Checklist – Processes

  1. Are all possible processes clearly defined and established? Does all involved staff have access to the protocols?
  2. Are there relevant and current examples of when an AE does or does not occur? Is it clear who, where, and how to report an adverse event?
  3. Are there templates for responses to patients?
  4. Are there processes arranged to manage and track all (future) social media channels, campaigns, pages, and advertisements in sight?
  5. Is personal 24/7 monitoring in place?

Community

Community management and AE monitoring are closely linked. Therefore, it should always be described in the AE protocol. Different people responsible for community management and AE monitoring should be aware of each other’s work. This way, you can turn threats into opportunities for AE monitoring and more general questions.

Checklist – Community

  1. Is there a community management protocol, or is it included in the AE protocol? Are AE managers and community managers aware of each other’s work?
  2. Is there contact/synergy between AE managers and community managers?

Privacy

When reporting AE notifications, you have to process personal data. Therefore, the privacy of the reporter must be protected. To do so, you must comply with the WBP and GDPR. If personal data is no longer needed, it must be deleted. Shared data should always be encrypted. 

Checklist – Privacy

  1. Is the privacy of the AE reporter ensured in accordance with the WBP and GDPR? Is personal data that is no longer required deleted?
  2. When data is shared, does it follow protocols (for example, encrypted by email)?
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Social media has become an integral part of every company’s marketing- and communications strategy. This is no different for the Life Sciences & Health sector. It can be used for a wide variety of objectives, like creating disease awareness or sharing information about medical conditions. In this blog, we discuss 7 ways social media can be used in the Life Sciences & Health sector.

Increase (brand) awareness

Given the amount of active social media users in the Netherlands, it is the ideal channel to generate awareness for a medical condition or a brand. You can share relevant content with your target audience or build a patient community. Likes, shares and comments from your followers will make sure that your content will be spread amongst other people as well. If you do not have a large number of followers yet, social advertising can help you get more followers or a larger reach. With an advertisement of 100 euros on social media, you can easily reach thousands of healthcare professionals, patients or other stakeholders. In addition to a large reach, advertising ensures faster growth of your business page.

Reputation management

Reputation management means constantly monitoring all messages that could influence a person’s perception of your company, product or sector. This also includes taking appropriate actions if certain things are said. In addition to monitoring and responding to messages, you can also use social media to inform your target audience about your positive impact on the world.  

Thought leadership

Thousands of healthcare professionals use LinkedIn and Twitter daily to stay informed or read interesting articles in their field. In addition to this, they discuss relevant topics with their colleagues online. Because LinkedIn and Twitter are being used for professional development this much, these are important channels for distributing content, like webinars or whitepapers. This is a great way to show that your company is an authority in its field and you understand the information needs of the target audience.

Interact with the target audience

Social media is not only intended to send information. On the contrary, the short communication lines make room for interaction. By monitoring other people’s content, responding to comments daily and participating in discussions, an organisation can show its interest in the target audience. If done properly, you will build a relationship with your followers! This will improve the number of likes, comments and shares on the business page.

Generate website traffic

A website is often the centre of the online marketing machine. The target audience ends up on the website through various platforms. For many companies, social media is one of the most important channels. You can generate website traffic from social media is by creating a post with a preview on the social channel of choice, and then linking to your website. Key here is to trigger your target audience’s curiosity.

Lead generation

As we described above, social media is ideal for generating website traffic. But you can also use it for lead generation. For this, you will need a lead magnet: a piece of content that represents a certain value for the target group. This can be anything, from whitepapers, e-learnings or webinars, to infographics or tutorials. Some social platforms, like LinkedIn, also offer in-platform lead generation options. This way, your target audience does not have to leave the platform, and you don’t have to create a landing page.

Employer branding

Employer branding roughly consists of two parts: making/keeping current employees enthusiastic and attracting new talent. For example, by posting messages on social media about satisfied employees (interviews, testimonials, quotes, etc.), current staff feels heard, and employees feel that they belong to a larger whole. In addition, social media (especially LinkedIn) offers various options for attracting new talent.

 

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Content must be attractive and add value to the target audience in order to create an impact. This is true for every sector, including in the Life Science and Healthcare field. Since Healthcare Professionals do not have an endless amount of time and are overwhelmed by information, medical advertising needs to be clear and precise.

Why medical writing for marketing purposes?

Medical copywriting provides informative medical content to Healthcare Professionals in a snackable way, which seems essential for digital marketing in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector. It is the most effective way to increase the interaction with your organisation, product or treatment. Information can be transferred to HCPs according to the different customer journey phases while maintaining accuracy on the medical content. The goal can be from creating awareness about a new product or medical indications to encouraging HCPs to take a certain action. This can be anything from downloading, creating an account, signing up for a newsletter, requesting a brochure or registering for a webinar.

The content should always be relevant and up to date to be sustainable. Moreover, being accurate with the concepts and the topics also contributes to findability in search engines as well as improving the online image of an organisation or product.

Medical content for healthcare professionals

Medical content for HCPs can be shared through different channels. For instance, through (approved) e-mail, a private LinkedIn group, a downloadable whitepaper, or a gated website. The latter is also known as a professional platform, where HCPs can sign-up with their BIG registration number. In case the content is published on public websites, favourable for the Google search position, the laws and regulations around the promotion of medication and treatment must be considered.

Medical content for patients

Medical content written for patients and their families can be published on a gated patient platform. Here, the patient can log in with a password provided by the doctor or the corresponding LSH company. Medical content about treatment options can also be published on a public website. Laws and regulations around promoting medication and treatment also apply to a public platform. This content will always be objective and descriptive.

Style and storytelling

Style and composition of the content are key. The tone of voice needs to align with the client’s communications while keeping good readability and interest for the audience. Medical content should be informative and reliable, engaging with the reader and encouraging him or her to take an action. Storytelling is a powerful tool to convey a message. Important information is communicated by guiding the audience through an exciting story or examples of previous experiences.

What characterises a good medical copywriter?

Writing content for HCPs requires a special medical background. This is the only way a copywriter can develop content that meets the information needs of the HCP. The challenge for pharma and medical device marketers is that distributed content is stimulating and at the right medical level.

A competent medical copywriter knows the latest developments, is able to perform research and finds reliable scientific sources required for content creation. They understand scientific and technical information and know how to convert it into good, catchy medical content. The collected resources are processed and referenced appropriately. The content will be developed according to what is required for the chosen channels and will be aligned with the campaign and the project’s end goal.

Why choose Medical Digitals for medical writing?

At Medical Digitals we combine the expertise of our online marketers (experienced in Life Science & Healthcare field) with the expertise of copywriters with a medical background. The latter will create the piece based on the research previously performed. During these last years, we have covered several therapeutic areas, such as oncology, virology, cardiology, and rare diseases. Afterwards, the online marketers will adjust the text if needed, improving the flow, tone of voice, length and optimise it for search engines if needed. This way of working ensures that the final piece has relevant content and can engage the target audience.

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A lead magnet within LSH is website-provided content targeted to HCPs or patients in exchange for contact
information. Examples of frequently used lead magnets include gated content, e-learnings,
webinars, animations, infographics, tutorials or free trials. The purpose of a lead magnet is
usually to generate new business.

The lead magnet should be relevant and problem-solving for the target audience. Only
then is there enough added value to convince the prospect to submit some contact information, at least name and email address. By obtaining this opt-in / consent, the
first target has been achieved.

Opt-ins generated through a lead magnet arrive at the top of the funnel. These are ‘marketing qualified leads’, the prospect is looking at the topic and might be interested in related ones.
If the prospect is interested in your product or service, by properly nurturing the leads, these can be converted to ‘sales qualified’.

The success of lead magnets is not only determined by obtaining contact details.

Why is a lead nurturing flow important?

Warming up your leads is called lead nurturing. This can be done through relevant flows of
follow-up activities and messages, based on the original lead magnet.
This increases the conversion rate to the bottom of the sales funnel. Ultimately, the goal is to prepare the prospect to receive more information about your
organisation and product/services, by having multiple touchpoints before your sales
team takes over.

If you skip this process, it will likely ruin your effort into the lead magnet. Therefore, marketing
teams are responsible first before giving the sales team approval to reach out.

Using marketing automation tools for your workflows

Lead nurturing workflows can be fully automated by using automation tools. This allows you to
efficiently organise a series of sequential interactions. For instance, by using an automated flow of email
marketing or follow-ups through other (social media) channels. Some of the most popular marketing automation tools used in LSH are ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, Salesforce
and Marketo. Some of these also feature more advanced inbound marketing features, such
as content management systems.

Email marketing remains a powerful method for warming up prospects in Life Sciences & Health.
You can get attention without imposing yourself, which is more likely to happen when cold calling is applied.
In addition, the recipient can decide for him or herself when to take a look at the information. Follow-up activities in your lead nurturing strategy can be triggered based on the
interaction with the content. Extra insight is obtained into the interactions due to the automation
tools. This enables the marketer to optimise the flow.

Prospects that have gone through the flow eventually end up being ‘sales qualified’. By now, they
are more familiar with the organisation and its services. Sales will also know exactly through
which magnet and follow-up interactions the lead came in. The use of generated insights into the buyer’s
journey results in better conversion.

Lead scoring

To measure the quality of incoming leads, marketing automation tools give a score to each
prospect. This score is based on the number of interactions the prospect has had during the
marketing process. When a prospect has gained a certain number of points, it is transferred to
the sales team.

A prospect can be qualified as a ‘warm lead’ when it has interacted with multiple assets. These
would typically be; emails, webinars and your website. In some cases, there are specific interactions that can instantly mark a lead as sales qualified. For example if the prospect filled in a specific request form (e.g. sample/quotation). As long as there are no interactions, the
prospect is considered to be a ‘cold lead’.

Audience segmentation

Based on the data that marketing automation tools collect, segmentation can be applied within the
target group. These different subgroups are then targeted with the most relevant marketing
strategy. The segmentation of the target groups can be done based on location, the pages
visited or other characteristics. Then, buyers’ journeys can be personalised based on the
audience segment. This creates a better customer experience overall.

Benefits of marketing automation

Marketing automation helps you ease marketing efforts and provide results based on a continuous flow of marketing activities. We have listed down a few points explaining the benefits of marketing automation.

    • More insight into your prospects through a central database: Marketing automation tools use a central database. This gives you more insight into the communication with the (new) prospects. It also helps you build your own database that you can always fall back on. Based on these insights, you optimise the buyer’s journey from opt-in to customers.
    • Closer collaboration between marketing and sales: Usually, the marketing department is responsible for supplying leads and then sales take over. Marketing automation tools provide insight into the entire buyer’s journey. This makes it easier to determine the right moment for sales to get in touch with the prospect and to discover and solve pain points during this handover. The closer collaboration brings marketing and sales together and creates a valuable sales funnel, better conversion rates and overall communications in a similar tone of voice.
    • Ready for the future: Due to continuous technological development, more and more processes and tools are suitable for automation. Its importance is described as follows:

– Saves time

– Tailored journey

– Nurturing

– Data insights

– Data management

– Better results

Looking to implement marketing automation?

The experienced digital marketing specialists at Medical Digitals are happy to help you create
and optimise your lead generation processes. Do not hesitate to contact us. Mail to
info@medicaldigitals.com or call +31 (0)20-3080208

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