Reaching patients online requires a special approach. How can you deal with the guidelines that apply to drug promotion? And how can you achieve your goal and create something effective despite these restrictions? Every day, we look for ways to reach patient target groups for our clients. A good example is a disease awareness campaign. We design and manage such campaigns for medical indications, like diabetes or HIV, and therapeutical areas, such as dermatology and oncology across Europe. On this page we want to show some of the online marketing methods that we commonly use.
In summary, our methodology involves four steps:
1. We analyse the product, company, market, indication and target audience.
2. Based on the company’s objectives we determine the objective and select Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure progress.
3. Then we create an online marketing strategy that outlines the most effective channels and media for reaching the target audience and achieving the objective.
4. Together with the client we implement the strategy and monitor its effectiveness.
There are three essential phases when setting up an online campaign: research, strategy and concept.
Research During the research stage, we gain insights by examining the existing online environment. For instance, a pharmaceutical company is interested in establishing an online initiative for a particular illness together with a patient group. It is critical to determine the digital content already available on that disease to identify potential opportunities. Our research also uncovers the keywords used by the target audience in search engines. We assess which social media platforms the target audience is active on and whether they are appropriate for the campaign.
Strategy After the research, it is time to analyse the data, select the optimal channels, evaluate strategic considerations and apply relevant theoretical models. The duration of this phase depends on the scope of the project and client’s business objectives. Some clients prefer to build on an existing online strategy, while others prefer to develop a strategy from scratch. If we take the example above, the strategy will give us insights into the relevant channels for promoting a possible platform. For example, a patient community on Facebook, sponsored content on LinkedIn or native advertising on a website like Dokterdokter.nl. The strategy will also cover topics such as the appropriate tone of voice, type of visuals or how to make the potential website found on Google.
Concept In the concept phase, our designers begin with the visualisation of the campaign. They dive into the strategy and brainstorm ideas about the concept of the campaign. We usually discuss and develop different options to present to the client. This might involve a concept that is mainly informative or another one which plays on the patient's emotional side. Together with the client, we choose the best option, which we work out in full.
At Medical Digitals, we develop website platforms targeted to patients. Often, these platforms serve as the core component of online campaigns. Ads and promoted content serve to redirect the traffic to the website or specific landing pages on the platform. When it comes to developing websites, there are many options available. Here are a few examples:
Website focused on disease / therapeutical area / medication It is interesting for a pharmaceutical company, healthcare institution or medical device manufacturer to develop a landing page focusing on a specific disease, therapeutical area or indication. Such a platform is an excellent way to provide patients with reliable and relevant medical information. It also helps boost the visibility of treatment and awareness around a disease. Please get in touch with us for more detailed examples.
Corporate websites Life Sciences & Healthcare organisations might have outdated websites, non-user-friendly tools or have dead links. Moreover, local corporate websites may have to comply with global rules and limitations, making it difficult to update or easily optimise them. Despite these restrictions, we can still upgrade and enhance corporate websites while adhering to the necessary guidelines. There are often more options available than initially thought, and we can work with you to find the best solution.
We are also experts in optimizing your website and getting the most out of it.
Content on the website In addition to designing and building platforms, we also offer comprehensive content development services to ensure that the project runs seamlessly. Our team of copywriters and medical writers collaborate with designers, animators, and photographers to develop compelling content. This collaborative effort ensures that the content and design are fully integrated, resulting in a cohesive and effective final product.
High traffic & complex CMS: It is not uncommon for European online campaigns to experience a significant amount of traffic on a single domain. However, our team of experts and advanced systems can handle high traffic volumes without any issues. We have extensive experience working with complex Content Management Systems (CMS), including WordPress, Drupal, Umbraco, and Sitecore. Our skilled developers can easily adapt to new systems as well, ensuring that we can handle any project efficiently and effectively.
We specialise in tailoring textual and visual content to specific target audiences, such as patients. While medical professionals require the use of precise medical terminology, content intended for patients must be written in clear and easy-to-understand language. Avoiding jargon while conveying the right message and properly describing the treatment methods can be challenging. As experts in this field, we are well-versed in the applicable regulations and can develop patient content that adheres to them.
One example of patient content could be additional information on a pharmaceutical company's website, accessible through a login. For instance, an oncology patient could log in using a code received via email and access detailed information about their disease, treatment options, and tips on living with the condition. To ensure the content is easily comprehensible and visually engaging, we utilise various strategies, such as animated videos with clear explanations or infographics that simplify complex information.
Online copywriters & Medical writers We have a dedicated team of online copywriters and medical writers who work together to create text that is both medically accurate and engaging for the target audience. This is crucial in the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector, and we are well-equipped to handle it. Additionally, if needed, our team can include a search engine specialist to ensure that the text is optimised for Google. With this combination of expertise, we can produce high-quality content that meets both the medical and marketing requirements of your project.
Graphic design Our team of online designers takes charge of developing corporate identities, creating animated videos, and designing social media posts. They work closely on the project from the beginning, allowing them to comprehend the campaign's overall strategy and message. Using this information, they develop a visual style that aligns with the campaign's objective and apply it to the content as required.
Medical Digitals was founded in 2010, at a time when social media was still in its early stages. Only a few LSH companies were using social media as a marketing tool. However, as the years passed, the landscape changed dramatically. In today's online campaigns, social media has become almost indispensable. It plays a crucial role in connecting with patients, often serving as their first point of contact during the customer journey. Often, we guide patients from social media to a disease awareness website, campaign website, or landing page. Our ultimate goal is to generate conversions, which may include document downloads or online consultations with doctors, among other possibilities.
Social media strategy Developing a successful campaign requires a well-thought-out strategy. Achieving high engagement levels and user actions such as likes, shares, and clicks, requires thorough analysis of the target audience, campaign objectives, and available resources. At Medical Digitals, we believe that this analysis should be a collaborative effort between our team and the client, as the latter's knowledge and expertise are indispensable in providing relevant advice. Our strategists work closely with the client to identify the most appropriate channels, content types, visual style, tone of voice, and advertising methods to ensure the campaign's success.
Content creation for social media
Our content specialists keep up to date with the latest trends, legislation, and regulations on social media platforms, which are constantly evolving. However, the Life Sciences & Health sector is bound by strict rules, making it crucial for us to comply with them. This ensures that we can create effective social content that adheres to these rules and is suitable for the Life Sciences & Health sector.
As social media platforms continue to expand their capabilities with features like stories, carousel posts, and various media types, it is important to keep in mind that the Life Sciences & Health sector must adhere to strict regulations. Our team of content specialists stays up-to-date with the latest trends and regulations to ensure that the social content we create is not only engaging, but also compliant with the necessary rules and regulations.
Community management and web care
Our team provides community management and web care services to help you establish a connection with your target audience through social media. While it is true that social media allows every patient to respond to your published content, we see this as an opportunity to engage with them. Our community managers respond to questions and comments from the community in a spontaneous and substantive manner, making it more interactive. However, we always make sure we have received official approval before posting any reaction.
Moreover, we believe that having a webcare protocol for responding to comments and a social media protocol is crucial. The social media protocol outlines the process to be followed in the event of an adverse effect (AE) is being mentioned. We have created various webcare strategies and social media protocols for Dutch and European campaigns, which enable us to seamlessly align new protocols with the existing reporting process concerning adverse effects.
Influencer marketing This is a relatively new form of online marketing in the Life Sciences & Health sector. When conducting big international campaigns, we identify the influencers who are suitable for the project. We manage all the communication to explore a potential collaboration. Based on relevance and financial consideration, together with the client we choose the right influencers. Through our campaigns, we have observed first hand that messaging is better received and generates greater impact when delivered through an influencer.
To engage patients, sharing content at the right moment and using the right channel is essential. What if they don’t see the content? An online article, animation or social media post will obviously lose its value. Advertising, therefore, holds a significant position in an online campaign as it allows you to precisely target a specific audience through various available options.
Social advertising When we started our services, only a few Life Sciences & Healthcare companies were actively using social media. That has now changed dramatically. Today it is an essential link in reaching patients online. The variety of social media channels allows us to choose the preferred one considering the target audience, the message and the country where the campaign will take place. For example, LinkedIn is more of a professional channel, whereas Twitter is used for short and updated communications. Facebook became very popular for building patient group communities and Instagram is used mainly for targeting young audiences, focused on visual content. Social media advertising allows to create a dialogue between the patients and the LSH company. Moreover, these channels are important sources for website traffic and provide a lot of user data, which helps in creating personas and target the audience very precisely.
Google ads The fast-paced nature of the online world has led people to expect prompt responses to their queries. When scouring through Google's search results, patients are unlikely to explore beyond the first page. Hence, it is vital to ensure your content is displayed prominently on the initial page. This can be achieved through Search Engine Advertising (SEA). This form of advertising ensures your website appears above the organic search results. By conducting extensive keyword research, we can identify the specific search terms used by your target audience. Our team of experts is adept at crafting advertisements that comply with legal regulations while simultaneously obtaining optimal results. These campaigns will be continuously optimised by, for example, excluding non-relevant keywords or adding site links, high links extensions and other relevant information.
Native advertising Patients will consult different websites or information sources when researching a disease. Part of the revenue model of these websites is often native advertising: offering sponsored content which matches with the content of the platform on which it appears. Because the sponsored content resembles regular articles on the platform, the user experience is almost the same. This makes native advertising less ‘aggressive’ than other forms of advertising. Every day, we are in contact with medical platforms in our network. If native advertising is interesting for your campaign, we consult our database for a suitable platform.
Video ads Video advertising is a highly effective method of promoting products, services, or brands through visual content on YouTube. It can be leveraged at any point in the customer journey, to generate awareness and drive sales or revenue. Video ads come in various formats, including skippable or non-skippable ads that may appear before, during, or after a YouTube video. The former is typically longer, while the latter is designed to convey a concise, memorable message within a span of ten seconds. Due to YouTube's vast user base of over 2 billion people, video advertising has the potential to reach a wide audience. At Medical Digitals, we possess the expertise to craft compelling video ads, track their performance, and analyse the outcomes over time.
Display ads Banners are square or rectangular image- or video- based ads, usually displayed on third-party websites. These types of ads usually combine text, visuals and the URL to the desired website, but the final outcome can vary a lot. Banners can be static or dynamic, animated with a video or a GIF. They are intended for brand awareness and for sharing the right message to the audience. However they can be intrusive and therefore, the CTR and conversion rate is frequently low. Although might be negatively accepted by users at the beginning, if banners are persuasive, well-executed and targeted to the right people, they can help achieve the desired goals
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