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Pharma Content Marketing: Why It’s Important

Published Feb 2, 2019

The pharmaceutical and healthcare industries have been one of the last to embrace content marketing. If you’re in the industry, you know what we mean. Due to stringent FDA requirements, lengthy legal reviews and evolving regulations, it’s easy to feel paralyzed with uncertainty about how to proceed. While advertising and social media are challenging hurdles to overcome, pharma content marketing can be an effective strategy to help brands build trust and reputation.

In this post, we’ll explain why pharma content marketing is so important and identify some key strategies to implement right away.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a digital strategy focused on creating material, such as blogs, videos, infographics, white papers, etc., that is relevant for the audience. Ideally, the content will be used to bring more awareness to a brand, generate attention (and leads) and gain trust (repeat business).

Different from advertising, content marketing allows a brand to educate prospects with relevant and valuable information.

The Rx for Pharma Content Marketing

Rx for Pharma Content Marketing

Let’s unveil some key takeaways for pharma companies to implement in their own content strategy.

The main goals? Increase awareness and gain trust with customers.

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Identify with Patients

Empathizing with customers should be at the core of any pharma content marketing plan. Patients need to feel like your pharmaceutical company understands their pain points, rather than being “sold” or lectured on a prescriptive solution. It’s not always about being the teacher, rather, it must be a more engaging communication style that the consumer feels safe about.

You’ve probably heard before that people don’t buy your product, they buy your brand. Your prospects don’t care about your product as much as they care about finding answers.

Your content should aim to provide the perfect solution.

Pharma companies must shift their thinking from “all about us” to “all about the customer.” This means delivering helpful content that resonates directly with your audience when they’re looking for a solution. In return, you gain their attention, and most importantly, their trust.

The purpose of content marketing is to build relationships and to get your audience to trust you first and then remember you when the time comes for a purchasing decision.

But, in order to put their needs first, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of who they are. Define your buyer persona.

Guess what? With the vast insights you already have on demographics, symptoms, behaviors, likes, and more – targeting your audience has never been easier. This makes developing hyper-relevant information a no brainer. The inherent, in-depth patient profile you already have provides a unique opportunity to generate useful content. Content that would help someone who is really suffering, educate caregivers about an illness or inspire a patient to take action.

As a scientific individual, you should appreciate this trend.

Take A Multichannel Approach

Pharma companies can no longer consider content marketing as optional. According to a report by Nielsen’s Global Trust In Advertising, people tend to trust editorial content over ads placed on TV, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines.

Armed with the right analytics, content marketing provides vast “beyond-the-pill” opportunities for companies to strategically connect with their audience.

Wherever they may be.

This means gathering the insights you need to find them first. Whether that’s through search (ex: keyword specific whitepapers or blogs), email (ex: newsletters), social media (ex: LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), or YouTube (ex: educational videos), your audience is waiting. Meet them there.

Get Ambassadors On Board

Today, brand ambassadors and influencers typically get more attention than traditional advertising. Why? They have a strong influence and emotional tie with their followers. People read their posts, watch their stories, listen to their vlogs. These ambassadors can be storytelling patients or trusted advisors such as physicians.

Patient stories are very powerful. For example, an ex-smoker, who is very active on social media, can help call attention about their journey to quit smoking and report about his/her experience using a certain smoking cessation product to followers.

Brand loyalty is where pharma companies can really benefit.

Define Your Voice

content marketing

Every day, consumers are being bombarded with content across so many different channels. How do you ensure you stand out and rise above the noise? How do you differentiate your content from all the rest?

Your brand is unique. Define and embrace your voice.

Take content marketing for CBD oil, or even cannabis, for example. As more states move to legalize marijuana, opportunities are opening up for pharma brands to market these products online. But, it’s a very tricky hurdle (that comes with lots of red tape) for advertisers to overcome. Digital sources, such as Google and Facebook, have tough regulations when it comes to advertising cannabis.

That’s where branding and content marketing can be helpful for organic reach.

People are curious about the all the buzz, no pun intended. Become the industry expert by creating compelling content that engages your audience about the product, educates them about legalization and shines it in the best light possible. Fortunately, a cannabis pharma brand can create content on their website and use SEO strategies to help their improve their reach.

No matter what your niche is, if you’re a genuine and honest brand, customers will trust you and then turn to you when they’re ready to make decisions. Not only that, but trust also builds the most coveted marketing method of all time – word of mouth.

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Plan Ahead

Before you begin working on any content, you must define your goals and content strategy. Lay it out in an editorial calendar – this not only saves time and sanity by helping you stay organized with your message, but will also help you to quantify your results later on down the road.

Fresh content can include anything from:

  • Informational blogs
  • Instructional articles that offer a simple fix to a problem
  • Lists that breaks down a complicated topic into a more digestible form
  • Interviews with specialists or consumers
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Tips and tricks that inspire and engage your community
  • Case studies
  • Ebooks
  • Email newsletters
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Dynamic content
  • Web page copywriting

By setting the stage right from the start, you can focus on building content specifically to meet benchmarks along the way.

Make it Relevant

One of the main goals of pharma content marketing is to increase your organic traffic, which can be amplified using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. But, it’s not enough to publish a 2,000 word blog filled with lots of keywords and information. It not only has to be credible and validated, it has to be written in a way your audience will easily digest, relevant and fulfill a need.

Their needs.

Content marketing opens the doors to new and effective ways to push your message out and answer the questions your customers are searching…before they have a chance to ask.

Just leave the complicated jargon and sales speak out of it.

Understand Rules and Regulations

This is what holds pharma brands back the most. Knowing that compliance review can take some time to complete, factor this into your editorial calendar so that time sensitive content is ready to go when you need to post it.

In the content, it’s important to consider approved writing guidelines, watch out for absolute statements and always track sources. Once the copy has been approved, do not make any changes.

Though the process may seem tedious, it’s critical in order to avoid legal issues.

Stay Consistent

No matter what industry we’re talking about, you can’t expect to see results overnight. Content marketing for pharma is a long-term investment. As long as you’re generating a continuous flow of relevant content that speaks directly to your audience, you’ll also experience long-term gains.

We’re talking consistency with publishing, style and voice. Don’t try to be like anyone else. The internet is inundated with information, yours needs to stand out.

Don’t Get Lost in the Mix

pharma industry

The pharma industry is rapidly evolving. Content marketing can help get your message out to the right audience…at the right time.

Ready to gain valuable brand awareness through content marketing?

At CMDS, we have extensive experience working with pharma and healthcare brands nationwide. From content marketing to SEO, our experts know how to navigate this challenging space. Give us a call at 732.706.5555 or fill out this online form to speak with a strategist today.

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