Sometimes it pays to be an 'early adopter' of innovation, even if it means going against the grain. Take handwashing, for example. Today, healthcare professionals simply can't promote it highly enough, and it's universally recommended in the medical community.
Because, despite stubborn resistance to the idea 150 years ago, the evidence clearly showed that it worked. It saved lives. Those who insisted otherwise ended up chowing down on a big slice of humble pie with a heaping side of strep.
Early advocates of handwashing knew only that it helped, but not why. But we don't have that problem when it comes to native healthcare advertising.
Not only do we know it works, we know why it works.
Taking a Fresh, Clean Look at Native Marketing Strategy
If you're familiar with the idea of an 'advertorial,' then you're in the ballpark when it comes to native advertising for the pharmaceutical industry.
The difference is value.
No matter where you go on the internet, you'll see a sketchy advertisement doing an empty-handed imitation of an editorial.
If you think it's bad now, it was far worse when they first came on the scene about 150 years ago. The openly deceptive mashups which passed for healthcare marketing at that time gave direct rise to today's advertising standards for pharmaceutical brands — and rightly so.
Instead, native advertising pairs genuinely useful, strategically developed content with a relevant advertisement.
Users are more likely to click through because it simply doesn't feel like they're being fed yet another ad. They see it as the next progression in learning more about your new Rx drug, medical device, or other innovation.
And the ad itself carries more weight because of the value they already experienced with the content, boosting HCP digital engagement for any pharma brand.
It makes them want to engage.
No matter whether it's on social media or any other digital channels.
There's a Reason Your Digital Engagement is Going Down the Drain
People don't like ads. Most are intrusive, distracting, and ultimately get ignored. Pharma brands that are still rocking display or banner ads are already behind the pack.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, and never more so than in pharma marketing.
67% of users are more likely to click on sponsored content such as a native ad instead of a banner ad, with 53% of consumers reading native ads over display ads.
Native ads drive a 64% lift in interactions across the full scope of digital marketing.
Native time-on-site is a whopping 74% higher than the industry benchmark.
How is this achieved?
Native ads incorporate a subtle branded element that seamlessly matches the feel, form, and function of the content they're paired with.
They take a topic your target audience is interested in, expand on it in an informative way, and use it to promote how your product or service can help them. This contextual, relevant content drives readers to take action.
Pharma Sales Dead in the Water?
As always, healthcare marketers seek ways to reach their audiences, patients, and physicians — but never more so than during uncertain times.
And despite offering literally life-changing messages, pharma companies have to compete for media space right alongside every other industry. Sponsored posts, media partnerships, and, yes, native ads are taking over much of the real estate of today’s mainstream news outlets for all markets.
The good news is that people are consistently at home and more digitally active now than ever, making the internet a great place to start the customer journey.
77% of patients start their healthcare journey online, beginning with a search engine. This action alone provides marketers huge opportunities to connect with patients or caregivers at the very start of the engagement cycle.
This opportunity is squandered if drug announcements, new devices, and patient stories lose the fight for attention and just cannot manage to be heard.
That's why it's crucial to have a strong social media strategy and innovative tactics that can cut through the noise.
Pharmaceutical Marketing Is Awash With Opportunity
With a proven track record of effective lead generation, native advertising is the perfect evidence-based digital solution to match your evidence-based healthcare solution.
Only 34% of agencies and even fewer healthcare marketers are taking advantage of this chance to pull ahead of the competition. You need to decide soon if you're going to be an early adopter or if you're just going to sit on your hands while your profits drip away.
Contact a Watson Clark expert to get started on your own native ads today and increase HCP engagement.