Pharma desperately needs a content marketing strategy

IN SUMMARY: Online health seekers are largely on their own when it comes to health content. Pharma has the opportunity to engage online health seekers via a customer-centered content strategy but it requires a realignment of processes within the organization.

I’m not a big fan of content marketing for most CPG brands. Consumers are overwhelmed with website content and usually, don’t have the time to read content on “new uses for pasta sauce” but online health seekers are different.

Online health seekers and those with chronic health problems rely on Dr. Internet to provide them with the information they need to make critical healthcare treatment decisions. By implementing a content strategy pharma sites can become the first choice for online health seekers thus strengthening the brand.

I recommend that all pharma brands reach out to their thought leaders to write content for their product websites. People love reading content from HCP’s and as long as the information is not a “hard sell” it should help keep online health seekers in your site longer.

The other great tactical advantage of a good content strategy for pharma is that you can promote content on social media without the need for fair balance. For example, Dr. Smoth, a leading diabetes physician, talks about the relationship between weight and diabetes”.

Having great content is also going to position your website for improvement in search and in other online analytics.

The biggest obstacle, for pharma, in deploying a content strategy is that the processes to get the content online is usually antiquated. There are approvals that are needed, website content entered and then testing and validation before the content goes live. This is why processes have to be changed.

I developed a content management system that integrated with our website flawlessly. Content would be entered and automatically sent to M L R teams for approval before going live. The user could even move it to a staging area for testing before going live. The result of this tactic was startling. The content, written by top physicians, was always among the top pages viewed and repeat visitors also increased. We tweeted the content which also had great metrics in driving traffic.

Processes should align around users, not the other way around. A good content strategy can bring pharma closer to online health seekers and isn’t that one of your objectives.