Explore five core marketing tips on how to successfully engage healthcare professionals throughout their content journeys.
Healthcare professionals (HCPs) are very particular about their content consumption. Professionally, they require accuracy, honesty, and appropriate context. What’s more, 73% of HCPs do not have enough time to read all the professional content they want, according to a recent Wolters Kluwer survey*.
Content marketers must apply a tailored approach if they hope to drive engagement with their products. Fortunately, HCPs acknowledge the necessity of industry-sponsored messaging found in journals or other professional publications. Many are open to this content, acknowledging that it can also provide value.
Explore five core marketing recommendations
In the June 2023 survey, Wolters Kluwer examined the consumption habits and preferences of 2,017 physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals and derived unique observations and recommendations for marketers based on the results.
1. Make recent growth in HCPs’ digital content consumption an asset for your content marketing campaigns
While marketers can reach HCPs through print medical journals, researchers noted a slight uptick in marketers’ digital reach. Publishers have driven toward more digital content, which may have driven this change, but preferences have evolved with those changes.
Marketers should prioritize digital sponsored messaging and advertising, especially at the start of their campaigns. Digital ads give marketers more control over their targeting and messaging. There are also more digital channels for engaging HCPs compared to print opportunities.
2. Use a wide variety of content channels for engagement
The most cost-effective channels at this stage are content providers who accept advertising on their websites and in their print publications, as opposed to expensive methods like convention exhibits and video production. Although digital sponsored messages and advertisements are important, marketers should not neglect other, more involved channels for engaging healthcare professionals.
According to the survey, HCPs have a wide variety of content engagement sources — from industry websites and digital libraries to professional organizations, conferences, and professional social media platforms*. Marketers must combine efforts in reliable channels such as print and digital journals with conversational efforts at conferences, on professional social media, via affiliated key opinion leaders (KOLs), and with direct mailings or newsletters.
3. Build on HCPs’ familiarity as your campaigns move forward
Each of these methods will hit HCPs differently depending on their familiarity with your brand. For example, digital ads are a great starting point when introducing your product, but social media conversations and conference booths are better applied when HCPs have some existing familiarity as a starting point for these engagements.
At these stages, marketers should focus on creating value-added experiences when engaging with HCPs. This can include providing free educational materials at conferences, interviews with KOLs and other HCPs, webinars or podcasts, white papers or infographics, and access to clinical trials or case studies. These are great value-added experiences that will help give your content more credibility among HCPs.
4. Become a point of interest in a community of peers who inform each other’s practices
Physicians rely on their peers when considering new products. Many wait until others have tried a product successfully or the product becomes fairly common in its use. 54% of physicians rely on discussions with colleagues to keep up to date on the latest research and information about their specialty*.
Marketers whose products become part of peer-driven conversations and publications will have made significant gains in clinician engagement. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities are outside marketers’ control—conversations between HCPs and nonaffiliated KOLs, for example.
Direct and in-person interactions can help. Sales rep discussions, exhibit hall booths or attendances, seminars, presentations, and digital events bring products and patient benefits to life for HCPs with only some awareness of a product. When marketers, sales teams, and affiliated KOLs are starting these conversations, they are creating opportunities for HCPs to begin their own.
5. Empower satisfied HCPs to become advocates of your product
Marketers should loop in existing prescribers as part of the media conversations around their products. They can quickly become advocates, perpetuating positive conversations about those products among their peers. But marketers also should think of them as gatekeepers with the power to turn off new customers based on their experiences.
Marketers therefore must take a proactive approach to driving customer advocacy, ensuring these factors become opportunities rather than risks. For example, marketers can engage with prescribers to collect testimonials that they can use when introducing their products to HCPs for the first time (e.g., via digital advertisements). Some other opportunities for advocacy include:
- speaking events
- formal product reviews
- leading seminars and webinars
- authoring articles
- roundtables and other collegial engagements
Existing prescribers can influence can significantly affect other HCPs’ experiences with those products, expediting the marketing process compared to other methods.
Creating meaningful experiences drives results
Creating worthwhile relationships with HCPs begins with simple awareness. But there are opportunities for cultivating worthwhile relationships, even at this stage. Imagine your existing customers’ testimonials and how they might resonate with HCPs who share in their struggles. This simple introduction can be the first of many meaningful experiences that drive lasting relationships between HCPs and your brand.
Build a worthwhile brand experience
Lippincott® HCP Access helps healthcare marketers with their most important healthcare professional engagement initiatives. Contact us to learn about our multichannel solutions for engaging your target specialist.
*Source: Wolters Kluwer Content Consumption Study, June 2023