As omnichannel strategies take the lead in pharma marketing, LinkedIn constitutes a valuable channel for stakeholder communication and engagement. In fact, US healthcare practitioners’ use of the platform is now at over 4 million.
So, as companies move forward with strengthening their positioning in the market, it is worth considering LinkedIn as the new top pharma marketing tool that might open the right doors for you. Dive on in to lear how.
LinkedIn: A marketing tool
Starting as a career networking platform, LinkedIn has grown into a place for content publication, debate, and discussion. Since then, its interest has moved from human resources teams to marketing professionals that intend to perfect their companies’ digital omnichannel communication strategies.
But how has LinkedIn moved from recruitment into a marketing tool? Communication on this platform has expanded into an integrational flow that ranges from specialized groups into status posts and publication of animated, as well as graphic, content. The interconnectedness of these promotes an interaction between users that is highly valuable to marketing practices.
LinkedIn users now:
- Share their work achievements;
- Comment on current socio-political events;
- Share their point of view on determining field-focused key themes and pain points;
- Promote their values and messages; and
Pharma marketers depend on a thorough knowledge of their audience, to successfully implement their strategies at the right place and time. And LinkedIn groups further facilitate that research process. These are great for generating unique networking opportunities where professionals can explore topics of interest. While sparking resourceful discussions that reflect what is of importance in the industry.
Over 40% of healthcare professionals are believed to participate in online networking activities, namely discussion groups. And so, it is there one of the places where you can find your HCPs. By taking part in these you can:
- Engage directly with your audience;
- Share your company’s values and positioning on determined topics;
- Identify the topics of interest to your audience, as well as the services and products they are looking for in the industry; and
- Assess your competition and its offer.
For this, pharma companies are starting to use LinkedIn as another marketing tool to aid them in expanding their reach, awareness, and influence. Some of the known organizations using the platform are:
- Johnson & Johnson – counts now with over 7 million followers;
- Pfizer – 4.6 M followers; and
- Merck – 1.8 M followers.
3 things you need to know when using LinkedIn
Even though LinkedIn is easy and intuitive to use, there are a few things to bear in mind when approaching it as a marketing tool. Communication must follow a single stream of unified messages and ideas that rightly reflect your brand’s identity.
And for that you should:
1 – Follow the 80/20 rule
The first thing to avoid is blunt advertising. You want your communication on the platform to be about more than just you. So, you must pave the way for a two-way conversation with the user where an exchange of ideas can happen. And for that, you must follow the 80/20 rule.
HCPs, in particular, don’t value sales tactics that don’t explore the educational part of the field. They want to engage with the latest research and advancements, so they stay up to date. Therefore, the lesson is to talk about yourself, but not too much.
The 80/20 rule is the golden ratio to help you manage and create content for your LinkedIn page while ensuring that it resonates with your audience, without being restricted to a limited scope of themes.
So, 20% of the time, you should explore your brand’s values, products, and events. This will keep the audience updated enough on your company’s offer and activity in the field. You can promote:
- Conferences & webinars held by your company;
- The latest advancement in research and drug trials;
- New drugs and treatments available and approved; and
- Share the faces of your team…
Then, with the remaining 80%, you should strive to touch upon the pain points of your audience. Perse, the topics in the field that are of concern to the wider healthcare community. This opens up a door for discussion and debate, in which you can explore:
- HCP and patient engagement;
- Healthcare consumerism;
- Digital shift and the role of online platforms;
- Video marketing and its role in the pharmaceutical industry…
By following the 80/20 rule, you can engage your audience with the right balance of content that will foster communication.
2 – Be innovative in your promotional content
Having a LinkedIn profile is already a step into a more digital future. However, it does not work wonders in itself. Posting your news and topics for debate might not be enough. Why?
There are already many pharmaceutical companies on the platform. For you to succeed, then, you need to stand out. And for that, you must consider innovative ways to effectively present content that equally reflects your brand’s identity and values.
Long, bulky texts are the easiest way to lose an audience’s attention. So, you want to make sure that your message and content are followed in their entirety. Or that, at least, the key information is retained by the viewer. And video is the perfect tool to achieve that.
Through this content format, you can explore the same amount of information as that in a medical paper. But, in an engaging manner and shorter timespan. Hence, content conveyed via video is retained by 95% of its entirety, compared to a mere 10% if read in a text (Arkadin).
Video marketing is a growing trend in the pharmaceutical industry, especially among marketers. Through video you can:
- Give insight into your product’s features;
- Show a visual presentation of your drug’s MOA (mechanism of action);
- Share your recent research in an interactive, easy-to-understand manner…
Overall, video has proven to be effective. That is why in 2022 more than 80% of businesses are expected to be including video in their communication strategies. It engages HCPs while reaching a wider audience from which you can gain increased brand awareness.
Don’t have LinkedIn and want to start on the right foot? Or already have it but want to give it a twist? At RedNovius we have just the right thing for you. Book your free expert session to learn more about video marketing and how you can make PubVisuals part of your strategy.
3 – Tailor your content to your audience’s needs and interests
The right and fruitful use of LinkedIn is based on targeting your audience with the knowledge of its interests. You must ensure what you share is relatable and of relevance. Thus, it is important that when you plan your LinkedIn communication strategy and create your content, you tailor it to your HCPs’ preferences.
To do that, you should strive to know and understand your target audience. And only from there, can you tailor your content to its specific needs and interests. So, you must ask the questions:
- What are the competitors doing that I am not?
- What is the gap between the offer and customers’ interests?
- What is happening now in the field?
- What topics might be of relevance to the specific field?
- What challenges do my consumers face?
For instance, if physicians are your main target, you must analyze the type of content they engage the most with. From there you can consider a myriad of topics, such as:
- COVID and the impact of telehealth;
- Innovative treatment options; and
- New medical studies and advancements in the field…
By doing this, you ensure you remain relevant and of interest, as well as competitive in the market.
In an era of digital communication, LinkedIn is the perfect tool for allowing pharma companies to establish a closer link of communication with their audience. This is a platform of great interaction that puts users in touch through the discussion of topics of interest. It sparks, then, resourceful discussions that reflect what is of importance in the pharmaceutical industry. For that, LinkedIn is a valuable marketing tool that will lead the way for companies to communicate with their different stakeholders.
More on pharma marketing…
Content Marketing in Pharma: How to get it right
Pharma Marketing: 3 Patient-Motivated Changes