In a saturated market full of messaging about improved drugs, how do you reach your audience? Of course, it’s all about quality content, but to improve your marketing reach, you also need to use the mechanisms of community to amplify your message. This means understanding the advantages of different messaging mediums and fitting each with highly appropriate and engaging content.
This requires a lot of content and a way to manage it all. One approach to organizing all this content is to design a comprehensive company website with multiple sub-sites. This platform supports a variety of content that can reach a range of different audiences, all while maintaining consistent messaging. A content-management system (CMS) can help focus content in a time-challenged environment, implement changes across the board, audit the effectiveness of a campaign, and above all, allow marketers to control the message.
1. Multiple Websites
Online marketing is more effective than TV and print in reaching and maintaining target audiences; to be competitive today, it is not uncommon for pharma companies to have more than a single website. In fact, they might introduce up to a dozen separate sites or sub-sites: one for each product, specific conditions or symptoms, or resources deemed valuable for healthcare professionals and consumers.
Another reason for developing multiple sites is that most website audiences are self-selective—websites should be designed with the primary intent to pull in audience interaction. A pharma website should foremost be viewed as a resource that offers value to its audience; each site should focus on a targeted message that answers the needs of its recipients.
A site for patients might feature health libraries, patient resources, news, online games, and polls and have the capability to customize content. For healthcare professionals, information on products, clinical trial data, research, ordering, and online seminars should be available. Multiple websites are a good way to parcel information and focus on a targeted audience with targeted messaging. Of course, multiple websites mean an abundance of additional content to manage.
2. Content-Management Systems
Content-management requirements extend across multiple sites as well as all other mediums of communication (social media platforms, industry journals, billboards), and each medium needs to be consistent with the next. This vigorous task is often handled by a CMS, which supports consistent messaging and reliable distribution of information. With an ability to update and audit content across platforms, these systems further help to keep information current and complete.
Besides allowing administrators to control messaging inside and outside the company, a CMS supports additional channels that fulfill corporate and commercial requirements: media kits and press releases, business model descriptions, financial news, investor presentations, and investor kits. A strong CMS even provides templates for creating new content, controlling consistency and brand messaging.
Where online content-management tools are being used to help manage press rooms, FAQ pages, sub-sites, and online publications, they have also demonstrated effectiveness in building communities for reinforcing product opinions and establishing brand loyalty. A CMS with built-in auditing controls allows administrators to track changes as well as identify audience interaction, ensuring that content is consistent as well as engaging.
Content management gives organizations control over the information and messaging shared both inside and outside the company. Traditionally, timing is a huge challenge in the pharma environment—whether it’s racing to introduce a new product to market, discovering a new indication of an old compound, or riding on fast-paced industry trends.
When it comes to managing content, processes must be in place to define when and how to publish content. A CMS typically allows you to schedule the distribution of information, be it an email, a press release, or a published study, or for the systematic mounting of a general marketing campaign.
There is no doubt that creating content-management timelines and scheduling CMS-controlled distribution is a beneficial practice. In a more literal take on timelines, marketers should appeal to social content calendars for awareness days or incorporate interactive calendars as a website feature. For example, a company making pharmaceutical products targeting women’s health created an interactive due-date calendar that helped women track pregnancy milestones online.
4. Content Variety
These days, you need to consider communications that entirely fill the information space surrounding your product or brand, not just the individual customer. Which sites do your customers visit? Which journals do they read? Which pharmacies or resources do they like to consult? Hitting the different channels and content types not only helps you better engage your target, but it also helps build a solid community that can reinforce the opinions surrounding your products or company.
Offering a range of content is necessary for maintaining brand identity and controlling message consistency. You should definitely consider what content you publish on which channels, but having a large arsenal of content available makes management practices ultimately more effective. You should have ready media kits, press releases, general corporate information, financial news, investor presentations, investor kits, FAQs, outcomes data, product information, and resources for patients and healthcare providers.
Online collaboration is another valuable (and engaging) source for content variety, in which the contributors’ goal is to increase the group’s collective knowledge while supporting the brand message and product education. Collaboration encourages the participation of both internal and external constituents and includes online user groups, clinical specialty groups, patient/physician care groups, sales force communities, and partner networks.