It is ironic that I spend such a big part of my days promoting healthcare and pharmaceutical companies on various social media platforms, but I do not take the time to do it for my own company. There is a reason for that though – it is simply because I would rather focus my time on my client projects and luckily they are keeping me quite busy!
(Thank you to all my clients for keeping me busy !!! Mouahhh !!!)
Like everything else in life, there is never a perfect time, so there is no better time than now. Marketing 4 Health Inc. is finally going to have an active corporate page on LinkedIn. Please click here and follow us! We will share some interesting stuff, we promise!
A few months ago, I spotted a Canadian pharmaceutical ad on Linked for the prescription product Ozempic®. You can see my blog post about it here. This was intriguing to me because it’s not every day that you see a prescription product promoted on LinkedIn, especially considering our Canadian regulations about direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising where you can only mention product name, quantity, and price. But although this is technically considered a DTC ad since consumers are not blocked from seeing it and as such must follow Canadian DTC regulations, it is actually an ad targeting healthcare professionals. Similar ads are currently ongoing on the Novo Nordisk Facebook page. Note that Novo Nordisk does not post on their Facebook page, therefore it is probably just used as an anchor for their Facebook ads.
I asked Jeff Aikman, the Ozempic® Marketing Manager, for some feedback on the success of the Ozempic® social media advertising campaign. Here is his response:
Despite advancements in the diabetes treatment landscape, many people with type 2 diabetes still struggle to reach their hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c) or blood glucose targets. Generally, clinical guidelines recommend an A1C goal of 7 per cent for most people.1
Healthcare professionals play a major role in helping patients and their caregivers understand their diagnosis and available treatment options. Helping patients understand the importance of the care plan for diabetes, and engaging them in the decision-making process strengthens the partnership between healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes. It can also promote a person’s understanding of, and adherence to, the treatment plan.2
Like all new products introduced into a market, it is important to build top of mind awareness, name recognition, and intrigue. When advertising online, the ads need to have a destination to click through if the viewer is interested in learning more. In pharmaceutical advertising, the ads can only reference name, price, and quantity. Since these ads were targeted at HCPs using HCP language, the destination microsite must be gate protected and for HCPs only. We partnered with Media Platforms, an innovative healthcare advertising agency that specializes in reaching Healthcare Professionals and patients digitally, at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. At the launch of Ozempic® in Canada, we provided all HCPS with an opportunity to learn more about our newest Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) Receptor Agonist, Ozempic®, through an innovative online program. The program was designed to reach HCPs treating patients living with diabetes who were also looking to help their patients achieve their A1C goals. The digital advertising space provides us with a great platform to share compliant advertisements with HCPs quickly and effectively giving them the option to click through and receive more information.
The overall success of this program is still to be determined as it is ongoing, but we have seen some significant engagement with the content and direct follow up from physicians looking for more information. We are monitoring overall impressions, click through rates from the ads, and entrances through the gated site. Inside, HCPs can learn more about the medication and ask a question directly to our Medical Information team. Advertising through digital channels is an excellent cost effective way to get your name out there, providing HCPs the option to click through and learn more about the Canadian indication.
Note: Novo Nordisk is not a client. I have not received any incentive to write this blog post.
What is the Astellas C3 Prize; Changing Cancer Care challenge?
Astellas is holding its 3rd global contest called the C3 Prize; Changing Cancer Care. Their objective is to provide funding to somebody or to a group with an innovative non-treatment idea intended to improve the lives of cancer patients, caregivers, and their loved ones, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
The winners will receive grants and access to resources to make their life-changing ideas a reality.
This is such a fantastic idea! A win-win for patients and for the innovator! And yes, Astellas is gaining visibility as a results, and that’s perfectly fine. Many consumer products run similar programs (ie. think pink ribbon for breast cancer), and it’s OK for them to gain awareness as a result as well.
Astellas promotion of C3 Prize Challenge on Facebook:
Astellas is sponsoring Facebook ads to promote their C3 Prize challenge to a long list of countries. We can tell this now because Facebook recently changed the way that we can view ads of a particular Facebook page. You can now see which country the ad is being targeted to. The image below shows only a small fraction of the countries where the Astellas Facebook page is promoting the C3 Prize ads.
Here are the C3 Prize ads that one can find on the Astellas Facebook page (confirmed from July 10th to 15th). There is a mixture of still images and videos, and all have the button “Apply now”;
Unfortunately, these sponsored Facebook posts have not done as well as most of the other posts by Astellas from May 14 to July 14 2018, in terms of engagement (Source: Social Insider). This was probably expected though for the following reason. Astellas posts a lot of interesting information on their Facebook page. Their posts which are targeted to a larger, mainstream audience get more shares and more likes. It is difficult for posts, such as the C3 Prize challenge, which are targeted to a much narrower audience, to compete with the mainstream posts. With the C3 Prize challenge posts, Astellas is reaching out to a very narrow group of healthcare entrepreneurs who are looking to get their innovative cancer care idea off the ground. There are only a handful of those people around on Facebook.
Astellas promotion of C3 Prize Challenge on LinkedIn:
Despite the challenge in reaching entrepreneurs on Facebook, there is no shortage of business-minded, motivated entrepreneurs on LinkedIn. As such, it is not surprising to see that the Astellas C3 Prize challenge posts on Linked are resulting in substantial engagement.
Astellas promotion of C3 Prize Challenge on Twitter:
Several months ago, Twitter announced that we would be able to access a hub of some kind to find ads by particular accounts, but that has not happened yet. As such, I am unable to tell whether Astellas is sponsoring advertisements on Twitter or not. However, there are quite a few posts using the #C3Prize hashtag. Here are a couple of examples below.
Astellas #C3Prize Twitter chat statistics:
Astellas held a Twitter chat on July 12th, at 2pm E.S.T. This is a great way to create a live conversation between stakeholders to create more awareness and generate buzz around a particular hashtag.
Astellas cleverly created an image to attach to some of its first Twitter post during the Twitter chat itself, as it outlined the process and guidelines of the chat. They made certain that chat participants would know that their ideas were not going to be evaluated during the chat and that anybody seeking information about medical treatments should discuss with their physician.
Here are some data a little over 24 hours AFTER the Twitter chat:
As would be expected, there was a large increase in the usage of the #C3Prize hashtag during the Twitter chat, and the usage of the hashtag almost immediately went back to base level afterwards.
The majority of the hashtag users were male both before and after the Twitter chat.
Almost half of the tweets posted with the #C3Prize hashtag were initiated on desktop, with the rest on some kind of mobile app. This means that Astellas needs to prepare digital content that will be well viewed on both desktop and mobile devices.
Approximately 2/3 of the posts with the #C3Prize hashtag were retweets of other posts that contained the hashtag. Almost 1/3 of the posts were original posts. Original posts during a Twitter chat are key because these are the ones that will generate replies and retweets.
More than half of the tweets with the #C3Prize hashtag were positive in nature, and only around 10% were negative. The overall sentiment score is calculated based on positive ad negative data. One must be careful when looking at the negative data because it only takes one negative word in a tweet to label that tweet negative. For example, one tweet during the chat had the word “unhealthy”, but the content of the tweet was not negative at all. It was part of the discussion which was about cancer in less fortunate areas. Nonetheless, it is quite possible that the Keyhole algorithm just read that one word and then labeled it as a negative tweet as a result.
Here is some complimentary data about the Twitter chat from Socialert:
The majority of the tweets with the #C3Prize hashtag came from the US with a few countries, including Canada, showing up as secondary users.
The profile keywords give you an idea of the type of people who used the #C3Prize hashtag, as these are words that appear in the participants’ Twitter profile. Seeing the words “cancer”, “health”, “care” and “palliative” indicate that many of the participants describe themselves or their job with these words, therefore are vested in healthcare and may be influencers.
The top 3 hashtags used during and slightly after the Astellas #C3Prize Twitter chat were #C3Prize (naturally!!), #CancerCare and #Cancer.
The hashtag #CancerCare was also used by Astellas in their tweets about the C3 Prize. The #CancerCare hashtag appears to be more commonly used. Astellas must be pleased that their company name was one of the most prominent keywords in tweets containing the hashtag #CancerCare over the past 10 days (source Keyhole, July 4 to July 14 2018).
Based on this review, it seems as though the #C3Prize Twitter chat was fairly successful. Although the hashtag didn’t trend, one has to remember that this was not meant to be a mainstream Twitter chat. This was a Twitter chat targeted to a handful of people who are entrepreneurs in the healthcare field, and who are searching for funding to make their innovative idea come to fruition.
We can learn from Astellas about using social media to promote a challenge:
Your target audience for the challenge will determine your success on various social media platforms. Entrepreneurs can be found more easily on LinkedIn compared to Facebook and Twitter.
A Twitter chat which includes a few influential participants can generate a fair amount of noise during a peak period.
Setting up clear Twitter chat guidelines and promoting them ahead of the chat can reduce confusion.
Combining your customized hashtag with an associated, more commonly used hashtag to generate greater awareness to a larger audience.
Good luck to all the #C3Prize participants and best wishes to Astellas in choosing their winners amongst all the innovative ideas that they will certainly receive.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a prescription product promoted on LinkedIn. Now I’m sure there have been some and I’ve just missed them, but since this was my first time seeing one, I thought that perhaps there might be others who haven’t seen this and would be interested in seeing an example.
This month, I have seen ads for Ozempic(R) by Novo Nordisk on LinkedIn on several occasions. Ozempic is an injectable prescription product which is indicated for the once weekly treatment of adult patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve glycemic control. Here is the Canadian Ozempic product monograph by Novo Nordisk for those who would like more information about this product.
I have seen 2 versions of the Ozempic ad on LinkedIn. The wording and image (brand logo) are identical, except the layout is different. You can see them below. The ads are simple, but the mechanism used to communicate directly to healthcare professionals is creative:
Since LinkedIn is a public, non-gated site, any ads on this site would be considered direct-to-consumer advertising. In Canada, when promoting a prescription product to the public in general, only the product name, price and quantity can be mentioned. The Ozempic LinkedIn ads follow those regulations.
However, based on the verbiage of the ad, it is obvious that Novo Nordisk is not targeting consumers. They are solely targeting Canadian physicians with this ad, but they still need to treat the ad as a direct-to-consumer ad since it could be viewed by consumers who could then click on the link.
The Ozempic website that one gets directed to when clicking on the ad is gated and can only be accessed by either a physician, nurse or pharmacist who can provide their licence number. This is considered appropriate gating of a website by Health Canada.
I don’t have access to the views and clicks that Novo Nordisk is getting for these ads, but in general, most of us know that LinkedIn is a network for business people, and that includes healthcare professionals. As such, I think it makes sense for Novo Nordisk to at least give LinkedIn a try for its advertising. It is clearly an innovative means to get their message out to target healthcare professionals and the ad is implemented within the regulatory confines of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry. Novo Nordisk may also be advertising on physician-specific sites such as Sermo and targeting Canadian physicians, but perhaps they are focusing on LinkedIn as a start since the advertising fees on Sermo are quite steep, however they can offer repetitive visibility to your specific target.
If you are managing a product that is targeted to healthcare professionals, don’t discard social media sites just because of regulatory restrictions. You may have to test a few variations and different sites, but there is a way to communicate your message to your target audience. Congratulations to Novo Nordisk for trying out a newer way of communicating directly with healthcare professionals.
The pharmaceutical industry has been slow to adopt social media marketing, so it is always exciting for me to find a little gem that is different from what has been typically done in pharma in the past. Here’s one that I found today that I wanted to share with you.
Teva Pharmaceutical, in association with ALS Association and Huntington’s Disease Society of America, is using a novel approach to launch a challenge to researchers worldwide to help them find a business solution. The TEVA Challenge aims to find Novel Therapeutic Targets for Disorders of the Central Nervous System.
Today, Teva used their social media channels on Facebook (2,225 followers), Twitter (4,337 followers) and LinkedIn to promote this challenge. See their posts from earlier today, March 27 2018, below;
Their following on Facebook and Twitter is rather small and it probably consists of a majority of consumers along with a pharmaceutical professionals within various roles, some of which might be research. However, the odds are good that they might reach their ideal candidate on LinkedIn. Not only is LinkedIn focused on professionals, but Teva has a large following on this network. With 106 ‘likes’ within 11 hours, the word is going to spread.
Social media has made it easier to reach and communicate with others around the world. There is no doubt that Teva Pharmaceutical is searching for a pin in a haystack, but if they are successful in finding the right person, it will have all been worth it, because that person just might give them the answer that they need. If they do not find the person, they have made some noise about themselves and their desire to do research and innovate. The latter is not what Teva is hoping for, but my point is that there are no negatives in the method for searching for the right person.
Whether or not they find their ideal target via social media, this is definitely a novel way of reaching out to find a potential partner to help them achieve their business objectives. Way to go Teva Pharmaceutical for opening up this dialogue with your networks.
For more details on the Teva challenge, go here. Good luck to all who apply.
It appears as though LinkedIn will be putting more emphasis on integrating LinkedIn Groups into the overall LinkedIn experience. Here is a message that was sent out yesterday to LinkedIn group admins:
We’re currently working on making some changes to the LinkedIn Groups experience, and because you are a valued group admin, we wanted to give you some advance details on what’s coming. Groups is at the heart of what makes LinkedIn a trusted place for professionals to help and support one another, and the changes we’re planning will make Groups a bigger part of the main LinkedIn experience.
Our focus on re-integrating Groups back into the core LinkedIn experience means that we will no longer be able to support a standalone iOS app for Groups; that app will stop working as of February 15, 2018. But please know that your existing group memberships and contributions will not be affected as part of that change.
As a preview, here are some of the improvements you can look forward to when we roll them out to the main LinkedIn Groups web and mobile experiences:
Discover and access Groups more easily. You’ll be able to access your Groups right from the homepage, and you’ll see the latest content from your Groups in notifications and the homepage feed.
Be a part of richer conversations. You’ll be able to post videos into your groups, @mention the members you want to weigh in, and keep the conversation going by replying to comments.
Ultimately, our goal is to create an even better Groups experience within the primary LinkedIn applications, so we are putting our focus there over the coming weeks and months. We’ll be sending you updates as these improvements and many others become available. Stay tuned!
The LinkedIn Team
Some of you might be wondering if it is best to start a new group or participate in one. This depends on what level of resources you plan on putting towards LinkedIn marketing. Companies with substantial resources may have enough to create, grow and maintain a LinkedIn group. This might be well worth the investment if your products and / or services are mostly business-to-business. If you don’t have substantial resources, try joining a few related, neutral (not owned by a competitor) groups and participate. Ask questions, provide tips, participate in the existing discussions. Please don’t just use this as an opportunity to promote your blog posts. If your blog post can add value to the group members, then explain this as part of your discussion. Participating in LinkedIn groups could be a great way to determine if it would be worth investing more for your own group or not. Every company needs to evaluate their own business needs and strategic objectives.
But if there is one thing that ALL companies should be doing on LinkedIn, it is creating a LinkedIn company page and updating it regularly with information that would be of interest to employees, would-be employees, business partners and business clients.
Considering the recent news about Facebook making changes to its newsfeed, digital marketers should be diversifying their online presence, if they aren’t already. If you are managing a B2B business, then LinkedIn probably can present you with some great opportunities.