why pharmaceutical brands need a blog

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Why A Pharma Blog? Top Benefits Of Blogging For Your Pharma Brand

Do you know that people now trust Dr. Google to offer solutions to their healthcare pain points, by returning a tentative diagnosis for their symptoms and even helping them make buying decisions to order healthcare products and supplements online?

Are you aware that 53% of people aged 16-74 EU citizens searched online for health information related to injury, disease, nutrition, improving health, or similar just before 2019 ended?

And according to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 80% of adult internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for at least one of 16 major health topics online. 

Looking for health or medical information is one of the most popular activities online, after email (93%) and researching a product or service before buying it (83%).

NOW:

With almost 4 billion people worldwide currently connected to the internet, there has never been a better time for your pharma brand to include blogging in its marketing strategy.

In this article, you will learn the many benefits of pharmaceutical blogging.

And how you can get started with creating relevant content that drives inbound links, insane traffic to your site, and converts them to paying customers.

Let’s get started.

What Is A Pharma Blog?

It is a marketing channel just like social media, direct mail, email marketing, etc. that helps support the growth of your brand.

Blogging provides your brand with a platform to share informational articles that provide value to patient communities who may already be searching online for insight on particular topics.

It provides opportunities for your brand to share information more frequently than websites permit.

It also makes it easy to share information in a controlled environment. And stay in regulatory compliance when necessary. 

However, before blogging, define your target readers and their pain points. Find information gaps that might not be readily available and fill them.

MHRA and FDA guidelines and restrictions for content in pharma-focused blogs should comply with every article produced.

Also, pharma blog articles must adhere to Direct-to-consumer (DTC) compliance. 

For instance, information fed to consumers should be appropriate, specific, and provide a fair balance between the risks and benefits of a drug or device.

Because of these government guidelines and restrictions, pharma companies can decide to create a branded or unbranded blog.

How Pharmaceutical Brands Can Blog In A Severely Regulated Region

Many European countries regulate the advertising of prescription medicine severely. 

And the regulation is so strict that you cannot mention the brand name of the medicine in your campaign, including in online advertising.

But there are many opportunities to earn a return higher than normal through brand communication by the pharma industry via the Web.

Blogging is one of the many Web 2.0 tools that benefit pharma brands and consumers.

For instance, blogs have been used for sales, PR, branding, and product support for pharma companies as part of their overall marketing strategies.

However, because of strict government regulations, pharmaceutical companies may be very resistant to the idea of a blog.

And understandably so.

Some pharmaceutical companies outsource their blogging to avoid direct contact (and therefore a conflict of interest) with their brand.

Here Is How To Use An Unbranded Pharma Blog

how to use an unbranded pharma blog

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The blogger writes under a pseudonym and describes a hypothetical sickness in a way that engages readers and generates interest in the website. 

To have enough content for the blog to be updated frequently, several posts should be made available and written in advance.

And this strategy makes it easy for you to have ready content for one year.

At first, the website gets lots of traffic via reciprocal link partnership (an arrangement of if you put my link on your blog, I'll put your link on mine).

After many weeks of being online, the blog should start to perform well on search engines and keyword searches. This increases visitor hits even further.

Understandably, many clients are reluctant to mention the brand name directly in the blog at first.

However, things change pretty quickly when blog readers ask about the medicine in their comments.

The blogger has no choice but to state the name of the therapy in response.

Social media is not moderated content.

That means that anyone can talk or write about anything. 

Another advantage of an unbranded blog is that you are not required to include Important Safety Information (ISI).

ISI can add distracting clutter to a blog. It may also reduce the trust that a reader has in your blog. 

But, unbranded blogs can add immense value to your business since there are fewer restrictions on content creation. 

For instance, you can openly discuss a disease, and at the same time have conversations around lifestyle and empowering stories.

And the beauty is that you can encourage sharing of this content in the community. 

You can deliver more authentic, unbranded storytelling, thereby influencing online sentiment, and attracting keyword traffic.

For inspiration, you can read some examples of unbranded blogs in pharma including Sanofi Discuss DiabetesYour Partner in Epileps, and Medtronic.

To maintain a successful blog, you need to produce shareable content consistently that creates an emotional response with your readers.

Effective content includes ones that can make the reader laugh, cry, think, scream, and wholeheartedly agree or disagree with you. 

Such articles that trigger emotional responses would move your target audience to continue reading the article and inspire them to share it.

Another way you can connect with your target audience is to share infographics with them.

Infographics are a strategic way pharma companies can convey a complex piece of information into an easily digestible and shareable format.

In addition, people share content that is helpful and inspiring. This is especially true in communities battling a disease.

For instance, some people managing a chronic illness like diabetes may be told things that they can’t or shouldn’t do.

They would love to share very inspiring information about others with the same disease doing amazing or inspiring things.

Check out the Sanofi Discuss Diabetes inspiring interview with Missy Foy.

She is an Olympic Marathon Trial qualifier and ultra-distance runner living with type 1 diabetes.

Pharma blogs work well with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Social media networks provide blogs platforms to build communities. And notifying members of the communities about a new blog article drives more traffic to those posts.

The goal of the pharma brand is for the community to find value in each blog post and ultimately subscribe via RSS.

Pharmaceutical companies that use unbranded blogs responsibly, can strengthen their relationships with their target groups.

However, some pharmaceutical companies use branded blogs

The Benefits Of Using A Branded Blog

benefits of a branded pharma blog

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Now that you understand how a pharmaceutical company can use an unbranded blog effectively, here are the benefits of pharma blogging that will add immense value to your pharmaceutical company and help you attract more consumers:

#1. It Helps Drive Insane Traffic To Your Website

Do you want more people to visit your website? Yeah, me too.

Now let's look at the many ways that people find your website:

  • If the audience already knows you, they could easily type your name right in to their browser and your website pops up. Note that these are people who already know who you are. So you're on their radar. But, does that help you get more traffic on top of what you're already getting? NO.
  • Another way you can get more traffic is to buy an email list and blast your message to them, hoping and praying that some people open and click through on the emails. But that's expensive. And it is also illegal and could get you banned by the email service provider.
  • Let's talk about the last one. You could buy traffic by paying the search engines and placing tons of paid ads. Now, that is not illegal but still quite expensive. And worse, when you run out of money, your traffic stops coming.

The question remains, how can you attract plenty of new readers to your website?

You can attract insane traffic to your pharma website through blogging and optimizing your content and website for search engines.

Here's how it works.

You probably have a few web pages that are not updated frequentl, right?

Well, with blogging, you solve both of those problems.

You see, each time you create and publish a blog post, it's one more indexed page on your website.

That means that you get one more opportunity to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in organic search.

Additionally, it tells search engines like Google that your website is active and that they should be checking in frequently to see what new content to index.

#2. Pharma Blogging Supports Search Engine Optimization

A branded blog supports Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keyword targeting.

SEO is an online marketing strategy that helps you optimize your content so that your brand shows up in search.

Brainstorm the keywords you anticipate your target audience would use to search for under the specific topic you are discussing. 

The more blog articles you optimize for organic search, the more people will find you through online searches.

Here are ways that blogging supports SEO:

  • Search engines use keywords to understand and rank content.
  • Search engines prefer sites with fresh, new content.
  • Sites with more content are more likely to rank.
  • Sites with more content attract more backlinks which improves rankings.

Hitwise is a good resource for finding search terms that are not common. 

30-60 days after the article is published, fine-tune it to see if you missed any keywords.

And every 4 months, ensure that previous blog articles are linked to new articles using appropriate keywords.

When you craft pharma articles, always link back to old posts so Google understands how they are related to each other.

Search engines are looking to rank sites with newer, high-quality, and relevant content that users are searching for high. 

Your consistent blog articles are viewed very favorably by search engines.

A pharmaceutical blog can receive a generous portion of its online traffic from free organic search.

And this traffic is some of the best quality traffic a blog can receive.

#3. Blog Helps You Control Your Brand Messaging And Media

blog helps control your brand messaging and media

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A blog turns your brand into a media company because it allows you to publish your content on your terms.

As your publisher, you control your brand messaging. Unlike your competition, you don’t have to rely on other digital platforms to share information about your business.

You can promote your messaging by posting blog posts that:

  • Share news stories about your business
  • Promote new products releases
  • Highlight upcoming events, contests, and promotions
  • Feature user-generated content
  • Tell your brand story using copy, photos, and video

#4. Pharma Blog Supports The Customer Journey

You know your marketing goal before you start posting your articles. And publish content that leads people toward that goal.

An effective way to achieve your goal is to create and publish content that caters to people at different stages in the funnel.

For each stage of the sales funnel, write two blog posts that support your goal at each stage: awareness, interest, decision and paction phases.

In other words, your content should help your customers by guiding and nurturing them closer toward doing business with you when they are in the:

  • Awareness phase - when your readers are looking for solutions to their pain points.
  • Interest phase - when they are interested and are considering their options.
  • Decision phase - when they know what they want but are considering their options.
  • Action phase - when they are ready to action by buying.

sales funnel

 

#5. Pharma Blog Helps Convert Website Traffic Into Leads

With tons of traffic coming to your website through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert some of that website traffic into leads.

Every new blog article indexed by search engines is a new opportunity to generate more leads.

Adding a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post makes it easy to increase leads.

Most times, the calls-to-action is an offer for FREE ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, webinars, trials, or any high-quality asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their email address.

This is how traffic-to-lead conversions work:

  • Visitor comes to your pharma website.
  • Visitor sees call-to-action for a FREE valuable offer.
  • The visitor clicks call-to-action and gets to a landing page. The landing page contains a form for the visitor to fill in with her information.
  • The visitor fills out the form and submits information. The visitor receives the FREE offer.

That is how you turn your website traffic into leads for your sales team.

#6. Repurpose Pharma Blog Content For Social Media

If your pharmaceutical company has a social media marketing plan, you are probably always in need of content to share.

But when you have a branded blog, you can repurpose your content and share it on your social accounts.

Blogging for your pharma brand also helps keep your social media presence active and discovered via social media.

Each new article provides fresh content for your social community to share on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Massive sharing exposes your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

#7. Pharma Blogging Helps With Link Building

Backlinks are among the 200 factors the Google algorithm considers when ranking a site on its search engine result page. 

Many SEO experts and savvy small business owners also consider backlinks the 3rd most crucial factor in search engine optimization.

Having said that, 41% of SEO experts still say link that building is the most challenging part of search optimization.

However, when you create consistently high-quality, valuable, interesting, engaging, and persuasive pharma articles, you become a thought leader in your niche.

You also gain high-value relevant backlinks.

Backlinks from authoritative websites serve as a vote of confidence. They may also serve as a recommendation from other websites.

They signal to Google that your website is trustworthy and an expert in your niche.

They also help you build your domain authority, which helps improve your overall discoverability in search engines.

Pharma Blog Provides Content For Email Marketing

Your blog posts also provide consistent content support for your email marketing efforts. If your brand has a regular newsletter marketing strategy, you need plenty of content for it.

Your blog posts can provide that content.

All you need to do is to create an email with a blurb about your blog post.

Add a call-to-action to view or read it, and you have all the email content you need for a new newsletter.

Some Pharma Blogs For Inspiration

After Thoughts On The Benefits Of Pharma Blogging

Pharma blogging helps you drive insane traffic to your pharma website, promote your products and services, and build trust with your potential customers.

Maintaining a blog provides a platform to build a stronger connection with your target audience.

It also encourages your audience to return for relevant information.

Blogging adds fresh content consistently to your website and provides value to share within social communities.

In addition, it generates more inbound links to your website, raises your credit rating, and boosts search engine rankings.

It has become an integrated, influential tool with endless possibilities for pharmaceutical brands. Don't overlook it in your content marketing plan.

Contact us for your pharma blog articles.

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