How to Build a Strong Omnichannel Publication Extender Strategy
Through publication extenders, pharmaceutical companies have an effective way to make information digestible and appealing for healthcare professionals (HCPs) in search of information. The benefit of extenders is that it makes it easy for HCPs to quickly get the vital information they need without spending countless hours reading lengthy publications.
However, it’s not enough to just make the extenders. It’s crucial that you have a full-scale strategy that makes the extenders discoverable. We are operating in a digital age, where HCPs have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Yet 81% of physicians are dissatisfied with their interactions with pharmaceutical companies, mostly due to a perceived lack of personalized, relevant content. So how can you create a strategy that reaches and engages the audience you want to impact with your data?
Making your publications discoverable means leveraging a range of communication tactics. But it goes deeper than that. It starts by building a strong foundation through careful audience research and persona development.
The cost and time of creating valuable publication extenders is a waste if HCPs don’t have a chance to benefit from the data. Here’s how to take an omnichannel approach that leverages your extenders to maximum effect.
Audience Research Sets Your Omnichannel Strategy up for Success
First and foremost, it’s vital to consider your audience before you start crafting a strategy. HCPs have varying content consumption preferences that will change how they interact with and consume your information.
Segmenting your audience into personas, and understanding the motivations, preferences and specific needs of each is truly the backbone of a good omnichannel strategy. This is because it allows you to tailor your content to best suit each persona. Without detailed information on who you want to reach, how can you craft an effective publication extender strategy to reach them?
Expand Your Strategy’s Reach by Repurposing Modular Content
Publication extenders created in modules have a unique benefit: messaging that is developed to be format-agnostic. Because of this, repurposing information is a cost-effective way to provide the same key messages in multiple formats that cater to the content consumption preferences of different personas. For instance, a two-minute animation contains elements that can transform into an interactive infographic. Repurposing content into many formats makes information more accessible, as well as making sure there’s a cohesive feel throughout a whole set of publication extenders.
Tactics for Maximum Impact
The best strategies are developed with specific goals and tactics. The Prism of Impact is a framework that helps you achieve optimal performance through three steps: reach, engage and impact.
The first step, reach, sets a foundation by considering discovery. The next step, engage, builds upon that foundation to connect with the target audience and further their interest. The last, impact, is not so much a step but the culmination of your reach and engage efforts. Within each step, you can find specific tactics to reach your audience, engage them and achieve maximum impact.
These tactics and strategies make it easy for your intended audience to find your publication extenders.
Reach tactics include:
- Medical booth during a congress or event.
- Interactions with your Medical Science Liaisons (MSL).
- Search engine-optimized content that makes your publication extenders easy to find through organic search on search engine platforms like Google.
- Social media posts that showcase you a teaser of interesting publication extenders.
When these tactics are focused on one publication extender format, or on one channel, your potential audience is very small. When you leverage multiple formats and channels as part of an omnichannel strategy, your ability to gain interest from HCPs grows exponentially.
All of these tactics aim to gain awareness within your target audience and build toward engagement.
Engage tactics focus on the touchpoints with your audience that encourage them to interact with your publication.
They hone in on the touchpoints that encourage your audience to interact with your publication. For example, online educational platforms are an excellent way to make information and engagement opportunities accessible.
An HCP may first encounter your content through organic search, email newsletters or social media. These channels will lead them to the publication extenders on your online education platform. Once on your online platform, they have the opportunity to engage with more in-depth information. The engagement tactics provide opportunities to continue learning, like a call-to-action at the end of an author video that urges HCPs to schedule a call with a medical science liaison (MSL).
How Reach and Engage Create Impact
The Prism of Impact is a concept that illustrates audience journey that follows 2 steps leading to an outcome of impacting the audience
The reach step focuses on making your publication extender strategy wide-reaching, across multiple channels and in different formats, to interest the largest possible audience. The engage step focuses on encouraging the HCPs to continue their learning journey after they have achieved awareness from your reach tactics.
This journey impacts HCPs by advancing their education and understanding in specific therapeutic areas. Building information and audience education are how HCPs are able to make better decisions in treating patients and get better healthcare outcomes.
Omnichannel strategies are the most effective way to create the most significant impact. Why? Because they offer something to every facet of your audience. Every HCP, based on their specific preferences and habits, will find a different path to your publication.
How to Measure Impact for Continuous Improvement
Every step of your omnichannel strategy is an opportunity to understand and gain insight into the HCP journey through your information.
Using the metrics available to you in the reach and engage tactics (like clicks on a newsletter, views of a video and site traffic to a web page and social media posts) can help you optimize each of those steps.
The impact is hard to measure — it’s not quantifiable. Impact is about generating awareness, increasing knowledge and changing HCP behavior, not tracking clicks and conversions. But each of the reach and engage metrics are a proxy that helps you measure the level of impact. Measuring, tracking results and making changes accordingly re-injects your learnings into your strategy via feedback loops.
Overall results from this feedback provide a view into HCP behavior based on channel performance. Using high-level performance data combined with metrics that show individual activity performance provides enhanced visibility.
Extend Your Efforts (and Impact) With an Omnichannel Approach
To have the greatest impact, you have to reach and engage your audience where they are. An omnichannel strategy greatly increases your ability to help HCPs sift through the wealth of scientific content available, and find the most pertinent, helpful information that’s relevant to them.