Digital Advertising for Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment, Part 2

Henning Semat, Head of Online Marketing

Messaging and Content for Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment

Messaging and content are so important to effective digital advertising. We could devote a series of white papers and seminars on this topic, but will stick to what we believe is most relevant to digital advertising for clinical trial patient recruitment. Before getting started, think about sources of important patient insights that can be used to build content.

You’ve probably heard a lot about social listening. Social media exploration can help answer questions such as what channels your target patients are using, what they say about current treatments, or more importantly, dissatisfaction with current treatments. Take the time to take in the conversations across relevant online forums, patient communities and social health networks. Pay attention to their choice of words and overall sentiment. This may take some time to digest and look for patterns.

Armed with insights and ideas, it’s now time to think about your ad. The main rule of thumb is to keep the design and messaging simple. Resist the urge to include flashy, animated graphics, all caps or too many objects. Effective banner ads typically include a simple image with a defined focal point and a succinct call to action. Don’t settle for generic stock photos; instead think about the symbolism your image selection will convey. With content, keep it short. The size of most banner ads will limit space for extra information. Effective calls-to-action start with an action verb, and lets the user know what they can expect. Save the contextual information for the landing page. Have several combinations of imagery and messaging ready to A/B test and rotate.

“Find out how you can participate” is a less intimidating than the direct appeal of “Sign Up Now” which implies that a split second decision needs to be made. However, call-to-action wording choice can be limited in regulated environments. Ethics committees and institutional review boards may have specific ideas or guidelines for what word choices are appropriate for clinical trial patient recruitment purposes. Check out a few examples from recent studies.

Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Ad Seeking Migraine Sufferers in Poland
Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Ad for Diabetes Patients in the US
Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Ad Seeking Diabetes Patients in Germany
Clinical Trial Patient Recruitment Ad Seeking Ankylosing Spondylitis sufferers