Digital Media for Global Patient Recruitment

2015 was a big year for social media. 2016 is poised to be an even bigger year.

In an earlier blog, we mentioned the necessity of digital outreach targeting to people who meet the right demographic profiles, but who may not be specifically looking for clinical studies or health information.

Our efforts with global patient recruitment continue to cast a wide net, well beyond the patients who are actively searching for treatments and even beyond those health consumers who frequent popular sites such as WebMD and Medscape.

In this blog series, we turn our attention to some likely and unlikely sources of patients on social media platforms. We discuss new advertising channels that have the potential to positively impact global patient recruitment efforts. Across the board in 2015, social channels enhanced their advertising options and expanded formats available for advertisers.

We explore some of the new features of the usual suspects (Facebook continues to add new targeting features), and evaluate ad platforms of the up and comers, such as Instagram and Snapchat. We also discuss some of the limitations of specific platforms and new features. While some platforms don’t currently allow advertising for clinical trial recruitment, policies and preferences can quickly change in social media (We’re watching you, Pinterest). Effective strategies evolve every day. We constantly monitor social platforms to experiment with new channels, test new formats and apply advanced targeting.

Many of these platforms have long been used as sources of patient communities and now offer advanced targeting, robust analytics, in addition to highly engaged audiences.

Social media advertising works. No other channel provides the combination of advanced targeting ( a deeper diver into interests and behavior) conversion tracking and mobile device preference. It is estimated to generate $11bn in revenue by 2017. In fact, digital advertising is expected to exceed TV as the largest ad platform by 2017.

Even if you’ve never heard of some of these social channels, it is never to too early to conduct research on these emerging platforms and follow trends. If you are evaluating potential sources of global patient recruitment for clinical trials, our blog is a good place to start.