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“Timely Content and Pharma Don’t Mix!” — And Other Falsehoods


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All of us in pharma social media marketing have heard what CAN’T be done when it comes to writing and creating content, most of it tied to fearing the almighty-power of the MRL team. However, Susan Sutherland from Klick is here to say that, ‘yes, we have limitations in pharma, but we can try our hardest to create content that is relevant and timely for our audience.’

Having recently attended Social Media Strategies Summit, my eyes were opened up to a whole world of industries that face many of the same issues pharma marketers face. Alcohol companies, financial institutions and more all have huge submission processes and must jump through many regulatory approval steps before executing campaign. This got me thinking, why are beer commercials so much more exciting than my own content? What are alcohol brands doing differently to get relevant content out to their audiences?

Here is what I learned from picking a few marketer’s brains while at #SSMS:

  1. Do social listening to try to predict your audience’s needs before they happen. Then create content for those many situations.
  2. If you’re got a great idea for a campaign submit 9 different angles so that when the time comes to launch regulatory has already approved all 9 and you can serve up the ones that are most topical at the time.
  3. Events posts are a great way to remain topical and timely, but very hard when you’re writing content so far in advance, but try this approach: If your audience likes the Super Bowl, create a few different posts depending on potential outcomes. You are now hopefully ready for many possibilities and prepared with timely pieces of content for your audience to enjoy.
  4. Lastly, and most importantly, try to get an ad hoc approval process in place with your MRL team before you even launch a campaign. If something new pops up in the news that your audience would love and it is so relevant to your brand’s message, why miss that opportunity? Hopefully your MRL team can work with you to get that post out.

Pharma has come along way within the social space, but there is always more room to grow. Hopefully creating relevant content doesn’t seem so daunting now.



Contact your Klick Social Rep and they’ll get your started on a social content strategy.

More About the Author

Susan Sutherland

Susan Sutherland has been working in marketing for the last several years specializing in pharmaceuticals, lifestyle and OTC brands. While at Klick she has driven brand results for companies such as Takeda, Novartis, Allergan, and UCB. She has a strong background in social media strategy, most notably having worked on the award-winning Lighter Blue campaign for Takeda that earned the title of the top pharma page in the US with posts exceeding 1MM likes. Her passion lies in finding unique audience insights to drive digital strategies. At Klick, Susan can be found activating strategies and tactics across a suite of brands. Her work includes experience in oncology, neurology, gastroenterology and mental health.

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