What is a Digital Presence and Why is it Important for Pharma?


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What is a Digital Presence ?

By definition, digital presence simply means the visibility of your brand or business in the online world. It is the utilization of tools to help you represent your business and reach your target customers.

A website is often the primary way of having an online presence. But there is more to just having a website.

Blogs, social media platforms, paid digital advertising, influencer marketing, local search, mobile, YouTube channels are just some of the elements that can collectively help a business increase its digital presence.

Importance of Digital presence in pharma


Why is digital presence important for pharma marketing ?

People all over the world today, function, interact and transact through online media. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for a pharma company to have its digital presence. Moreover, the current times have been challenging for those in pharma marketing.

Pharma companies have been trying to optimize their marketing and sales operations, by depending heavily on digital channels, given the current COVID-19 crisis.

→ Related: Current Pharmaceutical Marketing Challenges


Also from the customer’s perspective, i.e., health care professionals as well as patients, find it more convenient and are better equipped to obtain information through online sources.


Did you know?

Google's daily health-related searches - pharma needs to have digital presence



Reasons for having an Online Presence in Pharma

It is not only the patients that are making these searches, but also the HCPs, payers, caregivers, and general consumers. So the pharma website has to cater to a broader audience segment.

Reasons for having a digital presence for pharma



Digital Presence Marketing

A website is the most important marketing tool in the digital space.

Here’s why….

The corporate website is a clear representation of the company in the digital space.

But having a website is just one part of having an online presence.

If a pharmaceutical company wants to get noticed, it will need to be present wherever its customers are in the online world.

In today’s time, the customer could be just about anywhere – the social platforms, on Google search engines, subscribed to a journal on third-party websites or even health forums.

It is now a known fact, that to grab the attention of potential customers, it is important to be present at the right places and at the right time – and that could mean 24/7.


Reasons for digital presence marketing

There could be many reasons for doing digital presence marketing. It could be to:

– Improve awareness,
– Build brands,
– Keeping customers informed,
– Stand apart from the competition,
– Cater to different audience segments, or
– Even to increase sales and revenue

Attracting more visitors to the pharma site is going to be an important part of pharma’s digital marketing efforts.

Because as a business you will want more customers.

And after all,
MORE VISITORS to a website = MORE OPPORTUNITIES to turning them into CUSTOMERS !!


What are the key benefits of having an online presence for a business ?

Though a typical pharma website is not directly selling anything online to its customers,
but customers do expect the company to be online.

Now,

the core reason for a pharma website is purely to provide information.

And this content could be on the company’s brands, research, news, career, awards, financial results, or CSR activities. Some of the evolved pharma corporate websites that are more patient-centric, provide content on patient stories, public health initiatives, and disease awareness.


The overall advantages of having a web presence in Pharma is to:

advantages of having an online presence


1. Make an impression: Gives a place for the company to inform about the company’s success stories, awards, and recognition.

2. Attract more customers: It is a great avenue to highlight the product range and the company’s marketing and brand initiatives. And a means to bring to light the brand’s values and thereby connect with the customers.

3. Form a relationship: Digital presence makes it easier for customers to reach out to a company and address customer queries.

4. Build trust and authority: By providing highly relevant content to customer’s informational needs on a disease and its treatment.

5. Increase credibility: By informing about the company’s corporate social responsibility programs like public health campaigns, ethical-oriented practices, philanthropic and environmental activities.

6. Manage reputation: To know what is being discussed on the web about your company, you will just have to have your digital presence. So as to respond to all the reviews, discussions, and issues that could arise.



Digital Presence Management

Now there is a lot that can go into managing the digital presence in pharmaceuticals. The basic framework for a pharma digital presence strategy could be:

1. To increase website traffic: This is the ultimate goal for any company having an online presence ! A website is the greatest marketing asset for a company. It can be the first point of contact with your prospective customer. 

Digital Presence Management

2. Investing in digital marketing: Content marketing, SEO, email marketing, digital advertising are just some of the many ways that will help build a company’s digital presence.

3. Being active on social media: Posting useful content, participating in conversations in health communities.

4. Being available to respond to customer inquires: Customers today expect a response from the company within the first 24 hours.

5. Online reputation management: Having a system in place to respond to all the online reviews (positive and negative) and the company’s mentions on social media .

6. Link building to improve authority: Not only the online reviews, but there are ways to boost a company’s reputation in the digital landscape – And that is when other websites with high authority, link to your website and reference about your company, its products, or some studies and useful content.

Now that you are convinced on –

The importance of an online presence for Pharma…

We are quite ready to take it to the next step.


There is more to follow on this topic – with ways to boost the Digital Presence of a pharma company.
In the second part of this series, you will find Examples of Successful Digital Presence Strategies of Big Pharma and What You Can Learn From Them.

Yes actual examples and practical learning ! It is going to be interesting.

But for now, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Which strategies do you think will help boost the Digital Presence of Pharma, fast.



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