Webinar Marketing for the Healthcare Industry | More for less? We hear this phrase a lot when we discuss digital multichannel communications in our industry, which implies technology will help us reach more people for a lower cost. However, the good news is that the webinar channel is something our Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) actually want more of!
The Webinar Channel
If our over arching goal is to build trusted and deeper relationships with our HCPs over time to ensure we partner with them on delivering real patient outcomes, then technology can certainly help us achieve this. This concept can be fraught with misconceptions, as by definition relationships are built by people, not technology. Technology does not replace face-to-face or human interactions. It expands it, by enriching our experiences and the opportunities to communicate.
Webinars are one of the most effective communication channels in our industry. This is because the webinar channel can extend our reach and frequency, but more importantly, it can save the customer time and money, and offer a convenient means of receiving relevant communications. HCPs are able to consume more educational material over time, in bite size chunks, accessible with the ability to replay content, right from their office, home or even their smart phone.
So it is not surprising that the use of the webinar channel has become very popular. There are organizations that specialize in this channel, readily available to assist you in delivering a comprehensive webinar program cost effectively and efficiently, without the need to build vast amounts of internal capabilities.
What is a Webinar?
What is a webinar and how does it differ to a webcast or a web meeting?
- A webinar is an interactive presentation given to a large geographically dispersed audience, who are able to engage with the presenter and each other in some way.
- A webcast traditionally is a broadcast-only (or one-way) presentation where the audience can only watch and listen. Sometimes these can be pre-recorded, then posted on a site or sent, and watched when convenient.
- A web meeting is an online meeting between 1 or more parties e.g. a virtual sales call between a field representative and a HCP.
- Often a webinar and webcast terms can often used be interchangeably.
What is Required to Conduct Webinars in the Pharma Industry?
Webinars are predominantly used for medical education, and to engage HCPs in research or treatment discussions. They are also great for connecting HCPs with KOLs more frequently. They can be used, albeit sparingly, for brand promotion, however this is not the driver of the success of this channel. Hosting a webinar requires the use of specialized software that connects the presenter and audience PCs, tablets or phones.
Making a webinar pay off requires some investment, planning, training, and practice, but most of all, relevant and suitable content. The immersion context of a webinar, into specific content areas, can lead to improvements in memorability, as well as provide the opportunity for real time behavioral tracking and feedback.
Good relevant content remains at the core of any webinar program success. Good relevant content will draw an audience, either live or via post webinar replays (or webcast views).
It sounds simple, but you will need a platform and the skills to produce and facilitate an engaging experience. Interactivity drives attention and engagement in a webinar.
Don’t forget to promote your event early enough, so your target audience know it is on. And needless to say, check your compliance requirements.
What percentage of people who receive your e-mail invitation will click through to the registration page? And how many will actually turn up to the live event? Registration conversion rate is dependent upon the interest in the content, and the suitability of the date and time, but also the complexity of the registration for.
The statistics you can obtain range from technology statistics, audience statistics, ratings and comment. We recommend that you break down the full webinar process to assess your preparation, your promotion of the event plus of course, registration, attendance, and the experience. Don’t forget the post webinar activity!
This wonderful popular channel can provide the opportunity to showcase your organisation’s expertise in a disease area or portfolio of products, and draw new interest from the marketplace. Just remember, start with understanding your target customer journey and ensure you have the relevant content they will value, then engage a professional partner to assist you in delivering and engaging experience.
Jennifer Grech is an experienced Customer Excellence professional, with over 10 years experience working on the transformation of pharma marketing and sales, and a member of the Actando consulting team.