Pharma Digital Marketing: Strategies to Grow Pharma Companies

Digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry can feel like mission impossible.

Perhaps most challenging is keeping your marketing campaigns in compliance with the healthcare industry’s intense rules and regulations. Then there’s the matter of trying to stand out in an oversaturated market to contend with.

Thankfully, embracing the digital transformation of the last few years can yield big results in pharma marketing. Whether you decide to work with a pharma digital marketing company or implement your own digital marketing strategies, there are multiple channels and techniques that can make you competitive.

Keep reading to find out what they are.

Search Engine Optimization for Pharmaceutical Companies

Reaching your target audience on Google requires a significant investment in search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is the cornerstone of any digital marketing strategy. It’s all about curating and positioning your content so that your website ranks higher in search engines. The higher your ranking, the more traffic your website will receive.

More traffic translates to more visits, which means more visitors are consuming the up-to-date and essential information you have curated for them. The better your SEO strategy, the easier it is to reach the consumers and healthcare providers searching for your products.

The conversation about SEO is the topic of many blog posts, and many marketing teams dedicate themselves exclusively to this area. Providing a complete overview here would be impossible, but keep in mind that the best-ranking sites on search engines meet specific criteria. They all have:

  • Optimized title tags
  • Intriguing Meta descriptions
  • Content that is useful and educational
  • Multimedia

An effective SEO strategy takes time to produce results, but the first step is meeting these criteria. Without an optimized site, you can’t hope to appear when someone searches for a keyword related to your page. When done correctly, SEO is a passive promotional tactic that is always working—and the hope is that you eventually outrank your competitors.

Pay-per-click for Pharma Companies

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is a popular digital marketing technique that can produce an impressive return on investment. It involves the use of highly targeted ads to attract leads on popular media channels.

The practice is standard on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. The idea behind it is simple: with PPC ads, companies bid on ad space. The ads are linked to specific keywords in the search engine that match the advertiser’s services or products. If the bid is high enough, the company’s ads are placed at the top of search results, which generates traffic back to the advertiser’s site.

There are a few different types of PPC ads to know about:

  • Search ads. Search ads are the most common, and they’re what we just mentioned. You pay to appear in a Google search above organic results. The highly targeted nature of these ads is excellent for increasing clicks to your site.
  • Display ads. Display ads are useful for promoting a new drug. They’re not the most pharma-friendly kind, but they still allow you the ability to appear on sites related to the keyword you want.
  • Social media ads. Social media ads are a bit trickier for pharma companies, as you can’t use them to sell products the same way other industries do. We’ll talk about social media in greater detail below.

Whichever PPC ad you choose, researching the keywords most relevant to your company is a critical part of this digital marketing strategy. When done right, it’s an excellent way to boost your marketing campaigns—and it’s easy to monitor and analyze each of your campaigns.

A reputable digital marketing agency can help you maximize this resource.

Content Marketing

Another fundamental digital strategy is content marketing.

Content marketing is the process of writing, designing, and publishing informational pieces that educate your audience. While most people tend to think of strictly written content, in reality, any type of content that provides value works well. Multimedia such as branded images, videos, and infographics all have a place in content marketing.

Pharma-specific Content

There are plenty of opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to produce content unique to this industry. You may want to consider creating the following content types:

  • MSDS documents
  • Consumer guides
  • Manuals for physicians on how to prescribe specific products

Traditional Content

These three types of pharma-specific content are the ideal complement to other marketing strategies. You can use them in combination with more traditional content marketing, such as:

  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Statistics
  • Shareholder reports
  • Transparency reports

There are plenty of advantages to this more traditional content for your digital strategy.

With blogs and articles, you can target keywords for SEO and provide updates about your company.

Publishing statistics, on the other hand, allows you to promote your brand in an underhanded way. Data analysts can use this information in their publications and link to your site, another important SEO tactic.

Of course, publishing reports demonstrates that your company is transparent, which helps build trust among consumers.


Since 2009, we have helped pharmaceutical companies grow their business. Let us do it for you!

Online Reputation Management for Pharma Companies

The very nature of being in pharma means being subject to constant review. Whether those reviews are about the actual medicines you produce, jobs, or business practices, people are continually talking about pharma companies. Negative reviews are inevitable in this industry.

While there’s nothing you can do to prevent them, it’s vital to monitor negative feedback to keep a pulse on what the public thinks about your company. How you respond to reviews—both negative and positive—is critical to maintaining consumer trust.

There are various tactics for online reputation management. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of adding information to reviews to offer supplemental information. Other times, review outlets (like Yelp, for example), will remove false or misleading reviews if you explain the situation to them.

Perhaps the worst thing to do is think that because you aren’t selling directly to consumers that you have the luxury of ignoring online reviews. While it’s true that healthcare professionals are your “client,” in the end, a customer has the final say over whether they fill the prescription given to them. If they view your brand in a negative light, they won’t fill it.

Social Media Marketing for Pharma Companies

The pharma industry has many restrictions when it comes to social media. For example, companies cannot promote a treatment or therapy proactively (though you can respond to these posts). Understanding the rules and regulations pharma companies are subject to is essential to using social media correctly.

Still, there’s no reason to fear social networks. Though you have to use these channels differently than other industries, they are still an ideal way for you to connect with the public and build brand recognition. Keep in mind that in 2019, over 246 million Americans used them, which means social networks should be one of the primary tools in your marketing campaigns.

For pharma companies, social networks are a place to provide information about themselves and to connect with customers on a more sentimental level. You can use them for things like sharing exciting new research or spotlighting employees in your company.

The goal of social media is less about generating sales than it is about creating brand awareness. You want people to feel more at ease with your products, and that’s where networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can help you. You can employ the multimedia approach we talked about in content marketing on social media to great success.

Web Design and Development

Our final digital marketing strategy to grow pharma companies is web design and development.

Once you’ve invested significant time and resources in SEO, it’s critical to make sure your web design and development is up to par. Improving organic traffic is challenging; don’t let a faulty or poorly designed website sabotage these efforts.

Your website is what establishes your credibility and leaves the first impression on customers. It should be clean and have an easy-to-navigate interface (the design part), and it must work correctly on all devices, whether desktop, mobile, or tablet (development).

There are many problems websites may have. They may:

  • Lack an aesthetic design
  • Load slowly
  • Make information hard to find
  • Not work properly on certain devices

Final Thoughts

These issues are all things that will stop visitors from engaging with your content. The goal of web design and development is to make the user experience as positive as possible. Otherwise, you risk losing customers.


Since 2009, we have helped pharmaceutical companies grow their business. Let us do it for you!

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