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Seeking health information online

09/02/17 07:30
COUCH Medcomms

    

 

In case you hadn’t noticed, mobile internet use has increased dramatically in recent years. So much so, in fact, that it has gone from being the alternative to PCs to being the ‘weapon of choice’. According to comScore, mobiles account for 65% of time spent on digital media, so the tide has certainly turned.This shift is not to be taken lightly; it’s not merely the public preferring one gadget over another. What the shift actually represents is a revolution in seeking health information online – an ‘on the go’ approach with the need for speed. The fact that users no longer need to log on at home means they can tap away at work or while out and about – but then this also means that browsing will usually not be their sole activity.

In short, this equates to the following truth: we are battling for the attention of users, and have to win this battle quickly. Google refers to this window of opportunity as the ‘micro moment’, when the user stumbles across your site as they search for something else. Diverting the attention in these moments could potentially increase your traffic to the ‘nth’ degree.

Striking pharma facts

According to recent Google search figures, 1 in 20 searches are related to healthcare. Of these:

  • 60 million searches relate to Alzheimer’s disease
  • 80 million regard stroke
  • 200 million are about cancer treatments

But most strikingly of all, an estimated 84% of patients search for medical info after a doctor’s appointment. With a closer look, however, we can see a golden opportunity for pharma. It’s not a lack of trust but, actually, a desire to know more which causes this figure. For all its sins, the internet has influenced a desire to seek knowledge in many who would otherwise have been complacent in the past – and what’s more, it provides these people with the tools to proactively seek that knowledge.  

By making the very most of the ‘micro moments’, pharma brands can lead patients to the expert information they provide and, as a result, position themselves as authorities to be relied upon.

What is slightly more challenging, however, is keeping abreast of changes. Big events – such as epidemic outbreaks, for example – will influence bigger-than-usual traffic around such subjects, and for this reason it is essential to respond with appropriate content and make that the most visible.

Above all, however, is the need to make your content visible and accessible, especially for mobile users. Obviously, the content itself must then ‘talk the talk’ and deliver what it promises, but without being visible it may as well not be there in the first place! Help your potential readers and viewers, do the hard work for them, and you’ll earn their trust – and grow your network – in return.

 

Patient Journey

 

Topics: Customer Experience, Content Marketing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
COUCH Medcomms

At the risk of sounding too pretentious, at COUCH we consider ourselves storytellers first and foremost. And we are passionate in championing this approach to medical communications.

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