Pharma companies have been shying away from YouTube for a long time, despite its ability to educate and influence a qualified audience (YouTube is the #2 most popular search engine, after all).
Recently, the best practices for a YouTube presence for pharmaceutical brands have become:
- Non-branded channel name, mixed in with:
- Branded and creative videos
- Scrolling important safety information, which is a special feature for pharma (see “Legal Module”: This unit is offered only as a value-add for a media spend on YouTube)
Note that videos aren’t available on mobile devices due to the inability to have a scrolling ISI.
What’s the approach?
Our research shows that pharma brands seem to be using YouTube for a couple of reasons:
To support a video campaign
Think of it as a more targeted and measurable TV ad. This is the case with Living with UC & CD by Entyvio, who have over 14M video views. They’re likely utilizing a programmatic video and TrueView (pre-roll) campaign, allowing them to target viewers based on demographics, affinities, and specific lists.
To reach additional viewership organically (or try to)
This is the case with Osphena‘s channel, Sex After Menopause Shouldn’t Have to Hurt. All in all, they have about 800 views in 1 year, with 5 out of 6 videos totaling under 50 views each. Their videos on YouTube weren’t very well optimized: titles range from “talk with your doctor” to “start the conversation”—nothing anybody would search for. The video with the most descriptive title (Sex after menopause shouldn’t have to hurt) captures over 80% of all views.
Examples of pharma brands on YouTube
Discussed in this post:
- Rebif: MS LifeLines
- Osphena: Sex After Menopause Shouldn’t Have to Hurt
- Entyvio: Living with UC & CD
- Xolair: FacingCIU (unbranded)—screenshots available
- ProAir HFA: Kids Asthma Info
- Narcan (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray—branded channel with no scrolling ISI
- Taclonex: Psoriasis
- Adynovate (using videos for their ISI)
- RADIESSE (using videos for their ISI)
- Tecfidera (using videos for their ISI)
- Otezla (ISI is at the end of all videos—brand tries to exclude the indication for compliance. However, there’s a video category called “Dermatologist’s Perspective”)
Keeping in mind your patient/caregiver audience, launching a YouTube channel will allow you to serve video ads—and this could be the best way to test the waters before you fully commit.