How to reach the right patients in clinical trial advertising

Digital advertising, which encompasses social media, online channels, streaming content, and more can be a powerful way to reach patients. One of the biggest avenues of reaching potential clinical trial participants through digital advertising is social media — and from the statistics, it is clear why. Not only does Facebook boast more than 3 billion users every month, but 80% of social media users are searching for health information. However, even though it is clear that the patient population is out there, it can be challenging to connect with the right people through digital outreach without knowing best practices.

As a clinical trial recruitment company, we specialize in managing and optimizing online campaigns that connect patients with research. For this blog, we’re sharing some of our top tips for setting up a patient recruitment outreach campaign and optimizing the process for cost-effective success.

How to conduct effective clinical trial digital advertising

Decide what channels are best for a specific campaign.

Many channels can lend themselves to effective clinical trial marketing, but not every avenue will be appropriate for every condition. The first step toward deciding what channels are best is researching the patients who may be eligible for a trial. Having a clear picture of who the target audience is, like understanding their age, ethnicity, and sex, can inform insights into how they may be using the internet and where outreach materials are the most likely to reach them.

Gather information about what interests patients.

Once the appropriate channels are decided upon, it can be useful to gather data about how patients are using them. For example, on Facebook, it may be helpful to look into pages related to a specific condition to get insight into the kind of messaging they respond to, particular needs related to a condition, and a better sense of how to choose language that’s likely to resonate.

Be dynamic when it comes to ad targeting.

Because social media is such a dynamic platform, ad targeting should be similarly flexible. Running campaigns is more than turning them on — testing audience segments, copy variations, or landing pages can provide real-time data that can be used to further enhance both current and future campaigns. 

Measure the success of the campaign.

When recruiting for a clinical trial, user engagement provides the ultimate metric of a successful campaign. Digital advertising (through channels such as Facebook and Google) is designed to be less expensive and more effective when audiences are engaged with targeted ads, so it is wise to understand which ads are driving this engagement, and why.

When Antidote is recruiting for a clinical trial, we do everything we can to understand the patient population we’re trying to reach — ultimately saving sponsors time and money when working toward patient enrollment. Looking for help finding patients for your trials? Download our case studies to learn how Antidote uses digital advertising and our partner network to connect patients with research.