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Win the Digital Pharma Trifecta with an Integrated Media Plan

Leverage paid search, social, and programmatic to take home the prize


Welcome to the second in our CPM series focusing on proven case studies in pharma, device, and hospital marketing. Today we share a strategic, fully integrated media plan that led to record-setting campaign conversions. Apply these best practices and optimizations to your own healthcare campaigns.

Say Goodbye to One-Dimensional Media Plans

Our client, a regional hospital who recently became part of a larger health network, had multiple needs from their media partner.

First, they wanted to expand their reach and make rural communities and surrounding areas aware of the breadth of the clinical services and advanced procedures offered. Next, they wanted to differentiate themselves from a crowded regional market by playing to their strengths. Lastly, access was vital, so they wanted to ensure patients knew how to easily find and schedule care.

From the onset of media planning, our approach had to be personalized and comprehensive to saturate the market and drive meaningful action. Since our success metric was site conversions, we leveraged a mix of paid search, paid social, and programmatic display and video to kick off Q1.

We’re now proud to share the quarterly results for our client’s two domains, far exceeding industry and local benchmarks:

Best Practice 1: Geo-target at Every Stage

Location-specific targeting for hospital centers across three states was critical for all ad placements and keywords. Capturing searches based on a user’s geography and bidding on keywords similar to those used by competitors enabled us to capture the right clicks from the right targets in the right regions. That resulted in extended engagement with our content: time on site of one minute and thirty-two seconds (1:32).

Analytics from landing page visits helped us strategize the content of our ads, and further refined our targeting as regional preferences emerged. For instance, users spent close to 8:00 minutes on the “Find a Doctor” page, which spurred us to launch a social campaign featuring specific physicians. Paid and organic search activity coupled, with insights from Google Analytics, also allowed us to shift the budget to support particularly relevant clinical areas, such as maternity and orthopedics.

Best Practice 2: Spend Where The Results Are

By carefully measuring and recording channel performance on a weekly and monthly basis, we could optimize budget across all tactics to enhance engagement while lowering our cost-per-result (CPR).

Based on these adjustments to our media mix, YouTube TrueView became a key partner, averaging a benchmark-busting view rate of 31.7% and a cost per view of just $0.07. Measuring programmatic partners also made budget decisions clear cut; CPM under Google Display Network was nearly $.40 less than another partner and impressions were twice as high.

On the social front, by consistently allocating a portion of the budget to new Facebook page followers, we not only increased our monthly engagement but enhanced the value of organic posts. Page followers met the same target criteria as our paid audience(s), while promoting hospital news, initiatives and events to this group didn’t cost a penny.

Best Practice 3: Rock Your Differentiator

As we optimized cost and enhanced ad performance, our ever-growing social community helped us identify another key differentiator: our client’s community involvement and their personalized approach to care.

Organic posts featuring hospital staff volunteering and hosting free community events saw tremendous social media engagement in the shape of likes, comments, and shares. Sharing patient stories and firsthand experiences with the hospital similarly resonated with our social community. Backed by paid media, engagement translated to clicks, driving web traffic and positioning our client as the locally pre-eminent, community-oriented, thoughtful health leader.

The Home Stretch

Winning the healthcare marketing race is all about making the right picks. Your top three contenders are usually search, social, and programmatic. The order you rank them is also vitally important, since your media mix needs to precisely match your audience and the goals of your brand. Does your media partner make the right picks for you? Do they understand how to win?

If you’re looking to improve the performance of a current or future campaign, be sure to check out our other POVs – using paid search as a brand messaging labgetting started with programmatic advertising, and why pharma marketers should embrace Facebook ads

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