Monday, February 20, 2017

With Facebook pushing long-form video, should pharma jump in?

The author of this FiercePharma article prognosticates that the pharmaceutical industry will take advantage of Facebook’s preference for long-form video in users’ news feeds. Although this will create the opportunity for pharma brands to serve more content and longer form stories on the Facebook platform, it also means greater investment in production to create such content. As the article mentions, short-form video will not be going away. Rather, brands will most likely invest in both short-form and long-form videos to appeal to the widest set of consumers. Moreover, the development of brand strategies to incorporate more videos will be gradual, as many companies are expected to be cautious in their investment long-form video content.

The author includes a quote from an industry expert that is quite important: “Most pharma videos, even unbranded, aren’t going to go viral.” Pharma videos tend to be more informational than entertaining; in fact, regulations prohibit brand marketers from creating content that is "too entertaining," lest it distract the viewer from heeding the medical information about a given product’s side effects and adverse events. The prosaic and somewhat pedantic nature of pharma videos underscores the reason why they are not going viral, and it begs the question of why brand managers would invest further in video. However, the metric of success oh pharma videos, unlike other consumer products, is not always how many eyeballs see the video. Rather, the ultimate goal is to communicate enough information about the disease (the problem) and product (the solution) to the intended patient (and/or caregiver) to incentivize h/her to visit the doctor and ask for more information, which will hopefully lead to a written prescription. Long-form video will give marketers a few more seconds to communicate this targeted message and hopefully push the intended audience just enough to take action. This is why video, regardless of its “viral-ality,” is worth the investment. Long-form video on Facebook, which is seeing a growing number of new senior citizen users, makes sense for pharma as seniors who suffer from multiple chronic conditions are their most lucrative audience. 

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