Influencers are the Marketer’s Prescription for Pharmacy Brands

Influencers are the Marketer’s Prescription for Pharmacy Brands

Influencer marketing is quickly consuming digital marketing – now comprising between 10-30% of consumer product marketing budgets. Even though they’re a little late, it just makes sense that pharmaceutical companies are entering the marketing channel. The data is almost too good to believe: market expansion opportunities for specialty drugs among younger consumers will pull them out of this slump.

But there’s one key reason influencers make more sense for Pharma than any other industry.

Really? Prescription drug spending has gone down?

Pharmas are scrambling to recover the strong growth seen in the past 20 years of prescription drugs. This may come as a surprise since spending on hospitals and doctors has continued to rise and… let’s be real: no one’s healthcare costs are going down. And yet it’s true; the decrease is mostly attributed to generic costs, which have plunged in the past few years. And because once costs have come down they rarely go up, expect to see more emphasis on specialty drugs for the foreseeable future.

Growing reliance on pricey specialty drugs

Out of pocket costs for specialty drugs can be life-altering for patients, which is why co-pay coupons are frequently available. But a lot of potential patients do a quick search for the proposed specialty drug and see one big red button: it’s ridiculously expensive and there’s no generic option. 

But what happens when someone they respect on Instagram mentions the drug and links to a coupon to help with the cost? Almost magically, the emotional rejection of the drug for cost reasons evaporates. Influencer marketing does best with a compelling call to action (“CTA”) and saving 50-75% on a critical prescription is captivating.

Influencers have the eyeballs Pharma needs to expand

It’s old news that Instagram is the influencer platform of choice. But most people on Instagram are young, right? Millennials, GenZ? It is true that the bulk of Instagram’s audience is under 40, with the heaviest concentration at 25-34 years old closely followed by 18-24 years old.

The data behind pharma targeting younger consumers is enticing. Millennial parents have and spend more disposable income than ever before. And a huge 67% of women and 40% of men 18-34 take prescription drugs. This is a gigantic chunk of market that is just now being targeted by pharma as they learn how to work through the FDA and FTC regulations.

But there’s another, even more compelling reason pharma is leveraging influencers. Trust.

Engaged Influencers Offer Trust

Most multi-channel campaigns we work with “prime the pump” with influencers. This makes a ton of sense because, along the consumer’s buying journey, establishing trust is the best first step. When you’re buying something big, like a car, you’ll search for as many expert reviews as possible. Prescription drugs don’t cost as much as most new cars, but the stakes are as high or higher. You’re actually putting this product in, or on, your body. The stakes are sky high.

No one marketing channel is more effective for establishing trust than (good) influencers. Of course you have to do all the data groundwork to ensure their audience is addressable for the drug and that the influencers haven’t bought followers or likes.

Trust is the No. 1 critical ingredient influencers bring to an industry who desperately needs it given its overall poor public perception, especially with a younger, more cynical audience.

Bringing It All Together…

At Mattr, our advice is to find influencers who not only meet the usual criteria of audience alignment and credibility, but also that they are unusually engaged with their audience in comments. This requirement winnows your field of possible influencers substantially but surfaces the respect and trust the influencer garners from their audience that’s so critical for a pharma campaign.

It’s no wonder Pharma is leveraging influencers: they need to expand their target market to younger consumers whose eyes and trust reside on Instagram.

If you have further questions, reach out! We have plenty of answers and a particular set of skills when it comes to running pharma campaigns.

About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

7 Tips to Bump Engagement on Your Next Influencer Campaign

7 Tips to Bump Engagement on Your Next Influencer Campaign

Many marketers believe that in order to increase engagement you need to increase the budget. But that isn’t necessarily true when it comes to influencer marketing. Truth is, there are many things you can do to fully optimize your influencer campaign and to increase engagement without spending another dime. Here are some things to think about incorporating into your strategy prior to your campaign, during your campaign, and after your campaign to fully reach your influencer potential beyond just the basics. 

1. Time your campaign correctly. 

Timing is a huge thing for when your campaign is running. Besides the obvious, (that you want to make sure your campaign is running at a time when your product or service is relevant to the audience), there are also things you can do in-house to make sure your campaign connects with your target. 

It is also important to leverage data that will help you schedule out your influencer posts. Posting on an influencer’s best day or week can bump engagement by 2-3x. Platforms, such as ours, can run data to know when is the best day and time for an influencer’s post to go live. You can Google search all day long when Instagram engagement is at its highest, but it truly depends on the influencer. Some influencers have strong engagement on Sunday nights, some on Wednesday afternoons. Focus on the particular influencer rather than on Instagram as a whole and that could be the difference between hundreds of likes on your content. 

2. Create a strong call-to-action.

Your call-to-action is critical when it comes to influencer marketing. It is how you can measure if this campaign was truly connecting with your audience. Maybe they liked the influencer’s image, but did they follow up on what you had to offer? It helps significantly if you can run your campaign at the same time you are running a coupon or a big promotion–or if you are in a financial situation to host a giveaway through the influencers. Having a strong call to action increases engagement and strong incentives, like a giveaway, build a strong bond between you and the audience and will give your brand a good image. It helps the audience interact more with the post and take notice of you and your brand more than if they just skimmed through the caption. 

3. Optimize the image and caption.

Before an influencer creates the actual content, you should decide what that content is going to look like. Really study the influencers you leverage before having them create content. What type of images do well on their page? What kind of content has strong engagement? Are they getting more traction on their stories than their in-feed posts? Each influencer is different, and you have the power to steer the creativity in the beginning before even having the discussions of content with the influencers.

4. Add some engaging words to the captions.

Once an influencer has created content, there are small things to do to increase their engagement. Maybe you have them create a carousel of their images instead of just one. Maybe you suggest they end their captions with a question to really get their audience engaged with what they are talking about. You’ve still given them creative control, but small tactics to increase engagement help you and them. Make sure that strong CTA is in their caption and audiences should be able to easily find any link to a coupon or promotion in the influencer’s bio and their stories. 

5. Expand across social channels. 

Many influencers want to take advantage of their other social platforms, even if they aren’t as large or getting as much engagement. You can also find influencers that will post across all of their channels, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, at no extra cost. This may not be engagement you can count on, but it helps when it comes to awareness and getting additional eyes on your brand. 

6. Repurpose the content!

If you aren’t repurposing content you’re doing it wrong. Repurposing on websites or emails may cost extra, but most influencers have no problem with you repurposing on social channels as long as they are tagged. If you think about it, influencers are a great way to not only create great content on their own pages, but also become almost a creative agency for your company. If you do choose to repurpose on something such as your website, you can negotiate with the influencers. Chances are, repurposing their content is going to cost you less than any outside creative team you could hire. 

7. Consider brand ambassadors for the future.

Once your campaign is over, the studying has just began. Some posts reach their peak engagement for two weeks after the post is live. You should study what did well and what may have fallen short and use that to your advantage for your next campaign. Studying the results of the campaign can also say a lot about the influencers that were leveraged and may be a great opportunity to try and take on some brand ambassadors, which will save you time and money in future campaigns. Influencers want long term relationships just as much as you and having an influencer post multiple times about your brand over the course of a year shows authenticity that their followers will take notice of.  


Influencer marketing is a trial and error industry and the more you dip your toes, the more you are going to learn what works and what you can do better. But here’s what’s great: we are still learning and more ways to optimize your campaigns without spending another penny arise with every campaign we run.

About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

Catching Influencers at the Right Time

Catching Influencers at the Right Time

There are important lessons to be learned from brands whose success depends on catching their audience at a particular time in their lives. This could be campaigns gearing towards pregnant women, companies looking for first time home buyers, financial aid for college freshman, pharma companies running seasonal allergy campaigns, or anxious first time moms (and dads); each relies on that perfect nexus of catching both the influencer and their audience at the right time. As you can imagine, the already difficult task of finding the right influencers is exponentially more challenging in these scenarios, potentially causing you delays and disappointment.

Why Influencers Work So Well

It’s not hard to see that the influencers with the most engaged audiences are those that speak openly about themselves, their journey, their families, and where they are at in life. People connect with that and follow along with those on that same journey.

Followers look to influencers for many things. If they are a young person nervous about college, they may follow a college influencer that can give them advice. Pregnant women often times follow pregnant influencers so they feel they are on this journey together. Because of this on demand synergy between the influencer and their audience, when you catch an influencer at the right time, there is an increased likelihood that you are catching their audience at the right time. Influencers are often innovators, so perhaps you are even catching their audience before the right time– even better! But, even this wonderfully convenient situation only helps a little with the discovery phase. Finding influencers with the right audiences is hard enough without this difficult, time-sensitive challenge. All brands have to be careful when leveraging influencers, but when your product heavily depends on timing, your vetting needs to be even more strategic. Brands need to engage audiences in the right location, with the right psychographics, demographics, and persona (the look and feel of the influencer’s feed). But there are best practices out there to help! 

Begin Early

We preach this to every brand we come across, START EARLY (or as early as you can). It’s important to find influencers whose audiences can relate to your product or service, which may be a very small number, especially if your product is niche. The earlier your search begins, the more time you have to find influencers that can authentically use, relate, and relay your product to their audience. For instance, if your company manufactures pregnancy pillows, you more than likely will want an influencer that can, you know, actually use the pregnancy pillow. The number of pregnant and available influencers out there isn’t going to be as large as your typical influencer pool. Giving yourself as much time as possible also opens up your range to influencers that may become pregnant or perhaps were recently pregnant, ready to work again and recommend your product to their followers. Many brands wake up one morning and decide they want to run an influencer marketing campaign in the next month, and yes, with the right provider it is possible. But in order to see the results you want, specific brands, like yourself, need the allotted time to ensure your influencers and target are going to connect. 

Know Social

This may seem like an obvious one, but if you’re going to work with influencers, you need to know influencers. The influencer marketing industry is growing daily– there are updates, scandals, drama, and news everyday – and all that just between influencers. There are influencers who are hidden gems and just as many overrated or overpriced influencers. It is extremely important to have someone on your team, or perhaps an entire team, that can take time to know and learn about influencers inside and out. Connecting with a pool of influencers also allows you insight into their lives. This can help you learn what kind of cars they drive, when their children are going off to college, or maybe when they are planning a family vacation. This is all important information that can help you know they are the right influencers for your specific brand, beyond what may just be seen right on their page. Building relationships with influencers allows you a better look into their lives and to know how genuine a brand and influencer relationship will become. 

You Can Do This

Finding influencers with the right audience is hard enough without the added requirement of something time sensitive like a pregnancy, or other life change. Giving yourself double or triple the usual time will be the first step to staying on schedule. Having a team who maintains a relationship with a pool of influencers will not only expedite the discovery process but also help with recruitment. As usual, if you need some advice feel free to reach out!

About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.