Part 3 in our Spring Series

The Market Size is Nothing to…Sneeze At

The pharmaceuticals market is approaching $1 trillion; that’s with a “T”. And by 2021, it’s projected to grow another $200 billion. Allergy medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, account for well over $11 billion, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Just the top 10 OTC (“over the counter”) allergy brands were credited for almost $2 billion of the market in 2016.

You hear the words “trust” and “authenticity” associated with influencers. With pharmaceuticals nothing is more important because you’re actually putting something in your body. Of course you’ll typically rely on  the advice of your doctor but physicians have choices when they prescribe.

For OTC brands, influencers may be even more important because of the fierce competition from generics and private label brands at stores like Walgreens and CVS. And you probably don’t have a doctor recommending a product to you. If a consumer scans their Instagram feed and one of their trusted Instagrammers uses a particular brand of non-drowsy antihistamine, you can bet that consumer will spend those extra dollars.

Oh Those Scratchy Compliance Issues!

The challenges for OTC meds can be onerous for a brand team or agency embarking on an influencer campaign. For prescription medications, it can seem downright overwhelming.

For example, if the pharma company conducts any review of the influencer posts (and they will insist on it), the content must be FDA approved. You heard that right: the FDA needs to approve the language used in an Instagram post promoting a prescription drug. Fortunately, there are ways to expedite this process which fully satisfy the pharma legal teams.

Another headache is monitoring for adverse events and off-label claims in post comments. In short, if some random commenter states that the promoted medication made their nose fall off, or whatever, it must be reported to the FDA. Pharma companies are deadly serious about this and you’ll have to prove you have the technical wherewithal to monitor the posts via periodic audits.

One workaround for most of these restrictions is to do an unbranded campaign, with a conversion link to a brand-owned property. But be aware that pharma legal departments will still impose significant delays on your campaign if you’re not prepared. As usual, if you need advice on your campaign, reach out and we’ll do our best to set you right.

Influencers You’re Itching to See

On the search for allergy influencers? Be aware that the results will be running with alternative type remedies, which may or may not be your thing but will definitely not be a thing for a pharma enterprise. At Mattr, we tend to work with higher level mid-range influencers; professional content and attitude but still eager to please – the sweet spot.

For categories, Moms make terrific pharma/health/allergy influencers. Also look to travel influencers, who know how to travel prepared. Just make sure to give yourself plenty of timeline when you plan out the campaign.

Health & Lifestyle Influencers

Jen Brunner @jen_pbrunner

Jen is an inspiration with no humble brags on how fit and cool she is! As a personal trainer and yoga teacher, she’ll enthusiastically carry the health cred all the way for your brand. Her engagement is excellent at 3% with an audience of about 21,000 followers.

Leigh Ann Chatagnier @mydiaryofus

We look for influencers with engagement rates over 2% and a consistent look and feel to their feed. Leigh Ann nails it! Her food pics are beautifully savory and kid pics cute and candid – perfect!

Kiitan A. @kiitana

L.A. based Kiitan is quirky and fun. Her content is primarily beauty-based but also tosses in gorgeous travel content. Her engagement is impressive, earning nearly 14,000 likes per post for an average rate of about 3%. She’s a true pro so you’ll enjoy working with her!

Fun Moms

Marquis Clark @marquis_clark

Marquis hits all the right notes: bright, joyful aesthetic, polished content, and high engagement rates. She primarily posts sponsored content for kids, so Marquis could be ideal for children’s allergy formulas.

Gabrielle Flowers @gabeflowers

Irresistibly so damn cute! Irresistible engagement (>10% on 90k followers)! Gabrielle posts beauty and lifestyle but tons of kid pics. Her content is fresh and candid, lacking the post edit polish of other influencers with similar reach – works for her!

Seasoned Travel Influencers

Nolan Omura @nolanomura

Like plunging into a freezing California surf on a hot day, Nolan’s pictures will take your breath away. Nolan does sponsor content, but not a lot – and his monster engagement rates reflect a dedication to his craft of sharing his visually intriguing and stunning content.

Oneika Raymond @oneikatraveller

Sometimes you just want a pure-play travel influencer! Travel journalist Oneika Raymond reads big, fun, and colorful, with visually engaging pictures from locations all over the world. With a much more than respectable 3.3% engagement rate on about 75,000 followers, you’re sure to feel good about working with this professional.

Invest in Influencer Campaigns – But Be Smart About It

Pharma campaigns require special tech and attention, about 3-4x planning time, and professional, motivated influencers. The payoff can be substantial, though, because the influencer model is particularly effective for products which require high levels of trust. If you need advice or help, we’re just a click away!


MATTR 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.