The Internet is a host for information. Yet, it is also a place of disinformation, especially on health-related topics.
Fake News is a ubiquitous term that sure does ring a bell. And, they are of concern. For society in general, and pharma marketers in particular. These prime by polarizing ideas and extremist positioning. Questioning, in that way, science’s reliability.
It is, then, important to learn from consumers and target them at the right place and time. So that credibility wins over disinformation.
Did you know that…in 2021, 47% of EU citizens aged 16-74 identified untrue and questionable information on the Internet? But only 23% verified the truthfulness of that same content? (Eurostat)
With this in mind, we present you with 3 ways to move patients away from disinformation. But first,…
What are the differences – Disinformation VS. Misinformation?
Disinformation and misinformation are part of modern-day content consumption. These are buzzwords that are evermore listened to. As they pose a threat to society and democracy. Thus, it is important to know what they are and the differences between them.
Disinformation is the purposeful creation, presentation, and dissemination of untruthful content. Which aims at deceiving the public while generating an economic gain. Fake news is a good example of disinformation. These intentionally polarize society, tending to favouritism of particular ideas.
Misinformation is the unintentional spreading of false content. Which is often shared for the reader’s belief in it. It implies a blind trust from consumers that do not detain a habit of checking the truthfulness of the accessed information.
The EU has already sought to put in practice codes, regulations, and campaigns that drive the battle against disinformation forward. Some of these initiatives are:
- The Code of Practice on Disinformation – A set of self-regulatory standards for the industry’s monitoring;
- COVID-19 monitoring and reporting program – Act as a regulator for transparency to ensure those who foster disinformation are accountable.
- The European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) – A hub that gathers fact-checkers, academics, and journalists together to support policing disinformation.
What to do
1 – Use your Expertise & Data
Disinformation starts with the use of data that is neither peer-reviewed nor checked by credible sources. So, it is here that you should start to move your patients away from misleading content.
As experts in the field, Pharma companies retain valuable knowledge and data. Which could only be resourceful if shared with the target audience. Perse, market your data as a way to move patients away from virulent fake news.
So, start by gathering your information from your database, reports, and case studies. From there make sure to:
- Fact-check your data and information – verify it is truthful;
- Have your data and information peer-reviewed, so transparency and impartiality can be possible; and
- Select the data and information that better match your audience’s needs.
From there, you can think of ways in which you can convey this same content to your patients. Thus, being pivotal to target them at the right place and time, with the most relevant information.
2 – Website & Blog
To move patients away from disinformation, it is vital to target them at the right place and time. Thus, your information must be presented in a ubiquitous format that they trust. Websites and blogs are, then, highly resourceful tools.
In 2020, one in two EU citizens searched the internet for health-related information. Namely injuries, disease, nutrition, and ways to improve wellness (Eurostat). Most of these used the internet as the first resource before contacting their HCP, which they mostly reached online (30%).
So, the first place where you need to target your audience is on the Internet. It is here that most of the age groups can be found. You can start by using your website as a tool for sharing the information you gather from your database. Consequently, turning it into a vault for resourceful, valuable content that is sure to inform patients. While moving them away from distrust of science.
One other way you can do this is by sharing your data and information through blog posts. These are popular for providing relevant content that matches what the readers are looking for. Blog posts are smaller than academic articles. Yet, in them, you can equally provide insightful information on all the topics you intend to cover.
Through these you can:
- Educate your audience on your services and products;
- Educate your audience on topics of interest;
- Generate new leads; and
- Increase engagement through SEO.
By doing this, you fight against sources of disinformation by providing relevant content that resonates with your audience.
3 – Video
Sometimes text is not the way to attract patients. Because, the majority of these seek ways to obtain answers to their questions, quickly. So, one other way to effectively distance your patients away from disinformation is through video.
Video is a growing trend in the pharmaceutical industry for its informative value. In fact, all it takes is 90 seconds for you to turn your complex information into easy-to-understand content. Through it, you can increase engagement by as much as 41% and generate new leads/ clicks by 60% (Wyzowl).
By including it on your website, you can:
- Effectively share your content with your audience;
- Shift patient’s attention away from other websites; and
- Increase engagement while strengthening your brand awareness.
Now is the time to include video in your marketing and communications strategy. Don’t know where to start? MedExplainers are here to help you better target patients, through 90-second animated videos. These will make your website visitors’ experience memorable. Book your free demo today.