An inside story about how one pharma company used content marketing to reach GPs at very low cost.

What was GSK trying to achieve?

According to GSK’s research, more than 30% of Australians travel overseas annually, but many – including doctors – underestimate hepatitis risk.

Only 40% of travellers seek pre-travel health advice from their doctor, and almost half of those who travel without vaccination participate in activities at high risk of hepatitis.

We pitched a “promoted content marketing” campaign to GSK which featured branded content to educate GPs about the real level of Hep A/B risk for patients travelling to endemic countries. For the client, the objective was also to increase GPs’ awareness of vaccines, and specifically GSK’s product, Twinrix.

Why content marketing?

Content marketing simply helps brands tell their stories in ways that audiences interact and engage with.

Carefully crafted content can educate, entertain, and start a conversation about a therapeutic area, new research or treatments.

In this way, doctors interact and consume (often branded) information in ways they don’t with traditional display advertising.

It can become the start of a powerful relationship where your customers actually seek out your content.

At Australian Doctor Group, as well as creating the content, we also distribute, promote, and host it via our established mastheads (Australian Doctor, Medical Observer, 6minutes, Pharmacy News).

How did it work for GSK?

Working with GSK’s marketing team, we came up with a strategy using a variety of content types which were selected strategically to meet the campaign objectives.

With only 6 pieces in the mix, they each needed to pack a punch.

The initial step is always about understanding a client’s brand objectives. We then take that to our in-house doctors and editorial team to understand doctors’ pain points, and clearly establish where we need to pitch the conversation.

How did you decide on the content mix?

Content about travel vaccination doesn’t readily make headlines and since our content marketing distributes in the daily e-newsletters of our mastheads, we often take a creative approach to grab doctors’ attention and compete with the news.

Our own reader research also shows that doctors, like all people, like to be entertained; they have an appetite for some light relief between consultations.

With those considerations in mind, we kicked off the campaign with an animated video that we developed to succinctly and effectively highlight at-risk activities and atypical travellers.

Our in-house medical writers developed articles, based on 62 research papers, to provide practical tips for GPs and were written in a snackable format using images from the animation for levity and consistency.

Was there anything different about this campaign?

Other than the animation which was a bit out of the box but generated very high engagement, GSK also wanted to develop an education module as part of the campaign.

While this was a no brainer for us as we offer CPD-accredited education modules to our readers every day, surprisingly, this became a powerful part of the campaign.

Doctors participating in the clinical audit on travel vaccines collected and assessed their own patient data to adjust treatment decisions. After reviewing these findings our team then extrapolated this data and created an overview in the form of an infographic and then distributed this through our mastheads’ EDMs to amplify the campaign. Uptake in the module jumped 109% on the back of that single piece of content – a powerful outcome for GSK.

How did you drive traffic to the content?

An integrated digital advertising campaign helped to drive traffic to all content, though amplification is really achieved by using the e-newsletters of our mastheads.

Branded content we develop for clients is distributed through our e-newsletters. As such, visibility of the content is high and by rubbing shoulders with the top headlines of the day, tells the reader the quality of the content is high.

How do you measure success with content marketing?

Success depends a lot on the audience you’re trying to reach. While high reach is always a great outcome for any campaign, depth of readership is also important – especially with a niche audience like healthcare professionals.

What do the metrics tell you?

The metrics from this campaign tell us a lot: 3541 individual GPs engaged with the six pieces of content. They viewed 4056 pages of the campaign and spent on average 2:29 minutes on each page. Time on page is important because it tells us they read the articles in full rather than bouncing off elsewhere.

GPs also spent 28 hours watching the animation representing 1205 individual video views. More than half of those who watched it watched the animation in full – also an important metric, especially when considering online videos are rarely watched to completion.

Overall, the metrics tell us that this campaign outperformed the average content marketing campaign by 19.7%.

Meanwhile, 921 GPs participated in the education module and reviewed in total 4627 patient records as required by the audit. When asked to rate the education module, 95% of GPs who participated rated it as “entirely relevant” to their daily practice.

What did the client have to say?

Content marketing enabled GSK to present strategically aligned content to our target customers in an environment where they expect to be served credible and useful information. The production values of the content were of the highest standard, and the combination of different content formats (video animation, article and listicle) enabled the customer to engage in multiple pieces of content, reinforcing the key education messages for doctors.

The campaign was the first time GSK has used content marketing, and in combination with other multichannel tactics, proved to be the most successful integrated marketing campaign for GSK.

This campaign was one of the most successful campaigns in terms of reach, and also achieved a level of engagement that exceeds both business and industry standards. This has set a benchmark for future multichannel campaigns for GSK.

Andrea Roberts, GSK