Holiday Season: Pros and Cons of Social Media Advertising for Clinical Trial Recruitment

The 2017 holiday season will bring eggnog, presents and lots of social media ads as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat promote key retail events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here at Seeker Health, we use social networks for a different purpose: to educate potential participants about clinical trials. But if you’re a company that sponsors or runs clinical trials, you need to know if advertising during the holidays makes sense, and if so, what are the most effective ways. Here are some marketing pros and cons to consider.

Pro: Advertising During the Holidays Accelerates Traffic

Expect more traffic when you advertise on social networks during the holidays. That's because more people use these platforms during the festive season. Facebook users, for example, generated more than 800 million holiday-related posts on Christmas Day in 2015 -- more than any other time during the holidays.

Pro: Advertising During the Holidays Makes You Stand Out from the Crowd

During the holidays, the bulk of social ad space is purchased by companies selling gifts. This makes sense. After all, online sales totaled a record-setting $91 billion during the 2016 holiday season. Promoting your clinical trial at this time of the year, however, will make you stand out from the crowd. You can offer something completely different from the retailers who are trying to plug products.

Pro: Advertising During the Holidays Will Keep Your Name Out There

If you have reservations about advertising your clinical trials during the holidays, remember that pausing your current ad campaign from November through December could damage your overall campaign results. You might even have to reoptimize your campaign from scratch in the new year. Advertising during the festive season, on the other hand, will continue to remind prospective patients about the opportunity to participate in your clinical trial.  

Con: It Costs More to Advertise Your Clinical Trials During the Holidays

During the 2016 holiday season, we saw a 20-50% increase in CPM (Cost per 1,000 impression). As companies fight for ad space on social media platforms at this time of the year, it may cost more to show the ad. However, at Seeker Health, we always focus on conversion, and we found that despite a higher cost to show the ad, the conversion rate, that is the number of patients that signed up to be considered for participation in the clinical study, held steady through the holiday season.

Con: Most Clinical Trial Providers Are Closed During the Holidays

Many clinical trial sites take a break during the holidays, so they may not be available to manage the increase in referrals generated from social media. However, most are happy to hit the ground running in January and contact the patients that have expressed interest via our social media advertising and online pre-screening methods.

And Happy Holidays

May this holiday season bring you and yours much joy. In the meantime, at Seeker Health, we are overjoyed about the opportunity to make an impact on drug development for serious conditions, and bring efficiency to the clinical trial enrollment process via the use of social media and the Seeker PortalTM.  We know that Nothing Happens Without Patients, and we are here to find them. Please contact us to today to learn how to accelerate your clinical trial enrollment efforts.