5 Tips for Advertising Clinical Trials to Patients

Successful clinical trial advertising captures patients’ attention and inspires them to get involved, all while sticking to strict FDA guidelines. It’s a tall order for an advertising campaign, but keeping the patient perspective in mind throughout makes a real difference. Follow these tips to start creating engaging campaigns that keep your trial on track.

1. Speak the same language as patients.

Visit patient message boards and social media to get a sense of the language patients use to talk about their condition. For example, if you’re running an Alzheimer’s trial, take careful note of whether patients and caregivers refer to the condition as “AD,” “Alzheimer’s disease” or “Alzheimer’s.” Mirroring the same language as patients improves clarity and helps the ad connect with patients.

2. Choose visuals that are relatable for patients.

It’s also important to select imagery that reflects the demographics of your patient population. If you can, include images that portray relevant symptoms or medical devices, such as an asthma inhaler, so patients can tell at a glance whether the ad applies to them.

3. Share information that helps patients make their decision.

In addition to connecting with patients emotionally, it’s also helpful to share basic logistical information about your trial. In a survey from CISCRP, patients said that knowing the physical location of the site, the risks and benefits of participating, and the goal of the study are all important to their decision-making process.

4. Appeal to a sense of volunteerism.

While details such as financial compensation are important, surveys suggest that patients are more motivated by the idea of helping science. Using words like “help,” “volunteer,” and “need” can engage patients and appeal to an interest in helping others living with their condition.

5. Test every assumption.

As with any advertising campaign, running A/B tests will help your campaign get the best results. When you submit your materials to your Institutional Review Board (IRB), include a variety of copy options that include different trial details, benefits, and tone, as well as a mix of images.

And don’t take our word for it—test these tips out for yourself, too. With proper research, planning, and testing, clinical trial recruitment can successfully engage patients and bring them into your trial.

  • Nancy Ryerson

    Nancy Ryerson is Digital Marketing Manager at Antidote. Nancy is a digital communicator with experience in content, marketing, and social media in the healthcare space. She currently writes for clinical researchers and patients at Antidote, a digital health startup that connects patients to research through an innovative clinical trial search tool. She can be reached at https://twitter.com/nanrye.

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