We live in an increasingly digital world and key opinion leaders (KOLs) are no exception. Though face-to-face meetings and presentations are still the preferred way for KOLs to interact with their peers at conferences and meetings, the reality of expensive and time-consuming travel is shifting more and more of these interactions to the digital realm.
KOL Webcasts have become an important new tool for pharmaceutical companies to facilitate the interaction of their KOLs not just with other healthcare providers and medical professionals but also with investors.
The Benefits of KOL Webcasts
There might be nothing that beats a personal conversation when it comes to impact, however, there is great value in broadening the reach of a KOL past the limited group of people they can interact with in conversations or even in giving a presentation at a conference via webcasts. Using digital channels has a number of benefits, they:
- allow healthcare professionals to access information and interact with leaders in without spending time away from their office or practice
- enable a broader group of healthcare professionals to access the information at a time that is convenient for them and – in the case of recorded webinars – over a longer period of time
- make it possible to reach healthcare professionals that have previously had little opportunity to engage, e.g. physicians in rural areas
Digital channels also offer benefits for the pharmaceutical companies the KOLs work with:
- By reaching a broader audience via digital channels companies can build a relationship with and provide information to more healthcare professionals than in-person meetings allow for.
- Webcasts that include Q&A sessions provide additional valuable information for the pharma company. The real time questions doctors ask can be captured verbatim and educational materials can be adjusted to include answers to these questions.
- Digital talks and presentations – as well as recorded live events – have a further advantage: they can be made available on demand and leveraged beyond the original audience as part of a company’s content marketing strategy or an educational track for healthcare providers.
- Comprehensive metrics are easier to establish for webcasts: views and viewing behavior such as drop off, can be tracked and provide valuable information about the type of content viewers like and dislike and inform the planning of future events.
- The list of attendees at such events provides a possible starting point for identifying additional KOLs, e.g. in specific geographic areas.
As healthcare providers become more digitally savvy interactions, through digital channels are on the rise. A survey conducted by PharmaFuture shows that digital channels are gaining ground on traditional ones. The gap between digital and traditional channels has been narrowing over the last few years and an increasing number of healthcare providers now prefer that information reach them via KOL webinars, websites, online searches or face-to-face discussions using video-conferencing tools.
KOL Investor Events
But it isn’t only healthcare professionals that benefit from easier access to the medical experts. Increasingly pharmaceutical companies engage their KOLs to share information with the investor community. Important medical conferences, new clinical data or regulatory milestones provide opportunities for KOLs to educate investors and build closer ties with the investment community. KOLs who are able to explain the data or put the importance of a milestone in context can provide much needed third-party validation and increase the visibility of a (bio)pharma company.
As healthcare professionals receive more and more content and information digitally, pharmaceutical companies need to make sure to provide them with the type of content they find valuable. A recent study shows, that the highest engagement rates are obtained when the information shared by pharma is immediately useful and applicable to the healthcare providers daily practice. KOL opinions and insights do very well by that metrics: with average engagement rates around 10% and top engagement rates of approx. 20% for specialties like oncology, they outperform most other forms of content.
The world is becoming more digital and healthcare with it. For reaching and educating healthcare professional leveraging KOLs to provide actionable insights and content seems a winning strategy.