In the world of healthcare, the focus in commercial and medical departments has always been on face-to-face communication with healthcare professionals.
With the rise of digital, the industry is improving communication through always-available digital channels.
But it also means increased competition for HCP’s attention.
Easily accessible, digestible and personalized content is the foundation of digital activities. HCP portals (sometimes called HCP sites) are therefore getting more and more popular as a new touchpoint with the HCP population.
But what is a HCP portal?
HCP portals are online resources for healthcare professionals to get informed on diseases and pharma brands. Their main objective is to help physicians, caretakers and nurses improve patient outcomes.
For example, the portal can give healthcare professionals a faster, better way to find and access clinical trials and clinical studies. It can also summarize information to make it more easily digestible.
Of course, pharmaceutical companies also get a lot from them, mostly through a new communication channel with their target.
Well-built HCP portals are a very cost-effective way to communicate, but the cost is not the only objective.
There are many different types of HCP portals:
- They can be websites or mobile apps
- Some focus on pathology – or speciality (e.g. haematology, oncology, diabetes, etc.) or anything related to the portfolio of a specific pharma company
- Some portals even include a community element where HCPs can connect with each other and share experiences
- The HCP portal can be either branded, unbranded or a hybrid model – with different levels of data access: fully open access for disease education for example, and at the other extreme gated content requiring HCP verification and registration.
The content can be very varied but will usually include medical studies and clinical data, disease education, therapeutic strategies, surveys and even branded product content.
3 key ingredients for a successful HCP portal
HCPs will stay longer if the portal is easy to navigate, with an intuitive content structure which makes it easy for the visitors to find what they are looking for.
If the user needs to search for content, you probably have an issue.
Also, make sure your design tells a story. Don’t simply dump content on various pages. Try to create a journey bringing everything together. The user should always know where to go next.
Think about Youtube. You will always have the next video to watch.
If a user comes back 3 times to the portal, should he see 3 times the same content?
Adapt the content being promoted to the interaction of your users. Show him more of what he likes, don’t promote what he’s already seen.
Think Netflix, but for your portal.
You don’t create a portal and then forget about it.
You need continuous development and improvement.
It’s an iterative process for which it’s important to get feedback from HCPs to improve future versions of the portal and ensure user engagement is optimized with the content they want in the format they request.
Avoid these 3 common mistakes
Websites not structured to support digital campaigns
Often websites are created by a team who will not be in charge of the promotion and doesn’t know much about it.
Websites that don’t allow efficient promotion. The issue can take different forms:
Too much content on a single page:
For example, having only a list of webinars or downloadable assets instead of a dedicated page for each webinar. That doesn’t allow for the possibility of promoting a single content piece
Missing descriptions and engagement:
You need to optimize for all types of interactions, including users landing on your page with no prior knowledge of your content. Take the following example: the team was asked to add a webinar and they added it… title, thumbnail that’s it. But imagine somebody landing on the page without prior knowledge of the webinar. (eg. through a simple banner, a link from another site, etc.). You need to give him a reason to click on play. Always ensure the content is contextualised, to get the visitor’s attention and push him to engage with the content.
User experience issues and the scary websites
This often happens because nobody thought about the user in the development process. The following two issues are way too common:
The million clicks website:
You ask compliance what they want for a website and they will add numerous steps, or clicks (is the user a professional, from which country, what’s his license number, is he OK to download a document, etc.). You end up with a website that’s compliant but provides a horrible user experience. Try to get the compliance team to also understand the user needs and the additional hurdle each click is bringing. Include them early in the process and work closely with them.
The desktop first website:
Very often, creative agencies work hours on an amazing desktop website… with amazing animations. It’s wow…. And then when everything is agreed upon, either they quickly do a mobile version or they simply rely on the development team to adapt it… You end up with websites that are just horrible to navigate on mobile devices.
Missing promotion and the content cemetery
What are you doing to promote your HCP portal?
A typical mistake we see is for companies to spend most of their budget and energy on the creation of the portal and don’t put the necessary effort into promoting it.
If you take only one thing from this article, it should be the following rule of thumb: For each euro spent on creating content, ensure there is at least one euro spent on media to promote that content.
Don’t let your portal turn into a cemetery for your content.
Where are portals going next? What about enhancing engagement with AI?
You may have noticed that when you watch a new video on YouTube it is not recommending the same videos to everybody. The platform’s suggestions are automatically tailored to your interests.
It would be great if your healthcare providers could see adaptable and personalized content on their screens!
That’s what artificial intelligence is all about!
Make your portals smarter, more personalized, and irreplaceable for your HCPs, avoid the common mistakes and you will have personalized engagement based on their needs and preferences.
You are welcome to tell us your thoughts after applying these tips 😃