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Chennai-based e-pharma portal netmeds.com relies heavily on the print medium for its content marketing initiative, which is the most important way to reach out to consumers in the retail pharmaceutical industry since it is prohibited from advertising medicine and buying ‘ad words’.

Devoid of ‘ad words’, online content helps the pharmacy brand perform better in organic search results while print content helps strengthen its brand recall.

Anand Pathak

Speaking about the brand’s content marketing strategy, Anand Pathak, Chief Marketing Officer at Netmeds.com, told BuzzInContent.com that the brand uses the printed word and has been actively creating and publishing a variety of articles for newspapers and magazines.

When it comes to online content, Netmeds uses a combination of both video and textual content. Pathak said, “Text-based content helps with because of the SEO referenced earlier and in-bound traffic. Videos help with engagement and video consumption is at an all-time high. We hence use a combination of both approaches.”
Netmeds runs a blog on its website named as ‘Health store’ and according to Pathak, the platform has seen a steady increase in conversion rates – around 10% increase a quarter. Netmeds has an in-house content team of over 20 members comprising of writers, health experts, designers, animators, video editors. Additionally, it also has a panel of industry experts - highly reputed doctors – who contribute articles and record informational videos, thereby creating relevant content for us.

The brand that offers authenticated prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine along with other health products plans its content on seasonality as well as topicality. “Usually we can tie our content to other trending topics and areas of interest. We focus on seasonal health problems, we take up concerns of senior citizens, parents of young children, women – we cover our entire customer base. Having said that, our content is also specifically aimed at helping our customers arrive at a purchase decision, particularly targeted towards chronic illnesses,” said Pathak.

As brands are increasingly using podcasts for consumer outreach through content, Pathak sees it as a wide open territory. “This is the one that we are intent on exploiting in the future.”

According to him, his content strategy for mobile is different from the desktop in every conceivable way. He said, “We ideally tend to focus on shorter and crisp content on the mobile and long format on the desktop. Also use of visuals and short videos have remained a primary focus on both mobile and desktop versions.”

Netmeds adopts a very typical and dependable strategy when it comes to distributing its content and generally posts the content on its site, sends newsletters, uses Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn for ensuring larger reach. The brand has also started creating e-books for its customers that have information on specific diseases like diabetes, cardiac problems etc.

Talking about the ways content helps the brand, Pathak said, “E-commerce sector is sale-centric, whereas the healthcare sector is both sales and information-centric. We primarily deal with the chronic illnesses segment; therefore, we have a “care” requirement. We curate content for consumers so that they can make an informed decision and they are better informed about their health problems before ordering medications. Creating content around the healthcare space helps consumers get the right advice and guidance while driving traffic to our portal.”

Promoted by Dadha Pharma in pharmaceutical business since 1914, authenticity sets Netmeds apart from the rest in the market in terms of content strategy and initiatives. “Our DNA is a 100-year legacy in pharma. No one can claim that, no one can duplicate it, so we tend to speak from a position of senior authority and let that trickle down through our content,” said Pathak.

Talking about the key things to be kept in mind by a pharma and health brand while creating content and distributing it, Pathak said, “We are always going to be held to a higher standard in terms of accuracy, authority and timeliness. When you are dealing with health care and impacting decisions people make about how to raise and treat their families, there is no room for "fake news." Our content both textual and audio-visual is well-researched and vetted multiple times by the team before it gets published.”