With summer behind us, many of our clients are focused on year-end milestones. Whether it’s first patient randomized in a new study, or meeting the study enrollment goal, or a target number of sites activated. Whatever your goal may be, online marketing can be integrated into your strategy to help make recruitment a success this fall. Read on to learn how social media and text messaging programs can help support your traditional recruitment campaigns.
Driving Traffic with Social Media
Among 1,165 trial volunteers surveyed, almost two-thirds reported that information found online influenced their decision to join a clinical trial.1 The advantage of using social media is that it can be easily integrated with alternative recruitment channels, including email, online display, and traditional advertising campaigns.
Sponsors are increasingly turning to platforms like Facebook (by creating a study specific page) and Twitter as a way to target potential patients, due to the engagement opportunities and targeting capabilities they offer. If you choose to run social media campaigns for your program, it is important to re-visit your metrics regularly and evaluate the campaign’s performance. UBC is able to help monitor your campaign metrics and interpret them to make sure your time and budget are being used effectively.
A central social media campaign may not be the right fit for your study. You may need to look at alternate routes. Remember that social media can also be deployed through your study sites. With an estimated 2.3 billion social media users now online across the globe,2 it is likely that your study sites have either a Facebook or a Twitter account of their own. By working together with your study sites, you can post trial messaging to their social media platforms, reaching the target population for your trial. To help pave the way for sites, and reduce site burden, it is key to provide them suitable versions of IRB-approved print and online ads so site staff can post content to their social media pages.
Call to Action
If your advertising campaigns are not receiving the expected response and/or causing site burden due to extra time spent screening potential participants, you may want to explore text-messaging screening.
A text message campaign may not be the solution for every recruitment challenge faced. Although, for the right study design and patient population, text messaging may help speed up your recruitment response. We have learned that the rate of referrals to sites doubled after adding text messaging to a print, TV, and radio campaign for a trial.3
How does it work? The user texts a keyword (found on viewed advertising) to a local number, electing to receive the text screener. This prompts a series of study-specific pre-screening questions. The study candidate can then be directed to a recruitment call center, or directly to the site in their local area for further screening. By using their own smartphone, text response lends to discretion, convenience, and quick action, not to mention, a more patient-centric approach.
Want to learn more about UBC’s digital and engagement solutions for clinical trials?
1 “Using Social Media in Clinical Trial Recruitment,” FDA News 2015
2 Source: StatCounter, Q1 2016.
3 Source: Internal UBC patient recruitment case study, 2016