Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Facebook: An Online Advertising Platform of Choice for Patient Recruitment Programs

In the last couple of years, Facebook has surprised us with the strength of its performance as a platform for connecting potential study patients to open clinical trials. The high volume of Facebook users—over 200 million monthly active users in the US and Canada—is the primary reason we are able to reach potential research study patients effectively via this platform. However, the diversity of demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc) and high level of engagement of the audience with advertising content is also very impressive.

As part of the background research conducted to define the media strategy for a patient recruitment program, the CAHG Trials group developed an audience profile of the target patient population for a clinical trial involving caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease. The final demographic profile had highly specific characteristics:

As we explore the viability of reaching potential study patients on social media, we have been impressed with how closely Facebook was able to match this demographic profile with their own audience profile of Facebook users interested in either Alzheimer’s disease or family caregiving: 

We were able to match on age, marital status, gender, educational status, household income, and health interests (Alzheimer’s disease or family caregiving), and still reach an audience of up to 2–2.5 million Facebook users nationwide.

While there are a multitude of channels to choose from when planning online advertising campaigns to support clinical trial enrollment, the reach and cost-effectiveness of Facebook make it a top tactic to consider for patient recruitment. 


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