Why Top 50 Pharmas have chosen YouTube as a Digital Communication medium?

The world’s population has passed the You-Pharma7 billion mark and over 2 billion of those are connected to the internet and more than 5 billion have a mobile phone!

Online video has firmly established as a digital channel among pharmaceutical companies. Video is an engaging way of educating health care professionals, care givers and patients alike. It’s especially useful with patients in developing countries who have lower literacy levels. Interestingly every major pharmaceutical company has at least one YouTube channel. Among them many has already started to use YouTube as a global corporate communications medium.

Professionally managed, social media channels in general—particularly YouTube – can boost a pharma brand & build brand recall & recognition.

“Online health videos result in consumers following up on the call-to-action, with 3/4 of viewers doing further research” – as per studies conducted by Manhattan Research.

Who is using Youtube?

More than 50 biotech & pharmaceutical companies have YouTube channels. Videos cover prescription drugs, unbranded disease awareness related videos and so on.


Also indicated in the last column – whether channel allow comments on its videos, which is a key component of online two-way engagement. Except Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly and Abbott most of the other channels allow users to post comments to videos.


Pfizer youtube channel is a rich social engagement platform, with live syndicated feeds from other channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Pfizer’s blogs. We found an invitation to ‘contact us’ linking to a contact page on Pfizer’s website.

Pfizer’s Rich Interactive Youtube Channel

Johnson & Johnson

According to Rob Halper, Director of Video at Johnson & Johnson – the channel has been deliberately designed for two-way engagement: “It’s an open forum, except for inappropriate or off-topic comments”. Since 2009, J&J employed a full time Director of Video Communications which is a clear indicator of the company’s commitment to video & YouTube as an digital engagement platform. Johnson & Johnson uses the youtube channel to share patient stories too.


Sanofi Aventis

Sanofi has created a brand, Sanofi TV, for its YouTube channel which carries a custom channel design. Sanofi’s heritage of using video dates back to 2009, when the company launched Sanofi-Aventis TV, not as a YouTube channel but as a dedicated website.


Here are some facts about Youtube:

  • Videos have 54x more chances to generate a 1st page Google ranking than traditional search engine optimization techniques.
  • YouTube.com is the 2nd largest search engine in the world. Yes, more than Bing.com
  • Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month
  • 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second.
  • YouTube has more HD content than any other online video site
  • There are thousands of full-length movies on YouTube
  • 10% of YouTube’s videos are available in HD
  • YouTube mobile gets over 600 million views a day
  • Traffic from mobile devices tripled in 2011
  • The YouTube player is embedded across tens of millions of websites
  • In 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth
  • Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 39 countries and across 54 languages
  • In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views

A word of caution! Embedding full disclosure throughout the video not only provides fair balance, it allows for better risk/benefit positioning.

Does your pharma company use YouTube? Are you looking for similar ways to build your brand awareness? We’d like to hear how your Pharma company uses YouTube and other social media. Please, tell us in your comments.

About the Author

Dipesh Majumder

I am a Marketing Technologist, a strategist & a visionary with over 8 years of experience in traditional & digital marketing. I have been responsible for the development & execution of sales force effectiveness strategies, tools, processes for global Pharma sales organizations. Lead key initiatives, critical projects & continuous improvement activities.

Chennai, India · http://www.medismo.in

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