Is this common data mistake killing your digital patient recruitment?

Okay, so the title of this blog is a little dramatic. But if you’re putting a lot of time and effort into creating content in digitally engage patients, and not reaping the rewards, something needs to change.

Without realising, you could be falling into the trap of using social data insights into recent, relevant trends and topics to inspire your content. Hold up. That sounds like a pretty smart strategy, right? In other industries, maybe. But in clinical research, not so much.

This is because the content that we create for patients around clinical research has to be meaningful. It has to help. It has to educate. It has to improve outcomes. Relying on trends is too superficial for what we do, and it could be what’s killing your patient recruitment strategies…


Credibility catch-22

Creating content inspired by trends in social data might initially mean more interaction. But if you’re busy focussing on that, you’re not focussing on being true to what you stand for being genuinely helpful to the patients who need your guidance. 

Just think about the millions of others using the same data to create content too. Do you really want to be just adding to the noise? Or do you want to be thinking and doing things differently?


How do you define success?

Maybe it’s a case of rethinking how you measure the success of your content. If you’re chasing likes, you’re placing too much value on quick wins and not seeing the bigger picture. Instead, find more meaningful ways to measure your impact. Like supporting a patient to have the confidence to enquire about a clinical trial, or being able to address clinical trial myths that have prevented patients from trusting clinical research. These kinds of measurable practices may be more abstract, but they are much more meaningful and have greater longevity.


Quick tips for getting it right

If we’ve made a good case for moving away from using social data to drive your content, we can hardly leave you without any guidance as to what to do next. So, here’s some quick tips on how to breathe some life into your digital patient recruitment content.


#1 Consult your clinical trial vision

With any content you develop, check it alongside your clinical trial vision and make sure they align. If they don’t, then it’s not the kind of content you want to be putting out there, or what patients should be seeing from you.


#2 Harness the power of storytelling

There’s no better way to create stronger human connections than through storytelling. The concept transcends all languages, cultures and ages. It’s the simplest way to create empathy and understanding. And it’s much more enjoyable to engage with, as it’s something that’s been a part of our lives since the day we were born.


#3 Be creative

If everyone else out there is accessing the same social data to try and create content around topics they know are being talked about, do something different. Like the saying goes, “when they zig, you zag”. Patients won’t appreciate you for doing what everyone else is doing. They’ll appreciate you much more when you give them what others aren’t.

Don’t get us wrong, creating compelling content for clinical research isn’t easy. We’d argue that it’s one of the hardest industries to get right, because there’s so much value to it. It can improve lives. How many other industries genuinely say that?

If this is an area that you could do with a little guidance in, let us help. At COUCH Health, a patient engagement company, we have some really clued-up behavioural experts, patient specialists and creative digital patient recruitment creators and they can help you breathe new life into your outreach.


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Rosemary Lakeru

Rosemary is a Patient Feasibility, Recruitment and Retention Specialist with over 8 years of experience in recruiting patients for clinical trials. Using a patient-centered approach Rosemary provides strategic solutions to boost recruitment for my clients. Rosemary believes that connecting, communicating, and empowering patients before, during, and after their participation in a trial can help drive successful Retention and Enrolment goals.

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