News & Views
OTC HealthCare: social media impotence

Most OTC Health Care brands are missing out on the opportunity to align their social media efforts with their marketing goals by not playing to the strength of each platform nor timing their ad spend to generate organic reach.

The Social Catalyst

Social media has evolved into a dynamic ecosystem in which brands are presented with a myriad of opportunities to engage with shoppers throughout the entire purchase funnel. While updates to newsfeed algorithms increasingly limit organic reach, OTC Health Care brands can reposition their social media strategies to complement their marketing goals by utilizing programming tactics specific to each social platform.

Brands can still generate organic reach by encouraging social sharing with creative campaigns catalyzed by well-timed ad spend. Targeting followers with coupons and eCommerce links can nudge shoppers closer to purchase while promoting loyalty programs can engage fans post purchase, spurring a network of social brand evangelists.

However, many of these social media tactics currently go underutilized by OTC Health Care brands.

Key Issue: How can brands best use social media to create awareness, remain top of mind, and build brand equity?

Key Findings from L2 OTC Health Care: Social Media Impotence report:

• OTC Health Care brands prioritize Facebook over other social channels with 66 percent of brands actively posting. Meanwhile low investment on all platforms lag the activity observed across adjacent CPG categories: Home Care and Personal Care.

• The empathetic nature of Excedrin’s “Migraine Experience” campaign resonated with fans, encouraging them to serve as brand ambassadors by reposting branded content to their personal networks, amplifying the value of the brand’s ad spend.

• Small brands in need of an awareness boost tapped into underutilized social tools to engage with their following as well as drive traffic to branded sites.

• Only 34 percent of brands allow brand site visitors to filter product pages by symptom despite shoppers reporting this as their primary approach to making OTC purchase decisions.

• Nearly 60 percent of OTC Health Care brands support coupons from mobile sites—incentivizing price sensitive consumers by providing a hedge against discount generics as the majority of shoppers purchase OTC products offline.

• Advil leads in earned media mentions on its educational portal,, with 7.5x more reviews than the Index average.

This is an excerpt of the report. For full access, head to L2 Research.


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