How life sciences brands can win on mobile, right now

As the head of Facebook’s Health vertical, I’m often asked about how life sciences brands fit into an ever-changing media landscape. And although it may not seem immediately clear, the answer is simple: the most effective marketers will connect with people and businesses where they are. And today, that’s undeniably on mobile.

Mobile is now

Television once commanded the undivided attention of consumers world-wide: a TV spot meant meeting the reliable eyes of those who tuned-in nightly. But the rise of mobile has completely shifted that paradigm: 94% of people in the US keep a phone on hand while watching TV, making mobile nearly as common a TV companion as a remote control. And, in an analysis of 1 million Facebook users who indicated they were watching a season premiere of a popular cable TV show, we found that consumers’ Facebook activity went up during commercial breaks. Traditional media outlets and behaviors have been usurped by a newer, small screen. And if you don’t adjust to these new behaviors with multi-screen marketing, you risk falling behind.

Mobile has become universal, accessible, and multi-generational: 77% of US adults own a smartphone1 and are active on social media, with 1.59 billion people accessing Facebook every day2, and 500 million daily active accounts on Instagram3, globally. As I’ve worked across roles--on the agency side, as a client, and now in tech-- I’ve seen how it’s changed the game for every industry, including life science brands. People are already talking about health on our platforms: 50% of U.S. internet users follow a healthcare provider, company, or expert on social media, and one in four people use social media to research health issues for themselves or their families4. As an industry, we need to meet them where they are.

Nothing beats the impactful nature of mobile video: there just isn’t that same intimacy and personal connection on traditional platforms, and when it comes to something as vital as their health, this is even more important. Video breaks through where other media can’t, evoking strong reactions and demanding attention. And as mobile becomes a core part of peoples’ lives, so have our platforms.

Right now, you have the opportunity to revolutionize how you’ve engaged with patients and connect with them on mobile, shifting how you traditionally tell your story. I understand the challenges of evolving how you’ve communicated with consumers, but we see this as such an exciting time: the life science industry is experiencing a creative transformation, and at Facebook, we’re at the forefront and ready to help. I’m excited to share some simple best practices to help you tell your story and connect with patients in new ways, capturing attention and inspiring action.

Get creative

This evolution has given you the chance to transform the way patients research and discover your brand. It’s all about building a unique, consistent story for mobile, with an emotional, informative message.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build your campaign:

  • Frame for mobile: As you develop creative, optimize for a vertical frame with content that’s short and easy to consume.
  • Establish relevance immediately: Capture attention instantly by making the problem you’re solving clear and relatable.
  • Leverage authentic human presence: Build emotional, personal connection. People respond best to real people--what matters is the emotional reaction they get from seeing something that matters to them.
  • Maintain a singular focus: Ensure all the elements in your ad reinforce each other and communicate a single thought.

Reach patients where it matters

With optimal mobile-first creative, you’ll see the biggest results. But it’s also important as a marketer to be visible at every stage of the patient journey and to share your message in relevant and engaging ways.

  • First, increase awareness of your brand by taking advantage of tools like video and mobile optimized creative that aligns with patients’ consumption behaviors. Prominent branding and a call to action button can help people understand who the video was from and what to do next.
  • As patients start to consideration a medicine and look for more information, we have tools to help you support them. You can drive sign ups with LeadAds, send patients to your website to learn more, or share patient testimonials, all of these resources can connect potential patients with the information they’re looking for.

I’m always excited to see what’s possible as we integrate your brand into people’s experiences on our platform! Facebook and Instagram will help you build your brand by providing a daily opportunity to connect with patients, helping them feel empowered and well-informed. To learn more about the many ways Facebook can help push your business into the future, check out Facebook for Business.


  • Source 1: Pew Research Center surveys conducted 2002-2018
  • Source 2: Facebook Data, Q2 2019
  • Source 3: Instagram Data, Q3 2017
  • Source 4: GlobalWebIndex Study, May 2019, 1,905 U.S. internet users aged 16-64

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.