Advertising Ketamine Treatment
Ketamine. It’s all over every medical news site and every MD is blogging about it as a new treatment for depression. The case studies show it’s effective for the treatment of depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and can even help alleviate suicidal thoughts. Everyday feels like a step closer to achieving FDA approval for the new depression treatment that’s taking the industry by storm.
Who Needs to Advertise Ketamine Treatment?
As knowledge of the treatment option spreads, so too does the demand from patients who are hopeful ketamine can help relieve their treatment-resistant depression. As we head into 2018 more and more MD’s are meeting the demand for ketamine treatment by opening clinics that specialize in ketamine treatment. These MD’s face the challenge of educating a growing audience of people about ketamine. Somehow, they need to reach the people who need them.
The Challenges of Advertising Ketamine
Ketamine is a unique treatment to advertise. Like any form of medical advertising it faces a plethora of strict regulations and any advertising activities must place the privacy of the patient above all else. I’ve written other posts about the challenges of medical advertising in general. Ketamine in particular poses three main challenges:
1. The Stigma: There is tremendous skepticism surrounding the use of ketamine as a treatment for various psychological conditions. Although ketamine was approved for human-use in the 1970s and has been used by the medical industry since then as an anesthetic. In the late 1970’s abuse of the drug, which can have a hallucinogenic effect, also became popular. What followed was decades of recreational drug abuse which earned ketamine its name as a ‘club drug’. Progress has been made over the past five years as medical research showing the efficacy of ketamine treatment has been more widely distributed. The graph below showing the interest over time of searches for ‘ketamine treatment’ shows a gradual improvement in this area.
2. Not FDA Approved: As of the date of writing this post (Jan 2018), ketamine is not FDA approved as a treatment for depression. This is not a flattering quality in any treatment to advertise. MD’s have to rely solely on data from case studies to demonstrate that it’s an effective treatment option for interested patients. For some inquirers, a non-FDA approved drug is a non-starter and this is a challenging reality any private medical practice to overcome.
3. Not covered by Insurance: Once a treatment has earned FDA approval insurers usually start to offer coverage plans shortly thereafter. Since ketamine is not FDA approved, unfortunately, most medical insurance providers also do not cover ketamine treatment. Again, this reality doesn’t exactly inspire the masses to consider ketamine treatment as a viable option. Many private practices have started offering payment plans and financing options to help make the cost more manageable for their patients.
How to Advertise Ketamine Treatment
Below are some tips that may help a practice seeking to inform a larger audience of the benefits of ketamine treatment.
1. Emphasize the Efficacy of Ketamine Treatment in Your Ads
Instead of advertising the shortcomings of ketamine, proof its efficacy by circulating case studies, medical research and press releases that demonstrate how effective the treatment has been for many patients.
– Regularly present case studies from your own experience in treating patients with ketamine.
– Stay on top of medical news related to ketamine treatment and distribute it on every channel you have access to: website, Facebook, Instagram etc.
– Regularly update other MD’s and medical service providers about the treatments you are offering to stimulate referrals.
2. Target Neighbouring Treatments
When advertising ketamine, realize that you are speaking to an audience who may not know the treatment they’re looking for by name yet. Furthermore, ketamine is just one of many innovative treatments being advertised as a treatment for depression, anxiety, ptsd and suicidal ideation. You need to put your ads in front of people who are searching for a solution to their ailment – regardless of whether they’re directly searching for ketamine or not. Esketamine, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, Rapastinol, Prozac, Antidepressants are just some keywords that are neighbours to ketamine. Searchers who may not yet be aware of ketamine may be searching for these types of indirect keywords when they find your ad and are interested in treatment. Do what you can to encourage searchers to investigate whether ketamine is right for them.
As awareness of ketamine’s efficacy spreads and your target audience becomes more educated you may find there is enough search volume for the exact keyword [ketamine]. When this happens, you can adjust your campaigns to show to this audience and less-so for searchers who are looking for indirect keywords like ‘depression treatment’. In my experience, you’ll initially need to target some of these indirect keywords in order to capture enough volume to stimulate a healthy number of qualified leads.
3. Point your ads to a landing page dedicated to ‘Ketamine Treatment’
The landing page you point your ads to should clearly emphasize the benefits of ketamine treatment and should showcase it separately from any other services you offer. I highly recommend designing a custom landing page that meets Google’s minimum content requirements and include rich media like testimonials from patients who were helped by the treatment, information about payment plans that may help make the treatment look more approachable and strong video and image content that creates an on-page atmosphere that will inspire a user who may be struggling with depression or related conditions to seek treatment from you. I highly recommend regular A/B tests of this landing page to ensure you’re constantly chasing a higher conversion rate. Whatever you do, make sure you are not pointing ad traffic to a general services page.