Advil is the top-performing pain reliever in digital, according to L2’s recent study of 56 OTC Health Care brands. Savvy choices in SEM marketing, integrating social media into the brand’s overall campaigns, and persistent email marketing lift Advil’s digital rank.

In search, Advil has a counterintuitive strategy. While the majority of brands that invest in SEM on unbranded keywords purchase terms that cost 44% more than terms they receive traffic from organically, Advil (in addition to Tums and Tampax) invests in lower cost unbranded keywords in high volumes. This strategy boosts Advil’s share of unbranded traffic by 10%. Also of note, the brand generates 36 percent of its paid traffic through references to tooth/teeth pain.

On social media, Advil is one of seven Health Care brands active across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Advil’s Twitter and Instagram presences are lackluster – just 1,356 followers on Instagram and a relatively low number of tweets – but it makes up for the low number by incorporating UGC on its product pages. It also encourages social media fans to become customers by offering coupons on social.

Its email strategy is also a winner, as the brand is among the 34% of brands offering email signup that follow up in the first three months.

As evident by the simplicity in Advil’s digital strategy, the OTC Healthcare category does not set a high bar for brands. Yet, that is even better news for pain relieving brands behind Advil as small investments in digital can go a long way.


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