What Is Content Marketing for Life Sciences Companies and Why Is it Important?
If you’ve worked with marketers at all in the last decade, you’ve likely heard references to “content marketing.” And if you run a company in the United States, you’ve probably heard it even more frequently in the last six months as people continue to talk about marketing through the economic downturn. So, what is content marketing?
Content marketing refers to content that’s created to build a relationship with your target audience via helpful, entertaining and informative formats, such as blogs, videos, or newsletters. For a food or beverage company, content marketing might include recipes, such as the coffee and dessert recipes on Bustelo’s website.
For this legal firm, content marketing included creating detailed guides on filling out U.S. immigration forms. Content marketing can take many forms, but the primary goal is to provide a detailed resource for your customers to understand more about your services or products.
Content marketing for life sciences companies is critical because of the nature of the products and services offered.
They’re complex and difficult to explain effectively in a social post or through other short-form marketing, including digital display advertising and out-of-home ads. Content marketing gives you the space to fully articulate the properties of your product in a way that’s more educational than it is promotional.
Use Content Marketing to Establish Credibility With Your Audience
Life sciences companies have a unique opportunity when it comes to the content marketing space. Because they need to appear knowledgeable and trustworthy, these companies must have clarity about their marketing strategies and goals. Additionally, because their products are specific and complex, life sciences and biotech companies need to invest in explaining their value propositions both thoroughly and approachability to their audiences.
Many companies in the life sciences/biotech space are startups, which means establishing authority is critical. If your business/products are new, you need to do the work of providing your consumers with the necessary context to understand who your company is and what you offer.
For example, the biotech company Akadeum Life Sciences had a patent for an improvement to cell isolation. Their product is called Buoyancy Activated Cell Sorting (BACS™), and it uses tiny microbubbles to isolate testing targets through flotation-based separation. Their primary audience for BACS™ is medical professionals who already have a high level of familiarity with the terms used for cell isolation and other processes.
This primary audience is very concerned with credibility, so in partnership with Metric Marketing, Akadeum created an archive of blog posts and case studies that live on their website. This content is very detailed and uses specific terminology relevant to Akadeum’s primary audience. The case studies and blog posts included topics like “Using Akadeum’s Human CD4+ T Cell Isolation to Study T-Cell Immune Responses in the Pathogenesis of Human Hepatotropic Viruses” and “Self-Antigens vs. Non-Self Antigens: Examples & Cluster of Differentiation Markers.” You can read more about Akadeum’s success with content marketing here.
The Four Pillars of Effective Content Marketing for Life Sciences
1. Target Audience
Most life sciences companies position their products and services for incredibly well-credentialed consumers. These consumers have the education to understand scientific language and processes, so your content should speak to them using that same terminology. However, you’re not writing peer-reviewed research papers. Your audience also needs a lot of information in an easily digestible format.
As you’re creating longer-form content, be sure you’re incorporating infographics where you can. If there’s a long list of product specifications, list them in bullet points. Breaking up large, dense pieces of text with helpful lists and graphics makes the online reading experience easier, meaning your consumer will likely return to your site to learn more. Aside from selling your products, your goals should be establishing trust with your audience and making complex medical devices and drugs easy to understand.
Think about your content marketing strategy as if you’re creating an educational journey for your customers, so they can easily digest big pieces of information over time. What can you explain visually? What information needs more research to add to your credibility?
Potential customers may need to use your content in conversations with decision-makers on their team, so making it lively and informative is essential.
Many customers have a hard time envisioning exactly how a medical device or drug works just by reading text. Investing in video content for product demonstrations can be incredibly effective in getting your product’s benefits and uses across.
Investing in longer-form videos includes having a video production team that can film and edit these videos. It’s also useful to work with a writer who can help you position your videos on YouTube and your website, and repurpose them for social media, email marketing, and blogs.
Consider using credentialed subject matter experts in your videos, and include their credentials and titles in the lower third portion of the video. This serves a two-fold purpose. First, the video is educating your audience on how the product works. Second, and more subtly, the person in the video demonstrating how the product works is a qualified professional from your company, which can help build a consumer’s trust in the product and in your brand.
You’ll be doing a lot of work generating content about your product, but don’t forget to generate some content about your staff too. Build out a robust “About Us” page that includes details about when the company started and who the founders and staff are.
For the staff page, be sure to include pertinent details about each staff member’s credentials. For example, if you have someone on the sales team that worked as a nurse or R&D scientist for years, that lends credibility. Anyone on your team who has advanced degrees relevant to your product offering should have that degree listed in their bios.
Many businesses also have team members link their LinkedIn pages to their staff bios on the company website. This adds another layer of approachability to your company, which is critical, especially when you’re a new company bringing a new product to market.
In addition, add any special recognitions, awards, certifications, or patents to your website that your company has received to display your competence and credibility. It’s also important to add compliance details to your website, ensuring that your products are safe and approved for use by a third party.
Life sciences and biotech companies usually have a large amount of research available to them. After all, that’s how their products came to be—through much research and testing. As such, your content strategy should include sharing that research with your audience. There are several ways to do this, including white papers and webinars.
“A white paper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution” (HubSpot).White papers in the biotech and life sciences industry are similar to scientific reports, but their primary purpose is to inform potential customers with in-depth details on the product. These papers are a blend of research and sales, as they’re meant to show the reasons why your product solves the consumer’s problem using scientific research.
Webinars are a great opportunity to get some facetime with your audience, allowing them to ask questions in real-time. As soon as you’ve built up an email list, invite interested customers to a video demonstration of your product, or a Q & A about your new pharmaceutical offering with one of your scientists on staff. Webinars disseminate information and allow you to do some critical relationship-building.
Both white papers and webinars can be repurposed for social media and your company’s blog. Record your webinars and post them with a brief description, and offer your white papers for download on your website. You can announce these new pieces of content in short social posts, with tracked links to your website.
Converting Leads to Customers With a Thorough Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing has always been critical for businesses in the life sciences and biotech industry, but it’s a marketing tactic that has become more reliable over the last year of economic turmoil in the United States. Because any keyword-rich, well-written content that lives on your website improves your search engine optimization (SEO), your content improves the odds of customers organically finding your website without you directly spending a dime on advertising.
As Forbes confirms, it’s essential to strengthen your relationships with your key customers by “creating valuable, no-strings-attached content that helps you build thought leadership and expertise in your industry.”
Metric Marketing has in-depth experience working with small business clients in the biotech and life science spaces. As you can see, this type of content marketing requires subject matter experts with strong writing skills, and Metric has a team of writers who specialize in writing engaging content targeted to consumers in these fields.In addition to providing great content, Metric Marketing also has experts who can help with your inbound marketing tactics, including comprehensive SEO for your website, keyword research to help determine what your content should be, and targeted advertising campaigns.
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