November 24, 2020
Is Your B2B Medical Company Rocking Social Media?
Sure, your mom's on Facebook, and your crazy uncle never shuts up on Twitter, but as a B2B-focused organization, do you need to be on social media?
In a word, yes. And here’s why.
Since its beginning, social media has played a role in commerce. As digital marketers, we’ll tell you it’s one of the three digital marketing pillars in the online age, along with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Many B2Bs, like medical device manufacturers and healthcare companies, believe they didn’t need to consider a social media presence, thinking it was more for those B2C companies pushing blue jeans, double-decker hamburgers, and blockbuster movies.
But as the customer journey becomes more digitally integrated over more channels, the lines between B2C and B2B marketing are blurring. These days, everyone begins the customer journey with an online search, whether it’s an ophthalmologist looking for a new phoropter or just the ever-popular “restaurant near me” search. Plus, social media is an excellent tool for generating web traffic to landing pages, blog posts, answering support questions, and spreading the news about coming products.
Here’s how to get started creating a B2B healthcare campaign for social media.
Build your strategy. Do not skip this step – This is important. Who are you writing for? What will your tone be? What topics support your goals?
Define your goals. Followers? Engagement? Click-throughs to your website? Perhaps it’s as simple as posting two or three times a week to establish your presence.
Choose your channels. Where on social media is your audience? LinkedIn? Twitter? Fish where the fish are. And then figure out how much bandwidth you have. Better to do one channel well than to fumble anemically with three or four.
Watch the analytics. What’s working? What’s not. Do more of the first and less of the second.
Potential customers will look for you on social media, so you'd better be there and be relevant. (Pssst. We can help .)
LinkedIn is the Sweet Spot for B2BsAs a healthcare-related company, you should have a stellar LinkedIn profile page and wow your followers. We're not talking about showing off your sales materials (but you can) so much as establishing yourself as experts in your field. Keep that content fresh and flowing.
How to Sniff Out Your Web Competition
Make your current or website-in-the works battle ready by sending out the hounds to gather competitive information.
We all want to think of our website as the center of the universe, but there's an awful lot of space junk out there affecting its performance — social media, digital advertising, search marketing. So, it's essential to take that environment into account when concocting a new direction for your content, focusing your SEO on key terms that drive traffic, or laying a course for a redesign.
This information will help you understand your competition, how they compete, and develop new ideas for strategy.
We usually key-in on the three- to-five websites that exert the most gravitational pull on your in any given medical category or market.
Where to start your digital sleuthing
Start by checking how popular each site is in the grand scheme of all websites (Alexa). Spend time on the sites; note intriguing features, the information they gathered on forms, the site's load speed (Pingdom), and the scope of content and its flavor.
Learn how your competition executes on social media. Visit all of their social platforms, including YouTube, to assess what content their audience engages in, how often they post, and what audience they're targeting. Do you want to compete with them head-on, develop a different strategy, or kick back and drink a cold one?
Use this information to determine how your social media efforts stack-up, potential new platforms to explore, and tactics that may be working or not working for your gaggle of competitors.
Next – critical – find out which keywords you share with competitors and how you rank against them. An SEO application for this, like Moz, SEO Book, or SERankings, will make quick work of this analysis! This information is gold for directing content creation and ensuring that you're ranking for keywords that serve as your breadcrumbs to conversion. Most SEO tools can also elicit what your competitors are spending on search marketing.
We've found that this approach works equally well for the family physician as the medical device company that wants to position a new product.
Please send us a note to learn more about our approach to digital competitive analysis.
What's in Your Content Marketing Toolbox?
Content marketing is a perfect tool for the healthcare field. It's an opportunity to share information that hits many people in an area that's always a concern -- their health. Healthcare-related content marketing establishes credibility, builds positive reputation, and explains potentially complicated subject matter in a way that everyone can understand.
So, what is content marketing? Simply put, it’s the creation and distribution of interesting, relevant, and engaging materials that are of interest to current and prospective clients. We’re not talking about hardcore sales material here. Think of content marketing as long-form means of communication that speaks to your audience in a non-salesy way, such as e-newsletters, blog posts, case studies, white papers, and even social media posts. For example, Biotica creates e-newsletters for medical device manufacturers that feature articles of interest to their customer base, helpful tips and tricks for using their products, industry news, the occasional product showcase and an assortment of other goodies that keep their customers engaged.
Social Media also falls under the content marketing umbrella. LinkedIn, Twitter, and others can provide fantastic channels for sharing information, whether it’s the latest advice about COVID-19 or the newest innovations from your R&D department.
With a program of creating and distributing information, a healthcare provider can provide interactions with prospects and clients that keep them front-of-mind. You become a resource that could provide the answer to a medical or healthcare need--instant marketing.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind
Start with your audience in mind. Focus your material, so it’s pertinent and relevant. Oh, and remember that it’s what interests your audience, not you.
Don't think sales pitch. Content marketing should be more about creating a relationship versus inspiring any immediate action. Strive to be unbiased and provide useful, reliable information.
You can (and should!) be entertaining. Use conversational tones, good story-telling techniques, and humanize data or technical details.
Give it time. This is the long game, and results take time and effort. The benefits of content marketing develop over the period of time needed for the audience to grow in size and acceptance. Depending on the marketing goals, your content marketing can significantly add to traditional (and more immediate) advertising methods.
Be consistent. If you choose a monthly e-newsletter as your preferred method of content marketing, make sure it shows up in inboxes like clockwork. The value of content marketing comes, in part, from being a reliable, timely, and consistent resource with regular updates and fresh material. And keep it on-brand.
Content marketing delivers value to your constituents that will inspire confidence, fuel referrals, and connect and engage the reader. Oh, and as a bonus? Content marketing boosts your SEO and drives traffic to your website. Score!
Content Marketing Tools
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Discussion Forums
- Instructional articles/guides
- Print newsletters
- Research reports
- Social Media
- Virtual conferences
- Virtual demonstrations
- White papers
Manage the Big Fish for More Effective Landing Pages
Landing pages are like fishing for bass without the yucky bait. You have an offer, the lure, and the conversion mechanism, the hook. If other people drop lines and bait nearby, what happens? The fish gets confused and, perhaps, suspicious and leaves. Pretty simple, huh? The problem is that landing pages get off track with teases on other products, piling on too much social proof, and irrelevant links, like navigation, that show up on other site pages.
The most important part of a landing page is not the code or the CGI effects. It's the brief, which outlines the objective of the work, message, and the coupe de gras, which you believe will snag a doctor or consumer to sign-up for a trial, take advantage of an offer, fill out a form and download content, or sign-up for a seminar or wet lab.
Fend off the last-minute suggestions from the grand poobah
Think of your brief as an electric fence that deters meddling, no matter how well-intentioned. Get sign-offs on it up-front; and ensure the stakeholders approve all aspects of your plan. Then, one-hour before launch, when you're fending off suggestions for 120-word quotes from a KOL, a plea for a clever headline*, or links to other assets on your site like videos, you can whip out the strategy and raise your eyebrows for effect. Uhmm, poobah, didn't you sign off on this two days ago?
On a more practical level, if you manage to keep wayward fingerprints off the brief, it's a tool for evaluating performance. You can confidently proceed with your strategic idea, modify it, or dump it all together.
And lastly, a work plan can keep you sane!