September 17, 2021
Wassup with Marketing in 2022In 2021, we learned that we don't need our offices, a bloated travel budget, or fancy clothes to get our work done. The meteoric impact of the pandemic is changing business and consumer behavior forever. Now that budgets are loosening up in the recovery, what can we expect in 2022? Here are the big ten we've identified. In 2021, we learned that we don't need our offices, a bloated travel budget, or fancy clothes to get our work done. The meteoric impact of the pandemic is changing business and consumer behavior forever. Now that budgets are loosening up in the recovery, what can we expect in 2022? Here are the big ten we've identified.
- Content is King + Queen again. Now that Google's MUM update serves up translated results from 75 countries, your competition is now international. This calls for even more focus with your site and rich media content with depth. Google's E-A-T philosophy says it all: Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness. Google will banish mediocre content from search results.
- Tradeshows and meetings become hybrid events. We don't think medical tradeshows will go away anytime soon, but they will be different. Some will go totally or partially virtual. And others will combine both the in-person experience with online tech. For example, one or more of your KOLs could zoom in from another country for a Q&A virtual event at your booth.
- Marketers will inject Artificial Reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) to improve a customer's online and in-person experience. For instance, it's difficult to show many medical devices or equipment on the floor of a tradeshow, but a customer could interact with a machine or process using VR.
- Build credibility with Content, SEO, and Public Relations. Once you get a solid base of authority on different topics, then work to gain added credibility by adding the PR element, where others are quoting or mentioning your content
- Tweak the content you already have. Test different versions of the design, copy, and SEO wording against each other, use A/B testing to determine which combinations are the most effective. Tweaking in some cases may be as important as fresh content.
- Work with Non-Profits. Over the past year or two, we've seen more healthcare and medical companies participate in advocacy programs. "Giving back" is a battle cry of Gens X, Y, and Z. Done correctly, it can expand a brand's appeal to new audiences and instill brand preference.
- AI in action. Whether we are aware of it, Artificial intelligence (AI) is already one bedrock of marketing. Expect more of the same in 2022. The ability of AI to crunch millions of data points to elicit predictive analytics, answers to your customer's questions through chatbots, and purchase patterns that suggest consumer behavior. You're most likely to bump up against AI with Voice Search Engine Optimization (VSEO) and chatbots that use NLP, natural language processing software.
- The Looming Death of Cookies. Google has postponed the retirement of web cookies until 2023, which gives you just enough time to plan for it. Cookies, little bits of programming that capture user behavior, are one of the critical strategies web developers use to personalize websites, so back off your cookie habit ASAP.
- Privacy. Issues around privacy have come to a boiling point. The huge data-sucking companies, like Facebook and Instagram, are under fire. And, users want more control over their online data and how it's used. How dare they! For starters, privacy policies need to be on your site and jargon-free and posted next to web elements like forms that receive user data.
- Geofencing is a digital fence that surrounds a specific location. It could be a city, state, town, or neighborhood. When a user enters a geo-fenced, it triggers an ad online in an app or a social media service. For example, a web ad could be launched for a medical device on Facebook when a customer enters the Moscone (convention) center in San Francisco. It's a great way to build relevance for your brand and streamline your budget.
RIP Bert. Google's MUM takes over
Like previous Google updates — Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Bert – the search engine's next update, MUM (Google's Multitask Unified Model), has a warm and fuzzy name that belies its influence on SEO.
While the update offers significant benefits, like support in 75 languages, and currently inaccessible content, like videos and podcasts, it diminishes the power of today's keyword-driven SEO. Now that users might find the best results in another language, MUM will explode the search competition.
At MUM's core resides a new algorithm enabled by artificial intelligence that allows the user to reduce the number of searches required to answer any particular query. The algo uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to encourage users to type phrases rather than just keywords. For example, a query like "When's the best time to visit Japan" will yield results from multiple sites and a video interview with a Japanese meteorologist captioned in English. Using its AI engine, also suggest that you take an umbrella and slicker if you're traveling during June and July.
What does MUM mean for you?
As we noted, MUM is multi-lingual. So, one fallout from MUM will be increased competition with sites outside of the U.S. One recommendation is: build narrowly focused sites with rich content and links to other high-quality sites. Marketing investments for 2022 demonstrate the trend: More budget for content, video, and social media.
In addition to AI, Google is also incorporating feedback from humans to understand how we find information. To their credit, the search behemoth is applying its latest research to reduce the carbon footprint of mammoth neural networks and boost efficiency.
Advice from Google for Content Creators and Site Owners – Pandu Nayak, Google Fellow and Vice President, Search
- Continue to build your expertise and authority in the industry
- Create high quality and focused content
- Content must answer questions – ask yourself, "what question does this content answer before creating it."
- Written content is still essential but uses multiple media formats, for example, video and podcasts.
- Content must be more than a few keywords
- End users are the focus
- Multi-lingual SEO as part of the strategy
- Ramp up regional relevance, neighborhood interests, or species both verbal and visual
- Add structured data to the page to give clues about content
Why Your Business Craves a Blog
Does your website have a blog? And if so, are you updating it on the regular? You should. An active blog, in addition to helping establish you as a subject matter expert and thought leader in your field, can be a significant SEO boost, pushing your website up in search rankings. A blog also gives you something to talk about on social media and keeps people returning to your website for fresh content.
Launching a new medical device that will change the face of healthcare as we know it? Blog about it! Or maybe you're just updating the features of last year's model. That's a blog, too. There's lots of exciting content to mine in the medical and healthcare fields. Content that's just waiting to grace the pages of your blog.
Here's how to get started.
Start by doing a keyword search to discover what popular keywords people (and potential customers) are using to find info about your industry. In addition to keying what people are searching for, using these keywords in your blog posts will boost your blog's visibility.
Possible topics to consider blogging about include answering frequent customer questions, details of your latest product line, expert analysis of trends in your field. But don't think it has to be all serious and business-related. Don't be afraid to show off your fun side by writing about topics you and your colleagues are interested in, whether it's fantasy football or the proper techniques for making French press coffee. And win bonus points for tying less serious topics back into your business.
Research your customer base, as well. Learn what your customers and potential customers find interesting and relevant for your blog, and don't be afraid to ask. Poll your current customer base and ask for content ideas that they would find helpful. Ask colleagues what blogs they currently read and what kind of information they want.
Get an editorial plan. Mapping out potential stories and getting a plan in place will help you manage topics, and deadlines will help you maintain consistency. Just like a newspaper or magazine, a consistent schedule helps build readership. And, of course, you can leave room in your editorial plan for any relevant hot topics that may pop up.
A caveat: Don't push blogging duties down to interns or your newest staff member because you don't have time yourself. We know a thing or two about blogging, so if you need assistance starting or managing your blog, we'd love to help.
How Content Sweetens SEO and Burnishes Brands
Everyone likes quick results. But in marketing, as in life, sometimes it's better to play the long game. Quality marketing takes time. Sure, there are some black hat tactics you can use to boost your site ranking, but those will come back to haunt you. Considered unethical by most and verboten by Google, methods such as keyword stuffing and using hidden text will tank your page when the tricks come to light.
Turn Content into Awesome Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Incoming links to your website are pure gold when it comes to SEO. And how do you get those links? By creating content, people want to read and share. Make it easy for folks to share your blog content by putting social media links right on the page. One click, and boom, they've just tweeted your wisdom to Twitter or shared your latest hot take on LinkedIn.
Put the social in social media
Sure, it's fun to post good content and watch those likes pile up, but how about some engagement! Social media is a chance to talk with customers and potential customers that don't necessarily include a pitch. It's another method of relationship building and finding out what's on your customers' minds and what problems they're hoping to solve. So, fill your social media feed with quality content, and get out there and engage, not just in your feed but others as well.
The relationship between content and public relations.
When you write a pithy blog post about your latest medical device on your company blog, that's content marketing. When a reporter writes about your latest medical device launch, company, that's public relations (PR). So, what's one got to do with the other? When you pitch a journalist, the first thing they do, much like a blind date, is Google you. When they see all the great content on your blog and your fantastic website, they know you're the real deal.
And having easy access to a lot of good information about your company at their fingertips makes their job a whole lot easier. And a whole lot easier to write about your company. And remember that line about SEO and backlinks from the top of this article? An article about you in an industry journal is
Content makes your other marketing tactics more effective
You have a banner ad on the latest Ophthalmology monthly website. If someone has recently read one of your blog articles or interacted with you on social media, it ups your chances of brand recognition which translates into finger clicks!
Bottom line? Great content elevates your brand, establishes you as a professional, and warms up those folks at the top of the sales funnel, helping them get to know you as a brand.
Make Biotica Your Plan B Agency
We sincerely hope that your marketing agency relationship is hunky-dory. If so, that's awesome. But, we hope you'll keep Biotica in your back pocket as Plan B.
Just in case.
Call us for those times when something goes kablooey, and you need an agency for overflow work, a languishing project, or to meet a crazy deadline. Biotica is an independent agency with 30+ years of medical marketing experience. We're fast on the uptake, keen on strategy, and on-brand with solutions that get results.
A word about our services.
They're all available as separates or order-up the whole shebang. And, for your convenience, we streamlined our process with transparent pricing. In fact, we'd be happy to send you a price list.
Let's not kid ourselves.
We'd love to be your Plan A agency. Until then, we're happy to be your Plan B and to help out however we can. Enjoy your tour!
We sincerely hope you have a great relationship with your agency. And, if you do, keep them!
But, things happen.
- Your agency is overwhelmed with work
- They conflict out of your business
- Or you want to try out a fresh approach
Talk to us.
You'll discover an agency that speaks medical, with 30+ years of healthcare marketing experience. We're fast on the uptake, transparent on pricing, and on-brand with solutions that get results.
We'll be there when you need us.
Take the Plan B Quick Tour Page (a one minute scan) and put Biotica on call. Or, get in touch with Susan Abramovitz, Partner, and Strategic Services Director, at 513-967-6840.
A Method to the Madness of Proofreading
A few years ago, a billboard campaign for a Cincinnati phone company a few years ago proclaimed, "Its for you" instead of "It's" for you. The newspapers and the grammarians flipped out, much to the embarrassment of the agency and its client. Ouch. And someone on the board or a customer always lets you know about a typo, usually with a snarky note or tweet. When mistakes happen in financial and regulatory copy, you may create a liability to your company. We hope you have resources, including a professional proofreader, to help out.
No matter what method you use for proofreading – whether you work solo or read back and forth with a colleague – proofing saps your attention. We address this by creating a hierarchy for proofing and work our way down the tree.
Start Proofreading with the Most Important Copy on the Page
At the very top are headlines, subheads, and captions. They're the most likely to be read in our Scan-O-Matic world. Then double-check the spelling and titles of everyone mentioned in your copy. Nobody likes to see their name misspelled.
Moving down, consider copy that's critical, like numbers for a financial report or anything related to regulatory.
Finally, we're ready to tackle the body copy. Pay particular attention to the first paragraph, which is the most read. A goof here could derail the reader and put up a big stop sign.
And next to your coffee, put the AP Manual of Style and the Chicago Style Manual within easy reach. They're the best way to resolve common grammatical and style questions. For example, is it 5 o'clock in the evening, 5 p.m., or 5 pm?
Getting the little things right is crucial for your brand to project consistency and competence.