Building an action plan to support your content marketing
In our last blog post, we talked about the value of market research in building the foundation for a successful content marketing strategy for your health tech startup.
Given the low survival rate for health tech startups, it’s critical to have robust content to generate awareness, establish credibility and trust, and differentiate your device, application, platform or data solution from the competition.
Plenty of stats make the case for content marketing but it requires a deft touch. The goal is balancing promotion with education and information to spark customer interest that drives traffic to your website.
For health tech startups, the power of content marketing is really put to the test.
As Green Room Technologies Chief Science Officer Kristin Norton stresses, “You have to meet the market where it lives before you can create meaningful innovation. You have to be aware that the user, buyer, and beneficiary are generally three different entities in healthcare. And you have to create content that appeals to each.”
Target audiences are hard to reach, and marketers must contend with multiple stakeholders (healthcare providers, hospital systems payers, and patients).
Established players with entrenched market positions are difficult to unseat given the time and resources needed to replace existing solutions.
Your biggest challenge is creating content that demonstrates how your product or service can deliver on its claimed features and its benefits. (Will it generate revenue and save time?)
Marketing claims promoting innovation are often less effective to healthcare professionals. Decision makers distrust marketing in general, are risk sensitive and are skeptical of the marketing adage that newer is better. Despite its benefits, innovation is disruptive to existing workflows and can create more work (and added burden) for time-strapped physicians and staff.
So how do you translate your market research into written copy, infographics, webinars and increasingly video that generates leads and accelerates the growth of your health tech company?
First it’s important to stress that content marketing only indirectly “promotes” your company. It’s less about overtly touting your product or services; it’s more about using content to move prospects through your sales funnel with relevant information they are seeking to make educated purchase decisions.
It’s a three stage process from awareness to consideration to decision — using tailored content at each step of the way.
Step one, use content to build awareness for your customers’ pain or problem and make them curious about a solution. Second, present a variety of solutions (including your own) for them to consider. Only in the third stage do you specifically demonstrate the benefits of your product in helping them make a purchasing decision.
Keywords: Built into your content marketing strategy are SEO keywords. Carefully researched keywords not only lend credibility to your content; they will also improve your ranking in search results — attracting more traffic and ultimately enhancing the chances of making more sales.
Keywords and the evolving role that search engine algorithms play are topics for a much larger SEO discussion.
For our purposes, it’s important to incorporate industry keywords along with industry jargon that your customers use in searching for information and potential vendors.
The key is using their language not your marketing speak – Which do you think resonates more and is searched more often — “a comprehensive digital engagement platform to help you transform your business” or “software tools that address your workflow performance and patient outcomes?”
And consider your author or authors. People like to hear from their peers. Content authored by engineers, developers, medical advisors, and owners/CEOs will resonate differently with your target audience — adding yet another level of credibility.
Knowing whom to reach with your content is the second piece of your content strategy.
Who is your ultimate decision maker and what members of the organization have input into the decision? Physicians, Nurses, Administrators, IT, Owners, Patients? Their roles and therefore your content should reflect their individual needs. In fact, the ones who don’t sign the check, but interact with your technology on a daily basis, may prove to be your biggest ally in making introductions and advocating on your behalf.
It takes a lot to switch technology or alter existing workflow, so your content must make a compelling case — especially if they are considering a startup with or no customers and an unproven track record.
Other variables that influence how your position your content
Content is not a-one-size fits all approach. Prospects will respond more favorably to content tailored to the needs.
Are they starting with new technology or replacing what they currently have? If they are replacing their existing solution, what is the issue: insufficient profits and revenue, poor performance, poor customer support, changing regulatory considerations or something else?
And with regards to your solution, does it bolt onto an existing platform and how does it interoperate with current technology? Or more challenging, is your product or service a whole new market category requiring a high level of customer education?
Finally, think of content as part of a campaign(s).
In reaching your target audience, a campaign will give you a holistic approach for your content that avoids one-off tactics.
The tools and marketing collateral in your content campaign may include:
There is a marketing adage: content is finite, and distribution is infinite. Your white paper can be repackaged as blog posts, video, webinars, and guides..
People process information differently. Your campaign should include multiple ways to communicate your content that best suits how your prospects consume information.
Editorial calendars are a great way to manage your campaign over time – providing a timetable for consistently distributing your content at regular intervals and instilling discipline in when, what and where you share information.
Sharing content consistently is a particular challenge for content marketers. Content marketing requires commitment. Content needs to be distributed on a frequent basis to remain top of mind and rank higher in search results. Why?
It helps to ensure more visibility to a wider audience. It also tells search engines a lot about your relevance – a key criteria in search rankings. It also creates authority and trust which in turn gives your domain higher authority.
This post should arm you with a high level understanding of content marketing and how it can help you connect with prospects.
So before uploading your next video or publishing a new blog post, consider this key takeaway.
Content marketing backed by market research will attract prospects and build loyal customers. Done effectively, it will help you cultivate relationships and provide added value in a fierce market environment where startups face intense competition to succeed.
Learn how to convert your market research and readiness knowledge into successful health technology content marketing strategy.
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