Content marketing is essential to being successful online, but how you use it depends on your business and sector.
If you are in the life sciences sector, content marketing is ideally suited to helping you achieve the following common business goals:
Setting Yourself Apart From the Competition
Standing out from the crowd can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. One way to make people take notice of your brand is by putting out compelling content that tells a story. This is especially effective if you show the human side of your story.
However, the human element can easily be overlooked in sectors like life sciences, even though you are still communicating with people. A study reported by the market research firm BioInformatics found that only 32% of life scientists are primarily driven to make decisions based entirely on facts and data.
Focussing on the real-life impact your products are making will help you to create compelling content. The company General Electric has had phenomenal success with this approach. Take for example this story, which begins as follows:
“When doctors diagnosed 5-year-old Emily Whitehead with leukaemia in 2010, they quickly ordered a round of chemotherapy, the standard treatment. But unlike most kids suffering from her type of blood cancer, she failed to respond to it and the disease returned.”
This heartbreaking story goes on to talk about a new therapy, but if it had launched into the technical aspects, then the article might not have been as compelling. By starting with the human angle, the audience is immediately given a reason to care about how the story unfolds.
Stories about pioneering research that have the potential to change lives is content gold, and should be mined in order to help make your brand stand out.
Building Trust in Your Brand
Earning the trust of your audience is particularly important in the life sciences because you are likely to be dealing with industries where the stakes are high. You may be dealing with people’s health for example, which means accuracy is critical.
Content can help you to earn people’s trust, because you can use it to show your expertise and let your audience know that you understand their needs. You can use thought leadership content to enhance your reputation and help make people view you as an authority.
What’s more, scientists are often a sceptical bunch, and asking for evidence is ingrained in them. To persuade them to buy your products – particularly if they are expensive – it is best to provide evidence that they are reliable. Case studies and testimonials can help with this, since an endorsement from peers is likely to have more clout than overtly sales-orientated material.
Growing a Loyal Base of Customers
Working in the life sciences often involves problem-solving, so your target audience is likely to appreciate content that helps them to overcome the challenges they face.
By providing valuable content, such as how-to articles or videos, you will give your audience a reason to keep returning to your site. If they like the content you produce, they’ll be more likely to sign up to your email newsletter, which will give you the opportunity to remain at the forefront of their minds.
Once you’ve sold a product, you could then follow up with content that helps your customers get the most from it. Then the next time they want to make a purchase, they’ll be more likely to consider your business.
Particular areas within life sciences, like pharmaceuticals, may also be working under incredible time pressure, and will find content that can give them tips to make their life easier, extremely useful.
Generating Sales and Leads
Since your customers are likely to spend time carrying out research online before buying a product, providing content that helps them make a purchasing decision can help you to get more sales and leads.
B2B customers are particularly prone to spending more time considering their options before making a purchase. By creating content that helps them assess their options (like buyers guides), you can give your brand visibility during this important stage of the buying cycle.
Content like white papers can also help you to generate leads, and in a sector like the life sciences, there is plenty of scope for creating such in-depth content. The industry is always on the lookout to improve how they work, expand their knowledge and get to grips with new developments.
According to Insight Pharma’s best practice guide for marketing to life scientists, 68% of our respondents indicated that they prefer inbound marketing content that provides trends and research, so it’s worth investing the time in producing such content.
Attracting Relevant Visitors to Your Site
But no matter how good your content is, it won’t be much use if it can’t be found amidst the vast amount of information online. To attract people to your website, your content should be optimised for search engines.
According to research by Supreme Optimisation, 57% of life scientists use search engines as their number one source for finding new products and services.
Creating content based on keyword research and being tactical about what terms you try to rank for will help you to create content that drives results. You also need to follow SEO best practice when formatting your content to make it easy for search engines to understand what you are communicating.
The Bottom Line
If you are in the life sciences sector but don’t use content marketing to promote your business, you could be missing out on the opportunity to make your brand stand out, grow your sales and much more.
At Hallam, we have a long history of working with life science businesses. Find out how our digital marketing experts can help your business.