How to Create a Scientific Marketing Content Plan
No business, however big or small and whatever the industry in which it operates, can even contemplate succeeding without the absolute minimum requirement of a modern website. This is entry-level marketing which, even at its most rudimentary is nevertheless essential.
For a startup or scaleup company in the life sciences or biotech sectors, competition will be ferocious. If this is the path you’ve chosen, you can expect to come up against big-hitters with deep pockets and slick marketing machines. You’ll also be fighting with other startups for the attention of the industry not to mention the notoriously scarce life sciences funding.
Like all early stage European biotech companies, to make your mark in this industry requires intensive, innovative marketing. Although the UK performs very well against the industry leaders in the USA, many other countries are catching up, notably China and Japan but also closer to home in Europe. So let’s start by looking at how you can transform your web presence into a dynamic marketing resource by devising a marketing content plan.
Define Your Goals
Decide what you want to achieve. Building brand awareness and expanding your audience, both inside and outside the life sciences, will be two of your top priorities. Acquiring leads and converting them to sales will be others. Given the difficulties facing a life sciences startup or scaleup in securing long-term investment, you should also consider anything that encourages venture capital. These are all challenges you can address with the right content, and improving your SEO will increase your effectiveness in all these areas.
Review Your Current Content
Know where you’re starting from. Ruthlessly assess the quality and relevance of your existing content, research the most appropriate keywords to identify gaps and study the strategies of your competitors. This last point is important because not only will it tell you what works, but it will also alert you to what doesn’t.
Know Your Audience
This might sound obvious, but many life sciences and biotech companies populate their websites with sophisticated content which, while immensely interesting from an academic point of view, does not have the power to connect, which is essential in marketing content. Avoid posting content into a vacuum and be sure that the knowledge you’re sharing is appropriate to your objectives. Be clear about the difference between useful research material and sales pitches. You’re selling to a relatively niche audience within healthcare, so your marketing is about innovation and the kinds of instruments, reagents, assays and kits you’ve developed, for example. However, ideally you should make your website a place where visitors can be confident of finding authoritative blogs but where those looking to purchase or invest are also catered for.
Choose Your Content Types
Blog posts and product pages are ideal for expansive explanations and accounts as to how a particular drug, process or device was developed, but sometimes other forms of content can be powerful in different ways. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of infographics, for example. Podcasts are excellent alternatives to the written word, especially for busy professionals who can multi-task. They’re also cheap to produce. Videos are another valuable tool which are well-suited for demonstrating the use of biotech equipment and life sciences procedures. YouTube is actually one of the most commonly used search engines, so it is worth exploiting.
Manage your Content
Once you’ve worked out a plan for content creation, including keyword research, it’s a good idea to devise a calendar for releasing the content onto your site. The search engines respond well to sites which regularly produce new content, so rather than publishing several pieces at once, you should spread them out in the same way that apps such as Hootsuite can do with social media posting. Make sure that anything time-sensitive is released at the optimum time while more evergreen content is queued for publication at regular intervals. It’s worth holding a selection of pieces in reserve so you can maintain the regular flow of new material.
Promote and Assess your Content
Putting high-quality content on your website is only a step in the promotional process. Now you need to bring in the visitors. The history of websites is inseparable from the development of SEO, which in the early days was a fairly basic, scattershot process of stuffing sites with keywords and phrases. Today the art and science of SEO are completely different as the search engine crawlers have become ever more sophisticated, responding to organic indicators, learning to understand and judge content, measuring authoritativeness by the numbers of backlinks and other capabilities largely enabled by AI.
Email marketing is a useful way of promoting your site, although you’ll probably need to buy mailing lists and you’ll certainly want to use one of the many email apps that allow you to send marketing emails and monitor the rate at which they are viewed and responded to.
Social media is another vital channel, with different platforms suiting different purposes and audiences.
Linkedin is widely used by professionals for networking and B2B content, Facebook for older audiences and networking within groups, Instagram for striking photos, though this platform is starting to lean more towards short-form video content to keep up with the likes of TikTok, and then there’s Pinterest which acts like an image search engine for your content.
Wherever you post, you need to make your content engaging – ideally including images or video, alongside an attention-grabbing headline. You should also research hashtags for use on Instagram and Linkedin just as you would keywords, so that you can insert yourself into existing conversations about topics, products and developments.
To drive more traffic to your website, include specific links to pages on your website. The more traffic your website receives, the higher it will start to perform in search engines.
Keep a close eye on progress. If one strand of your strategy is working better than another, either work on the weaker one or abandon it and concentrate your efforts where the return is greatest.
It takes time to see the results of SEO and social media marketing because the process is organic. However, this also means the effects are likely to be longer lasting and gradually contribute to the visibility and reputation you sought when you began the exercise. Ultimately life science or biotech enterprise is a business. Its audience may be specialised but the content marketing methods are universally applicable.
Looking for further advice on marketing your life sciences or biotech business, let our team of experts help you!