Few MedTech companies are winning at content marketing. And that’s okay.
If you’re an earlier-stage start-up there may be more effective uses of your marketing budget than content marketing. (For now.) And when you’re leading a micro marketing team, you’ve got other priorities: a full conference calendar, digital marketing, website upkeep, KOLs, the list goes on. Who has time for content marketing?
You do. If content isn’t in your marketing mix, it should be. Content marketing is an excellent way to build your brand, establish key individuals as thought leaders, and engage with your current and prospective customers. A content marketing plan can also work in tandem with sales to nurture leads. As the industry gets more competitive, content marketing helps keep your company top of mind with customers.
All that, from a recipe of webinars, infographics, case studies, articles, and other content.
But MedTech is a funny creature when it comes to content marketing for a few reasons:
- It’s a highly regulated industry, with specific rules around promotional content. Make an unapproved or unsubstantiated claim and you risk a hefty fine.
- It’s a scientifically and technically complex industry, with a lot of medical and technical jargon. It takes someone with industry knowledge to write about it well.
- It’s a competitive industry, which means companies must continually innovate and update products to maintain market share.
- It’s full of individual developers passionate about their products, and it caters to a highly educated and specialized audience.
Why Should MedTech Companies Do Content Marketing?
MedTech companies should do content marketing for the same reason B2B companies do content marketing.
- Develop brand awareness and loyalty
- Engage and educate new customers
- Boost your website’s SEO
- Engage with and educate existing customers
- Help convert leads to customers
Physicians, hospital executives, and distributors are likely the target audiences for MedTech companies. These audiences care about different things, and you can address them through content.
As marketers, you care about different things. Consider your top three content marketing goals as you hash out your plan. Is it for SEO? Brand awareness? To better support sales? All these objectives require different types of content.
Why You Should Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and Sales
It makes no sense for sales and marketing to operate in silos. You both want the same thing. Why not work together?
It’s a gap not limited to MedTech. In a recent Content Marketing Institute survey, 49% of respondents said it’s a challenge to align content efforts across sales and marketing. What helps? Better communication between the two, as well as a content planning process that’s agreed to and understood by both teams.
Marketers can support sales reps by developing content they can use when they meet with prospects. Clearly explain how customers benefit from your products. Back those claims with study data and/or customer research. And deliver that information in formats that align with your customers’ needs while supporting your reps.
For example, a busy physician likely won’t want to read a white paper full of technical specs. But the IT director at a busy healthcare system might. And a sales rep may get more mileage out of an infographic or a video than long-form text. (Keep reading for more on content types.)
How to Develop Endless Content Topics
Developing topic ideas is easier than you think. You don’t have to come up with all the ideas from scratch. Actually, it’s better that you don’t.
The goal of content marketing ideation is twofold: to address your audiences’ concerns, questions, and challenges in a way that either presents your products as the solution or your company as a trusted resource for useful information. This is the topic ideation foundation.
While diligent Google searches and ChatGPT queries will give you a good start, to develop targeted content, a more personalized approach will get you farther. Think of it this way: When you don’t feel well, you can either ask Dr. Google what’s wrong or you can visit your doctor, who will order blood tests. Which method do you think will give you the most accurate diagnosis?
By researching your target audience and your competitors’ content, you’ll uncover knowledge gaps. Knowledge gaps represent areas where your target audience lacks understanding or information. To deliver value, fill those gaps through content.
How do you find knowledge gaps?
- Survey your current customers to understand their challenges, concerns, and questions.
- Audit competitor content. Are they addressing those topics? What are they missing? Fill in the gap.
- Monitor discussions on social media, on the forums of professional organizations, in LinkedIn groups, and even places like Reddit and Quora. Do you see any common themes?
- Conduct keyword research to find commonly asked commonly asked questions or trending topics. Google’s “People also ask” and “Related searches” sections are good starting points. You can also browse news publications such as MedTech Dive and MedCity News for thought starters.
- Query your sales reps. Your field reps speak with customers and prospects all day every day. Tap into their insider insight. What common questions do prospects have about your products? What’s keeping them on the fence? Why are they reluctant to switch from one brand to another? Address those topics in your content.
What Content Types Are Best for MedTech?
Like we talked about earlier, MedTech is a quirky industry with distinct audiences. What works for physicians may not work for healthcare executives, and neither may work for scientists.
It will take measurement over time to get a sense of the content types that work best for your MedTech organization. Until that happens, we can lean on research. A MedTech Dive report found its readers wanted timely, actionable, digestible content, heavy on solutions and presented in an interactive format.
Physicians prefer you get to the point and give them something they can use. Videos and infographics present complex information in a concise way. A BlueNovius study found physicians spend about three hours a week watching medical videos. Could they benefit from a short video that explains how to use your device or the results of a clinical trial? Or a one-page fact sheet detailing the key product features and (legal team-approved) benefits?
An Indegene survey found 68% of HCPs preferred webinars or webcasts to receive information. Only 47% preferred email. Why not meet them where they are?
Other audiences may prefer more substantive content. Researchers may want to dig into a journal article or a white paper explaining a novel product or an emerging technology. Patients may benefit from higher-level blog articles that cover medical topics in a way that’s easy for them to understand.
Parting Thoughts on MedTech Content Marketing
MedTech content marketing is a cost-effective way to boost your marketing efforts, support sales, and ultimately convert curious prospects into loyal customers. MedTech companies must maintain compliance with FDA and other regulations when making any product claims, which adds a layer of complexity to the process.
If you’re up for the challenge, a well-executed content marketing strategy will do wonders for your brand and customer engagement. To do it right, put your audience at the forefront when developing topic ideas and deciding on content types. Think of it as a way to give, not get.
Here, we focused on developing good topic ideas and delivering them in the right format. In future articles, I’ll dive into channels. I’ll also cover how content marketing fits into a larger marketing strategy. Stay tuned! I don’t publish blog articles frequently, but I keep my promises.
Effective content creation requires one or more individuals with industry knowledge, strong writing and research skills, and content marketing savvy. I call that the trifecta. If you are or can find one of these rare birds, you’re set.
If you’re all or part of a small marketing team, it might be tough to do all your content marketing in house. If that’s the case, consider outsourcing to a specialist with the content marketing trifecta. You can also consider outsourcing SEO, digital marketing to niche agencies or individuals. Here is one resource to help guide your search. If you’d like personal recommendations, give me a holler! I’ll do my best to help.
Ready to get started with content marketing? Get in touch to see how I can help move your marketing forward.