Content marketing, put simply, is a marketing strategy used to attract, engage, and retain an audience by creating and sharing relevant articles, videos and media. This approach promotes brand awareness, establishes expertise and keeps audiences engaged with your business. For the Meditech team, understanding the audience, communication objectives and distribution channels is key to creating a successful campaign.
Tip #1: Keep the Audience in Mind
When developing a content marketing plan, it’s critical to keep the unique needs of your audience in mind and have a clear idea of their priorities, challenges, and preferences. For example, medical device companies often have a relatively small, focused audience that they will be catering their content to; like surgical specialists. Appealing to a highly targeted audience has both advantages and disadvantages. Device manufacturers are at a disadvantage in the sense that there is far less room for error in effectively appealing to audiences. It’s important to incorporate language, topics, and themes that will specifically resonate with your target audience. At the same time, this can also be an advantage. Marketers can spend much more energy focusing on a very specific topic, with highly targeted messaging for a given group. Speaking to the audience at their interest and experience level eliminates the need for extensive background material and creates greater engagement with shorter duration media. The takeaway is to tightly define your audience, understand their needs, and reach them through highly targeted messaging.
Tip #2: Provide Value to Your Audience
For content to be effective as a marketing tool, it needs to give audiences some sort of value. Typically, valuable content would either be informational, educational, entertaining, or a combination of these. For example, a device manufacturer might share an educational video that provides an overview of their device sterilization process and the quality and reliability of sterilized devices. If the video also demonstrates economic and environmental benefits with no downside risk to the patient; that provides real value to the consumer. This type of video serves two purposes, it communicates new and useful information while also building brand credibility. When audiences perceive the content as being beneficial, believable and applicable, they are far more likely to develop a sense of reciprocity and view your brand in a positive light.
Tip #3: Utilize High Quality Visuals
You’ve heard the phrase, “the medium is the message”. Today’s topic, “the media is the message” is slightly different, but applies similar principles. Whether you are creating visual content such as video or 3D animation, or just using a simple image or graphic to support your text, it is important to make sure that your visuals are telling or supporting your messaging at your audience’s level of interest. For example if you’re promoting the advantages of a medical device within specific anatomy, both the device and anatomy need to be accurate, professional, and clearly demonstrate the benefits. The quality of the visual establishes the quality of your brand and creates a more enriching experience for your audience. Audiences associate high quality visuals as a reflection of your entire content mix, building brand recognition and effectively setting expectations for future content.
Tip #4: Distribute Using Appropriate Channels
Distributing content effectively is a challenge in any professional space but it is especially difficult in the medical device industry. When planning a distribution strategy, consider two major questions, “Where is my audience?” and “What channels support my content?”. Finding the intersection between the answers of these questions will inform your distribution strategy. Effective distribution requires that content creators understand which channels are most supportive for a particular kind of content. For example, it could be an educational website, professional publication, Twitter handle, or LinkedIn group. By doing research on your audience’s content engagement trends and studying the types of content they are consuming, marketers can make more informed decisions about selecting content distribution channels.
Tip #5: Getting the Greatest Return on Your Content
Creating high quality content can be time consuming and expensive so it is important that you are getting the greatest return on your investment. Getting more mileage out of your content means that you are using the same piece of content across different platforms to reach the same, or different goals. For example, a medical device manufacturer recently completed a 3D device animation. Instead of only sharing the animation on their company website, they also promote the content on their social media, attach a “teaser” segment in their email newsletter and prominently display it at all of their trade shows. By expanding their distribution and promotion beyond their website, they effectively increased their ROI without investing additional resources. Developing a good understanding of how your content can be applied in a variety of situations to increase exposure to your audience, enhances ROI and makes content marketing a much more valuable and effective part of your overall communication strategy.