If you’re like most science-based businesses, you’ve read through the common advice online about how to market your brand. Unfortunately, much of the information doesn’t apply to healthcare, lab work and science manufacturing facilities. You may find a few nuggets, but knowing how to apply the ideas to your own business model is beyond challenging.
The United States Census Bureau found in their latest report that health care is still the nation’s largest employer. Approximately 907,426 businesses fell into health care and social assistance categories, employing more than 20 million people. The pandemic put the spotlight on the importance of research and development, spurring on growth in science-based businesses for the foreseeable future.
How can companies capitalize on the current climate and grow their base for potentially leaner times? Here are some simple marketing tools commonly used by business to consumer (B2C) and how to adapt them to your business model.
1. Develop Buyer Personas
Every type of business benefits from creating buyer personas. A persona represents your average customer. Do a deep dive into their age, occupation, gender and other demographic factors. You should also look at psychographic elements such as what emotions drive them to seek your products or services.
Once you have a clear idea of the type of person who seeks what you offer, go ahead and make a mock avatar. Name your persona and give them an occupation. Every bit of marketing you create should speak directly to the fake person representing your customer base. You may have more than one persona.
2. Put Customers First
Nearly 100% of healthcare facilities claim to put patients as their top priority. Proving to your customers you actually do isn’t quite as easy. The processes and procedures you use can play into your marketing strategy in a variety of ways.
If you use top-notch sterilization procedures for medical tools, advertise this in your marketing efforts. Explain why the system you use works and the benefits to the customer. What would you worry about if you were in the patient’s shoes? Ease those fears.
3. Establish Yourself as the Authority
When it comes to science-based businesses, people need to know you are the premiere expert on your topic, especially if it impacts their health. Think about the work you’ve put in as a brand and business owner that makes you stand out from the competition.
What is your unique value proposition (UVP)? How do you differ from other brands such as yours? It isn’t enough to just say you’ve been in business longer or have the best employees. You must show users how your UVP benefits them directly.
One example would be a local hospital with state of the art equipment and a specialization such as neurology. If someone needs brain surgery, they should think of the hospital first because the doctors give talks on their work, the hospital social media answers questions online and they provide educational opportunities for the community at large.
4. Tap Into Social Networks
You know social media advertising works for e-commerce businesses, but how do you utilize it for a science-based one? The beauty of sites such as Facebook is the ability to narrow down your target audience and speak directly to those most interested in what you offer.
Your buyer persona becomes vital for social media marketing. Narrow your audience by typing in demographic details. Hone in the selection further through adding behaviors and interests your typical customer is most likely to have.
What would someone needing your product or service be likely to search for? You must consider user intent. So, if you sell blood pressure monitors, someone in need of one might search for a term such as “how to reduce blood pressure” or “monitoring my blood pressure.” Try predictive search text on social media sites and see what pops up.
5. Create Videos
According to the State of Video Marketing report for 2021, 86% of businesses across all sectors use video as one of their marketing methods. People tend to retain information they see in a video longer and more accurately than other formats.
How can science-based businesses use videos to draw in new customers? While it depends on the type of product or service you sell, adding some educational content is a great first step.
What pain points do your customers face and how can you solve them through information? Perhaps you sell a new technology and you need to educate hospitals about your product to entice them to buy it? There are many different ways you can use video to showcase your brand, including storytelling, building trust, information sharing and problem solving topics.
6. Use Patient Influencers
You’ve likely heard of businesses using social media influencers to reach their target audiences. The best place for you to find your audience is through people who are already your patients. You’ll find they tend to hang with like-minded people in need of similar help. Ask your regulars if they’d be willing to share information you post online.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools hospitals and healthcare professionals can use to draw in new clients. Gather testimonials and give rewards for referrals. One example might be an orthodontist’s office giving out free gift cards each month to those who referred a new paying patient.
Think Outside the Box
Look at what big corporations use to reach new users. While not everything makes sense for science-based businesses, you can adapt most marketing methods to meet your needs. Make sure any efforts are customer-centric and utilize the information you gathered while creating your buyer personas. With a little effort, you’ll gain new referrals and grow your company faster and bigger than you ever imagined possible.
This post was written by Eleanor Hecks for the Marketing Fundamentals Team. Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.
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