Alto Marketing

“How-to” Guide on Content Marketing for Life Sciences & Healthcare: PART TWO

9th December 2021 - 0 comments

Getting content marketing for life sciences right 

If you’ve read our How to Guide: Life Science Content Marketing (PART ONE), you will have a good understanding of content marketing, why it’s important in life science and healthcare, and have really got to know the benefits.  

The question you’re probably asking is, “how do I go about creating interesting, technical and yet easy-to-digest content to nurture prospects, engage customers and ensure it’s search engine optimised for maximum impact?” 

While we’ve hopefully demonstrated the pivotal role of content marketing for life sciences and you’re convinced of its value, let’s be honest, it’s a pretty big ask to come up with varied and informative topics and themes to write about on an ongoing basis. Then there’s the investment of time to actually write the sometimes lengthy and often highly technical content pieces, as well as develop stimulating graphics and/or complementary rich content. And all the while thinking about how to properly optimise the text for search engines. Then, once you’ve created your final version there’s still the job of promoting it to encourage people to read it.  

In this second part of our content marketing for life sciences guide, we get down to the detail of actually running a content marketing program – the real “How-to”. At each stage, we’ll not only share some considerations and tips for working on this yourself, we’ll also show you how you could benefit from working with an experienced partner specialised in the life science and healthcare industries (such as us!)  

Step 1. Developing a content plan 

You’ve decided you need to create some new content and you’ve come up with a couple of ideas for some topics you should talk about. So, what’s next? 

Start with the end goal in mind! To save time and maximise potential, the best thing you can do initially is develop a content plan.  

When doing this, there are some key things to think about: 

How often do you want to publish new content? You’ll need to consider the investment of time at this stage 

What are you going to write about?  

How are you going to generate topics on a long term, ongoing basis? 

How best to manage your SEO? 

In terms of creating and publishing new content online, we tend to recommend 1 – 2 pieces of content a month. This should ensure you are at the forefront of your customers’ mind when they need a new product or service. Of course, the actual frequency would be dependent on your company’s product range and objectives, and the amount of new content you can produce on an ongoing basis is also likely to be limited by internal resource.  

The most daunting part of content marketing for life sciences is often the task of coming up with a list of topics, themes, titles, and ideas to talk about. You want your content to not only be interesting and informative for the reader but, when thinking about online content, it should also serve you well in terms of SEO – and that means you need to be writing about the topics that people really want to read about (ie what they are searching for!).  

If you can produce content that directly answers the questions that people are interested in, expands on topics they want to know more about, or offers advice on popular techniques, experiments or equipment, then you’ll be on the right track.  

(In this blog we’re concentrating on developing the content, and then in an upcoming blog we’ll go into some specific detail about how to find out about what people are searching for, with some examples – so stay tuned!) 

Step 2. Creating content  

If you’re working with an external partner like an agency, then the good news is that this is likely one of the easy bits! You might need to give them a brief to explain what you’re looking to achieve and provide them with any background materials or existing content. A quick chat with an internal expert is also sometimes a good idea, though this is definitely not a necessity. At the end of the day, the aim of any agency is to make your life easier and free up your time for you to concentrate on other activities!  

If you’re creating content yourself then here are just a few little tips to bear in mind: 

Catchy headlines are always key. That’s no surprise, however also make sure that your headings contain those all-important keywords so that your content comes up in organic search results. 

Consider pulling out some questions and short answers up front to help the reader quickly understand what they will be reading. Or how about incorporating a short, informative summary at the top to make sure your key messages are communicated to the reader immediately? 

Ensure your content piece is a suitable length. This will depend on the type of content you’re writing. For example, when writing an SEO blog post, it will need to be short enough to keep your readers interest but also long enough to structure the content in a way that is user-friendly and, ultimately, adheres to SEO best practices. 

Keep your target audience in mind at all times and don’t make the mistake of being company-centric! Remember, they want to know how you can help solve their problems and why you’re the best business to do so, so write with that in mind. 

Think about the style and audience of the piece you’re writing; for example, you’ll need to include a lot more technical detail in a lead-generating whitepaper compared to a blog. 

Again, we’ll be updating our guide on content marketing for life sciences and healthcare in the future so keep checking back for more tips on successful and simple content creation. 

Step 3. Review, amend and finalise!  

Once you’re happy with your draft – or once your agency has delivered something you’re happy with – then it’s always a good idea to get someone else’s opinion. Maybe a product manager, technical specialist or applications expert might spot something extra to include or have additional insight on what your customers want to be reading. This is also a good time to think about complementary graphics and/or rich content; your agency should be able to make some suggestions here too. 

It’s important to remember that content doesn’t always have to be completely comprehensive, or reviewed by everyone in the company. In fact, it’s more important that you get out good content now than perfect content in a few months’ time. This is especially true for online content that can – and probably should (see step 5!) – be updated pretty easily in the future. 

Step 4. Promotion 

Just like any successful marketing activity, you need to make sure your content is seen – and by the right people.  

Let’s concentrate on online content which is a great way of capturing leads by gating access on the landing page. If you’ve got your SEO strategy sorted then you’re already half the way there as you should be getting a good level of organic traffic. But what about other forms of traffic? 

Once you’ve got your content up on your website, the most impactful thing you can do is share it! LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter? Depending on your following, we often find that LinkedIn offers the most opportunity for life sciences and healthcare but you can and should make use of all the platforms that your customers use.  

Consider spending some of your budget on extra promotions too; you’ve already invested time, resource and money on producing the content, so it’s worth promoting it. Some options for promoting online content include: 

Social Media – there are many paid promotional options across the main platforms.  

Email – depending on the content, consider sending it out to your database of contacts. This is a great idea for a whitepaper but probably not for every individual blog post. For high value content, consider e-marketing through a third party with a targeted audience. 

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Put your content in front of your target audience as and when they are searching for it. If you have a white paper to promote, use SEM to make sure users see it when they search.  

Step 5. Repurpose and/or refresh 

Once your content is ‘finished’ it’s tempting to move on and forget about it, but in existing content can be found new opportunities! 

Repurposing existing content gives you a great opportunity to get more return on your investment. Why not get the most out of that whitepaper, customer interview or article? Take a look at our example below to see just how far one piece can reach with limited input (either from the internal team or an external agency). 

Refreshing and republishing online content can help your website’s SEO. If you have existing content that is failing to bring in traffic, repurpose and optimise it! This is also a really good trick if you’re running out of topic ideas or need to get a blog post up quickly – have a look back at your old content and see if a few tweaks and updates could bring it up to date ready for reposting. 

At Alto, we’re developing content plans on behalf of our clients, which means we’re making content creation easier than ever! With a team of PhD level scientists and marketeers we’re able to understand the benefits of your products and services, and the science behind your technologies. So, you’ll be able to let us get on with writing, safe in the knowledge that we have the experience in content marketing for life sciences and healthcare to produce articles, blogs, whitepapers, interviews – and anything else you can think of! 

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