How Biotech Companies Can Be Better at Content Marketing

In 2019, the reality is that if your biotechnology firm isn’t doing content marketing, you’re falling behind.

Content marketing has the power to drive awareness, expertise validation, and lead generation – and biotech companies are increasingly putting it to use.

There’s a flip side to that, though. As content marketing increases in popularity and practice, it’s also a reality that if you’re not doing content marketing well, your efforts won’t stand out. Worse, they won’t work. The data is undeniable: there are around 2 million blog posts published online each day. That’s a lot of noise, and things are only ever getting louder.

And, to make things more difficult, biotechnology firms are faced with the additional challenge of communicating clearly amidst an industry of technical talk and jargon.

That’s the struggle with content marketing. It’s critical to success, but it’s harder than ever.

We’re here to help. Marketing for B2B tech firms is what we do, and during the course of over a decade in the space, we’ve seen biotechnology firms like yours struggle to get the content marketing gears churning – but we’ve also seen what happens when the machine starts rolling in the right direction and great content reaches the eyes and ears of an ideal audience.

You can make that happen. But to overcome the struggle of content marketing, you’ve got to put these principles into practice.

First, a Quick Reminder on What Content Marketing Is

Admittedly, content marketing still has the feel of a buzzword. To get rid of the buzz and ensure that we’re all on the same page, let’s take a look at the definition of the term as provided by the Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

That’s a good start, but to clarify this a little bit further: by content marketing, we basically mean regularly-produced web content that’s designed to help customers find your service and recognize its value. That includes blogs, of course. But social media, email marketing, and even PPC could all fall under the term’s umbrella.

With that noted, here’s what your biotechnology company needs to start doing to make content marketing work.

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1. Define your biotech firm’s audience.

The first step to better content marketing is to narrow your audience as much as possible.

This is an intense undertaking in its own right. We’ve written about audience targeting before. The gift and the curse of the internet is that you can reach anyone with your content. Remember, though, you don’t need to reach everyone – you only need to reach the people who will buy your services (or perhaps, in the case of biotech startups, invest in them).

For biotechnology companies, here’s what that means: define who your ideal audience is, and write directly toward them. For example, one client of ours was focused on raising a round of funding for a drug manufacturing startup. For a long time, though, they were producing content that could have applied to anyone with a general interest healthcare, which resulted in  subpar SEO results on the high-competition general topics they were writing to, and irrelevant traffic when users did find them.

By shifting their content to an explicit focus on a certain type of audience, they were able to speak more effectively to certain topics (i.e., drug manufacturing). The result? More (and better) traffic – and ultimately, more (and better) business.

Take the time to hone down your audience as far as possible. Tools like buyer personas and StoryBrand can help.

2. Stop saying what you want to hear.

With the audience identified, it’s time to speak their language. That means creating content that interests them, instead of focusing on content that interests you.

I’ve written about this in more depth here, but it’s worth a brief recap. There are two basic tenets to a client-centric content marketing approach:

  1. Position your customer (not your company) as the hero in the stories you tell. Create messaging that focuses on how the customer can win with your service – not on how your service is the best because of how many years you’ve been in business, or on how great you are at incorporating certain types of technology. Those things are valuable only insomuch as they serve your customer.
  2. Write to topics that your customers are searching, and use their language. Don’t write blogs around things you think are interesting. Write blogs around what your ideal customers are searching for. And, on that note…

3. Stop using biotech jargon (especially if you aren’t 100% sure your audience gets it).

This comes back to using the language of your customers. You know firsthand that biotechnology is as jargon-packed a field as you’ll find – and you probably know the jargon like the back of your hand. You understand why CRISPR is such an upgrade over ZFN; you get what makes downstream processing so important. But does your audience?

Don’t make it your goal to impress customers with language they won’t understand. Instead, impress them with how much you understand them.

A quick way to determine if you’re using too much jargon: give your sales pitch to someone who’s not within your niche. If they can understand it, you’re doing well. If not, get simpler.

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Yes, your clients are almost certainly industry-savvy, at least to some degree. But the reality is that jargon varies so much from organization to organization – and even from department to department inside of an organization – that it’s almost always better to speak in plain terms than to risk fanciful obscurity.

One caveat: if your company is targeting a highly technical niche of potential client or investor, some jargon may be okay or even necessary. But don’t assume that your terms are industry standard; take the time to confirm your language is understood by your audience.

At all costs, your goal should be to create content marketing that’s clear.

Ready to cut through the noise?

Your biotechnology firm can grow with content marketing if you stop speaking to everyone, focusing on yourself, and using jargon.

It sounds simple, but in practicality it’s easier said than done. The good news? You don’t have to go it alone. And, really, you probably shouldn’t. It’s really hard to read the label from inside the bottle. An objective approach helps.

Want to tap into B2B biotech marketing expertise? Want to finally get your content marketing engine revved up in the right direction? Let’s talk.

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