Are you smarter than all the best knowledge on Google? Smart people in the life sciences know the answer to that question: “No.” But apparently there’s a substantial number of people that think they’re smarter than all of Google. Their actions tell me so. They don’t have any thought leadership on their site and they’re not actively attracting prospects through life science content marketing.

Smart people know that when it comes to big-ticket life science products and services, the sale is complex and sales cycles are long. And they know that most buyers don’t actually buy that often. In other words, they don’t have lots of buying experience. So buyers are worried about making mistakes, and interested in learning all they can to avoid these mistakes. 

That’s what smart people know about buyer’s need for relevant life science content.  

Where do these buyers turn? To colleagues and to Google. Smart people know that buyers can learn anything they want from Google. So some really smart people teach these buyers everything they can. These smart people know that the rule is now “Publish or Perish” for all of us (not just for faculty at universities). We’ve all got to give away what we know. We’ve got to make it educational. It’s got to be interesting, and it’s got to be valuable, and it’s got to be unique. In exchange we’ll help our buyers learn whether they’re ready to buy or not, allowing us to focus on late stage prospects. The buyers will trust us more, making it more likely that they’ll reach out to us when it’s time to buy. We’ll earn more credibility and a better reputation.

That’s what smart people know about how life science buyers use content. 

How do you build a reputation with your peers and colleagues? Smart people know it depends upon three main things: what you say, what you do, and what others say about you. Smart people know that’s how Google works too: rankings are based in large part on what you say (your content), what you do (outbound links), and what others say about you (inbound links). Google just expresses your reputation as a number: your rank. 

That’s what smart people know about building a reputation with content marketing. 

The irony is that some people still believe that control of knowledge is power. Smart people know this view is just wrong. Google makes almost all the knowledge in the world available for free; controlling it is almost impossible. So power doesn’t come from the tight control of knowledge; power comes from sharing knowledge. It’s called content marketing and it’s really powerful.

Scientists invented content marketing three and a half centuries ago. They call it “peer reviewed publishing.” It involves an exchange: someone gives away valuable thought leadership (like the complete description of an experiment and the resulting interpretation) and in return they get credibility and reputation. That exchange is exactly the same one that happens during content marketing in the life sciences.

That’s what smart people know about how life science content marketing works. 

You want a better reputation? You want to be the first search result in Google? You want to help your buyers? You want them to trust you? Smart people know you’ve got to give away what you know. It’s got to be educational. It’s got to be interesting. It’s got to be valuable. It’s got to be unique. Your competitors are doing it, at least the smart ones are. 

That’s what smart people know about building great life science content marketing.  

Think you’re smart? Think your organization is smart? Here’s the test. Go to Google and type in a question you think only you know the answer to. You win if no one else knows the answer. I’ve never met anyone who can consistently, reliably beat this test—say two out of three times. What you know is already out there, available to anyone with a browser. 

That’s what smart people know about the power of content. 

Think you’re smart? Think your organization is smart? Here’s another test. Go to your life science web site. Is it full of content? Is the content educational, interesting, valuable, unique? Is more than 90% of it available for free? 

If the answer is “Yes,” then you know what smart people know.