Know your life science marketing audience
One of the most important factors in successful content marketing strategy is to know your audience, in particular how its members communicate. Don’t assume that you already know their wants and needs, as these will change over time in response to evolving technology and modes of social interaction.
Who is your audience?
Target audience profiles are a great tool for understanding whom you are trying to reach. In many cases, you have developed these profiles as part of your company’s traditional life science marketing strategy. If not, create profiles of your different audience groups to give you a better understanding of exactly whom it is you are trying to reach. Once you have a clear understanding of these target audiences, you can start to consider their online behaviors.
What are your target audience’s online behaviors?
When researching (or surveying) your life science audience, there are a few key pieces of information you will need.
Where do they go for information?
Many social media platforms publish their user demographic statistics or have them published by a third party. Review these demographics. See to what extent they match your target audience profiles. Look for overlap between the two to understand how your target audience groups are using specific platforms, if at all. Understanding these preferences will help you tailor your content plan to encourage engagement.
What type of information do these platforms provide?
Understanding where your life science audiences go for information addresses only half of the issue. You must also understand what type of information they are looking for while visiting specific platforms. For instance, it is probably safe to say that most of your audience is part of the 845 million active Facebook users, and that they spend hours a week on the social networking platform. However, what are they doing when they are on Facebook, what are they looking for? Likely, they are looking to stay connected with friends and family in a social setting. While many brands achieve great success on Facebook, these are mostly “social” brands, or brands that are relevant to one’s social life, i.e. food and beverage, apparel, entertainment.
What types of information (content) are your customers seeking?
Now that you know where you audience is going for their information, it is important to determine what they are looking for. This should take into account what types of life science content is already available as well as what types of content your competitors are providing. Is there content you can provide that your competitors cannot or have not yet provided? A complete content audit, examining all the factors listed above, is a good place to start in determining your content needs.
What format should you use?
Lastly, what format does your life science audience prefer? There will likely be more than one answer to this question, so spreading content across multiple formats is a good strategy. For instance, take a recent webinar and create a white paper, FAQ or e-book from the content. Repurposing content is not only a good strategy but will also increase your content offering.
Don’t waste time and resources in places where your audience is not
Once you’ve determined your audience’s needs and preferences, you are able to determine the best platforms to target. Start by focusing on two platforms and use them well. Trying to go everywhere your audience is – especially when you’re just getting started with your online content strategy – will spread your resources too thin, and your strategy and implementation will likely suffer.
Now that you know your audiences, write for them
Writing for your audience is important, but keep in mind you are also writing for the platform and for search engines as well. Therefore, it’s worth taking the time to make your content both easy to read quickly, and friendly to the search engines’ spiders.
Make it readable
Keep your content brief and at the level of your target audience. Don’t waste space (and their time) explaining things they already know. Keep it to the point – short paragraphs and direct headers explaining each section. Most web users scan content rather than read it completely, so write with that in mind.
Make it web- and search-engine friendly
The other main consideration it to make sure you make your content web friendly as well. Use keywords and header tags to highlight the important points in the content.
Know what your competition is up to
A great check to see if you’re on track is to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Does their strategy compete directly with yours or are they vastly different? Examine their content and determine if you are missing key areas. A look at your competitors should not dictate your strategy; rather you can use this type of analysis to help to reaffirm your own assumptions. Keep in mind that your strategy will likely differ from your competitors – as it should.
When developing your content and social media strategy, start with your audience:
- Develop target profiles to know who your audience is and then research the online behaviors of that audience .
- Go to your audience. Focus on platforms that your audience frequents. Keep your focus somewhat narrow to prevent spreading your resources too thin.
- Write specifically for your online audience. Keep in mind that web readers rarely read. They scan. Write in a format that makes key points readily apparent even at a glance.
- Write for the search engines. Use your content and social media strategy to increase your search engine rankings.
- Keep an eye on your competitors, both so you know what they are up to and to ensure that there is differentiation between you.