The way healthcare providers reach out to other businesses has always evolved slowly. The long sales cycles and complicated processes are the typical excuses that flood B2B healthcare marketing conversations. As Tricia Wilkerson, Senior Marketing Specialist at Conifer Health Solutions, says “Healthcare is notoriously behind other industries when responding to technological advances and audience expectations, so it remains important that marketers push the industry with smart trend adoption.” Staying on the smart trend means a new line of thinking. Marketers have to realize that it’s not simply selling to a business, it’s selling to unique humans that are living in a world that’s less responsive to traditional methods.
Healthcare giant Optum is a shining example of developing a new and successful B2B healthcare marketing campaign. Optum marketers decided to update healthcare marketing and focus on educating consumers using healthcare analytics through a sustainable content marketing strategy. The strategy paid off tremendously. In just 18 months the team created 1,000 pieces of content leading to a remarkable nine million impressions. The content was so engaging that it garnered over 8,500 gated downloads. Just by creating and spreading useful content the team crushed their marketing goals and reached millions of potential customers.
Getting interaction and impressions are important metrics however they only make up the first layer of analytics. With B2B healthcare marketing it’s essential to measure success and focus efforts. As Optum did, try using metrics such as customer acquisition costs, return on investment and leads generated from social media, email and searches that turn into customers. These metrics can become tricky but there are software solutions like HubSpot that will quickly organize and analyze the results.
Once metrics have been established it’s time to start looking at reaching out to customers. “Before you start any marketing activity, you always want to have your analytics in place so that you can use the data to refine and optimize your tactics and strategy,” explains Rick Kuwahara, CMO of HIPAA-compliant email provider, Paubox.
Here are five innovative and current methods to reaching more customers.
Reaching via LinkedIn
Social media, in particular LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to connect with businesses. A recent study found that LinkedIn accounted for 80% of business leads from social media. LinkedIn is a great way to interact with other companies, direct viewers to key information and stay relevant by posting engaging content and insights. These interactions are also easily measured and create a strong positive relationship between companies.
Invest in Research and Build Personas
Using hard data and analytics is something the healthcare industry has infamously lagged behind on. Many companies use analytics for proactive measures and it’s important for healthcare providers to do the same and help people predict their needs. Shaping this information is equally as important. As Optum found, their discussions happen mostly with CMO’s, CFO’s or CEOs so gearing the conservation to their jargon and level of understanding is crucial. As the research is conducted the data should be formulated for easy communications with these different personas. The more a persona is understood the easier it is to create valuable analytics geared towards them.
Increased Micro-targeting and Personalization
Developing personas beyond the corporate hierarchy is an excellent way to drive engagement. As data grows it’s more feasible to use micro-targeting to hone in on very specific target markets. Having a very specific audience means that content can be created with more specificity, timing and relevance. The more the content can speak to the audience the more likely they are to engage in the content and company.
Stay Relevant with Current News
While content about the industry or company may be of interest to consumers it must be up to date. Posting on social media and creating content to stay on top of industry issues builds a greater connection. Rather than being an interesting source of information it makes the company a reliable and much more frequently visited source. Even just reporting a new issue or breakthrough in the industry as simple as one paragraph will build the consumer confidence and clout a company has.
Have an App or Interactive Content
Ease and accessibility of engagement draws in and keeps viewers around. Creating a simple app that allows viewers to interact with content such as video, infographics or by sharing extends the reach to consumers. As long as the content is interesting, the app and interaction don’t have to revolutionary, they just have to be current and streamlined for user success.
There are many different strategies to implement for exceptional B2B healthcare marketing. They’re all intertwined and rely on each other. Creating the right content for the right audience and using that to build even more connections and leads is at the crux of it. Be sure to always engage a specific target audience through different channels and stay relevant. Implementing these strategies is a proven way to increase sales and build business relationships.