As a Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) startup, you’re likely wondering how you’re going to spread the word about your product/innovation to your target audience once you’ve hit the development phase.
A viable way to reach your audience, and position yourself and your company as a thought leader in your field, is to create an inbound marketing strategy. That way, your audience will come to you and not the other way around (remember cold calling?).
Inbound marketing is effective. Point blank. It gives you and your company the control over your messaging and your go to market strategy. Inbound marketing – using blogs, newsletters, social media, whitepapers, SEO, products, etc. as a form of content marketing – is not to be confused with interruption marketing, which can be a bit invasive and can scare off potential customers (or investors). For example, a video ad (which can be effective under the right circumstance) that pops up as your target consumer is trying to read an article can be considered “interruption marketing” whereas a weekly video blog that you post to your company’s YouTube Channel and website, would be considered inbound marketing. The key here is to provide value without being too sales focused – a tricky line to toe when you are, in fact, trying to generate sales.
Here are a few tactics to consider when building an inbound marketing program. Be sure to check out this blog (Inbound Marketing: When to Cut the Cord and Start Selling) to help you identify your audience and to begin thinking strategically.
• Social Media: Everyone is on social media these days. Whether you want to admit it or not. Suffice it to say, social media has completely changed the way companies reach their consumers and handle customer service. However, it is important to consider which platforms to use in order to reach your target audience. You wouldn’t want to be on Snapchat if your target age demographic is on Facebook. It’s all about maximizing your content and reaching the appropriate audience. In addition, if you’re on social media, you might consider engaging with other thought leaders and influencers in your field from your company page. For example, retweeting and commenting on their content. This helps to encourage engagement on your own properties as well!
• SEO: Using relevant keywords in your Google AdWords and on your website is a great way to reach your audience when they’re searching for a company like yours! There are plenty of AdWord tutorials out there to get you started.
• Thought leadership: It is important to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, especially when you are a startup. One way to do this is to create content that is meaningful to you (and your potential consumers). For example, you might consider giving away a guide or whitepaper for free that is directly tied to your business or field. Not only are you providing valuable content, but you’re also positioning yourself as a business who gives back. Another way to show thought leadership would be to pen a weekly (or bi-weekly) blog for your website. You can post these articles to your Facebook page or Twitter (while a little paid support from ads).
• Designated Landing Page: You might consider creating a designated hub to house all of this great content. It’s easier to have it all in one place after all. For example, if you were sending out an email blast, it would be a great tactic to drive your consumers directly to that page to “learn more” about your company.
There are many different ways to reach your target audience through inbound marketing and above are just some of the few ways you can do that.
Remember: what works today, might not work tomorrow. That’s why it is so important to be open to trying new things and testing different types of content that are outside of your comfort zone. Once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of creating content, it will become second nature. But remember, if it doesn’t provide value to your consumer, it probably won’t drive results.