Inbound Marketing: When to Cut the Cord and Start Selling
The research is done. You’ve curated the perfect team of experts, scientists, business professionals and investors. You’ve got your website, social media properties and your very own office or lab space. You’re almost there! It’s time to start selling, right? Well, almost.
Many start-up companies, particularly in the Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) category, find it difficult to identify the right time to start generating awareness around their innovative product or solution. Sure, it can be difficult but it can also be very exciting. This pivotal time – research phase is complete, and moving into the development phase – can be a “make it or break it” for many budding life sciences companies.
In this digital landscape, inbound marketing – which is all about using blogs (like this one), newsletters, social media, whitepapers, SEO, products, etc. as a form of content marketing – can be crucial to a company’s early success.
A sound inbound marketing strategy can draw customers to your business (pull marketing) rather than forcing a startup with limited time and resources to start cold calling and knocking on doors (push marketing).
Of course, there are concerns about starting this process too early. As a startup, you wouldn’t want to give the solution away before your intellectual property is protected. However, putting yourself out there (strategically) via inbound marketing tactics can help to solidify you (and your company) as trusted thought leaders and experts in your field.
Before diving in head first to inbound marketing, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Who am I talking to? This is crucial. Who are you trying to reach with your content? Is it angel investors? Scientists? Doctors? Researchers? Customers? After you identify your audience (or key audiences) then you can begin to build out content that you feel would be valuable to them.
- What platform would be best suited to reach my target audience? Now that you’ve identified your target audience, you now must consider what platforms they are consuming their content on. For example, if your target is a millennial consumer, you might consider focusing your efforts on social media, podcasts and blogs.
- What do I want to achieve with this content? Now that you have your audience, you now must consider the Why should they care about what you have to say? It is important to always keep in mind that your content should provide value (real value. Not perceived value). What is going to make them keep coming back to your website (or blog, Facebook, YouTube page, etc.)?
- Can I keep it up? It is important to not “go dark” once you’ve started an inbound marketing campaign. Of course, you don’t want to bombard new (or potential) customers with your content 24/7, but it is important that you maintain relevance in their life. For example, some companies and organizations create weekly blogs or vlogs that keep fans coming back for more. This content creates something to look forward to and encourages engagement while also fostering trust.