HubSpot Specialist, delivering onboarding, CRM, and automation magic at Creative Side Marketing.
It takes more than a stellar product or service to win business from healthcare practitioners. It's about delivering value from the first interaction to the last.
When applied to B2B healthcare, inbound marketing meets decision-makers where they are online and fosters relationships with them as you guide them through the buyer’s journey.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy for B2B healthcare involves five key steps:
Let’s go through these one by one.
Gaining a thorough understanding of your target audience is the first step in any successful marketing strategy.
Start by creating buyer personas. Think of a buyer persona as a detailed profile that describes how your real buyers think and behave, in their own words, when shopping for a solution like yours. You can get these insights by conducting unscripted interviews with people that have evaluated and purchased a solution and then analyzing the results for patterns.
This is the only way to get accurate, detailed information about how your buyers make decisions. Do not take the easy road and go to your salespeople for insights – they are not getting the real story from buyers.
For example, in B2B healthcare, your persona might be Hospital Procurement Managers responsible for sourcing the most cost-effective and reliable medical equipment for a chain of urban hospitals.
You might give this persona a name, like Sarah, even though the insights in her profile are the result of a dozen interviews with Hospital Procurement Managers.
Priority Initiative: What changed within her organization that made it a priority to find a new medical equipment supplier?
A new Director of Procurement came on board sx months ago, and she determined Sarah and her team were paying too much for medical equipment. She asked Sarah to look for new options.
Buyer’s Journey: Where did Sarah go first to look for options?
Sarah did some research online, as well as asking other peers and colleagues in the industry for referrals. She made a list of five potential providers before starting comparing them.
Decision Criteria: What were the most important features and benefits of the solution to Sarah?
A strong record of reliable products was most important to Sarah, followed by fast turnarounds and cost. Notice how “cost,” ranks far down the list of priorities? This is often the case.
Success Factors: What professional results was Sarah envisioning from this engagement?
A proven history of selling reliable products was important to Sarah because she provides them to multiple locations in several states. Replacing faulty equipment is expensive in both time and money.
Perceived Barriers: What did Sarah see and hear during the evaluation that made her believe certain solution providers were not a good fit?
Some providers were slow in responding or provided incomplete information when she asked for references.
Persona research allows you to create your inbound marketing strategy with a clear understanding of what is truly important to your buyers, and the frustrations they experience when looking for solutions. Use these insights to create content that speaks directly to Sarah, addressing her unique needs and solving her problems.
"Do not take the easy road and go to your salespeople for (buyer persona) insights – they are not getting the real story from buyers."
Content is the engine that powers your inbound marketing strategy, but most healthcare organizations are not creating content consistently.
According to a recent report by the New York Times, healthcare as an industry is still lagging behind in content marketing.
In B2B healthcare, you have to provide information that helps your audience solve real-world problems or make informed decisions.
Let's say your company offers a telehealth solution for small to medium-sized healthcare providers. You could create a whitepaper that outlines a step-by-step process for implementing telehealth services, and use that to convert visitors into leads on your website.
This isn't a product pitch -- it's a comprehensive guide that addresses common challenges, like training staff or ensuring data security. This kind of resource is not only useful for decision-makers like Hospital Procurement Manager Sarah, but it also positions your brand as a thought leader in the industry.
Whether it's a detailed guide on complying with healthcare regulations, tips on streamlining administrative processes, or how-to videos about using your medical products, the content should offer real benefits to your buyer personas.
Inbound marketing works when you place the right content in the right place in front of the right person. This is where promotion comes in.
You need to analyze the places where your target audience spends their time online. Is it on LinkedIn, industry-specific forums, or professional journals?
Use those platforms to share your content. Social media ads, email newsletters, and even partnerships with trade publications can give your content the visibility it needs.
You could create a case study showing how your healthcare IT solution helped a large hospital chain improve patient outcomes while cutting costs. Then, run a LinkedIn ad campaign targeting healthcare executives and administrators in similar organizations.
With a compelling headline and a concise summary, you could drive these high-value decision-makers to register and download the case study. If it resonates with their challenges and objectives, they're more likely to consider your solution a viable option, helping you generate quality leads.
Marketing platforms like HubSpot helps B2B healthcare marketers make their content marketing smarter and more personal.
With HubSpot, you can segment your potential customers into different groups based on what you know about them — maybe it's the size of their company, what kind of healthcare solutions they need, or how they've interacted with your website.
Once you've got these groups organized into “buckets,” you can send them offers that speak directly to their specific interests and needs, making it more likely they'll take action. The best part? A lot of this can be automated.
Let's say you're selling medical imaging software. You could use your marketing platform to automatically send an email to hospital administrators who have visited your product page but didn't make a purchase.
The email could offer a free demo or a downloadable guide on "How to Choose the Right Medical Imaging Software." This way, you're giving them information directly relevant to their interests, increasing their chances of engaging with you.
Your marketing platform can also help you measure results, keeping tabs on the content you put out and assessing if it's drawing the attention of the right folks.
Are they engaging? Are they making inquiries or signing up for more information?
But it's not just about watching; it's also about learning and adapting.
You might have tools that tell you how many people clicked on a link or how many spent time on a specific page of your website. If those numbers aren't what you hoped for, it's time to think about why and make some changes.
Maybe the content wasn't clear enough, or it wasn't reaching the right people. Just like in healthcare, where treatments are adjusted based on a patient's response, you should be ready to tweak your marketing approach based on the data's feedback. Always aim to improve, and your strategy will be healthier for it.
Crafting a successful inbound marketing strategy for B2B healthcare is much like approaching a medical diagnosis: it requires understanding the patient (or audience), applying the best treatments (or strategies), and continuously monitoring and adjusting to get the best outcomes.
By defining your audience, delivering valuable content, promoting it effectively, converting leads, personalizing interactions, and diligently measuring results, you position your healthcare business for sustainable growth and success in a competitive digital age.
Remember, it's a journey of ongoing refinement and learning, ensuring that your approach remains as dynamic and responsive as the industry you serve.
Oct 2, 2023 6:42:20 PM