This is a follow-up to our post about B2B Healthcare Marketing Statics (read it here).
With significant changes in the healthcare space sweeping the globe (increased automation, big data, new technologies, etc.) — it seems that many medical B2B companies are struggling to keep up.
Newer, more nimble, tech-savvy competitors are rapidly entering the space — and they’re dominating the entire conversation on the web. They’re leveraging the latest techniques in digital marketing — from SEO, content marketing, and mobile optimization, to slick videos and non-stop social media marketing — to get in touch (and stay in touch) with your target audience.
And according to the latest stats, the vast majority of medical buyers are actively researching new medical purchases on the internet. In other words, if you’re not taking advantage of digital marketing tactics — you might as well be invisible to them.
That’s why you need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to leverage the shifting trends in demographics and consumer behaviour.
But marketing in the medical space comes with a myriad of challenges (that other industries don’t have to face).
To help you navigate these challenges (and make the most of your digital marketing spend), here are three major B2B healthcare trends that marketers need to be aware of in 2019.
1. Compliance, Compliance, Compliance
The unfortunate reality is that the standard marketing automation toolkit that businesses use across many B2B industries is not applicable to healthcare.
At least out of the box.
Every region has its own rules for medical marketing, and getting a single platform to comply across the board is no easy task.
That’s why healthcare organizations looking to adopt modern automation practices have to carefully consider how those practices fit within their regulatory requirements — or work with agencies that are well versed in working effectively within these limitations.
For example, every healthcare marketer — B2B and B2C — must be trained on HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations. This act was designed to protect the confidentiality and privacy of every patient.
Essentially, to be HIPAA compliant in your marketing, you must avoid the use of any protected health information that could in any way reveal a patient’s identity.
Additional Regulations Healthcare Marketers Must Be Aware Of
Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA): Ontario’s healthcare privacy laws were updated as recently as January 1, 2018.
Medicare and Medicaid Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS): A federal fraud and abuse statute that impacts all healthcare, pharmaceutical, and medical device organizations in the U.S. It is “an anti-corruption statute designed to protect beneficiaries from the influence of money on referral decisions.”
This can make vital best practices of a digital marketing strategy — like customer testimonials — a tricky thing to implement.
It is critical that every piece of your marketing strategy, whether it be email marketing, content marketing, or social media is HIPAA compliant. If your digital marketing campaign is not HIPAA compliant, you can be subject to enormous fines of up to $50,000 per violation.
And because regulatory requirements will vary from country to country and state to state (or province to province!), you need the help of an expert team who is equipped to traverse this minefield of compliance.
2. LinkedIn is King of B2B Social Marketing
When it comes to B2B social marketing, LinkedIn reigns supreme. In fact, LinkedIn is responsible for 80% of social leads generated by B2B companies. And because two-thirds of doctors are active on the social media platform, the medical B2B space is ripe with opportunity.
Think about your buyer personas for a minute.
Whether your product is EHR (electronic healthcare records) software or medical technology, the CFOs, hospital administrators, MSOs, etc., they’re all on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s growing user-base and hyper-granular targeting tools make it one of the best channels to invest in for Account Based Marketing (ABM). You can target prospects by:
- Job title
- Organization (specific hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, etc.)
- Interests (hash-tags)
- Professional associations (LinkedIn groups, etc.)
You can advertise directly to your target, share useful content, message them with an offer, or add them to your Network.
Plus, by sharing insightful, well-produced content on your company’s LinkedIn page, you can grow your captive-audience and generate recurring, low-cost engagement from industry professionals.
How Can a Focused Content Marketing Strategy Generate You Leads?
3. Video is a Necessity, Not a Luxury
There’s no excuse for excluding video in your content marketing strategy. Let’s revisit the stats from the previous article:
- 68% of B2B healthcare buyers are using videos to compare products;
- 63% are using them just to see how a product performs;
- And, 63% of buyers will contact a vendor directly after viewing a product video.
A video is 50 times more likely to rank organically on search engines compared to the blogs you are publishing, and in 2019, videos are expected to account for a whopping 85% of online traffic in the U.S.
Here are some prime areas of opportunity for medical B2B marketing:
- Product/software demos: Tech sheets and snappy product pages aren’t enough — you need engaging demonstrations that show off your product/service.
- Webinars with experts in a specific topic: You want to showcase your brand as a thought leader in a particular topic. With a webinar, you can target specific buyers with topics that they are interested to learn about, attracting them to your brand and generating leads in the process.
- Client testimonials/use cases: On top of a product demo, client testimonials and use cases give you a chance to show buyers exactly how your service will work in their environment. (Just don’t forget to stay HIPAA compliant!)
- Whiteboard video marketing: While increasingly cliche, whiteboard videos can be a creative way to showcase your product/service and are very social media friendly.
Jumpfactor’s team of expert medical marketing specialists provide full-service digital marketing to healthcare solution and medical technology providers. Contact us today to learn how we can work with you to design a strategy that rivals the very best.