The core functions of a successful B2B inbound marketing strategy will always be the same. Regardless of your industry, your digital marketing strategy will maintain a focus on SEO, content marketing, and data-driven decisions.
But, that’s where the similarities end.
The B2B healthcare industry faces unique challenges that must be addressed in your digital marketing strategy.
The Differences Between B2B and B2C in Healthcare Digital Marketing
While more and more of the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring in healthcare marketing strategies, the remaining differences are enough to warrant a call out.
After all, if you are creating a B2B digital marketing strategy, you don’t want to include elements that are specific to B2C and vice versa.
B2C Healthcare Marketing
If you need a B2C healthcare strategy, you are most likely looking to bring more patients into your healthcare institution – i.e., clinic, physiotherapy, dentistry, etc. – or hospital.
And while you will still have target buyer personas and an SEO and content strategy, how you target those personas will be entirely different than B2B.
For example, many B2C healthcare institutions rely on leads from Google Maps.
After all, if you are a dentist in Toronto, you don’t necessarily want to just rank for general keywords that bring in traffic from all over North America. Instead, you’d want to rank for specific keywords such as “dentist in Toronto” or even a more specific term, such as a neighbourhood.
B2B Healthcare Marketing
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to create a B2B healthcare marketing strategy, focusing on maps and local traffic would largely be irrelevant and misguided.
A B2B healthcare marketing strategy will have utterly different buyer personas and is often geared towards offering products or solutions to healthcare institutions.
Rather than targeting a patient looking for aid, you would be targeting a hospital that may need an EHR (electronic health record) system upgrade, for example.
And like a patient looking for healthcare services, B2B buyers start with a search engine query.
According to the HITMC, 72% of potential buyers start with a search, and B2B buyers are anywhere from 60% to 90% down the purchase cycle when they decide to reach out to a vendor.
But how exactly do you create a unique B2B healthcare marketing strategy? Below we explore three ideas that you can take advantage of in your next strategy.
3 Ideas That Will Improve Your Healthcare Marketing Strategy
1) Fleshed Out Content Strategy for Each Buyer Persona
B2B healthcare buyer personas are leagues different than a patient-focused B2C persona.
For one, a B2B healthcare buyer persona targets healthcare organizations, NOT patients.
It’s important to understand how B2B healthcare buyers operate. They are often risk-averse, and you’ll find that they move quite slowly through the sales cycle.
Whether it be a CFO of a hospital, MSO, chief physician, or any other leadership or administrative position — not to mention senior surgeons or nursing staff — B2B healthcare buyer personas are elaborate and require an intricate strategy.
On top of that, there will be more than one person making purchasing decisions. Healthcare organizations such as hospitals will often form buying committees when deciding on purchases.
So, not only does your digital marketing strategy have to maneuver around the slow pace of individual buyers, but it must also keep the entire buying committee in mind.
B2B Healthcare Content Marketing Must be Focused
To target those complex buyer personas, you must have a content marketing strategy that can appease even the most risk-averse healthcare buyer.
For instance, regardless of the healthcare product or solution you are selling, you’ll need:
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And that’s not all, because B2B healthcare buying cycles are notoriously long (we’ll get to that in a second) you’ll need to keep your buyers engaged throughout each step of the process.
That means you’ll need a constant flow of media that can come in the form of blogs, videos, or even podcasts.
2) A Strategy Designed for the Specific Healthcare Buying Cycles
B2B healthcare sales cycles are a marathon. In fact, only 43% of sales are made within the first six months, with the longest taking up to nearly two years.
(Source: Colony Health)
To combat these long buying cycles, you’ll need continuous uploads of media (described in detail above) to keep buyers engaged, as well as methods like lead nurturing and retargeting efforts.
For example, if a buying committee houses multiple personas, with segmented retargeting, you can target each persona with different types of content to keep them engaged in different ways.
After all, content designed for a lead surgeon will be quite different than content geared for a hospital administrator.
Add an Extra Layer to Your Healthcare Strategy with Account Based Marketing
To give your B2B healthcare marketing strategy a boost, implement Account Based Marketing (ABM) techniques.
Because healthcare buying cycles are so long, you’ll need more than just organic inbound efforts – you need targeted outreach with ABM as well.
ABM is a concentrated effort that focuses on enabling sales teams to accelerate prospecting and outreach.
The goal is to waste less time on bad prospects and empower sales teams with a structured process that aligns with your digital marketing strategy.
3) A Messaging Framework That Meets Compliance Requirements
Compliance, compliance, compliance. Every B2B healthcare buyer is intimately familiar with that word, and your strategy must be as well.
It all starts with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Passed in 1996, HIPAA – along with its intricate Privacy Rule – requires that safeguards be put in place to protect patient information. HIPAA applies to every single organization that handles medical or healthcare data.
You’re well-versed with HIPAA compliance, so it follows that your B2B healthcare marketing strategies should reflect that knowledge and present a related benefit to your clients.
On top of multiple personas (resulting from buyer committees) and long buying cycles, all forms of content and strategy will need to go through your legal and compliance departments.
All public-facing messaging will be placed under intense scrutiny by these departments.
This means that any messaging framework must be created with compliance requirements in mind. By tackling these issues head-on, you can avoid constant back and forth over content reviews, which can delay strategies by weeks, if not for months.
Creating a Master Class Healthcare Marketing Strategy with a Dedicated Inbound Agency
B2B healthcare marketing strategies are complex. While the core values of an inbound strategy are still relevant, you cannot ignore the intricacies of the B2B healthcare industry.
To truly create a winning B2B healthcare marketing strategy, you need the aid of medical marketing specialists.
Jumpfactor is a domain expert in providing full-service digital marketing services to healthcare solution and medical technology providers. We have veteran specialists on-hand to develop a unique digital marketing strategy that serves your very needs.
Contact us today to get started with generating credible sales leads for your B2B healthcare company today.