Did you know that nearly half of all B2B buyers view between three and five content pieces before they even engage with a sales rep?
This comes from a B2B buyer survey by Demand Gen Report, which also revealed that 73% of respondents viewed a case study during their research, and 96% want content that offers more input from industry leaders.
For both B2B and B2C healthcare brands, quality content is immensely important for standing out and showing your value to prospective customers. The top-performing health companies devote significant effort to creating original multi-media pieces that pinpoint their customer’s needs, pain points, and preferences, and speak to these traits directly.
Let’s review the main stages of the buyer’s journey in healthcare, and how you can create highly effective content for each phase.
An Overview of the Buyer’s Journey
If you’re not familiar with the buyer’s journey or just need a refresher, it’s essentially a prospect’s progression through your sales funnel. It’s more commonly divided into four main components, but it can be broken down further to create even more targeted content and marketing initiatives.
The four main components are:
- Awareness: The top of the funnel, where a buyer is aware of a particular problem or issue they have. They’re looking for information about their problem in hopes that it will point them to the right type of solution.
- Consideration (also called evaluation): The middle of the funnel, where they’re actively searching for the right solution. This involves heavy research and comparison of options — potentially your direct competitors.
- Decision (also called purchase): The bottom of the funnel, where they’re looking more closely at the details and logistics of contracts and agreements, and preparing to make their final purchase.
- Loyalty and retention: After the initial purchase. Are your customers happy and engaged enough to renew their contract or purchase more of your product or service?
This pillar of the buyer’s journey should be nurtured through robust content that addresses their exact challenges and pain points. It’s critical for your brand to break through the noise and show up on the customer’s radar as a potential solution to their problem. Use this opportunity to show that you understand their needs, which will smoothly guide them into the next stage of the buyer’s journey.
In this stage, keep focused on providing valuable, actionable information — not sales pitches. Sales efforts will be better received once the customer knows you’re knowledgeable, promising, and trustworthy.
Strong awareness stage content focuses on the “big picture” of the industry and issue, and can include pieces like:
- Informational blogs, infographics, and social media posts
- Opt-in newsletters to learn more about the issue(s)
- Videos and podcasts that offer Q&A’s, tips and tricks, and industry discussions
- High-level white papers or ebooks that explore these topics in-depth
This stage is where the art of scientific storytelling will shine for your healthcare brand. It’s the opportunity to showcase your company’s story, including its values, processes, promises, and dedication to your customers — not to mention your extensive knowledge of the customer’s problem and your fit as the best solution.
This stage can begin to introduce more direct “sales” language in the form of promoting your company and specific products or services that can solve their problem.
- Blogs, infographics, and social media posts that focus more closely on solving the problem
- Whitepapers and ebooks that discuss the general mechanics and process of the solution
- Guides, checklists, and FAQs of your company’s offerings
- Case studies that tell a story of one customer’s unique problem and how your brand successfully solved it
- High-level SlideShare and PowerPoint presentations on your product or service
- Demo videos and informational webinars that illustrate and showcase your offerings
- Comparison videos that discuss different competitors or industry options
In comparison materials, be careful discussing your competitors directly — if it’s inauthentic or negative, you may actually lose customer trust instead of gain it.
In this stage, you’ve captivated and engaged your customer, and you’re working to “seal the deal.” Depending on the financial investment and overall impact of your product or service on the company’s operations, your sales team may be in active communication with the prospect.
This is a time to showcase your commitment to customer service. Be attentive, responsive, and helpful.
Answer all of their questions and address all of their needs with content including:
- Product/service-based webinars that dig deeper into the specifics of your product or service
- Live demos that help buyers to visualize and apply it to their unique needs
- White papers and ebooks that discuss the process, application, and methodology of your company
- Case studies of satisfied past customers are still useful here — continue to use them!
We’ve all heard that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of making a sale, only to neglect the critical need to nurture the relationship by constantly instilling value and ensuring that the customer remains satisfied.
This phase allows you to set your brand apart by following through on the exemplary value and customer service that you promised earlier, which in turn ensures that you’re always at their top-of-mind.
An email newsletter is an ideal strategy for delivering strong loyalty-driving content, which can include:
- User guides and training materials
- Product-focused updates and articles
- Company news and events announcements
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Loyalty programs and promotions, depending on the nature of your brand
A Data-Driven, Flexible, and Effective Content Strategy
No matter which content pieces you develop, ensure that each one is rooted in data: an intimate and thorough knowledge of your ideal customer, combined with proactive analysis to show which pieces are effective and which aren’t.
Our world is rapidly changing around us — combining data and strategy allows you to adjust your efforts on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis as opposed to being tied to an annual or quarterly marketing plan.
Are you looking for a bit of guidance developing your content roadmap? Or, do you need a proven team of healthcare writers with specialized expertise and clinical know-how to make your content development process painless?
We write B2B and B2C content for leading experts and niche industries such as pharma, specialty pharmacy, and digital health innovation, as well as top trends like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, and so much more.
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