Building thought leadership is an effective strategic tool for companies that are focused on providing innovative products and services. In life sciences, healthcare and medical technology-related industries, thought leadership can be a critical part of differentiating yourself and establishing competitive advantage. Telemedicine is a great example of an area where establishing thought leadership can make a real difference for companies.
There are a number of ways to build thought leadership, and experienced healthcare marketers should be familiar with all of them. They include content marketing strategies, content mapping, publication strategies, key opinion leader development initiatives like advisory boards and working groups, speaking engagements, videos, podcasts and live events. For telemedicine marketing professionals, here are a few things to consider.
Thought Leadership Should be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
Any strong content marketing strategy needs to have a clear set of objectives to be achieved. And for companies focused on offering technologically innovative products and services, building thought leadership in your industry is a solid objective to consider adding to your list. Telemedicine marketing strategies should help position a company and its leadership teams as subject matter experts (SME’s) in all things related to telemedicine, including developing hardware and software, deploying systems in the public and private sectors, negotiating contracts with healthcare systems, securing reimbursement, and more.
Building your content marketing strategy should always start with defining who your buyer personas are. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer. They can be an amalgamation of actual customers, and they should be as thorough as you can make them. Who are these people? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What are their roles within the companies they work for? What are their pain points? How do they get information? What do they want most from the partners they hire?
Once you have your buyer personas in place, you can start thinking about what types of content you need to reach them. The list is long and includes multiple formats; print, digital, live or enduring material. For building thought leadership, here’s a short list of content types you should consider:
- white papers
- live presentations
- broadcast presentations (i.e. Slideshare)
- industry trade magazine articles
- Subject specific videos
Every piece of content has the potential to be repurposed, refreshed and reused (the three “R’s of content marketing). This is a key part of content mapping. Large pieces of content–particularly things like white papers, presentations and magazine articles–always have the potential to be repurposed into smaller pieces of content. And they should always be deployed across your social media channels as appropriate.
How many blogs can be adapted from a white paper? What about your presentations? Can they be converted into blogs, videos, white papers for podcasts? Long videos can always be cut into shorter video segments and used as video blogs, used as web site content, posted to a YouTube channel, and posted on Wistia. Successful content mapping starts with creating initial content assets that are strategic, deploying them across your content map, redeploying those assets by applying the three “R’s” and re-mapping your content, monitoring the performance of those assets, and developing new content based on what you learn throughout this process. It is a virtuous cycle that should continue to grow and evolve over time.
The Power of Advisory Groups
Advisory boards are incredibly effective strategic tools when they are staffed appropriately, well organized, and expertly deployed. An advisory board can help formulate, monitor and adjust corporate strategy, or provide valuable input into product development programs, marketing initiatives and many other areas where input from a group of industry leaders, SME’s, customers and in some cases patients can help you succeed.
Key opinion leader development initiatives like advisory boards can be expensive. Costs for member consulting fees, regular board meetings, ongoing management and communication are all things to consider. To make sure you are getting the most value from the group, be sure to have clear goals and anticipated deliverables in place. Is the group just going to advise and provide input on corporate issues or initiatives? Or are they going to provide research, produce analyses, create content of their own, or serve as spokespeople for product launches? Be clear about what you want, and be focused on managing the group to deliver on those objectives.
These are a few key considerations for telemedicine marketing professionals to consider.
For more information, check out our free infographic below, or just give us a call to talk about your strategic marketing challenges.