Marketing is not just for retail, food, and fashion brands.
Advertising, marketing, and public relations are valuable tools across industries. This is increasingly true for the life sciences industry. In fact, digital content marketing is one of the best ways to connect with today’s scientists, researchers, healthcare practitioners, and investors.
According to a survey from McKinsey, companies surveyed in 2018 spent no more than 20 percent of their budgets on digital marketing. However, by 2020, 84 percent of those based in the United States and 74 percent in the European Union were investing more in digital marketing. In fact, 20 percent of the groups surveyed had shifted 50 percent of their marketing budget to digital marketing.
There are countless tools to develop and distribute your messaging. Before you get started though, the most important thing will be ensuring that your organization knows who it is. Mission and vision statements will be crucial. Mission statements convey your purpose in being, while a vision statement shares your future goals. Both will be instrumental in developing your messaging, which will then be the foundation and pillars of your Communications Strategy.
Get Started with a Communications Strategy
A strong Communications Strategy will elevate recognition of your organization and amplify the industry expertise of your subject matter experts (SMEs) or key opinion leaders (KOLs). When the content you develop is clear and consistent and effectively delivered, you will achieve your goals for how you want people to think of your company.
Starting with a strategy will require that you know who you are and what you want to say.Em-Press Media
Within a comprehensive Communications Strategy, you will want to specify OWNED, EARNED, and PAID media. That means that you will segment which types of outlets can best deliver your messaging. Owned means that you create and “own” the content, such as your website, blogs, social posts, and email campaigns. Earned refers to the publicity that results from your efforts to promote the organization without paying for it, such as contributed content and media pitches. Paid media refers to advertising and sponsorships that cost money but can be carefully targeted to the audience you want to connect with.
How do you decide which type of media is right for your organization? First collect information, then structure it into your plan or Communications Strategy. Here are some basic steps:
- Conduct interviews with your executive team and sales team members.
- Capture goals and current customer gaps.
- Understand the short-term and long-term goals for the organization.
- Assess the addressable market and channels through which prospects and investors discover you.
- Evaluate what ROI would be most beneficial to organizational goals.
Once you know who you are and what you stand for, you can get started with Marketing tools to spread the word.
Marketing Tools to Build Your Brand
A clear, intuitive website and personable social media presence are part of the foundation to build brand awareness. Coordinate themes to your company’s value proposition. You may not think that a Twitter account can offer any value to your biotech startup … and you may be right. In general, regular social media channels won’t always be useful for biotech companies. However, LinkedIn will be relevant for researchers and investors. You’ll want to share news, updates, and thought leadership from your company. The tools you can use include:
- press releases
- social media
- media outreach
No matter what size your organization is, you can generate content and share it effectively without much of a budget. Cultivate those KOLs at your organization who can be sourced as bylines for contributed content in industry outlets. Engage your customer base with email campaigns. There are inexpensive platforms like Constant Contact and Mailchimp that will enable you to construct professional email campaigns and, more importantly, track opens and clicks.
Here are some free email marketing platforms.
- Sendinblue (www.sendinblue.com)
- Mailjet (www.mailjet.com)
- Mailchimp (mailchimp.com)
- MailerLite (www.mailerlite.com)
- Benchmark (www.benchmarkemail.com)
- Omnisend (www.omnisend.com)
- Sender (www.sender.net)
You may want to pay the small monthly fee and get the business version, or use the services of a PR consulting firm that can manage the campaigns for you. Em-Press Media uses Mailchimp and can customize business emails so that they are sent from your organization’s email address.
Ideally, all of these activities will be outlined in a comprehensive Editorial Calendar. Maintain a six-month editorial calendar for blogs, thought leadership articles, media pitches, and social posts. Coordinate themes to your company’s value proposition and synchronize the messaging across platforms. By clearly chronicling the message and how to deliver it, you keep everyone in your organization on the same page and present the organization as confident and capable.
Marketing & PR Value for the Biotech Industry
Success for companies with a strong Marketing approach shows in the numbers. The public relations industry and the biotech industry is at its strongest, as shown below:
- The PR industry generated $14.5 billion in revenue in 2022
- Worldwide revenue will equal $129 billion by 2025
- There are 3,429 biotechs in the US as of 2023
- Biotechs have increased by 7% since 2022
The positive correlation in growth of both PR and biotech companies indicates the positive impact each can have on the other.
Value in a Press Release
In media and the world of Public Relations and communications, press releases remain an effective way to disseminate information while accumulating SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Each press release is an opportunity to boost engagement and media contacts. This increases the digital presence of the company. Press releases continue to be a quick and easy way to announce news. The chart below details what to include in a press release.
|Headline||Tell the audience what the release is about|
|Subhead||Summarize the key point of the release|
|Date and Location||Date and location of the announcement (based on headquarters) Ex: NEW YORK CITY, NY-March 12, 2023|
|Body||Provide detail on what the press release is about; include SME quote.|
|Boilerplate||The “About” is an overview of the company|
|Call to Action||The CTA suggests an action, such as contact an email or visit the website, etc.|
Press release distribution should be coordinated with social posts and other promotions that guarantee it will be noticed. Ensure that the press release is posted on the company website to drive traffic to the website.
Putting the right press release in the proper medium is important to its success. For biotechs and pharmaceutical companies, distribution outlets like BioPharma Dive and BioSpace are perfect for this market. Entertainment and retail sites, for example, would not be the market for a life sciences focus. Industry Dive publishes several industry online journals, including PharmaVoice (UVM 46,652), BioPharma Dive (UVM 67,356), and MedTech Dive (UVM 90,473).
In short, public relations for life sciences companies is a powerful way to grow visibility. Start with the right message, cultivate a strategy, then spread the word.