Just about every marketer is familiar with the sales funnel, a graphic used to depict the buyer’s journey from first discovery to final sale. The funnel is wider at the top to represent all the people that you’ve introduced to your company through activities like brand awareness campaigns. In the middle, you are able to identify who of that initial population you could persuade to consider doing business with you. At the bottom of the funnel is the percentage that converts from prospects to clients.
What may not be familiar to you is how to match marketing activities with those different levels of the sales funnel — particularly which activities will get people into the funnel in the first place.
There’s Room at the Top
To attract people to the top of the sales funnel, a good strategy is launching a brand awareness campaign. This important part of your overall marketing strategy has three main objectives:
You may have noticed one objective that’s conspicuous by its absence: To sell. Selling isn’t what you’re doing at the top of the sales funnel. In fact, a hard sell right off the bat may turn people off from learning more about your company.
Put yourself into a prospective customer’s shoes. They’ve never heard of your company, and are instead at a beginning level of research, looking into a problem or a new technology. They may be looking for information on their responsibilities for medical device traceability, or they may want to understand the impact medical technology trends, such as artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and Big Data for marketing to physicians, will have on their organizations. Or, they may be looking for the solution to a problem like mobile device management in a bring-your-own-device world, or keeping patient data secure.
Either way, these prospects aren’t ready to buy; they’re gathering information. That doesn’t mean some of them won’t be ready for your products or services in the future. Your brand awareness campaign can orchestrate the first steps they’ll take on the buyer’s journey.
Keys to a Successful Brand Awareness Campaign
There are four important things to remember when you’re building a brand awareness campaign:
1. Create Marketing Content Wisely
Remember, you aren’t selling. The goal is to create content that will help people find your website when they are searching the internet for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. Don’t expect a two-page product brochure to rank in search results in response to their queries. Preferred content types for a brand awareness campaign are:
Don’t forget to perform keyword research and optimize content for search engines so people will have a better chance of finding your website when searching for information on relevant topics.
2. Include Content Offers
Once you’ve captured a prospect’s attention, you need to find a way to capture their contact information. One effective strategy is to offer more in-depth content that they can download after completing a form. For example, you could include a call to action (CTA) button with a blog on care team collaboration that takes the reader to a form where they can fill in contact info and download an e-book on secure, reliable communication.
You could also offer them a copy of your research report with data on the collaboration tools healthcare providers find most useful. Do everything you can to avoid letting prospects remain anonymous.
Reminder: Follow all regulations that govern your business regarding proper information collection, acquiring consent, and notifying prospects about how information will be used. Also be sure your company is compliance with all regulations related to marketing or promoting your medical technology.
3. Show Off a Little
Your experience with the healthcare industry has made you an expert in your field. You have insight into the industry’s challenges and you have the solutions your target market needs. This isn’t something to be shy about. Make sure it comes across, loudly, in your marketing content.
There is more than ego involved here. You want to establish yourself as a thought leader to build trust among prospects. Let prospects know you have the expertise they will need when they’re ready to implement solutions to their problems.
Also consider showing off first-hand experiences from physicians and patients who have used or directly benefited from your medical technology. Consider different ways to tell your buyers’ story whether it’s in case studies, video interviews or first-person blog posts. You’ll help your prospects visualize and understand what problems you help solve and what life could be like after buying your healthcare technology solution.
4. Pay Attention to Consistency & Timing
Now that you’ve developed excellent content, it’s time to post it, syndicate it, and promote it. Simply putting some blogs on your website probably won’t be enough to raise awareness about your company.
Create a consistent publishing schedule and stick to it. Share content with other websites as a guest contributor to build backlinks and to show your company’s expertise to a wider audience. Also promote your blogs on social media, choosing times when you’re likely to see the greatest amount of engagement.
Get Ready to Fill the Funnel
It worked! Your marketing materials attracted people from your target market, you kept their interest piqued, and some of them downloaded materials, providing you with their contact information. Although it’s not yet time for a salesperson to call, you should respond, and the sooner, the better. You can thank people via email for their interest in the asset they downloaded, invite them to receive email marketing materials in future, or devise some other way of staying in touch.
Link your brand awareness campaign to the other activities in your overall marketing strategy, finding ways to encourage prospects to take the next steps where you will attempt to earn their consideration and then usher them toward the bottom of the sales funnel.
Always focus on the objectives of a brand awareness campaign and remember these keys to successfully achieve them. Don’t rush to try to convert. Start building a relationship that will guide prospects to buy with you when they’re ready.
About the Author
Carevoyance contributor Bernadette Wilson of B Wilson Marketing Communications is an experienced journalist, writer, editor, and B2B marketer, specializing in content for technology companies.