Going somewhat in step with our previous post on projecting expertise, I’ve noticed a recent trend of life science companies starting or sponsoring unbranded, off-site blogs. I have no problem with using such blogs as a marketing tool so long as the strategy for doing so is properly addressed. There are a lot of potential things that can be done wrong, strategically, and some key issues need to be considered before launching an unbranded off-site blog. Here are a handful:
- Scientists don’t like underhanded marketing. If you’re promoting your company or products and you aren’t forthcoming about self-promotion (for example, neglecting to mention that the blog is written by a company employee or that the blog is funded by your company), scientists will think you are trying to trick them and that will hurt your reputation.
- How will you target the desired audience? I’ve witnessed many of these blogs post information that doesn’t seem to have a well thought-out theme and end up being more general and less focused than the target audience. Remember the ultimate purpose: marketing.
- Set goals, and make sure they’re well-defined. What do you want to achieve? How will you measure success? If the blog isn’t meeting the required metrics, take it down and focus your resources somewhere more worthwhile.
- Have a valid reason for neither incorporating a blog on your main site, nor using your branding in a more prominent manner.
Off-site / unbranded life science blogs can be good marketing tools when used correctly, but all the rules of marketing still apply. Think strategically to make sure that you’re achieving your goals with such a blog.