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Category : Content Marketing

Content as a Sales Tool

Content marketing is for more than just lead generation: it can increase sales efficiency.A lot of people think about content marketing in terms of inbound marketing and lead generation. You create content and either make it freely available with perhaps CTA at the end, or you put it behind a lead gen form so you can collect people’s information with the intention of adding them to an email campaign list (or similar). Lead generation is certainly an important use for content marketing, but content should also be looked at as a tool to support the sales function.

How Content Supports Sales

It’s no secret that customers are taking more control of their buying journeys and pushing back their first contact with a salesperson. That is a well-documented fact, from which we can posit that the ways in which customers obtain information is changing. The information itself, however, is not. Just because customers are obtaining information in different ways doesn’t mean they need different information and it certainly doesn’t mean they need less of it. What it does mean is that the information that they were previously obtaining from salespeople now needs to be made available from them in different formats. If you have the customers’ attention and you fail to provide the information that they want, their changing behaviors indicate you’re becoming less likely to induce a sales contact and more likely to lose that attention as they seek information elsewhere. (That’s the reason companies are creating decision engines.)

That’s where content comes in. Content is the vehicle through which you provide detailed, specific information to customers and influence their thinking in the early and mid-stages (and sometimes the late stages as well) of the buying journey. Companies have always used their websites as “brochureware,” but we know that’s not enough. Various educational and persuasive content is required that goes beyond simple product or service information. In that sense, it’s doing what customers are no longer allowing salespeople to do. In doing so, content makes sales more efficient.

Bolstering Sales Efficiency

If you’re an organization that is heavily sales-driven and have great salespeople, you may wish that you could get contact with customers earlier in the buying journey. You shouldn’t. The more naive your customers are, the more effort they will take to lead them through their buying journeys to the point of purchase. If you are leading them with human effort, your sales costs increase with the remaining duration of the buying journey. The more naive your customers are, the more expensive your sales are.

Content, however, is readily scalable. For a one-time creation cost you can provide information to as many customers as the content is relevant to. There is more up-front cost, but as audience size increases the long-term costs rapidly decrease in comparison to a sales-driven effort.

Additionally, content can be viewed as a sales support asset, providing salespeople with referenceable materials and information to provide to inquiring prospects. Customers can go back to a piece of content whereas they cannot go back to a conversation (unless the conversation is via email). Content is not just an inbound tool nor does its utility end upon customer contact with sales; it can coexist with sales to collectively and synergistically advance customers’ buying journeys.

How Can Content Improve Your Organization’s Sales Efficiency?

If your company and sales organization are experiencing the following, you are probably in a good position to utilize content to improve sales efficiency:

  • Your salespeople get asked the same questions repeatedly.
  • The average time between sales contact and a positive decision is long.
  • The average number and / or total duration of sales contacts required to close a sales is high.
  • You get an abnormally high proportion of contacts whom you never hear from again (they could be contacting you to ask questions, then retaking control of their buying journey).


If you don’t know what content you need to create to start improving sales efficiency, start documenting the questions that your salespeople are being asked. Those questions and thir frequency often indicate what the most beneficial content would be for you to create. For a more thorough process, create content roadmaps for each of your customer personas. This process will help you to define in more detail the content that should be created. When deciding on what content to create, keep in mind that content = time and money! If a particular piece of content would have a small audience, it may not be worth creating. You need to balance completeness with practicality!

Content is a useful tool for decreasing the duration of customers’ sales cycles and decreasing the cost of sales. As customers take more control of their buying journeys, however, content is even more critical. It is a necessary delivery vehicle for information which will influence, educate, and persuade your customers. If your company does not provide the information they are seeking they will look elsewhere, and the customers’ attention is extremely difficult to reclaim.

"The most effective companies don’t act as peddlers, they act as shepherds. They efficiently guide the customer through their buying journey in a way that is intrinsically sensitive to their needs. If you want to become the shepherd of your customers’ buying journey, contact BioBM. We’ll help you build a marketing architecture that will win your audience’s attention, influence their thinking, and earn their business."

Content Segmentation

If your content is for everybody, it's for nobody.A common strategic issue involves trying to be all things to all people. In general, it doesn’t work. You need some degree of specialization in order to effectively create comparative value to your audience. Even if you have a very broad product or service offering, you need to be able to segment your audiences in order to effectively differentiate and avoid commoditization. You need to cut your market into segments.

The same is true for your content (which, after all, behaves like a product). Put simply: if your content is for everybody, it’s for nobody.

Is My Content Insufficiently Segmented?

Broad, unsegmented content has many weaknesses. It tends to be repeat already familiar themes. It is easily replaced. It is undifferentiated. It is low-value. Because of these problems, it simply won’t perform.

How can you tell if poor performance is due to poor segmentation or some other problem? Here are some key warning signs:

  • You have multiple distinct audiences or markets, but you send all your content to all of them.
  • You have a link on your website that says “blog” or “news” and most of your content is hosted there, regardless of topic.
  • When creating content, you rarely think about who will be consuming it
  • Most of the information within the content that you’re publishing can be readily found elsewhere
  • Your content could be described as superficial or lacking depth
  • Your audience wouldn’t care or notice if your content didn’t exist.


Any of the first three are very clear signs of poor content segmentation. The last three can also indicate segmentation problems, but could signal other content-related problems as well.

How to Properly Segment Content

Step 1: Determine your target markets, if you haven’t already done so. If you have a positioning statement, great! If not, you at least need to define and document your target customer and statement of need. Note that unless your company is laser-focused, these will likely change for each product line or service offering that you have, and you’ll want to have different content for each.

Step 2: Create audience / customer personas. If you’ve already done this for your product offerings, then you can use those as a solid starting point. They should include demographic information as well as behavioral information. Demographic information includes industry, job title, function, location, etc. Behavioral information may include what their goals and needs are, what their expectations may be, what concerns or problems might they have, what role they play in the purchasing process, how influential they are, etc.

Step 3: Determine what the purpose of your content is and, relatedly, what stage of the buying journey your content is targeting. Are you trying to stoke interest among people with a nascent need? Are you trying to persuade people who are actively considering options? These determinations will inform you what kind of content (educational, persuasive, etc.) that you should create. Dont try to do everything at once! Just as you shouldn’t try to speak to all of your audiences at once, you also shouldn’t try to say everything to a particular audience in a single piece of content or expect them to go from naive to purchasing in one shot.

Step 4: Determine what benefit you are offering the reader that holds special value for the audience you’ve just defined. This is key! It’s entirely possible to define a very specific audience but then go on to create non-specific, poorly targeted content. If you fail to create well-targeted and value-creating content, your efforts in directing it at a well-defined audience will be wasted.

Most life science companies need to speak to multiple audiences. That’s completely normal. It can become a problem, however, if you try to speak to them all at once. If your content isn’t properly segmented, it becomes watered down and less effective at influencing the audiences and affecting their behavior. By properly segmenting your content to specific audiences and needs, you’ll be a much more effective influencer.

"The rise in the importance of content is a natural result of customers taking more control of their buying journeys. As customers have less contact with sales, they look to other sources of information to educate them and validate their decisions. Unless you have a strong content program, you’ll simply be left behind by changing customer behavior. If you want to ensure that you thrive in this new reality, contact BioBM. Our content marketing expertise will help you increase your reach, influence your customers, and dominate your market."

Differentiation Through Content

Your content is a product. Differentiate it.All of us life science marketers know that we need to differentiate our products and services. Nothing new there. It’s critical to demonstrate a unique value and avoid commoditization. But how often do you think about how well differentiated your content is? My experience has shown me that for most of you the answer will be: never.

Marketers often think of their content as something which is a carrot for the customer; something that is of benefit to them and for their own good. You’re providing them with knowledge so they should just eat it up and be grateful for it. Unfortunately that viewpoint is completely misaligned with reality.

Your Content is a Product

Your audiences are customers of your content. They are paying for your content with their time and, if you require them to fill out a form, paying for it with their contact information as well. All the same rules apply to your content as apply to your products. Your content has to be worth the “price”. You need to effectively “sell” it.

Your content also needs to be differentiated. Without differentiation, your content will be just one in a never-ending stream of content pieces being continuously created. And unlike with products, your content can’t compete on price. Your content either provides unique value or it won’t be consumed by your audience. Even worse, they might consume then resent you for wasting their time.

Ways to Differentiate Content

The best and most obvious way to differentiate your content is to say something different from what everyone else is saying. Take a stance on a topic and deliver content that has particular value for your target market segment. Demonstrate your existing position(s) through content. Not only will you be reinforcing your positioning, but so long as your position is unique your content will be inherently unique as well. Content which is differentiated in this manner will help drive your target market segment towards you while driving away the off-target audiences which would eat up time and resources but ultimately not become customers.

Some other ways to differentiate content include:

  • Find an area where you have knowledge that can’t readily be found elsewhere and share it. This can also help reinforce your positioning.
  • Forego traditional content and instead develop resources that help solve customer problems. There’s huge brand and customer experience advantages to be claimed in doing so.
  • Create content in different formats. If your competition are flooding the space with white papers, do a video or a webinar. Different people have different preferences for content.
  • Drill down or add a twist. If something has already been said, get even more specific or put a spin on it in order to tailor it to a particular market segment.


Never forget that your content is a product, and like any product it risks commoditization if it is not differentiated. By differentiating your content, not only will you increase its effective audience and create more engagement with it, but you can reinforce your positioning and branding as well. Differentiated content is better for both you and your audience.

"Content marketing is a resource-intensive, time-consuming endeavor. Don’t let all that go to waste. Ensure your content is as effective as possible. Content marketing from BioBM can provide your company with the influence and reputation you need to turn purchasing decisions in your favor. Provide meaningful value to your customers, and they’ll provide value to you. It’s a virtuous cycle. Start yours."

The Power of Print

flood of emailIf the forecast calls for rain, followed by ever-increasing amounts of rain thereafter, what is the end result? Assuming the forecasts are correct, you would have one heck of a flood.

That’s what the state of content marketing currently is. It’s a constantly-increasing deluge. We’re flooding our audiences with it, and they don’t have the attention spans to pay attention to even a small fraction anymore. As a result, content is becoming less effective, and marketers need ways to ensure their content stands out and successfully captures that scarce customer resource: attention.

Oddly enough, one of the most valuable ways to do so is to use a rapidly-forgotten tool.

Put Your Content in Print

Which of the following are you more likely to read: A) An email newsletter with links to a bunch of different articles, or B) A magazine that you’ve subscribed to which contains those same articles? Which of those is easier to ignore? Which is easier to unsubscribe to?

The fact of the matter is that if you put something in print it is more likely to get attention. There are other benefits as well. Long-form printed materials (for example magazines or books) convey more authority than do digital content. They also have more perceived value. This means that customers will give more up to obtain it, and you can use that to collect more information from them. At minimum, they expect to have to give up their address since the content will be physically mailed to them.

Some tips for life science marketers considering printed content:

  • Not all content is suitable for print. You need to ensure that the bulk of the content is of high value to the audience, or else your mailing will simply end up in the trash. Product- or service-specific content should be avoided as it will come off as pitchy.
  • If you want to use your printed content to more directly generate demand, place “advertisements” for your products and services within your printed materials.
  • To convey authority, try to adopt a magazine-style format. This requires a significant amount of content. If necessary, publish less often to ensure both the perceived and actual value is high
  • Get creative. Simply reprinting your blog posts is boring. Do something different. If the creative juices aren’t flowing, you can always do an interview or highlight some recent industry news just to mix things up.


There have been a lot of people who have given the advice: “look at what everyone else is doing, then do the exact opposite.” While that’s not exactly a principle to live by, it can help find opportunities. Content is overwhelming the digital realm, but if anything it is retreating from print. As print becomes less and less common, it may become easier and easier to use that medium to get your audience’s attention.

"Stop following trends and start creating them. BioBM has helped dozens of life science clients across the globe build their brands and win business through innovative marketing. Is it your turn? If so, contact us."

Organize Your Content

Image credit: http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/display/18872702So you have a really good content marketing program up and running. You and / or your team are routinely publishing high-value content for your target scientists – blog posts, white papers, webinars, and maybe even podcasts and other forms. Your content is getting a lot of views out of the gate, and it’s helping to generate leads for your organization. Sounds great, right?

The problem is, for most organizations, the value that any particular piece of content provides diminishes rapidly over time. Content is most often organized chronologically, and even for the content that isn’t, pieces of content have a habit of fading from view over time for one reason or another. This is true even for content that doesn’t become outdated. Blog posts get buried in archives. Webinar recordings get taken down with site updates and never reused. Etc. Much of the long-term value and potential of this content is being lost. So what can we do about it?

The answer is simple: Get organized. Instead of the traditional content repositories where content goes to die, create repositories that act as genuine resources for your customers. In building a repository, not only will you continue to derive value from your content over a much longer time frame, but you’ll also provide more value to customers by enabling them to find more content which provides the information or experience they’re seeking.

Creating a Valuable Content Repository

When creating a content repository, start with taking an inventory of your content. Secondly, organize that content into topics, ensuing that the topics are customer-centric and not solely company-centric or product/service-centric. These first two steps are relatively simple. The last is far more complex: create a well-designed repository for your content. What does a repository need to be “well-designed?” It needs to:

  • Have intuitive navigation. If people can’t find what they’re looking for, the repository is useless.
  • Focus on a central theme. If, for instance, you have two business units that are fairly disparate, it may make sense to have two content repositories rather than one.
  • Encourage exploration. You know you have a good repository if users are organically immersing themselves in it to find multiple pieces of content which interest them.
  • Bring together disparate forms of content around similar topics. If a customer is interested in single-cell RNA-seq and you have a video, two blog posts, and a white paper about it, that customer should be able to find all of those pieces of content as easily as finding any one of them.


So much good content fails to meet its potential due to the simple fact that it effectively disappears over time. You spent valuable time, effort, and money creating great content, so organize your content to ensure that it can continue to provide value, to both your company and your customers, over a long time horizon. In doing so, you may just be creating a genuine resource for your customers as well.

"Effective content marketing requires a serious effort. Ensure that effort is one that your customers will reward you for. To create content – and content strategies – which will drive customers to you and provide superior value for your company, contact BioBM."

Content is for Your Customers

Your content isn't for you - it's for your customers.One of the biggest pitfalls of content creation – and by far the biggest content mistake by amateur life science marketers – is forgetting that your content isn’t just directed AT your target audience, but is FOR your target audience. Many content creators focus too heavily on what they want their customers to hear rather than sincerely addressing customers’ needs through content and, in doing so, providing customer value.

To illustrate the point, here are some types of content which I frequently see and which have the wrong focus:

  • Generic event-promoting blog posts (“We’ll be at the XYZ meeting in booth 2000!”)
  • “White papers” which don’t do anything but restate the value claims for a product or service.
  • Frequent social media posts about ongoing promotions.
  • Blog posts which are little more than product overviews.
  • Posting just about any overt promotional message to a LinkedIn group.


All of the above are company-centric or product-centric promotions. They do not properly address the customers’ needs. Even if a prospect has a potential but unrealized need for the product, these kinds of “content spam” will simply drive them away by trying to create an opportunity to purchase when most of your audience is likely not actively in a relevant buying journey. It’s the wrong message at the wrong time, and they’ll filter it out along with the mountains of other promotional content which they get bombarded with.

Instead of company-centric and product-centric messages, use your content channels to provide value-added, customer-centric content. Creating valuable customer-centric content, as well as matching each piece of content to the appropriate channels, requires three things:

  • Understanding what information your customers are looking for.
  • Understanding your customers’ preferences for consuming content.
  • Ensuring that your content distribution is properly targeted such that any given piece of content is provided to the most relevant audiences


To do these things effectively, you need to remove your own mindset from the equation. You need to stop thinking about your customers and start thinking like your customers. If you can effectively do that when you’re planning content, you’ll end up with content which is more valuable to your customers.

"Most life science companies are creating content, but in a world where more and more content is being generated, is your content valuable enough to rise above the clutter and get your audience’s attention? If you’re looking to improve the value of your content marketing efforts, turn to BioBM. Whether you need help defining content strategies or need someone to put words to paper, we can create high-quality content that earns you the respect – and the business – of your customers. Contact us today."

Content First, SEO Second

Put a premium on the quality of your content, and don't churn out low-value content for SEO.By now, any decent SEO-er knows that the old way of performing SEO – basically, manipulating ranks through inorganic backlinks – is worthless. Google caught on and killed it. As of Panda 4.0, there are extremely limited ways in which someone can fool the rankings system, and doing so will only hurt you in the long run. That being the case, more SEO experts are turning to content development to improve SEO. In a sense, this is good – content development is a legitimate way of trying to improve rankings. However, as SEO-ers start to think about content, we need to remember that the content itself needs to be prioritized above SEO at all times. In other words, life science marketers cannot let the quality of their content slip due to the desire to focus on SEO.

Remember that the purpose of using content for SEO is to have your content seen by your target audience. Your audience, when consuming that content, is going to judge you by its quality. If you’re churning out low-quality content for SEO purposes you may get a lot of eyeballs, but you’re going to be turning off your audience due to the low value of the content which they’re landing on. This can be especially damaging if the audience doesn’t have prior experience with your company. Instead of trying to develop content strictly for SEO, take the high-quality content that’s being developed as part of your content marketing strategy and optimize it!

There are a number of things that you can do to improve the SEO of your high-quality content. For example:

  • Think about how your audience would ask questions related to the topic at hand. Is there any particular phrasing that they would use? If so, try to incorporate that phrasing into your content to improve the match for relevant “long-tail” search terms.
  • Make appropriate use of heading tags.
  • Ensure your page titles and URLs are optimized and relevant. Some content management systems default to generic nomenclature for URLs and titles, using things like an arbitrary numbering system or the date instead of a rich description. Ensure your settings use the title of your content (or at least part of it) in the page title and URL.
  • Improve the clickthrough rate of digital content by using a descriptive meta description tag
  • Improve the CTR of your digital content even more by using Google Authorship and ensuring you have a good headshot in your linked Google+ account. This can have a huge impact – I’ve seen various case studies claiming that pages with authorship attribution and a headshot displayed in the search results see between 20% and 150% increases in clickthrough. Eye-tracking data is just as compelling: searchers will pay more attention to author-attributed pages than higher-ranking videos with larger images.


If necessity dictates that you need to create content strictly for SEO purposes, especially if it would fall outside the bounds of your content strategy, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you don’t churn out junk content:

  • Does our target audience have a need to know about this topic?
  • Can we create content which would genuinely fill that knowledge gap?
  • Would our target audience expect us to provide this type of content? If not, would they find it odd that we are? … I think of this as the realtor / lawnmower conundrum. Your realtor, knowing that you just bought a house, would be in a great position to sell you a lawnmower. They even know what kind of lawn you have. However, you would likely be put off if your realtor tried to sell you a lawnmower.


While the tools at one’s disposal to positively affect search engine ranks are more limited than they used to be, SEO is still important. As SEO tactics take a more content-centric approach, it’s important you don’t churn out low-value content. Your content strategy should be focused on the content. Working SEO into your content strategy will have a far more positive long-term effect than trying to take to shape content around an SEO strategy.

"In their quest to determine who to give their business to, your customers are judging you every step of the way. Providing value to them through great content is a critical way to earn their trust and respect, giving your life science company an edge on the competition. If you are looking for superior content strategies which will create competitive advantage for your company, contact BioBM. We’ll ensure your company is providing value to your customers which pays you back in increased business. And we’ll make sure it gets seen while we’re at it."

Maximizing the Value of Content

Creating quality marketing content takes a lot of effort, so ensure you're deriving as much value from it as possible.Creating quality content takes a good deal of effort. When marketers endeavor to create marketing content, it is generally created for a particular purpose. That’s usually out of necessity – marketers identify a need for content then design the content to fill that specific need. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, to increase the returns on your hard work creating it, marketers should try to maximize the value derived from any piece of quality content. There are a number of ways to extract more value from your content, and here are a few ideas:

Think about different ways your audience might want to consume content. Just because you packaged a great idea into a compelling article or paper, for instance, doesn’t mean that everyone wants to read it. Perhaps you could package it into a short, instructional video. (Videos are more frequently engaged with than documents anyway.) Perhaps you could host a webinar when you’ll discuss the idea but also allow for Q&A with the audience. Or, if your paper is fairly long, perhaps you could cover some of the same content across a number of blog posts. By repackaging content, not only are you creating more opportunities for your audience to be presented with the underlying idea, but you’re accommodating more of your target audience’s preferred content consumption methods as well.

Don’t publicize it only once. Pushing your content more than once is perfectly okay, especially if you can safely assume that a large portion of the audience is not seeing any particular post and / or the method of promotion is non-intrusive. With social media, for instance, and especially with Twitter, most people only see a small percentage of what gets posted. If you post the same content a few times, chances are that few people will actually see the post more than once. In interruptive formats such as email, you can get more mileage from your content by using it in different ways. For instance, you might promote a piece of content in a newsletter, but also send it out as a follow-up in a drip campaign to leads who have shown interest in the topic. Or perhaps a topic that was a headline in one newsletter would be a footnote in a later newsletter on a similar topic.

Consider using media publishers to reach a larger audience. Publishers understand the value of content, and many welcome contributions to their publications. If you have content that would be relevant to certain publications, and those publishers have an audience which would be relevant for your company, then reach out to those publishers. Contact the editor and see if they would print your content. Many times they will, since this is a win-win scenario. They get free content and you get free publicity. Just note one thing: if you have already published your content elsewhere (for instance, in a white paper or your blog) then be sure to tell the editor that. Some publishers won’t accept content which has been published elsewhere, and failing to disclose that can ruin your relationship (or worse).

If you’re generating quality marketing content, you’re almost guaranteed to be putting lot of effort into it. See that your efforts are better-rewarded by getting more value from the every piece of quality content that you create.

"Looking to improve your content marketing practices? Contact BioBM. Our expert life science marketers will help you create high quality content and maximize its life span to deliver more brand value and more demand for your company."

Content Is Not Enough

Photograph by Michael Nichols for National GeographicVery few things are immune to the law of diminishing returns. Content marketing is certainly not one of them. As content marketing has surged in the life sciences over the past few years, we’ve seen a very predictable trend: it’s become less effective. Customers are swarmed with efforts to grab their attention with low-value, shallow content. Given their inherently limited time, they can only be the “customer” of so much content. As with anything, if you have increasing demands for a limited resource (in this case, the customers’ attention) the cost goes up.

That’s exactly what we see happening with content marketing. The cost of getting your target market’s attention is increasing. It requires richer, denser, higher-value content. As the cost of scientists’ attention continues to increase, we are coming to a point where content, as it is traditionally defined, is no longer enough.

Content itself is not enough. Even relatively high-value content.

As the ever-growing tidal wave of content amasses and the demand for scientists’ attention increases, companies must begin to look for new, unique ways of creating value. After all, the purpose of content is not simply to be read, but to demonstrate or provide value in a manner which is untethered to the actual usage of a product or service (we call this “product-unrelated value“). Companies must move from delivering solely content to creating and delivering resources.

So what’s the difference between content and resources? Theoretically, content can certainly be viewed as a resource and in many cases resources may take the form of content in one way or another. They are both broad terms and they do overlap, so it’s important to distinguish between the concepts. The key difference is that content can address any question. Resources specifically ask: what are the needs of our target audience and how can we address them in a way that creates value for our brand? In doing so, they circumvent the problem of limited attention by addressing customer needs that would need to be dealt with anyway.

One of our favorite examples is the numerous protocols found in the New England Biolabs catalog. We’ve heard this valuable, long-standing resource referred to as the “molecular biology bible” and it has led to a steady stream of requests for their catalog for many years. This would be an example of a resource in the form of content, but there could be many resources which are not content. For example, digital tools can be resources. Andrew Alliance, a manufacturer of an automated pipetting robot, provides free software which easily creates pipetting protocols which can be readily edited, saved, shared, and viewed in order to help reduce errors in both protocol design and actual pipetting. This provides product-unrelated value (it doesn’t require any purchase or use of an Andrew robot) in a way that is still relevant to them (pipetting / liquid handling). There are certainly other examples as well, but not all that many. Life science companies have, as a whole, not yet become creative with regards to the resources that they provide to scientists.

As more companies become content developers and more content competes for scientists’ limited time and attention, the standards for content become much higher. While high-value content can still be very effective, a shift in thinking is required for companies to provide high-value resources which circumvent the problem of limited attention. The companies which successfully do so will be greatly rewarded in brand value.

"Stuck in the old paradigms of content, where white papers, blog posts, social media, and other “traditional” content forms dominate? If you’re looking to break free in order to stand out from the noise and generate lasting brand value, contact BioBM. Our life science content marketing expertise goes beyond traditions and tired paradigms, to more creative approaches for resource development which will act as longstanding value-added assets for your brand by being powerful creators of value for your audiences."

Start Building an Audience

Start Building an AudienceA lot of companies focus heavily on short-term demand-generation efforts. For small start-ups without venture funding, that is often out of necessity. However, many companies do so even when it is not necessary, and in these cases an overly short-term focus carries an unintentional long-term cost.

As we’ve discussed previously, a buying journey can be thought of as a quest to minimize risk. Scientists want to be certain that your product or service will fill their need. The more certain they are, the more likely they are to purchase. One factor which weighs heavily in the perception of risk is trust. If you have not established trust with your scientist-customer, the customer will be less likely to believe that your product / service will fill the need or, at minimum, will require more convincing. Conversely, if there is an alternative which is provided by a trustworthy source or brand, then this option will be given preference.

Short-term demand generation campaigns largely ignore this reality. This is especially damaging for lesser known brands, or brands with which the customer may have limited interaction. (Note that it is possible to be “well known” but not “well experienced” – in other words, for customers to know who you are without ever having any meaningful brand experiences.)

As an illustrative example, pick your favorite home appliance brand. Imagine there is a new appliance which you don’t currently have but which your favorite brand sells. Given that, how responsive would you be to a brand which you’ve never heard of which also makes that appliance? Unless they have a way of getting in front of you early and repeatedly in your buying journey and present a compelling message, chances are they wouldn’t have much of a chance against your favorite brand – or even just a popular one which you’ve heard of repeatedly.

This is why audience-building is so important. It creates a group of potential customers who you can repeatedly expose to your brand, building familiarity and trust with them over time. This trust then translates into a greater likelihood of your products and services being chosen when it becomes time to make a purchasing decision. It engages and influences potential customers before they have a recognized need, building advantages which translate into value once a relevant need is recognized.

Audiences can be built on almost any platform and through almost any means. An opt-in email list can be an audience. Social media followers or groups can be an audience. However, in order to create value for your company, you need to create value for your audience, and that comes via product-unrelated value (usually content).

Building an audience takes time, and so does creating familiarity and trust within that audience. By starting early, and putting in the effort to create value for your audience, you’ll be building long-term value for your company which will continue to pay you back over time.

"Is your brand trusted and respected? If the answer isn’t a resounding “yes” then there’s work to be done. Contact BioBM and we’ll help craft and implement strategies to build your brand into something meaningful to your target markets. Don’t wait to start building long-term value. Start on the path to a more powerful brand today."