Healthcare technology is one of the most progressive industries in the world, with billions of pounds invested in clinical innovation and digital transformation. It has become a focal point on the national agenda, with Health and Social Care secretary Matt Hancock pledging upwards of £2bn to improve services and adoption of technology across the NHS.
It’s this drive and ambition that makes healthcare technology and medtech such an appealing specialisation for Context, and why we’ve spent the last 15 years developing our skills and building a comprehensive network of journalists and influencers. From connected healthcare specialist Wellbeing Software and Dutch secure messaging start-up Siilo, to pharmacy software and services provider Positive Solutions and international technology enabled care (TEC) expert Tunstall, we have helped secure press coverage that has reached millions.
But, it’s not just about the coverage alone. Impact shouldn’t be measured solely on website visitors, readership or column inches. Media coverage is only one part of the wider inbound marketing agenda. By inbound, we mean, attracting visitors to your content, nurturing those interested parties and engaging with them to move towards an eventual sale. In this blog, we share our insights into what PR and marketing success looks like for healthcare technology businesses, and use examples from our own work to illustrate how you can make an impact in the industry:
Focus on hero content
More often than not, a great campaign is borne out of an investment in a central piece of content, often referred to as hero content. This is typically a work of thought leadership and should be designed to build your reputation and credibility and improve your influence over conversations in the sector. The health tech industry in particular is dominated by analytical thinkers who do not suffer fools gladly, meaning you need to create content that will pass their scrutiny and offer information that is worth giving up their details for (check out our whitepaper for more information on finding your own hero content topics).
Once it has been created, hero content has the potential to lead prospects down the sales funnel from lead to a sale. However, you need to maximise the opportunities to see your content. It’s no good just sitting on your website and hoping people will see it. Traditional PR, social media, paid search and multimedia content such as videos and podcasts are prime methods that you can exploit to attract bigger audiences.
Wellbeing Software is a market leader in Radiology Information Systems (RIS). They wanted to create a piece of hero content that could inform and engage with their existing customers, but also attract new leads. We worked closely with them to develop a guide that offers radiology departments a path to more collaborative working, which tied in with Wellbeing’s overall connected healthcare messaging. The guide – which is available to download on their website and has been promoted via social media and email marketing – attracted 12 downloads in the first hour.
Securing an authoritative share of voice
Online media has created a need for content that not only appeals to the reader but also helps improve online search results. It is a very saturated and competitive marketplace, which means you need to identify angles that offer the best chance for coverage. This might be to counter popular opinion or support recent developments in the industry. Let’s look at a specific example.
Siilo is a Dutch mobile messaging provider whose objective is to connect clinical professionals across health and social care to aid collaboration and knowledge sharing. There has been widespread concern about the use of consumer apps like WhatsApp in medical environments, which could expose sensitive patient data.
We worked with Siilo to develop a series of thought leadership articles that detailed how their application was a more viable and effective solution for clinicians. Some of these were written in collaboration with and by-lined to Joost Bruggeman, CEO and Founder of Siilo, while others were based on interviews with doctors using the app in a professional capacity. The result was widespread coverage in titles such as Digital Health, Digital Health Age, Building Better Healthcare, Hospital Matters and the Journal of mHealth.
Making the most of customer reference
Now you’ve created your hero content and secured thought leadership-led media coverage, the next logical step is to back up your claims with evidence. How many of us read the reviews of a product before committing to buying? This is the value-added benefit of case studies. Customers are the objective mouthpiece you need in order to gain the confidence of potential new customers. While the traditional case study format – challenge, solution and result – works well for B2B marketing, it doesn’t always translate well in the media. It can be too formulaic or lack the storytelling needed to engage with the reader.
To ensure case studies are suitable for the media it is advisable to begin with a short synopsis that reworks the story so it is suitable to a particular publication and the issues they cover. Has your target publication recently covered the latest Tech Vision policy document for the Department of Health? If so, why not relate your case study narrative to the government’s objectives? While our client Wellbeing Software already had a series of approved case studies ready for publication, it was this approach that ultimately secured coverage in Practice Business, Building Better Healthcare and Digital Health.
This approach has been successful for other clients too, such as Tunstall, whose work with Peaks and Plains Housing Trust was the basis of a feature in Building Better Healthcare.
The bigger picture
Getting positive media coverage is great validation for your organisation, but successful inbound marketing strategies should go far beyond that. By following these steps, you can claim a spot as an authority in the industry and nurture a healthy new business pipeline.
To discuss how we can help your healthcare technology business contact us here.