Healthcare SaaS is a tough industry - the marketplace is crowded, the competitors have deep pockets, and the sales cycles are painfully slow. For some healthcare SaaS companies, the last thing on their mind is content marketing. Content marketing takes time and patience, and worse, it can be hard to link it to a direct impact on the bottom line. So why should you bother?
Why content marketing?
The first and most important answer is that it works. Demand Metric found that content marketing (creating relevant content that appeals to your target buyers) generated three times more leads than traditional marketing. People like to learn about companies through custom content, as opposed to advertising or other direct channels - in fact, Demand Metric found that “80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content”. This makes intuitive sense - after all, what would you prefer, being hit with a sales pitch or gently offered some useful information?
This same logic still applies in a B2B marketing context - software buyers, like everyone else, do their research online before making a purchasing decision. HubSpot found that 47% of buyers viewed between 3 and 5 pieces of content provided by a given company before reaching out to one of their sales reps.
Research consistently shows that a B2B content marketing strategy is much less expensive than traditional advertising. One study suggested content marketing costs as much as 62% less than traditional marketing.
As well as saving on paid ad space and costly event booths, many methods of distributing content are completely free. Your only outlay with content marketing is the initial cost of developing and promoting the content itself, which is comparatively much lower than a conventional marketing campaign.
With a well-defined B2B content marketing strategy, you can easily scale up your content marketing as your business grows. Each piece of content builds on the previous work you’ve done, and most content can be repurposed - for instance, a blog post can lend substance to your email newsletter, or can be broken down into separate tweets or LinkedIn posts. What’s more, high-quality, useful content continues to generate leads long after the hard work is done.
What makes content marketing so important to healthcare SaaS companies?
Long sales cycles
Healthcare SaaS is notorious for its painfully slow sales cycle. In fact, one healthcare software buyer compared it to breaking a limb:
“When you break an arm, the cast will be on for six weeks. There are plenty of things you can do to aggravate it and extend the pain, but there’s really nothing you can do to get rid of it faster.”
In other words, sales cycles are slow in healthcare, and there’s not much that can be done about it. So what can you do to keep connected with your potential customers during the weeks - or months - that they take to consider purchasing your software - short of setting up camp in front of their office? Content marketing can be a great way to stay engaged without coming across as pushy. Providing useful, relevant thought pieces to potential buyers will help keep your product front of mind while in the lengthy sales process.
If you sell to the healthcare industry, you don’t need us to tell you it’s a pretty conservative place. Obvious issues of patient well-being, strict regulations, doctors’ reluctance to introduce new steps into a demanding workflow...Regardless of what your product can do to improve your end-users lives, it can be hard to be heard in the healthcare market. Content marketing can be an excellent way to build trust with your potential customers. By providing your target buyers with relevant, useful resources, you show your commitment to their success and understanding of their problems, and therefore demonstrate your expertise and trustworthiness.
As you know, when selling healthcare software, you have to deal with multiple stakeholders - from the purchasing manager to the head of IT, and not forgetting the end users who also need to be convinced. Content marketing can enable you to connect with multiple stakeholders at the same time - your strategy should consider the various buyer personas that you need to consider, and create content that addresses each of them.
A B2B content marketing strategy increases success
By now, we’ve hopefully convinced you that content marketing is key for your business growth. But not all content marketing is created equal. These days, more content is being churned out than ever before, as companies jump on the content bandwagon. In response, Google has tightened up its algorithms considerably, and without a bit of forethought, it can be tough to get in front of your target market.
That’s where a well-defined B2B content marketing strategy comes in. Defining a content marketing strategy will keep your content tightly focused, relevant to your target audience, and therefore high-converting and compelling. Don’t take our word for it - the Content Marketing Institute found that “62% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy (versus just 16% of the least successful).
In fact, 72% of content marketers who increased their level of success over the past year credit their strategy as a major contributor.
What are the keys of a strong B2B content marketing strategy?
Your content marketing strategy will depend on your available resources, your product, your target market and many other factors, so it can be hard to generalize.
However, it’s safe to say that any useful strategy will consider:
- Your buyer personas – who would be interested in your product and why
- Your marketing goals – what you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts and how you will measure it
- Your USP - what makes you unique and why your customers will benefit from working with you
We hope this article will have convinced you that a B2B content marketing strategy will help your healthcare SaaS business reach new heights. If you’d like to find out how we can help you create an effective and realistic marketing strategy, go ahead and schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us.