The Powerful Secret To Health Tech Content Distribution
How Mission Driven Companies Can Create A Distribution Strategy That Works
Every day a new life-saving technology is created...only to drop off the face of the earth just a few months or years later. And I can't stand this.
The people who created this technology are truly brilliant, and on a mission to change, better, and extend lives of billions around the globe.
But what they may not know is how to get their message out. They get stuck in one of 3 traps - the trap of speaking to the wrong people, the "who cares?!" content strategy trap, and the weak (or nonexistent) distribution path trap.
And if you ask me, this is absolutely tragic. Because any product with the power to save or change lives needs to break through the noise...people's lives depend on it.
The #1 Reason Your Distribution Strategy Isn't Working
There's one reason your distribution strategy isn't working for you, and it's deceptively simple.
People aren't looking for you.
They don't know they need to look for you.
They don't know that their lives may depend on them finding you.
So it's YOUR job to be everywhere they are (and this is actually simpler than it sounds...more on that in a minute).
But I just want you to dwell on this for a moment: people aren't looking for you, but their lives may depend on you. Can you feel the weight of that?
And the number 1 way to break your mission through the noise is to speak directly to the people who need you with content that motivates them to adopt your life-changing tech - but the only way they're going to find you is if you get out in front of them.
The Secret no one talks about
There's this deep, dark secret you may never have heard of that will revolutionize your content strategy - evergreen content, or, in other words, content as relevant today as it will be 10 years from now.
When you take the principle of evergreen content and apply it to your existing content (content that's lying dead in your content graveyard...your blog), you can turn old, dead content into content that starts getting results for you today and for years to come.
HOW??? You ask. Well, it's pretty easy - it may take some work, but once you do it, you'll be glad you did.
Evaluate every single piece of existing content you already own with this criteria:
1. Does it speak to my customer avatar?
If not, go back through and change the language so it communicates in a clear, approachable way that your customer avatar will understand.
2. Does it motivate them to adopt my tech?
If not, go through and map ways to lead your customer avatar back to core content that drives them to buy. And most importantly, show, don't tell. You can scream till you're blue in the face that they need to buy, but does anyone out there actually like listening to bossy people?
Instead, show them WHY they need you, how your technology can solve their problems and make their lives better. Then, use emotive language that inspires purchasing behavior.
3. Will anyone want to read this 10 years from now?
Any content you've written about your recent round of funding, news updates of all the fun activities you plan for your employees...no one is going to read that tomorrow, much less 10 years from now. Get rid of it.
Now, there is a place for content about current events and you can use it drive customers to your virtual door, BUT just keep in mind that this kind of content won't deliver long tail returns, so invest first in evergreen content and sprinkle in current events as needed.
Places To distribute
I'll try to keep this short and sweet so I don't bore you with details, but we do need to lay some groundwork to give you an idea of where you can distribute your content to reach your customer avatar and drive them to buy.
This is content you fully own, that you have full control over, and that you can edit, repurpose, and reuse to your heart's content. Some examples:
- Blog content - content you publish fairly regularly that keeps your avatar engaged and leads them to opt-ins, sales or landing pages, or other core content that drives them to buy
- Case studies or customer success stories - content that humble brags about how you changed a customer's life
- Ebooks - more in-depth content that you use to capture emails to build your mailing list as well as to provide helpful solutions for your customers.
- White papers - Detailed and often technical content that sets you up as an expert in your field. White papers should also be used to capture emails.
Unpaid Social Media
Social media. It can either be a powerful tool or a huge drag on your time. The key is to be on the right channels for you customer avatar and to follow the right strategies for the channel you're on (whatever you do, DON'T try a one-size-fits-all strategy for every social media platform. That is guaranteed to kill your content). This list isn't all the platforms you can use, but it's some of the more popular:
- Instagram - skews toward millennial women and is all about beautiful image assets.
- Twitter - skews male and is popular in the tech world.
- Facebook - most popular among older users, but you'll also find lots of young people on this network.
- LinkedIn - popular with both Gen Y and Gen X and the best place to post professional types of content.
- Quora - a question and answer forum where users post their question and experts answer. In the health tech space, especially, Quora can be a great distribution tool.
- Reddit - a discussion forum where the good stuff rises to the top and the bad stuff disappears. Choose subreddits related to your industry and share content as well as interact with other users.
You may already know how I feel about ads - that they're a massive drain on your finances and they don't deliver long term results like you'll get from your owned content. However, they can be useful, so it's important to consider them in any distribution strategy.
- Digital ads - you can advertise on search engines, social media platforms, video content, and on independent websites.
- Other types of ads - depending on your audience, you may also want to advertise in print publications, on podcasts, or other forms of media.
- Influencer content - influencers are one of the best paid strategies, especially for B2C health tech companies because you're leveraging the power of peer pressure and very targeted audiences.
This is what most people think of as PR and where many companies spend massive amounts of their distribution dollars. Getting your content out on external platforms doesn't actually have to be pricey, though, and with a little effort, you can leverage each of these mediums to amplify your mission.
- Guest posting - the easiest one by far, often getting published as a guest on other blogs is only the matter of sending an email. Just make sure it's a blog your avatar will read!
- Podcasts - this one is also not too difficult because podcasters need great content to continue pushing out.
- TV/video content appearances - you don't have to pay big bucks to get on TV if you have something newsworthy and relevant to share.
- Written media and interviews - setting yourself up as an expert (and using the other distribution channels we've mentioned) can lead to written interviews and features in print and online publications.
What you've been waiting for...The questionnaire that helps you build your distribution path
Like practically everything else when it comes to mission-driven content, your distribution strategy is ALL about your customer.
That's why it's SO important that you have your customer avatar correct, because without that piece, you can create all the fabulous content you want and put it everywhere online, but you'll never reach the people who really need you, who rely on your technology (even if they don't know about it) to save or change their lives.
If you haven't taken the time to discover your customer avatar, do that FIRST, and then come back and we can talk distribution.
Great, so if you're still here, you've got your avatar nailed down. Now, you can start asking some basic questions to discover the best places to distribute your content.
Who is your customer avatar?
See, told you they were important! You need to know who they are and their basic demographic info to be able to answer the rest of these questions. In general, you're going to want to know their age, their gender, where they live, what they do for work, and what they do for fun.
What do they read/watch?
In other words, what types of content are they consuming? Do they watch a lot of video? If so, what kinds? Do they read magazines? If so, which ones? Do they read books, blogs, social media posts? List all of the types you can think of here.
Where do they hang out?
You'll want to know both the physical and virtual locations they spend time in because that information will help you know what channels to distribute your content on. Make another list of places you'll find them - at the gym, on their phones, on Facebook, etc.
Who are their friends?
Peer pressure is a thing, even if your avatar is in an older demographic. None of us ever truly grow out of being influenced by our friends and knowing who your avatar's friends are will give you your secondary distribution strategy - other channels you should be on, but maybe not as heavily invested as your main ones. List what types of people your avatar hangs out with - and think out of the box here. Just because your avatar may be a 25 year old developer stuck in a cubicle all day who spends his weekends in his room building the next great social network doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have friends who are nature lovers. Learn who your avatars friends are and you'll learn who can influence them.
Who do they look up to?
What types of people do they want to be like? Who are their role models? These are also people who can influence your avatar to adopt your technology. And we're not talking celebrities, necessarily - we're talking everyday people who have a larger-than-normal audience than many of their peers. This could be a blogger or an Instagrammer or a Twitter user. You can leverage these types of people and their audiences to introduce your tech to your avatar.
Once you answer these questions, you'll have the key to unlock the distribution strategy that's perfect for you. Because, you see, distribution isn't a one-size-fits-all thing. You've got to tailor it to your company, your avatar, and your content.
Before you get to work creating your distribution path, leave me a comment with any questions you have and I'll get back to you! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
WHO IS WHITNEY?
Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.