The Ultimate Guide To Create A Health Tech Marketing Strategy

Written by Whitney Cole

Read up on how creating a marketing strategy with your customer at the center can skyrocket your health tech organization’s growth.

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 Ready to create a health tech marketing strategy that drives results?

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Download The 5 Steps You Need To Create Health Tech Content Pillars

  • Discover how to create a core marketing message with your customers at the center

  • Support with your content strategy with content pillars that provide value

  • Get the results your boss wants by creating content for every stage of the buyers journey

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 Marketing in the digital health space is sick. And not sick as in cool, but sick as in unwell. Founders and digital health leaders are creating amazing products and technology that has the power to change the way we do healthcare. But when it comes to getting their message out, that’s where things fall apart.

It’s not for a lack of knowing their audience...because they do. They’ve often spent months, years even, immersed in who their target market is and what their challenges are so they can build tech that solves their problems. Turning that into a marketing message that will skyrocket customer acquisition, a message that says to prospects you know them as well as they know themselves...that is hard to do.

The problem? Small marketing teams mean it’s hard to have the bandwidth to create enough content to funnel your customers through the buyer journey to a sales conversation. Creating all this content takes time, energy, and the mental space to be creative.

Fortunately, creating content focused on your buyer and mapping it to your marketing funnel can be simpler than you think.

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customer hero health tech marketing strategy

CHAPTER 1: MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER THE HERO OF YOUR HEALTH TECH MARKETING STORY

Your marketing should not happen haphazardly. A blog post here, a digital ad campaign there, an Instagram pic over there is going to do nothing to help you reach the people who really need you.

Instead, along with all you have going on as you build your startup, you need to take time to slow down, build your marketing strategy, test it, launch it, and learn from it.

It’s hard and you’re busy, but to truly drive your mission beyond the noise that is the internet in the 21st century, you’ve got to be strategic.

Here’s a step-by-step process to help you build your marketing strategy:

Gather internal stakeholders

Schedule at least 3 two hour working sessions over a month to six weeks with your team to lay the groundwork for your marketing strategy. You can structure your sessions however best fits your organization, but here’s the structure I’ve used over and over again:

  • Understand the market and the customer

  • Create the value proposition that informs your content and campaigns

  • Determine the tactical marketing cadence

You’ll want to leave plenty of time between these sessions so you can divide up and execute on tasks before the next one.

Who should come?

The people who attend these working sessions will depend on your organization. You’ll want marketing and sales present for sure and possibly your founder depending on the size and stage of the company. Customer success and back office sales people may not need to be present at each session, but you will want to get their input and may find it helpful to schedule shorter sessions with stakeholders on those teams.

What to cover?

To get to know your customer, you’ll want to work through a discovery process with questions similar to these:

  • What is your total addressable market (TAM) and what is the market size?

  • What are your possible target market segments within the TAM? What are the unique characteristics, problems, and goals of each? Is there one that makes the most sense to target first?

  • Who are the buyers and evaluators in each of those markets?

  • How does your product or service help those personas achieve their goals?

  • What is the biggest value they will see in your product or service?

  • How is their success measured?

  • What does failure look like?

  • What is the root cause of problems they may be experiencing?

  • What external, internal, and philosophical problems does it cause?

  • How do you guide them to success? How can you show empathy and authority?

  • How do you help them transform?

  • Where do they hang out on and offline?

  • What and who influences them?

Seek insight from customers and prospects

Your team should answer these questions internally; however, because you can likely only make general assumptions about what your potential customers truly experience, it’s important to validate your hypothesis with real customers and prospects. Once you have answered these questions internally and created buyer personas, begin a process of interviewing and surveying potential customers to hear their stories, challenges, and goals in their own words.

Use similar questions as the ones you used in internal conversations to deep dive into what potential customers think and experience.

I have worked with founders and startups who don’t want to take this step - they get stuck in the internal conversation phase and never validate those thoughts with external people. The problem with this is that in internal conversations, you are likely making assumptions - assumptions that have a 50/50 chance of being wrong. You need to validate every piece of your hypothesis with customers or potential customers...otherwise you will never have customer-centric marketing.

Who to talk to

The key to taking at least some level of anxiety out of this process is to start with friends and family. Now, I’m not saying you need to call up Uncle Jim on the phone and ask him your list of questions - unless, of course, Uncle Jim could be a potential customer. Instead, you need to call up “friends and family” who understand your audience and may even be part of your audience. These are people who are friendly to your cause and who support you. Start with them. Use their feedback to hone your hypothesis even more.

Once you’ve validated with friends and family, take it one step further and talk with actual customers or prospective customers. Especially in the case of prospective customers, don’t treat this as a sales call. They need to know that you need their help. Again, these people should be at least somewhat friendly to your cause.

Finally, once you’ve had person-to-person conversations with your audience, you can start using your hypothesis to drive content and messaging. However, as you go, continue to take the temperature of your audience by listening to their comments, running surveys, and continue having in person conversations. This is where a strong relationship between marketing and sales comes in. Sales and even customer success teams talk to customers and prospects every day. Marketing needs to hear about the insights gleaned from those conversations to continue to hone the core marketing message.


 

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health tech marketing strategy

CHAPTER 2: CREATE YOUR RESULTS-DRIVEN CONTENT STRATEGY

Once you’ve validated your message internally and with at least a few external people, use that message to start to create content pillars.

How to create your core marketing message

There are three different types of core messages you could create - feature/function, alternative, and buyer focused propositions. The first two options focus on either sharing information about your company or comparing your company with a rival. However, your strongest option for driving inbound leads is to create a buyer focused core marketing message.

If you’ve stuck with me this far, you’ve already gathered a lot of insight from prospective customers so you’re already understand their problem and how you can guide them through it. You’ve already validated your hypothesis. Now it’s just a matter of crafting a message that focuses on customer needs while also communicating the value you offer.

Unfortunately, many health tech companies believe they have unique messaging when they really don’t. That’s why, at this stage, you need to analyze your competitor’s messaging with the goal of learning from their strengths and weaknesses. Here are the types of questions you and your marketing team should be asking while evaluating other marketing strategies in your rivals:

  • Who do our buyers associate us with?

  • Where do our companies overlap?

  • Where are the gaps between our companies?

  • Is there potential to differentiate our core marketing messaging so we stand apart?

Now you can start drafting your core marketing message - the message that drives all your other content creation.

What are content pillars?

Content pillars are categories of topics that support your core marketing message. This strategy does two really fantastic things for your marketing and content. First, it keeps your content focused your customer personas. Since your marketing message is central to these pillars, and your customer is central to your marketing message, you will be better able to provide helpful, valuable content to your audience. For health tech startups, this strategy is vital. It’s easy to fall into the trap of tech speak or feature/function messaging. When you do that, however, you end up getting into a price war with competitors. This ends up being a race to the bottom and you struggle to provide premium services that you believe in.

The second thing that makes this type of strategy important is changes to Google’s algorithm make keyword-only SEO outdated. As search engines become more focused on the intent of they human searcher, search results will be optimized for humans. Search engines will look more at are you an authority on a certain topic, rather then did you get all the right keywords. Having a content strategy focused on topic clusters or content trees will tell search engines that you are an expert in the topics you are trying to rank for.

How to create them?

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Start with your core marketing message - that hypothesis you created with your team and validated with your customers or prospects. Your content pillars should be the categories that support your marketing message. The can revolve around your product, but they should be outcome focused.

For instance, if you have a SaaS product focused on patient care coordination your pillars could be focused on building the care plan, helping the patient navigate care, and insights gleaned from the care plan.

Map your content into the buyer journey

Once you’ve created your content pillars and topics, you need to make sure you have content for each stage of the buyer journey.

The 3 stages are typically the following:

Awareness Phase

The buyer may not know they have a problem or if they do, they don’t know there’s a solution.

Content that fits this phase:

  • Educational content that helps customers solve a problem

  • Topics that answer why

  • Topics that answer what

Formats that fit this phase:

  • Blog posts

  • Social media posts

  • Earned media and bylined articles

  • Short explainer videos

Interest Phase

The buyer knows there’s a problem and knows there’s a solution but doesn’t know what solution is right for them.

Content that fits this phase:

  • How to posts

  • Comparison posts

  • In-depth guides

Formats that fit this phase:

  • Blog posts

  • Ebooks, checklists, and cheat sheets

  • Video or webinar training series

  • Industry reports

Decision Phase

The buyer knows there’s a problem and has 2-3 solutions narrowed down. They are trying to make a decision on which solution is a perfect fit.

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Content that fits this phase:

  • Case studies/customer stories

  • Use cases

  • Demos

  • Testimonials and reviews

Formats that fit this phase:

  • Downloadable case studies

  • Sales pages

  • Sales demos

Once you do this, your content tree should look like this image:

How to use your content tree

At this point, you’re ready to start implementing all your research and strategy into useful, educational content. Depending on the pillar or audience segment you’re focusing on, you can use several different formats to make your content available. For instance, if your goal is to start educating your audience, you may want to focus on factual blog material or short videos that explain the problem and the solution. You can also turn this content into an ebook format that is useable as a lead magnet.

When creating these articles, videos, and infographics, it’s just as important that you focus on your target audience. Your content will have a better ROI when it’s pointed at a particular persona and market segment. What this means is that you may draft several articles on the same topic, but each one may be geared towards different segments in your audience. In other words, reusing material is actually a strength, not a weakness.

 
Health tech marketing strategy roi

CHAPTER 3: LEARN FROM YOUR HEALTH TECH MARKETING CONTENT TO DRIVE ROI

Developing a core marketing message and marketing strategy is the starting point for further marketing opportunities. Over time your strategy and content may begin to evolve into something different. That doesn’t mean that your initial strategy was a failure; it just means that you’re continuing to grow and morph right alongside your target audience.

 That’s why it’s important to keep an open mind, experiment with new ideas, and evaluate them accordingly. Here are some ways you can continue to evaluate and evolve with your market and keep your content relevant.

Learn from your content

Once you’ve released content, it may seem like your job is done with that particular material, but that’s just not the case. Published content gives you a new opportunity to learn from the response to your content.

Does it resonate?

For starters, is it resonating with your audience? Are you getting more engagement and feedback? If not, there are several things you can do to evaluate and optimize your content that won’t require starting from scratch. Start by checking your headlines. You can do this by using CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer via their website. The better your headlines, the better chances your content will come up in customer searches. Check out your keywords, too. Maybe you’re not using the best ones and it’s diminishing your SEO.

Beyond that, you may need to look at your topics. It’s possible that the topics you’re focusing on aren’t really covering the pain points of potential buyers. Evaluate your content based on value at this point, too. Are you actually giving your audience something that matters to them? Or has your content turned into a spiel about your company’s abilities?

Does it inspire action?

Enabling buyers to take action and improve their current difficulties is one of the best ways to build trust and establish relationships. If your marketing strategy isn’t inspiring a response from your target audience, it could show up in several different ways. However, here are a few telltale signs that your audience isn’t taking action. For one, they may not respond or interact with social media posts, not even the educational posts. Even worse, you aren’t getting more leads in your funnel within a reasonable timeframe.

If these things are true of your marketing experience, then it’s time to reevaluate the value you’re offering. Does your audience really see worth in the content you’re offering? Are you giving them something they need? Perhaps it’s even simpler than that, though. Are you actually calling them to action with your content? Or are you simply giving them information without asking them to respond?

If so, then you need to up your call to action. That being said, your CTA doesn’t always need to be purchasing your product or service. It could be as simple as offering them a free checklist or guide that helps them implement the ideas you just presented.

Listen to your sales department

One of your best assets as you continue to evolve with your market is to listen to your sales department. They’re on the ground each day talking with the exact people you’re trying to reach. If anyone can give you the pulse of your target audience, it’s them. So ask them what they’re hearing from prospects.

In addition, customer success teams can give you insight into customers use of your product. They can provide you with stories of success as well as ways your marketing could better serve buyers.

Listen to the industry

Listening internally plays a major role in marketing progress, but so does listening externally. Outside resources can help you continue to meet the needs of your market. For instance, the leaders in your particular industry have a good feel of customers’ pulse. If you listen to their insights, you’ll be able to know if your content is actually meeting the current needs of your audience.

All this to say, your marketing strategy isn’t static; it’s should be a dynamic approach that helps you connect and stay relevant within your market. This means that once you develop your strategy the goal should be to keep the conversation going with internal departments and external sources like customers and industry leaders.

By continuing to talk and learn, your marketing strategy will stay fresh, and your marketing team will only get sharper and sharper in their field.

Are you ready to create content that gets results?


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 Create your results-driven health tech marketing strategy today.

Download The 5 Steps You Need To Create Health Tech Content Pillars to fill your content engine with blog posts, videos, ebooks, white papers, and more that move your customer through your funnel to a sale.