If you’re like me, there’s nothing you hate more than having a great marketing idea get squashed by regulatory and never see the light of day for fear of running afoul of the FDA. I get why it happens (and thankfully it doesn’t happen that often). I just don’t like it.
That’s why, when it comes to social media engagement, we’ve developed a process that keeps our regulatory team happy while allowing us marketing types to create content that gets noticed, talked about, and shared.
You can too. Here’s how.
- Start with vetted, cleared, and clinically rich solution-based content. In an earlier post I talked about motivating through emotion and persuading by reason. This is the persuading by reason part. Start with a well researched, well documented, and thoroughly cited white paper that focuses on an important clinical problem your technology helps to alleviate. Don’t talk about what your product does or how it works, talk about what your product does to help fill a real clinical need. And, obviously, make sure the paper is thoroughly reviewed and cleared through your regulatory approval process.
- Break it into bite-sized bits. If you’ve chosen a meaty topic and developed a compelling solution, then it should have multiple facets worthy of exploration. Does your technology help improve outcomes? Reduce length of stay? Reduce costs? Improve patient safety? Focus on each one of those individually and gather the data that supports your claims, which should have already been cleared by your regulatory team.
- Humanize the data—turn statistics into stories. Now that you’ve got a clinical story that passes regulatory muster, it’s time to put some skin on it. Make it real. Make it human. In your social media postings and interactions you’ll be talking to clinicians. Conversationally. One-on-one. How do your solutions affect them personally? How can it impact the way they care for their patients? The way they view themselves? Now it’s time to switch to “motivate through emotion” part of the equation.
- Bring each story to life with strong visuals. It’s true that we retain information better and more easily when it’s presented with strong verbal/visual agreement. Bring your posts to life with words, pictures and videos that jump off the screen and command attention while reinforcing your key solutions-based messages. Brand them. Because when your posts are shared (and if you do this part right, they will be shared) your brand is shared with them. Make sure each individual post goes through your approval process.
- Communicate consistently across a broad range of platforms. Now that you have a storehouse of compelling content, present that content to customers and prospects consistently across all platforms you —Facebook G+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Focus on being consistent. Post on a schedule and be religious about following it.
- Always provide a way back to the source data. Your posts should drive traffic back to your website whenever possible, with a direct link to the source material that backs up what is being said in the post. Consider creating individual solutions pages on your site that give a bit more detail on each post’s topic and link to even more detail and clinical validation. Once here, you can also direct them to specific product pages on your site. Since they have come this far, you officially have “permission” to begin marketing to them rather than just informing and educating them.
- Repeat. This needs to be an on-going process, not a one-time exercise.
That’s it. Do this right and you’ll have meaningful content that motivates clinicians and lets your regulatory team rest easy at night.
© 2013 Tom McCall