3 steps to make video marketing a success.
Biotech and the life sciences are a hotbed of opportunity, with breakthrough advances being made at breakneck speed. For the businesses that operate in this exciting sector – from contract research labs and manufacturers of cutting-edge equipment, through to pioneers in synthetic biology and AI drug discovery platforms – this presents unique challenges as well as unique opportunities.
Science and technology-based products can be a complex sell. No matter how clever your product is, potential customers are unlikely to discover it organically and even less likely to acclaim its brilliance. There’s just way too much competition for their attention. Even if the right people do happen to come across your product, your customers are generally scientists themselves which makes them a sceptical audience. They won’t blindly accept bold new claims from anyone, let alone from someone trying to sell them something.
It tricky out there, so we spoke to several industry marketing professionals to compile the best tips on how to capture the attention of your audience. Read on to hear from The Linus Group founder and CEO Hamid Ghanadan, former NattoPharma Global Marketing VP Andrew Green, Global Marketing Development Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific and Managing Editor of its life science news portal, Connect to Science Grace Yco and Akoya Biosciences Senior Marketing Manager Cameron Smurthwaite.
First things first.
How to: Get On Your Buyer’s Radar.
- Talk to your customers
“It comes down to understanding the customer and showing you have empathy for their aspirations, pain points and science journey.” says Grace Yco, Global Marketing Development Manager at Thermo Fisher Scientific and Managing Editor of its life science news portal, Connect to Science.
“We conduct voice of customer (VOC) surveys so that our customers are helping us shape our content strategy, which will result in improved impact and ROI. We also enjoy speaking with our customers directly. Informal interviews, interaction through social media, feedback via our sales teams and the like all inform us of what would help them do their jobs better.”
- Be bold
If you’re trying to awaken a need or resonate with customers through provocative content, you need to be willing to say something controversial.
“It is possible to be reckless about it, but essentially the extent to which you’re willing to be bold as a brand is directly connected to the richness of the interactions you’ll get.” says Ghanadan.
- Find the balance between pushing product vs building brand
Connecting to a scientist’s life and challenges will help to lower their scepticism, but it will come right back if you start peddling your product too soon. Green suggests a light touch even for branding the video at this stage.
How to: Let Them Discover How Much They Need You.
- Get metaphorical
“Good storytelling leverages metaphors,” says Green. He references Harvard’s Gerald Zaltman and his work in seven deep metaphors. Green says “I try to make sure that every campaign has one or two of these deep metaphors embedded. For scientists, ‘transformation’, ‘journey’, ‘balance’, ‘resource’ and ‘control’ are effective underlying metaphors to build on.
The latter – control – is particularly apt, Green says. “If there’s one thing scientists don’t have enough of in the lab, it’s control. If your marketing can make them feel you can help them get control, you’re onto something good.”
- Tread the line
“You’ll lose people if you get too technical, but also if you get too splashy. Researchers want to feel we have credibility and if you’re not careful they’ll see your video and think ‘this is just a marketing thing, where’s the data?’” says Smurthwaite.
- Think about the notes you don’t play
“I have a hypothesis that I call Gap Marketing. If you give people too many details in a story, they stop caring. If there are not enough details then people won’t get it, but there is a sweet spot where people can fill in the gaps themselves and make the story their own.The more details they fill in, the stronger connection they will have to your message and brand,” says Green.
- Take them on a journey
If your video is taking someone on a journey into an alternate reality where their needs are met, then give thought to where the journey ends, says Ghanadan. “People don’t tend to associate calls to action with video because they think viewers watch and then walk away, but you can be quite prescriptive about where they should start if they want to realise this other reality.”
How to: Prime Them To Buy.
- Avoid using hyperbole
Terms like ‘unique’, ‘easy to use’ and ‘cost-effective’ are so heavily used that they are at best meaningless, at worst counter-productive, says Ghanadan. “Lacking a nuanced understanding of the audience’s psychology, [misguided marketers] resort either to emotionless feature/benefit statements, hyperbolic or fluffy aspirational messaging, or will opt for facile metaphors and borrowed interest.”
Rein it in and let the truth speak for itself.
- Involve the right people in the video
Marketing videos should never be concocted in an ivory tower, at length from the business and its objectives. Involve internal stakeholders like product managers, says Smurthwaite. “If you’re going out with a message about a part of the technology that is nice to have, but that’s not a huge benefit to the customer, then you’re not telling the right story. It’s also good to have input from Sales, because they’re on the front lines and they really know the pain of the customer.”
- Don’t be prescriptive about length
“While short videos are conventionally seen as the most effective, the right length for a video is how long you can keep a viewer’s attention” says Green. Particularly if you’re making videos for a late stage in the buying journey, where people are considering spending often considerable money, don’t be afraid to go longer.
“I watch two-hour videos all the time. They’re called movies. The key is that you have to do a good job of setting expectations regarding content and time investment. You then have to over- deliver on that expectation” he says.
Video provides a powerful tool at every stage of the scientist’s buying journey. It excels at capturing attention, conveying credibility and telling stories that simultaneously engage, inform and shape the thinking of your audience. Want to learn more about how video can impact your brand/company? Contact us today.
Read our FULL report here:Click to read Biotech Video Insight
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