Demand for cloud-based health care software is booming, particularly for software as a service (SaaS) applications. Steady growth is expected for at least the next four years, according to market research firm Technavio.
Hospitals, physician practices and other health care organizations anticipate that SaaS applications will help them reduce costs; provide secure, reliable access with guaranteed uptime; and deploy quickly. While these organizations value credible, established SaaS companies, small startups can attract attention, too. Your secret sauce is a content marketing strategy.
Why do I need one?
A content marketing strategy is a powerful tool that can help you stand out among large competitors. It’s a road map that spells out your sales and marketing goals, what content you’ll share, who you’ll share it with and how, and key messaging for each audience. Having a plan will help you tell your company’s story to the right people at the right time and in the right way.
If you’re thinking about “winging” it, consider this: You wouldn’t invite a leading hospital system to a webinar that promotes your SaaS applications without rehearsing it, would you? Of course not. You and your team would practice so you’d be on your “A” game for the live event. The same principle applies to having a documented content marketing strategy.
Let’s take a deep dive into the “why.” You’ll:
- Discover important intel about your target audiences. Knowing your targets will help you produce relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read. That means you can convince prospects to know, like and trust you enough to give you their business. You must understand:
- Who they are
- What motivates them
- When, where and how to reach them
- Their challenges and needs
- Where they seek answers
- How you can solve their problems
- Learn how content supports sales and marketing goals. No one crafts content just because the boss asks for it. Trustworthy, custom content helps move prospects through the sales funnel from awareness to evaluation to purchase. A content marketing strategy will help you find the right times to create content and determine what best fits each stage of a buyer’s journey. Here’s how this works:
- Awareness: Prospects are checking out your tech startup. They want to be educated, but don’t know anything about you. They may also be searching for solutions to specific problems or looking for answers to their questions. They’re not ready to buy, but if you connect with them through helpful content, they’ll be primed to move to the next stage.
- Evaluation: At this point, prospects are engaging with you, but you’ve still got work to do. They’re looking for solutions to specific problems and evaluating their options, which means they’re also looking at other health care SaaS companies. Juicy content will help you build those relationships, convince prospects to trust you and show them why your products and services are the best fit.
- Purchase: Prospects are ready to spend money, but you must seal the deal and sell them on why they should choose your tech startup and why your solutions are the clear choice. Compelling, benefit-driven content and a strong call to action can help convert your prospects into sales.
- Build your company’s brand. When prospects find you, they’ll want to know who you are and what differentiates you from the competition. Crafting content according to plan ensures your core messaging fits the overall tone and approach you established upfront, is consistent across channels and positions you as an industry expert. We’ll explore branding soon, but for now, keep these tips in mind:
- Give it time. Established competitors have name and brand recognition. Since you’re the new kid on the block, you must educate prospects about your company and its culture, what sets you apart, your industry expertise and how you solve problems.
- Don’t slam Brand X. The worst thing you can do is bash the competition. Focus on the positives and how you do things differently. What value do you add? What insights can you share?
- Stick to your standards. Whether you’re writing a blog post, shooting a video, creating landing pages or producing other marketing content, everything should be cohesive in messaging and design.
- Publish and manage your content. A formal plan details the types and quantity of content you’ll create, as well as how you’ll distribute and promote it to generate traffic, attract leads and increase sales. Without a content marketing strategy in place, it’s too easy to let content fall to the bottom of your priority list. Follow these pro tips:
- Create a content marketing calendar to ensure consistency. Include frequency of content creation, deadlines and a distribution schedule.
- Incorporate keywords into your content to gain additional exposure and traction.
- Be flexible and adjust tactics as needed. For example, if no one is subscribing to your blog, maybe you need to write about different topics or promote the blog to influencers.
- Assess content performance. Content marketing is measurable and optimizable. Defining clear and quantifiable objectives and tracking results provides important data that shows where your efforts are working and where you need to improve. Wrapping your head around analytics can get overwhelming, so let’s keep this high-level. Here are a few of the many ways you can measure the effectiveness of your content:
- Website traffic
- Subscriber growth
- Search rankings
- Audience feedback
You’ve got this
As a small startup, you can grow and thrive against established market leaders. A smart, well-planned content marketing strategy that focuses on building your brand and credibility can help level the playing field. Every new market leader has no name recognition and must compete against bigger players before it flourishes. You can do it, too!