Medical device marketing: a guide to online lead generation for health companies
This article offers a high-level overview of using SEO for B2B medical device marketing as a way to increase brand recognition and generate leads.
It is written for marketing managers and lead generation directors tasked with marketing health products such as medical devices, health care diagnostic software, electronic medical record software, and medical management software.
Search engines help us research, decide, and buy. In B2B and complex sales cycles, SEO is a proven way to generate awareness, leads, and traffic your product pages. Health-focused businesses, in particular, can use search engines to not only build their businesses, but also to connect them to their communities, customers, and help prospects discover their medical products.
According to the 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) had the biggest impact on lead generation. With B2B marketing, 60% of business decision makers say that content helps them make purchase decisions. SEO does require time and resources but it is a long-term investment that does pay off.
With SEO you can expect . . .
- Lower cost-per-lead than traditional channels
- Long-term lead generation from your site's content
- Visibility in marketplace with proper keyword targeting
- Qualified prospects visiting your website, helping to pre-sell your company before the sales team reaches out
The problem, though, is that many medical device marketers will stop at their website. When a prospect evaluates your company, they typically look for more than just your sales pages. They don’t want to just know what you say—they want to know 3rd party opinions of you, your reputation in the industry, and how you differ from the long-list of other providers.
As you probably know, SEO (search engine optimization) is the technical practice of helping search engines analyze your web content. The goal is to convince search engines to choose your content over your competitors and accomplishes this using analytic software, content tactics, and technical tweaks to help push your website to the top results in Google. SEO is completely ethical, legal, and encouraged by Google.
Among B2B companies, 57 percent say that SEO has boosted lead generation (Source: Webmarketing123 reports).
Consider also that Hubspot research has shown . . .
- 78% of Internet users conduct product research online
- 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog
- Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic
- Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing.
- The average outbound lead costs $373. The average inbound lead costs $143.
For B2B medical device marketers, SEO is a particularly effective way to reach your prospects. This is due, in part, to the nature of content marketing: typically companies with interesting topics and information-rich industries have an easier time spreading their brand’s message via digital channels.
So why does SEO work for B2B companies?
As B2B has a long sales cycle, search engines naturally play a role in the research and evaluation process.
With a robust SEO campaign, your company can distribute your brand’s message, using an increased visibility in search engines to . . .
Shape perceptions early in the buying cycle. An effective SEO campaign will begin by generating awareness. With digital, this begins by making your brand visible in the search results. This allows prospects to encounter your brand in the search results early in the research phase of picking a new vendor.
Target qualified prospects from day one. Advanced SEO campaigns focus on what is called “long-tail” keywords. These are search phrases that are very specific. Long-tail searches typically signal a stronger intent to buy as the searcher is looking for a very specific answer to their query.
Position your company as one of the “best” solutions. Search engines are hard-wired to deliver the best results, meaning the most popular, most relevant, and most likely to be the answer everyone agrees with. There are over 200 factors in Google’s web content ranking algorithms used to decide “the best” answer. But for the purpose of B2B, effective SEO helps to put your company in those coveted top results. Even if you are smaller than your competitor, you can still be seen as one of the top 10 or 20 providers in your industry.
So when will you start generating leads with SEO?
Studies have shown that more content equals more leads and sales.
According to Hubspot, business blogs begin generating significantly more leads when they have a median of 24 or more articles. Businesses with blog article numbers above this site will generate a significant number of leads.
Business blogs that have 0-11 articles posted will generate a median of three leads. Once blogs reach the 12-23 article range, this median increases to an average of 10 leads. However, blogs with 24-51 posts will generate a median of 13 leads.
But here’s the magic number: 52. When your posted articles get above the 52 article mark, your blog will typically generate a median of 23 leads. This is a 77% lead growth, more than twice than the 30% lead growth that occurs when your article number reaches the 24 post mark. This is due simply to volume. The more content you have, the more online places prospects can find your medical device and company.
Hubspot also found that blogs that post daily generate four times more leads than those that post weekly or less.
Why does more content bring more leads?
In most basic terms, SEO generates leads because the more times your company appears in Google—the more places your target audience will encounter your company as they evaluate different providers.
So if you have five posts on your blog your company and medical device will only appear on a handful of searches. But if you have 50 posts, your prospects will encounter your brand and writing in hundreds of search results, as well as third-party websites, other blogs that may have cited you, social media updates (which are also collected and stored into Google’s library), and media mentions.
The reason why more content produces more leads is also related to the architecture of the web. The structure (and relative strength) of your website is determined by the relationship between your various pages. In other words, a website with five product pages and 10 blog posts is much less powerful than a website with 40 product pages and 200 blogs posts.
Search engines look for deep content and semantic relationships. The more content you have, the more search visibility your site will have, and search engines will recognize your site as a rich source of information, and a contextual web of information.
For more Information about using SEO to generate leads for health marketing:
We would love to hear about your thoughts or questions. We respond to every email.
About Redbird Communications
Redbird Communications is a marketing communications agency in Victoria, British Columbia, that specializes in health marketing.
Founded in 2001, we provide research, strategic planning, creative services, and public relations to clients in BC, Ontario, and beyond. Redbird has developed province-wide awareness campaigns, including our most recent ‘Signs of Stroke’ campaign for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. For that campaign, we helped to raise $250,000 from pharmaceutical sponsors to fund the media buy, and created TV and radio spots, print collateral, and online advertising.
Follow and chat with us on Twitter (@Redbirdcomms).