Marketing Tips & Techniques

Contributed by:

Robin Robinson

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Marketing Tips & Techniques

By Robin Robinson

Marketing Tips & Techniques: Blogs Trending now: Corporate blogging continues to be highly valuable in shaping a company’s online presence. Putting a Face to Your Space Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook are the new kids on the block, garnering the most attention these days in the media, however, blogging is still a crucial element to establishing an online presence, building trust, improving corporate reputation, and most importantly, putting a face on the company. Many industry blogs have very visible authors who write about a variety of issues, none of which is the end product. This approach brings the science to life, breaks down barriers allowing consumers a peek inside the company to discover how it operates, what its policies are, and exactly who is doing the work behind the usually sequestered corporate walls. Without the space limitations of other social media and the ability to control the content, blogs give the industry’s companies a safe place to differentiate themselves and to provide valuable education to consumers. The Benefits of Blogging Laura Kolodjeski Senior Manager, Patient ­ Insights Sanofi US Diabetes Twitter: @Diabetes_Sanofi Sanofi US introduced Discuss Diabetes in January 2011 with the goal of creating a place where we can engage with members of the diabetes online community, share valuable information and resources, and participate in the online conversation about life with diabetes. We continue to believe that the best way to achieve our goal is to actively listen; the diabetes community informs us what content might be most useful to them. Through this approach, we’ve been able to develop new, and nurture existing, relationships with members of the diabetes community. Further, our engagement and learnings have enabled us to evolve our understanding of life with diabetes, which has led to new opportunities for us to develop offerings that may help the day-to-day experience of living with the disease. Georgiana Murariu Digital Strategist Creation Healthcare Twitter: @GeoMurariu While pharma companies are not generally thought of as being early adopters of digital strategy, there are examples of companies that are pioneers in this space. Lilly, which runs LillyPad as a means of corporate engagement, has used this opportunity to respond to breaking news stories in a conversational but practical manner. While responding to emerging stories may sometimes prove challenging, it is important for pharma companies to be able to connect with their stakeholders and have the opportunity to explain their position on various issues, especially given that in the past, the industry has been perceived as not making the necessary effort, or even being unwilling to engage directly with its audience. Lastly, a pharma corporate blog can also give a voice to the company’s employees, enabling them to build trust and enter into productive two-way engagement with patients, healthcare payers, and other stakeholder groups. eileen O’Brien Director, Search and ­Innovation Siren Interactive Twitter: @EileenOBrien Blogs give biopharma companies a safe space to share ideas and improve corporate reputation while asking for feedback (via moderated comments) from their audience. A successful example is Pfizer’s Think Science Now blog whose purpose is: “inspiring scientists, clinical researchers, doctors, veterinarians, and other healthcare professionals to talk about what they are doing with science at Pfizer and why they are doing it.” Started in mid-2010, the blog has a variety of contributors who post weekly on different topics. The overall style is casual and reflects the tone of each writer, abbreviations and run-on sentences included. The title of this post is illustrative: “Gene Expression Profiling Waayyyyy Over-Rated?” As a result, the blog is authentic and appealing. By introducing individual Pfizer employees and giving them this platform, the blog humanizes this large company. The breadth of issues and the serious science discussed are impressive. Pfizer found an opportunity to add value and continues to deliver nicely. Samples of Industry Blogs » AstraZeneca’s AZ Health ­Connections is the official U.S. ­corporate blog of AstraZeneca, ­designed to foster conversation about the healthcare world and ­empower readers with information. { To read the blog, visit azhealthconnections.com » GE Healthcare has its corporate blog as well as a blog called Edison’s Notes, where GE Healthcare researchers talk about the health ­technology they ­envision in the future. { To read the blog, visit gehealthcare.typepad.com » GSK’s More Than Medicine blog was launched in 2009 with the intent to talk about a range of topics ­related to the U.S. healthcare system and how it can be improved. { To read the blog, visit morethanmedicine.us.gsk.com/blog » Johnson & Johnson’s BTW blog was designed to give the company an opportunity to start some ­conversations and give its employees a chance to share their perspectives and some stories that often get lost in the more formal communications about its work. { To read the blog, visit jnjbtw.com » J&J also provides the Kilmer House blog, which­ ­features photos and history about the early days and ­history of J&J, and the people who worked at the company. { To read the blog, visit kilmerhouse.com » LillyPad is the official blog of Eli Lilly and Company, and its mission is to engage in a public dialogue about the ­critical health issues that affect people from Washington, D.C., to the heartland, including public policy issues, corporate responsibility initiatives, and the work its employees do every day. A section called Life at Lilly presents an essence of the employees who work there. { To read the blog, visit lillypad.lilly.com » Sanofi’s Discuss Diabetes creates a place where members of the Sanofi US team can engage with patients, share resources, and participate in the online conversation about living with diabetes. { To read the blog, visit discuss diabetes.com/blog » Think Science Now is a community of Pfizer colleagues who provide fresh and topical commentary about new ways to prevent, treat, and cure diseases in order to bring hope to millions of people worldwide. { To read the blog, visit thinksciencenow.com 10 Must-Have Blog Techniques Inc. recently posted online a list of the 10 most important blogging techniques to help the user experience and elevate blog content and searchability. To read the full article, please go to www.inc.com/ss/10-must-have-blog-techniques#0. 1. Support your blog with good SEO. If you are considering using your blog to boost your search engine rankings, make sure your blog supports all of the features that search engines want to see in your content, such as explicit, unique title tags and good meta ­description tags. 2. Get stats on your blogs performance. The same way you want to know how your website is succeeding, you’ll also want to know what’s working on your blog. How many page views and unique visitors are you getting? Where are visitors coming from? How do they find you in search engines? Which posts and categories are most popular? You can either use the analytics software your blog hosting company provides, or install Google Analytics. 3. Schedule automated e-mail updates. As with most marketing, you have to do it ­consistently to maximize its value. But ­consistency can be awfully time-consuming. Feedburner and Feedblitz are two great tools to use that simplify your blog e-mail marketing. They both will take care of two major tasks for you: enabling visitors to sign up to receive an e-mail when you make a new post to your blog; and ­automatically send an e-mail each time someone posts to your blog. 4. Download the TweetMeme retweet counter. This little tool is a quick and easy way to get your posts re-tweeted to show their popularity. 5. Help people find archived blogs with ­categories. Make it easier to find things on your blog. It’s great to have things organized by date but this isn’t ­particularly intuitive to a reader who is looking to find out what you write about or looking for help or answers on a specific topic. Use categories to help readers find what they’re looking for and put the categories in your sidebar. Don’t be afraid to put a post in more than one category. Remember the categories are for your reader so make them as intuitive as possible to the reader. 6. Set up a RSS feed. Feedburner and Feedblitz can help you set up a feed and do all kinds of neat things with your feed. But most blogging software comes with an ­internal feed tool. 7. Stop spam with (re)Captcha. Captcha is the tool that asks users to type in a set of letters or numbers before submitting a form. This tool is now available as a plugin for ­websites and blogs. (re)Captcha is captcha with a conscience. If you allow comments on your blog, you will definitely want some sort of spam defense. 8. Keep an eye on your comments. Commenting is an important part of the two-way dialogue you want to develop with your readers. Make sure that people who make a comment will be notified when others ­comment on the same post. You will get spam. Spam looks silly on your blog. You will want to prune your blog of spam on a relatively ­frequent basis depending on how much traffic you get. 9. Link to your clones. Make sure that if people like your style they have ways to connect with you. Enabling them to subscribe to your RSS feed and automated e-mail update is great but how about you on Twitter? You on Facebook? You on LinkedIn? 10. Add language to hook your readers. Make sure to include at least one call-to-action statement. Provide some indication of what you want people to do if they like your blog. Just read more? Buy a book? Come see you speak? Make sure they know the next step.

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