As a life science marketer, you have probably long-recognised the powerful impact an engaging blog can have on increasing traffic to your website, maximising your brand’s visibility online and ultimately converting web visitors into sales leads. Each and every blog post you create offers a unique opportunity to engage with your target audience and position your company as the go-to expert that can answer their most pressing questions.
We hear you say: “I’ve written a blog post on the really hot topic of how artificial intelligence is driving breakthroughs in the life sciences, but the results my post has generated leave room for improvement”. Well, although this is definitely a cool topic, it may be that your blog post just isn’t that well-optimised to pull in readers. Take a step back and ask yourself; is the title inviting and clear enough? Is the blog post too wordy? Is it poorly presented as a big chunk of text with no subsections or visual elements, making it hard to read and pull out the key messages? If the answer to any of these questions is 'yes', then it's probably time to revisit your blogging strategy! To help, we’ve put together a list of nine top tips designed to help you develop successful blog posts.
Blog snapshot: Creating an effective life science blog post is key to engaging with your audience, maximising your brand and ultimately converting visitors into leads. A great blog post speaks to its target audience directly, answers their most pressing questions and is built with SEO top-of-mind. If you’re keen to discover more ways to boost your life science content marketing strategy, then why not get in touch today for a free consultation?
Tip 1: Know your target audience inside out
Effective blog posts are written with the reader in mind. Take some time to familiarise yourself with your buyer personas and understand who your readers are, what problems they face every day and what solutions they are seeking. If blogging is part of your wider content marketing campaign—and it really should be—then you should already have undertaken a buyer persona exercise and gathered all the necessary information relating to the background, communication preferences and pain points of your ideal customers. You can then use these personas to guide the development of content that adds real value to your audience.
Tip 2: Pick an informative title
It may sound obvious, but blog post titles should clearly state what readers stand to gain from engaging with your content. Make their decision on whether to read your blog post easy by demonstrating up front what the benefit of the piece will be. For example, instead of the header ‘Blogging in the life science sector’—which although is clear on the subject of the post, doesn’t convey what the benefit of the piece will be to the reader—consider ‘9 tips for creating effective life science blog posts’. In the latter example, it’s clear to the reader that once they have read the piece, they will be able to write effective life science blog posts!
Remember to use relatable language that will appeal to your buyer personas (and will also be the language used when they conduct online searches) making them want to read on. Directly engage with your readers by asking them a question in the title, and in terms of design, opt for a font size that will make your title stand out and catch your readers’ eye.
Tip 3: Answer your reader’s questions, and answer them well!
There’s nothing more frustrating than a blog post that promises to address a specific concern or issue, only for your audience to find out they’ve been tricked into reading content that is of no relevance or use to them. Remember, these are your existing or potential customers we’re talking about, you can’t risk them leaving your website feeling disappointed or even betrayed. This brings us back to tip number one; if you really know your buyer personas, then you should be in a position to deliver content that is truly helpful and informative.
Your blog post also needs to be comprehensive, discussing all the key points in as much detail as is required (even if that means it ends up being 2,000 words long). You shouldn’t worry too much about the word count—focus instead on the quality and value of the content itself. Give your readers a reason to be thankful you exist!
Tip 4: Adopt a conversational writing style within your life science blog
Blog posts are the platform that can help you initiate a dialogue with your ideal customers. Keep your writing style as conversational as possible, and directly address your readers using the first and second person (just like you would if you were talking to them face-to-face). Write in the language that you know your buyer personas use and understand, as it's most likely to be the kind of language they use when searching online for answers to their questions. If your language styles match, then your blog will rank higher in search engine results and your buyer personas will find you.
In addition, offer examples, tell stories or provide analogies to help your readers relate to your content. However, remember to use puns and metaphors sparingly, in particular when writing for a global audience who may not really understand what you’re trying to say, or worse still, feel offended.
Tip 5: Incorporate a clean design
Whether they are lab scientists, academics or clinical researchers, your readers are extremely busy people. Simplicity is key to allowing your buyer personas to quickly scan your blog post and decide which bits of it are the most relevant to them. With 43% of online content consumers admitting to skimming blog posts instead of thoroughly reading them, a clean, readable format is set to be a winner. Adopt a design that breaks down the content into easily digestible sections/subsections. Use bold subheads, bullets and numbered lists. White space will give your content a little breathing room, whereas busy layouts will distract your readers and make it difficult for them to absorb the information you offer.
Tip 6: Use relevant and impactful visuals
Visual elements form an integral part of your blog post’s design (in fact they serve such an important purpose that they deserve a mention of their own!). Always support your content with relevant photos, graphics, figures or videos where appropriate that reflect the topic discussed and illustrate what you’re trying to communicate. Not only do they make your content more appealing, but visuals could also contribute to the search engine optimisation (SEO) of your blog, increasing its chances for a better rank (more on SEO in a bit). Without these elements to break up the text, your readers may feel overwhelmed and quickly stop reading.
Tip 7: Include links to credible sources
Trustworthiness is central to many industries, and the life sciences are no exception. If you want your existing and potential customers to view you as a reliable partner, then credibility will have to live and breathe not only within your products or services, but also within the content you publish. When it comes to blogging, encouraging your readers to visit the website of another subject matter expert can significantly boost your own credibility. So link only to high-quality sources that can help you build trust with your audience. In addition to enhancing your readers’ experience and making it more rewarding, this approach will also help your blog post rank higher in search results, as search engines tend to favour web pages that link to reliable sources.
Tip 8: Provide a smooth path to conversion
Truly valuable blog posts offer more than a thorough discussion of a hot topic. They also provide readers with access to a unique and relevant offer. This could be a free consultation, an infographic to download or a piece of long-form content—such as a white paper, application note or an eBook. A call to action (CTA) should be included at the end of every post, inviting readers to click on it to access your content offer (which will normally sit behind a landing page). Without a CTA, a potential customer could get to the end of a great blog post that offers them answers to all of their questions…and have nowhere to go from there. If possible, also offer your readers the chance to become dedicated subscribers, ensuring they visit your website regularly for more content.
Tip 9: Build SEO into the anatomy of every life science blog post
SEO is the place in which all the other points we’ve talked about really come together. Every time you publish a new blog post, it’s an opportunity for people to find your website and discover what you can offer them. As such, SEO is a concept that should run throughout your blog post, from the headline and subheads to the main body of your copy, right through to the CTA. Your content should appeal to both humans and search engines, so as mentioned, make sure you use words and phrases that your buyer personas would normally search for. Even images need to be optimised, so use the right name and alt text that will allow search engines to find them.
Optimise your life science blog to improve readability and reach
Blog posts are powerful tools for marketing pros and can be central to the success of life science marketing campaigns. By helping you to engage with your buyer personas and establish yourself as a knowledgeable expert, a great blog can have a remarkable impact on your brand awareness and sales efforts. Successful blog posts that have been repeatedly liked and shared can increase your website traffic and generate leads that could potentially be converted into customers.
Here’s a great example of how a leading provider of scientific meetings and conferences, ELRIG, successfully implemented a blog-based marketing campaign to attract attendees to its 2017 Drug Discovery conference. By creating a series of topical and SEO-optimised blog posts, which were promoted using targeted emailers and social media posts, ELRIG managed to increase the number of attendees by over 50%. This year, ELRIG is taking this winning approach one step further to establish its 2018 Drug Discovery conference as one of the most well-attended events in the industry.
If you’re looking to increase website visits or bolster the content strategy of your life science marketing campaigns, then why not contact us for a free consultation?