I’m Kenneth Vogt, Commercial Director of Bitesize Bio and founder of Vera Claritas Inc. I play the role of Richard Roeper, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert all rolled into one, reviewing and highlighting the webinars and video presentations found at the Life Science Marketing Society.
Today I’m commenting on the presentation entitled:
It is described this way:
Over the years, marketers have become used to renting “disposable” advertising and other placements that only provide ROI for a limited period of time. Now, with the much heralded advent of inbound marketing, it has become possible to do something completely different: to create a marketing “machine” that directly accesses your precise marketing niche and automatically takes them through a journey to the sale.
But how? Most of marketers that we talk to who have tried to generate traction with their own content marketing report limited, if any, real success in generating significant engagement and sales. If that describes your situation, this presentation will help.
I’ll demonstrate exactly how Bitesize Bio rose from a kitchen table blog into a content hub that now attracts and engages over 4 million researchers per year. That’s evergreen traffic that requires very little effort to maintain, and is in fact easy to grow with adequate resourcing and by following a simple process.
I’ll explain what makes Bitesize Bio different from virtually every other blog in this sector, with concepts and actionable strategies that you can apply to your own company blog to make it work better for you.
This presentation is brought to you by Dr. Nick Oswald. He is the founder of Bitesize Bio, the Bioscience Mastery Academy and co-founder of this very Life Science Marketing Society. He began his career as a research scientist — with an academic Ph.D. followed by seven years in industrial biotech before moving into the scientific publishing industry. Bitesize Bio was his personal blog while working in the lab, which he then grew out into a community that engages over 4 million researchers per year — all organically driven using a simple content marketing strategy. Building on this firm base of experience and resources, Nick continues to grow out the business by providing content, advice and services that help increasing numbers of researchers and marketers alike in the life sciences.
Full disclosure: I have worked closely with Dr. Oswald for several years, so I am a wee bit biased about him. But it would be hard to name another individual in the bioscience sector who in the last ten years has had a more positive influence on both the scientific and the commercial side of life science today. I can’t tell you how many Ph.D. scientists have told me they couldn’t have made it through their coursework or their lab work without the help of Bitesize Bio. And his company has touched hundreds (on the way shortly to thousands) of life science marketers to bring best practices to the commercial side of the industry.
I used to live in Texas. I recommend everyone live there at some time in their lives, it is every crazy thing you have heard about the place and more. There was a popular bumper sticker there at the time that said, “If you don’t have an oil well, get one!”
If Dr. Oswald were to make a bumper sticker for life science marketers, it would read, “If you don’t have a blog, start one!” Of course, he wants you to have a proven plan first.
The whole point of getting your oil well (I mean blog) is to pour a constant flow of prospects into the top of your marketing funnel. Getting scientists into your funnel efficiently, effectively and automatically requires engaging these scientists in a way that they find personally useful.
The beauty of a blog is it is inbound. Conversely, outbound marketing interrupts. It makes you compete for the attention of your prospects. You have to keep paying for every exposure, in effort and in dollars.
The internet has turned marketing inside out in a shockingly short period of time. Old models like advertising and mailers were initially just mimicked online. But these approaches have faded away compared to the impact of a unique internet tool — the search engine.
Search engines provide on-demand information driven not by the marketer but by the consumer. To take advantage of this, you need to automate satisfying the search engines, to in turn satisfy your prospects and customers.
The way you do this is by paying attention to what your scientist targets are searching for. When you engage them on this level it’s not an interruption like an ad, you are directly serving their very purpose in searching for a solution to a current problem they are experiencing.
If you do it right, a robust level of qualified traffic will keep flowing into the top of your funnel on an ongoing basis for years.
By way of example, Bitesize Bio’s 3,000 articles are drawing 4.11 million unique visitors per year, and 75% of their traffic comes directly from organic search.
I may not be a bioscientist, but I am still a scientist and I like math. So I investigated. Individual Bitesize Bio articles get from hundreds to over 100,000 visitors every year. This equals 1,370 annual visitors on average for every article. That’s a lot of prospects flowing into the funnel.
To make your blog work like this for you, there are a few lessons you need to learn:
1) Focus on search value, not on an output calendar
People are not excited about your homepage. Ouch. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get them excited deeper into your website. You just have to give them specific content that will solve a present problem of theirs. Here’s how:
- Answer questions that people are searching for on the web.
- Be sure this content provides genuine assistance. Resist the urge to make these posts ads or their nefarious cousins, advertorials. After all, your prospects may not be on your homepage but they know they are on your website. Leave the best of impressions.
- Make sure your content is evergreen. Write about things that will still be useful into the foreseeable future.
- Don’t just push news.
- No one is searching for your interviews.
- Company information is not useful content from the perspective of your prospects.
- Competitions don’t last.
- Latest research results get dated very quickly.
(All these “don’ts” are what you’ve been doing almost exclusively, haven’t you…)
If you follow this straight forward guidance, each time you publish you will find, after a nice initial spike in readers, you will build a perpetual, reliable, rising flow of readers.
2) Adding new quality content works cooperatively
Google ranks your site higher and higher as you build a portal of quality content. It’s called AUTHORITY. As a result, every existing post on your website starts to rank higher on Google every time you publish another quality article.
You shoot yourself in the foot if you only put out ten or twenty quality articles. Worse yet, if you add filler articles (see the Don’t List above), you actually hurt your ranking with Google.
3) On an established platform, new content is automatically rewarded
Once you have wowed Google, they assume your latest content will be of equal quality. So now an article that by itself would have only ranked so high ranks higher right out of the gate because Google trusts you to deliver for their search users.
4) You can drive profitable engagement from the flow
Now that you have prospects moving into the top of the funnel, you have lots of opportunities to move them down the funnel. This is where it gets fun. So don’t drop the ball once you’ve come this far, keep engaging your prospects until they become customers.
You are sure to be enchanted by Dr. Oswald’s charming Scottish brogue even as he educates you on the cutting edge of content marketing in life science today. He talked about a lot more (including the 5 Pillars of Successful Content Marketing), so be sure to view his whole presentation here:
For more analysis, observation and witty repartee, be sure to check out our podcast featuring myself and Harrison Wright, plus interesting and exciting guests. Here is the specific episode examining the presentation above.
Photo credit: Kat Northern Lights Man