If you are trying to market your business or services to scientists, content marketing should be one of the options you strongly consider.
After all, scientists are normal people, and just like any other industry, they will turn to Google when they need to find a product or service that will help them with their research and development needs.
How do I know this?
Well as a scientist for over 5 years, I have spent thousands of pounds on laboratory equipment, training and consultancy services. And where did I find these resources? Online of course.
And every single time I needed to find someone or something to help me, I always engaged with content that I thought could help me reach my goals. In fact, it wasn’t hard to get me to leave my name and address in a contact form, or even pick up the phone and reach out.
If I thought a piece of content was useful to me, there was a good chance I would take action from it.
So here’s some guidance on how to get your content seen and make sure it’s good enough so that scientists actually interact with it.
1. Understanding your audience
Before you even think about creating your next piece of content, you should ensure that you know who your target audience are.
Science covers a vast amount of different disciplines, so targeting scientists as a ‘whole’ is generally quite naive and means you do not understand your audience.
However, if you already have an understanding of your target audience, or have assigned customer personas, now is the time to use that information.
Let me give you an example, from Elga Water. They identify analytical scientists that specialise in trace metal analysis in the screenshot below:
This is an incredibly narrow audience, but they demonstrate expert knowledge, and go on to provide information about how their products can solve scientist frustrations.
2. Writing for keywords
If you are producing a piece of content to be found through search engines, you should be planning your content alongside some keyword research.
However, even if you are not, finding and using keywords will help you produce content that is relevant to your audience. This will allow you to identify and address these topics within your content, and prevent your audience going elsewhere to find it.
And if you’ve produced your content with SEO principles in mind, it is likely that the piece of content will generate organic traffic in the future.
This doesn’t take as much effort as you would think. For a really niche subject, I want to show you an example.
Consider that you are an equipment manufacturer, selling direct to scientists. One of your pieces of equipment is a turbidimeter, and you want to produce a piece of content around it. A Google search for “turbidimeter” shows what questions are frequently asked, related to this search:
By adding these questions within your content – as headings – you can then provide an answer, which further demonstrates your ability as a useful piece of content.
If you don’t want to include them as headings, you could even use them as FAQs within your content; providing relevant content, and giving you the potential to be seen in the “People also ask” boxes on Google.
3. The right content, written by the right people
When it comes to producing creating scientific content, you have a few options to help you produce content.
However, you need to find a content producer that can match the complexity of the task at hand.
Here’s a couple of examples of content ideas that would require a differently level of scientific knowledge and the experience required to produce sufficient quality. I’ll use Biotech as an example here:
“What is Biotech?” – This is a really generic topic, and any scientific knowledge required to write this can probably be researched thoroughly enough to produce adequate content.
“Challenges of Biotech in the lab” – Sure, anybody can talk about biotech in general, but when it comes to writing an article from a specific point of view, you need somebody with experience. To produce content for this topic, you would need a scientist that has real-life experience in the lab who can talk confidently and knowledgeably about this.
If you get the right person(s) to produce content, that matches the intent of the article, your content will be better received. Not only will your content demonstrate expertises and knowledge, but it will use the right language, terminology and acronyms associated. This is likely to demonstrate a better understanding and resonate with your audience.
4. Structuring your Content
Any piece of writing should be structured properly, but even more so when it comes to science. Scientists are researchers; they are looking to identify a challenge and will do what it takes to solve it.
So when you consider this, you should structure your content concisely:
Use an introduction that talks about what the piece of content is about, and maybe an overview of the findings – an abstract if you will.
Use clear headings that make your content easy to scan, and find the most relevant piece of data.
Provide data or sources that validate any claims or hypothesis you make; using an opinion as a conclusion is not going to work here.
You don’t have to write your content like a scientific paper, in fact, this is likely to work against you. But keep it easy to read; use proper sentences with short paragraphs, clear headings and images/ graphics throughout to reinforce your point.
5. Providing additional resources
Don’t expect scientists to engage with one of your pieces of content and expect them to draw the conclusions you want them to immediately.
If you are trying to sell a product or service, expect them to take their time; they will research what they want, what options are available and make their own conclusions.
But that doesn’t mean your efforts have gone to waste.
Make as much content possible for them to engage with. This means any images, videos, statistics and data, references, but most importantly, link to your other content.
If you have similar blogs posts, or you have a product page to link to, then now is the time to do so.
6. Targeting emotions, rather than direct selling
There is a reason why scientists spend time looking to buy products or services; they are trying to meet their scientific goals.
How many scientists do you see online showing off their latest purchases, or the top of the range piece of equipment they have? They don’t; because they are not the same demographic as lifestyle bloggers for example.
They are purchasing to make their lives easier.
If that means they can gather more data, they can run more samples a day or automate equipment so it runs over night.
Therefore your content must demonstrate to scientists why it benefits them. Play on their emotions, and you are likely to make your content resonate with their goals.
7. Sharing content in the relevant places
If you’ve produced a quality piece of content, you want to make sure it gets seen right?
If you have optimised content for SEO, you are likely to generate some organic traffic, constantly over a long period of time.
But what if you want your content to be seen by lots of scientists as soon as it’s published?
You should find where your target audience hangs out online – is it Linkedin, facebook, forums? Find the relevant place(s) and ensure you share it, making sure that it is relevant and not overly self-promotional.
And if you have an existing audience, on social media or an email list, make sure to share it there.
The more people that read it, the better the chances that the right people find it!
Producing content shouldn’t just be done for the sake of it.
You need to write with your audience in mind and create the best content that meets their needs.
Remember, you are trying to demonstrate to scientists how and why you can make their lives easier. If you can show and demonstrate this, you stand more chance of generating more business.
But remember, your success is related to the content you create. Ensure it targets the right audience, is created by people with enough knowledge of the industry and is good enough that scientists will actually bother to read and engage with it.
One piece of content on its own is unlikely to drive new business overnight, but if you can replicate this process with lots of content, you stand the best chance of making content marketing a success.