Facebook is Still a Powerful Tool
Why Facebook? Your company manufactures medical equipment, so at first glance it may seem that Facebook would be a poor fit as a marketing tool. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you really can’t expect to improve your brand’s visibility, sell your products, and grow your company without a strong Facebook presence.
Physicians, dentists, clinic managers, hospital department heads and procurement managers, even distributors who might rep your products – they are all marketing targets for medical device manufacturers. And you can reach all of them on Facebook. You can build brand awareness, brand trust, and brand advocates.
Sounds great, right? But how can you reap all those benefits?
Know Your Audience
The personas you have created to help drive the rest of your marketing will help you make the most of Facebook, too. Your goal is still to reach the right audience with the right message. It’s also possible that patients themselves will be another audience here. In most cases, patients never know what equipment is being used to diagnose or treat them. However, that changes if your company makes devices used for non- or minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures. Prospective consumers are often well aware of brand names and the reviews and ratings given them by patients.
So while medical professionals may be your true marketing targets overall, Facebook offers unique opportunities to inform patients, turning them into valuable people of influence among their friends and even with medical professionals considering your products.
What to Post on Facebook
Content should be informative, to help prospective (and existing) customers stay up-to-date with medical advances and improve patient care and outcomes. Facebook is an ideal platform for posting:
- Company news.
- New product offerings.
- Links to your blog articles.
- Links to landing pages with special offers.
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Market research surveys, or questions that will get a conversation started.
- Online promotions -- especially popular with medical professionals, especially those who don’t usually see a sales rep from your company.
- Case studies, one of the best educational content options for medical device manufacturers. They are success stories that succinctly explain how others are using your products and how they and/or their patients have benefited. They not only impart practical information in an easily relatable way, they serve as a critical third-party testimonial to the value of your products.
Photos and other images add compelling visual interest. Short videos enable you to show as well as tell a story. Statistics and other data can help prove a point, and they also add authority to your posts. Whatever you post on Facebook should be consistent and integrated with the rest of your marketing, to maintain a consistent brand image.
Make a Plan
Leave nothing to chance. Social media may seem informal, and it is when you use it personally. But as part of your medical equipment marketing plan your Facebook presence has to be well-thought-out and executed.
Define your goals, and quantify them using metrics such as target number of click-throughs, prospects converted to leads, and leads converted to customers. Numbers make it easy to evaluate results. Then create a content calendar, to ensure your posts are published consistently. Posting frequently (as long as the content has value) enables more people to see your messages. And posting at the optimal of day boosts views and click-through rates.
Consider Paid Advertising on Facebook
Don’t overlook the opportunity to place paid ads on Facebook. The site may have hundreds of millions of users, but one of its biggest benefits is its targetability. Even if your market is a small niche within the medical equipment world, you can zero in on those you want to reach most with your ads. This type of advertising can reinforce and expand the visibility of your social posts.
Get Them to Your Website
It’s flattering to have lots of fans, but your goal is generating leads so you can increase sales. Irresistible (relevant) offers are the best way to invite Facebook fans over to your website. Well-crafted calls to action (CTAs) bring them to landing pages where they can say yes to your offer. With that they become a lead, and the nurturing process begins. Use a variety of offers that appeal to visitors at all buying stages – eBooks, limited-time promotions, product demonstrations, etc.
Likewise, boldly invite website visitors to join you on Facebook to learn more and stay in touch.
Facebook Follow-Up: Nurture Those Leads
Facebook interactions allow you to gather all kinds of valuable information about prospects – their wants, needs, preferences, and concerns. In turn, you can use that data to continue engaging with each person in the most effective way. For example, what information or offer will be most valuable to them, right now? By personalizing your engagement process, you can nurture leads in a meaningful way as they move through their buyer’s journey, building trust and confidence in your brand and specific products.
What’s “meaningful”? Not only personalized and relevant, but timely. The last thing you want is for someone’s interest in your products to cool. So once your Facebook fans have visited your website and converted into leads, your sales team should get ’em while they’re hot and start working those qualified leads right away.
Close the Loop with Analytics
So how’s it going with your Facebook marketing? You want the strongest possible results and the highest possible ROI for your efforts. Using a marketing analytics tool such as HubSpot Sources, you can quantify your results and compare them to the metrics you initially set. You can see which CTAs and landing pages are generating the most results, and which are falling short. You can do more of what’s working and eliminate offers, etc. that are not effective.
You can also use A/B testing to find the specific wording, images, colors, CTAs, and layout for landing pages that resonate most with visitors. By taking full advantage of analytics and refinement tools, you can make Facebook a top asset for marketing your medical devices.