It’s fair to say that 2020 and 2021 have been big years for medical device marketing, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the release of the new EU MDR. One of the most interesting things about marketing is that it is always changing and adapting.
People are always coming up with new ideas on how to promote their products, and we see trends begin to develop. Medical device marketers have to watch out for these trends, to ensure that their company capitalises on them and doesn’t fall behind to risk looking outdated.
2021 saw the rise of injecting personality into medical device marketing. More than ever, customers want to be able to connect with a brand, and to do that, brands have to appear relatable and approachable. Digital marketing allowed companies to do this like never before, and that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
We’re going to look at how medical device marketing changed throughout 2021, from the rise of influencer doctors to AI tools posting on social media.
Some think that webinars are over, killed off by the deadly webinar fatigue, but actually, that really isn’t the case. What people are bored of isn’t webinars in general, but low-quality webinars. At the beginning of the pandemic, people were more forgiving of low-quality productions, but now, companies have had time to adapt, and all of their content should achieve a professional finish.
When they're done right, we’re still finding that webinars are attracting hundreds of registrations. As long as they’re on a relevant topic and executed to a high standard, webinars are still engaging audiences.
The rise of professionals on social media
We have seen that more and more health care professionals have taken to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. These influencers are able to spread awareness of what they do through short videos. Surprisingly, many of them are gaining huge followings, such as this dentist who went viral.
Medical device companies may not be able to use the platforms in the same way as these influencers, but it demonstrates that your potential customers are out there on these social platforms. It also demonstrates the growth of social media as an advertising tool, as this year TikTok even began showing ads.
Medical device companies may not have considered TikTok and Instagram in the past because of the assumption that the target audience wasn’t there, but actually, we’re seeing that they are.
Personality on LinkedIn
More and more, we are seeing the rise of personality on LinkedIn. In the past, it was strictly a professional platform for people to search for jobs, learn more about companies and network. Now, we are seeing more and more companies, as well as individuals, inject personality into their posts.
Companies are able to highlight company culture in their posts, letting viewers behind the scenes as it were. This allows potential customers to not only learn more about the company they might decide to buy from but it also allows them to see traits that they might relate to, creating a personal connection that is likely to leave a memorable impression. LinkedIn also launched stories this year, a concept started by Instagram in which you are able to click through multiple posts that only last for 24 hours. It further illustrates the move into it becoming a more social platform with more room for creativity, rather than the rigid professionalism we were used to.
We have also seen the rise of LinkedIn influencers. These are often CEOs and founders who discuss their careers to date, but also how they run their business. Their posts can go viral, gaining masses of exposure for their companies.
Whilst LinkedIn is becoming a more personal platform and allowing users to get behind the scenes of a business, posts still remain business-related, rather than just self-promotional or overly personal insights.
Static images are no longer as effective on social media as they used to be, companies need to get on board with moving images if they want to get ahead. Social posts with moving images get 43% more engagement than those with static images.
Moving images may mean video, but it may also refer to other media, such as GIFs. These sorts of posts stand out on the news feed, causing people to stop and notice. We have also found that scrollable media performs well, such as carousels on Instagram (a collection of photos that you click through) and click-through PDFs on LinkedIn.
These sorts of posts require more effort, but it pays off, because people appreciate seeing something different on their timelines.
Ai and Machine Learning posts
Curating content from online articles and news stories can be time-consuming, but it is a great way of creating social media posts that aren’t self-promotional and position your company as a knowledge leader. You’re providing value to your audience, whilst demonstrating your company’s proactivity.
This year, we saw the beginnings of using AI and machine learning to automatically post curated content on social media. Platforms and tools like Paiger and LinkedIn’s trending articles tool help companies discover re-postable content that might be useful.
But, these technologies are still in the early stages, and there is a long way to go before they can replace human social media teams! Although they are excellent at sourcing curated content, they cannot replace the imagine and creativity of real-life teams, which is what sets companies apart from the competition.
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, people were adjusting to the new way of life. Resources to make content at home, such as professional microphones, were in short supply and teams were learning how to work together remotely. People were more forgiving of the quality of content because of this.
Now that time has passed learned how to work well despite the pandemic, people are no longer as forgiving of low-quality content. For example, people recording themselves talking on their computer used to be enough to get attention, but now people are used to that and they’re bored.
Companies that are making high-quality content with a professional edge are standing out. Not only does it reflect well on the companies, high quality in their marketing efforts is indicative of the high quality of their products, but it also shows dedication and motivation which consumers appreciate.
Companies embracing digital
The world of digital marketing continues to grow. The pandemic forced many companies to accept that they had to start marketing their business digitally. They had to develop websites and eCommerce in order to continue their work, and that digital revolution is continuing. As the world reopens, people have not simply gone back to their old ways. Digital is in, and it's here to stay.
Companies are now expanding their digital offerings, realising that there is so much more to digital marketing than just running a website, or using social media to self-promote. Online marketing activities should be cohesive and coherent; they should work together to lead the customer on a journey. Now companies are embracing digital and starting to get creative with their marketing.
2021... That's a wrap!
As the year draws to a close it's a good time to reflect on how much things have changed. Generally, we have found that although new trends have emerged, digital is the mountain that companies have to scale. It continues to grow and evolve, and companies must try their best to keep up.
About Podymos Podymos is a dedicated medical device marketing agency. We are passionate about sharing relevant knowledge to expand our clients’ capabilities. If you would like to find out more about what we do, you can visit our services page, or get in contact with us.
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