Scientists Are People Too: How to Write Marketing Content for Scientists that Isn’t Boring
July 9, 2019
“Our buyers are scientists. They don't read marketing materials."
This is a real quote from a real conversation, and it’s totally bonkers.
Scientists are truth searchers, fact finders, and problem solvers. This makes them the ultimate persona for your content marketing efforts. Take a minute to think about the scientists you know. He or she probably got into scientific research because they love animals or plants or people. They want to cure cancer or protect the environment or end world hunger. And they spend their days, nose-to-the-grindstone researching and testing their hypotheses. How cool is that?!
If that alone doesn’t have you jumping for joy at the thought of your content helping them achieve their goals, don’t worry. I’ll help you get there.
First, let’s take a look at why your marketing efforts might not be achieving the results you wanted when it comes to targeting scientists.
Why Your Marketing Isn’t Resonating with Scientists
Maybe You Don’t Really Understand Your Scientist Personas
Whether you want to get your brand in front of pharmaceutical scientists, biologists, medical researchers, environmentalists, or aerospace engineers, you need to have a clear idea of who they are and why they do what they do. Some scientists are driven by speed to get their drug or technology first to market for a clinical trial or beta test.
Scientists are driven to be precise to make high-performing machines or incredibly detailed reports to beat out their lower quality competition. They are also driven by the processes they must follow to keep funding and to ensure the legitimacy of their work. Lastly, scientists are looking for either qualitative or quantitative data.
Knowing whether your personas need conceptual trends and opinions or statistics and measurements can help you create content that better resonates with them.
INFOGRAPHIC: Quick and Dirty Guide to Building a Buyer Persona
Scientists Have Longer, More In-Depth Processes for Decision-Making
Scientists are held to high standards and go through rigorous grant application processes that require lots of paperwork and are very different from standard B2B sales cycles. It’s safe to assume they’d much rather be spending their time on the science behind their projects than the paperwork.
Think about ways that you can help provide the documentation they need to get their funding requests approved and follow their own internal processes. The scientific method may be something that most of us left in our high school binders, but your scientist personas use it daily.
Take a minute to let this all set in.
We are talking about an incredibly smart and complicated persona that you’re working with. I have some ideas that will help you organize your content marketing to better engage them.
How You Can Write Better Content for Marketing to Scientists
Scientists are very busy, buried in data and research. Create content that isn’t competing with their work, but actually helps them. This way you don’t have to work so hard to tear scientists away from their work to engage with your content.
Make your content engaging and provide value more than your competitors. Remember, your scientist personas are doing a lot of research in their day-to-day projects, as well as in vendor comparisons.
Follow the Scientific Method
The scientific method is a process all scientists use to create reliable tests and research. Get into your scientists’ mindset by creating content that follows this process:
- Make observations.
- Ask a question.
- Gather information.
- Form a hypothesis.
- Test your hypothesis.
- Make conclusions.
- Report, evaluate, and start again.
Keep this process top of mind and clearly tell your personas what exactly your product or service does and how it helps scientists in their process.
Appeal to Your Scientists’ Emotions
Yes, I’ve spent most of this article talking about how methodical and process-oriented scientists are, but at the end of the day, scientists are people too. Just like everyone else, scientists are in their field for a reason. Whether they want to save the rainforest, protect their future generations from pollution, or create the coolest robot ever, there is some personal motivator driving their scientific work.
Back up your data with messaging that appeals to your scientists’ emotions. Show them that you understand not just what they are doing in their lab or out in the field, but also why they are doing it.
Format Content the Way Scientists Prefer
Depending on the scientists you are targeting, your personas will expect your content in a specific format. If they are looking for qualitative data, they may be looking for long-form, in-depth content. If they are looking for quantitative data, they may be looking for numbers, tools, and calculators to help with their research.
In your own research, test what formats perform better. Try content that is optimized for skimming. Test content that is visually compelling against content that is stripped down to plain text. You can also ask questions about what content scientists prefer in your persona interviews.
Strategically Focus on Where You Share Your Content
There is a common misconception that scientists aren’t on social media. I’m here to set that rumor straight. Scientists are competitive and collaborative, and with the growing popularity of social forum sites like Academia, Mendeley, and ResearchGate, scientists are using the internet to share their findings and grow their personal brands in efforts to increase their chances of funding.
Look for professional groups on social media, referral partners and guest blogging opportunities, and advertising opportunities in scientific publications or recruiting firms.
Are you excited? Are you fired up about revamping your marketing efforts for the scientists in your market? If you need a little help to further develop your content plan for your personas, check out the guide below.
About the author
Molly Rigatti was formerly an Inbound Marketing Strategist in Charlotte, NC. With the help of her mini Aussie, Remington, she is dedicated to helping businesses reach their goals through inbound marketing and sales enablement campaigns. She's helped businesses in many different industries around the country and enjoys the challenge of staying up-to-date on all things HubSpot. Read more articles by Molly Rigatti.
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