Regulated industries are the ones that are controlled or idealized by the government. The industries that are established under the partial privatization of government-controlled utility aspects also fall in the category of regulated and difficult industries. Content marketing for regulated and difficult industries is particularly tough because there is no way to convey to the audience what exactly your industry sells. There are some rules and regulations that control the advertising of products sold by regulated industries.
I. Rules in Regulated and Difficult Industries –
- HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, 1996) –
This act controls the marketing and promotion of healthcare products. It provides data security provisions to for safeguarding medical information. This particular makes it difficult to promote healthcare products using content marketing because you can’t reveal the essential information about your product.
- SEC and FINRA –
These are the regulations that keep financial services from advertising financial products through various marketing modes like content and digital marketing.
II. The Reasons for the Incorporation of the Rules –
- The most important reason is to stop companies from marketing false claims that can be harmful to customers. Imagine a drug company selling some medicine claiming that it is more effective than some other medicine that has a proven record in healing a particular ailment. Such rules avoid such wrong information from being pervaded among customers. The ramifications of a false claim can be very bad. Moreover, making a manipulated claim about a drug’s efficacy can be detrimental to a patient’s health.
- False claims regarding investment product can waste a retiree’s money. People save money all their life, and a false claim can deplete all those money.
- If the industry produces alcoholic products, then a small false claim about the “health benefits” can be detrimental to the health of buyers.
Despite the rules and regulations that are applicable to content marketing for regulated and difficult industries, there have been a lot of “false and deceitful marketing” cases filed in the United State of America.
III. The Challenges in Content Marketing in Regulated and Difficult Industries –
Generally, content marketers spread the voice through the digital canvas by declaring the benefits of the products. However, they cannot do so in the case of regulated industries. They are bound by the rules and regulations.
When you can’t promote your products on digital platforms, it becomes inevitable to surmise that content marketing for regulated and difficult industries is not worth investing in. However, that is not the case because that’s where the art of subtlety chips in. Compared to platforms for marketing, content marketing offers more subtle ways to promote the products of the regulated industries. Let’s see how –
IV. Thought Leadership through Content Marketing –
89% of B2B companies are using content marketing and these include the regulated industries too. Most of these regulated industries implement content marketing to provide answers to the questions that customers have. They use the communication platform to spread knowledge and awareness relevant to their niche, thereby portraying themselves as the thought leaders of the industry. Let us take the example of the pharmaceutical industry.
Pharmaceutical industry that has a blog section that spreads awareness about an ailment their products heal is more likely to be perceived as more credible than the one that doesn’t share any information at all. If a pharmaceutical agency’s website has insightful content about a disease, then it is more likely that the audience will trust their product. In other words, content marketing bridges the communication gap between the audience and the industry, thereby inculcating a sense of trust. However, it is still necessary that you abide by the rules and provide true information.
V. Steps in Content Marketing for Regulated and Difficult Industries –
1. Identify the Target Audience –
Content marketing strategy for any industry starts with identifying the target audience.
Any good content marketing strategy starts with knowing the target audience. Knowing your audience helps you to create content that they are interested in.
This is how you can identify your audience –
The Buyer’s Persona –
There are various websites that offer statistics and content about the customers and many of them can be your prospective customers. So, digging into the buyer’s persona will give you an overview of the kind of content you share. Moreover, the buyer’s persona goes beyond the general demographics of the customers.
The Psychographic of Your Audience –
Content marketing is more inclined towards the emotional side and all the more so when you are executing content marketing for regulated and difficult industries. With more than 50% as the campaign effectiveness of emotional content, it is necessary to come up with an emotionally appeal content.
The Pain Points –
The demographic and psychographic details will help you understand the pain points of your audience which you can incorporate in your content.
The Analytics –
Once you publish your content, it is important to know the effectiveness of the content. Always keep an eye on the performance of your content in the real time. At the end of the day, you are executing content marketing to reap real-time conversions.
What are pain points?
There are some basic pain points of customers. You can find these by know three basic things.
- Why do your prospective customers seek your service or want your products?
- What is the struggle behind searching the right product that can fulfill all they need? In other words, how they plan to reach a buying decision?
- The most important part is to know what you should not do in content marketing for regulated and difficult industries in terms of audience experience. It may be possible that even after producing content that complies with all the rules and regulations, you may end up not complying your audience’s expectations. It is important to know what customers would not want from your industry or what they won’t want to see on your company’s website.
2. Make the Complicated Easy –
Content marketing for difficult and regulated industries is more about making difficult concepts easy. For example, if you are executing content marketing for the pharma industry, you need to formulate content in such a way that your target audience gets all the answers regarding difficult concepts in a simple way. Simplifying difficult concepts doesn’t necessarily lead to boring content. There are many ways that you can make the content interesting and appealing to the target audience.
Furthermore, creating content for regulated and difficult industries is very different from writing academic presentations. While you can use a bit of technical language, cluttering the content with technical jargon will defeat the whole purpose of content marketing for regulated and difficult industry.
Remember that content marketing is for communication with the audience and you need to do it in the language they understand. Profuse circumlocution and exuded use of jargon is a major turn-off; so much so that, you will lose a probable conversion. Let us see how –
Consider a prospective customer clicking a link on your website that provides information about a particular pain point. It is certain that he is not aware of the concept. Now, how would you expect an expert level knowledge from a person who is looking for information that you think is basic? If you sprinkle your blogs with words that the audience is not familiar with at all, it is more likely that he will leave the digital space and look for your competitor who understands his needs better than you, and you absolutely don’t want that to happen.
Furthermore, it is important that you create content for a wider audience; something that again goes back to identifying your audience. An easy-to-understand content is also shareable.
3. Show Your USPs –
While you can’t do this directly, you need to incorporate some subtle undertone about the expertise of your industry or company. You can share a story about your company that depicts the secret behind the success of the brand. You need to tell stories that can connect to the audience. Let us see how you can do that –
Case Studies –
Not many content marketers believe that a case study is an important part of content strategy. However, let me tell you that you can leverage case studies section to show your work to the audience. Moreover, it also helps in SEO.
Marketable Data –
You cannot display false data or claim things that are bound by regulations, but you can have some proven statistics about your products on the website.
You can share some interviews and user-generated content about your products.
Cream Content –
A separate space for a detailed report or an e-book will make a huge difference in terms of content marketing.
4. Create Legally Compliant Content –
One wrong step in content marketing for regulated and difficult industries and you will lose all the credibility that you have gained through hard work. Furthermore, it is necessary to be with the digital marketing trends while your content is also in the inclination with the marketing compliance for regulated and difficult industries. Here is how you can approach this –
Know the Rules and Regulations –
First things first, you need to be thorough with all the rules and regulations that are applicable in the regulated and difficult industries. Even a small fraction of your article or blog may fall out of the zone of compliance. It is important for digital marketers to be well-versed with the compliance.
Make Friends With Legal –
It is also important that you share a good rapport with legal attorneys that control the rules and regulation of the industries. You can take their permission before starting a campaign. By doing so, you will ensure that everything that is being executed is in their knowledge.
Proofread Your Content –
Even if you are well aware of the rules, it may be possible that a sentence or phrase doesn’t follow the compliance. Proofreading content in regulated and difficult industries goes beyond grammar and spelling mistakes. You need to ensure that each sentence and paragraph stand in the boundaries of compliance.
Stay Updated –
You need to keep your eyes and ears open about the emerging rules in regulated and difficult industries so that you can create content accordingly in the future.
Create Templates –
You can have different templates for different channels like blogs, emails, landing pages, and social media. Every template should be within the legal compliances. Review all the templates and finalize them. By doing so, you can ensure that there is a lesser scope for mistakes to occur.
Remember that content marketing for regulated and difficult industries will take more efforts than that for the other general industries.
5. Incorporate Stringent Approval Processes –
Content marketing for regulated and difficult industries entails stringent approval processes that would ensure that the content that goes live is in inclination with all the rules and regulations that bound the marketing methods. If you ignore the importance of approval processes, you will be reiterating the revision process with no real-time results whatsoever. Creating content will become a process longer and costlier than the revenues you are expecting. On the other hand, having clearly defined approval processes will make the work easier and operations smoother.
Here’s how you can do it –
Map Out the Approval Processes –
You need to decide the authority that will decide the credibility of the content. This is the one who will sign off on each piece of content. Moreover, it is recommendable to maintain a long funnel for the approval process. The more the length of an approval process, the better will be the final result.
Identify Areas of Concern –
There must be some obvious aspects of content marketing in regulated and difficult industries where you may go wrong. Those are your areas of concern. Create a checklist of those areas of concert and ensure that the created content is in inclination with them.
Have Internal Deadlines –
Prioritize your content marketing strategies and have internal deadlines for approval processes. Abiding by the deadlines will ensure that every step is carried out and you will also get the desired output in the anticipated time.
The core idea is to have good control over what goes out on the social media platforms or your website. The stringent control mechanism in the form of approval processes will ensure that the content you are creating abides all the laws of regulated and difficult industries.
After taking all the efforts, the question still remains the same. Is content marketing for regulated and difficult industries worth the efforts? The clear answer to the question is YES. You can incorporate a digital marketing strategy and social media campaigns in the same way as you do for other industries. The only difference is that you will be bound by the laws.
Are these laws detrimental to the effectiveness of content marketing?
Not exactly until you defy them.
If you are creating good content that is in the boundaries of rules and regulations applicable to regulated and difficult industries, you can measure the success of content marketing campaigns the same way you do for the other industries.
At the end of the day, it’s all quality that matters.
To sum it up, identify your target audience and come up with content that abides the rules and regulation and at the same, is appealing to the audience and you can rule the digital canvas.
At Pixelergy – digital marketing agency in Ahmedabad we realize that content marketing for regulated and difficult industries is tricky. We execute such projects with utmost sensitivity and at the same, do not compromise on traffic.
We believe that your customers deserve and value credible information. So, we ensure to run campaigns that do not defy the law but give away valuable insights to the customers. In our experience as a digital marketing agency in Ahmedabad, we have devised a lot of content marketing strategies that work well even if the brand is bound by law.
At Pixelergy, we have executed content marketing for pharmaceutical industries. We have gained expertise in creating content that abides the law and at the same, spreads the word through the digital canvas.
If you have further queries about content marketing for difficult industries or want to us to take end-to-end responsibility for your digital presence and online reputation management, feel free to contact us.