“Working from home” became the new standard in 2020, and this shift to a telecommuting-focused paradigm shows no signs of going away but instead has extended well beyond the office.
It also impacted how marketers approached their work as well. They pivoted to a largely remote posture which has required new engagement strategies that embraced our new collective reality.
Using virtual tactics isn’t considered innovative anymore. Now, using tools like video is an expected part of doing business. A survey conducted by Zoom found that 84% of businesses saw video conferencing as essential moving forward.
Biotechnology is known for its fiercely competitive marketplace, making it vital to be able to quickly differentiate and stand out from your competition. Adding Covid to the mix just increased the important role of video has had to play.
Virtual Events are Now the Norm
Prior to the pandemic, it was customary for many biotech organizations to hold provider dinner programs. This was a great way to educate physicians on related medical topics and their products while strengthening the provider relationship.
With lockdown restrictions in place, it left biotech marketers scrambling to come up with a way to continue these important educational dinner programs. Many transitioned to virtual events, using food delivery platforms such as UberEats or DoorDash to deliver dinner while doing their dinner programs using video streaming.
Large virtual events also changed radically. All scientific and medical conferences have gone virtual and it looks like this will be the case for most of 2021.
Biotech companies who participate in conferences have had to transition in-person presentations to video and webinars presentations featuring their key opinion leads and experts.
The Rise of the Webinar
Before the pandemic began, one study found that 73% of sales and marketing reps surveyed found webinars to be one of the most reliable methods for generating quality leads. Now, the use of Webinars (both pre-recorded and live-streamed) has greatly increased as a result of remote working environments.
One nice advantage to video presentations and webinars is the ease at which they can be reused for future marketing. For example, links can be emailed to prospects who could not attend the conference or event. Allowing them to watch it during a time that works for their schedule.
With the reduction of face-to-face sales calls, the use of video has increased exponentially to help fill in gaps in the sales process due to less in-person sales time with prospects.
Best Practices for Virtual Events and Webinars
While increasing the use of video has been an important strategy for biotech and life sciences marketers during the pandemic it also requires some pre-planning to help insure success. One of the major challenges to using webinars and virtual video events is the viewer’s home office environment is filled with distractions and interruptions. To combat this, you’ll want to optimize your video content to increase engagement.
For example, during the first half of your webinar, you can share actionable tips and provide a preview of the content that’s yet to come. This way you’re delivering value right away, but also giving viewers a reason to stick around until the end.
Integrating supportive slides, motion graphics, and even still photos to help support the narrative of the video can also help increase engagement.
A static talking head does not keep the viewer’s attention.
One common mistake we see companies make is not creating a short teaser video or promotional video to drive interest and participation for the webinar or virtual event. Think of this as a movie trailer for your virtual event. This is a great way to build some buzz while piquing the viewers’ interest or curiosity; not to mention attendance.
A short teaser video can be recorded at the same time as the actual pre-recorded content which can be done easily if you’re planning ahead.
The Product Launch Reimagined Due to Covid
Product marketing teams with planned product launches were forced to go back and rework their launch plans due to Covid.
Often, product launches take place at large medical conferences which debut at lavish launch parties.
Product teams have been forced to reimagine their launch plans using a more virtual strategy.
One useful tactic for an effective launch at a virtual conference is to create an intriguing product reveal video.
The goal of a product reveal video is to pique curiosity and build suspense among the virtual conference attendees while leveraging subsequent sponsored sessions to provide more in-depth product details.
We have witnessed our biotech clients pivoting and adjusting their marketing plans due to Covid. The pandemic has forced so many marketers out of their comfort zones and pushed them to quickly test and try new ideas. Perhaps this is something that we can all benefit from the pandemic.
As Covid starts to slip into our rearview mirrors, we’ll need to continually try new ideas to attract the attention of our prospects.