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How to Turn Your Medical Device Experts Into Thought Leaders

By Kristen HicksDec 14, 2016

marketing-solution.jpgAs a marketer, you’ve done the work of understanding the people you’re working to reach, but you may not understand the products you’re selling as well as the medical device experts at your company. That’s understandable—that level of specialized medical knowledge isn’t feasible for every marketing professional to obtain, but it does mean you should look to your device experts as a valuable fount of knowledge.

Part of your job should be bridging the divide between their knowledge and your audience. If you can engineer ways to get them directly in front of your audience you can start building trust. Even if your medical device experts aren’t great writers, you can pursue a few good options to turn them into healthcare thought leaders.

1. Make a video of them talking about what they do.

A lot of businesses treat written content as the most important part of their content strategy—and it is important—but including more video content in your mix provides a lot of benefits as well. If your experts are more comfortable talking about what they do than writing about it, you can still turn their knowledge into something interesting and valuable for your audience.

A video of the people working behind the scenes at your medical manufacturing business gives what you do a human face, educates your potential customers and shows them that your experts know what they’re doing. If you think that’s the kind of thing no one will watch or care about, consider that this video of a prosthetic technician shaping an artificial leg has more than 13,000 views.

2. Set up interviews on relevant healthcare podcasts.

People today are busy and physicians, one of your main audiences, have a reputation for being even busier than most. Podcasts are the best type of content for people who feel like they’re perpetually on the go. They can listen while working out, walking the dog or commuting to work.

There are a lot of podcasts with established audiences that talk about medical issues. Podcasts like Signal and Only Human often tackle complex topics for a general audience, while a number of hospitals have created their own podcasts to bring valuable information to their patients.

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Identify a few podcasts that are relevant to your thought-leader-to-be’s expertise and send a pitch to the people behind them suggesting an interview. If they accept, your medical device expert will be able to bring their knowledge to a whole new audience.

3. Pay attention to HARO and ProfNet pitches for relevant subjects.

Help a Reporter and ProfNet are helpful resources both for journalists looking for sources and for potential thought leaders looking for opportunities to raise their profile. Sign up for an account on each site and pay attention to the source requests that come through.

Any time you see a request for a story that aligns with your thought leader’s expertise, jump on it. When your medical device expert shows up in stories published by news outlets, it further legitimizes them as an authority and provides more people with knowledge of your business and products.

4. Work with them to develop educational webinars.hospitals-webinars.jpg

Webinars combine the benefits of educational content in blog posts and podcasts with a format that allows you to answer your audience’s questions directly as you go. Having an expert present at a webinar makes it that much more educational and valuable to attendees.

Medtronic offers webinars on subjects ranging from insulin pump therapy to artificial pancreas devices. For the specific audience of physician specialists likely to use their products, these webinars are a useful way to get familiar with the technology, making them more likely to recommend it to patients.

5. Help them find opportunities to interact on social media.

Social media is one of the most direct ways marketers can communicate with the audiences we’re trying to reach. Your medical experts probably don’t have much time to spend on social media themselves, so you can help out by:

  • Monitoring relevant Facebook pages and groups on LinkedIn to spot discussions where your expert can contribute.
  • Keeping an eye out for Twitter Chats that are worth their time.
  • Providing suggestions for articles and other relevant resources for them to share through their social media accounts (including, of course, content your team has created).

It will still require a little work on their part, but you can take on much of the work to limit the time contribution they need to make. Depending on the spelling and grammar skills of your expert (being a genius at technology or medicine doesn’t always lend itself to great grammar), you may also want to play proofreader as well before they actually post anything.

You know your medical device experts are brilliant; develop a strategy to show that to the rest of the world (or at least the patients and doctors you need to reach). If your device experts do reach the status of thought leader, your whole company and brand will benefit from a higher profile and greater trust.

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The Author

Kristen Hicks

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and content marketer specializing in helping businesses connect with customers through content online.
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