Three golden rules of successful STEM marketing

Guest post by Dima Elkezee, Business Account Manager for ResearchGate Marketing Solutions

Kicking off a new advertising or content marketing campaign in science is exciting. You know your budget, you know what you want to achieve, and you know how you’re going to do it, right?

Well, if you’re not quite there, take a look at these simple steps which can provide a framework for your campaign and help you reach your true objectives. They apply equally whether you’re developing an agency partner brief or handling activities in-house.
Connect with scientists where they do their research online, on the most visited platform in science worldwide, via ResearchGate Marketing Solutions.

1. Keep an open mind


Often when clients come to us, they have a very strict set of expectations in mind, mainly centring around high KPIs with minimal spend. My advice to anyone at the start of a campaign is to be realistic. Don’t let others set your KPIs — any good marketer knows that quality and spend are proportional, and those at the top need to appreciate that. Therefore, take the time to both explain the campaign to potential partners and understand how the different services can help you.

For example, I am often told that clients want to improve their share of voice or achieve a high click-through rate for their ads. This is fine, but consider how best to achieve this. Is it an e-blast, an ad, or something else? The more important question is: once you get potential leads to your site, how are you going to push them down the funnel? This then opens up new conversations about our content marketing solutions, which means the campaign is not as set in stone as once thought.
Connect with scientists where they do their research online, on the most visited platform in science worldwide, via ResearchGate Marketing Solutions.

2. Think about what you want to elicit


Perhaps the most important decision for any marketer is knowing what they want to elicit from their target audience. Do you want to promote a specific offering or engage the audience on a specific issue? Or do you want to deliver a more action-orientated outcome, such as testing a new sample or downloading an e-book in return for their contact details? Do you want both?

This then informs the best medium. Ads, for example, can help drive awareness,
but content marketing materials, combined with e-blasts that require a specific action, can help scientists and researchers in their professional setting, and do more to drive engagement and trust. While it is important to know what you want to achieve from your campaign, don’t forget to map out every step and think about the best possible outcome, because this needs to be incorporated into any brief. If you want high click-through rates, do you care about engagement or bounce rates, which could impact whether they leave their details or not? Or would you rather concentrate on session duration over the number of eyeballs on a page, thereby sacrificing high awareness but perhaps focusing on quality?

Thinking this through, and knowing what to do with leads once you have their interest, will yield better results than merely a large volume of people flooding your website. Remember, sales take time and multiple touchpoints. Think about how best to spread your budget to facilitate this, as quality costs money.

3. Selling is quid pro quo


A mistake many marketers fall into is presuming that simply presenting what they have to offer will lead to results — but this is not the case. Remember, on ResearchGate in particular, the user base is incredibly qualified, so when planning a campaign, think about what they will want from you as much as what you want from them. Give them a reason to pay attention. This then influences the messaging, as well as how you reach them and how often, which gives the campaign longevity. It also provides the opportunity to then work more closely with the sales team to not only bring in leads to begin with, but qualify them too. This adds value throughout the business, increasing return on investment.

In today’s new normal, connecting and engaging with end users can be difficult because traditional workplace routines have been disrupted. However, one thing is for sure. If you’re looking to engage STEM professionals, ResearchGate is the platform to use. Talk to us about your specific needs and how our full-funnel suite can help you attract, engage, and sell to leads.
Connect with scientists where they do their research online, on the most visited platform in science worldwide, via ResearchGate Marketing Solutions.
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