This is a blog by Mark Verzijl, Consultant at Sciential.
Thought leaders are people that your audience trusts to make recommendations on a specific topic. In modern-day marketing, thought leaders are called influencers. Although we probably all associate the notion of influencers with popular youngsters’ Instagram and Tiktok, thought leaders in life sciences could also serve as influencers.
Basically, influencer marketing is one of the oldest marketing communications principles. It stems from the so-called two-step flow of communication, a communications model that gained popularity in the 50s of last century. This model says that the public will eventually be influenced by thought leaders while thought leaders will be influenced by the media. When you eliminate the false association of Tiktok influencers from your system, it makes absolute sense to leverage thought leaders for your life science brand.
The most important thing is the correct application of the strategy. The first step is to find influencers with a large, engaged audience. Think of biotech founders, lab experts, research gurus – basically everyone with a strong track record somewhere down the drug development process who has reach and influence. Make sure that a partnership should be win-win and stick closely to your company DNA – partnerships with thought leaders should be as authentical as possible.
A partnership can come in many guises. Sure, you can set up guest blogging, co-writing, endorsements, LinkedIn collaboration or partner up at conferences, events or publications. It’s even better if the influencer has a wider reach through television or print media. Having that said, do not think in small numbers. Since you are probably operating in a niche, make sure to focus on a numbers game of micro-influencers. This way you spread your chances and capitalize on the snowball effect of all these different reach/audiences.