In a recent post, BioInformant wrote about the cost of winning the term “cord blood” on Google Adwords having reached nearly $40 per click in the U.S. and more than $20 per click worldwide, which is down-right shocking.
It is now one of the 20 most expensive search terms on Google, right up there with terms like: Insurance, Mortgage, and Attorney.
Given these exorbitantly high costs of Google advertising, the question becomes, what other alternatives do you have?
An important alternative has become Facebook advertising, although it comes with a few interesting twists.
Users Aged 18-34 Represent Nearly 50% of Facebook Users in U.S.
If you have not yet integrated Facebook marketing for your cord blood bank (or you have but are dissatisfied with the results), it may be that you are not aware of the opportunity that it represents for your company. Each month there are 1.15 billion active users on Facebook. In the United States, the country with the greatest volume of people on Facebook, users aged 18 to 34 represent nearly 50% of all active users. It’s not hard to recognize that the age spread of 18-34 (child-bearing years) is an ideal match for your target clients, expectant parents. It’s where your prospects “hang out” online.
This rate is rarely lower in other countries; in fact, it is often higher in some regions. In the second leading country for Facebook activity, India, users aged 18-34 represent nearly 75% of active users.
Facebook allows you to target your advertising to specific demographics, more so than any other marketing platform that exists. You can target user activity by:
- Age – Target child-bearing years
- Gender – Women conduct more maternity-related research online
- Interests and “Likes” – Identify prospects by their curiosity in maternity-related topics
- Status Updates – Relevant topics include morning sickness, baby clothes, etc.
- And More
In addition to customer acquisition, Facebook provides a proactive way to communicate with your customers, because it has an addictive component to it. This concept was explored in-depth by Eva Ritvo in “Psychology Today” and also Maria Ressa, who writes about it in own her own blog and has spoken out about it at events that include the “Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Phillipines“(IMMAP).
The Brain Chemistry Behind Facebook Addiction
When a user views his or her Facebook profile and has either “likes” or comments, a dopamine release occurs. It is similar to how dopamine is released in the same reward pathway that is stimulated when we eat delicious food, make money, have sex, or do drugs. Dopamine is an organic chemical released in the brain that is associated with pleasurable feelings. As the internet has grown in popularity, Facebook activity has become a quick way to access it.
Also, emotional experiences (think “highlights” and “lowlights” of pregnancy) are often shared on Facebook. However, the goal here is to get viewers to secrete oxytocin, the “intimacy hormone,” in order to elicit participation and support. Feeling supported during times of stress or crisis helps mitigate the feeling caused by the release of the stress hormone cortisol.
Interestingly, Facebook has the power to “hint” to our brain that loved ones surround us, which historically, was essential to our survival. This is largely because the human brain evolved thousands of years before photography and fails on many levels to recognize the difference between people and their pictures. Facebook also provides a way for you to meet the emotional needs of your prospective clients, since the brain of an expectant woman is seeking connection, support, and community.
Finally, Facebook can facilitate one of the all-important purposes of cord blood marketing – education. In a recent global study of 600+ recent and expectant parents conducted by BioInformant Worldwide, LLC, the number one reason that parents choose not to bank cord blood was lack of awareness. Shockingly, this has been true is nearly every country that has been polled.
Better yet, when readers of your information find it to be educational, thought-provoking, or emotion-eliciting, they will share it with others, resulting in third party information referrals – all facilitated by the Facebook platform and natural human instincts.
Facebook Marketing Tips
As you embark on a Facebook marketing campaign or relook at your current Facebook marketing, here are five tips to keep in mind:
- Encourage Likes – Encourage visitors to “like” your content by providing valuable free information. It leverages the powerful force of social proof. It also gets your postings better visibility within the Facebook feed.
- Post Consistently – Post consistently, because as easily as attention can be acquired on Facebook, it can also be lost.
- Ask Simple Questions – Asking questions of your audience prompts them to interact and engage with you. But, keep your engagement marketing simple. Complicated questions are less likely to get responses because it requires more work by your readers.
- Measure, Measure, Measure – Only by measuring the results of your Facebook marketing can you determine what’s working and what’s not. Facebook Insights is an awesome tool for accomplishing this.
- Consider Facebook Advertising– At this time, a limited number of cord blood banks are doing paid advertising on Facebook. In the United States, Cord Blood Registry does a large amount of this type of advertising, as does LifeBank USA, M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood Laboratories, and a few others. The advertising platform is less saturated than the more costly alternative, Google.
Start it now, because your prospect market is specific, finite, and time-sensitive – you only have a 9-month interval to make your sale. May the year 2015 be your most prosperous year yet, filled with increased sales, stronger relationships, and a powerful online presence.
As the first and only market research firm to specialize in the stem cell industry, BioInformant research has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Xconomy, AABB, and Vogue Magazine. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, and Goldman Sachs, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.
 Facebook Statistics by Country, “Top Countries on Facebook”: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/. Accessed Jan 4, 2014.
 “Facebook and Your Brain,” Psychology Today. Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-beauty-prescription/201205/facebook-and-your-brain. Accessed Jan 4, 2014.