“Anything you would ever need in a lab” is how Katherine Scott describes the scope of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s product offerings. In other words, when the company uses “the world leader in serving science as its tagline,” they aren’t exaggerating.
Less than a year ago, Katherine was hired on as corporate marketing specialist for the lab equipment company and, in part, was tasked to revitalize its content marketing efforts. What she found was a focus on products in content, which is not necessarily a bad thing but is rather limited. “It’s not just about being a leader in scientific instrumentation,” Katherine says. “We need to demonstrate thought leadership.”
Katherine is uniquely suited to the task. She minored in biology as an undergrad and got her masters in journalism. She’s also volunteered for the literary journal The Harvard Review. Taking inspiration from academic journals, Katherine and the content team she works with have developed a tone and style on Thermo Fisher blogs that reflects the company’s scientific authority. Rather than showcasing products, they steered the content to more coverage of research.
Of course, a blog has none of the peer review and rigorous discipline of an academic journal, but Katherine is quick to point out that this doesn’t mean it has to be comprised of shallow posts about cats. She imagines the blogs filling niches left void by the well-regarded academic journals and the journals not using online media. The team works to create an online experience that will seem familiar to journal readers, even using on-page references rather than embedded links.
Katherine has also worked with the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), a peer-reviewed, scientific video journal. Likewise, Thermo Fisher has a robust YouTube channel, which posts customer interviews. Katherine is a fan of taking a longer video, editing it down and parsing it out across platforms, truly repurposing content.
Though Thermo Fisher Scientific is in its blogging infancy, there are already measurable returns. “What we have noticed is that blogging is quickly becoming more cost-effective than Google Adwords,” she says.
As with most infant content programs, communication can be an issue – Katherine recommends phone call check-ins over email – and finding the right management solution can take some time. But one line of communication must remain constant: “All of your content should represent the company from the perspective that makes sense to the customer.”