Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates approximately three times as many leads. In today’s digital age, your healthcare practice knows that content is an important part of promoting patients’ awareness and engagement with your Brand, but there’s more to content marketing than your email newsletter and healthcare blog. For instance, has your healthcare Brand considered including patient-generated content as part of your inbound marketing strategy?
Here’s everything you need to know to effectively incorporate patient-generated content into your healthcare marketing strategy, and why you need to.
What is Patient-Generated Content?
Appearing in many forms, patient-generated content is essentially anything patients publish online about your practice that wasn’t originally created by your healthcare Brand. A couple examples are online reviews and posts on social media.
Impressive healthcare marketing success is often won through word-of-mouth, which goes hand-in-hand with patient-generated content. Promoting and encouraging patients to share content helps establish strong advocates for your healthcare Brand.
In order to nurture Brand growth with patient-generated content, it’s important to understand the connection between the patient journey and patient personas. Patient-generated content can be used in each stage of the patient journey to drive conversions, but it’s crucial to know what content works best in each stage.
To see user-generated content in action, here are two excellent examples:
1. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
In the summer of 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the internet by storm. In short, participants were challenged to pour a bucket of ice water over their head, record it on video, post it online and challenge three more people to do the same. Additionally, participants were encouraged to donate to the ALS Association, a leading research organization for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ultimately raising over $115 million, 17 million ice bucket challenge videos were shared and viewed more than 10 billion times by 440 million people on Facebook alone.
2. The Art of The Trench
In 2009, the British clothing company Burberry decided to rejuvenate their Brand, which was established in 1856. As part of this change, Burberry decided to incorporate user-generated content into their content strategy. They executed this by creating the Art of The Trench - a website where their users could upload and comment on pictures of people wearing Burberry products. Following the website’s launch, Burberry saw their ecommerce sales increase 50% year-over-year.
Now that you know how to incorporate patient-generated content into your marketing strategy, why should you?
Why You Should Use User-Generated Content
Several marketing struggles boil down to one thing: trust. Even though patient-generated content enhances your practice’s marketing strategy in many ways, its main strength is increasing your patients’ trust.
Whether it’s increasing your search engine rank or attracting new patients, your healthcare Brand is continually striving to increase trust. In a recent HubSpot survey, only 3% of people said they consider marketers and marketing trustworthy. That’s a very small and intimidating number, yet, 85% of patients trust content generated by their peers more than Branded content.
Furthermore, the average person is just as credible a source as a technical expert. Because of this shift in trust, your healthcare practice needs to adapt your inbound marketing strategy in order to effectively communicate integrity to your patients.
True patient-generated content can’t be faked. It’s engaging and encourages patients to interact with your healthcare Brand. From there, you can convert those excited, engaged patients into loyal Brand ambassadors.
For more information on growing your healthcare Brand with inbound marketing methodologies, download our free eBook, Empowering Your Healthcare Brand Distinction.
Implement an inbound-based content marketing strategy to attract more patients to your practice. Let’s chat and put the Hult Team’s experience to work for you. You can reach me at 309-673-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and together, we can grow your healthcare Brand.