Medical practices rarely have the resources to market themselves aggressively. Outside of basic promotions, most medical practice marketing involves direct communication about upcoming appointments, courtesy calls, and a few ads taken out in local news sources. When patients arrive in the waiting room, they’re greeted by a selection of bland magazines and television that do nothing to create a memorable or positive patient experience.
Physician practices operating under this framework are missing out on fertile opportunities to improve the online and in-office patient experience through digital signage driven by user-generated content.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors, or in other words, fans. It could be tweets, testimonials, pictures and everything in between. It is the act of users, or in this case patients, promoting a brand rather than the brand itself.
UGC is becoming a valuable marketing tool across all industries. In addition to crafting content in-house and employing the services of a marketing/design agency, healthcare brands are reaching out to their customers and asking them to share success stories and patient experiences. Dubbed “social marketing”, this strategy allows businesses to source relevant content straight from the mouths of their customers and increase the value of their marketing all in one move.
This is because UGC, aside from being an affordable way to generate brand-specific content, is trusted by consumers far more than traditional advertisements are. A Nielsen study showed that consumers trust “earned” media—such as recommendations from friends and family—more than any other type of advertising. This means that all communications delivered via customer reviews, social media, or in-person recommendation carry far more weight than traditional ads.
And as it turns out, UGC-driven digital signage strategies are the perfect way to market your medical practice online and offline, particularly for those with limited marketing budgets.
Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign has to be the best example. When the personalized coke bottles were first brought out, the world went crazy for them. Customers were asked to snap pictures of themselves enjoying a Coke with their name and share it on social media. The result? Coke’s customers stepped into the role of advertiser, generating millions of revenue and a whole new image for Coke.
Lululemon’s #thesweatlife campaign was a UGC campaign meant to connect the brand with their guests and showcase how they are authentically sweating in their product offline. Customers posted pictures of themselves in Lululemon gear on Instagram, creating a community that brings offline experiences online.
Lululemon recorded 7,000 photos of its customers or “brand ambassadors” on social media and 40,000 unique visitors for the unique #sweatlife gallery.
To understand how to market your medical practice through UGC and digital signage, we must first address a central tenet of digital signage technology—the need for content.
The true value of a digital signage marketing strategy comes from the content. Sure, digital displays are significantly more likely to grab and keep the attention of patients, but the attention is short-lived if the content is not relevant. Patients aren’t just interested in flashy screens—they’re interested in what the screens are telling them. Because of this, a large part of the investment in digital signage typically goes to content production to entertain and engage patients.
This is where UGC comes in.
UGC cuts down the costs of content production and lets physicians reach their markets in unique, dynamic ways. For medical practices, this means complementing traditional marketing with user-created content that not only reduces marketing spend but creates positive experiences for patients online and in the office.
For specific marketing strategies that combine digital signage and user-generated content and how to implement them right away, download our whitepaper.