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Attracting Digital Consumers to Healthcare

Relevance! It is the end-all-be-all for today’s digital consumer.

When making a purchasing decision digital consumers are looking for content that is highly relevant to their current situations and needs.

A report from Bazaarvoice found that more than half of digital consumers consider online content created by other users before recommendations from family, friends or colleagues. Fifty-one percent said the presence of reviews and other user-generated content on a website helps them get a better understanding of a product or service’s true value.

smart phones used for uploading user generated content

Digital consumers want content that is relevant and easily accessible

Aside from reviews, their shopping decisions are influenced by endorsements and user feedback posted by friends, followers and other contacts on social networks. According to Bazaarvoice, 42 percent of respondents reported that content shared on Facebook, Twitter or another social network is frequently the reason they decide for or against a purchase or service provider.

Generating more UCG for healthcare

The term “User-Generated Content” (UGC) refers to any content created and uploaded by users to  an organization’s platform. UGC ranges from Flickr photos, YouTube videos, blog comments, Twitter posts and reviews on Yelp or Amazon.

As consumer reviews become more and more important in informing and influencing other customers’ decisions, they are also becoming a prominent marketing tactic. In healthcare, UGC would take the form of patient reviews, client surveys, medical blogs,community boards, question and answer forums and so on.

Tips to encourage and improve healthcare UGC

  1. Facilitate quick and easy responses. Users want to contribute content in a convenient and frictionless fashion. If the process of contributing content is difficult, it’s likely your visitors will not participate. For example patients should be able to complete a survey rating their hospital experience with a few clicks.
  2. To encourage participation remove any barriers in your site design. This could be anything from hard-to-find comment box, a multi-step sign-up process, or a lack of clear and visible instructions. Any of these points will give your visitor good enough reason to leave your site and find one that is more user-friendly.
  3. Give away incentives (once in a while). Contests with rewards, freebies and giveaways, sometimes work very well to encourage engagement. Be creative but don’t rely too much on such tactics as users could get too used to them. A good idea is to customize your rewards to holidays and special occasions.
  4. Make your content “share-able” on social media sites. Content that is shareable and share-worthy is interesting to users and is quickly passed along from one to many consumers. The more eyeballs that fall on your content the more likely that reviews related to your services will be shared as well.
  5. Moderate your content. Thank patients and contributors for their feedback. Reply promptly to questions on your discussion board, and encourage other users to answer questions whenever they’re able to. This creates a sense of community amongst users and gives them a feeling of ownership in the content.
  6. Keep conversations relevant and interesting. People like to talk about interesting stories. Be sure to initiate discussions that are relevant to your users so that they in turn can contribute their own experiences on that particular subject.

Over to you: What’s your take? What other ideas could you add to this list?




  1. […] Digital moms like me are starving for relevant information to help us deal with the challenges our kids are facing. And that’s why more of us are turning to social media not only to find support from other moms, but also to find physicians and resources that will answer our most pressing questions. […]

  2. […] you do write, it’s worthwhile—because you can make your writing more relevant and helpful, thus attracting more consumers, reader interest and better traffic over time. How much time are you putting into your posts now? […]

  3. […] Any tool that helps to filter health-related discussions is indispensable. This is important particularly for physicians who don’t have time to figure out how tweets work. Hashtags are perfect since they allow them to follow a single stream of relevant medical content. […]

  4. […] engines to ask questions about their health issues. Medical blogs and healthcare sites provide a good source of information for their questions. In fact no medical social media strategy would be complete without a blog. Doctors with high […]

  5. […] for example an OB-GYN practice using Facebook, Twitter, and a blog to bring in more patients should make sure they’re engaging with women of child-bearing age within their geographical […]

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