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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?