It’s time to put your brand’s cheerleaders on the field
User-generated content (UGC) is a tried-and-true resource for brand accounts on social media. Even in the healthcare space, this isn’t a new approach. But there’s a catch — leveraging UGC, especially patient stories, can be time-consuming and difficult. But how else do you find engaging content from someone who believes in and wants to champion your brand?
The solution is sitting within your very own walls: physician-generated content (PGC).
Looking to cure the pain points in your content strategy plan?
In the ongoing pursuit of authenticity and human connection, 88% of consumers say authenticity and relatability in marketing are key decision drivers for which brands they like and support. And this goes for all types of content.
“Patients are looking for a personal, empathetic connection with their providers. Prioritizing those connections and placing them at the center of your PGC strategy will provide more than just a greater quantity of content but content with greater depth and resonance. Whether that be in social posts, blogs, or any other marketing collateral."
—Jonathan Rienstra, Associate Director of Content Strategy
It’s a universally accepted principle that you can never have enough content — but we also know there’s never enough time to develop, write, and curate it either. (If you need a little help with that, you can find our editorial guide and social media calendar template right here.)
So why not try shifting your perspective and approach when it comes to physicians trying to “get in your business” when it comes to marketing, embracing them as experts who can help you fill your content coffers?
Taking the time to work and develop these sources has the potential to create value way beyond just a new blog or article and have a downstream impact that you can't afford to ignore.
PGC is better than WebMD
Embracing the full value of PGC can have five major benefits:
Improved physician satisfaction: Every once in a while, you’ve probably got a physician coming into your office and offering their expertise and accomplishments as inspiration for your advertising; while it may seem inconvenient or like a nuisance at times, deep down, we can probably agree that they just want to feel helpful and be noticed. By working materials created by physicians — like an article they wrote or a video series they participated in — into your healthcare content marketing strategy plan and inviting them to the table, they’ll quickly feel more seen and heard.
Greater patient trust: When patients can see who their care providers will be — and get a sense of how those providers operate — they’ll feel more at ease when it comes time to schedule an appointment. While PGC offers the opportunity for patients to build a connection with physicians before meeting them, it also offers an opportunity to see their professional accolades and to help build credibility with a potential to establish confidence in the quality of care they provide. Beyond that, PGC allows your organization’s experts to talk directly to patients online and provide peace of mind by explaining illnesses or procedures in digestible terms.
An increase in referrals: Just as PGC is a fantastic tool for building patient trust, it is equally as valuable for instilling confidence between physicians themselves. When healthcare professionals find credible, intelligent, and authentic content created by other physicians, they’ll likely keep those providers in mind when they need to refer their own patients to specialists. Similarly, a patient searching for a second opinion may find one of your physicians through their content and feel that same sense of comfort through credibility.
A leg up on awards and rankings: It’s no secret that social media plays a major role in who physicians and hospital leaders vote for in award or ranking opportunities. Featuring PGC on your social platforms gives them insight into how your hospital, clinic, or office operates, along with an idea of the quality of care your organization consistently provides to its patients. And paired with the right CTA, you can guide this audience from your social platforms to other owned digital channels to continue increasing engagement.
More focus on SEO: Right now, you’ve probably got people who are planning content, writing it, and maximizing SEO value in said content. And because they’re splitting their time between all of those things, they can’t dedicate a significant amount of focus to each one. By having physicians curate content, you can save the marketing team time normally spent on writing, which they can reallocate to maximizing a piece’s SEO value as they review what they receive from the physicians. And if you have physicians who are SEO aficionados on the side, you can go one step further and provide them with a list of keywords to include in the copy.
At the end of the day, your physicians are physicians, and your marketing team is your marketing team. But breaking down those barriers and welcoming providers as contributors can prove to be mutually beneficial, creating a scenario where physicians can provide value outside of the exam room, giving healthcare marketers additional resources to help the organization achieve — and exceed — business goals.
We’ve got plenty to say about PGC and other healthcare marketing strategies. Just download our 2023 trends report to learn more.