How UGC Can Be An Effective Ad Style for Health Brands

There are a lot of digital advertising tools and techniques that health brands have to avoid due to the highly-specific and regulated nature of their industry. There are some marketing approaches, however, that can be surprisingly effective for brands in the industry—and user-generated content is one such example. 

User-generated content (UGC) is a type of advertising creative that uses real (or real-seeming) user testimonials to highlight pain points or product benefits. You’ve likely seen these ads, like a try-on video or a product unboxing. Usually, UGC is used to sell eCommerce products, but the same characteristics that make them effective for that purpose can go a long way in health advertising. They show viewers relatable characters and tell stories that can convey empathy and familiarity with the conditions they are facing.

Recently, ADM helped one of its health clients test out UGC techniques in their social advertising strategy—and demonstrated how it can be a useful patient acquisition driver.

Refreshing Health Campaigns With UGC

The challenge our client faced is one that most companies face eventually: Existing ad creative was losing steam and they needed to refresh their campaigns. Much of the content they had used prior to partnering with ADM was sourced from stock images and photography, and while some was effective for short periods of time, it would lose efficiency quickly. 

ADM determined that their creative messaging needed a more personal touch, so we encouraged the client to invest in creative that their potential patients might feel more of a connection to. We created example concepts, points-of-view, video hooks, and scripts to present to the client. After receiving their approval, we got to work on culling the content.

Finding the Right Content Creators for Health-Focused UGC

This particular health client was trying to bolster their patient acquisition across a number of different health conditions, so we worked closely with them to identify the highest-priority ones. It was vital to use these ads to educate and build trust with prospective patients. With that in mind, we curated a list of content creators that we believed matched the client’s goals and image and brought them to the client to select who they preferred. 

With our subjects chosen, we guided the content creators through the scripts and messaging, providing feedback and edits to ensure the client was happy with the final iterations of their UGC video ads—which then went to the client’s internal review board for approval.

Once cleared, we were ready to run their ads on Meta platforms (Facebook and Instagram). We deployed the ads in a prospecting capacity and tested different creators, hooks, and messaging for each targeted condition to find the combinations that would best resonate with the audience.

Patient Acquisition Success With UGC

We deployed the UGC ads in the client’s Meta campaigns at the start of Q2 2023 and saw rapid performance improvements. Their click-through rate for social videos rocketed up by more than 300% compared to the more generic video content they had run prior. Before the end of the quarter, cost per patient creation dropped by 31%, and for their primary patient acquisition conversion, costs dropped by 48%.

The success and efficiency unlocked by this UGC approach provided a clear path forward for our partnership with the client. As time went on, we used the data to continually improve upon the content and create UGC from different points of view, so the client could appeal to a wider variety of prospective patients and care partners. 

Ultimately, healthcare marketing is all about making connections and conveying trust that you understand and can help patients who are facing difficult conditions. If your health brand is struggling to find ways to do that, UGC is a great option to consider. Just be sure when creating and deploying it, you’re following all platform-specific policies about what health brands can and can’t say when advertising on that social network. And if you’re looking for a health marketing agency that offers a full suite of creative advertising capabilities and partnerships, reach out to ADM today.