Effective healthcare branding is the cornerstone of a successful medical or dental practice. Healthcare branding is more important than advertising your services because it goes a step further to reach patients who have the same values as you do. There isn’t much separating medical practice and dental services from one another any more. Today’s differentiators are concerned with values and today’s patients want healthcare providers who share similar beliefs and values.
Why Branding Is Important in Healthcare
In a nutshell, effective healthcare branding focuses on what makes you different to your competitors. Why is that important? Well in a wide market with so many providers to choose from, a patient needs a reason to choose your practice.
Think about that for a second. What makes your practice different?
- Is it decades of experience in your field?
- Is it affordable healthcare?
- Is it highly specialised healthcare that isn’t on offer anywhere else?
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of healthcare branding for your practice, and how you can activate them.
Healthcare Branding Communicates Your Brand Vision
The biggest single benefit of branding for healthcare is that it can communicate your brand vision to your patients. The medical and dental industries are no longer confined to sterile white spaces and communication is centred around speaking to patients as people.
This means your brand can speak to a patient’s anxiety around a visit to the dentist or pre-surgery jitters. It can address the need for affordability and convenience. Being successful at healthcare marketing requires a solid collaboration between the subject matter expert (you) and technical experts like us. It’s the role of the branding agency to convey your experience and expertise and package it in such a way that your target audience will respond to it.
Effective Branding Reaches The Right People
Remember that you do not necessarily want to offer services to absolutely everyone who needs them. For best results and greatest patient satisfaction it’s in everyone’s best interests for you to offer services to patients who value your values.
Good branding does not mean you are everywhere all the time. It means you show your brand to the right people, in the right places at the appropriate times.
Good Healthcare Branding Educates People
It’s vital that your target audience makes an informed decision before you work together. In order for that to happen your brand needs to educate and inform your audience. The difference is that your target audience does not have a medical background and you can’t expect them to learn as if from a text book.
To educate them requires you to get under their skin and empathise to a large extent:
- What are your patients concerned about?
- What makes them anxious?
- What makes them happy?
Your communication strategy needs to address their fears and concerns because this is what drives their behaviour.
Healthcare Branding Takes Advantage Of The Digital Environment
Society is changing at a rapid pace and our rate of digitalisation means that your target audience is probably connected most of the time. There are many opportunities available to the healthcare industry to improve their branding. Through digital channels a healthcare marketing agency can develop much market intelligence and insights into how your audience behaves.
Search engine and content marketing provides a long form way to educate patients and address their concerns. It also gives you the opportunity to communicate your brand vision through your practice website. Your practice website is your 24-hour store front and can do the job of marketing your values when the lights are out. What is it communicating to your patients when you are not around?
Social media channels offer your practice the ability to respond to your target audience in real time. They also offer you word of mouth marketing where your patients can take care of generating new leads and referrals, simply because the merits of your brand have been well communicated.
Responsible Healthcare Marketing Is Compliant
All of this activity needs to take place within the relevant regulatory frameworks and promote ethical marketing.
Good healthcare marketing follows a strategy
Of course, your healthcare branding efforts should have an objective and it’s a good idea to decide what that is before you embark on a branding campaign. This means you have to follow a schedule or strategy.
Ultimately most strategies lead to generating new patients but some campaigns may take the form of patient education or information.
An effective healthcare marketing strategy is engaging and interactive and in many cases the interactions actually form part of the measurable criteria for success.
An effective healthcare strategy requires professional input, particularly if you want to grow your practice. Working with a branding agency that is experienced in the healthcare industry will expose you to strategies that have proven to be effective. This is infinitely more helpful than trying to figure things out as you go along, all the while consulting patients and managing a practice.
An experienced healthcare agency will help you to craft the most appropriate messages for your target audience and ensure they are visible on the right channels and platforms. The agency will ensure that all activities you undertake are measurable, so that you know what your return on investment is, and so that you reinvest in the activities that yield the greatest returns.
What’s important is that your healthcare marketing activities and strategy can continue while you focus your efforts on what you do best: running your practice.
Interested? We’d love to hear from you. To find out more about a healthcare branding strategy for your medical or dental practice please get in touch: 1300 163 058