You need to find ways to make top-quality care your primary focus while also managing the business aspects of your practice effectively.
One way businesses create stability and expand their reach is through branding. When a medical office invests in branding, it sets you up to find and help potential patients. That’s because branding is like the voice or personality of your business. It helps folks understand who you are and what you do.
In this article, we’ll look at how branding enables medical practices to strike a balance between effective business practices and patient care. We’ll explore ways branding can increase organic traffic to your website, which ultimately helps you draw in more patients.
The more patients you’re able to connect with, the more folks you can help.
What Is Branding?
Branding is the process of giving your medical practice a distinct look, feel, and tone so it stands out from your competitors.
Think about companies outside the healthcare world. There are several you would likely recognize right away just by their logos, taglines, commercials, or overall personality. All those things taken together help communicate a company’s mission and focus.
And that determines what kind of customer they attract.
Your medical practice is no different. Like any other company, your branding (your distinct look, feel, and tone) will attract a certain kind of patient. The goal is to proactively craft your branding so that you’re able to connect with the patients best suited for your practice.
What are some of the things that might make your clinic special? Things like:
- Fast appointments with little to no wait time
- The most experienced staff
- State-of-the-art technology in diagnostics
- Providers who spend extra time with patients
- Affiliation with a top hospital
- A beautiful and calming interior environment
- Highly desirable location
- Superior treatment results
- Stellar safety record
- Prestigious doctors and staff
- One-stop visits with everything under one roof
Whatever your specific selling points, you need to find meaningful, empathetic ways to convey those to potential patients. That’s what branding does.
Your branding will touch every aspect of your business. That includes your website, printed materials, logos, color palette, photographs, slogans, testimonials, and anything else that gives people a picture of what you offer.
RELATED: 6 Ways to Build Trust in Your Practice Using Marketing
Why Is Branding Important for Medical Practices?
It’s not enough to simply open an office and wait for patients to come to you. Your competitors are almost certainly doing more. You need to, as well.
If you want your practice to succeed, you’ll need to approach marketing strategically. In that sense, you’re like any other business.
However, there are things that set medical practices apart.
Your branding will need to be memorable and unique, like any other company’s branding, but it will also need to be empathetic, compassionate, respectful and appropriate to your field. If you provide critical services for serious illnesses, you can’t embrace a tone that’s light-hearted. That simply won’t work.
Branding for medical practices is particularly tricky. It can be difficult to strike just the right tone. It’s like the bedside manner that applies to your entire business.
And it’s not something you can simply avoid. Even if you don’t intentionally create branding for your practice, patients will perceive a personality for your office. To that end, it’s in your best interest to carefully plan an intentional branding strategy. That way you can decide how you want your patients (and potential patients) to see you.
Use Your Branding to Boost Organic Traffic
One of the best places to feature your branding is online. This benefits you in two ways.
First, there are some easy ways to create a distinct brand image using digital marketing techniques. We’ll explore a few of those below.
Second, solid online branding will help to drive organic traffic. Several of the things that make for strategic branding for a medical practice’helpful, compassionate content, for example’also contribute to improved SEO. As you focus on building your brand, you’ll be able to simultaneously boost your online presence.
It’s a win-win.
That brings us to our top tips for establishing an online brand. Each of these is a good place to start, even if you’ve never focused on branding before.
RELATED: Focusing on Your Local Business Ranking
Add Some High-Quality Content to Your Website
High-quality content is critical for search engine ranking. Plus, every piece of content is an opportunity to showcase who you are.
It doesn’t matter if you add blog articles, webinars, videos or even something as simple as an informative FAQ section. Content that’s genuinely helpful will always serve to improve SEO.
Whatever type of content you choose to develop, be sure to keep your delivery and your tone in mind. If you publish a blog article about a touchy topic, for example, be sure to approach it with sensitivity.
Optimize for Online Reviews
Did you know that a huge number of patients’up to 90%‘use online reviews to choose physicians? This makes online reviews an essential part of your overall digital strategy.
You can strengthen your online reviews further by emphasizing your branding in both your requests for reviews and in your responses to them. How do you do that?
- Make sure your practice has accounts set up with review sites like Google, Yelp, Vitals, Healthgrades, RateMDs, and the like
- Encourage patients to leave honest reviews about their experience
- Ask patients to leave reviews at the appropriate time
- Respond to negative reviews with gratitude and a sincere desire to help solve the problem
- Always include a link to your website on review platforms
Develop a Social Media Presence
Social media can be a great way to send folks to your website. While there are options for paid advertising on social media, there are also ways to use social networks on a low budget.
Plus, there’s a good chance your potential patients are already using social media, themselves.
Use these tips to make the most of your social media presence.
- Select just one platform if you’re new to social media marketing
- Pick a platform matches where your ideal patients are most likely connected
- Post regularly, at the times your patients are most likely to be online
- Include images and videos to increase your posts’ visibility and shares
- Engage in real dialogue with your audience whenever possible
- Always include a link to your website in your profile and your posts
In this article, we’ve focused primarily on things you can do right now to strengthen your clinic’s branding. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re ready to roll your sleeves up and get serious about branding, digital marketing, and strategic growth, we have one final tip for you: work with a professional.
A dedicated digital marketing pro will be able to accomplish everything we’ve discussed here and then some. Not only that, but they’ll be able to do all the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on what you do best’caring for your patients.
While professional marketing help comes at a cost, you’d be hard-pressed to find successful businesses that don’t benefit from this kind of partnership. If you haven’t taken a closer look at your logo or branding in years, maybe it’s time for a second look. We are happy to schedule a call during which we can discuss how your branding is helping or hurting your new patient acquisition.