Branding and Marketing for Medical Practices
Have you considered the importance of your branding and marketing efforts? A medical practice faces some of the same challenges as other consumer facing brands in reaching the right target audience, managing their reputation, and building a community presence. Let’s look at things to consider when branding and marketing a medical practice.
Here are a couple areas you’ll want to include when it comes to your branding:
What is the patient experience like?
Is your online presence visible, helpful, and easy to use?
How are you perceived in the community?
What language are you using?
Do you present as a friendly and welcoming environment to potential clients?
Why should patients choose your office over another?
Patient Experience: Have you considered what goes into your patients’ experience when they visit your website, your office, or when they call and speak to your staff? Is the communication streamlined and consistent, is it specific and customized, and do your employees use cohesive answers so a client doesn’t get a different answer based on who picked up the phone?
Online Presence: Does your website load quickly? Does it offer simple navigation? Does it offer easy to find information such as your hours, location, insurance accepted, and contact details? Is your site visible? Have you used digital marketing or helpful content for SEO benefits? Have you built your local SEO targeting?
How are you perceived? Do you volunteer at community events, or advertise locally? If your only presence is online, do you have good control of your reputation management? One of the best ways to be seen as an asset to your community is to be part of your community’s fabric by becoming involved.
What language do you use? We’re not talking about being bilingual, though it can be beneficial to offer options such as multiple languages to clients. Instead, consider this, what words and terminology are you choosing when you communicate with your patients? Do you speak their language, or use language that goes over their head and leaves them confused and frustrated? While you may understand that they had a medial fractured clavicle, they’re going to grasp hearing that it’s a broken collarbone much easier.
Do you offer a welcoming environment? Neutral or earth tone colors are soothing. Bright, bold colorful walls can be stimulating. The environment of your office can make a difference in how your medical practice is perceived. Do you present with a warm, welcoming environment that’s comfortable for patients who may be nervous or stressed due to having to go to the doctor’s office? Is the seating comfortable? Is the environment kept meticulous and clean? Each of these components go into the branding of your office space. The look and feel of your practice play a bigger role than you might anticipate.
What sets you apart? There are a lot of other practices out there. What makes you better than the next? How will you stand out and differentiate yourself from the pack of other offices that are just a click away when a client is in search of a new medical practice? Knowing your target market is a start, because the more in touch with who your ideal client is, the better chance you have of drawing them to your business.
Marketing Your Medical Practice
It’s important to remember your marketing materials are part of your overall branding. The message you’re setting out should strike a balance of being helpful to your customers, while providing the information needed to bring your customer to you.
Good SEO practices, both local and standard
A cohesive element among all your marketing materials
An easy to identify logo with branding that doesn’t need explanation
Consistent messaging when your office is contacted (whether by phone, contact form, or email)
What your strengths are (ex: open late or on weekends when others aren’t)
When it comes to branding and marketing your medical practice, it may seem like overkill if you’ve been in business for a long time and aren’t used to “modern day” advertising. The days of people flipping through the phone book to find a local doctor have long passed. It’s easy to get comfortable trying to do what you always did. Unfortunately, those old ways aren’t doing you any favors.
Today, most clients will search for a medical practice either online or will ask a friend for a recommendation. Ignoring this comes at a cost. There are new, better ways of building your client base, and with the right combination of branding and marketing, you’ll be able to grow your practice.
By taking time to know what your message is, how you want to be represented, and making sure your target audience understands what sets you apart, you can position yourself as the go-to office in your community.
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