Competition in the healthcare industry has become stiffer than ever. As more and more practices and practitioners enter the digital arena, they are also taking advantage of the latest technological advancements and marketing strategies to become visible in the digital world and to stand out from the rest of their competitors. And while often overlooked in the past, branding for doctors has also become a cornerstone of every solid digital strategy for medical practice that looks to dominate the digital playing field.
What are the benefits of story brand marketing for doctors? How can the healthcare industry even become “branded?” How to get started with personal branding for doctors without sounding too salesy and cheesy?
While it’s not impossible, proper branding for healthcare facilities and practitioners does take time and effort.
This article will explore how doctors can build a strong and demanding online presence by first creating a professional and compassionate brand.
What’s Branding in Healthcare?
If you’ve spent even a little time researching digital marketing, then you know just how important branding is to businesses competing in the digital arena.
However, how does branding translate to healthcare? Back in the old days, people simply visited a doctor’s practice because it was there, not because they’d consciously chosen it over some other alternative.
In that sense, the healthcare marketplace was pretty straightforward and branding for doctors was more or less unnecessary or reserved for professionals with really high-profile clients such as star athletes, movie stars, and so on. On the other hand, back then, people simply visited the nearest physician if they had a medical issue. Well, these days are gone, and the healthcare marketplace of today is as competitive as it gets.
And you may already be investing heavily in advertising, adding new services, and upgrading your facilities and technology, but if you’re skipping the critical task of brand building, you may be losing patients to other, less skilled and less equipped practices that do one thing better: tell a better story through branding,
Still, how can you do that? For starters, a good brand is always:
Still, branding for doctors is slightly different from branding in the traditional, commercial sense but works with the same principles.
Story Brand Marketing for Doctors Gives you a Competitive Edge
When you have your own story, mission, and vision, it’s easier for potential new patients to establish an emotional bond with you and your practice. When they know who you are and what you’re promising them, then they will instantly recognize you, your products, and your services, and they will resonate with you.
Investing in personal branding for doctors can help them and their practices stand out from the competition and build trust with already existing and potential patients.
On that end, creating a strong personal brand that showcases your determination to help people is crucial. Also, highlighting your experience and fields of expertise, along with your staff’s certifications on your website and other digital platforms (where applicable) is a great way to tell people that you “mean business.”
Be respectful and professional. You don’t want to boast, as it might even ruin your reputation and credibility. Personal branding for doctors is all about professionalism.
Become a Pillar of Trust
If you come to think about it, in healthcare, trust is probably the most crucial aspect. Practices and practitioners with strong branding are often perceived as less risky and more reassuring, apart from giving peace of mind to patients and inspiring pride among your staff.
To become that pillar of trust, branding for doctors should be content-driven. Namely, you will have to forge a proper content strategy with different materials (think, blog posts, videos, etc.) where you can showcase your knowledge and expertise on specific topics, medical conditions, procedures, treatments, and so on.
Patient education is one of the best ways to build trust, and with a wide variety of comprehensive pieces of content, you can become more than a mere provider of services and different products. You can become an ultimate medical resource for patients, building confidence and trust along the way.
Branding for Doctors: How to Build a Personal Brand
To build your own brand, you must first aim to define it. This helps you better understand your services, strengths, and position in the market. It also enables you to pick your target audience, which can help better channel your marketing efforts. Many doctors aim to serve all patients, and in the end, they will usually end up marketing to no one.
So, ask yourself, how do your services benefit your patients? How can you best describe those services? And how do you want patients to relate to your brand?
So, let’s get started with five story brand marketing steps for doctors and how they can benefit you in the long run.
Know Your Strengths
Branding is all about the way your patients perceive you. If they have a pleasant experience at your practice, they will associate you with positive feelings. If you want to always make your patients feel pleasant, you need to discover your strengths and develop them into a selling proposition, marketing strategy, and personal brand story.
Try to describe your brand as a person. What are its values? What are the emotional and functional benefits of your services? What do your patients gain from your services apart from their health? Do you have any service attributes and features?
Answering these questions will enable you to understand your strongest characteristics.
Create a Value Proposition That’s Unique
What are you capable of delivering? Your value proposition defines what you are, what you offer, and what makes you stand out from your competition. In healthcare, even though the competition is fierce, most brands have more or less the same value propositions, and differentiating yourself from them can help you turn heads and gain a competitive edge.
Still, you will have to be professional, reliable, and credible as a medical expert. On that note, it’s always a great idea to get help from an experienced medical branding agency that can help you create a unique branding strategy that incorporates all the tried and tested necessities and offers something entirely different to the patient/customer.
Be More Than a Professional: Be an Expert
When it comes to effective branding for doctors, you shouldn’t forget that people only want to work with the best professionals. So, aim to really become the best. Chances are other doctors, treat their patients just as effectively as you do. Because of this, you can always use the digital arena to gain the upper hand.
We’ve already talked about becoming a pillar of trust and showcasing your knowledge in the form of video materials, blog posts, and other pieces of content. Still, you can also incorporate different ways to establish yourself as a dominant player:
- Hosting podcasts
- Health checklists
- Live streams
- Hosting webinars
- Creating online courses
- Creating eBooks or actual books
Also, creating a solid social media presence where you can interact with your patients and future prospects can help you humanize your brand. Apart from that, social channels may also serve as great opportunities to gain social proof, where your patients and loyal customers “spread the word” about the impeccability of your services.
Defining Your Customers/Patients
To help you fine-tune your branding strategy and create a better marketing strategy, it’s essential to see who your primary customers and patients are. Apart from observing the people who visit your practice, you can also look at your available data on your social channels, YouTube channels, and other platforms. Narrowing down your audience may seem counterintuitive. Still, it will help you market the right messages and you will be able to offer a better experience, improve relations, and will probably face less competition as a result.
The last crucial aspect of personal branding for doctors is consistency. Over time, people will learn to recognize and get used to your brand. That said, you will need to ensure that every piece of content you will provide in the future is in line with your brand’s values, mission, voice, and even color palette. As such, take your time and adopt a style that you can stick to in the long run. If you favor using simple language and omitting complicated medical terms, go with that and go through with it.
Also, you can go one step further: your can also implement your online brand persona into your offline assets. For example, you can use the same color palette in your practice you used on your website.
The Power of Personal Branding
As mentioned above, having a strong personal brand can help patients differentiate you from the rest of the competition. A good personal brand also allows you to demonstrate your expertise. And while creating and establishing a brand might be time-consuming, it’s well worth the effort if done correctly. It helps you generate the right kind of leads, builds trust, and makes you recognizable for the kind of patients you want to treat.
The key is to become truly influential, reliable, and trustworthy. There are several ways to achieve that through digital marketing. With the help of a team of professional branding experts, you can considerably speed up the process and spend less time experimenting.