There’s a tendency for patients to consider one medical practice as being essentially the same as any other practice treating the same conditions. Such a perception doesn’t necessarily encourage patient loyalty or attract new patients. But if you want to change this perception and give current patients a reason to visit regularly and convince new ones to schedule an appointment, it’s worth considering taking steps to turn your medical practice into a brand.
Define Your Brand and Know Your Patients
Have an idea of who your typical patient is at your practice (e.g., average age range, common reasons for visits) so you’ll know what approach to take with your brand messaging and engagement efforts. Do some brainstorming with everyone on your staff to get an idea of how you want people to perceive your brand. For a medical practice, this may include:
Unique practice features (e.g., on-site lab, state-of-the-art equipment)
Specific practice specialties
Punctuality, easy appointment scheduling options, and similar perks that patients are likely to appreciate
Choose Words/Phrases That Best Reflect Your Practice
Prioritize words or phrases you want associated with your practice. Use your collection of words as the basis for how you will present your brand in any of your marketing efforts. You can also use your desired words as keywords for any AdWords campaigns you may run to increase awareness of your practice.
Show your practice’s brand message with both your words and your actions. If you’re going to claim to have a caring staff, take steps to develop a reputation for the way you treat patients. You’ll likely see the results of your efforts in comments left online by patients. Credibility can also be established with the content you post online and how you respond to patient inquiries and feedback.
Set Up a Google My Business Account
A good starting point for branding your practice online is with a Google My Business account. If you want to create a separate brand for multiple doctors at the same location, you would have a local page for the main practice and additional pages for each doctor who wishes to have one, with the doctor’s name being used as the title for each of those pages.
Find Ways to Showcase Your Brand
Take a look at everything from the content on your website and how you use social media to the signage used around your practice and your business cards. Find creative, appropriate, and effective ways to get your brand’s message out to your intended audience.
Branding is an ongoing process that’s often a combination of online engagement with fresh, relevant content and active, real-time engagement with patients and offline efforts that may include periodic mailings to existing patients. Just remember to be consistent with your internet marketing messaging and stay aware of what your competitors (other practices serving the same area) are doing to target patients.