Healthcare marketing and branding are very important in a post-pandemic world. Healthcare providers are competing not only with competitors but also with the patient’s last best experience.
There’s a greater emphasis on building relationships founded on trust and accountability. If your healthcare organization promises to deliver a certain patient experience, you must be able to deliver it.
Though marketing and branding aren’t synonymous, they do require working harmoniously.
How? Defining your brand makes marketing your organization’s vision easier, and marketing your brand successfully will garner increased patient engagement, attraction, and retention.
Healthcare marketing and branding differ from other industries, the main difference being that healthcare marketers must follow HIPAA compliance for all communications.
Since HIPAA’s rules are in place to protect patient health information, marketers are more restricted from sharing patient information without expressed consent.
Keep reading to learn how effective healthcare marketing and branding can improve the patient experience and grow your practice.
What do healthcare marketing and branding look like for medical practices?
It’s no secret that accelerated use of technology has made healthcare option exploration limitless for patients.
Reputation, a software company that manages consumer feedback, announced that consumers consider patient reviews one of three crucial criteria when choosing healthcare providers.
The other two are insurance acceptance and location.
That means online reviews are a valuable commodity in the healthcare industry. Patient grade interactions publicly, but you can work this to your favor.
This is an opportunity to take control of your organization’s online narrative as a credible voice in the healthcare community.
Healthcare marketing and branding elements should communicate your goal: to help patients and advance healthcare. First, let’s break down what healthcare branding and healthcare marketing are.
6 ways healthcare branding can fulfill your vision
Strong branding isn’t just about looking the part but acting it, too. It’s more than just logos and color palettes.
Your brand represents your organization’s identity, commitment to outstanding patient experiences, and overall purpose. A strong brand requires you to:
- Define your position in healthcare—focus on what makes you different from your competitors (Decades of experience? Affordability?) and identify how you fill in industry gaps.
- Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and share your improvements publicly.
- Incorporate your values and mission into messaging consistently and authentically.
- Get buy-in from internal stakeholders before moving forward with its use.
- Make sure your brand is flexible enough to evolve as your practice’s mission and values change and expand.
- Monitor how patients respond to your brand messaging and make adjustments as necessary.
More on the importance of improving patient loyalty
Healthcare marketing is how you choose to communicate your brand with your audience. This means dedicating time and resources to understanding your patient’s needs and meeting them where they are.
The patient engagement solutions market will have an estimated value of $41.2 billion by 2027. There is high value in patient retention and satisfaction, as it’s vital to any business’s long-term health.
One 2022 survey for Actium, a developer of a healthcare customer relationship management (CRM) platform, found that 61% of patients want better patient engagement from their healthcare providers.
Healthcare organizations and medical practices put in a lot of effort to acquire new patients, but keeping patients engaged in their health is critical to optimizing their care outcomes. As such, retention is closely linked to a provider’s success and should be a priority, especially in this post-pandemic world.
5 things you can work on to increase patient satisfaction
You can do numerous things to meet and exceed patient expectations using effective marketing, such as:
- Understanding how to best reach your audience. Reach younger patients through social media and retain current patients by optimizing their patient portal experience.
- Encouraging patient feedback. Patients appreciate feeling heard, which will forge stronger relationships with them. This is key to better retention.
- Committing to data collection of how your patients interact with your brand and marketing methods. This information is highly valuable to your marketing journey.
- Keeping your messaging simple. You don’t want to leave your patients with more questions than answers.
- Promoting HIPAA compliance through responsible healthcare marketing.
The beauty of patient marketing is there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. You work with what’s already out there by integrating it into a sustainable marketing strategy.
For example, if part of your marketing strategy goals is to appeal to people’s need for convenience, then you can do so by increasing patient digital experiences.
Doing so could be as simple as making your website more mobile-friendly or enabling appointment reminders via text message.
All of the technology is already out there. It’s just about finding out how to use it to attract new patients and keep current ones happy.
Use this comprehensive guide to start planning a new healthcare website that will drive long-term marketing success.
6 reasons patients switch healthcare providers
So, what do patients look for in their healthcare experiences? Aside from affordability and convenient location, they also seek:
- Good communication with their healthcare providers
- A welcoming office environment
- Responsive websites
- Consistent and clear healthcare marketing and branding
- Access to virtual care appointments and online resources
- Reasonable wait times
Patients who feel these factors aren’t part of their healthcare experiences are more likely to seek new providers. There are healthcare marketing statistics to back this up.
For instance, a nationwide survey stated that more than one-third of patients had left a healthcare provider in the past two years, with 80% having left due to a poor in-person experience or lack of access and communication.
Addressing any issues you may be experiencing related to the above criteria will not only strengthen your brand’s visibility but also improve its reliability.
4 ways effective healthcare marketing and branding benefits your practice and patients
Effective healthcare marketing and branding is the foundation for any successful medical practice. It is essential because it allows you to connect with patients who share the same values as your organization, allowing for more substantial relationship building.
Other benefits include:
- Understanding your patients’ needs will attract new ones and keep your current patients from leaving.
- Exercising more control over your organization’s narrative and better defining its position within the healthcare industry.
- Improving the overall patient journey from beginning to end.
- Building your status within a community of people you’re targeting.
4 signs you have an established healthcare identity
As you can see, there are significant benefits to strengthening your organization’s identity through effective healthcare marketing and branding. Here are a few ways to recognize if your brand is heading in the right direction.
Your brand is clearly defined and sets you apart
You make your medical practice’s values clear to patients and your staff. You understand where the gaps in the industry are and how you fill them in. Additionally, your values align with your patient’s healthcare journey.
Your brand’s reputation is one of trust and expertise
Patients value brands that empower them to make healthier decisions. The more information you make available about your organization’s skills and knowledge, the likelier patients will associate your brand with trustworthiness.
As different healthcare organizations deliver information to patients through commercial media, aim to establish your brand as an expert source. Promote your expertise through awards and accolades to reinforce this.
You can do this by consistently informing patients about the latest health information, policy changes in your organization that may affect their experience (like mask protocols), and health procedures they should follow (like getting their seasonal flu shot).
Please note that regardless of how you decide to use your healthcare marketing and branding strategy to communicate with your patients, always ensure you have the capacity and resources to sustain it.
Your healthcare identity improves the patient journey
Since part of your goal is to help patients, learning how to improve their healthcare journey should be at the forefront of your vision.
Taking a patient-centric focus to your healthcare marketing and branding strategy allows patients to become your co-producer. They can help point out opportunities for improvement in your practice.
Some examples may be improving feedback response rates or clarifying pricing options on your website. These minor improvements will ultimately lead to big positive changes.
Healthcare identities should be used to improve the patient’s overall journey.
AdventHealth, formerly known as Adventist Health System, was one of many health systems in 2019 that underwent significant rebranding.
Due to a lack of brand uniformity, the 30 hospitals that formed AdventHealth looked like they were individual hospitals instead of part of one network. This was problematic because patients had difficulty navigating their networks.
To increase brand recognition and loyalty, AdventHealth spent eight years planning, researching, analyzing, and educating their employees on their rebranding campaign before launching in 2018.
They have since built a patient-first reputation as a unified health system, making their healthcare experience more seamless for patients interacting with their network.
Your healthcare marketing strategy tells a story
Storytelling is not only a marketing method but a business tool and personal skill. This healthcare marketing and branding technique can bridge the gap between medical providers and their patients in a resonating way.
Patients want you to paint a clear picture of how you can offer more value to their lives without all the healthcare marketing buzzwords. Doing so will make your message easier to receive, understand, and remember.
Examples of healthcare marketing and branding
Increasing patient choices in medical providers is a growing challenge regarding healthcare marketing and branding. The silver lining is the greater desire for patient brand interaction and engagement.
DR. PIMPPLE POPPER
A well-known case of successful medical branding is Dr. Sandra Lee, known widely as Dr. Pimple Popper.
She crafted her online presence through her avid use of social media. Her videos appear across multiple mainstream platforms, like Instagram and Youtube, and have garnered millions of views.
She identified that many people experience satisfaction from watching dermatological extractions and based her entire platform on filming her procedures while educating people about them.
Dr. Pimple Popper’s success is a great example of how social media marketing healthcare services can boost brand awareness.
Similarly, Dr. Michael Salzhauer, who goes by Dr. Miami online, is a plastic surgeon also regularly active on social media.
He showcases his plastic surgery patients as they undergo cosmetic changes. He, too, has gained a massive following.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as knowing how to post a healthcare marketing video that showcases your skillset and services while also captivating your audience’s curiosity.
Their successes are linked to recognizing their brands’ unique audiences, identifying their patients’ thirst for knowledge about their work, and establishing themselves as accessible experts in their fields.
Most importantly, they understand the importance of patient engagement. Furthermore, patients value authenticity and information that helps them discover their needs, which they have made a big part of their brands.
FAQs about healthcare marketing and branding
Read further for additional information about healthcare marketing and branding.
Why should a healthcare provider hire a digital healthcare marketing agency?
Digital healthcare marketing agencies are experts in navigating the online world while remaining HIPAA compliant, can keep you informed on trends that’ll increase your reach, and measure your performance.
How can brand awareness marketing campaigns help your healthcare organization grow?
The competition in the healthcare industry is intensifying, as each medical organization and service provider is fighting to stand out from the rest.
A brand awareness campaign is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competition while building brand presence and loyalty in your community.
Should healthcare organizations prioritize marketing during the COVID-19 crisis?
In short, yes—marketing is valuable, and it’s projected to top pre-COVID investment in 2023.
Moreover, the healthcare industry continuously promotes its services even harder as the pandemic seemingly ends.
Many practices, seeing the surge in business, worked on improving their websites, patient resources, and other campaigns to serve patients.
These strategies help attract new patients, increase patient retention and overall satisfaction, and bring stable business in the post-pandemic world.
Why your organization needs healthcare marketing and branding
Every type of medically-related business already invests in its healthcare marketing and branding. This investment ultimately helps patients connect with their providers to get their needed care.
Work with an expert to achieve your vision
Here’s a recap of the top healthcare marketing and branding priorities you should make a priority:
- Focus on your strengths, like having a friendly office environment
- Optimize your website to improve the patient experience
- Use paid search ads to find and attract patients
- Track your marketing strategy’s progress
The TBH Creative team is highly experienced in helping healthcare organizations achieve their desired healthcare marketing and branding results.
We diligently learn about each client’s needs, expectations, and resources so they can effectively measure their growth and ROI.
Contact us today to determine how we can partner with your team and expand its success.