Article | March 12, 2021
Effective Healthcare branding changes how the public perceives a healthcare organization. Brands are all about perceptions. The way your customers perceive your organization determines your brand. That encompasses your doctors, your board members, your nurses, and your patients. The process of healthcare branding helps organizations ensure they are perceived the way they want to be; as trusted, knowledgeable, caring, and experienced.
More than a tagline, name, messaging, or logo, the recognizable feeling that these elements induce is your healthcare company's brand. Healthcare branding ensures that these elements meet in a cohesive system informed by positioning and personality and are constantly implemented across your brand's touchpoints.
Why is Healthcare Branding So Essential?
Healthcare branding was not always so important. Patients had the freedom to select any healthcare provider. Insurance was the principal determiner of their healthcare provider. It depended upon their workplace. Those without insurance got treatment at community clinics and emergency rooms.
As you know, times have changed a lot in a big way. Changing the entire healthcare landscape, the Affordable Care Act put patients in the driving seat. Most of the patients now have access to healthcare insurance and successfully manage their own health. Patients without insurance have the options of out-of-pocket online pharmacies and providers.
Healthcare providers have changed their performance metrics system to value-based assessments such as patient satisfaction. More than treatment, now the emphasis is on prevention. It has become a market that is direct-to-consumer healthcare.
As a result, the consumer has become the controller of the healthcare brand-consumer relationship. As patients have turned empowered consumers, the benefits of healthcare branding have grown to the point that healthcare companies cannot ignore them. If they do, it affects their business.
What are the Benefits of Healthcare Branding?
Effective healthcare branding, directed by research and a clear strategy, has many valuable benefits:
Identify Changing Patient Needs
The needs of patients today have changed from the start of COVID-19. Even when a global pandemic hasn’t fundamentally changed the healthcare landscape, patients’ needs are continually evolving. Healthcare branding gives you the tools to understand evolving patient needs better and rebrand your company to meet them.
Brand research includes qualitative research (including one-on-one patient interviews) and quantitative analysis. Insights gathered from brand research are critical in optimally positioning a healthcare brand. It is vital during dynamic and unpredictable markets, as in what happened during this COVID-19. Beyond brand research, effective healthcare branding ensures your healthcare brand is continually aligned with shifting market trends and their impact on patient needs.
It isn’t easy to think of a quality more essential to a healthcare organization's success than trust. A healthcare brand is broken or made by the degree to which it is trusted by those it serves.
When it comes to healthcare branding, trust is conveyed through everything from messaging to visual identity. Photography, colors, and typography all contribute profoundly to perceiving a brand as trustworthy. In healthcare branding, verbal identity is more important than visual brand identity in establishing it as an expert in the healthcare space.
Everything from a reassuring, confident voice in its website copy to guides designed to update patients on necessary healthcare topics and regular publication of articles are proven and well-known ways in healthcare branding to build up trust.
Set Your Brand Apart from the Competition
However, trust is not the only thing needed in the modern age for effective healthcare branding. The days, judging a healthcare organization based on its medical practice's reputation alone have gone. Patients have become empowered consumers as time passed. The competition to treat these empowered consumers too has become increasingly fierce. Here comes the importance of effective healthcare branding, tracking all your online and offline activities, and evaluating them every day.
Your healthcare brand is just one among the many other brands for internet-savvy consumers to choose from. First and foremost, all consumer decisions, including patients' decisions, are based on emotions. So, you have to think of ways to persuade your consumers' feelings to help your healthcare branding in the crowded marketplace.
Competitive differentiation is more vital than ever. Effective healthcare branding makes you find out opportunities and ways for differentiation in the challenging and competitive landscape. And, you can capitalize on these opportunities and ways with powerful storytelling and unique positioning.
Improve the Patient Journey
Patient experience, as mentioned earlier, is a game-changer in the healthcare industry today. Healthcare branding gives you various ways to shape and improve patient experience powerfully. After all, a good percentage of patient experience happens outside the healthcare facility these days. The beginning stages of the patient journey are the awareness and consideration stages. Healthcare branding tools, such as content marketing, are critical in influencing patients in these stages.
A website of your healthcare brand can make or break your patient’s pre-treatment experience. It is the selection phase of the patient journey. A premium and well-designed website optimized for conversion will enrich the patients' online experience, looking to book an appointment or answer a question.
Healthcare branding is helpful in defining the patient treatment experience. When correctly leveraged, healthcare branding allows your healthcare brand to enhance the patient journey from when the patient hears about the brand to the moment of finishing the treatment.
At every patient journey stage, healthcare branding fosters patient trust, builds patient loyalty, and reinforces patient-provider relationships.
Modern healthcare companies are operating in a competitive landscape where healthcare branding is more important than ever. Patients have become informed and empowered consumers. Digital healthcare brands have redefined the marketplace. Healthcare branding is vital if your healthcare company hopes to stand out from the rest and develop lasting and meaningful relationships with your patients.
Fortunately, there are many ways to differentiate your healthcare brand and make it sounds unique meaningfully. Positioning, identity, storytelling, and patient experience represent a powerful area where healthcare brands can better align themselves with their patients' needs and stand out from the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is healthcare branding important?
Healthcare branding helps you effectively project the personality of your healthcare organization and products. A good thought process to brand your healthcare product will make people remember you forever.
What is hospital branding?
Hospital branding is the process of making your healthcare organization be perceived better by potential clients. Effective branding makes your patients remember you through the best patient experience and the organization's external look.
What are the three branding strategies?
There are many effective branding strategies. Line extension, brand extension, and new brand strategy are essential types of branding strategies. You can have any strategy based on the nature of your product.
Article | March 13, 2020
The fast and efficient flow of information is vital for the healthcare sector to offer life-critical services and patient care. Seamless communication, real-time updates, and putting the crisis response plans into action with minimum activation time are some of the key factors for successful crisis management during a pandemic or other urgent healthcare situations. In pandemic situations, characterized by a large scale outbreak of diseases over a wider geographical area, the bi-directional sharing of critical information between various healthcare agencies and institutions located in different cities and states becomes even more important.
Article | July 22, 2020
What is Healthcare Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is a new wave in the world of healthcare marketing strategy. Using advanced technologies that use online marketing platforms such as websites, social media channels, and SEO techniques, to reach potential clients with healthcare products and services encompasses healthcare digital marketing.
Digital marketing in the healthcare sector makes it easier to create, communicate, and deliver health information and make interventions regarding protecting and promoting the health of diverse populations.
Strategies for Healthcare Digital Marketing
There are many trending healthcare digital marketing strategies you can use beneficially in healthcare, but here are the top 10 trending strategies that can help you ensure success:
Create a Wholesome Patient Experience on Your Website
As part of effective healthcare digital marketing for your services, crafting a patient-focused website will help to provide a seamless experience for visitors. While it is important to create a website that you can optimize for search engines, it is also crucial to simplify the process for first-time as well as repeat visitors. Use a conversational tone and features that allow easy navigation so that patients don’t feel like they are being bombarded with medical jargon.
Take a look at Mayo Clinic’s homepage. A patient's needs like online scheduling, specialist lookup, and contact information are easily available, while secondary information for those who would like to explore more before they make an appointment is below. This user-friendly healthcare digital marketing strategy will help you a lot in making visitors return to your website, and when they are looking for products and services.
Employ a Responsive Web Design
With more people leaving the confines of PCs to use the web easily and comfortably, ensuring that your website is responsive to various types of devices is paramount. This applies more to mobile devices because Google has introduced mobile-first indexing in September 2020.
If you want to use healthcare digital marketing campaigns efficiently you have to identify what your organization as a brand can give patients. Even if it is healthcare, where target markets and organizational priorities are almost similar, patients need differentiating factors for each healthcare provider. If you don’t want a patient to be lost in the sea of white coats, figuring out what is special about what you can offer is crucial. Make sure your organizational goals and healthcare digital marketing goals are in sync to avoid unnecessary expenditure. Analyze your competition and let that assist you in shaping the path that your healthcare digital marketing strategy will take. You can often learn a lot from a competitor’s mistakes.
Provide Blog Content That Is Optimized for SEO
Symptom-related searches constitute 1% of all searches, that’s millions, on Google. Use this information to your benefit when planning your editorial calendar for blogs and include it efficiently in your healthcare digital marketing strategy. While you plan around national health observances, you can integrate long-tail keywords, provide links to reputed health sites and articles within your website, and invest in healthcare digital marketing plans. The four to five listings that show at the top of Google’s organic search results page are called the local pack—this part is vital for mobile users because it is all the screen can display before the user scrolls down. If you haven’t already, you should claim your healthcare website on Google My Business and keep it updated. Apart from this, healthcare digital content marketing plans need to be optimized for healthcare-specific SEO keywords.
Supplement Blogs with Video Content
With more algorithms prioritizing video content, you don’t want to be left behind without any good video content. In the healthcare industry, you have the added benefit of adding to your physician’s credibility if you create edutainment videos telling patients about their area of expertise. Healthcare video marketing can help you leverage the physicians in your organization that are authorities in their respective fields of medicine. Long and scary procedures being described by certified physicians is often reassuring for patients. Likewise, patient testimonials can pay this comforting reassurance forward, resulting in building a good reputation for your organization through similar healthcare digital marketing approaches.
Take Advantage of Paid Advertising
After you’ve created all this carefully crafted content that is optimized for SEO, you can’t just let it sit only on your website. Sometimes even if you maintain up-to-date business listings, Google’s local pack is overshadowed by paid ads. You have to promote it on search engines and social media platforms through pay-per-click (PPC), search, targeted, and display ads. Here you need a clear healthcare digital marketing strategy. Call-only campaigns and other ad extensions can be used to promote the services you offer as well.
Leverage Social Media
While organic social media campaigns are great, they can only get you so far. Using it as your only social media strategy can only give you subpar results compared to paid social campaigns. A paid social media plan is more than just clicking on ‘boost’, you have to create a strategy that suits your goals, targets the audience you need, and budgets for a specific ROI. You can create highly personalized campaigns without wasting your budget and reach the patients who are most likely to find your posts useful. It can be quite advantageous if you use healthcare social media marketing to your benefit while being tasteful in what you post. A healthcare care social media platform can be included in your healthcare digital marketing strategy.
Set up an Email Strategy
In healthcare, there are a few types of emails you can take advantage of, like reminders for appointments and annual physicals, seasonal tips for flu season, and announcements about new technology being used in your organization. Letting opportunities like these slip by is lost chances to keep patients engaged with your services and your patients also lose out on information that potentially could have been useful to them. Including a well-planned email marketing strategy as a part of your healthcare digital marketing plan will prevent patients from marking your email as spam and give you good open rates. Setting up free subscription-based newsletters as Johns Hopkins Medicine does allows you to prevent unnecessary unsubscribes as well.
Follow-up with Patient Reviews and Feedback
Word-of-mouth referrals have and always will be a part of marketing and healthcare digital marketing can help you evaluate the quality of the referrals you are getting. Patient success stories often inspire and evoke emotional responses from people, apart from serving as a way to show others the quality of the healthcare services you provide.
Track Your Healthcare Digital Marketing Strategies
After you’ve put all this effort into creating healthcare digital marketing strategies for email, social, and video you have to analyze where your budget is being spent the most, and whether it is reaping you the kind of benefits you are expecting. Understanding and capitalizing on patient micro-moments allows you to position your brand appropriately so that you are right there when they need your services. Measuring and studying your healthcare digital marketing conversion metrics is highly beneficial when it comes to using your resources to serve your needs best.
It doesn’t hurt to track all the mediums you’re using to communicate with patients including calls that are made to your front desk. Analyzing this data can help you understand the blockers that lie in the path between a patient and doctor. A laggy scheduling system, long call-hold times, and patient misinformation are just some of the revelations this analysis can bring to light.
Trends in Healthcare Digital Marketing
Healthcare digital marketing plans were almost non-existent, but they slowly developed to include traditional marketing like print, direct mail, television, and radio. The limitations of these media can now be overcome with healthcare digital marketing.
Doctor reviews, patient discussion forums, and physician certifications and availability are now an online search away for most patients. On-demand healthcare is becoming increasingly popular, and big data is playing a pivotal role in decreasing errors via patient record analyses and creating preventative plans for recurring emergency room patients.
The future even holds possibilities for telesurgeries, telemedicine continues to grow, and virtual patient treatment and other emerging technologies are changing the landscape of healthcare digital marketing. High-risk patients are being aided by heart rate sensors, oximeters, and exercise trackers paving the way for increased investment in medical devices that can be worn. These devices give people a sense of agency when it comes to their health while creating room for gamification and considerable changes in healthcare insurance. Even with all these innovative changes, for healthcare digital marketers, one aspect will remain primary and this is the patient.
Gone are the days when healthcare costs were affordable and patients were not proactive in researching which healthcare provider to choose. The modern patient has to be prudent in selecting the person responsible for improving their health, and it is your responsibility as a marketer to show them why your organization is the best. Stay updated with the latest healthcare digital marketing trends with webinars as the times are changing faster than ever.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is healthcare digital marketing?
Marketing healthcare products and services with the use of advanced digital technologies and techniques are called healthcare digital marketing. These techniques can be Google AdWords campaigns, responsive websites, SEO tactics, mobile apps, unique landing pages, social media campaigns, and email marketing programs, and much more.
Why is digital marketing important in healthcare?
Healthcare providers are facing challenges everywhere, especially in marketing their products and services. So, as technology is evolving, to stay competitive and continue improving the patient experience, the healthcare industry should invest in healthcare digital marketing strategies.
What is a healthcare marketing strategy?
Healthcare marketing strategies support and promote the practices of healthcare providers and telemedicine providers. Healthcare digital marketing strategy includes many channels and forms to target the right patients in the right way at the right time.
Article | March 4, 2020
Healthcare is experiencing a digital transformation, shifting how the medical ecosystem operates and the way that care is delivered. And all of this change comes down to one little word: data. In 2013, the healthcare industry produced 153 exabytes of data; in 2020, that volume is estimated to increase over 15-fold to 2,314 exabytes. It’s projected that healthcare data is expanding faster than in manufacturing, financial services, and media. That’s right — we produce more data at the doctor’s office annually than we do swiping our credit cards or surfing Netflix. It follows that unlocking the power of all that data is the key to transforming the future of healthcare with quality and precision in mind, across clinical, financial, and operational processes. As Big Data continues to expand, what are some of the major trends that data leaders in the healthcare industry are addressing in 2020 and beyond? In this piece, we explore the data that impacts decision-making within the healthcare industry, and how this data helps practices tackle the challenges facing the communities that they serve.