We’ve heard of branding for companies, groups, for institutes but branding for doctors? Branding for medical facilities? How does that happen? Why is it required at all? Who has to do what? We are sure these questions are making you curious. Why can’t it just be that one field which is left safe and cocooned to be marketed in the traditional way?
The medical industry, like any other industry, is highly competitive in the current environment. It is insufficient to build a website for your medical business, list it in a few Google directories, and then wait for potential patients to stumble upon it. Practically analyzing, how would that ever work? Think of yourself as a customer. Would you go on an Instagram account to check the number of followers a particular doctor has before admitting a person in an emergency? Would you check the tech upgrades provided by a medical institute on its website before checking in for an emergency? Maybe or may not be, right? But does that mean you shouldn’t have a digital media presence at all?
If the end goal is unique, the method to achieve that has to be unique as well. For this, you would have to step out of your shoes and see yourself as a brand. Now the question is, how do you build your personal brand as a doctor?
Well well, we have some good news and some fun news. Which would you like to hear first?
The good news is this. You are already an expert on medicine. The challenging part is over!
The exciting aspect now is learning how to present yourself to media professionals as an expert on medicine. Not stepping into a world where the majority of your audience lives and going on with the ancient practices of brand promotion would be like throwing light in the black hole. Effort A++ but result in B–.
Thus, you have to establish yourself as a strong brand. For that, you would have to serve the public. For that, public relations is the ultimate tool. Doing the right thing and showing others that you are doing the right thing by saying and showing that out loud is equally essential.
There are a few practices you can follow to build your brand:
Share your existing patients' story and journey with you in the form of a video
Real-life patient accounts serve as an encouraging reminder of who is being served, namely patients, and what patients could anticipate should they ever need assistance. After all, saying ‘I am the best’ might be less effective than making the audience say ‘They are the best’.
It would help new customers connect with you as a brand more when the words of promotion come not from you or your agency but the customers who have been served by you in the past.
Invest in making others aware
Education has always been a soft spot to connect with the audience. Serving them selflessly without an ulterior motive just so that they are aware of the existing diseases in your area of expertise is a good practice you can adopt.
Establishing online forums and chat sessions for addressing direct queries
People are often curious to know more about health and existing challenges or threats the medical facility or industry might have. Conducting sessions like Instagram live or building an online forum where public questions are addressed directly or patients could connect with each other would help you with building a direct connection with the public.
Showcasing the specialties of machinery and technology
As much as accuracy and care are essential while treating patients, it is equally important to let them know the types of equipment you would be used to aid them. If you are using tools that are scarcely available, let them know. If you are using an imported technology, let them know. If you are following techniques recommended by an expert in the specialization, let them know the reference.
Being as transparent as you can help you do wonders. It doesn't have to sound boastful. Just communicate.
Be transparent with the procedures that have to be or will be followed
In many cases, patients and their families are unsatisfied with the external facilities provided by the association of the doctor treating them. They don’t know what they are paying for. Why their medical bills are so extreme when they have spent just one night at the hospital? Therefore, is a requirement to communicate what the patients are being charged for.
PR for feedback and after-treatment care for patients
When customers receive a reminder call for their upcoming appointment, it leaves a different impact on their perception of you as a brand. When you work not for the sake of doing it but to actually add some value to your services, it would work wonders for your goodwill.
Social media challenges for living a healthy lifestyle
One example of this is the "We Dare You" Campaign by UnitedHealthcare, which challenged individuals to make one simple adjustment to their lifestyle and then post a photo of themselves completing the same challenge on social media. On social media, more than 3,000 pictures were posted, making the campaign extremely successful and effective.
Content marketing through blogs
Three objectives to be set for this marketing effort, which would feature posts from patients and carers across the globe:
1 - Educators through first-hand patient experiences
2 - Give patients and carers living with particular diseases a "day in the life" glance.
3 - Offer chances for quality enhancement
Create a social media presence
How will you do so? Learn here:
How will you build a personal brand? Learn here:
How to influence people through your personal brand? Learn here:
What will you do once you have created your social media presence? Apart from the public relations activities mentioned above, you can use social media to showcase your day-to-day activities. Instagram reels and YouTube shorts are short audio video platforms that have the most attention of the audience. Use them to:
Explain some medical terms which might be useful to the audience.
Create engaging content for awareness of trending health issues and how the viewers can cope with them.
Lifestyle hacks beneficial for hygiene and protection needs.
Easy lifestyle changes which could help them live a more comfortable life.
Why is content marketing so important for healthcare organizations?
The needs of patients have constantly altered. They regrettably anticipate constant information from your practice. This is problematic if they look up a medical practice that has little content or weak referring hyperlinks to their website. Or even a Facebook page for the business that is never updated. To the social media-savvy millennial patient of today looking for a doctor, all of these are warning signals.
Advice on branding?
Consider your desire to specialize in a certain field of medicine. Do you wish to be known as an authority on Crohn's disease, for instance? becoming the best spinal surgeon? Always conduct a thorough discovery session with an expert before launching any healthcare public relations campaign. Before you can have a more comprehensive strategy for the medical practice, you must have a personal branding strategy. What would the lower third of the screen call you if you were hired as a medical expert?
The blog is compiled and written by Ms. Vidhi Thakar who is a content contributor on our website. If you have any questions or feedback, kindly please write back to us.