Here is a question. Is marketing and branding one and the same? No, but they do go hand in hand when it comes to promoting your dermatology practice. And if your marketing and branding are not done right, your practice will get lost in the sea of other dermatologists out there. Your practice must stand out and that’s where branding comes in. Your brand must have something that people immediately associate with your practice. Here’s an example. If we were to see a soda commercial, based on the can’s color and the style of the video, you’d be able to instantly recognize whether the soda brand was Coke or Pepsi without their name ever being included. That’s because of branding.
So let’s talk about branding tips for dermatologists in a little more detail.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is the intangible marketing and business identity for any given business. This identity helps people immediately recognize your business, product, or service.
What Is Branding?
Branding is the advertising and distinctive design that makes a business, product, or service instantly recognizable. Generally, when people think of branding, they think the concept of branding only applies to a business’s logo, colors, etc. And while those things are a part of branding, that is not all there is to branding. Branding and name recognition are so much more!
Let’s look at the aspect of branding that most people miss.
What Is Your Brand?
Do you know what your brand is? Have you systematically and methodically branded your dermatology practice to be instantly recognizable? Branding is extremely important. So if you don’t know if your brand is instantly recognizable, ask yourself the following questions to help determine if your practice is properly branded or if your branding needs a bit more work.
1. Do people immediately recognize your dermatology practice by name?
If the public immediately recognizes your practice by name, then you probably have some solid branding in place.
2. Where does your dermatology practice rank in the search engines? Do you rank highly? Are you on page three or higher? Or perhaps your practice can’t be found at all?
Having the proper branding in place will help your practice’s website rank higher in the search engines. The higher rankings your website gets, the more traffic your practice will get. Additionally, the higher your rankings, the more name recognition, and authority you will achieve.
3. What do people think about your dermatology practice?
Does your business have a good name and reputation in the community? It’s important to have positive name recognition in your community. If you have negative name recognition, you will have to perform some reputation management tasks to change your public persona. Again, branding!
4. Does your dermatology practice have online reviews and testimonials? Are those reviews and testimonials good or bad? Did you take the time to respond to the reviews and testimonials you received even if they were negative?
Whether you realize this or not, online reviews are another form of branding. Most people use the information found online about any given company to decide if they want to do business with them. So if others have branded your company negatively, this will hurt your image.
It’s important to respond to all comments, reviews, and testimonials quickly. A simple thank you for your business, etc. will suffice for good reviews. If it’s a negative review, this is your chance to show your business has integrity by explaining your side of the situation and how you graciously resolved or attempted to resolve the issue. So even if you did make a mistake, people will see you did everything you could to remedy it.
5. Is your practice receiving high online star ratings?
Have you been paying attention to your online star ratings on social media, Yelp, Google, and others? Your star ratings are branding your practice as well. People searching for a dermatologist will glance through the stars they see on any given page and will generally skip those with low star ratings. Anything seen online or offline contributes to the perception of your brand. So doing whatever it takes to maintain or raise your stars is critical to your success.
6. Does your dermatology practice do what it says it’s going to do to help patients?
Bait and switch advertising or not following through with any promise you made to your patients or in your marketing campaigns is a recipe for disaster and will lead to negative branding. Negative comments and reviews tend to go viral and that’s not what you want.
7. What unique value does your dermatology practice offer? It should be something different than what the other dermatology businesses in your area offer.
Every business needs a unique selling proposition (USP). This is the part of branding that makes your practice stand out above the others. So find some type of product, service, or something you’re better at or different from everyone else then include that in your branding as part of your USP.
Now let’s talk about your core assets—the assets that are traditionally associated with business branding.
These are the marketing concepts and pieces that make up your brand’s identity and personality. You always want your business’s core assets to be so compelling that they get your potential patients to contact you or engage with you rather than your competitors.
Here are the most common core business assets.
- Name of your business
- Business color palette
- Business tagline and slogan
- The voice, personality, and tone of your business
- The design of your business marketing pieces such as your colors, font, etc.
Your dermatology practice’s core assets for each online and offline platform should match in voice, tone, personality, color, font, design style—everything. That means deciding how you want your business and your business’s personality portrayed before you begin your marketing and branding.
Now it’s time to talk about building and maintaining your brand.
How to Build and Maintain Your Dermatology Practice’s Brand
Before you can do anything, you will need to figure out what the public perception of your brand is currently. You can determine that by doing the following.
- Contact your patients and ask them how they view your practice.
- Monitor your practice’s name online for social media mentions. What are people saying?
- Monitor and analyze your online star ratings to see what people are saying about your practice in their comments and reviews, etc.
Next, take some time to study the following information as it pertains to your practice.
- Is your brand messaging conveying your practice’s value?
- Is your website’s brand messaging clear and concise?
- Have you claimed your practice’s online directory listings like Yelp, Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), and all related social media profiles?
Lastly, you will want to perform some of the activities that help build your brand and your brand’s reputation while helping to maintain it.
- Perform a brand sentiment analysis. This will help you compare what people are saying about you online. You can then use that analysis to improve on what’s working and change the things that aren’t.
- Proactively work on getting more reviews. Then make sure you are writing thoughtful, original replies to those reviews.
- Monitor and average your star ratings on all review sites.
- Send your current patients emails containing surveys and questions that request their opinion on what they like and don’t like about your practice. And ask them if there were anything they could change, what would that be and why?
- Gather all your brand assets then move them all to one platform. This will make them easier to monitor, use, and maintain.
- Make sure it’s easy for your current and potential patients to reach you via email, text, chat, and social media messaging across all platforms.
Performing and managing all these tasks can be cumbersome if you don’t keep everything in one place. That’s why you should ditch the common practice of using a variety of tools and platforms that are all on separate platforms.
Here’s what we recommend…
Request a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo!
Why? Because Surefire Local is the leading business intelligence marketing software for local businesses. It’s a quick and easy all-in-one solution that enables you to perform nine of the most critical online marketing activities. And, it enables you to do them all from one dashboard. Request your Free Surefire Local Demo today.
Let’s look at the nine online marketing activities you can perform on the Surefire Local Marketing Platform.
1. Request, manage, and respond to your ratings and reviews.
2. Access and post to 70+ business directories.
3. Generate, schedule, and distribute your content.
4. Track your leads, check sales cycle status, and perform follow-up tasks.
5. We provide pre-built local paid ads and location-based campaigns for any social media platform.
6. Check your analytics and reporting for insights that you can track, monitor, and measure calls, web traffic, paid ads, and how effective your social media campaigns are.
7. Our competitor analysis tool helps you to see what keywords your competitors are using along with helpful local search term discovery.
8. Surefire Local can help your practice with geo-location check-ins that provide location-specific details so your prospective patients can easily find you and provide your current patients with important up-to-the-minute information.
9. Use the text message marketing function to answer questions, directly engage with your users, and convert leads more easily by chatting and texting with them in real-time.
Would You Like Surefire Local to Help You Take Your Dermatology Practice to the Next Level?
If you want more branding tips for dermatologists, or if you just want more information about our services, consider taking a tour of our software today.