Branding your dermatology business isn’t just about picking the right colors and fonts and a nice logo. There’s far more to branding a business well than just the design elements. Of course, you do need to choose great colors and have a professional logo created. But your branding will be more coherent and well put together if you work on your branding message and business values first.
If you’re not sure what’s involved in that or how to get started, then read on. We’ve put together our top brand development tips for dermatologists to help you.
What is branding?
Branding consists of your brand message and your brand identity. You need both to have a solid brand that works hard to attract your ideal customers.
Your brand message defines who you are as a company, how you want people to feel about your business, what your values are, what sets you apart from other dermatology practices, and more.
Your brand identity includes the colors and fonts you use, your logo, any standard phrases and tag lines associated with your business, any mascots or graphics, and the tone and style of your content.
Your branding is basically a shortcut to help people recognize your dermatology business and know instantly what it’s about. Instead of having to spell out your business name, what you do, and what you stand for, if you’ve built your brand well, simply seeing your familiar logo or tagline will remind people of who you are and what you do. Every part of your branding is aimed at saying “This is who we are, this is what our values are, and this is why you should choose us.”
That’s powerful stuff but it does take time and effort to build.
If it takes so much work and time, why does developing a brand matter so much? Well, instant recognition is something every company would love to have. That, on its own, is a big reason to start building your brand, but here are a few more reasons why the time spent building your brand is never wasted:
- When you set out and say, “This is who we are,” you automatically begin to draw to you the people who are looking for that. Even better, you stop wasting precious marketing dollars by pushing away anyone that isn’t looking for that.
- You gain trust of your audience. The more people have heard of you and recognize your branding, the more likely they are to trust you.
- When it comes to a straight choice between you and another dermatology clinic, potential customers are going to choose the one they’ve heard of and trust that appeals to them most. Great branding can help to steer those clients your way.
- When you know what your brand message is, it’s far easier to get everyone on board and to write consistent copy that gives out the same message. Instead of struggling to think about what to say and how to say it, you have your brand voice guidelines already there to help you get writing quicker.
- Excellent branding and a clear brand message can help your employees get to grips with what you’re trying to put across. It can also help them to feel a part of something and to feel engaged in your business. Highly engaged employees that clearly enjoy their jobs are extremely attractive to potential clients.
Brand development tips
Below, we’re going to share our top ten brand development tips for dermatologists. Follow our steps to take your branding from zero to attracting clients and getting results for your dermatology business.
1) Define what makes your business unique
Even if you already have branding but you’re not happy with it, these steps can help you start right back at the very beginning by looking carefully at what makes your dermatology clinic different and unique.
Why do people come to you over the competition? Do you offer any unique services or products? What are your values? What type of customer experience do you think you provide? How do you want people to feel about your practice?
Take note of your ideas and consider sharing what you’ve discovered with your team. They may also have ideas that you hadn’t thought of and being allowed to contribute to something so vital could also help them feel valued.
2) Evaluate your competitors
It’s always a good idea to regularly keep an eye on your competitors, but it’s vital if you want to build your brand. You need to know what their branding is like so that you don’t go too similar with your own colors, logo, and other visual elements. And you need to know what they stand for and what they offer so that you can differentiate your practice from them and ensure you stand out.
Do the same exercise as above with your main competitors. Look at what they offer, the services they provide, what makes them unique, and all the other questions from step one.
Once you’ve done that for each main competitor, you should have a clearer picture in your mind of what makes your dermatology practice different.
3) Identify your ideal client
If you haven’t already done it, this is the ideal point to create buyer personas to explore in detail who you are aiming for as a business. What types of people do you want to attract? Is there a particular age range? Do you cater to all genders or lean more towards one? What budget do they need to have to work with you? Who do you want to serve?
Create compelling personas for each of the types of clients you want to work with, including demographics, likes and dislikes, what they want from a dermatology clinic, and more. You can send out surveys to your existing clients and post polls and surveys to social media and your mailing list to help you work out who you are aiming to attract.
You’ll then have a clearer picture of what appeals to your ideal clients and what they want to hear in any marketing messaging.
This then allows you to tailor your own brand message to appeal directly to these people.
4) Use compelling messaging
You can now create compelling messaging that attracts your ideal clients far more easily from what you’ve learned during the first three steps.
It’s time to bring all of that information and your ideas together to craft your taglines, your mission statement, your brand voice manual, and any distinctive messaging that you want your current and potential clients to see.
If you already have some of this content, this is an ideal time for a thorough review of your current branding manual, your mission statement, your website content, and your existing content, whether it’s written, audio only, video, or any other format.
Take the time to ensure that every piece of content you have fits with your brand messaging and creates the right impression.
5) Create a professional logo
Bring in the design professional for this. It’s so worth spending the money when it comes to your logo. It’s so often the first thing that people see when they either visit your premises or look at your online content. You can’t afford to have a cheap, clip-art style logo.
Again, your logo benefits greatly from having done so much work in the first three steps. You can talk confidently to your designer about what you want and why, and what impression you want to create when people see your logo.
What you discovered during the first three steps also informs what colors you might pick, what fonts you might choose, and every aspect of your business design. When your branding is built in this order, what you get is a cohesive whole where every part of your branding works together.
6) Be consistent
No matter where people find you, whether it’s offline or online, you need to be consistent with your branding. People will notice if you don’t apply your branding correctly, and while they might not be able to directly state that you’ve used Tahoma font here and Trade Gothic Next font elsewhere, the difference will make them uncomfortable, even if only subconsciously, and that’s not at all what you want.
Create branding guidelines not only for your brand voice, but for what fonts are allowed, what color palette employees need to stick to, and the use of your logo, including sizing and what people can do with your logo. In addition, do your best to use the same name on every social platform, and on your website, if possible.
The more consistent you are, the quicker people will start to recognize your branding and what it stands for.
7) Be authentic
Your branding starts with you and, whatever you create, it has to be something that you are completely comfortable with and that you genuinely do believe in.
If your business values don’t quite fit your own or if your brand voice doesn’t really sound like anything you’d say, then you’re going to have a major problem convincing anyone else.
Everything, as we said above, needs to be consistent, but more than that, it needs to be authentic.
There’s another good reason for being authentic too – no one else can copy you. There’s only one of you and that alone sets your company apart from anyone else.
8) Engage your community
Build your brand correctly and you’ll be building it at least partly around your audience and what they want. It should then be much easier to think about what to post on social media and what to send in marketing emails. And when you do post, because you’ve already done your research, you should find that your audience begins to engage with you and respond. If not, take another look at your buyer personas to make sure you’re on track.
When you start to get likes and comments on your social media, reply to them. Answer any questions, and say “thank you” where needed, especially for any compliments you receive.
Think about how you can engage your community even more and provide what they need and want.
9) Create valuable content
And step eight brings us neatly onto this one. You have to figure out who your audience is and who you are marketing to so that you can create valuable content that they want to see. You can’t draw people into your sales funnel and through to conversion unless you know what to say to them at each stage of your funnel.
Look at your website analytics and social analytics to see what people are reading and reacting to the most. What are your most popular topics, types and formats of content, and what questions do people ask? Use this information to create great content that gives them what they want.
Use surveys and polls to find out what else people want to know and how they want to hear from you.
10) Build a reputation
The work you’ve put in above will already have started to build your reputation, online and offline. What you need to do now is to continue posting timely, relevant content and being consistent with your brand use everywhere.
Now you have everything in place, it’s time to put your content marketing plan into place or review it based on your branding if you haven’t already.
Consistent and authentic content created because you genuinely want to help will continue to build your reputation and your audience.
Build your brand with Surefire Local
When building your brand and your reputation, it’s not simply a case of one and done. You need to continually reinforce and build both your reputation and your brand. That involves a lot of moving parts, such as getting reviews and creating great content.
Surefire Local’s marketing software can help you organize every aspect of your marketing in one place and make building your brand a breeze.
1) Send review requests via text message and email and post responses
One of the best things you can do to build your reputation is to collect and reply to reviews. A great review can be the deciding factor between you and another dermatology practice.
You can provide forms to fill in at your practice, send text or email requests for reviews, ask people what they think with surveys, and more.
You must be consistent with getting reviews, too. In general, people tend to only look at the last four weeks of reviews. If you haven’t had any new reviews for months, that doesn’t look good, especially not to someone who hasn’t visited your practice before.
Surefire can help you gather and reply to your reviews to generate interest, build trust, and create engagement. Our local marketing software can send review requests for you and help you keep track of any reviews that you need to reply to, whether that’s on your social media or business directories, such as Yelp or Google Business Profile.
2) Create and publish content to your blog, social media, and Google Business Profile
Now you know what your audience wants, it’s much easier to plan your content out and design it to suit each platform you use. But you still need to keep up with posting on your website, sending emails, posting on your social platforms, and managing content on your business directories and Google Business Profile.
Save time and effort by using our all-in-one marketing platform to jot down ideas, create your blog posts, send emails, automate posting to your social platforms, and more.
3) Share photos and videos across your online presence
High-quality photos and videos are a must when marketing your business. Mobile phones increasingly include quality cameras that can take beautifully clear shots and videos for your business. There’s really no excuse for out-of-focus, grainy images, and your potential clients won’t be impressed with those either.
Think about your images and videos carefully, in terms of what you want to say and why. Consider your audience and what they want to see, and don’t forget to use consistent branding here too.
4) Maintain consistency when it comes to the information found about your business online
As you go, you’ll build up more and more content and information about your business online and it all needs to be consistent. In particular, your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) must be written consistently everywhere. If it isn’t, not only will you confuse your customers, but you could confuse Google too, which is never a good thing. Even something as small as using the area code in one place and not doing so in another can have people and the search engines wondering if it’s the same business, which is not what you want.
You can use Surefire Local’s business intelligence marketing platform to update over 80 business directories and Google Business Profile at once, to ensure consistency of your contact details.
It’s equally important that you also maintain consistency and accuracy everywhere online when it comes to discounts and special offers. You don’t want frustrated customers calling because the code they have doesn’t work or because it has one discount in one place and a different one in another.
Double-check everything before you post discounts and promotional offers and take advantage of Surefire Local’s marketing platform to update this information across your business directories and GBP too.
5) Increase local search rankings with an optimized website
Surefire Local can help you optimize your website and your content to ensure you’ve used the right keywords and phrases in the right places to get your business found in the search rankings.
You also need to ensure your content is optimized on your business directories and your Google Business Profile. In particular, a fully optimized GBP can help you get listed in the Local Pack results at the top of Google Maps, which is excellent for visibility.
6) Measure engagement to determine what your audience is most interested in
Surefire Local’s marketing platform offers excellent analytics and clear reports to help you measure your engagement and find out what your audience wants to see. You can quickly run reports covering a particular aspect of your marketing in detail or get a full overview of how your marketing is performing overall.
Use these reports to make it easy to find what people want more of, so you can create the right content for your audience. Make use of the details and the overviews to also help you steer your marketing in the right direction and manage your budget well.
7) Send targeted email campaigns to foster customer relationships
Email marketing is perfect for reaching out to your clients, both existing and potential, to build relationships with them and to educate them on what you have to offer. You can share more about your practice and you and your employees. You can talk about particular treatments in more detail and then provide an offer just for your email subscribers. There really is so much you can do with email marketing.
And it’s much easier to manage your email marketing via Surefire Local’s all-in-one marketing software. You can write your emails, use templates, and automate sending your newsletters so that you don’t have to be physically present when your emails go out.
8) Determine brand sentiment with a word-cloud graph revealing frequently used words in your reviews
When you use our marketing software, you get access to a word-cloud graph which lets you see the most used words in your reviews. From this, you can see at a glance how your business is doing and what people think. You may even be able to pick out different words and descriptions that you wouldn’t have thought of to use in your marketing materials from the word-cloud graph.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Our business intelligence marketing software costs a fraction of the cost of other tools or agencies and helps you manage your most important online marketing activities all within one platform.
Don’t struggle to manage your brand, your reputation, and your online presence. Make it easy on yourself and use our marketing platform to manage your dermatology practice.
Why not book a demo today with our friendly team?