Getting your clinic noticed by your ideal prospective patients online can seem like a bit of a Goldilocks scenario. You might be one of the top search results or recommendations, but how can you show that prospective patient that you’re just right for them? The brand of your medical aesthetics clinic is key to standing out amongst a crowd of competitors, which is why building brand awareness should be an ongoing top priority. If your clinic is struggling to attract the attention of your ideal prospective patients, consider these tips to get the ball rolling on increasing brand awareness and, in turn, strengthening customer retention.
For smaller clinics, budgets can be a little more restrictive. However, your clinic’s brand is what really sets you apart and helps you get discovered by prospective patients. A brand is certainly an intangible asset that is hard to put a value on, but when promoted properly, it can become highly lucrative, driving sales with little cost per acquisition. Investing in building your brand is a no-brainer. An increase in patient volume can be small and slow, but investing in marketing and growing of your brand ensures that you get the most out of any capital investment in technology.
For clinics just opening or those finding finances a little sparse, start by investing time into your marketing efforts. Work toward better defining your brand persona on your digital platforms like your website, blog posts, and social media, focusing in on consistency and engagement. A good way to keep marketing costs for building brand awareness down and in line with revenues can be to incorporate a referral program that offers a discount to friends and family of loyal patients, as well as a little bounce-back to that patient.
Sometimes the reason your clinic’s brand awareness isn’t gaining much steam is because brand perception is lacking. You may have a branded marketing plan in place and a brand persona you’re pushing, but there could be a disconnect between what you’re promoting and what patients are perceiving. While gathering and examining your marketing materials, website, design, and social channels, as well as looking at your in-clinic experience through a more critical eye can help identify this disconnect and tighten up your brand persona, it can also be extremely useful to survey patients to see what they think of your brand. Knowing what your patients perceive to be your highlights—what makes your clinic stand out amongst competitors—may be a useful method to help your clinic rebrand in a way that better suits it rather than struggling to maintain a brand that doesn’t seem natural. While it may feel like you’re undoing all your hard work to this point, rebranding to better reflect patient perceptions can help to excel brand awareness by creating a more authentic brand persona backed by patient testimonials, online reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.
In your clinic, you may be known to be an authority in your field and a trusted resource for current patients, but how can you ensure prospective patients get to know these strengths? Posting degrees and certifications can be useful, but to many, they may also just be pieces of paper that don’t really make you stand out between all the other medical aesthetic practitioners who require the same training. One-on-one conversations may be how you shine best, but you can’t have those conversations without getting patients to book a consultation first. For these situations, blogging may be your answer.
Incorporating a blog on your website not only boosts SEO, but it gives your brand the opportunity to share that same expertise you offer in-office with prospective patients who follow you online. Feel free to give a callout for some common questions followers would like answers to, giving you some options to start building out your content marketing campaign. Focus on formulating high-quality, shareable content that is in line with your brand and personality. While competitors may use a more casual voice that’s trending right now, if that’s not natural for you and doesn’t align with your brand, it won’t matter how great the content is. There will be a disconnect in your branding that will call your authenticity into question and stall building brand awareness. Once you have your blog started, consider guest blogging for other like-minded organizations or businesses to tap into their readers and send new traffic back to your website. Regardless of the publication platform, though, don’t change your voice or values—consistency is key for brand awareness.
Consumers trust third parties and influencers more than many brands themselves. It takes time to build brand trust, but you need to get prospective patients to take the leap and commit to a consultation with you before getting the opportunity to even start to earn their trust. While it can be an expensive move, offering your services to an influencer or entering a paid partnership with the right influencer whose brand persona matches your clinic can propel brand awareness.
If considering an influencer-led campaign, note context, reach, and actionability, and don’t settle for less than the perfect match:
Even in influencer marketing, focus on openness and honesty and have the influencer test out your services to give a thorough and honest review that will increase perceived authenticity while boosting brand recognition.
Social media is certainly ideal for interacting with current and prospective patients, but hosting events or workshops offers a better opportunity to meet with prospective patients face-to-face and form even stronger connections. This may be a good move for those with a large, established, and loyal patient base, or for those starting to see some buzz but wanting to push it further.
For brands focused in on delivering luxury treatment experiences for the discerning clientele, VIP events for current patients and their friends and family can be a great way to spread brand awareness while gaining the opportunity to meet with new prospective patients in an intimate setting. Send invitations out to your email list or step it up and send out impressive mailers with a little gift, whatever your budget allows. Alternatively, hosting workshops, educational panels, or fundraisers can give your clinic a little more notoriety in the neighborhood and increase brand recognition among local prospective patients. In other words, throw a celebration or get involved in a community event once buzz starts to build—whichever you choose, your brand will get noticed. Of course, as one final reminder, just ensure that the route you choose is always in line with your brand and its core values.
No matter the marketing tactic, the main goal when sparking brand awareness is to ensure the message is always consistent. Don’t let your brand become a slave to trends. You can participate in them, but it should always be with your brand persona in mind. You’re not going to comment on a trend simply because it’s getting traffic; if it allows your clinic to comment on an issue that is part of your brand values, however, feel free to get in on that action.
Every few years, take stock of where your clinic’s brand awareness is at and whether it might be time to rebrand. Issues fade, styles change, and stances can become stale. If it feels like your brand persona is dated or no longer best reflects your values, pivot and rebrand. Investing in a new medical aesthetics device can offer the perfect opportunity to visit the potential for a pivot, particularly with a Venus Concept partnership that offers marketing support and digital downloads of professionally designed and customizable marketing assets to help build out your brand. Discover our lineup of innovative technologies and learn about the benefits of our customer-focused subscription-based plans. Contact an expert today.