Maggie Aime, BSN, RN
3 Simple Ways Small Medical Practices Can Build Brand Authority
Healthcare today is driven by how patients (and your employees) perceive your practice. It’s all about the experience and how people feel when they see your logo or hear your business’ name. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the switch from a fee-for-service model to a value-based program, patients are now in the driver's seat when it comes to where they receive their care.
So, should you establish brand authority as a small medical practice? Absolutely. Want to know how to do it? Keep reading.
Brand Authority: What is it Anyway?
Simply put, brand authority is what establishes your practice apart in the industry and within your specialty.
As healthcare providers, we learn about the importance of building a rapport with our patients and earning their trust. Trust anchors the patient to the healthcare provider.
Well, brand authority is just that. Trust. To establish brand authority, you must earn your patients’ (consumers) trust. Patients must see you as a reputable source, their go-to expert for their health-related needs, no matter how small your practice is.
We both recognize that competition in healthcare is fierce. As a small medical practice, you are competing with very large organizations. But remember that patients are empowered consumers, and they have options.
You want to ask yourself:
What’s unique about my practice?
What will make my existing patients choose me the next time they need medical care?
What do patients think of when they see my brand?
How am I adding value to my patients’ care and experience?
Brand authority is based on patients’ perception of your performance, expertise, and reliability. That said, establishing brand authority takes time, transparency, and consistency. It’s not something that you simply claim for yourself, it must be proven and earned.
How Do I Establish Brand Authority as a Small Medical Practice? Glad you asked! Building brand authority starts with developing a strategy. Here are 3 effective ways to get started.
1. Define what sets you apart.
Consider your organization’s mission, vision, and values and define what your organization supports. It’s not enough to be a “me-too” organization. You need to be you AND be different from the competition.
Do a poll, ask your existing patients what they like and dislike about your practice, then capitalize on what they like and work to improve what they dislike, all while being genuine and transparent.
2. Use digital marketing.
Yes, you need to have a strong online presence. Not just a stagnant website, but one that carries your voice and provides relevant and up-to-date information. According to former Google Health Vice President, Dr. David Feinberg, 1 billion health questions are searched on Google each day. So why not leverage digital marketing strategies to help you position yourself in the market?
A strong online presence, in addition to a strong brand voice, will not only help prospective patients and potential referral sources find you, but it will allow you to showcase your expertise, what sets you apart, and help you cultivate a community around your brand.
3. Create authoritative content.
Identify your patients’ needs, listen to their feedback, and simply answer their questions and provide information to improve their journey. After all, that’s what we do daily as healthcare providers. When you have an online presence, you can make useful information easily accessible on your website via blog posts, health articles, newsletters, etc.
Content must be meaningful. Problem-solving content that provides valuable information not only showcases your expertise while sharing the gift of your knowledge, but it also helps you develop a relationship with prospective patients and create engagement with your existing patients. This, in turn, builds trust and brand authority.
Ready to jumpstart your brand authority?
Maggie Aime, BSN, RN, is The Write RN who can help you have a strong online presence by crafting accurate, custom, engaging, problem-solving content that will help you build trust and establish brand authority. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org