Healthcare Marketers: Does Your Brand Have a Clear Voice?

Healthcare branding helps your patients – and potential patients – recognize your health system’s defining mission and values, unique care offerings, and commitment to patients and your community. Staying true to that brand through all the content you produce is essential to making your hospital or healthcare system stand out in people’s minds among the vast amount of marketing materials they’re exposed to each day. Your brand voice maintains your reputation, simplifies consumers’ decision-making process by building trust, and shows that – even as you evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of the modern healthcare landscape – you’re the health system people can count on for quality.

Here are 5 Strategies for Defining – and Sticking To – Your Brand’s Voice:

  1. Always be honest and up-to-date.
    Are you the only health system in the region performing liver transplants? Consistently ranked number one in neurology? These are excellent attributes to advertise, as long as they’re true. While healthcare providers would not likely intentionally lie, these facts and honors can change fairly frequently. So, before you produce any content with these claims, do your research to make sure you still hold the title and that your competitor can’t say the same thing.
  2. Define your target audiences and develop personas.
    Healthcare personas are examples of your target audiences – the people most likely to view marketing content and make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. You can develop detailed descriptions of your target audiences by examining data about your customer base. Common healthcare personas include young moms caring for children and husbands; middle-aged mothers caring for senior parents, adult children, and spouses; and active senior women trying to take better care of themselves and their spouses. Your marketing channels and content should fit the knowledge and services sought and behaviors of these personas, which will make your target audiences associate your name with finding what they need.
  3. Perform perception research.
    Conduct research on your current patients, peers, and external audiences to define how people perceive your current brand voice. Patient and community studies and surveys, social media posts, provider surveys, focus groups, and more can help you find out how people perceive your brand – based on personal experiences and marketing materials – and where you might have more work to do.
  4. Make sure your brand guidelines exemplify your intended voice.
    Brand guidelines are essential for establishing brand identity. They help those creating your content communicate a consistent message to your target audiences and differentiate you from competitors. They help ensure that messaging is relevant and facilitates your brand’s goals. A strong brand voice – defined through these guidelines – will resonate with your audience and build brand awareness and trust.
  5. Develop ongoing content that exemplifies your brand voice, and make sure your marketing team guards your brand closely with every marketing communication.
    Whether you’re developing visual, video, digital, print, or radio content, make sure your voice is clear in every communication. This continuously conveys what your health system stands for and what you can provide patients, and speaks directly to your target audiences – building brand awareness, recognition, and trust.

Hospitals and health systems across the country turn to Lightstream for help in reaching an increasingly sophisticated audience of healthcare consumers. Reach out today to learn more.