Just like any other business, brand image in the healthcare industry is important. It should reflect the values and ethos of your business. A positive brand image can influence the attitudes and behaviours of customers and patients. It can be the difference between winning or losing a customer.

Marketing in healthcare is about communicating messages that resonate knowledge, trust, and confidence - internally and externally. From stakeholders, GPs and patients, to consumers and other businesses, sending a positive message that reflects your business and meets the needs and demands of all those concerned is key to success.

But as the healthcare world becomes more competitive, it can be difficult to promote your products and services.

Image and imagery is essential for all healthcare organisations. It should be top-of-mind for healthcare marketing teams. In a content-cluttered world, images can make all the difference. With this in mind, what factors can influence a positive brand image for healthcare businesses?

  1. Trust and authority
  2. Informative content
  3. Clear and consistent branding

1. Trust and authority

Projecting trusting and authority is vital to maintaining a positive brand image.

Healthcare is a ‘people’ industry. The service you provide should be a personal one. The products you manufacture and sell have wellbeing effects and results. Therefore, the people involved in providing healthcare, as well as those who have successfully used your service or product, are uniquely placed to project a positive brand image.

Healthcare consumers who are patients, probably preparing to use your services or product for the first time, will most likely be in a state of anxiety or vulnerability. Visual content which shows that your organisation cares about them, and their future, will promote a feeling of comfort. This will make them more likely to try your products or services.

Consumers interested in health are looking to self-serve, and fulfil a fitness, diet, or other healthcare need. They must be reassured by visual stimuli. Visual impact isn't only an effective means of communicating your messages, but it can also positively psychologically affect consumers.

In the world of healthcare marketing, positive imagery of people can often convey stronger emotions than just copy alone.

Positively affecting human emotions not only enhances brand recall and stimulates engagement, but it can also evoke feelings of trust. This trust usually leads to action, and that action is normally in the form of a conversion – whether in terms or a purchase or choosing to use your service.

2. Informative content

A website eye-tracking study by the Nielsen Norman Group discovered that visitors pay more attention to information-carrying images. They spend a lot more time looking at the images than reading the copy.

Use of the right visual content can ensure the visitor absorbs the information you want them to know, and understands the kind of organisation you are. It engages potential customers more effectively than just plain text. Some of the kinds of visual content that could make a different you your healthcare marketing could be:

  • Testimonials: An extremely powerful weapon in the marketer’s armoury. People will trust the views and opinions of others over what your organisation will say.
  • Educational explainers: This is a quick and easy method of delivering important healthcare information. Educational explainers in the form of images with text overlay, infographics with more detailed information, or even video, can make a difference. Visual content that points out how consumers could use your products or services to improve their health, and educates them on how your product or service can resolve their health issues will have more resonance and lead to a greater propensity for action than words alone.
  • Product demos: Another great tool to help get the information you need across. Visitors to your website can read through copy, bullet points, and explainer text about your product, but wouldn’t it be better to have a video which talks them through what your product or services can do, the features and the benefits, what they can provide, and the results a consumer will see? Having a product video on your website will also increase the amount of time a visitor will remain there
  • Behind-the-scenes videos. An effective way to show a potential customer what your service is really like. Particularly good for healthcare establishments such as GP surgeries, dentists, physiotherapists, sports massage, and fitness trainers, a behind-the-scenes video starring your staff and real customers will show potential consumers what it will really be like if they sign up to your service. It will set your brand apart from competitors who haven’t gone the extra mile to show potential customers what their service is like.
  • Success stories: Real life success stories of a patient's journey to recovery demonstrates the benefits of medicines and remedies, and highlights the duty of care of the health organisation.
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3. Clear and consistent branding

It’s the case in many industries – and healthcare is no exception – that you'll have strong views from different stakeholders on all aspects of a brand. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to marketing, from the colours that should be used, to the font, to the photography, etc.

Visual content is vital in delivering your brand message and getting people to remember who you are. Information presented using effective visuals and graphics is more memorable than just text-based content. People are more likely to remember your products, your services, and your organisation, if you use imagery.

Your branding needs to be clear and consistent. It should communicate your strengths and values. It's imperative therefore, that healthcare marketers consult with all relevant stakeholders in the early stages of developing visual content to prevent revisions after already having published it.

Healthcare organisations that focus on creating good, engaging, effective visual content will improve brand recall in the minds of potential customers.

Image, and imagery, goes hand-in-hand together with brand building. It’s been like this since Madison Avenue and the dawn of advertising in the 1920s. You can’t do one without having the other.

Healthcare organisations need to focus on creating visual content that will educate and engage, help to drive brand awareness and brand recollection, and ultimately help to convert.

To ensure brand consistency produce robust corporate/brand guidelines. This is a detailed document outlining every aspect of your brand's assets and how they are uses across all media. From font type, size, images, colours, spacing, grammar etc. brand guidelines provide structure and consistency across the entire organisation.

Working with Codehouse

We know what it takes to create effective visual content. From simple, effective website design to stand-out imagery and video, we can help your healthcare organisation.

We’ve worked with some of the largest names in healthcare, including med-tech, fitness clubs, and pharmaceutical giants. We’ve helped them transform their digital offerings.

If your healthcare organisation would like to know more about how we can help you, get in touch.

Why Image is Everything. Including in Healthcare is part of our series of articles dedicated to the healthcare profession: