Why Your Brand Strategy is Essential to Your Healthcare Digital Marketing Success

Why Your Brand Strategy is Essential to Your Healthcare Digital Marketing Success

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

Digital marketing strategies fail when they’re not aligned with your brand. 

Picture this: a cardiac center that prioritizes personalized care and leading-edge technology. This brand champions expertise, compassion, and patient empowerment.

What would happen if the marketing department of this brand launched a social media campaign featuring younger hospital staff doing a trendy dance? Imagine flashy, meme-filled infographics and contests with fitness wearables as prizes.

Such a major misalignment of the brand’s core values would fail to capture the primary target audience—older adults concerned about heart health.

What’s more, if older adults managed to watch the dance, they would feel insulted by the

flippant social media content on sensitive cardiac issues.

Your marketing efforts thrive when driven by your brand’s core values and positioning and resonate with your brand’s essence.

We’ve collected our best tips to ensure our medical digital marketing initiatives complement your brand strategy.

But before we explore these insights, here’s a quick refresher on the fundamental concepts of branding and digital marketing.

What Is Branding?

Hint: It’s more than just a logo.

Branding is the image your company creates for itself. It includes visual identity design, tone of voice, messaging, mission, vision, and values.

What Is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing leverages online channels to promote your brand, providers, products, and services. It includes search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, paid search, social media, email, and more.

What’s the Difference Between Digital Marketing and Branding?

Your brand strategy provides the roadmap for building and growing your brand.

Your digital marketing strategies serve as the vehicle for executing and amplifying the core elements of your brand. While they aren’t the same thing, they are interconnected.

Your brand strategy informs your digital marketing strategy, and your digital marketing strategies help launch and amplify your brand.

For maximum impact, businesses should establish a clear and concise brand strategy to guide all traditional and digital marketing efforts.

Is Your Marketing Aligned With Your Brand Strategy?

To build and grow a healthcare brand, you need a strategy. Everything from your core values to your brand colors must be intentional.

So, how do you ensure your digital marketing strategy properly executes your brand strategy?

Here are seven ways to do it.

1.   Build Your Brand Foundation/Positioning

If you don’t have an established brand strategy, this is where you need to start.

If you do, it’s important your marketing team—everyone from content writers to digital marketing specialists—regularly reviews and familiarizes themselves with all elements of this strategy as they are known to change and flex over time.

They encompass the essential guide rails for all marketing initiatives.

First and foremost, if you don’t have established brand guidelines, you’ll need to build them. Brand guidelines outline things like brand identity and voice, helping all involved stay on the same page.

2.   Provide Marketing With Brand Guidelines

To unite your medical digital marketing efforts and brand strategy, consistent collaboration and open communication between your branding marketing teams are imperative. This ensures the development of a unified brand strategy that effectively supports all marketing initiatives.

For example, your branding team should establish and provide your marketing team with the following guidelines:

  • Brand identity
    Logo, color palette, typography, imagery, etc.
  • Messaging
    Brand voice, tagline usage, key messaging pillars, etc.
  • Visual style
    Graphics, layout and design, iconography, etc.
  • Digital
    Website design, social media (e.g., images and post formats), paid search ads, email marketing templates, etc.
  • Legal and compliance
    Trademark usage and relevant HIPAA, FTC, and ADA considerations

This suite of guidelines is essential for maintaining a strong and consistent brand strategy across all traditional and digital marketing channels.

3.   Align Digital Channels With Your Brand

Aligning digital channels with your brand is essential for creating a unified and impactful online presence. It helps your brand build consistency, credibility, recognition, and a positive user experience. These work together to create optimal marketing initiatives and build success (as defined by your marketing goals).

Not all platforms are created equal, and only some will be right for your brand.

Select the ones your target audience frequents and align them with your brand voice and message. For multilocation and large healthcare organizations, these may include:

  • Brand website
  • Local SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Paid search advertising
  • Social media (e.g., Facebook, X [formerly Twitter], and LinkedIn)
  • Email campaigns

4.   Publish Brand Stories

Develop compelling narratives about your brand's origin, values, and goals. Clarifying this messaging will help all team members communicate your brand identity correctly and effectively across all traditional and digital channels.

Tailor, publish, and share stories and supporting content across all appropriate channels to ensure your brand identity remains cohesive and reinforces consumer loyalty.

5.   Confirm Marketing Ideas With Your Personas

The best brand strategies include personas—fictional characters created to represent patients needing your products, treatments, procedures, or other services. They illustrate target consumer needs, experiences, behaviors, and health goals.

Personas are essential for creating highly relevant brand stories and supporting marketing ideas that resonate, engage, attract, and convert.

6.   Align Content to Your Brand Messaging  

Let’s revisit our earlier analogy. If brand strategy is the roadmap and medical digital marketing services are the vehicle, then brand messaging is the compass guiding your audience toward a deeper connection with your brand through stories, narratives, and messages that:

  • build upon one another.
  • align with the overall brand strategy.
  • create a cohesive and memorable experience at every consumer touchpoint.

These three elements (e.g., brand strategy, digital marketing strategies, and brand messaging) are interconnected and can help your healthcare business or branding and medical digital marketing agency build a strong and consistent online brand presence.

7.   Maintain Consistent Branding

Consistent healthcare branding streamlines marketing and communication efforts and helps bolster brand recognition, brand recall, credibility, and trust (to name a few) across channels.

Use the same branding elements across all relevant channels, including your website, social media profiles, email marketing, and paid advertising, to form a solid foundation for your marketing strategy.

Connect Your Branding and Digital Marketing Strategies for Optimal Results

The relationship between branding and digital marketing is crucial for business success.

Healthcare organizations can establish a robust online presence that nurtures consumer loyalty and creates more opportunities to convert more prospects into patients by aligning digital channels, crafting engaging brand stories, and integrating messages across channels.

The power of brand-aligned healthcare marketing lies not only within strategic execution but also in the art of creating powerful, on-brand narratives that resonate with the essence of your brand.

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