Each patient is unique—their condition, recovery, and attitude can vary drastically from one appointment to another. Similarly, each patient has their own expectations and responds differently to various types of marketing. For some, a monthly printed newsletter in their mailbox can capture their attention and prompt them to call for an appointment. Others prefer a digital experience and communications through email, your website and social media. These patients are ideal recipients for digital newsletters sent to them via email or posted on social media. Let’s explore ways to increase your marketing’s effectiveness and get more PT patients.
Just like a monthly magazine, your PT newsletter needs to provide new and interesting content to stay relevant. It is important to mix educational articles about physical therapy and common conditions or treatments with seasonal and clinic-specific news. Also, the article topics should relate to the types of pain or mobility issues that you frequently treat. For example, practices that treat a lot of office workers often have more back pain or neck pain patients. Therefore, your digital newsletters should feature articles on back and neck pain. Additionally, you could mix in shoulder pain or sciatica to broaden the scope of your marketing. But, it might not make sense to run articles on knee pain one month and ankle pain the next as these are not core conditions you treat. Effective marketing needs to connect back to the patients and feel helpful, informative and relevant.
Some people want the knowledge and information shared through your newsletter articles. They enjoy the sense of learning and expanding their understand of health and wellness. Conversely, other people are motivated by a sense of social interaction and achievement. Patient success stories convey the personal accomplishment and collaboration with their therapist that physical therapy fosters. By sharing these stories in your digital newsletters, you help readers put themselves in the patient’s shoes. They can imagine feeling better and sharing their success with others. Additionally, these stories add personality and credibility to your marketing—helping your practice and team build relationships. Pro tip: add a fun “action” photo of the patient and therapist working together for an exercise or stretch to demonstrate hands-on care.
Content is key for all marketing pieces. And, different media aligns with varying levels of content. For example, you wouldn’t use an article for a billboard or a Facebook post for a newspaper headline. There always needs to be a balance of text and imagery with consideration for how the patient is absorbing the material. Digital newsletters are often viewed on either a smartphone or laptop. This is a big difference in terms of size and viewability. You want the content to be meaningful, but avoid overwhelming the smartphone user with long articles or huge images. Most digital newsletter platforms can scale content based on the device to improve readability. Especially in the case of smartphones, slightly less content can be more effective and create an improved reading experience.
Simply creating a digital newsletter and uploading it to a website each month is only the first step. You need to get people to read and interact with the content for it to be effective at attracting new patients. Use your other marketing channels to distribute the newsletter and increase views. First, publish the newsletter to your website and be sure it is indexed for search engines. This allows people who organically come visit your site to find the content. Also, it provides more pages and keywords for search engines like Google to index and improves your website’s searchability.
Next, share your digital newsletters through social media. Posting to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with an engaging comment and link to the newsletter will get it in front of more people. Then, send a monthly email campaign featuring the newsletter. You can either incorporate it straight into the body of the email or have a template that links out to the webpage. This plan allows you to reach 3 groups with 1 newsletters—the prospective patients who find your website, the social media followers and the past patients on your email marketing campaigns.
Every marketing opportunity needs to be well planned and flawlessly executed. You cannot just create content and assume patients will find it and make appointments. Instead, develop valuable content that highlights a range of PT benefits. Then, leverage that content across several marketing channels to really maximize results. It’s almost like 3 to 1 return on investment. Using one of your digital newsletters, you can generate increased website traffic, social media interactions, and email click-throughs.