Do you see consistent results from your PT Marketing efforts?
If you don’t, then it’s time to take a good look at your overall physical therapy marketing strategy.
To get the best New Patient Results, you need a consistent, powerful physical therapy marketing strategy to both attract direct access patients, and strengthen referrals.
1) How many hours a week do you spend marketing your physical therapy practice?
It is important to remember that while your main focus is healthcare, your practice is a local business. And just like any business, you need to market to your community.
That’s why we have many free marketing training tools available for PT Owners – because Marketing is one of the most important actions you should be doing as an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, many practice owners feel too busy, or do not put the effort that they need into consistent and effective PT marketing, to keep a steady flow of patients coming into your practice. But even an hour or two per week can make a huge difference!
2) Is your practice attracting all the new patients you need?
If not, then what you have isn’t working. The good news? The answer may be as simple as implementing the right tool or marketing system – something predictable, consistent, and repeatable.
In my years of talking to hundreds of PT practice owners, I find that many owners are either too swamped or just don’t know enough about how to market to get good results.
We went to school to be great PT’s! However, most of our business training is self-taught.
So, In this blog post, I’ll show you the critical areas to focus on to make a difference in your practice advertising, create an effective marketing plan, and have more control over your practice stability, expansion, and profitability.
GOAL: Generate new patient appointments around the clock – ideally every day.
What if 10 patients per month found you without any paid ads? What if it was 20? 30?
Many of our clients hit these numbers every month – and you can too! Your website is the hub of your marketing efforts and most online marketing will direct back to it.
Your practice website is the hub of your marketing efforts and most online marketing will direct back to it. So, once a potential patient visits your site, they need to be guided towards requesting an appointment.
Bare minimum, your website needs to look better than your competition (humans judge visuals first), be mobile-friendly (Google judges mobile first), and have both a phone number and a way to request an appointment online.
These basic features will start you off well. Of course, being great is more complicated, but that’s a start. For examples of what works well, check our portfolio or blogs.
Next, the attention turns to attracting website visitors by building your online presence:
GOAL: To increase online “discoverability” in your local area WITHOUT paid ads.
In order to build a massive online presence, your physical therapy website should be compelling and full of useful tips and advice that prospects can use.
Blogging is an excellent way to build the SEO of your website, provide great content, and share that with your customers as well as prospects.
Social media is a great way to engage your customer base, build referrals, and advertise to the community. However, there are specific tricks to know for healthcare providers and competition is only increasing.
Pro tip: use your patient list, building a custom audience on Facebook. Then direct your posts, blogs, and ads towards that customer, custom audience for great exposure to the people that know you the best.
Then there’s the big dog, SEO. Search engine optimization is simply how well you can be found on Google, Bing, etc. It’s more technical than blogging & social, but one way to get started – no tech skills required – is making sure your practice has a Google MyBusiness account. This will boost your visibility in maps & local searches.
Or read part 2
GOAL: To keep past patients coming back + boost Patient / Physician Referrals.
The goal of print marketing is to get the maximum value from your current and past patients. Your customer list is the biggest goldmine you are sitting on! These should be raving fans of your practice, telling others about you, and coming back for needed care.
However, let’s face it, no one really wants to come back to therapy unless they have to. You have to coach, push, and prod them to stay in touch, and take action. And to do that, you need to stay on their mind each and every month.
After all, the best way for any business to grow, especially a physical therapy practice, is word-of-mouth.
How can you increase word-of-mouth about your clinic? It starts with a good experience, but it has to be backed by branding, marketing, and good public relations or even the best experience will be forgotten.
Keeping consistently in touch with your building customer base allows you to grow through repeat business and word-of-mouth.
Imagine if your current caseload was 50-60% returning patients and patient referrals…
This would create an impressive expansion of your practice and reduce the stress of finding new patients. It can be done with the right combination of high-quality care and professional marketing.
There are several ways to leverage print marketing, some options include:
Or read part 3
GOAL: Boost Profit by maximizing the value of each and every patient.
If the physical therapy industry had a pain problem, it would be patient retention. Latest reports show as many as 70% of patients don’t complete their entire plan of care… ouch!
When you spend marketing dollars on patients, you need them to stay to make that money back.
We have several articles on patient retention, but the biggest, most innovative opportunity in patient retention today is Mobile Marketing.
More than ever, smartphones are at the center of people’s lives. So if through the course of care, you could “live” in your patients’ pockets – reminding them of exercises, offering video instruction, sharing health blogs and even requesting online reviews – you will absolutely increase engagement, compliance, and retention.
Mobile apps used to be complicated, but they are more accessible than ever especially for PTs. We believe in it so much, we now offer a custom app with our websites! Click here to learn more about patient retention apps.
Read part 4
GOAL: To clearly define your marketing goals and how you will reach them.
PT marketing should be at the core of your practice’s planning and business development.
Whether it’s maintaining monthly campaigns, such as patient newsletters, blogging, emails, and social media, or upgrading key assets, like your practice website or brochures, at least 5-8% of your practice income should be spent on marketing.
Marketing is an investment. To get high enough a return, your investment needs to match your goals.
1) Determine Your Goals and Needs
Start by setting a goal of how many new patients you want a month. Next, plan what it will take to advertise to key audiences including physicians, past patients, current patients, and the community.
Use this knowledge to craft a marketing plan that addresses your current and future business needs.
2) Write Down Your Primary Message
The first step in any PT marketing effort is to explain physical therapy. Many people, even physicians, might not know exactly what PT is or how it can help them.
Focus your efforts on educating prospects and referral sources on what problems you solve and how you can do so quickly and effectively.
Then, showcase yourselves as the experts to turn to for orthopedic and neurological problems by presenting useful and educational articles.
3) Promote Your Message
Use your website, social media, online ads, and print marketing to get the word out! Determine your budget for each of these areas and make sure each runs consistently every month to build success.
Add personal testimonials from past patients to build credibility and empathy with your audience. Lastly, be memorable and engaging with fun facts, relevant news, and outreach opportunities.
Even if you’re marketing yourself, you need to have the right toolbox. Be sure to budget for tools, system, website features, etc that will empower you to successfully implement your plan.
As a PT Owner/Marketer, you face unique marketing challenges. What can you do to overcome these challenges and still treat patients?
Focus on these 4 essential pieces to a PT marketing strategy. Each piece will either help you 1) generate more new patients or 2) reactivate past patients.
Doctor referrals are nice, but you should primarily focus on marketing to direct access patients.
And lastly, don’t go it alone.
Make sure you and your team have the tools needed to succeed in these four areas – either with software or a PT marketing agency who can guarantee ROI and save you time. (make sure they have a core understanding of physical therapy – not all marketing agencies have the experience to succeed in this complicated arena).