physical therapy marketing ideas

Physical Therapy Marketing

5-Step Physical Therapy Marketing Strategy

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 results, you need a simple physical therapy marketing strategy designed to market directly to consumers and strengthen retention & referrals.

Here’s how:

PT Marketing Ideas for Private Practices


The 5 Critical PT Marketing Steps (in order!)
  1. Get Discovered Online
  2. Build Trust
  3. Convert New Patients
  4. Develop Committed Patients
  5. Create Raving Fans

NOTE: These steps come directly from our popular Ultimate PT Marketing Funnel™  you can get here. Your goal should be to guide people through the steps in order.

Also, it is important to remember that while your main focus is healthcare, owning a practice makes you an entrepreneur. And as such, marketing is one of the most important actions you should be doing. Many practice owners feel too busy or do not put the effort that they need into consistent marketing, but even an hour or two per week can make a huge difference in total patient visits!

Now… let’s look at these 5 marketing steps in detail!

 

Marketing PT Online

1) Get Discovered Online

 

Step 1 in every physical therapy marketing plan needs to be creating as many chances as possible to get found online by people looking for pain help.

Your practice website is the hub of your marketing efforts and most online marketing will direct back to it. That makes it a natural starting point when creating a new PT marketing plan. A well-made site can increase your Google rank, make you easier to find in local searches, and even improve paid advertising results.

4 Best practices for boosting online discoverability:

Marketing for Google Rank
Your Google Rank (SEO)

Blogging is an excellent way to boost the Google rank your website, provide great content, and share that with your customers as well as prospects. Each new blog article is a new search you could appear on! So, focus on a variety of conditions that PT helps. Social media marketing is another great way to encourage your customer base to refer friends & get your website discovered more.

Local Search
Local Search

Local search is like SEO but more focused on physical locations of local businesses (like yours). Google Maps, Apple Maps, Yelp… these are all tools people used to find businesses nearby. The #1 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.

Paid Advertising For PT Clinics
Paid Ads

Facebook ads are all the rage and for good reasons: It’s pretty simple to start out and has powerful tools for reaching the right audience. That said, there are some annoying healthcare rules as far as mentioning medical conditions. You can’t say “do you suffer from back pain?” but can say “Relieve Back Pain Naturally With These 3 Tips”. So paid ads are worth doing, but take some time to learn best practices or get professional help.

Search Engine Marketing is also a proven method for reaching new people in your local area. Be sure to advertise for pain conditions not just “physical therapy” (and remember to limit ads to your area!)

Retargeting Your Audience
Retargeting

“Retargeting” refers to delivering ads to people who have already visited your website or your clinic. It takes some setup, but you can use Facebook, Google, or other tools to accomplish this. Alternatively, you can use your patient list to build a custom audience on Facebook. Then, direct your posts, blogs, or other ads towards that list for great exposure to the people that know you the best.

 

 

How To Build Trust In Marketing

2) How To Build Trust (and why) 

 

Consider these recent statistics:

  • More than half of consumers won’t use a business if it has less than a 4-star rating.
  • A single business review can lift its conversions by 10%.
  • 70% of consumers need to read at least four reviews before they can trust a business.

Consumers are more skeptical than ever, so PTs need a specific plan to build trust in people looking up your practice – it’s not going to happen automatically!

Imagine asking a patient to do 3 sets of 15 bridges per day at home before even doing an evaluation or telling them why. Would they be likely to listen to you? Some might, but not very many. That’s what it’s like trying to Convert (step 3) a patient before you’ve earned Trust.

Here are 4 ways you can build trust via marketing:

Google Reviews
Google Reviews

63.6% of people visit Google to check local business reviews and 77% of those people don’t trust reviews older than 3 months…

So, let me ask:

Are your therapists asking happy patients for reviews?
Does your staff have tools such as Review Cards to generate more reviews easily?

Yelp Helps Physical Therapy
Facebook & Yelp Reviews

We recently wrote an article called the Top 5 Google Hacks for PTs. In it, we showed how Yelp often appears in the top 5 Google spots for searches like “physical therapy near me.” That means even if your site has trouble ranking, increasing your Yelp reviews could mean you “cheat” your way to the top of Google.

Websites Must Be Great
Website WOW Factor

In fact, 94% of consumer-submitted feedback of websites is about how it looks. 

Your website has less than 2 seconds to make a visitor decide if it’s worth staying. If it’s slow, confusing, or not visually appealing/up-to-date they are likely to leave immediately before reading any words. So… does your website WOW prospects?

Online Brand Presence
Online Brand Presence

“What is online brand presence?”

It means that anywhere a patient finds you on the internet, your brand (colors, logo, message, etc) are easy to find and always looks the same. If it’s difficult to find information about you, consumers will give up and go elsewhere.

In addition, if an email or Facebook ad invites them to an event but they can’t find that same event on your website, well… “Sketchy Senses” start tingling. That’s not a very fancy way to describe it but it’s true, right?

Consumers are always on the lookout for “sketchy.” So, make sure your brand is high-quality and consistent.

 

New Patient Conversion

3) New Patient Conversion

 

Now that you’ve built trust in your expertise, it’s time to get the lead in for an evaluation! Most often, this happens on your website or over the phone:

PT Website Conversions
Website Conversions

Your website is good for a lot of things, but new patient conversions should be its #1 goal! “Request Appointment” should be the primary button, should be a high contrast color (red or green are best), and should appear 3-4 times on your homepage including the top right corner. 

Book Appointments Online
Online Appointment Mechanism

Online PT marketing without a way to schedule online will not work. Make sure people can schedule on your website, whether you use a scheduling software or just a simple form that alerts your staff to call the prospect. 

PT Chatbot
PT Chatbot

When a potential patient has a question, they usually will do business with the first company that answers them. So, if a chatbot can answer website visitors’ questions INSTANTLY day or night… you will convert many more patients.

45-75% of visitors who interact with our clients’ chatbots Schedule Appointments!

Drive Patient Phone Calls
Calls From Mobile Website + Google MyBusiness

Some people will still prefer to talk to a human – make it easy to do!

Ensure your website gives people a chance to call your front desk, especially on mobile devices. 


 

Patient Retention Marketing Tips

4) Develop Committed Patients

 

If the physical therapy industry had a pain problem, it would be patient retention. The 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.

 

PT Practice Marketing App

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.

 

Physical Therapy Referral Marketing

5) Raving Fans Boost Referrals

 

The goal of past patient 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.

Printed newsletter sample

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:

  • Send a monthly patient newsletter with informative articles and clinic updates
  • Mailing postcards to promote special discounts or refer-a-friend programs
  • Having professional brochures to distribute to the community
  • Use condition-specific rack cards to connect with specific types of people. Give these to patients & local businesses to spread to friends, family, & patrons.
Of these, monthly patient newsletters are the most profitable method in our research.

 

The Bottom Line

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 5 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 directly to local consumers.

Download This Strategy:

Download the Ultimate PT Marketing Funnel™ to get these 5-steps as a 2-page PDF download. You’ll also get instant access to a 10-minute marketing training video with PT & Former Practice Owner, Neil Trickett!

 

Why Hire Us To Promote Your Practice?

  • How do physical therapy clinics increase patient flow?

    The key to increasing patient flow is a marketing system that is consistent every month to avoid up-and-down results. Start by:

    1. Giving your website ebooks, chatbots, and appointment forms to gather patient leads automatically 24/7.
    2. Using online marketing to get more people to your site and to get visitors BACK since most won’t convert the first time. 

    For more on this, check out steps 1-3 of our Ultimate 5-Step System.

  • How do I get more physical therapy visits?

    There are 3 ways to increase patient visits: 

    1. Attract more NEW patients
    2. Retain more CURRENT patients 
    3. Reactivate PAST patients

    Plan & budget for each of these areas! We find online marketing works best for new patients, while direct-mail is a must for reactivating past patients. Keep current patients engaged with welcome kits, an easy HEP Clinic App, and email marketing.

  • How do I reduce patient drop out?

    Getting more current patients to arrive & finish their care plan can be the trickiest of all marketing, but creates the most stable revenue! To do this, we recommend a combination of email marketing, print materials in the clinic, front desk training, and a mobile clinic app to make your HEP experience personal, easy, and highly impressive.
    For more on this, check out step 4 of our Ultimate 5-Step System

  • How do I market to a referring physician?

    Physician referral marketing can be done alongside patient marketing efforts without too much more effort. They key to success is much like patient marketing – be highly consistent each month. Monthly MD mailers, PT Prescription pads, and a dedicated referrals page on your website all make referring easy.
    Here are some detailed physician referral tips

  • How much of my marketing budget should be for physicians?

    The market for referrals has decreased drastically in the last 10 years (here’s a great example from a Practice Owner in California) and PT Practices should no longer rely on physicians for more than 10-30% of their volume. Therefore, we don’t recommend putting more than 10-30% of your marketing budget towards physicians.

  • What is a target market for physical therapy?

    You want to target the type of patients you get the BEST results for, who have the highest arrival rates, and are compliant. Consider doing a marketing survey on some of your best patients! Determine their age, interests, and unique lifestyle features such as tv shows and magazines – things you can use to target similar markets.

  • How do I promote physical therapy?

    Here are a few tips to keep in mind promoting your PT clinic:

    1. Talk about your patients, not yourself.
      Make the patient the hero of the story: “YOU can Live Pain Free!” 
    2. Say what they’re thinking.
      Instead of medical terms, describe their pain as it relates to life such as “Does back pain make it hard to get out of bed?”
    3. Show the end result.
      Use happy, pain-free people vs. people in pain. Humans visualize themselves in what they see, so make it a good visualization.

    Learn more in this Free Training: The Ultimate PT Marketing Funnel™

  • Which physical therapy marketing solutions work best?

    The best PT Marketing solutions have 3 main things in common. First, they educate patients directly about PT. Second, they are condition-based since that’s how real people search the internet. Finally, marketing solutions work best when they are consistent month-to-month. If promotions are sporadic, your results will be too.  

[PDF]
[PDF]