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How to "Get Your PT Online Marketing Right"
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Is your PT practice struggling to get new clients, losing clients, or just lacking the consistency needed to keep your therapists busy? If this sounds familiar, it might be because you aren’t taking full advantage of all the effective PT marketing strategies that are available to you. To help you make better use of these essential tools, here are the best PT marketing ideas that you can start utilizing at your practice today:
Overcome the POPTS dilemma:
Many orthopedic doctors refer to their own physical therapy (POPTS), which can leave your PT practice hanging, especially if the majority of your patients come from orthopedic physician referrals. If this is your practice’s problem, then it’s time to overhaul your marketing strategy, which will help you rely less on orthopedic physician referrals and more on referrals from GPs, internists, returning patients, and patient referrals. When it comes to marketing, it’s best to re-order your priorities to the following groups:
- Referrals from GPs & internists,
- Returning patients,
- Referrals from returning patients,
How do I do that?
Start with a budget for marketing. Many practices don’t worry about marketing because they’ve been reliant on orthopedic physician referrals to drive their business. With your new priority list in mind, develop a realistic budget to determine how much you can spend on marketing.
How much should you budget for physical therapy marketing? My standard answer is as much as it takes to grow the practice and meet your goals, and not a penny more. That said, it’s not uncommon to budget 20-30% of your profits or 4-10% of your gross revenue for marketing.
Once you’ve established a budget, focus on formulating a game plan for how you will market your PT practice.
Online marketing is the fastest growing promotional channel, and this is for a good reason: It’s quick and cheap, and also gives you access to a wide audience.
Types of Online PT Marketing to Consider
So now that you have a budget and are committed to online marketing, it’s time to get started. Here are the basics for any PT online marketing campaign:
Search Engines: the search engines are where a vast majority of your patients or prospects start the process of getting to know you. It’s important to put some time, effort, and money into ranking your practice on page one for:
1. a search for your business name,
2. a search for physical therapy in your city (e.g. physical therapy Los Angeles),
3. a search for niche services you provide (e.g. vestibular therapy, women’s health, TMJ treatment, etc.).
Website: Your practice needs a good website that gives visitors the information they need to decide that you are in fact the right practice for them. While you can make a website on your own, it’s a better idea to have it created by professionals instead. A company that builds websites will know the right way to create a design so that it attracts attention without annoying your visitors. You want your website to look polished and professional, and unless you have experience designing business websites yourself, you will will need a professional to get the look you’re going for.
Your website should include basic contact and location information, your hours, and your practice’s specialties. Include bios and pictures of each physical therapist that details their experience, certification, and specialties. This will help you with Internet searches, since many people use it as their main tool to find a therapist who can help them with a specific injury.
Newsletter: An email newsletter is a great way to reach new and returning patients who can subscribe using their email address. These newsletters should detail news about your practice (new equipment, a new therapist, special holiday hours, etc.), along with some information about physical therapy in general. The options are really quite wide open here. Stay conscientious of the fact that your newsletter readers are interested in staying healthy, recovering quickly, and preventing future injuries. Use your newsletter as an opportunity to demonstrate that you are the experts in your field by highlighting educational and informative articles and adding in your own expert voice.
Social media: Your practice should also have a social media campaign as a way to reach existing patients who will refer your practice to their friends. Encourage your existing patients to follow your social media accounts to keep up to date with your practice. Your social media campaign should be informative and interactive. Follow and post content that relates to health and physical therapy in general, rather than topics that are only specific to your practice. Also be sure to respond to any comments you receive, both positive and negative. Having a strong social media presence will make your practice stand out within your community and will also lead to more walk-in patients.
Ratings & Reviews: online reputation is the second most trusted form of advertising. Establishing yourself as a leader in the community, via patient ratings and reviews, will definitely drive business. Having a systematic process in place to capture the 5-star satisfaction your patients’ convey to you in the practice and then getting that message out on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Healthgrades.com, is another great way to drive new business in the door.
[squeeze_box]If an online marketing campaign seems daunting to you, don’t worry. You don’t have to be in this alone. For more information on PT marketing ideas for your practice or to find out how we can develop a campaign for you, contact E-Rehab today![/squeeze_box]