For most physical therapists, their expertise in having a successful practice is not linked to their personal knowledge of business or physical therapy content marketing. It comes from their passion to deliver solutions to their patient’s physical needs. Clinic owners have invested years into their physical therapy education, and it is this knowledge, patient care, and exceptional customer service that will ultimately set them apart from all other competitors.
The question is how will your community know you are the best? Regardless of how special you make your patients feel when coming to your clinic, you need to get the word out. This is where as a business owner you need to grasp the reality that you must have a PT content strategy. Here are some tips on what you will need to plan for your marketing budget, which ultimately will determine your marketing plan.
Defining your available funds
Setting your sites on a specific dollar amount is unfamiliar territory for most owners, about ⅓ of small business owners have no idea how much they are spending on content marketing. Knowledge is power though, and if you can keep to a focused marketing budget and plan, you will be able to track your progress and execute on necessary changes as you see what works and what does not. Practice owners want to spend enough to compete in the local market, but not so much that they become financially over extended. There are a few must haves and a few should haves in today’s marketing budget; how you decide to fulfill these needs will help you set your budget.
#1 Must Have… a physiotherapy content marketing creative writer and editor.
Whether you hire an outside source or delegate the duties to an in-house employee, their time spent on creating content will be portioned into your budget.
For in-house employees, including yourself, the time spent compared with salary/wage should be factored into your expenses. If you should decide to hire an agency for creative content, keep in mind that their expenses will cover more than just intellectual property, it will also include their taxes and overhead.
#2 must have… a graphic designer that understands physical rehab content marketing
Content is the wording created by your writer. How you envision the delivery is decided upon conversations you have with your graphic designer. Premium content is packaged nicely with eye candy surrounding it. Pictures, logos, color schemes all play an important part in capturing the attention of your future patient. This allocation of budget can also be fulfilled by an in-house employee or outsourced to an agency for a higher level of customization.
#3 Must Have…. A Physical Therapy Content Publisher
Without someone to push all your content out to online sources, all your efforts won’t do you much good. According to eMarketer, 84% of all businesses will use digital content marketing in 2018. Content publishing can again be managed by an in-house employee, but keep in mind the hours spent per week to keep your social media sites lively and your emails, blogs, and newsletters interesting should be taken seriously, and considered to be a part of your employees job description. The time spent compared to wages/salary should again be taken into account, and not thought of as something to only do during down time.
#4 Should Have…. Content Promotion Expenses.
The greater your budget, the wider net you can cast. Your content audience is heavily determined by how easy your potential patients can find you online. In this case, a set amount should be determined for paid social media presence and retargeting ads. On average you can figure approximately $1000 should be allocated to this need with ¾ of that budget geared for social promotion and ¼ for retargeting ads.
#5 Must Have…. A Marketing Strategy Manager.
Your marketing plan needs to be thought out, so that every bit of content hits an intentional target. Unstructured content will not define your practice or deliver a deliberate message that you are the best in your community. You will need someone to create and calendar out the messages you want to deliver through the year. Start with an overall theme for a period of time like 6 months. Make it simple. For example, the them could be “natural care.” Then take one month at a time with a specific goal. For example:
- January could focus on how your physical therapy practice provides natural care for the KNEE.
- February covers the area of neck pain, and so on.
- March might be about the natural care of physical therapy compared to medications.
Each month gives you the opportunity to prove your expertise in the focused area, showing your patients you are the leader in your industry. Your marketing budget will determine how much attention you can allocate to this focus, but even on the slimist of budgets do not underestimate the importance of creating a plan.
So how much will this cost me?
It is truly difficult to establish what the industry standards for physical therapy marketing content will cost you. There are so many variables for each practice, and how much that practice can afford to delegate. Here are two working budgets that may give you an estimate of what you can expect.
The Bare Bones Budget- $500 per month, plus 20 hours of employee time.
- 15 hours of your time dedicated to content development, planning and writing
- 5 hours of content management for social media and emails.
- $200 for tools such as graphic design software, email manager, SEO measurement, and other content publishing/management tools.
- $800 for paid content promotion for paid social media and $200 for retargeting ads.
The Cutting Edge Budget-$2000. Per month but read below to learn more about how E-rehab.com can help.
- $1000. For an agency enlisted for content development, planning and writing, or the option of a full time paid employee to be your marketing director.
- $200 for necessary software tools
- $800. For paid content promotions and $200 for retargeting ads
A few last thoughts to consider when planning your content marketing budget
It is often hard to spend money on things we cannot physically touch. In a way it’s like buying new pipes for your house. You know they are there and provide security from old busted pipes, but you don’t really see them and you certainly can’t drive it around like a new car. Your reward for following a well thought out marketing budget and plan, will be in the return of investment (ROI). Your practice will benefit with new patients being able to find you.
Keep in mind that every community has its own unique needs and characteristics, by understanding what your potential patients are looking for will help you financially plan with purpose. Be flexible and monitor your different campaigns, knowing what worked and what did not is vital to moving ahead. Modify the marketing campaign calendar to include more of what works, and drop ideas of what did not work. The decision of how to implement your content marketing budget with either in house talent, hiring an agency, or a combination of the two sources is entirely up to you. Just be honest of what you or your staff is truly capable of producing with both talent and time.
Why You Don’t Have to Spend $2000/mo in Content Marketing
E-rehab.com has spent that last 15 years providing physical therapy private practices with content marketing strategies. Since we know online marketing and content marketing as well as anyone in the private practice space, this translates into cost savings for you.
We can provide you with the following:
- Custom blog posts
- News stories
- Promotional videos
- 20+ social media posts
- and more.
For a fraction of the cost needed to hire an agency that doesn’t know or specialize in the physical therapy private practice market, E-rehab.com has you covered.
We encourage you to contact us at (760) 585-9097 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .