Why an In-Depth Understanding of Your Patients Is the Only Marketing Strategy You Need

Successful marketing is about more than tracking analytics, building a social following and getting traffic on websites.

Ultimately, successful marketing is about knowing your patients. No matter how great your marketing efforts are, it doesn’t matter if you can’t connect with the audience.

So, if you want to be truly successful, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your patients.

What is a Patient-Centric Marketing Approach?

Patient-centric marketing uses personalization to deliver services, messages, and content to the patient that provides them with the answers they need. This applies not only to marketing but also to your entire organization.

Putting your patients first can improve your relationship with them and retain more patients over time since they feel valued.

With patient-centric marketing, you stop telling your patients what they need, which comes across as unappealing and untrustworthy. Instead of pushing services and aggressively asking for the therapy appointment, with patient-centric marketing, you craft your messaging, content and services around addressing their needs first.

Ultimately, if a patient knows they have other options and feel undervalued by the clinic’s lack of attention, they’ll move on.

knowing the value

The Value of Knowing Your Patients

More and more businesses are taking advantage of the power of blogging and content marketing, meaning that the internet is flooded with content everywhere you turn. As a result, patients no longer need to waste time on low-quality content that doesn’t serve their needs.

If you want to stand out among this crowd, you need to create unique content that’s relevant to the needs of the target audience. When you can create content that fits their needs, you develop trust and value with your practice. This makes patients more loyal to your practice and its services.

Having loyal patients who return to your clinic when therapy is needed offers many benefits to your physical therapy practice, not only in revenue but in positive brand reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations.

In fact, repeat patients are 65 percent more likely to convert over new prospects. This means reduced marketing costs and more new patients for you. Loyal patients are also more likely to support your efforts to generate new business since they want to share their experiences with their family and friends. This boosts your trust with new patients and gets you more cash revenue.

So, when you stop guessing at your customers’ wants and needs and start paying attention to the feedback they give you, you get both long-term patient relationships and increased profits.

patient persona

How to Get an In-Depth Understanding of Your Patients

Developing these relationships and this understanding of your patients takes time, however. Your patients’ needs may change over time, and you need to change with them.

Here’s how:

Build Your Patient Personas

A patient persona is a guide to the audience you’re trying to attract to your business. A patient persona describes one ideal patient or client in detail, giving you insights about their behaviors, demographics, background and other unique identifiers.

A truly in-depth buyer persona goes beyond this knowledge, however. It dives much deeper into understanding the patient’s life and the challenges they face. What are their problems? What influences their decisions?

The key to all of this is not to guess, of course. When you create buyer personas, you can’t just create a patient. It needs to be based on the loyal patient base you have.

If you’re trying to reach a different audience, you can even create multiple personas to target new patients, while also keeping your loyal patients happy.

Keep in mind that these may change over time as well, so you should watch how they evolve and continually find new ways to reach them.

Listen on Social Media

Many people are comfortable displaying much of their lives on social media. This can provide you with valuable insights about them and how they feel about your business.

If you only pay attention to posts and comments that relate to your business, however, you’ll miss out on insights from them about what they need from a product or service. To get a real understanding of the target audience and what they expect from your business, you need to go beyond the mentions.

Social listening tools can be helpful for this. Mention is one of the best tools to monitor your brand anywhere. It gives you insights about who’s posting about your business, where they’re located and what influence they have. From there, you can do a little more research into these potential patients to learn more about them.

You should also work to connect with your audience when they come to you. With the availability of therapists online, most patients expect quick responses when they inquire online. Be sure to pay attention to questions, comments, and feedback to you about your business, so you can get an idea of the problems your audience is experiencing.

Use Surveys

If you’re not getting the answers you need from social listening, don’t be afraid to ask your patients directly. Surveys provide you with opinions and insights that you may not have otherwise, and they’re easy for patients to participate in.

Keep in mind a few things, such as:

  • Keep your survey short and simple.
  • Humanize your message to let them know that their feedback has a purpose.
  • If your survey is a multi-page form, use a progress bar to let patients know how long they have to complete the survey.

Ultimately, the idea behind the survey is to keep it as quick and painless as possible for participants.

Pay Attention to Visited Content

Whether it’s videos, blog posts, infographics or images, patients engage with a variety of content throughout the day. To understand what they want and need, you need to pay attention to the type of content they visit.

The best way to learn more about popular content is with Google Analytics. This will show you popular content and the patterns that may arise, as well as the type of content that works better for your audience.

Don’t forget to check out your competitor’s social media pages to see what posts get a lot of attention as well. Using this information, you can create more content that’s aligned with what’s working for your competitor.

Look for Lost Conversions

In addition to learning about current patients, you can learn a wealth of information from the leads that don’t convert. This process is a little more involved, but it can provide you with valuable insights.

First, let’s look at the patient’s journey:

  • A patient is aware of a problem (usually some form of joint, muscle, and/or nerve pain)
  • A patient considers the options to solve that problem (often this starts at Google, then may progress to asking a family member, friend, doctor, or coming back directly to you)
  • A patient decides what solution to try (often based on their insurance coverage, the geographic location of a practice, and/or a practice’s ratings and reviews).

If you find that you lose patients in the consideration phase, you may be not doing enough marketing/advertising/or sales to let your community know that you exist. Of course, not every patient coming in contact with your clinic will make an appointment, but it’s still important to find leaks in the sales funnel.

With this in mind, you want to create content for each stage of the patient’s journey, so you can address any concerns they may have along the way.

building trust

Final Thoughts

When it comes to marketing, don’t assume you understand the patient better than they know themselves. Instead of telling your patients what they need, focus on providing them with information and solutions that address their needs, so you can create a loyal following that grows your business.

How to Ensure Your Physical Therapy Blog Posts Stay Evergreen

The best part about content marketing is its versatility. It can be specific to your practice, free and really covering any topic you want it to be, plus it’s easy for beginners to get started.
That said, not every aspect of creating content is easy. A successful content marketing campaign for your physical therapy clinic must deliver a valuable message, and consistently define you and your practice as the leader in your community.

One aspect of keeping your post evergreen is to revisit your blog history, we’re talking about the maintenance of your previous content marketing. Updating older content is a great way to boost your SEO, but many practice owners and marketers don’t take advantage of this opportunity.

Here’s why that should change.

physical therapy content marketing

Physical Therapy Content’s Final Stage

Content creation involves a defined process and repeated stages that begin with research. From there, the plan is formed to make new content over time. Once the content is designed or written, it’s published and shared, with not much done after the fact.
But the time after publishing, the maintenance phase is vital. Unfortunately, in the fury of constantly pushing new content, the end of this process is often neglected.
The content you’ve created to provide long-term value — your evergreen content — plays an important role in your site. These pieces are designed to stay relevant over time and guide new patients to your clinic, so they shouldn’t be neglected.

  • Just think about some of the benefits evergreen content brings to the table:
  • Driving traffic.
  • Backlinking.
  • Authoritative keywords.
  • Site and content continuity.
  • Improved ranking.

Evergreen and constantly maintained pieces serve as a foundation for the rest of your content and grow your authority as the leading physical therapist of your area. This also alleviates the stress of constantly struggling to source or validate new content.

Maintenance doesn’t have the urgency of creation, however, so it tends to take the back burner in content marketing. Content maintenance is about nurturing a sustainable relationship with your growing audience by keeping your post reliable.

If a loyal patient were to stumble upon an old, outdated post, they may lose faith in your practice.
Content maintenance is challenging though, which is why many content marketers ignore it. Evergreen content requires time, research and updates to stay relevant, which means adding a second plan in addition to your content marketing strategy.

Here are some methods you can use to update and maintain older content:

physical therapy blog posts

Physical Therapy Blog Technical Updates

Like anything else, your site needs maintenance over time. Whether it’s broken links or an outdated background, technical issues are likely present in your old content.
Even if it was published in peak condition at the time, there will likely be one or more elements that should be updated.

For example, Google recently made changes to their meta descriptions. The previous limitation of 160 characters is no longer the case, so what was once optimized is no longer optimized.
Maybe your meta description still works for SEO today, but it’s still worth the time to refresh your old content and check for things like this.

You may also want to experiment with new title tags to boost engagement and refresh your post. You may find that you have broken links or links to outdated resources that are no relevant which harms your credibility.

Broken links hurt your SEO, so take the time to find newer information or statistics that emphasize your point and link to those. You can also update your “last updated” timestamp to show viewers that your content is fresh.

Another technical challenge is the way content is consumed now versus how it was consumed years ago. The end of Flash, for instance, has also ended plenty of excellent content pieces that relied upon it. If you created content with Flash, it won’t last much longer as Flash is being phased out. Many sites recommend Flash be disabled anyway, so it’s a change that will come no matter what.

A way to update that content for modern audiences is by switching out JPEG images for PNG images. PNG images have better quality and load times than JPEG images, so if you don’t update them, you may find that you have slower load times that impact your SEO.

Revitalize Your Most Popular Old Physical Therapy Posts

While maintenance is important, you don’t need to update every single piece of old content, nor should you. The best place to start with updates is with your best and most popular pieces, regardless of how old they may be.

You can find out what these pieces are with Google Analytics under the “Behavior” section. This section will show you a detailed breakdown of each page’s performance for the history of your site and the posts that have stayed popular over the years. You’ll then have a list of pieces that are worth maintaining.

If you focus on maintaining and revitalizing these older pieces of popular content, you’ll most likely be able to continue to leverage them in the future.

You may also want to consider why these content pieces have been so successful. Each piece of content has a purpose, so you may learn more about what works and what doesn’t by analyzing your popular pieces.

If you think that an older piece could do better, consider “upcycling.” Upcycling turns your old pieces into a new format, which is commonly done with a video. It’s the same information, but it’s presented in a way that revitalizes the content and gets it more attention.

physical therapy content done for me

Make Relevance about your Physical Therapy Private Practice a New Goal

No matter how evergreen you thought your content was, time will always make your posts irrelevant. Eventually, posts will turn into old news, which requires maintenance to keep them relevant.
One of the benefits here, however, is that you can turn your piece into something noteworthy with your new perspective. So, instead of focusing on updating the piece for popularity, focus on making changes to make it more relevant.

To start, evaluate your content according to three questions:

  • Does your content still pique interest?
  • Is it timely?
  • Will it provide a purpose to your patients and your practice?

If the answer to all three of these questions is yes, then you have content that’s worth updating.

The most relevant content will be viewed and shared more, so taking the time to revamp your relevant content can improve your content lifecycle.

Once you decide that the piece should and could be updated, it’s a good idea to check the topic with Google Trends to make sure there’s interest in the topic of the old post you’ve chosen to update. If you see too many peaks and valleys, you may want to wait until the optimal time to revamp your piece.

Final Thoughts

Content maintenance isn’t the most exciting part of developing a content marketing strategy, but it’s incredibly helpful for your practice. If you want to continue to create evergreen content, you need to put in the effort to reach your patients.

This means taking the time with your old blog posts and checking for technical issues, popularity and relevance to see what will work best. It also means making a serious commitment to making these changes.

Evergreen content isn’t designed for overnight success. Instead, it takes up a vital place in your content library that will bring traffic and credibility to your brand for years.

Creating a Physical Therapy Marketing Campaign for 2019

When done correctly, a marketing campaign has the ability to resonate with your patients long after it’s out of the spotlight. A well thought out campaign will make your practice memorable and influence the patient to take action, as well as giving your practice a personality and sharing your culture.

If you want to create a successful campaign that can provide these results for your physical therapy practice, check out this guide to crafting a marketing campaign.

What Is a Marketing Campaign?

physical therapy marketing campaign

Marketing campaigns are organized and strategized efforts to promote a particular goal for a business. For example, generating more new patients from physicians or Google are just a couple potential campaign goals. They may involve personal sales, advertising, search engines, social media, emails, patient newsletters or other types of media to attract patients to your practice.

There are multiple channels to deliver your message to potential patients through; a strong campaign, however, will focus on strategies that target two things, a specific result from a specific audience.

Here are some key points to consider when crafting a successful campaign.

Planning

To begin, decide on what your overall goal is. Why are you running a campaign and what do you want it to accomplish for your practice. This may include increasing awareness of your services, building your reputation with Google and website reviews, generating new patients or promoting a new service.

The campaign must be carefully planned to ensure you have the best chance of reaching your goals. Once you have the broad goal of the campaign, you need to make sure that your goal is specific, attainable, measurable, relevant and timely. This will give you guidance and accountability for your campaign’s success.

You will need to identify your target audience, and decide what sort of patient (new, current, past) or referrals source (physicians, case managers, businesses) you will be reaching out to. Once you have established your targeted audience, your message can be developed to incorporate ideas might that appeal to this group.

For example, if your goal is to build your community reputation, lay out the specifics of how you intend to accomplish this. Break the goal down into defined measurable tasks by answering such questions as, the number of customers you’d like to take action, how you want them to take action, and by what date. This gives you guidelines and goals to achieve and helps you tailor your campaign for the goal.

Measuring Success

physical therapy marketing analysis

Each campaign has its own goal, so you must find a way to measure your success. If you’re looking to generate revenue, your measurement may be in how many new patients your practice attained during the campaign. If you’re looking to increase community awareness, your measurement may be in how many new patient reviews were received.

You will also want to determine the necessary measurements for each marketing/promotional medium being used to attain your specific goal.  These measurements are often called key performance indicators (KPIs).  As an example, let’s say you launched a Google Ads campaign.  One KPI you would want to know is how may times people clicked on your ad.  This is one KPI but you also want to know how many patients registered for your offer…another KPI.  How many patients that scheduled, showed up?  How many visits was each patient treated for?  All of these help you determine the profitability of your campaign.

You should also set some milestones throughout the campaign (i.e. I need to generate >3 new patients/month to break even), so you can determine whether to forge ahead or pull the campaign for reassessment and adjustment.

Target Audience

Properly identifying the target audience is the single most important aspect of your campaign. Regardless of the medium or message you use, promoting your message to the wrong audience won’t get you to your ultimate goal.

The first step in identifying the audience is learning what stage of the patient’s journey your campaign is targeting. This can be broken down into the awareness, consideration, and decision stages. For example, if you’re targeting new people to introduce your practice, you would be targeting the awareness stage.

Then, you’ll need to determine the interests and problems of your audience. Learn more about what they do in their spare time, what types of injuries do they experience, how they spend their time, why they’re on social media,  and what problems they have that may be solved by your services. Finding the answers to these questions will help you confidently craft a campaign that resonates with your audience.

Concept

At this point in the planning process, you know what your goal is for the campaign, how you’ll measure your success and what audience you’re targeting, so all you have left is the message and the medium.

Marketing campaigns need a vision and message all their own, which is an offshoot of your practice’s identity. Your campaign should stay within the bounds of the practice in style and message but still maintain its own identity.

For this step, you may want to bring in the whole team. Your clinical and administrative staff know your business well and can get you started, but you can always use an agency or freelancer for some or all of the campaign.

Once the campaign is complete, it’s time to consider how it will be distributed to your audience.

Reaching Your Audience

Your campaign’s distribution will depend on many factors, such as your budget and current engagement levels. Take a look at your current media channels and see which performs the best and which offers paid advertising, as well as channels that a majority of your target audience participate in (i.e. Facebook for the parents of pediatric patients, or Google for orthopedic conditions). Though it’s smart to promote your campaign on multiple platforms, it’s better to focus your efforts on the platforms in which you already have a presence.

After choosing your platforms, you can choose two or three media options for your campaigns. These may include pay-per-click, SEO, paid influencers, email offers, or scheduled office visits with doctors. You’ll also want to tailor your images, video and copy to suit the medium you’re using.

Campaign Timeline

Part of your campaign goal involves the deadline for your campaign, which helps you determine how and when you’ll promote it.

Beginning with a general campaign timeline, mark your start date and deadline. Then, determine your marketing assets and channels to decide how much you can afford to promote your content and how often.  This allows you to map out your scheduled ads for each channel, will help you disperse your message evenly, and ensure that you’re posting on each medium equally.

Conversions

Marketing campaigns are designed to generate particular actions – calls, reviews, or referrals. A conversion occurs when your campaign achieves a particular goal. No matter how well your campaign performs in terms of traffic or engagement, it isn’t effective if it’s not generating conversions. This goes back to your specific goals within the campaign.

Achieving the desired action is done through conversion assets, such as landing pages, lead forms, calls-to-action statements, and/or phone calls.

  • Landing pages are a destination web page for your campaign. These are dedicated web pages for your audience to visit and learn more about your practice, so they can decide if they want to utilize your service. This should be separate from the rest of your website.
  • Lead forms are web forms that capture information about a visitor and turn them into a lead. These aren’t necessary for all campaigns, but they can be important for campaigns that involve downloads or interests gathering.
  • Call-to-action statements are an image or line of text that encourages your visitors to take a specific action. It’s typically a clear directive, such as “call now” or “schedule today,” but the appropriate call-to-action depends on your goal.

Moving Forward

Congratulations! You’ve crafted a marketing campaign. Now, you just need to measure its performance and decide if it was effective. Thanks to all the planning involved and your clearly defined goals, this part should be easy.

If your campaign was successful in achieving your goal, you’re done. If not, you should see what areas were successful and decide what you can change for better results in the future.

Marketing campaigns aren’t the easiest thing to create, but they’re vital to growing a successful brand. They also give you an opportunity to connect with your audience and provide them with something valuable, which will only serve your practice needs in the future.

Why Patient Trust Is Vital to Your Practice

With increasing access to information on the internet, patient expectations are higher than they’ve ever been, and the competition is fierce. Patient trust has always been important for the success and growth of your physical therapy clinic, but this new environment makes it absolutely vital.

Once you gain patient trust, it increases the likelihood they will consistently choose your practice over another. It also gives you a little leeway if problems arise in the future. No matter what may happen, earning the trust of your patients ensures your practice can survive.

Arguably, the “caring” in health care, seems to have declined over the last decade.

So, what is patient trust and how is it earned? This isn’t a new concept, but it’s an area in which some practices fail. The transparency that leads to trust is more than including standard marketing and communications about why your practice is better than the rest — you have to “truly care” about your patients and their problems. 

What Is Patient Trust and Why Is It Important?

Generally, patient trust happens when you have a deep understanding of your patients’ needs and a valid solution to their problems. You provide them with relevant information and personalized care that caters to their unique needs, rather than just touting the benefits of choosing your practice.

Ultimately, this trust is about putting the patient first in your marketing content and your services.

The reason trust is more important now than it’s ever been is a direct result of the variety of treatment options available to patients today. Patients no longer need to choose between only one or two clinics. They have options and virtually limitless access to reviews & testimonials that can give them an idea of what you have to offer.

Because of this, practice owners need to look beyond the competitive pricing, features, and benefits, and direct their attention more toward the history and legacy. Patients have become empowered and skeptical, so they’re looking for the whole package — one that will not only give them reliable solutions to their pain, but also a physical therapy practice with patient services they can count on now and in the future. Ideally, your services will address their dysfunction, disability, and functional limitations; but in the event your services don’t completely alleviate their problems, patients still want to have an exceptional experience.  

In my personal experience, patients often care as much about the customer service, communication, and convenience as they do the outcomes of the treatment.  In other words, they don’t expect miracles, just a sincere attempt by the physical therapy practice to rehabilitate them.

How Is Patient Trust Created?

As we know, the idea of building consumer trust isn’t new, but it is difficult to achieve. Just making promises about your practice is no longer enough, since patients are looking for actions that back-up your claims. This has a big influence on loyalty as well since patients are more likely to return to the practice that gave them the experience and results they wanted the first time around.

Authenticity is key. Authenticity is the one thing that transcends industries, generations, and cultures since it’s the universal thing that all patients are looking for. It’s about being transparent and giving patients what they expect, both in developing the patient/therapist relationship and delivering on their expectations of meeting personal health goals and finding a solution to their existing condition.

Of course, authenticity and transparency are useless for the pure sake of it. You need to be able to translate this into the right verbiage, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of your patients’ needs and expectations, so you can provide them with relevant, valuable solutions. Superlatives, false claims, half-truths and other marketing hype that can’t be verified, instantly read as false, credibility killers. Focus on positive information of substance and value to your patient.

Also, if you’re falling below expectations in some way, it’s vital to learn from it and find ways to improve. While it may be difficult to accurately measure the value and performance in terms of patient trust, you can set standards for your physical therapy practice to ensure that each aspect of your patient’s experience is accounted for and completed. This not only makes your trust tangible for your audience, but it also keeps your business living up to the image of excellence you’re sharing with your community.

Why Is Patient Trust Hard to Earn?

There are many reasons trust can be hard to earn, but skeptical and savvy patients are the main reason. More and more false claims, scams, data breaches and misuse of data are dominating the headlines. It’s becoming more difficult for consumers to immediately trust a business and be open to trying an the little known practice of physical therapy.

Fortunately, this issue is easy to combat if you’re truly putting the patient first. A physical therapy practice must be clear about its purpose and values, as well as being transparent with policy and procedures. Perception is everything, and a clinic that offers the truth is more likely to have good impressions with potential patients.

There’s been a shift in power between the practice owner and the consumer. In the past, the physicians and physical therapy practice owners had the power and patients had to accept what was given. Now, patients have a broad outlook and understand more about what physical therapy should and should not be, so they’re less forgiving of missteps. Patients want a practice that shows loyalty and demonstrates shared values, so an effective strategy would be to align your practice’s values with the information you’d gladly offer to the public.

In addition, transparency is often forced upon the physical therapy practice, since patients can “find dirt on the practice” if they look hard enough. More than ever, questionable ethics and lack of sincerity are an major risk.  It’s so easy for them now to be published on social media and to be found by potential patients, leaving a practice looking disingenuous and sleazy.  Of course, this is worse than having no trust at all.

Handling Breaches of Trust

As hard as it is to earn the trust of your patients in the first place, it’s even harder to get it back following a breach. That’s why developing deep trust with your patient base in the first place, is the only way to bounce back and survive the fallout.

Physical therapy groups that offer a positive patient experience which meets or exceeds their expectations and delivers benefits that resonate with the patient is so important.  An overall culture that demonstrates a willingness to learn from mistakes is paramount. Gone are the days of media spin, since the best way to approach a mistake in the current climate is by owning up to shortcomings and showing a determination to move forward.

ADVANCED TIP: while most practice owners understand the importance of capturing online ratings and reviews, still very few do it.  Moreover, responding to negative reviews is a great example of owning up to legitimate mistakes that happen in the practice.

If handled properly, a small mistake or breach of trust can even provide an opportunity for growth. A physical therapy practice that gracefully addresses a mistake and has an effective plan to recover can gain some positive exposure.

Conclusion

While the patient’s trust may sound like a swift strategy or “silver bullet” for new leads and business growth, it’s anything but. Trust is difficult to earn and keep and is far more than just a marketing strategy.

The authenticity and transparency necessary to garner real patient trust comes from honest communications, a solid practice culture, and treating the patient as you would want to be treated, rather than just lip service on your physical therapy website or marketing materials.

Though it’s clear that consumers want a relationship built on trust with their physical therapist, their general trust of small business isn’t high. This can be an area of opportunity for new or developing clinics, or physical therapy groups looking to revamp their image and surge ahead of competitors. Whether we like it or not, the power is with the consumer, so it’s more important than ever to put their needs first for business success.

Video Marketing for Physical Therapists

It’s the new force for online marketing, and understanding its significance to the future of your Physical Therapy Practice.

The exponential growth of online video usage is undeniably the future of all small business marketing plans, including physical therapy practices.  By not embracing our video minded culture in your next marketing plan, would be equivalent to not having a website for your practice today. Business forecasters at Cisco, eMarketer, and The Drum all have astounding figures to show how online video popularity has grown in the past few years, and predict continual future growth should not be ignored. Physical therapy clinics will need a video presence in order to survive.

To better understand the significance of small business video marketing take a look at these statistics, and consider them when creating your future marketing plan.

The Unstoppable Popularity of Online Video

It’s hard to miss the epidemic of video streaming on mobile devices these days. Groups of teenagers and young adults all together, but no one actually talking.  Their heads down, trying to find the next great video to share on their social media pages. It’s a cultural phenomenon to witness the evolution of the mobile phone, and how it is impacting our lives.  Whether we like it or not, mobile phones, and video streaming are embedded in our modern world.

By looking at the following statistics, you can begin to understand the significance of this marketing media format.

  • Video made up 73% of global internet traffic in 2016; Cisco predicts it will make up 82% by 2021 (Cisco)
  • By 2021, the equivalent of 5 million years of video content will be watched every month (Cisco)
  • Live video will grow 15x by 2021, making up 13% of all internet traffic (Cisco)
  • In 2015, US adults spent an hour and 16 minutes of every day watching video online (eMarketer)
  • 69% of people worldwide watch video online, but 86% of those 18-26 do (eMarketer)
  • 71% of teens 13-18 say they watch mobile video (eMarketer)
  • The average person spends around 30 minutes watching video on their smartphones every day (Quartz)
  • Mobile video use grew 35% in 2017 (The Drum)
  • 55% of people watch a video online every single day (Forbes)

Technology advancements for smartphones, including improved bandwidth, allow users the ways and means for video streaming anywhere at anytime, but that is not the only driving force in its popularity.  Social Media is the fuel for the fire in video consumption. Social media platforms such as YouTube, and Facebook, are the power players, along with Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. Differing social sites appealing to the interest of varying gender and age groups, prove that there is a social media site for everyone, and everyone is using one.

Here are statistics on how social media plays an important role in how we receive information today.

  • Youtube is the second-most popular mobile app; 71% of all mobile users have it installed (recode)
  • Youtube claims that mobile video consumption increases 100% each year (Forbes)
  • 300 hours worth of video content are uploaded to Youtube every minute (Statistic Brain)
  • 8 billion videos — equal to 100 million hours worth of content — are watched on Facebook daily (Social Media Today)
  • 500 million people watch video on Facebook each day (Forbes)
  • Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos every day (Social Media Today)
  • Over 500 million hours of video are watched on Youtube every day (Social Media Today)
  • Twitter’s video views grew 220x between 2014 and 2015 (Social Media Today)
  • 45% of people say they watch over an hour of video on Facebook or YouTube every week (WordStream)
  • People upload more video content in 30 days than what has been created by major US TV networks in the past 30 years (WordStream)
  • 92% of people who watch mobile video say they share videos with others (Forbes)
  • Video content on social media generates 1200% more shares than text content and image content combined (Forbes)
  • Since most videos autoplay on mute, and many people browse Facebook in a public setting, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound (Digiday)

Your patients have come to expect information in a video format.  

Your patients no longer have the attention to sit and read pages and pages of information.  They have come to expect the entertaining assets and quick bits of information a video can offer.  When patients are engaged in the branded video content, they are more likely to respond in favorable ways to the next call to action. Call today to learn more!  Schedule your appointment now! Learn more by clicking here! Patients are drawn in and take action.

  • 4x as many people would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it (Social Media Today)
  • When making a purchase decision, 4 in 5 millennials look for video content as a form of research (Social Media Today)
  • 70% of millennials say they’re likely to watch a branded video while shopping for products online (Social Media Today)
  • 96% of video viewers say they find video content useful when weighing a purchase decision (Vidyard)
  • 75% of executives say they watch branded videos related to their job at least once a week, and 65% end up visiting the website of the brand after viewing (Vidyard)
  • People are 10x more likely to engage with and share a post if it includes a video (Vidyard)
  • 43% of people say they want to see more video content from marketers (Hubspot)
  • Half of internet users say they search for videos related to a product or service before visiting a brick and mortar store (Vidyard)
  • One in four consumers say they lose interest in a business if it doesn’t have video content for them to watch (Vidyard)
  • When asked about the type of marketing asset they’d like to see more of from brands, North American consumers ranked video #1 (Vidyard)
  • 59% of consumers say video footage of testimonials help them decide whether they want to buy from a company (Vidyard)
  • Over a third of video viewers watch the video in its entirety (Hubspot)
  • 80% of consumers remember a video they’ve watched in the past month (Forbes)

Video content in your marketing plan will benefit your physical therapy practice with a higher rate of return, (ROI) They are cost effective and with better outcomes, by converting more potential patients, reinforcing your other marketing campaigns, and distinguishing you as a leader in the industry.  Here are a few advantages of video marketing to consider.

  • Adding a video to a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% (Forbes)
  • Companies that create video content earn 41% more traffic from search engine results than those that don’t (Forbes)
  • Marketers using video earn 66% more qualified leads every year and earn a 54% higher lift in brand awareness (Optinmonster)
  • 76.5% of small business owners and marketers get positive results from their video content campaigns (Optinmonster)
  • 83% of business professionals using video assert that it gives them good ROI (Dreamgrow)
  • 82% of businesses consider video a key part of their marketing strategy (Optinmonster)
  • 97% of businesses that create explainer videos feel that leads understand their business better after viewing (Optinmonster)
  • 81% of businesses say that video has helped them effectively increase sales (Optinmonster)
  • Using embedded video on your website makes you 53% more likely to show up on the first page of search results (Dreamgrow)
  • 61% of all businesses now use video content (Dreamgrow)
  • Video spending increased 53% in 2016, and mobile video spending increased a staggering 145% (AdAge)
  • Mobile video ad spending is predicted to surpass desktop video ad spending in 2018 (recode)
  • 67% of marketers run video ads on YouTube, and 51% use Facebook video ads (eMarketer)
  • 83% of marketers say they are “confident” that their Facebook video ads will help them earn more purchases (eMarketer)

Taking Video Marketing to the next level

For those physical therapy practices who have mastered videos in their marketing plan, think about the next level of video media.  Live videos! Since Facebook and other platforms launched the ability to stream video live, the format has taken off.

  • People spend 3x more watching Facebook Live videos, on average, compared to a typical Facebook video (Facebook)
  • Live videos earn 10x the amount of comments compared to pre-recorded videos (Facebook)
  • 81% of people watched more live video in 2016 than 2015 (livestream)
  • 80% of people would rather watch a live video stream from a business than read its blog (livestream)
  • 87% of people want to watch more behind the scenes video content (livestream)
  • 67% of viewers say overall quality is the most important component of a live video stream (livestream)
  • 36% of internet users have watched a live video, but 63% of millennials have, and 42% have created their own live video stream (eMarketer)
  • The live streaming platform Twitch has 665 million viewers — a bigger audience than subscribers to HBO, Netflix, and ESPN streaming services combined (The Motley Fool)
  • Streaming service Twitch achieved a record 737,000 concurrent viewers in Q3 2017 (The Motley Fool)

To ignore the revolution of mobile technology and the positive effects of video marketing would drive your practice to closure. Stay ahead of your competition and plan your marketing strategies to embrace this significantly popular form of brand marketing. Include videos to let your patients know who you are and what makes your practice unique.

Keyword Research to Match the Patient’s Journey

Keyword research is as old as SEO itself. Search engines have always used keywords to provide a list of relevant results to the searcher, and as this SEO market expanded, Google brought in an advertising platform that gave businesses a chance to appear on search engine results pages for keywords like “physical therapy Los Angeles” or “physical therapy Midtown”.

From there, Google offered a tool that enabled businesses to see how many searches occurred for any keyword, eventually giving way to keyword research. This tool has been useful for businesses because it comes from Google itself and offers additional insights to gain leverage over the competition.

As practices began using more data for marketing, data comparisons revealed that the Google Keyword Tools wasn’t always accurate. More software tools emerged to provide additional keyword insights, giving marketers more opportunities than ever to use keywords to their advantage.

Unfortunately, historical keyword research has a few problems:

  • SEO is focused on the decision stage of the patient’s journey, and not the whole process.
  • SEO is focused on keywords alone, and not on categories or topics.

These two issues are being addressed as marketers focus on topics more than keywords, but that’s only part of the whole picture. Optimizing keywords to align with each stage of the patient’s journey is the key, which we’ll cover here.

What Is the Patient’s Journey?

The patient’s journey refers to a framework that acknowledges the patient’s progression through the research and decision process, which ultimately ends in the patient calling to schedule an initial evaluation. This concept isn’t new, but it has evolved over the years with new technology and marketing insights.

There are three stages of patient’s journey:

  • Awareness: The patient is experiencing and expressing a problem or pain and conducting research to understand, frame, and name the problem. This stage involves question-based searches that center around the problem.  Examples are “what causes back pain” or “the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear”.
  • Consideration: The patient has identified the problem and is investigating the available options to solve the problem.  Examples of these searches are: “Is physical therapy good for back pain?” or “best treatment for shoulder pain”.
  • Decision: The patient has developed a solution strategy and compiled a list of services to address the problem. They are narrowing down the possibilities to come to an ultimate purchase decision.  Example searches are “physical therapy New Orleans” or “physical therapy near me”.

Most marketers focus only on the decision stage, but there are opportunities at each stage of this process.

Patient Personas

A map of your ideal patient is vital, since it’s the only way to truly understand your patient’s journey. You should understand their needs and problems, which will ultimately drive them toward your solution.

This can be done a number of ways:

  • Website and social media data may be helpful if you have a large practice with a good number of clinics and website traffic: Your analytics should give you key data points about your audience. You can find everything from your audience’s demographics to the type of content they engage with most.
  • Surveys and feedback are usually the better choice: The best way to get insight into your ideal patient is by speaking with them directly. This can be done through polls, surveys, feedback requests, and other questions regarding their buying behavior at each stage of the buying journey.

This information allows you to connect the dots and create accurate patient personas and mapping of the patient’s journey.

Shifting From Keywords to Topics

Much of the SEO community has begun shifting from keywords to topics already. This comes in the form of long-form content that connects to other content across sections, providing a comprehensive overview of the broad topic. This approach addresses the new way that search engines are interpreting content.

For the purposes of this discussion, these long-form content pages typically target the short-tail keywords that have a higher search volume, ultimately addressing the awareness or consideration stages. Key decision-stage pages are narrow content.

These can be further subcategorized into pillar, target, and cluster pages:

  • Pillar page: This page covers the broad topic on a single page, with smaller cluster pages that link to it. This is focused on the awareness or consideration stage.
  • Target page: This page has a keyword or phrase linked to a specific condition or service page (think shoulder treatment or laser therapy).  This content is focused on the decision stage.
  • Cluster page: This page gives more detail about long-tail keywords related to the pillar page.

Putting It Together

The process to put all these pages together is simple. It begins like any other keyword research task, which is based on the keywords that a business is looking to rank for, and provides a starting point for what a prospective customer will search.

From there, you can begin to consider keywords outside of the obvious, such as synonyms and colloquial terms. This is the time to use keyword research tools, such as Google Ads, or consult customers about terms they may use to find your physical therapy practice.

Once this list is expanded, it can be narrowed down for better targeting. Irrelevant keywords can be filtered out, then relevant keywords can be sorted by topic and buying intent. For this part, be sure to put yourself in the shoes of the patient and consider what they would search to address a problem, as well as what keywords show intent to purchase.

This is when the stages of the patient’s journey come in. Keywords should be categorized to each stage, using your judgement about what you believe the patient is looking for. Categorizing is important, because it provides you with framework for what type of content is appropriate for certain phrases or keywords.

You’ll often distinguish patterns in the keywords along the patient’s journey. Words like “cost” or “price” are usually found in the decision stage, whereas “who should I see for” or “what causes” will be the awareness stage. These patterns will help you streamline your content planning.

Here are some examples of keywords at the awareness stage:

  • What is plantar fasciitis?
  • How do I know if I have a herniated disc?
  • Symptoms of arthritis
  • Bursitis vs tendonitis
  • Different types of hip pain
  • Is tingling in my hand carpal tunnel?

Here are some examples of keywords at the consideration stage:

  • Shoe orthotics for plantar fasciitis
  • Natural care for a herniated disc
  • How is arthritis treated
  • Home remedies for tendonitis
  • Exercises for hip pain
  • How to treat carpal tunnel syndrome

Here are some examples of keywords at the decision stage:

  • Physical therapy or podiatrist for plantar fasciitis
  • Physical therapy for a herniated disc
  • Best physical therapy in Los Angeles for arthritis
  • Tendonitis treatment physical therapy
  • Physical therapy for hip pain
  • Hand specialist for carpal tunnel in NYC

Once this is complete, you can group your keywords into pillar page, target page, and cluster page. This gives you insight into what type of content should be used, based on how competitive a term is, what the search volume is, what stage the patient is in, and how profitable a keyword might be.

This information not only informs your current content, but it also helps you fill gaps in existing content. Check that the topics haven’t been covered before, and look for gaps resulting from keyword searches that aren’t currently being targeted.

Moving Forward

Traditional keyword research isn’t successful because most marketers only consider volume and competition. They tend to go for the terms with the highest traffic, but traffic doesn’t necessarily indicate the patient is looking for care right now. In many cases, traffic indicates users looking for information about their problem, but are still trying to understand their problem or they are considering various solutions to their pain or condition.

Because of this, current keyword research is a nuanced process that considers the needs of the patient above all else. Used properly, keyword research can drive your content strategy to generate leads and convert customers, provided you address their needs throughout each stage.

 

 

7 Easy ways to turn Facebook into your  Physical Therapy Blog’s best distribution vehicle.

Do you ever wonder why your Facebook likes and posts seem to be from the same people? It’s true, you may have 100s of friends, but you only hear from the same group of people.  There are ways to reach a broader scope, but first you have to understand the techniques facebook uses to disseminate content.

Love it or hate it, Facebook is apart of our American culture.  It is estimated that 68% of Americans regularly check their Facebook accounts.  It is installed on 81% of mobile devices, and since the majority of internet traffic is viewed on a mobile device, this is something worth looking into and understanding.  Once you have a better knowledge of how Facebook can be one of your most efficient and cost-effective marketing tools, you will have a hard time arguing it’s not your best distribution module for reaching new and returning patients to your blog.  

1. Every blog you write should be shared on Facebook

Realize your reader is not sitting on pins and needles waiting for your next blog, checking it regularly to see what the newest addition is.  You need to utilizing the popularity of Facebook, to help deliver your message. Remember most Americans are checking their Facebook accounts multiple times a day.

2. Both quantity and quality matter

You will want to post often to Facebook, one to two times a day is acceptable, but the key is to keep it interesting and intriguing.  Don’t jeopardize your practice’s reputation by inundating readers with trivial posts. Be selective to what information you would like to be identified with. Posts that are just fluff information will turn patients away from regarding you as a leader in the industry, to seeing you more as a nuisance.

3. Consider Advertising on Facebook

At Facebook’s inception, a business had a pretty good shot of reaching a wide audience.  Today, however, organic reaches are falling rapidly. There is just too much supply of information available.  Facebook is constantly evolving to keep their subscribers happy, and to do this they are cherry picking the most relevant content based on their informational data algorithms.  This decisive feature of who see’s what is not necessarily a bad thing. All this gathered data and algorithm crunching, works in your favor too. By boosting your post thru paid advertising Facebook is exposing your post to a targeted audience, who actually have an interest on what your blog is about.  Factors such as where they live, their age, their interest and hobbies are just a fraction of the information used to funnel millions of viewers to those with real odds of becoming a future patient. One way to see how this might work for you is to give it a test run. Try boosting one or two blogs that you feel are your best, and measure the outcome.

4. Mobilize your Blog Site

Facebook is mobil is your blog site?  Again you need to keep it as easy as possible for your reader, if they have to work to view your blog they will move on to the next story.  Be mindful of your image sizes, and make sure your blog is mobile optimized.

5. Watch your Headlines

You have seconds to capture your reader’s attention, before they scroll to the next post.  How are you capturing their attention? Remember to start with a catchy headline without getting cliche, then funnel your most important facts down to the end with your call to action.  Consider how much information is out there, at any point of losing your reader’s interest they will move on.

6. Use Images

Facebook readers love images.  A relevant picture already begins to tell the story without even reading a word. Just remember to keep your images related to the subject of your blog, and use pictures that will stir an emotion for the reader.  

7. Finally do your own research

Try testing the same blog post with different variables to see the response you get from your audience.  Post the same blog, but use a different headline, or change up the image. Review the data from your previous blogs.  What worked for your popular posts in the past, is there a common denominator? Was it the way you approached your headline, or the subject addressed?  Perhaps a blog about sports injuries for children showed amazing results, but the blog about balance did not. This might give an insight to the demographics of who is seeing your Facebook posts.

Need Help?

I hope you found this advice helpful.  If you have additional questions about Facebook, blogging, or how we can help you generate more patients to your practice. please give me a call at (760) 585-9097 or email me at dave@e-rehab.com .

 

Physical Therapy Content Marketing – Creating a Budget

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.  

physical therapy content marketing

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 dave@e-rehab.com .

 

Are You Website Converting Visitors to Patients? 7 Thoughts on Physical Therapy Website Development

When a potential new patient visits your website (we’ll call them a visitor) there are seven questions you need to be answering for them.  Good physical therapy website development should address all of these and your physical therapy web designer/developer should have experience in and the ability to help you answer all of these questions.

1. Can “You” Solve Their Problem?

Patients are looking for a clinician that can put an end to their pain and dysfunction. Does your website communicate clinical excellence to your visitors?

2. How will Physical Therapy Help Them Out?

Why should visitors use physical therapy versus a pill or an orthopedist? Do you let visitors know they will have better outcomes if they start PT sooner than later?

3. How will Patients Benefit from Going to “Your Practice”?

What makes your practice unique and different? What is your USP? Is it your location, specialties, certifications, education, insurance plans you accept? Can you get them in fast? Boutique/family oriented versus big-box corporate?

4. Do You Convey Social Proof?

Why should a website visitor expect to have a great experience and outcome with your practice? Do you have case studies? Do you have video of other patients with similar diagnoses as visitors that might be considering your services?

5. Are You Trustworthy?

Over 90 percent of consumers consider ratings and reviews when making buying decisions. Do you have a high aggregate rating? Do you have a high volume of reviews? What’s the overall sentiment of the reviews? Are your reviews recent? Do you offer quality, educational, and cutting-edge information to build trust?

6. Is Your Online 1st Impression Credible?

Visitors judge what they can’t see based on what they can see. Do you have a website that accurately reflects the quality of care you provide or is it simply a poorly designed online brochure without any interactivity? Does it load fast? Is it secure? Is it responsive for smartphones and tablets? Is it easy to navigate?

7. Do You Offer Clear Calls to Action?

Once a visitor decides to use your clinical services, what do they do next? Is your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) at the top of each page? Do you tell them how to contact you/a particular location? Is your location information clear? Do you have Click to Call, Click to Map, Click to Review Us options easily accessible? Can visitors request an appointment?

SUMMARY

A physical therapy private practice website serves many functions. Get it right and you can educate, build trust & credibility, and drive more business. Get it wrong and you are certainly losing business.

Need Help? Visit our contact us page and simply request a free, no-obligation consultation or contact us at (760) 585-9097.

Chances are we can help.

Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing Tips

With just a few improvements, your social media profiles could become the crown jewel of your digital marketing strategy. By switching up your approach and committing to a higher level of quality, you could soon be generating more leads, revenue, and interest in your physical therapy practice with minimal effort.

The great thing about social media marketing is that it doesn’t have to take a lot of your time to work wonders. If you plan ahead and use social media to reinforce your other marketing activities, you can achieve huge ROI through both organic and paid social campaigns.

So, to inspire you to improve your social presence and go beyond expectations, try implementing the following five highly effective social media marketing improvements.

Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy Document

Writing down your marketing ideas matters. According to CoSchedule, professionals who document their planned marketing strategy are over five times more likely to achieve success. Also, 88% of people who set marketing goals actually achieve them.

Documenting your social strategy involves both high-level and low-level considerations.

On the high level, you want to include your overarching goals for social. You want to describe how social media fits within your overall digital marketing plan. You want a few guiding pointers for brand voice and the type of values you want to express.

For low-level strategy, consider how often you want to post per week or per month. Plan a budget for the next quarter. Describe publisher sources for shared content you want to write.

Getting all of this down in writing helps you stay focused and consistent. It also makes it easier to communicate your intended strategy to others, such as employees or contract marketers.

Most importantly, it keeps you from approaching your social media activities haphazardly. Having intention and purpose is the key to achieving better results.

Coordinate Social Posts With Specific Campaigns

If you want to push your social media marketing to the next level, try a couple of test campaigns. These campaigns should start with you posting about your expertise and in time and with repetition, branding yourself in your areas of expertise.  

Then, you should tie your brand expertise (i.e. clinical expertise) into special events, promotions or campaign pushes so that they can have an express purpose beyond “just posting because.”

For instance, if you have a promotional offer like a free consultation, your social campaigns can convert audiences into leads or customers. If you have an event, like a lower back pain seminar, you will be aiming to increase foot traffic over the seminar period.

Connecting social media activity to campaigns in this way ties them to concrete goals. Your performance can be benchmarked, helping you seek out ways to improve your next campaign based on past data.

For each campaign, create custom graphics and a variety of post ideas. For example, you can plan to develop a few beautiful photo-based posts as a way to turn heads on a platform like Instagram. You can also create a few strong call-to-action posts to generate interest and early signups on Twitter or Facebook.

Creating special, limited time campaigns like these helps you learn quick lessons and improve rapidly with your social media use. The data you generate and experience you gain gives you skills that make you better at using social media, helping you improve and accomplish your goals more consistently over time.

Create Content Marketing Assets and Landing Pages Just for Social

You can significantly upgrade your social media marketing returns by creating assets specifically designed to complement social posts.

For instance, you can create a lead capture landing page for specific target segments to use with targeted promoted social media posts. That way, your call to action can take 18-year-old college students to a different page with different appeals than your page aiming to convert 70-year-old retirees.

You can also create assets that you know will perform well on social, such as infographics. Infographics get around 41.5% engagement, on average, making them the content with the second-best ROI behind video.

Developing assets like these help connect your social media presence to customer actions that actually generate revenue. They also ensure you have a best-fit destination for each outgoing click to your website, as opposed to shoehorning a single “contact us” page link into every post or something similar. Since each asset is custom-made for social, they’re better suited to their individual purpose.

Invest in Professional Grade Social Video

Speaking of developing visual content with high ROI, now is the time to start considering using video within your social media marketing strategy.

Businesses that use video marketing generate 66% more qualified customer leads and earn 54% more brand awareness  compared to those that don’t use any video. Even more impressive, 77% of small practice owners who use video report significant benefits and positive ROI.

These assets get attention and shape the way people see your practice. They serve as a form of social proof for the quality of your services when they include live testimonials. They give you something to link to within other campaigns and to embed within your blogs. They also serve as brief sales pitches that can be far more convincing than any chunk of text.

For best results, plan ahead for when and why you want to use your video assets and how you can repurpose them in multiple ways for future campaigns.  

Need a Complete Online Marketing Strategy for Your Physical Therapy Practice?  We Can Help.

For a free, no-obligation consultation, you can contact us at (760) 585-9097.  We will discuss what you are doing know, your goals, and show you how we might be able to help.

Facebook Marketing for Physical Therapy Private Practices – How to Stay Engaged

Woman Clicking Like Button. She Likes It!

No doubt you have already set up a Facebook Page for your practice and hopefully you have a number of fans that have joined your page since then.

Your goal now is to build a relationship with these fans and interact with them. You want to let your fans know that you value them and they are special. By doing so, you will encourage them to continue to read and interact with your posts. You need to consistently give your fans a reason to care about what you have to say.

Here are six ways to make your fans feel special and encourage them to stay loyal to your practice:

Fan of The Month

This is a great way you can make your fans feel special. There are so many variations of this theme. For example, it could be a fan of the month or a birthday of the month. Or if you want to take it a step further, crown a patient of the month for someone who has improved significantly over the past month. You get the idea, but whatever theme you use, your fans will love it.

To make it fair, you could make a random drawing where you pick a name out of a hat. Some people even video it and upload the video to YouTube and then post the link on their Facebook page.

Or it could be a reward for a fan that you think has made the most valuable contribution to your page. Or you could come up with a short-list and encourage other fans to vote and base it on how many “likes” a particular nominee has received.

This type of promotion is very simple but works well by highlighting individual fans on your page and putting them in the spotlight.

Here are some examples from companies who do this well:

The beauty with this kind of promotion is that you don’t have to give any prizes out other than the recognition they get from being featured as a “fan of the month.”

It is a good way to interact with your customers and fans. It shows that you appreciate and value them. It also encourages them to stay loyal to you and your patients as well as interact on your Facebook page.

Ask The Physical Therapy Expert

This can be excellent way to drive traffic to your site and to provide valuable information for your fans.

For an example of a good ‘Ask The Expert’ topics, take a look at this web page: https://csspt.com/ask-a-pro/

Now consider making these topics live events.

Here’s one from PRO PT that we really like:

Concussion Discussion Forum

Posted by PRO PT Physical Therapy on Wednesday, October 25, 2017

This is how it would work:

Choose a day where you or another physical therapist from your practice shares their expertise about a certain topic. Have another employee (or even a patient, if possible) interview the expert with some general questions about physical therapy treatment, general health or exercise tips. Change the topic a couple times per month and use it as a platform to open a conversation about something you feel patients can benefit from.

This is a win-win situation for everybody involved. Your fans will be happy because they can learn more about physical therapy and have some important questions answered. You win because your fans are happy and more educated, and you may have also managed to draw in new patients.

For this to work effectively of course you will need to have a decent amount of active fans or you will not get enough participation.

All About the Fans Day

This is a similar theme to the fan of the month as it is yet another way to make your fans feel very special and appreciated.

A great way to do this is to allow your fans to promote themselves on your page. So if your fans have a website or a blog, let them post a link.

Create a special day each week or month where your fans can post anything they like about themselves. It can be their site, a picture of their kids, pet, car or whatever they want to post.

Obviously, you will be around to moderate the posts and make sure that they don’t violate any rules or directly compete with what you are offering, but it is a great way to encourage interaction.

Three More Ways to Turn Your Fans into Ambassadors:

  1. Run a Live Event & Feature a Fan
  2. Promote a Local Cause & Increase Their Reach
  3. Use Facebook Live Video to Share a Topic of Interest

Make Sure Your Message is Seen – Boosting Posts

You may have read that Facebook has essentially eliminated organic reach of Facebook Business Page posts (Reference) .  At the time of this post, that’s exactly what we are seeing.  For example, if you have 100 Facebook Page fans (Likes), and you posted something this time last year, 20-30 of your fans may have seen that post in their news feed.  Today, that number has been reduced to single digits.

Side Note: if you do get your fans (hint, hint your staff members for example) to share your page posts, you will still get some organic reach.

To combat your loss of organic reach, you will want to boost your Facebook posts.  It’s fast, easy and for a few dollars (i.e. $10 – $20) you can still reach a significant number of people.  Therefore, when you do post something of value as described above, make sure you use the boost function to get the message out.

 

Design & Development of Your Physical Therapy Home Page

We get a lot of questions from our clients about what should be on a physical therapy website home page.

Your physical therapy website first and foremost should be responsive – a website that adapts to or changes its shape and presentation in response to the screen that the viewer is looking for at your website on. A physical therapy website that’s responsive looks different on the smartphone versus a tablet versus a desktop.

Starting from the Top of the Home Page and Working Down

At the top of a physical therapy web site you can include what is called a “hello bar”. It’s a thin row across the top and is typically a different color from the rest of the website. It usually has an appointment request link and a link to your payment page where patients can pay their bills online.

Next is the main banner. In the banner on the left-hand side is where your logo is located and on the right-hand side you usually have your address with your phone number.

Moving down the home page, there is commonly a slider or a “hero photo”. A slider is a series of images that are slide across the home page and are very popular in a modern web design. It’s a graphic feature that is very pleasing and makes a great first impression…especially if you use photos of you, the practice owner. I recommend you have a picture of your team as one of the slider images. Then a photo you or your staff performing special neuromuscular reeducation exercises with your patients. Don’t put a picture of a clinician stretching someone’s hamstrings. Personal trainers do that.

Next consider having a picture of you educating a patient a about a condition. You can be holding a model like a spine or the shoulder, or the knee and talking to a patient about that body part. Another good photo to include is a picture of you performing hands on treatment. People like to go to physical therapy and receive hands on treatment and frankly, manual therapy is one of the things a physical therapist do best. Why not include it on the homepage slider?

It’s important when you have these slider slighter images moving across the page that you also have key messages or text overlying the pictures. You first of all want to get their attention. Include phrases about where you are located, your reputation, your clinical expertise. These should be short 3-4-word phrases on top of the slide images, that encourage people to choose you.

Next, moving down the page, I would suggest you have a row of patient reviews. Today, patient ratings or reviews, in the form of star ratings and testimonial reviews are very common. I recommend you have a row of these across your page. Use slider controls to enable viewers horizontally scroll through a number of these; have perhaps ten, twelve, or fifteen of them.

Below your ratings and review is where you want to have your primary message.

Your “welcome to the practice message” and additional content text goes here. I recommend you have a video that perhaps floats in the right portion of your text. This video should share information about who you are, your expertise, why people should use you, and should be presented by the owner or one of the partners. Make sure you have a call the action at the end of the video. Use YouTube to host this video for you, and of course this video should be on your YouTube channel as well. Use lightbox plugin to allow physical therapy website viewers to click on the thumbnail picture of the video and have it “pop up” over the top of your website’s home page.

Then, I recommend including your location(s) information. Make the photos or city names clickable links that go to the specific location(s) page(s) on your website.

Moving down the page, have a list include a graphic list of your services. Have web cards (squares or circle images) that people can click on to go to individual service pages where they’re described in detail.
Then you might consider including a row of blog excerpts. A blog excerpt is the title of a blog post and then the first two or three sentences.

In the next row on your website you might consider having a link to your store so people can easily clic over to it and buy physical therapy products.

Below the link to the store, you might have the badges of any awards that you’ve received from companies like the BBB, ZocDoc, local top ten awards, etc.

Next, you might have links to your lead magnet pages. Lead magnets are pages that require people to enter their name and email address and in turn you give them a white paper or some information about why they should come to your physical therapy practice.

Then, have a link(s) to your workshop landing pages where people can sign up to attend one of your presentations.

Finally, have a mega footer built for you at the bottom of your home page. Include your PT practice name, your address, and your phone number exactly as it appears on Google (this is called your NAP [name, address, phone number]). If you have just one location, then include your office hours, an embedded Google map, and then links to your social media business pages.  If you have multiple locations, then consider linking the locations in the footer over to specific locations like we have done in this example.

A Word on the Text or Copy on Your Home Page

Before I end this post, I want to go into some detail about the text or the words that you should have on your home page. Since the words are present to inspire the viewer to take the action of calling you, we will call this your home page web “copy”.

As people are scanning down your website and most other websites these days, it’s very visual. Therea are lots of graphics and image. But, we ultimately need to have some good text or copy on the home page.

What you want to do first is get their attention. Use text that stops them from scanning down the page. A common question I like to use is, “Did you know that not all physical therapy practices are the same?” That’s going to get their attention.

Then the next thing you want to do is arouse some desire in the viewer to choose you. Talk about the fact that your expert physical therapy services

1. Saves them money,
2. It’s fast and easy to get an appointment with you right now,
3. that your treatment is conservative, natural, hands-on, personalized, and customized treatment for them.

Tell Patients Exactly What They Want to Hear

The next section of the copy should pique the reader’s interest by addressing four important factors that patients are looking for when choosing a PT practice.
These four factors are:

A. Clinical excellence – your board certifications, your doctoral degree, fellowships, and areas of specialization.

B. Empathy – write about your caring staff and the fact that you’re a family-oriented practice and that exceptional customer services is one of your corporate values.

C. No Long Waits – mention that patients are not going to have long waits to get into your practice for their first visit or long waits when they come into your practice for treatment. Patients are busy and they don’t want to wait around for treatment.

D. Shared Decision Making & Treatment – share some information on the page about your treatment approach. Patients want to be involved in the treatment and decision process. they want to know what their problem is, how you are going to help them, how long it is going to take, an estimate of how much it is going to cost, and what their role is going to be in the recovery process.

Money always matters. Have a brief section on your website that might say something like, “We accept a variety of insurance plans, click here for details.” Then link over to a comprehensive list.

End Your Page Content with a Clear Call to Action

Finally, make sure you have a clear call action and don’t just put your phone number at the bottom of the page. Side note, for goodness sakes, don’t ask them to sign up for an e-book. The call the action on your home page should be clear and should be in a large heading, known to web coders as H1 or H2 tags. Consider using some language before the phone number to inspire a viewer to call you now.

Use were phrases like, “Don’t wait, call now.” Talk about a delay in starting physical therapy care may cost them more money. Perhaps indicate that getting into your clinic fast will allow them to alleviate the pain sooner. You might want to create a sense of scarcity by saying something like, “We are now accepting new patients.”

Make sure you give anyone that is browsing your website multiple ways to contact you. What I mean by this is don’t just put your phone on the bottom of the page, but also include an online appointment request form too.

There’s a lot to Consider on Your Physical Therapy Website Home Page

Above we discussed some ideas about layout, graphics, and copy that you might be included on your physical therapy practice home page. It’s important to have a good designer that can create a clean design and layout with responsive technology. Following the above concepts can go a long way to converting patients that are visiting your website.

If you want more information want about how E-rehab.com can help you with your physical therapy give us a call. We’ve been helping PT practices market their business online longer than Facebook or Yelp have been around.

We have the experience, the passion, and great customer care to serve you. Just check out our ratings and reviews and give us a call if you have any questions. You can reach us at (760) 585-9097.