Physical Therapy Mobile Marketing: Capturing First-Time Patients with a Compelling App

physical therapy mobile marketing

Physical therapy mobile marketing has grown to become an essential process that all private practices need to take advantage of. This is the result of more people spending more time on mobile devices, as well as the increasing competition of the medical industry.

In the world of physical therapy, evidence has shown that the industry is continually growing in demand as the population ages, especially baby boomers. With awareness of this reality, your own physical therapy practice may be starting to feel the pain of local competitors taking away your old patients and not know how to react.

Why Your Practice May be Struggling

If you’re beginning to feel like your practice is struggling or slowing down, there may be good reason for this. You possibly have dozens if not hundreds of competing physical therapy clinics within your city or state. With that in mind, you may be realizing how much more marketing you need to do in order to stand out above the rest of the herd.

Marketing physical therapy can sometimes turn into an uphill challenge because some believe that marketing content can only be general. If you think you don’t offer anything different from all of your competitors, try analyzing your practice a little more thoroughly.

Rather than focusing completely on you and your physical therapy practice, it’s worth remembering that paying more attention to the patient is now more relevant than ever.

[pullquote2 textColor=”#000000″]Rather than focusing completely on you and your physical therapy practice, it’s worth remembering that paying more attention to the patient is now more relevant than ever.[/pullquote2]

This is where physical therapy mobile marketing can work well in capturing a prospective patient. Much of this comes in integrating technology with marketing so they coalesce into something different and informative. At the same time, you want more direct communication with future patients to make your marketing a more personalized experience.

Integrating Apps into Your Physical Therapy Mobile Marketing

There isn’t any denying that using apps in the medical community has the potential for exponential growth. Apps are used in a variety of ways, some of which involve usage directly in the medical facility itself. However, they’re just as useful as a form of marketing on mobile devices.

A perfect way to provide both information and personal connections with your future patients is to provide a free app on your website. When people search for physical therapy on their mobile devices, they want information immediately. A free app is one way for those people to find that information and to refer to later for details.

[highlight3 textColor=”#000000″]The key here is to make your app as simple to use as possible. Simplicity in app design is peaking now for good reason. [/highlight3]
A case in point: mobile users want info in seconds before moving on. Here are some other tips to keep in mind when creating your app:

  • In your app, provide the most essential information users need, including content about your practice and what services you offer
  • Analyze all of your procedures and find something different from what your competitors are doing
  • Incorporate some educational content into your app so users get a sense of worth after downloading it
  • Another advantage of an app is that you can even integrate contact methods, including some in real-time; if possible, provide this through your staff so you can answer questions in real-time if a patient needs an answer to something they didn’t find on the app

Having a portal to social media through your app also allows conversations with users in a more personal way. Natural conversations that don’t use hard-sell tactics are the best way to prove your expertise without looking like a spammer.

Providing Directions on How to Find Your Facility

Another huge benefit of physical therapy mobile marketing is the ability to have GPS-like maps available so that patients know exactly where they are in relation to your clinic. By incorporating this into mobile ads on your website or app, patients who need to find a place in a hurry can do so in seconds.

More localized marketing is worth doing on the mobile platform to help you move to the top after possibly losing business to a physical therapy practice in your local area.

[note_box]For additional guidance on physical therapy mobile marketing, contact us here at E-rehab.com, where we can help you find new marketing strategies for growing or recharging your practice and attracting new patients.[/note_box]

Video Marketing for Physical Therapists: Targeting the Right Patients and Bringing Transparency

The process of video marketing for physical therapists is one that requires showcasing exactly what makes you different from your competition. No doubt you have many other physical therapy clinics competing with you in your town or city. You might have even lost many of your patients to your competition because your competitors offered something different or innovative.

While this might sound like pure business logic, the real problem is your competitors either do a better job of marketing, have stronger relationships with referring physicians, or have some sort of financial relationship with doctors/hospitals.

One way to “even the playing field” is to use video to share your high quality care.

In a visual culture, video marketing is one of the best methods of bringing differentiating yourself and what better way to do it than with patient testimonials on camera.

Patients who seek physical therapy want more transparency about how your clinic operates. They also want educational information about what you provide and what sets you apart from others. Even if you don’t feel like you are a leader with your treatment techniques or outcomes, patients still want to learn more about you.  Video is a great way to create a long-term competitive advantage.

Many who seek physical therapy do so out of necessity or due to physical pain. So the video marketing you do needs a serious approach. How do you properly convey who you are, though, in a marketing video?

Some Topics for Your Videos

  • Most companies have a mission statement.  Creating a video about your mission statement and your goals for patients is important.
  • Telling stories about what led you to pursue a career in physical therapy is a great lead-in for patients as a way toward more trust.
  • Telling stories about patients you’ve worked with in the past can help demonstrate your empathy.
  • Even better is when you equate your founding to perhaps your own physical ailments. If a specific physical therapy experience helped you overcome a past medical issue or injury, this enhances your sense of understanding about how other patients feel when they seek physical therapy.
  • Expert interviews are great ways to establish authority and differentiate your self from the competition. Pick topics that you specialize in and share your knowledge with your community (see the example below).

Transparency About How Your Clinic is Run

Secrecy in any company, especially a medical clinic, frequently turns off prospective patients. They want to see what you do.  With consent of your medical staff (and even patients), footage of actual physical therapy techniques taking place is a great way to share your clinical expertise, culture, and to improve transparency.

Social Proof

As we have mentioned before, and as stated in the Neilson’s Trust in Advertising study, ratings and reviews come in second or third when it comes to consumer action and advertising trust.  If ratings and reviews are trusted, certainly patient video testimonials are also going to be a great trust builder for your practice.

Targeting the Right Patient Demographic

In Dan Kennedy’s book, No B.S. Direct Marketing: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Direct Marketing for Non-direct Marketing Businesses , he provides readers with some simple yet crucial advice when creating your marketing message.  Match your message to your market and use the right medium.  You should absolutely apply these simple principles to your video marketing efforts.  If you are trying to reach the senior demographic, use senior testimonials, and have them discuss their success with their “senior” diagnoses (e.g. stenosis, osteoarthritis, balance disorders, etc.).  If you are targeting younger athletes, then consider using video but delivering it via 15 second snippets on Instagram.

Use Keywords in Your Videos

We recommend that you also use specialized keywords (both short and longtail) to increase the likelihood that your videos will rank better in YouTube and in some cases, even on Google. You can increase the chance that your videos will rank by posting them on your social networking platforms and encouraging likes, comments, and shares.

Video is a great online marketing tool, no question about it.  It’s well within the financial reach of any physical therapy private practice.  When you create your videos, consider your demographics, use video to share transparency about your clinic, and use them for social proof or patient testimonials.  Good video can create a competitive advantage for you so have fun with it.

Local Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing 101

physical therapy social media marketing

You’re already a talented and invested physical therapist. You’ve probably got a steady stream of patients who trust you and are seeing results. What’s next? How can you grow your client base and keep your patients healthy, even after their sessions are wrapped up?  We suggest physical therapy social media marketing.

You don’t need to be a trained marketing professional to develop your online community. In fact, sometimes that authentic novice approach can help your business stand out among all the cookie cutter stick-to-the-book traditional tactics. So, in between sessions, give a few of these channels a try.

Pinterest

If you’re not on Pinterest already and think it’s just for crafters and bakers, it’s time to get reacquainted. Pinterest was the fastest growing social network over the past year, and it has qualities that you won’t quite find on Facebook. “At their core, the difference between Pinterest and other social networks is why people use it,” Kevin Roose explains, “— to plan for the future, rather than exhuming the past or analyzing the present.” On Pinterest, health-and-recovery-minded users, like your patients, plan for the future by pinning wellness tips, healthy recipes, and inspirational quotes. “Pinning says ‘I want this.’ It’s aspirational.”

Your physical therapy practice can be a hub for such holistic aspirations. Of course you’ll have boards dedicated to PT-specific topics (i.e. Knee Pain, Spine Rehab, Shoulder Problems, etc.) and other subjects that would be a perfect fit for Pinterest‘s “Health & Fitness” category, but you should also tap into the most popular categories like “Food & Drink.” For example, you could pin anti-inflammatory foods, therapeutic teas, protein-rich smoothies, and so on. Latch on to another popular category, “Women’s Fashion,” by pinning workout gear that your active or working-to-become active clients would be interested in. Think beyond the walls of your practice and consider the entire lifestyle of a person on the road to wellness. The topic“Physical Therapy” has 1.78 thousand followers; start showing a few of them why your PT brand is worth following.

Blog

Don’t freak out just yet—you don’t need to write a novel or post every day to have a quality blog for your practice. You also don’t need to be a tech wiz. With platforms like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr (the second fastest growing social network over the past year), it takes minutes to set up a blog and begin participating in one of the biggest trends in marketing: content marketing. Content marketing is an approach which focuses on creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract and engage with an audience. Blog posts are an excellent vehicle for such content, whose keyword-rich format can also help your business by improving your search engine optimization.

Okay, enough jargon. Think about what your client base would find compelling, informative, and shareable. You could write a 300-word piece about five ways to improve shoulder mobility. You could invite a guest blogger (i.e. a patient) to share how PT has changed her life. You could ask your chef neighbor to type up her favorite smoothie recipe and share a few tips on healthy eating. Compile a list of your top ten favorite outdoor activities in your city. Host a giveaway, like a free resistance band, for a randomly selected commenter. Are your own ideas flowing yet?

Facebook & Twitter

You have a Facebook Page, right? Maybe a Twitter profile, too (if not, we can set these up for you)?  These platforms are easy to get started on and are an effective way to build and engage with your online community. Like with other digital tools, it comes down to sharing high-quality, relevant content and interacting with your audience in a meaningful, authentic way. Since Facebook and Twitter are typically more well-known than the other channels we’ve mentioned, we won’t go too in-depth on the mechanics, but do know that having an active presence on these sites is becoming more of an expectation than a bonus for businesses. If a patient is in a work meeting and has a quick question (“Is the office cancelled today because of the snow?”), they’re probably going to pop on over to your (hopefully existent and active) Facebook Page or Twitter profile for real-time, up-to-date info. Trying to build up a collection of testimonials? Encouraging people to review you on Facebook is a great way to do so. You can then take these positive reviews and highlight them on your other channels, perhaps after turning the quotes into mini works of art with some free, easy design programs (i.e. Canva).

Practice patience

Be patient with yourself as you experiment with what works for your audience. You may be surprised by what resonates (or doesn’t), and just as your practice was built brick by brick, it will take time to develop your online community. Trust that the new growth you’re cultivating online will circle back to a more enriching experience at your clinic, for you and your clients.

How We Can Help

[note_box]E-rehab.com publishes regular, fresh, and engaging content for its members.  From videos to memes, we provide a variety of content to compliment your social media marketing strategy.  Contact us us to learn more about how we can help you with your social media marketing.[/note_box]

Stop the Lead Generation Madness

Each day I speak with a client or prospect that wants to generate more business from the web.  They are overwhelmed, confused, have been burned and simply don’t know what to do.

It’s not surprising when you consider all of the possible forms of advertising communication as diagrammed here in The Conversation Prism:

JESS3_BrianSolis_ConversationPrism4_WEB_1280x1024

 

Your head really starts to spin when you think of social media:

By Brian Solis and JESS3 (https://www.theconversationprism.com/) [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are E-rehab’s Physical Therapy Online Marketing Recommendations

1. Make sure you have a great website – it’s one of the most trusted forms of advertising according to Nielson.

2. Make sure you have a mobile optimized website.  30% plus of your physical therapy website viewers are going to visit you on a smartphone.

3. Send out an email newsletter (examples here).  It is the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to welcome, communicate, and stay in touch with past patients.

4. Ratings and Reviews – online reviews are the second most trusted and actionable form of advertising according to Nielson.

5. Create videos about your practice, your expertise, about patient reviews, and patient testimonials. Here are examples of reputation videos at Terrapin Physical Therapy’s YouTube channel.

6. Use Facebook and Twitter to communicate social signals to the search engines and to demonstrate your expertise and credibility.

7. Create a blog and optimize the posts to rank for common conditions you treat like MBF Rehab has done.

Invest in the Hub & Spokes

physical therapy online marketing hub and spokes

[info_box]You can spend hours every week chasing after the latest tech that might generate new patients. Our advice is to stop the madness and create a solid online marketing platform that includes the seven components above. We call it the Hub & Spoke Model. Your website is your hub of online marketing and the other components are the spokes. Invest in these and you will build your brand and develop more business from community members that have a need for PT.[/info_box]