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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.